Elaine Landau, “The Assyrians,” “The Sumerians,” and “The Babylonians”

(All three of these are labeled by the library as juvenile literature.)

Some notes:

  • Assyria also relocated troublesome people it had conquered (51).
  • The Sumerians had clocks that used 60-second minutes and 60-minute hours.
  • Babylon was very much an on-again, off-again empire during the time it was (sporadically) ascendant, from 1792-539 B.C.  Note:  Babylon is the city, Babylonian is the empire.
  • Hammurabi claimed his code was to ensure that “the strong may not oppress the weak.”  It was still pretty hierarchical and harsh, though.

The author asserts that there was a “trend” toward “worshiping one god rather than many,” but I don’t see that they were really monotheistic.

My sense is that, in nonreligious matters, these folks were as far along as the Jews — and, when you think about it, why wouldn’t they be?

Here’s something else related to that to think about:  the technological and civilizational advances that occurred from Abraham to Jesus.  This is just a little more than the time period from Jesus to today — a long time, and so Jacob’s world was not Jesus’.  It’s true that the rapidity of change seems to be accelerating, but I still believe it would be a mistake to think, as I’m inclined to, of “Bible times” as being undifferentiated.