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Hammurabi's Code

            Successful societies follow certain standards of behavior. The ancient Mesopotamia and Hebrews developed two of the earliest law codes. The 2 codes, Hammurabi's Code and the Ten Commandments have similar origins, structures, and ###########. .
             Both the Ten Commandments and Hammurabi's Code claim divine origins. In the thirteenth century B. C., Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt, where they had been held in slavery. After escaping Egypt, the Hebrews "spent some time wandering in the desert" (15). Moses led his people to Mount Sinai where Moses spoke to God, known to some as Yahweh. Moses then ascended the mountain and received the Ten Commandments from God. When Moses came down from the mountain, he showed the commandments to the people, explaining that the commandments were moral laws of God. Believing that the commandments were of divine origin, the people willingly accepted the laws. In similar fashion, Hammurabi claimed to receive the code from Shamash, the Babylonian sun god. Shamash also acted as the Babylonian god of justice. Claiming divine origin gave Hammurabi's code acceptance and minimized opposition. .
             The Ten Commandments and Hammurabi's Code are structured differently. The Hebrew commandments are simple and direct. Only 10 statements govern moral behavior. The commandments "incorporate the legal codes and oral traditions of older civilizations" (34) dealing with age-old issues of theft, adultery, family relations and the like. The rules for moral behavior are stated simply and directly. The commandments1and 8, "you shall have no other gods before me" and "you shall not steal" (34) are examples of the straightforward approach of the commandments. The commandments provide a moral standard to live by; punishments for breaking the commandments are not provided with in the code. On the other hand, Hammurabi's Code is detailed, listing both offenses and their corresponding punishments.

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