Land, labor and law: viewing Persian Yehud's economy through socio-economic modeling
Glass, Zipporah G.
This study proposes that Deuteronomic debt release (Deuteronomy 15:1-11) in its contours and its performance is an extra-economic compulsion functioning as a legal paradigm for socio-economic organization in the struggle of resource allocation. The study takes up it's thesis through interpretative issues related to Deuteronomic-associated debt release in the manumission edict of Jeremiah 34; the contours of Deuteronomic debt release in Nehemiah 5 modeled in dynamics drawn from Amartya Sen's political economics of entitlement and food insecurity; and finally through the modeling of a performance of Deuteronomic debt release in Achaemenid Judah (Yehud) using dynamics drawn from David Ricardo's diminishing return and differential rent. By following this methodology, the study is an exercise in ideological criticism with its focus in political economy, using economic modeling to provide a theoretical contribution to the materialist tradition of analysis of Yehud, with the significance of the study being its interpretation of Deuteronomic debt release through its performance, not its literary display. The study yields an understanding of the Deuteronomic debt release laws against scholarly interpretations of the laws as humanitarian ideals toward rendering an interpretation, in effect, where the Deuteronomic debt release laws are seen as negotiated code, designed to alleviate, on the surface, a condition of vulnerability, while intentionally preserving, at heart, the framework responsible for such vulnerability.