MembersJERUSALEM 2018: Biblical Figures on Trial

Following a turbulent hearing, the judge announced his verdict: “Cain is acquitted of the accusation of murder owing to lack of evidence, and instead convicted of manslaughter in the death of his brother Abel.”

By Aviel Schneider |
Photo: Bible lands museum Jerusalem

At the end of November, prominent lawyers, judges, psychologists and high school seniors came together at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem. On trial were Cain and the prophet Elijah.

The trial was part of a graduation project for 12th grade students from two Israeli high schools. Attorney Zion Amir was defending Cain. Together with his students, Amir sought to prove to the court that Cain did not murder his brother in cold-blood. Attorney Avigdor Feldman had to grapple with the accusation against his client, the prophet Elijah, who was charged with massacring 450 prophets of Baal. Amir and Feldmann are among the leading defense attorneys in the country. Together with their respective groups of students, they applied modern Israeli legal standards and precedents to the biblical passages in Genesis 4 and 1 Kings 18.

These two trials were part of a larger project being conducted by the Ministry of Education and the Bible Lands Museum to examine the legal aspects of some of the most well-known stories from Scripture. Among others to have similarly gone on trial in previous years were King David,...

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