Middle East & Asia The Essay

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Both documents make references to time, which give them the form of historical documents. The Book of Documents is believed to be an advice given to King Tai Jia by the faithful Yi Yin, and the Book of Genesis is the advice given to Noah by God. But the advice of Yi Yin, according to this legend, is comparable to the authority of the Bible. It is the Mandate from Heaven. Yi Yin lectures the King as if what he says is the word coming from cosmic powers. Both the Book of Documents and the Book of Genesis suggest that peace and tranquility -- and misery on earth, likewise -- depend on the behavior of mankind. If they respect the laws, obey the authority, they are going to be rewarded with peace and happiness. If they rebel against higher powers and engage in drunkenness, orgies, and depravity, they will be punished severely. In both books, the world has seen happiness and calamities that befell them due to the Grace or Wrath of the cosmic...

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Yi Yin warns the King that the peace and order in the society will depend on how he reigns. The King is instructed to respect the elders, love the relations, and adhere to the virtues deserving of kings. Yi Yin also explains to King that he needs to value the blessings and benefits bestowed upon him. Likewise, God instructs Noah of the importance of following God's law. Noah is told what can be eaten and what not. He is reminded by God that all the greenery on earth is given to him and his people. He is also warned that if someone kills another person, the punishment for the crime will be death. The Book of Documents says: "on the good-doer it sends down all blessings, and on the evil-doer it sends down all miseries." The Book of Genesis ends with the story of Ham who sees Noah in the nakedness but is not ashamed of it. For that, he and his descendants are cursed.

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