Pentateuhul a suferit modificari si editari si cel mai probabil forma in care e acum dateaza din sec VI i.e.n din timpul robiei babiloniene.Deci forma in care e astazi mai mult ca sigur nu provine de la Moise.Pentateuhul e foarte similar cu alte documente vechi si cu folclorul pagan mai ales de sorginte babilonian(sumerian), care precede vremea presupului "Moise".Personajul lui Moise e foarte similar cu Sargon.. Sargon la fel ca Moise a fost trimis pe un rau celebru si gasit de o regina.. Sargon I este intemeietorul considerat intemeietorul Babylonului.. Moise intemeietorul statului Israel.. Sargon I cel Mare a trait in sec al 24 i.e.n cu 1000 de ani inaintea presupusului Moise.O alta legenda biblica (din Pentateuh) isi are corespondenta in mitologia babiloniana si anume Dumnezeu incredinteaza unui erou de pe munte un cod de legi.. In cazul Bibliei(Pentateuhului) este chiar Moise, iar in legenda Babylonia Hammurabi (vedeti/cautati Codul lui Hamurrabi) care seamana mult cu Codul lui Moise.. O alta poveste a lui "Moise" care are corespondent in mitologia Babyloniana.. Ramane de precizat desigur ca Hamurrabi a trait inaintea lui "Moise", De fapt cam toate povestile si personajele din Pentateuh au asta.. Vedeti Epopeea lui Ghilgamesh.. Ghilgamesh este corespondentul lui Noe.. Povestea lui Noe pana si vorbele lui Dumnezeu/Zeilor sunt aceleasi.. Ghilgamesh este ales de zei sa scape el singur din potop la fel ca Noe si sa construiasca o arca.. La fel si povestea lui Samson si Dalila.. Pana si mitul caderii tot de acolo vine.. Multe povesti cu primii oameni fiind inselati care implica creaturi , serpi , pomi, etc.. Biblia cel mai probabil a fost compusa in timpul Robiei Babiloniene sec VI ceea ce corespunde si cu arheologia.. Tot atunci si proorocii si proorociile au fost inventate ca sa manipuleze si sa justifice starea poporului aflat captiv.. cel mai probabil proorociile au fost scrise pe hartie dupa ce s-au intamplat.. E usor sa inventezi proorociri dupa ce evenimentele au luat loc.. E un caz similar si in Noult Testament cu al doilea Templu.. intr-unele din Evanghelii scrie ca Iisus a proorocit caderea Templului, la fel si in Fapte, iar parerile cu privire la datarea evangheliilor sunt impartite.. Unii spune ca in mare masura au fost compuse si scrise in a doua jumatate a sec I, chiar dupa anul 70 d Hr.. Fiind scrise atunci e usor sa inventezi o proorocie cu privire la evenimentele ce au trecut.. Ok.. Deci Biblia in mare parte probabil a fost inventata in timpul robiei Babiloniene , ca un imbold spre curaj, mandrie, motivare si manipulare a unui anumit popor , care dupa cum excavarile arata se inchina mai multor zei.. Apropo daca nu v-ati prins personajul "Avraam" este mesopotamian/babilonian ..
In cartea Facerii se vorbeste despre camile domesticate si regi in Israel.. Camilele nu au fost domesticate decat spre sfarsitul anului 1000 i.e.n si nu erau domesticate cand se presupune ca patriarhii (Avraam,Isaac,Iacov) traiau in anul 2000 i.e.n.. Dar prin sec VI camilele au ajuns sa fie asimilate cu bogatia.. Se vorbeste in facere de regi in Israel.. Aici doua probleme.. Israel nici nu exista la vremea in care se presupune ca evenimentele alea au avut loc.. Nu era nici un stat Israel.. Bine poate veti zice ca pe vremea lui Moise era.. Da.. Dar pe vremea lui Moise nu a existat nici un rege in Israel.. Deci cum a scris Moise inainte sa domneasca regii in Israel ? deci nu a scris rege.. primul rege a fost Saul la peste 100 de ani dupa moartea lui Moise.. Apoi se vorbeste in Pentateuh de Orasul 'Dan' .. Orasul 'Dan' nu primeste denumirea de 'Dan' decat dupa ce tribul lui Dan cucereste cetatea Laishului si ii da acest nume, dupa moartea lui "Moise" in cartea Judecatori.. Deci cel care a scris asa , orasul cu denumirea asta nu putea fi Moise.. De aceia am scris mai sus ca forma curenta a Pentateuhului nu provine de la Moise.. Cel mai probabil Moise nici nu a existat..
