Hammurabi's Code

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A state must exist in order for a people--for a civilization to exist. A civilization will have little hope of progress and success if the state is without power and control. A state evolves from the creation of laws, beliefs and tribunes through a group of leaders, individuals who feel that specific laws, regulations and beliefs are required for the society that they are in to advance, develop but more importantly, to maintain control. Without these laws states would not form due to the chaos and if states do not form a nation can not be created. Laws, whether or not they are secular laws or religious laws, either laws play a major role in the development of a nation and these laws affect the heart, soul, mind of the people within the society. These laws that are created are created with the intent to prevent chaos and abuse of power or wealth. Although all laws strive for the same goal, which is control, there are many laws that differ greatly, yet many laws contain similarities as well, no matter the society, culture or century. Two such laws that are similar in content yet different in definition have been around for centuries. One law has not been in use for many centuries while yet the other law remains in use. These laws are The Code of Hammurabi and The Jewish Laws better known as the Torah.

Hammurabi was the King of Babylon (present day Iraq) and he ruled for nearly 40 years, from 1792-1750 until his death. During his reign Hammurabi was known for his various works and constructions of the city, he constructed buildings, repaired temples and laws. ."..engaged in traditional activities of ancient Mesopotamian king: building and restoring temples, city walls, public buildings, digging canals, dedicating cult o...

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... paid retribution or by literal punishment, in which the offended could enact a similar and equal attack or punishment on the offender.

Although there are similarities between both laws there are more differences between the two. Although the Code of Hammurabi was said to be given to them by the god of Lipit-Ishtar, which resembles the Jewish belief, the Codes of Hammurabi were mainly derived by the king and enacted by the king. The laws of the Jews were laws given to them by God and these laws were followed whole heartily, and enacted in every aspect of their lives and culture. Though the laws resemble each other they are different and share only symbolic similarities while the literal understanding of them or reasoning for them may be different.


Encyclopedia Britannica Standard Edition 2005 CD-Rom, Encyclopedia Britannica INC, 2005

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