The Code Of Hammurabi, King Of Babylon

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"If A Man Destroy The Eye Of Another Man, They Shall Destroy His Eye"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The great scholar, translator, and transliterator, Robert Francis Harper, places the monument on which Hammurabi's code is discovered at 2250 B.C. This date has since been revised in the light of other scholarship, but the code remains the oldest and one of the greatest governmental organs of the ancient world. The Biblical "eye for an eye" comes from this, as do most retributive measures: pay in kind for grievances sustained. Although much of the diorite stela, nearly eight feet tall, is defaced, other fragments have been found from which the entire system of law and government was worked out in the First Dynasty. The worshipful king receiving the laws from the sun god recurs later in the reception of the laws by Moses. The passage in which this pronouncement occurs is concerned with physical punishment in private lives:

If a son strike his father, they shall cut off his fingers.
If a man destroy the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye.
If one break a man's bone, they shall break his bone.