The Covenant Code (CC) is the name for the collection of laws found in Exodus 20:22-23:33, usually excluding the Decalogue. Also referred to as the “book of the covenant” within Exodus (Ex 24:7), this collection is attributed to E and is the considered to be older than the legal collections called the “Holiness Code” (H) and the Deuteronomic Code. These later law codes appear to deliberately rework the laws found in CC. Although called a “code”, similar to other ancient Near Eastern law “codes” it was probably never used as a body of laws for juridical purposes. Scholars who focus on ancient Near East law usually assume that laws are representative of legal thinking and principles that were in practice at the time of composition. Similar to other ANE law codes, the CC is primarily of casuistic laws (if, then) dealing with civil and criminal law, but different from other ANE law codes, the CC also has regulations concerning worship. The unsystematic and eclectic nature of the legal topics chosen highlights the similarity of certain laws between the CC and the laws of Hammurabi. The explanation ranges from a shared ANE heritage to direct literary dependence (as advocated by David Wright).


Coogan, Old Testament

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