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Abbreviations page ix

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1


A First Case: The Story of Cain and Abel 12


Blood Feud and State Control 20


The Development of Places of Refuge in the Bible 71


Pollution and Homicide 94


Typologies of Homicide 116



Lex Talionis 154


Interterritorial Law: The Homicide of a Foreign Citizen 178

Conclusion 202

Appendix: Cuneiform Sources on Homicide 207

Bibliography 221

General Index 239

Index of Citations 245



AASOR Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research

AB The Anchor Bible

ABD Anchor Bible Dictionary

ABL Robert Francis Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Letters

Belonging to the Kouyunyik Collection of the British

Museum (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,


ADD C. H. W. Johns, Assyrian Deeds and Documents

(Cambridge: Deighton, Bell, and Co., 1901, 1924)

AfO Archiv fu r Orientforschung

AHw Wolfram von Soden, Assyrisches Handwo rterbuch

(Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1959–1981)

ANET3 Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament

(ed. J. B. Pritchard; 3d edition; Princeton: Princeton

University Press, 1969)

AnOr Analecta Orientalia

AnSt Anatolian Studies



AOAT Alter Orient und Altes Testament

AOS American Oriental Series

ARM Archives royales de Mari

ARMT Archives royales de Mari, transcrite et traduite

ArOr Archiv Orient alni

AuOr Aula orientis

b. Babylonian Talmud

BA Biblical Archaeologist

BASOR Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research

b.e. bottom edge of tablet

BBSt L. W. King, Babylonian Boundary Stones and Memorial

Tablets in the British Museum (London: British Museum,


BDB F. Brown, S. R. Driver, and C. A. Briggs, A Hebrew and

English Lexicon of the Old Testament (Oxford: Oxford

University Press, 1907)

Bib Biblica

BM Symbol for tablets in the British Museum

BWAT Beitr ¨age zur Wissenschaft vom Alten Testament

BZAW Beiheft zur Zeitschrift fu¨ r die alttestamentliche


CAD The Assyrian Dictionary of the University of Chicago

(Chicago: Oriental Institute, 1956– )

CahRB Cahiers de la Revue biblique

CANE Civilizations of the Ancient Near East (ed. Jack M.

Sasson; New York: Scribners, 1995)

CBQ Catholic Biblical Quarterly

CC Continental Commentaries

CCT Cuneiform Texts from Cappadocian Tablets in the British


CIJ Corpus inscriptionum judaicarum

CT Cuneiform Texts

CTH Emmanuel Laroche, Catalogue des textes hittites (Paris:

Klincksieck, 1971)

CTN Cuneiform Texts from Nimrud


DMOA Documenta et Monumenta Orientis Antiqui

DO Symbol for tablets in Mus´ee National de Damas

EA El-Amarna

EI Eretz Israel

GKC Wilhelm Gesenius, E. Kautzsch, E. Cowley, Gesenius

Hebrew Grammar (Oxford: Oxford University Press,


HL Hittite Laws

HSM Harvard Semitic Monographs

HSS Harvard Semitic Series

ICC International Critical Commentary

IDB The Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible (ed. G. A.

Buttrick; Nashville: Abingdon, 1962)

IEJ Israel Exploration Journal

Int Interpretation

ITT Inventaire des Tablettes de Tello

JAOS Journal of the American Oriental Society

JBL Journal of Biblical Literature

JCS Journal of Cuneiform Studies

JJS Journal of Jewish Studies

JNES Journal of Near Eastern Studies

JSOT Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

JSOTSup Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement


KAI H. Donner and W. Ro¨ llig, Kanaana ische und arama ische

Inschriften (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1964)

KBo Keilschrifttexte aus Boghazko¨ i

KUB Keilschrifturkunden aus Boghazko¨ i

l.e. left edge of tablet

LE Laws of Eshnunna

LH Laws of Hammurapi

LL Laws of Lipit-Ishtar

LOx Laws about Rented Oxen

LU Laws of Ur-Nammu


LXX Septuagint

m. Mishnah

MAL Middle Assyrian Laws

MANE Monographs on the Ancient Near East

MRS Mission de Ras Shamra

NABU Nouvelles assyriologiques br`eves et utilitaires

ND Symbol for tablets excavated at Nimrud

NEB New English Bible

NICOT New International Commentary on the Old Testament

NSG Adam Falkenstein, Die Neusumerische Gerichtsurkunden

(Munich: Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1956)

NJV New Jewish Version = TANAKH, The Holy Scriptures:

The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional

Hebrew Text (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication

Society, 1988)

obv. obverse of tablet

OEANE Oxford Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of the Ancient

Near East (ed. Eric M. Meyers; New York: Oxford

University Press, 1997)

OIP Oriental Institute Publications

Or Orientalia, n.s.

OTL Old Testament Library

PBS Publications of the Babylonian Section

PPA J. N. Postgate, The Governors Palace Archive (Hertford,

U.K.: British School of Archaeology in Iraq, 1973)

PRU Le palais royal dUgarit (ed. Jean Nougayrol; Paris:

Imprimerie nationale, 1955– )

RA Revue dassyriologie et d archeologie orientale

RB Revue biblique

rev. reverse of tablet

RIDA Revue internationale des droits de lantiquite

RIMA The Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia, Assyria Periods

RLA Reallexikon der Assyriologie und vorderasiatische

Arch aologie (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1932– )

RS Ras es-Shamra


RSV Revised Standard Version

SAA State Archives of Assyria

SAAS State Archives of Assyria Studies

SBL Society of Biblical Literature

SBLDS Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series

ScrHier Scripta Hierosolymitana

Si. Symbol for tablets excavated from Sippar

SLEx Sumerian Laws Exercise tablet

SLHF Sumerian Laws Handbook of Forms

SVT Supplements of Vetus Testamentum

TCL Textes cun´eiformes, Mus´ee du Louvre

TEO Henri de Genouillac, Textes economiques dOumma de

l’’epoque dOur (TCL 5; Paris: Librairie Orientaliste/Paul

Geuthner, 1922)

TUAT Texte aus der Umwelt des Alten Testaments

Ukg. Symbol for UruKAgina texts

VAT Symbol for tablets in the Vorderasiatische Teil der

Staatlichen Museen, Berlin

VT Vetus Testamentum

WMANT Wissenschaftliche Monographien zum Alten und Neuen


YBC Symbol for tablets in the Yale Babylonian Collection

ZA Zeitschrift fu r Assyriologie

ZAW Zeitschrift fu r die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft

ZSS Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung, Romanischen Abteilung

Symbols in Cuneiform Transliterations

[ ] gaps or reconstructed text

< > scribal omissions

<< >> scribal superfluity

x cuneiform sign that cannot be read