I call upon You, Lord, God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob and Israel, You who are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God who, through the abundance of your mercy, was well-pleased towards us so that we may know You, who made heaven and earth, who rules over all, You who are the one and the true God, above whom there is no other God; You who, by our Lord Jesus Christ gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, give to every one who reads this writing to know You, that You alone are God, to be strengthened in You, and to avoid every heretical and godless and impious teaching.

St Irenaeus of Lyons, Against the Heresies 3:6:4

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lex Talionis in Leviticus

The Chiastic Form of Lev. 24:10—23: The Universality of Lex Talionic Judgment
A. vv. 10—12b, Needing the revelation: in the case of the sojourner/native blasphemer

B. v. 13, Revelation disclosed: “The LORD spoke to Moses...”
Bp. vv. 14—16b, Judicial actions prescribed
Bp1. v. 14a, proceedings to occur “outside the camp...”
Bp2. v. 14b, c, Corporate involvement: “all...shall stone him”

C. v. 16c, Universal application*: “the sojourner as well as the native...”
Cp. v. 16c, Based on “the NAME” (YHWH)

D. v. 17, Human: life for life

E. v. 18, Animal: life for life

F. v. 19, Injury for injury

G. v. 20a, Lex Talionis proper: “...eye for eye, tooth for tooth...”

F′. v. 20b, Injury for injury

E′. v. 21a, Animal: life for life

D′. v. 21b, Human: life for life

C′. v. 22a, Universal application: “...same rule for sojourner and for the native...”
Cp′. v. 22b, based on “YHWH” (the Name)

B′. v. 23a, Revelation disclosed: “So Moses spoke to the people of Israel...”
Bp′. v. 23b, Judicial actions described
Bp2′. v. 23b, Corporate involvement: “they...brought...stoned him”
Bp1′. v. 23b, proceedings occurred “outside the camp...”

A′. v. 23c, Heeding the revelation in the case of the sojourner/native blasphemer

* Universal Application theme further emphasis in v. 16
a. The blasphemy: “Whoever blasphemes the name of YHWH...put to death...”
b. Universal involvement: “all the congregation...shall stone him...”
b’. Universal application: “sojourner as well as native...” (all)
a’. The blasphemy: “when he blasphemes the Name...put to death.”

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