Re: Matthew 5:39

On Tue, 1 Nov 1994, Dan G. McCartney, Westminster Semin wrote:
> This is correct.  The Code of Hammurabi makes distinctions of punishment based
> on the social class of the perpetrator and victim.  Eye for eye means the
> punishment must fit the crime, and be independent of questions of social status
> of the people involved.

OT law also makes distinctions between social status - free vs. unfree, 
married vs. unmarried, etc. in terms of justice.  More importantly, 
Mesopotamian law, if I remember correctly, emphasizes the substitution of 
payments for injuries.  The "eye for an eye" ethic stands apart from 
this.  Of course, it may reflect an improvement on prior Hebrew law 
(if, for example, minor injuries were punished by death) but I'm not 
aware of any evidence for earlier Hebrew law.

I'd also thought I'd throw in the observation that at Jesus's trial he 
was struck and did not, apparently, turn the other cheek.

Greg Jordan

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