Voi posta diferite articole care vorbesc mai detaliat pe multe din cele prezentate, doar ca sunt in engleza.
According to Christian tradition the book of Genesis was written somewhere between 1513-1440BCE, at around the time of the Israelite’s alleged exodus from Egypt. However, according to the overwhelming amount of archeological, textual and extra-biblical evidence, the book of Genesis was more than likely written some time during the 6th to the 5th centuries B.C.E, whilst the Israelites were exiled in Babylon or even after they had returned, also known as the exilic and post exilic periods. Such a fact may appear to be insignificant but it is important, especially within the context of the archeologically proven fact that the Chaldeans, Sumerians and Babylonians, all had near identical myths from the creation of heaven and earth, the fall of man, the great flood, the tower of Babel, the Ten Commandments and even a Garden of Eden, to name a few. All of these ancient Babylonian myths pre-dated the Hebrew Scriptures by over a thousand years or more.
The ‘Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies’ has the following to say regarding biblical archeology and the Babylonian origin of the myths contained within the book of Genesis:
These (anthropological responses) took various forms: cultural, religious, and historical. The cultural responses were based upon the discovery of Assyrian and Babylonian texts which resembled the biblical accounts of creation and flood and the laws of Exodus 21–4. They illuminated the cultural context of ancient Israel and disclosed the history, religion, and culture of ancient Mesopotamia as never before. One conclusion that was drawn from these discoveries was that everything that was thought to be unique to the Old Testament was, in fact, derived from Babylon (Delitzsch 1901–2).
There are a number of reasons to consider the probability that the book of Genesis was written well after the traditional date and even more reasons to suggest that it was composed in post exilic times (after the Jewish exile to Babylon).
The Hebrew Language
The first and foremost reason for considering a much later date for the composition for the book of Genesis than is held by the Judeo-Christian tradition, is the fact that the Hebrew language was not yet in existence during the period in which the book was allegedly written. There are two major forms of script in Hebrew, the ‘Ketav Ivri’, which is derived from the Phoenician (ancient Lebanese) language and the ‘Ketav Ashuri’, rooted in the Acadian or Babylonian language. Neither Hebraic Scripts originate with the actual Hebrews themselves they are borrowed languages from people who worshiped other gods. Whether the original manuscripts of Genesis were penned in the Babylonian Hebrew or the Phoenician Hebrew, one thing is almost certain and that is, the earliest possible date that the book of Genesis could have been written is no earlier than 1000 B.C.E.
With regards to the relatively late development of the Hebrew language the ‘Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages’ relates that:
No extant inscription that can be identified specifically as Hebrew antedates the tenth century BC, and Hebrew inscriptions in significant numbers do not begin to appear before the early eighth century BC.
The next reason for questioning the traditional date of composition for the book of Genesis is the presence of camels in the narrative. According to Zoological Archeologists at Tel Aviv University, camels were not domesticated until after 1000BC. There is no evidence whatsoever of domesticated camels prior to this time and following this period there is a wealth of archeological evidence regarding the domestication of camels. So why is this important?
In Genesis 12:16 Abram is rewarded by the Pharaoh of Egypt for giving the Pharaoh his “sister,” who was actually his wife/half-sister. For this gift of prostitution, the Pharaoh rewarded Abram with sheep, asses, slaves, and a camel. However, as mentioned above camels were not domesticated until after 1000BC and this story is traditionally said to have taken place before 2000BC. Therefore, the author was living in a time when camels were domesticated, which according to the archeological evidence must have been some time after 1000BC. This pushes both the story of Abraham and the book of Genesis to after 1000BC at least.
The ‘Harper Collins Bible Dictionary’ corroborates the above point, whilst disagreeing only slightly on the date of the introduction of the Camel to Canaan and Egypt. It states:
There is however no archaeological corroboration for the camel being known in Palestine or Egypt at the beginning of the second millennium B.C., as the seventeen references to the camel in Genesis might suggest, and those references are therefore considered anachronisms.
