Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Breaking the Code
Today wasn’t a good day to be a slave. One of my owners’ slaves ran away sometime before dawn. The slave, who is a good friend of mine named Hamad, broke Law 17 under the Code of Hammurabi. Code 17 states that if any one find runaway male or female slaves in the open country and bring them to their masters, the master of the slaves shall pay him two shekels of silver. Our owner was angry for two main reasons, the first being that he had to pay the people that brought back Hamad and the second reason being that it now looked like he had no control over his helpers. It was apparent that our owner would punish Hamad for his lack of respect towards him and the Code, but what happened next was a surprise to all of us. Our owner came down to the dwelling that we all stayed in and made us all line up next to each other. He then had us tie our hands behind our backs. We all were looking at each other with total uncertainty. Once he had us locked and secured he brought out a huge stone and a sharp metal spear looking object. Our minds started to narrow our thoughts, we finally started to understand what was going on. It wasn’t just Hamad who was getting punished for trying to run away, but all of us!! Our owner started with the first of us lined up, he put the spear on the foot of the first slave, raised the stone up in the air and down with a mighty slam…the cry of pain was very reminisces of the cries that I used to hear while in battle. On and on to the next one he went until he was done with us all. He made sure not to injury us to the point that we couldn’t tend to the lands and do his bidding around the home, but he made sure that we would understand that attempting to run away or break any Code would not be tolerated. He made sure we understood that him losing shekels of silver wasn’t going to be tolerated because of any slaves wrong doing. I would have to believe he made his point loud and clear as all the ideas of running away that I had was gone…for the moment at least. Later on that night Hamad apologized to all of us for getting us punished for his violation. Hamad was a good friend of all of us so no one had any ill feelings towards him after he said he was sorry. We still remain friends until his death years later.