The Passover & The Laws of Eshnunna

Hands OutOur country should do the Jubilee, that would be great.  And if the world did it, our deficit would be gone.

See  Passover vs. Easter

1. Laws of Eshnunna c1900 B.C.
Laws of Eshnunna c1900 B.C.
A number of law documents from Mesopotamia have been excavated and these contain parallels to biblical and modern law to the point it has evoked considerable interest in modern scholarship.

The tablets are:
The Laws of Urukagina (Sumerian, 2350 B.C.),
The Laws of Ur-Namrnu (Sumerian, 2112-2095 B.C.),
The Laws of Lipit-Ishtar (Sumerian 1934-1924 B.C.),
The Laws of Eshnunna (Babylonian, 1900 B.C.), and
The Code of Hammurapi (Babylonian, 1792-1750 B.C.).

“Observe the month of 1 Abib, and keep the Passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. 

Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the Passover unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there. 

Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life” (Deut 16:1-3).

“Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work therein. 

Seven weeks shalt thou Number unto thee: begin to Number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn. 

2. ten commandments archaeology
The world’s earliest known stone inscription of the 10 commandments was sold at auction on November 16, 2016 after spending three decades as a paving stone.
According to Heritage Auctions, this tablet written in Samaritan is “uniquely important to many different faiths and cultures.”
The Commandments were carefully chiseled into the white marble slab, weighing 52 Kilos (115 lbs) and measuring 63 by 57 centimeters.
The tablet was likely inscribed during the late Roman or Byzantine era between 300 and 800 AD; making the tablet about 1,500 years old.
It is thought to have marked the entrance of an ancient synagogue that was later destroyed by the Romans between 400 and 600 AD, or by the Crusaders in the 11th century, as noted by the Heritage Auctions.

And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the LORD thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.

And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there. 

And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes.

Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine:

And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.

3. The Code of Hammurabi
The Code of Hammurabi
An ancient Mesopotamian series of laws that predates Moses by a thousand years.

Hammurabi was ruler of Ur in Abraham’s day and had a rather expansive and lengthy rule.

Surviving today are about 250 laws etched in an eight-foot stele that also features an image of the king receiving the laws from the sun god Shamash.

Most likely, this stele was a trophy, changing hands multiple times as its possessors were conquered.

Somewhere in there, some thirty-five laws were scratched out, otherwise there would be just over 280 laws.

To read them all go here.

Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice.

Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:

Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.

Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. 

4. Terracotta Relief
Terracotta Relief
Early 2nd millennium B.C.
From Eshnunna.
Dancers with percussion instruments.

Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.

That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 

Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee. 

Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God hateth” (Deut 16:8-22).

1 This was the first month of the year (Ex 13:4, 23:25, 34:18), but after the Exile the name was changed to Nisan and fell about the time of March and early April. 

5. Goddess from Tell Asmar ancient Eshnunna Iraq.
Statuette of goddess from Tell Asmar, ancient Eshnunna, Iraq.

 Now you know why Easter is the first Sunday in April. 

The Exile occurred during or around the time that the southern kingdom (Judah) was forcibly detained in Babylon. 

These were pagans that worshipped the Sun God on Sunday.  Whether these are the same pagans that changed Passover into Easter I don’t know.

The Laws of Eshnunna

Eshnunna, which lay east of Babylon.was for a brief period around 1800 B.C. a dominant city in Mesopotamia, and a code of laws has been discovered from this civilization.

6. Eshnunna
Eshnunna, modern Tall al-Asmar, ancient city in the Diyālā River valley lying about 20 miles (32 km) northeast of Baghdad in east-central Iraq.

The excavations carried out by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago revealed that the site was occupied sometime before 3000 B.C.

The city expanded throughout the Early Dynastic Period, and during the 3rd dynasty of Ur the city was the seat of an ensi (governor).

After the collapse of Ur, Eshnunna became independent but was later conquered by Hammurabi, king of Babylonia.

During the next century the city fell into decline and may have been abandoned.

The “Laws of Eshnunna” are inscribed on two broken tablets found in Tall Abū Harmal, near Baghdad.

The two tablets are not duplicates but separate copies of an older source.

The laws are believed to be about two generations older than the Code of Hammurabi; the differences between the two codes help illuminate the development of ancient law.

Judging from the fragments that remain of the laws’ superscription, it appears that King Dadusha, successor of Naram-Sin (founder of the dynasty), issued this law code for his city. 

It is the earliest example of an Akkadian law code discovered to date and anticipates form and content its successor, the much moore famous Code of Hammurabi (who conquered Eshnunna in c. 1766 B.C.).

Ike code of Eshnunna is fairly short but covers a wide range of topics, including price controls for products like barley and wool and regulations involving theft, the status of slaves, marital relations, crimes of violence, and vicious animals.

It includes, for example, laws concerning a dangerous ox and the liability of its owner, which are closely paralleled in Ex 21:28-32. 

The Eshnunna law code is significant for Biblical studies. It reconfirms that the Bible did not spring into existence in isolation from its larger cultural and political milieu, as well as reinforces that a code of laws similar to those we find in the Bible could have existed as early as the time of Moses.

Some histori­ans have argued that the bulk of Israel’s laws were very late, coming into existence long after Moses’ day.

It is striking, however, that while the super­scription to the Eshnunna code celebrates the military prowess and worthiness of King Dadusha, Deuteronomy 9 focuses on the weak­ness and unworthiness of Israel, thereby em­phasizing God’s grace.

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