Code of Hammurabi

What is the code of Hammurabi and does it conflict with the Bible?

Hammurabi’s Code is one of the oldest codes of law in the world. It dates from about the 18th Century BC. It contains 282 specific statues that cover everything from civil and criminal law through regulations governing members of the military and their pagan clergy.

I haven’t read the whole thing, but it’s more or less consistent with other ancient codes of law from pre-Christian societies: It’s brutal in the application of punishment, it assumes the pagan religion of the society that created it, and it assumes more or less absolute power on the part of the monarch.

That having been said, it’s a foundational document for legal systems around the world and is well worth taking a look at, if you’re into that sort of thing.

As post # 2 implied, the CoH is far older than the Old Testament (by about 1200 years!)

It is a judicial document, not a religious one.

Because as stated, the CoH assumes the pagan beliefs of its creators, to that extent it conflicts with the Bible. Otherwise, it is simply a law book for a society that did not yet have Scripture.


Maybe the OPs question stems from claims that parts of the Mosaic Law resemble Hammurabi’s Code enough to say that they have a common origin. Even if this is true (and I don’t know if it is), it should not come as a huge shock. According to the Bible itself Abraham came from Mesopotamia. It’s reasonable to assume that his family continued to live by some of the cultural norms of their Mesopotamian forefathers while in Canaan and later Egypt, and that the Law that God gave through Moses incorporated aspects of that ancient Mesopotamian law into the purified sacred law the Israelites were to follow.

So it does not conflict with the Bible?

The CoH is a statement of laws. The Jews have a statement of laws set down by Moses in the Pentateuch. Are you asking if the CoH is in conflict with Mosaic Law?

No, I asked this question because this kid at school tried telling me that The Bible is a bunch of other religions combined into one. I thought the code of Hammurabi was what he was talking about.

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