“To understand, however, how the received form of the Bible frames and presents them, we do well to refer to the way I introduced them in chapter 1: the laws are, first and foremost, treaty stipulations. They are the conditions and mandates set down by the sovereign king YHWH for His treaty with the vassal Israel.12 As such, they are prescriptive in nature, and are meant to be binding on the members of the covenantal community. It is on the basis of the fulfillment of these stipulations that Israel the vassal will be judged by the heavenly sovereign king, just as earthly sovereigns judged their vassals on the basis of their compliance with the treaty stipulations. It may well be, additionally, that Scripture intends that judges make quasi-statutory, analogical, or referential uses of some of these laws.13 At the same time, it is clear that judges, perforce, must have also engaged a comprehensive oral law, or set of unwritten norms and social customs. The”


Joshua A. Berman, Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought
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Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought by Joshua A. Berman
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