Re: How Great is the Amazon River?
You mean this red herring I read and 'junk piled' decades ago?
The issue of 'borrowing' laws--did Moses somehow "copy" Hammurabi?
It has long been realized that the similarities between some of the Mosaic legislation and the Law Code of Hammurabi are striking. Hammi's law is dated around 1720 b.c.--before the advent of Moses. There are those who suggest that the Law of Moses is actually a mild type of plagiarism (instead of a divinely-given law), and seek to assert substantial dependence of Moses on prior law collections.
There are a number of points to be made here, although MOST of the issue of borrowing will be in the NEXT SECTION--specifically ON the subject of 'borrowing'.
1. Most parallels between Moses and Hammy are about crimes that we would expect to find legislation on IN MOST SOCIETIES (e.g. social crimes--murder, rape, kidnapping, adultery, eye-for-an-eye). And given, that the 'prior laws' in Hammi, that are cited as precursors to Moses' laws, show up THEMSELVES in OTHER legal codes, demonstrates that SIMILARITY does NOT entail 'derivation'. (In other words, the laws in Hammi ALSO occur in OTHER law codes that are in the same time period.)
2. Some of the laws in the Mosaic period have counterparts in the pre-Hammi Patriarchal period (e.g. Levirate relationships--Gen 38.8 on levirate family relationships). So some of the laws may have come INTO Egypt with Israel.
3. The DIFFERENCES in the laws, however, are most striking, esp. between Israel (e.g. Moses) and Babylonia (i.e. Hammurapi). The strongest difference is in the relative worth of human life. A comparison of the two legal collections shows that the H-code has a much higher severity for property-offenses, whereas the M-code has a much higher severity for homicide. (but more on this later)
4. And, of course, many of the cultic laws were ANTI-laws, aimed AGAINST the religion of Canaan--cf. esp. Lev 18,19. (Not so in the other law-collections.)
[It is very curious that we have no surviving legal codes from Egypt. It has been traditionally said that since the "pharaoh was god, no laws were written down--his word was law". But, quite frankly, I don't see how this could provide an adequate legal system for a nation of the size, scope, and complexity of Egypt of that time. There MUST have been some legal codes, dealing with partnerships, inheritance, etc--but we have not found any so far!]
The various legal codes of the ANE would probably have been accessible to Egypt, and in some cases, before the Israelites went into Egypt (Hittite laws). The periods in which Moses lived were considered to be the most 'cosmopolitan' in Egypt's history (Kitchen).
There is nothing in the text or historical context to require these laws to be late.
God's just law, existed from the beginning, but man's been corupting it since then too.
And if you think you can get all fields of science to agree on dating methods, archeological suppositions, on which the next supposistion, and the next, etc., are built on, go for it!
Then come back and fling around more "imaginings".