To kill and take possession : law, morality, and society in biblical stories /
Daniel Friedmann.
Peabody, Mass. : Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2002.
xv, 327 p. : maps.
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Peabody, Mass. : Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2002.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2003-01-15:
Danielle Rubenstein Professor of Comparative Law at Tel-Aviv University, Friedmann gives readers a fascinating look at the legal implications of various stories from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and thereby makes two valuable contributions. First, his close reading of the biblical text offers new insights into the stories involved. Second, he summarizes the legal implications of each story and then presents their various applications throughout history. A fascinating demonstration of his approach is offered in his close examination of the story of David and Bathsheba and the account of Ahab and Jezebel's murder of Naboth for the purpose of confiscating his vineyard. After presenting his analysis of these stories, Friedmann discusses the inherent legal principles and shows how they have influenced subsequent legal understandings. He ends the chapter with a fascinating discussion of the death of Adolf Eichmann and the attendant issue of whether his heirs should make a profit from his diaries. This book is highly recommended for larger public and academic libraries as an intriguing, authoritative discussion of several biblical stories and the legal implications that flow from them.-David Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernardino Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Appeared in Choice on 2003-05-01:
Highly distinguished in the field of law in Israel, the US, and England, Friedmann (Tel-Aviv Univ.) brings his brilliance to the forefront in this unique examination of the biblical text and its parallels with world literature and contemporary legislation. Focusing on familiar texts related to legal and moral responsibility, kingship and prophecy, and family and matrimony, Friedmann analyzes, through the lens of a lawyer-professor, discrepancies in the text in relation to the Pentateuchal law system and the earlier Noahide law (as described in the Talmud). His keen insights provide viable explanations for discrepancies, e.g., the influences that reflect the historical period of a specific text. Most noteworthy are parallels with rabbinic and world literature (past and present) that reflect a sense of "judicial development" in the biblical text. The dynamics of this work are likewise demonstrated in the correlations between the legal/moral aspects of the biblical texts and contemporary legislative decisions in Israel and the US. Comparable to Alan M. Dershowitz's The Genesis of Justice (2000), this book will appeal to readers interested in law and morality in the Bible, world literature, and contemporary legislation. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower-level undergraduates through faculty. H. M. Szpek Central Washington University
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, January 2003
Choice, May 2003
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Table of Contents
Abbreviations and Notes on Abbreviations
Introduction: Bible Stories and the Biblical codep. 1
Concepts of Legal and Moral Responsibility
From the Trial of Adam and Eve to the Judgments of Solomon and Danielp. 9
Postscript: The Polygraph (The Lie Detector)p. 29
David and Goliath: Trial by Combatp. 32
Stories of Disguisep. 42
Postscript: Isaac's Benediction and the Issue of Its Manifestationp. 61
The Fruits of Deceitp. 62
Postscript: Speech, Vows, and Oathsp. 66
Samson Loses a Betp. 69
To Kill and Take Possessionp. 75
Postscript: The Diaries of Eichmann and the Modern Principle against Profiting from Wrongp. 107
A Godly Man Killed by a Lionp. 112
Saul Kills the Priests of Nobp. 128
Jephthah Sacrifices his Daughterp. 134
Postscript: Faustp. 141
Kingdom, Crown, and Prophecy
The Rise of the House of David: The Problem of Legitimacyp. 145
Prophecy in Times of Upheavalsp. 165
Jerusalem the Eternal Capital: Assyria's Contributionp. 189
Succession to the Thronep. 196
Postscript: The Maccabeesp. 206
Family and Matrimony
The Prohibition of Another Man's Wifep. 211
The Status of Women: Monogamy, Polygamy, and Surrogate Motherhoodp. 218
Postscript: Rabbi Gershom's Banp. 230
Infertility, Surrogacy, and Sperm Donationp. 232
Levirate Marriage and Incestp. 248
Postscript: Queen Shlomzion, John the Baptist, and Henry VIIIp. 259
The Wives of the Father and of the Kingp. 265
The Divorce of Michalp. 274
Crimes in the Family: Rape, Murder, and Adulteryp. 283
Death of a Bastardp. 293
The Expulsion of the Foreign Women: Ezra's Legal Revolutionp. 298
Postscript: The Case of Major Benjamin Shalitp. 303
Conclusionp. 307
Index of Names and Subjectsp. 311
Index of Ancient Sourcesp. 323
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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