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Many rules in the Torah are similar to “Hammurabi's Code” -- which predates the Torah...

by Rabbi Moshe Miller

  

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It should not bother you that Hammurabi's rules governing social and commercial interaction are similar to the rules found in the Torah. Most of the social and economic and political laws of the Torah fall into the category of what we call mishpatim – rules that can be derived by logic (although we keep them not primarily because they are logically convincing, but because G-d commanded them in the Torah). In fact the Talmud declares that if we wouldn't have received the Torah we could have learned many rules of conduct from animals – such as honesty from ants and so on. Accordingly, it is not so surprising that Hammurabi came to similar conclusions that are stated in the Torah.
 
Furthermore, G-d gave laws of social and economic conduct to Noah (who preceded Hammurabi) and this was the original code of law that man was given. It can probably be shown that Hammurabi's code is merely a derivation from this earlier source. See also www.asknoah.org .

Furthermore, G-d gave laws of social and economic conduct to Noah (who preceded Hammurabi) and this was the original code of law that man was given

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Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
Noah
Tenth generation from Adam. Of all humankind, only he and his family survived the Flood which destroyed all civilization in the year 2106 BCE.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.