F.C. Fensham, "Das Nicht-Haftbar-Sein im Bundesbuch", Journal
of Northwest Semitic Languages 8 (1980), 17-34. - The author
discusses the laws in the Book of the Covenant concerning mitigated indemnity
(Ex. 21:12-14, 18-19) and exemption from indemnification (Ex.
21:20-21, 28; 22:6-7, 9-10, 12, 13-14). He notes the characteristic expressions
employed (e.g. lo tsadah, nikah, shalah yad) and discusses
parallels in other ancient near eastern law codes with respect to indemnity.
The Book of the Covenant dates from the pre-monarchical period, as is evidenced
by the lack of references to the king or palace, which had important legal
functions generally in near eastern law. In pre-monarchical Israel indemnity
was generally determined by the elders. Indemnity was closely bound up with
intention and premeditation. (J.D.)
A. Schenker, "Koper et expiation", Biblica 63 (1982),
32-46. - The author examines the use of Kofer in Ex. 21:28-32
and on the basis of the use of the verb in analogous contexts in Gen.
32:21 and Prov. 16:14 concludes that the noun means a "placating"
or a "mollifying", or a means to mollify or placate. He distinguishes
between a legal kofer and an illegal kofer (a synonym for
shohad), and between kofer and pidyon, "ransom".
He notes that dictionaries generally translate kofer as "ransom"
or "indemnity". Expiation, understood theologically, means that
God freely offers Israel the chance of an exchange to avoid definitive punishment.
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