11 October 2011

Institution building

"The treaty stipulations are themselves presented as a body of teaching. The purpose of biblical law is to shape and form the polity, not merely to address cases and provide remedy." (Joshua Berman, Created Equal, 2008; page 100). 
The treaty stipulations are thus directed to the rulers of Israel and to her privileged classes to build social, political, economic and spiritual institutions to enable within the population the fulfillment of God's directives without the people needing recourse to some functioning leadership. 
Debt relief is taken out of the hands of the newly crowned kings and placed under the body politic's control as an element of membership in the Israelite collective. 
Institutions are direct instruments of self-governance as opposed to government by strongman rule. Likely the Biblical term 'shamor' connotes the responsibilities of institution building. 

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