Hammurabi Law Code Analysis

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The law codes of the United States are based on the Ten Commandments and various standards that humanity has conceived throughout history. However, before Moses climbed Mount Sinai and “the Lord descended upon it with fire”, the First Babylonian Empire in ancient Mesopotamia was ruled by Hammurabi, who developed the earliest known law code in world history (Exodus 19:2-25; class discussion, 08/29/17). Hammurabi’s Law Code, as it is known today, could be thought of as an early interpretation of morality. Despite the good moral intentions of the law code, these laws are strict, cruel, and, in some cases, unusual. With over two hundred laws, divine right, the act of revenge, and inequality of punishment between classes took up a large amount of this ancient Babylonian law code. Hammurabi ruled the First Babylonian Empire from 1792 to 1750 BCE (class discussion, 08/29/17). Before Hammurabi, law code was understood among citizens, most likely, through oral retellings and interpretation. With the writing of these laws in circa 1780 BCE, citizens could understand what they could and could not do and provided the king with better regulation of the Babylonian people. This regulation was also provided through their belief in divine right, a concept where the king is given the throne through the approval of the gods. From beginning to end, Hammurabi’s Law Code mentioned the divine right of the king to enact these laws and that the gods had ultimate interpretation in each case

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