OT laws vs other civilizations

Technarch
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OT laws vs other civilizations

Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers give examples on the culture and custom of ancient Hebrews, but they've been preserved for us to read in modern times.  What about ancient Sumerian, Mesopotamian, Babylonian, Akkadian, or other historical civilizations?  Do they have similarly documented rules on sacrifice, crime, morality, treatment of women, appeasing god, etc?  Are there any documented writings the give as much detail on their as the OT does to the Hebrews?  I'm interested in any parallels between OT and other civilizations, but I don't know if we know enough specifically about them or if they kept enough written rules.


Bahana
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I'm reading a book right now

I'm reading a book right now on ancient Mesopotamian culture called, "Daily Life In Ancient Mesopotamia" by Karen Rhea Nemet-Nejat. I would recommend it. There are a lot of similarites. It makes sense since they are in the same region. Abraham is said to come from Ur, which was a Sumerian city. Just off the top of my head, the Sumerians also have people being made from the ground, or clay, in their mythology. Women go away for 7 days when they are on their period, like in Leviticus 15:19. A lot of Hammurabi's codes, written at about 1750 BCE, are very similar to the laws in the Pentateuch. Even Christians don't think Moses was born until hundreds of years after that, so it's obvious who is influenced by who. If you want more specific examples, I can look them up and give you some more later. Just let me know.


Technarch
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Sure

Any further details would be appreciated


Bahana
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One custom shared in the OT

One custom shared in the OT with the surrounding Mesopotamian groups was the rights of the firstborn. If his father died, the eldest son would receive the family home and a larger share of the inheritance (pg 147 of the book mentioned above). This was especially common in southern Babylonia. Biblical examples of this can be found in the story of Jacob cheating his older brother Esau out of his blessing in Genesis 27. Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, used his right to have sex with his father's concubine (Gen. 35:22). The problem was, Jacob was still alive. Jacob gave him this browbeating before he died: "Unstable as water, you shall not have preeminence,
because you went up to your father's bed;
then you defiled it--he went up to my couch!" (Gen. 49:4 ESV)

Another example is in Dueteronomy 21:15-17 "If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him children, and if the firstborn son belongs to the unloved, then on the day when he assigns his possessions as an inheritance to his sons, he may not treat the son of the loved as the firstborn in preference to the son of the unloved, who is the firstborn, but he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the firstfruits of his strength. The right of the firstborn is his."

That's all for now. I'll see if I can find more if you want.