Abstracts

SLAVERY

I. Cardellini, Die biblischen "Sklaven"-Gesetze im Lichte des keilschriftlichen Sklavenrechts, Bonn: P. Hanstein, l981, Pp. xxvii, 441 (Bonner Biblische Beitrge, 55).

Carlos Alfonso Fontela, "Le esclavitud a través de la Biblia", Estudios BÌblicos 43 (1985), 89-124; see OTA 9/3 (1986), no.731.

M. Friedman, "Two Responsa from the Cairo Genizah Regarding the Marriage of Female Slaves" (Heb.), Diné Israel 9 (1978-1980), 165-181. - The practice of living with female slaves is recorded in Geonic literature, and is a result of the permissive attitude of Moslem society to this type of conduct. In many cases, the slave was freed, converted to Judaism and then married according to Jewish law. In this article, the writer publishes two responsa from the Cairo Genizah in which female slaves were married, and subsequently freed and converted to Judaism. (Y.S.K.)

P. Lampe, "Keine 'Sklavenflucht' des Onesimus", Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 76 (1985), 135-137. - Commentators on the epistle to Philemon assume his runaway slave Onesimus had the legal status of fugitivus. This is not the case because Onesimus had gone to Philemon's friend Paul, and Roman jurists (Proculus, Vivianus, Paulus) do not regard slaves who run to their master's friends as fugitivi. So Paul's plea to Philemon for him to forgive Onesimus is not to forgive his escape but the offence which had prompted him to run away. (G.J.W.)

B. Lang, "Sklaven und Unfreie im Buch Amos (II 6, VIII 6)", VT 31 (1981), 482-488. - The writer suggests that Amos 2:6; 8:6, refer to the practice of debt slavery. He translates bakesep as "because of money (debt)". This is similar to the use of Akkadian kaspu which can mean "silver" or "money", but also has the special sense "money (debt)" (PRU IV 7, 238; PRU 17, 130). The sandal mentioned by Amos does not represent the purchase price of a slave, but rather the reason for the purchase. Na'alayim often has the transferred sense of "contract" (cf. Ruth 4:7f.; Ps. 60:10), and here in Amos has the special sense of "contract of debt". The context suggests that the poor were unable to repay fraudulent corn merchants for provisions or seed and were reduced to slavery. Amos 2:6 represents a particularly grievous crime of the sale of debtors into slavery abroad (cf. Neh. 5:8; Joel 4:6). The use of tsadik suggests a legal situation. The prophet denounces the execution of a wrongly imposed sentence which brings the rich plaintiff financial profit. There is little evidence for Israel to suggest under what circumstances the debtor either was reduced to personal service of his creditor or sold abroad for profit. (K.W.W.)

Ayala Levy, Aspects of Bondage and Release in the Bible (Heb.), Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, l981, Pp. 215; see KS 58/1 no. 85.

S. E. Loewenstamm, "Biqqoret Tihyeh" (Heb.), Shnaton Lamikra 4 (1980), vii, 94-97. - The author rejects the recent claim that the noun biqqoret in Lev. 19:20 is to be explained in the sense of "indemnity", as the Akkadian baqru never has this meaning. The previously held "inquiry" is still the best interpretation for this crux in the law of the slave-girl. (B.S.J.)

N. Naaman, "HABIRU and Hebrews: The Transfer of a Social Term to the Literary Sphere", JNES 45 (1986), 282-287; see OTA 10/1 (1987), no.166.

J.P.J. Olivier, The Old-Babylonian mesarum-edict and the Old Testament, Stellenbosch: University Library, l981, Pp. viii, 362, 7 microfiches; see KS 58/1 no. 124.

C. Osiek, "The Ransom of Captives: Evolution of a Tradition", HTR 74 (1981), 365-386. - Early Christian efforts to ransom fellow believers condemned to imprisonment or death for their faith are well documented. This tradition goes back to biblical injunctions encouraging the redemption of Hebrew slaves (Lev. 25:42,55; Deut. 15:15.). (G.J.W.)

A.J. Phillips, "The Law of Slavery: Exodus 21:2-11", JSOT 30 (1984), 51-66. - Parallels for the law of slavery in the Book of the Covenant should not be sought in comparisons with Ancient Near Eastern literature because it expresses "a statement of belief about the true nature of Israelite society". Exod. 21:2 refers not to the foreigner captured in war, but to the native Israelite who is forced into slavery for economic reasons. Since Israel is a society of freedom it is important that provision be made for restoring a member of that society to his true place. By removing the economic restraint against claiming freedom and extending the law to the female Israelite slave Deut. 15:12-18 seeks to extend the promises of the law of slavery in B. (R.A.M.)

 

 

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