This paper aims to take a deeper look at Near Eastern laws and customs and analyze how the Patriarchs interacted with them. The lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their wives will be thoroughly examined, and the cultural context will be compared to that of neighboring ancient peoples. Ancient texts regarding marriage, names, covenants, inheritance laws, and slavery will be discussed to discover how these documents line up with Genesis' account. These texts include the Mari texts, Execration texts, the Code of Hammurabi, codes of Lipit-Ishtar, and the Code of Ur-Nammu. This paper will conclude that while the Patriarchs do not always adhere to Near Eastern customs, the Genesis narrative is accurate in its recording of the Middle Bronze Age of Mesopotamia. It is exceedingly improbable that an author outside of the Middle Bronze Age could have described the laws and customs of this era with such accuracy. This paper closes with a plea for modern scholars to take a closer look at the areas of agreement between ancient law codes and scripture.
Baird, Jessica M.
"The Patriarchs and Near Eastern Laws and Customs: How the Patriarchs Interacted with Mesopotamian Society,"
Diligence: Journal of the Liberty University Online Religion Capstone in Research and Scholarship: Vol. 8
, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/djrc/vol8/iss1/8
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