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Osborne, William (1973) Aspects of Court Procedures in Ancient Israel and Mesopotamia. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Israelite court practice is re-examined in the light of the more abundant contemporary cuneiform documents from Mesopotamia and Syria. The functioning of the court system is first discussed (Chap. 1) with special reference to the king, who is shown not to be an innovator in the area of law, but to maintain the precepts of his predecessors. (Chap. 1) The relationship between the king, who functioned as a judge, the subsidiary judges, and the assembly as a legal forum is discussed. An explanation is offered of the role of military personnel within the judiciary (Chap. 1). Akkadian and Hebrew terms for accusers are discussed and the means by which a suit arose outlined. Official accusers are distinguished from casual accusers, and accusation as a public duty. The incentives for accusers are considered together with the safeguards against false accusation. (Chap. 2) Chap. 3 analyses the Hebrew and Akkadian terms used for different stages of the lawsuit:- raising a claim, the outlining of a case, presentation of evidence and witnesses, judges' examination, testing of case, decision, enforcement, issuing of documents. The concept of the "covenant lawsuit" in the O T is discussed and a new interpretation offered in the light of cuneiform evidence.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:08

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