In addition 2 Jewish Rabbis, Messod and Roger Sabbah, discuss this point in their bestseller, ‘Secrets of the Exodus: The Egyptian Origins of the Hebrew People’, arguing that the appearance of camels within the narratives found in the Book of Genesis are telltale signs that the book was composed much later than previously believed:
Biblical researchers believed that the presence of camels in the story of the patriarchs was an error of the scribes. However, the scribes went into great detail, as if they wanted to pass on a message. "He caused the camels to kneel ..." (Genesis 24:11). "Rebecca looked up and alighted from the camel ..." (Genesis24:64). Presenting Biblical characters alighting from camels' backs is an anachronism that the scribes apparently wished to present.
By the sixth century BC, the camel, a symbol of wealth and power, had already been domesticated in Babylonia.
Had they forgotten that camels did not exist in ancient Egypt?
Couldn't they have presented and described Abraham's power and wealth without camels? The camels give a Mesopotamian twist to the story, which would have been pleasing to their captors.
Further, the book of Genesis describes Abraham’s birthplace as being in Ur in Chaldea, which as previously mentioned, is more popularly known today as Babylon. At Genesis 11:28, 31 and 15:7, the Hebrew word ‘Kasdim’ (Eng. Chaldee) is used to describe the ancient region of Babylonia. The problem with the use of the word ‘Kasdim’ is that it was not used to describe ancient Babylonia until the 6th century BCE, which is known as the Neo-Babylonian Period. Before this it was known as ‘Sumeria’, yet the account given in Genesis refers to this region as Chaldea. This fact provides further evidence that the book of Genesis was more than likely written sometime during or after the 6th century BCE. According to Messod and Roger Sabbah, the story of Abraham was a 6th century composition constructed to pander to the Jew’s Babylonian captors and masters. They say:
Although the city of Ur existed in Sumeria, the name "Chaldea" (Chaldees) does not appear until sometime around the sixth century BC. Chaldea has never yielded any archeological proof of the existence of the great patriarch, Abraham. In order to survive and for their traditions to survive as well, the Yahuds introduced anachronisms into the history of the Patriarchs. They made the story compatible with sixth-century Babylon. They recast a large part of their history at that time, probably under considerable restrictions. The new text of the story had no historical reality at all.
Moreover, the ‘Harper Collins Bible Dictionary’ informs us that:
“In the OT, Ur is mentioned four times (Gen. 11:28, 31; 15:7; Neh. 9:7), in each instance as the home of the patriarch Abraham before his migration to Harran and Canaan, and in each instance the Hebrew phrase “Ur Kasdim” is used. Kasdim here almost certainly indicates the "Chaldeans" (cf. already the Septuagint), which suggests that the phrase as a whole refers to the southern Mesopotamia!! Ur of the period of the Neo-Babylonian/Chaldean Empire. To be sure, this period is much too late for Abraham…”
It appears that the accounts of Abraham’s birth and travels were created no earlier than the 6th century B.C.E, which seems to indicate that the writer was either in Babylon during the exile or had already returned to Israel. Either way, one thing is almost certain, and that is that the authors of the Hebrew Scriptures had ample opportunity to copy and re-script the mythologies of the ancient Babylonians to suit their own social and theological needs.
Kings in Israel
Genesis 36:31 says;
And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.
The obvious implication of this statement is that at the time the author was writing this passage, there had been numerous kings who had reigned in Israel as evidenced by the term used, ‘any king’.
The very first king of Israel was Saul and his reign has been dated from 1020BCE-1000BCE. Thus, the author must have been writing the account in Genesis following this period. There may well be good reason to suggest it was long after this period, due to the fact that the author says; “before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.” Use of the phrase, ‘any king’ implies that he was aware of more than one king. If only one king had reigned it would have made more sense for the author to name that king, or if there were two, to use the phrase ‘either king’, or ‘both kings’, or use their names, but it definitely seems as if there had been many kings which preceded the account. This evidence coupled with the textual and archeological evidence showing that Saul was the first king of Israel in the 10th century B.C.E, seems to indicate that the account in Genesis was written well after this date.
