Like a Bird in a Cage: The Invasion of Sennacherib in 701 BCE

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Lester L. Grabbe
Bloomsbury, Jun 1, 2003 - Religion - 354 pages
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What makes one crime more serious than another, and why? This book investigates the problem of "seriousness of offence" in English law from the comparative perspective of biblical law. Burnside takes a semiotic approach to show how biblical conceptions of seriousness are synthesised and communicated through various descriptive and performative registers. Seven case studies show that biblical law discriminates between the seriousness of different offences and between the relative seriousness of the same offence when committed by different people or when performed in different ways. Recurring elements include location and the offender's social statue. The closing chapter considers some of the implications for the current debate about crime and punishment.

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About the author (2003)

Lester L. Grabbe is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism at the University of Hull. He is founder and convenor of the European Seminar in Historical Methodology. A recent book is Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know it?