Babylonian Laws and Biblical Laws: How do they compare?

Understanding Babylonian Laws: How do they compare to Biblical Laws?

Historically speaking Hammurabi the Babylonian Law maker preceded Moses by several hundred years and had pretty much the same laws. Unless, there’s been some serious mistakes with the dating of his Stele, or the dating of Moses, Hammurabi was before Moses.

Hammurabi’ Babylonian Law Code dates back to 1754 BC.
Moses’s Law Code dates back to 1393-1273 BC approx.

HAMMURABI’S KINGDOM (link below: copied from

“Hammurabi was the sixth king in the Babylonian dynasty, which ruled in central Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) from c.1894 to 1595 B.C. His family was descended from the Amorites, a semi-nomadic tribe in western Syria, and his name reflects a mix of cultures: Hammu, which means “family” in Amorite, combined with rapi, meaning “great” in Akkadian, the everyday language of Babylon. In the 30th year of his reign Hammurabi began to expand his kingdom up and down the Euphrates, overthrowing Larsa, Eshunna, Assyria and Mari until all of Mesopotamia under his sway.
Did You Know?
Hammurabi’s Code includes many harsh punishments, sometimes demanding the removal of the guilty party’s tongue, hands, breasts, eye or ear. But the code is also one of the earliest examples of the idea of the accused being considered innocent until proven guilty.”

If “an eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth” (I call them Revenge Laws) existed on giant stele in the ancient Babylonian kingdom several hundred years before Moses then how can we say Moses received those laws from God?

If we compare Hammurabi’s Laws to modern day Wahhabism Laws for instance; ISIS and the like, they are almost identical. But technically, Judaism should be following these Laws as well, that is if they adhere to the Mosaic Law Code.

New Testament believers on the other hand do not and should not follow these ‘Revenge Laws’ Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ “You have heard it said?” Did God not say it, Jesus?

“But I (Jesus) say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also… You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt: 5:38;39;43;44).

I’ve always struggled with the fact that on that on one hand the Old Testament has the 10 Commandments, “Love thy neighbour as thyself”, while at the same time we are told to take revenge. “An eye for an eye” etc. The Jewish people explain this away as being monetary compensations and not literally an eye for an eye. But that’s not what it meant in Hammurabi’s Babylon. Personally, I believe it was literal in ancient Israel as well.

Here are my thoughts on how I think Hammurabi’s Laws ended up in the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures):

Several explanations:

1. These Laws are from God, and were instinctively known by man from ancient times or they were passed Down through Noah’s descendants.
2. Satan got in first; as he was fully aware of the Laws of God and he most likely helped construct them. Similarly, Satan is now preemptive in bringing about counterfeit one world government, millennium reign etc. He is Babylon in every sense of the word.
3. That some of the Mosaic Laws written in the Bible were actually International Laws (Hammurabi’s and others) and Moses incorporated them into his own Laws, which God gave him on Mount Sinai. Israel, like the rest of the Ancient near East had to obey International Laws as well as their own Laws.
4. That Moses had nothing to do with “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth Laws” (Revenge Laws) because they are not from God. And, that they have been included in the Bible because it was what the Israelites chose to abide by, since many of them were influenced by Babylon.
5. That the Revenge Laws were written not for the Israelites but for the Gentiles. Similar to Wahhabism, the punishments are for those who refuse to obey their Laws (a form of Sharia).

In all honesty, these ‘Revenge Laws’ contradict the Commandments of God and Jesus refuted them when He came to this earth. He said, “You say, an eye for an eye” etc. But “I say”. The Laws of abrogation come into affect here: Jesus superseded these draconian, cruel Laws of the past, irrelevant if they were from Hammurabi or from Moses they are finished. No more!

Jesus referred his followers back to the 10 Commandments which I believe are from God, given to Moses on Mount Sinai.

Cheryl Mason (March 2017).

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