Bozrah in Edom
The next clue to the late composition of the book of Genesis can be found within the reference to an Edomite king by the name of Jobab ruling in place of King Bela who was reported to have died. Jobab’s father was Zarah, a king from Bozrah. (Genesis 36:33)
Recently Bozrah was excavated by Archeologists who discovered that it came into being no earlier than the 8th century B.C.E.
The archeologist responsible for excavating Bozrah, Bennet said:
"There is no archaeological evidence to support the story of the king of Edom refusing passage to Moses, or for a powerful kingdom of Edom in the time of David and his son Solomon. Biblical traditions such as Genesis 36:31 and Numbers 20:14 probably reflect 8th-6th century BC conditions. The evidence for a very impressive occupation and a city with all the appetencies of prosperity is overwhelming during the Neo-Assyrian period and is supported by the records in the Assyrian annals, and 8th century BC biblical references to Bozrah (especially Amos 1:12)."
The ‘Harper Collins Bible Dictionary’ supports this conclusion, stating:
Excavations by Crystal-M. Bennett reveal that it flourished in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. and probably continued into the fourth.
As is the case with other Edomite sites, it does not appear to have existed before the eighth century B.C., which raises serious questions about the historical accuracy of the Edomite king lists in which it is mentioned (Gen. 36:33; 1 Chron. 1:44).
In providing evidence contrary to the alleged conquest of Canaan by Joshua, the Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies discounts the existence of Bozrah, prior to the traditional date of Joshua’s alleged conquest, reporting:
Thus the traditional picture of Israel’s ‘conquest’ of Canaan has been dramatically revised as a result of archaeological excavation and survey in the hill country.
The evidence from Canaanite cities, formerly used to support the conquest theory, no longer works; certain cities named in the conquest narratives—Jericho, Ai, Heshbon, and Arad—were not Late Bronze Age cities. The kingdom of Edom, mentioned as an obstacle to Israel’s migration in Num. 20: 14–21, did not yet exist, as was shown by the excavations of Bennett at Umm el-Biyarah, TaWleh, and Busayra and the surveys of B. McDonald…
One clue which seems to suggest that the account was written in the post exilic period is that the author, if living within the 7th century would have known that, contrary to the account given in Genesis (36:31), there were kings in Israel before there were kings in Edom. Quite a lot of time would have to elapse before this fact would be forgotten by the people of Israel and the author or authors of Genesis. As a result of this historical inaccuracy, it may not be unreasonable to suggest that the book of Genesis could have possibly been written as late as the 6th to 5th centuries B.C.E.
Yet another piece of evidence which seems to show that Genesis was written in either the exilic or post exilic period is the primary reference to Nineveh, listed first and foremost amongst the cities of Babylonia. During the period in which Genesis was traditionally believed to be written, the capital city of Babylon was Asshur, yet there is no mention of this city, instead we see three major cities listed; Nineveh, Rehoboth and Calah.
Genesis 10:11-12 lists the cities of Babylonia as follows;
…Nineveh and the city Rehoboth and Calah.
And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.
The fact that Nineveh is the first mentioned city is of great importance from a literary point of view. It seems to indicate that it was the most significant city, probably the capital. Moreover, in verse 12 it is given first place again over the city of Calah. The issue here is that it did not become the capital city until the 7th century BCE.
According to the Harper Collins Bible Dictionary:
Ninevah was the capital of Assyria at its height from the time of Sennacherib, who assumed the throne in 705 B.C. to its fall in 612 B.C.
There is little doubt that the author of Genesis saw Nineveh as the chief city of Babylon, leading him to give it pride of place as the first city mentioned and that in so doing demonstrated that he belonged to a period later than the 6th century B.C.E.
