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Cultural Evolution of an Institution: The Sabbath

  • Author(s): Livni, Joseph
  • et al.
Abstract

According to the biblical account the Sabbath has been commanded at Mount Sinai during the Exodus. Reasonably, there can be no archaeological evidence to confirm that. However, the archaeological evidence points to a rankless society in pre-monarchic Israel. Lack of social layers in settled societies does raise questions about controlling the lawlessness. Livni and Stone mathematically established that the Sabbath could keep unruliness under control and that later, starting with the Second Temple, it did so. This multi-disciplinary report portrays the history of the Sabbath in terms of socio-cultural evolution combining analyses of anthropologists, archaeologists, biblical scholars and computation methods. The report shows that the Sabbath is at least 3000 years old.

 

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