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Homicide in the Biblical World

Homicide in the Biblical World analyzes the treatment of homicide in the Hebrew

Bible and demonstrates that it is directly linked to the unique social structure and religion

of ancient Israel. Close parallels between biblical law and ancient Near Eastern

law are evident in the laws of the ox that gored and the pregnant woman who was

assaulted, but when the total picture of the process by which homicide was adjudicated

comes into view, what is most noticeable is how little of it is similar to ancient

Near Eastern law. This book reconstructs biblical law from both legal and narrative

texts and analyzes both law collections and documents from actual legal cases from

the ancient Near East.

Pamela Barmash is Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible and Biblical Hebrew at

Washington University in St. Louis. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University

and her rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She has published

in various journals, including Vetus Testamentum, Journal of Near Eastern Studies,

Jewish Quarterly Review, Journal of Biblical Literature, and Hebrew Studies.

Homicide in the Biblical World


Pamela Barmash

Washington University in St. Louis

Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, Sгo Paulo

Cambridge University Press

The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge UK

First published in print format

© Pamela Barmash 2005

Information on this title:

This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provision of

relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place

without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of

s for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this book, and does not

guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York




eBook (NetLibrary)

eBook (NetLibrary)


To my mother and father,

Sarah J. and Isadore Barmash

.!Ob3 !yAO ti0Ot. ¨ . . .

. . . and the glory of children is their parents.

(Proverbs 17:6)