Finally, with regards to the late composition of the book of Genesis, referring to the ‘Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies’, we are able to establish the probable truth that the book of Genesis was written during and more than likely after the 7th century B.C.E:
Attempts to identify Abraham’s family migration with a supposed westward Amorite migration at the collapse of the Early Bronze Age c.2100–1800 bce, or to explain personal names, marriage customs, or laws of property by reference to fifteenth century Nuzi or Mari documents have failed to convince. Abraham’s life-style is no longer seen as reflecting Intermediate Early Bronze/Middle Bronze bedouin, or donkey caravaneers trading between Mesopotamia and Egypt, or tent-dwellers living alongside
Middle Bronze Age cities in Canaan; rather, with its references to Philistines and Aramaeans, Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites, Ishmael and his descendants Kedar, Nebaioth, and Tema, Assyria and its cities of Nineveh and Calah, camel caravans and spices, Genesis reflects the first millennium world of the Assyrian empire. With its emphasis on the southern centres of Hebron and (Jeru)salem (Gen. 14: 18) and the northern centres of Bethel and Shechem, the Abraham story reveals knowledge of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah (cf. Gen. 49: 8–12, 22–6), in its present form probably deriving from Judah’s Floruit in the seventh century bce.
From all of the available evidence of which I have only canvassed a small sample, the authors of Genesis were more than likely living some time during or after the 6th century BCE. This places them in the exilic or post exilic period, thus affording them ample opportunity to copy the myths of their hosts, the Babylonians.[/quote]
[quote]How similar are the Tanakh`s stories with Ancient Babylonian stories?
Let’s start with the birth story of Moses. The Moses story is very similar to the birth story of Sargon of Akkad, also known as Sargon the great. Sargon is accredited with founding of Babylon. The story of Sargon was written in cuneiform long before the existence of Moses. Sargon started from the north in Elam and stretched his empire throughout Mesopotamia as far as Iran. Incidentally his reign was way before Hammurabi. Sargon lived from ca. 2270 BC – 2215 BC. Sargon was the first King of Babylon while Hammurabi was the sixth.
We know with the Moses story. Moses’ mother feared for the life of her infant son so she hid him under bulrushes in a basket and put the basket along to riverbank to sail down the Nile River. At the other end, the Pharaoh’s daughter found the infant when she went to bathe. She immediately recognized the child was Hebrew and decided to raise him as her own. She looked for a Hebrew woman to be the infant’s wet nurse and hired Moses’ own mother to care of the child. The name Moses is a combination of Egyptian words that mean child of the water.
Sargon’s mother was a high priestess. She hid the birth of her child too. She also put him in a basket and sent him down the river. The river she sent him down was the Euphrates in Mesopotamia. Directly from the poetic text of the Epic of Gilgamesh, we have from Sargon tale…She abandoned me to the river from which I could not escape. The river carried me along: to Aqqi, the water drawer, it brought me. Aqqi, the water drawer, when immersing his bucket lifted me up. Aqqi, the water drawer, raised me as his adopted son. Aqqi, the water drawer, set me to his garden work. During my garden work, Istar loved me (so that) 55 years I ruled king…
In both stories the baby is put in a basket to sail down the river. The birth of that very child had to remain secret. Moses would have been killed otherwise. The Pharaoh issued a decree that all Hebrew baby boys of that era were to be killed. It was intended to weaken the Hebrew nation and it was also an act of genocide, no less. In the case of Sargon, in order for his mother to retain office, she could not bare a child.
Both babies were put in baskets and abandoned to the river. Sargon’s mother wanted the get rid of the baby, however Moses’ mother wanted him to be found and taken care of by a good Egyptian family.
In both cases the infants were found and adopted, a practice that was very common in the ancient world.
Each story ends with the infant being found, raised and becoming a hero in adult life. Sargon’s story is that of a mighty warrior. He rules over a people. Moses’ story is a faithful servant of God who leads his people out of bondage.
Another Moses story that is similar to Babylonian legend again goes back to Hammurabi. Hammurabi’s God Shamash, gave him the tablets, which was the code of law. Hammurabi was chosen to give the code law to his people just like Moses was chosen by God to give the 10 commandments, the Hebrew law, to the Israelites.
Which came first?
It appears the Hebrew 10 commandments could have been first. Some scholars argue that they both appeared in the same time frame. Hammurabi built his code of law from that starting point, However he went on to extend the Hammurabi code to include 682 laws.
Another interesting point is that some scholars believe that Hammurabi could have been the grandson of Noah. Noah’s son name was Ham. Hammurabi was known as Ham the Great. Nimrod who mentioned in the Bible could also have been Hammurabi, since their military actions were alike.
