9780567253934

The Body as Property Physical Disfigurement in Biblical Law

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780567253934

  • ISBN10:

    0567253937

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-02-13
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark

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Summary

The Body As Property indicates that physical disfigurement functioned in biblical law to verify legal property acquisition, when changes in the status of dependents were formalized. It is based on the reality the cuneiform script, in particular, was developed in Sumer and Mesopotamia for the purpose of record keeping: to provide legal proof of ownership where the inscription of a tablet evidenced the sale, or transfer, of property. Legitimate property acquisition was as important in biblical law, where physical disfigurements marked dependents, in a similar way that the veil or the head covering identified a wife or concubine in ancient Assyrian and Judean societies.

This is primarily substantiated in the accounts of prescriptive disfigurements: namely circumcision and the piercing of a slave's ear, both of which were required only when a son, or slave, was acquired permanently. It is further argued that legal entitlement was relevant also to the punitive disfigurements recorded in Exodus 21:22-24, and Deuteronomy 25:11-12, where the physical violation of women was of concern solely as an infringement of male property rights.

Author Biography

Sandra Jacobs received her doctorate in biblical law from the University of Manchester in April 2010 and is an Honorary Research Associate at the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College, London.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Acknowledgements
Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: The Priestly Requirement of Circumcision
Chapter Three: Talion in Law and Narrative
Chapter Four: Legal Acquisition: The Slave and Israel's Cult Personnel
Chapter Five: Conclusions
Appendix I: The Name and Seed of Esarhaddon's Vassals
Appendix II: The la summa Clause in Esarhaddon's Succession Treaty
Appendix III: Typological Correlations in Genesis 17:1-21 and Esarhaddon's Succession Treaty
Bibliography

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