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The Deed and the Doer in the Bible

David Daube’s Gifford Lectures, Volume 1

David Daube

Edited by Calum Carmichael

David Daube (1909–1999) was a world renowned biblical law scholar. He was a fellow at All Souls College at Oxford, and emeritus professor of law at Oxford as well as emeritus professor of law at University of California, Berkeley. Throughout his life and continuing today, scholars have hailed his important research on Roman law, biblical law, Hebraic Law, and ethics.

Daube produced dozens of books and published more than 150 articles in scholarly journals. Now, for the first time, his twenty Gifford Lectures, delivered in 1962 and 1964, will be available to the public. His first ten Gifford Lectures have been collected in The Deed and the Doer in the Bible: David Daube's Gifford Lectures, Volume 1.

The overall theme of Daube's Gifford Lectures is law and wisdom in the Bible. His wide-ranging deliberations reveal how complicated and profound the biblical text is. He analyzes deeds described in the Bible and considers, for example, what causes people to act in a certain way, the role of intent, why unintended deeds are sometimes punishable, and how the origin of a deed is determined. His lectures are aimed at professionals in the fields of biblical criticism, biblical history, ethics, and the history of law with respect to its roots in Old Testament traditions. Daube is a recognized master in these fields, and there are substantial applications to modern ethical and legal issues.

Preface / vii

Abbreviations / xi

1. Causation / 3

2. Intent / 31

3. Error and Ignorance / 53

4. Passions / 92

5. Negligence / 115

6. Intellectual Authorship / 131

7. Attempt / 150

8. Collectives / 174

9. Women / 185

10. After the Deed / 209

11. Supplement to Women: The Language of Seduction in the Old Testament / 241 

Notes / 261

Index of Sources / 293