The Gilgamesh and the Great Flood
The Epic of Gilgamesh is probably the oldest written document discovered to date. It is written in poetic form in ancient cuneiform.
According to Babylonian legend in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the God Enlil was displeased with the noise of the world and he sent a great flood to destroy it. The Goddess Istar took pity on one family and decided to save them.
The theme of saving one family from the Great Flood parallels the Bible story of The Great Flood. God destroyed mankind from all its wickedness with the exception of Noah and his Family.
Both Utnapishtim and his family, and Noah and his build a great ark. Each family brought on animals and survived many days and nights on the ark. In both stories it was a bird that first discovered the presence of land. In each of the stories the ark found a resting on a Mountaintop. Mount Nasir in the Babylonian story was the final resting place for the ark. Mount Ararat was the final resting place for Noah’s ark in the Biblical story.
However the stories are not completely the same. Utnapishtim’s family received immortality and lived in paradise (Dilmun) while Noah’s family was given the sign, the ark of the rainbow, and God’s promise that there would never be any more great floods to destroy the earth and its inhabitants.
The Gilgamesh stories and the Story of Samson and Delilah demonstrate the hero and the harlot theme. In Samson and Delilah, Samson the strong man falls in love with the harlot Delilah. She is working for the enemy and gets him to reveal the secret of his great strength, which happened to be his long hair. She betrays his confidence to the roman soldiers who cut his hair. Without his hair, Samson is greatly weakened. In the Babylonian epic, Gilgamesh actively enlists the help of a harlot, Shamhat, to reveal her naked charms to his enemy, Enkidu. Enkidu loses something as well; he loses his innocence.
Adam and Eve fall from paradise and immortality because the serpent tempted Eve and she ate from the apple from the tree of knowledge. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh is resting. He had a magic flower that gave him immortality. The serpent steals the flower and Gilgamesh also looses his immortality because of it.
The legend of Adapa employs the same theme of robbing humans of their immortality. In the Garden of Eden the serpent tricks Eve into believing that God has lied to her about the tree of knowledge.
In the legend of Adapa, “Adapa, son the god of Wisdom, Ea, broke the wing of the Storm bird who attacked him in the Persian Gulf. Ea summoned Adapa to question his violence and warned him that, having displeased Anu, King of Heaven, the gods would offer him the food and drink of death, which he must refuse. Anu, however, learning of this indiscreet disclosure, tried to foil Ea by offering Adapa the bread of life and the water of life instead. When Adapa refused, Anu sent him back to earth as a mortal.”
Sargon of Akkad / Mesopotamia (c.2300BC to 2215BC)
His birth story from Wikipedia Here
“My mother was a high priestess, my father I knew not. The brothers of my father loved the hills. My city is Azupiranu, which is situated on the banks of the Euphrates. My high priestess mother conceived me, in secret she bore me. She set me in a basket of rushes; with bitumen she sealed my lid. She cast me into the river which rose over me. The river bore me up and carried me to Akki, the drawer of water. Akki, the drawer of water, took me as his son and reared me. Akki, the drawer of water, appointed me as his gardener. While I was a gardener, Ishtar granted me her love, and for four and […] years I exercised kingship.”
The river would have been the Euphrates.
Moses of the Hebrews / Egypt / Promised Land / Israel (c. 1396 BC+- to Feb-Mar 1271 BC+-
His birth story From the Jewish Encyclopedia Here
In the Exodus account, the birth of Moses occurred at a time when an unnamed Egyptian Pharaoh had commanded that all male Hebrew children born be killed by drowning in the river Nile. Jochebed, the wife of the Levite Amram, bore a son and kept him concealed for three months. When she could keep him hidden no longer, rather than deliver him to be killed, she set him adrift on the Nile River in a small craft of bulrushes coated in pitch. Moses’ sister Miriam observed the progress of the tiny boat until it reached a place where Pharaoh’s daughter (Bithiah, Thermuthis) was bathing with her handmaidens. It is said that she spotted the baby in the basket and had her handmaiden fetch it for her.
