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PROPHET VERSUS KING – "JURIDICAL DIALOGUE": Juridicial Analysis of Three Sections / נביא versus מלך – "דיאלוג שיפוטי": ניתוח משפטי של שלוש פרשות

אסנת ברתור and Asnat Bartor
Beit Mikra: Journal for the Study of the Bible and Its World / בית מקרא: כתב-עת לחקר המקרא ועולמו
כרך מז‎, חוברת ב (קסט‎) (טבת-אדר תשס"ב), pp. 105-132
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23508840
Page Count: 28
Topics: Lawsuits
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Abstract

Several sections in the Bible explicitly describe "institutional" juridical proceedings. On the contrary, there are sections whose authors did not "declare" to be trials. There is no mention of the root שפ"ט in any of their parts, nor do they contain any ingredients testifying to the conduction of a tribunal-institutional trial. Nontheless, their content, language, and apparent intentions indicate an attempt to convey the character of a juridicial proceeding. Three texts have been selected for the purpose of examining this phenomenon, all from The Early Prophets. These texts deal with juridical proceedings conducted by prophets against kings: the war at Michmash (I Sam. 13:11-14); the Amelekite War (15:13-31); The Vineyard of Naboth of Jezreel (1 Kgs. 21:17-29) – Ahab's "trial". A textual analysis indicates that all three texts belong to the category of juridicial-criminal proceeding, that is, a proceeding aiming at punishing whoever transgressed–broke a law, or an edict. A criminal proceeding is comprised, in general, of six main phases. Even though, not all of them exist in each one of the texts. The three major phases, namely, the debate, which opens with the indictment drafting, and proceeds with parties' claims and their responses to the indictment, the judgment and the penal sanction-verdict, do exist there. The reflected juridical proceeding is built on a rather similar literary pattern (in the nature of "Gattung"), and as these texts were written in the form of dialogue, the pattern is termed in my study "the juridical dialogue". "The juridical dialogue" is a "mixed" pattern with multiple sociological background: the tribunal-institutional proceeding, on the one hand, and a juridicial proceeding in which only two sides are involved, on the other. Virtually, the bilateral proceeding is the ancient judicial proceeding of the "Rib". Since the king, as the head of the juridicial system, was not subject to its control, it was therefore necessary to "invent" the artificial technique of "Rib" between a prophet and a king, which symbolized the king's subjection to the justice and law values. In addition, this study examines the functional linkages and correlation between the human dialogue and the juridical proceeding. Such an examination enables us to discern, beyond the judicial dimension other dimensions, such as psychological, edifying and rhetorical.

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