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Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Laws of Hammurabi Genesis 14:1

Genesis 14:1 "And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;"

Before going on with Genesis 14, I think it's important to briefly mention king Amraphel (belived to be king Hammurabi) in Genesis 14:1 to dispel any beliefs that the laws of king Hammurabi and the laws of Moses are the same. Some actually believe the laws are the same, so I am only addressing this one verse in this post for the sake of brevity.

So I will try to simplify...
After Abram and Lot separated, Lot gravitated to the area of Sodom in which there were four Kings that made war against Sodom soon after Lot's arrival. In the first verse of Genesis 14, it names one of the kings as Amraphel. This name is a subject of dispute among bible scholars and some believe that king Amraphel is also known as king Hammurabi. King Hammurabi was from Babylon (founded by Nimrod) in the Shinar. Hammurabi was the sixth king of Babylon. He is most famous because of the code of law that he established during his rule. Prior to him writing down the law, the laws were word of mouth and many did not know if they were breaking the law or not.

One famous archaeological find is of an eight foot stele roughly shaped as a finger, that contains a depiction of this king receiving the laws from the ancient Babylonian god Shamash. It's unknown exactly how old the writing on the stone is, some estimate around 1800-1750 B.C. Which would correlate to the time frame when Hammurabi was king, and would also be a time frame during the life of Abram.

There are about 250 laws mentioned on this stele and one particular law mentions an "eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." As a result some believe that the law of Moses which also mentions "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" came from the laws of Hammurabi. This cannot be the truth as the stele has two different sets of laws. One for nobles and one for slaves, and of course the laws concerning the slaves were much more harsh than those for the nobles.

I do not believe that Moses's law was copied from this stele, and I will offer a few reasons of why I believe this is not the case.

The laws of Moses came from the one and only true God.
God does not change. The laws of God are unchanging, and also the Messiah (Jesus) never changes.

The Father's laws are equal to everyone despite their position in society or how much money they have.

Babylon was founded by king Nimrod the great grandson of Noah, grandson of Ham. If there were a connection between the laws of Hammurabi and the Fathers laws then it would be obvious that the laws were in effect from Nimrod's founding of Babylon, and not written down. So if there was any copying, it was Hammurabi that copied the law from the Fathers laws.

If there were only one thing I wish people would take from this post is that the laws of the Father never change, but the laws of man change all the time.

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