Hmmm…Sargon the Great, who we know was real, was born in secrecy and his mother built a small craft and set it / him free on the river. Story from somewhere around 2300-2200 BC in the Babylon / Mesopotamian area. Sargon is the first individual in recorded history to create a multi-ethnic, centrally ruled empire, and his dynasty controlled Mesopotamia for around a century and a half.
Moses whom many Biblical scholars now think may be a mythical character who lived around a thousand later than Sargon…if he (Moses) were real, has the same birth myth as a great historical character who lived a lot earlier. Also to be considered in this story is that those same Biblical scholars think that the story of Moses and his writings was a pious fraud, written by Hebrews who were exiled in Babylon (Mesopotamia) in around 587 BC to help bring the Hebrews tribes together in faith.
One could reasonably conclude that parts of the birth myth of Moses was “borrowed” from Mesopotamian writings they came into contact with in Babylon.
Also one could look at the mythical Gilgamesh flood story (circa 2700 BC), the greatest surviving work of early Mesopotamian literature, and see some mighty close similarities with the story of Noah and his Ark…which was part of the Pentateuch that Moses was supposed to have written around 1270 BC, but was probably written by Hebrew scribes in the 6th century BC.
I think this part of Biblical myth can also be reasonably thought of as another Hebrew “borrowing” of storyline from the Mesopotamians. Boy those Hebrew’s are sharp…
Moses is known as the Law Giver, the giver of the Ten Commandments, the Mosaic Law. However, the idea of a Law being passed from God to a prophet on a mountain is also a very old motif. Moses is just a law giver in a long line of law givers in mythological history. In India, Manou was the great law giver. In Crete, Minos ascended Mount Dicta, where Zeus gave him the sacred laws. While in Egypt there was Mises, who carried stone tablets and upon them the laws of god were written.
One of the earliest and most famous law codes created was that of Hammurabi, a Babylonian king. The law code of Hammurabi originates in ancient Babylon and dates to 1760 BC, this predates the law code of Moses which dates to 1312 BCE. When one is to compare these two ancient codes it is quite easy to see their shocking similarities. Both of these codes have religious backgrounds, Hammurabi receiving the laws from the god Shamash, and Moses receiving his code of law from God. In fact some scholars argue that due to their similarities these two different bodies of work may in fact be related to one another, the thought is that Hammurabi’s code was a direct predecessor of Moses’ law. These two works have influenced lawmakers of governments to this day, although the punishments of old are much more severe, the presumption of innocence and the thought of a trial were given birth to in these two early codes. In the following we will take an in depth look at the vast array of similarities and differences in these two codes, and also a look at the two men who delivered them.
Hammurabi was a Babylonian king, he was the best known ruler from the Amorite dynasty. Little is known of Hammurabi’s early life, until the time he inherited the throne in 1792 BC at a particularly young age. Known mostly for his code of laws which were “once considered the oldest promulgation of laws in human history” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010) Hammurabi strived to be a just ruler, which was commonplace for all Mesopotamian rulers at the time. His code of laws were “inscribed on a diorite stela set up in Babylon’s temple of Marduk, the national god of Babylonia” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010) so that all citizens could see them. In all there were 282 case laws that varied from family law, criminal law, economic provisions, and civil law, the punishments set forth in his laws are considered extremely harsh in current times.
Moses, most known for his delivery of the ten commandments, was born of Hebrew descent in a time where all Hebrew male children were to be killed as ordered by the pharaoh of Egypt, through some luck Moses was raised in the pharaohs palace and was taught many things. After some time of living in Egypt after witnessing a Hebrew slave being brutally beaten Moses fled Egypt to become a herdsman in the desert. Moses was then chosen to deliver the Hebrew people from slavery, and also was in charge of being their chief lawmaker, where upon Mt. Sinai God himself instructed Moses of the ten commandments. Later Moses would more in depth create a code of laws in five books, which are published in the old testament of the bible.
