Bernard S. Jackson

in Wisdom-Laws

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780198269311
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683596 | DOI:

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David Daube viewed the sale or slaughter of a stolen animal as a necessary evidentiary test: here, theft is proved only if there is evidence of sale or slaughter of a stolen animal by the accused. At a later stage, he argued, the evidentiary test was relaxed: theft could be proved by ‘hot possession’. Such ‘hot possession’, he maintained, extended the range of possible forms of proof. Taking these norms together, as they appear in the present text, the payments are due only if the theft is provable in one of the ways mentioned. On this account, the tests of theft appear ‘arbitrary’ in two respects. First, no other evidence counts, not even eyewitness testimony of the accused thief's act, in the absence either of hot possession or disposal by way of slaughter or sale. Second, the evidence appears to create conclusive presumptions of guilt, notwithstanding the possible availability of evidence to the contrary.

Keywords: David Daube; theft; hot possession; proof; evidentiary test; evidence; payments; slaughter; sale; guilt

Chapter.  12883 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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