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By Henning Graf Reventlow, Yair Hoffman

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Additional info for Justice and Righteousness: Biblical Themes and Their Influence (JSOT Supplement Series)

Sample text

According to the same scheme, it seems, we have to interpret the animal plagues visited upon the Egyptians as a sort of warning signal. Before striking the main blow, viz. the death of the firstborn, God chooses milder forms of chastisement that may possibly make the severest one superfluous. This is what seems to be meant by the designation of the first punishment as 'ludicrous'. This time the line of argument does not make it necessary that the victim be aware of the relation between the former, milder punishment and the final, decisive one.

578-82 (Hebrew). 3. M. Weinfeld, Justice and Righteousness in Israel and the Nations—Equality and Freedom in Ancient Israel in Light of Social Justice in the Ancient Near East (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1985), p. 104. See also pp. 105-106 (Hebrew). 1 According to this school of thought, the jubilee law was never practised in Israel and may thus be considered Utopian law, reflecting a social ideal. The legislator, being aware of the difficulties in its application and being interested in it serving as a formative factor, itemized various real details in order to emphasize the possibility of its application.

See also that author's 'Utopia and Reality in Biblical Thought', in Shnaton—An Annual for Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, IV (ed. M. Weinfeld; Jerusalem-Tel-Aviv, 1980), pp. 10-26 (Hebrew). 1 The excessive protection provided by Nehemiah to debtors proved to be their undoing, since the lenders stopped lending. In the light of this reality, the jubilee law is even more perplexing. According to this law, after seven sabbatical years, that is, after 49 years, there would be a jubilee year: and you shall hallow the fiftieth year.

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