One common occurrence found with Moses and Hammurabi are the laws about the respect one should show for their parents. In these ancient times family interaction was a part of everyday life, and their were many laws governing family affairs. In both codes we can see that the father of a household was the primary decision maker and overall leader of the unit, and disrespect towards him was intolerable. Law 195 of Hammurabi’s code states that “If a son strike his father, his hands shall be hewn off. “ (King, 1910) with this law we can already begin the see the seriousness of the offence. According to Moses’ law "Anyone who attacks his father or his mother must be put to death." (The Holy Bible, Exodus 21:15)
Another area that is touched upon by both codes of law is that which pertains to thievery. A mans possessions are considered sacred in ancient times as they are today, taking that which is not rightfully yours is considered the utmost of disrespect and was considered a very serious offense. An example of this can be seen in Law 14 of Hammurabi’s code which states “If any one steal the minor son of another, he shall be put to death.” (King, 1910). In comparison to the law of Moses which states “If a man is caught kidnapping one of his brother Israelites and treats him as a slave or sells him, the kidnapper must die.” (The Holy Bible, Deut. 24:7). This principal does not only apply to the theft of a person but to the theft of a persons belongings, Hammurabi Law 21 “If any one break a hole into a house (break in to steal), he shall be put to death before that hole and be buried.” (King, 1910) this law does differ from the law of Moses which states “"If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; but if it happens after sunrise, he is guilty of bloodshed. A thief must certainly make restitution, but if he has nothing, he must be sold to pay for his theft." (The Holy Bible, Exodus 22:2-3), where no matter the instance the offender should be put to death according to Hammurabi’s law we see in Moses’ law that depending on the time of the day the offender may only be required to pay back what was taken, if he could not he would be sold into slavery, also it is important to note in Moses’ code that if the offender was killed in daylight hours than the defender would be held accountable for his death.
A very famous quote that is said to this day is “ an eye for and eye”, this quote in fact originated with the Law of Hammurabi. In ancient times ones personal body was considered to be a temple, and any assault on it in any fashion was the highest of crimes. We can see this illustrated in the Law of Hammurabi which says “ If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out….If he break another man's bone, his bone shall be broken. …If a man knock out the teeth of his equal, his teeth shall be knocked out.” (King,1910) this law almost directly mirrors the law of Moses which states "If anyone injures his neighbor, whatever he has done must be done to him: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As he has injured the other, so he is to be injured." (The Holy Bible, Leviticus 24:19-20) the only difference here is that with the Law of Hammurabi if the offender is of higher social status than he who he injured, the offender may be required to pay only a fine for his offense.
As we can see in the quotes from the previous paragraphs there is a distinct similarity in a general perspective of law in ancient times according to Hammurabi and Moses. It is until we take an even deeper look do we see that in actuality there are subtle differences that set these two codes of law apart, and create with that great uniqueness to both works. Although both codes were spiritually derived, the law of Moses was the only to touch upon religious proceedings and the proper way to go about them, giving specific instructions on special feasts and on the proper practices of sacrifice, the law of Hammurabi does not in an in-depth fashion touch upon religious ceremonies in any form. Also differences can be seen in the unique punishments given for certain offenses committed, where as one may be put to death for a crime according to the law of Moses the offender may only be fined according to the law of Hammurabi. In the end we can see how the morals and values of ancient times were fairly similar across the board, we can now see that after taking a closer look at these two codes of law that they were obviously created in two different time periods with two separate understandings of what was deemed suitable punishment for a certain crime, but without a doubt it is quite easy to see the moral similarities these two different people shared.
The story of a great flood that destroyed the earth was not unique to the Hebrews, who recorded it in the Bible. The Sumerians, who were earlier than the Hebrews, had their own version of a great flood. Read the Sumerian Flood Myth.
The Flood Myth:
The Sumerian hero Gilgamesh traveled the world in search of a way to cheat death. On one of his journeys, he came across an old man, Utnapishtim, who told Gilgamesh a story from centuries past. The gods brought a flood that swallowed the earth.
The gods were angry at mankind so they sent a flood to destroy him. The god Ea, warned Utnapishtim and instructed him to build an enormous boat to save himself, his family, and "the seed of all living things." He does so, and the gods brought rain which caused the water to rise for many days. When the rains subsided, the boat landed on a mountain, and Utnapishtim set loose first a dove, then a swallow, and finally a raven, which found land. The god Ishtar, created the rainbow and placed it in the sky, as a reminder to the gods and a pledge to mankind that there would be no more floods. See the text Epic of Gilgamesh: Sumerian Flood Myth.