Sunday, March 06, 2016

Cocco, The Torah as a Place of Refuge

The Torah as a Place of Refuge
Biblical Criminal Law and the Book of Numbers

[Die Tora als Zufluchtsort. Biblisches Strafrecht und das Buch Numeri.]
2016. XII, 185 pages.
Forschungen zum Alten Testament 2. Reihe 84

59,00 €
sewn paper
ISBN 978-3-16-154138-4

Published in English.
The law on the “cities of refuge” contained in Num 35,9–34 is almost universally seen as a simple repetition of legal content that is basically already present in the legislation of other biblical books. Francesco Cocco demonstrates that we find ourselves here before a case of reformulation instead of simple repetition, the implications of which are extremely interesting for the understanding of biblical penal legislation. In this particular fragment, it exhibits traces of modernity so surprising as to be as good as the defence of civil liberties in the legal systems currently in force in the majority of democratic states.
The author’s enquiry takes its starting point and develops, therefore, from the novel contribution which the legislation in Num 35,9–34 confers on the entire biblical law of a penal character.