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date: 28 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The Book of the Covenant is widely considered the earliest collection of biblical law, with origins going back to the period of the monarchy. However, scholars are divided on many questions, such as whether the Book of the Covenant comprises all of Exodus 20:22–24:1 or only discrete sections of this block; the degree of the Book of the Covenant’s literary unity; and the purpose of the original collection and its social and historical setting. This chapter provides an overview of the problems, and discusses directions for future research.

Keywords: Book of the Covenant, biblical law, Sinai pericope, Ancient Near Eastern law, casuistic laws, apodictic laws, mishpatim, instructions, homicide, debt slavery, if-you formulation, legal revision, Laws of Hammurabi

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