Academic journal article Economics, Management and Financial Markets

The Leasing Contracts and Their Historical Evolution from Biblical to Modern Times

Academic journal article Economics, Management and Financial Markets

The Leasing Contracts and Their Historical Evolution from Biblical to Modern Times

Article excerpt


"Public life depends on people making agreements and keeping to them, the two parties involved binding themselves to do something in the future and then expect that this agreement be fulfilled. Economic and social life would be impossible if we could not trust such a system. Because of this the state provides a guarantee: if one of the parties fails to perform what has been promised, then the other can take action in the courts." (Seely, 2003: 17) Therefore, contracts represent a landmark, a vital component of the mankind in everyday life, and that is why this paper intends to suggest further contractual principles, similar and not different from those used by the author in a previous paper entitled, "The Old Testament Contracts and/v The New Civil Legislations: The Purchase Agreement", and it also wishes to be a sequel of the above mentioned paper, and to introduce the leasing contract under some of its multiple codes. The paper makes use of some informative concepts and biblical historical frames which are present in a generous bibliography due to some notorious experts in the field, namely, E. SaftaRomano, (1997), Legal Archetypes in the Bible, John Seely, (2003), Law in Everyday Life, Paul D. Vrolijk, (2011), Jacob's Wealth, who try to outline a synthetic picture of several relevant problems seen from an interdisciplinary viewpoint, namely, theology, history, law.

2.The Leasing Contract

Starting from the motto: "Abraham took the sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimalech, and the two of them made a covenant" (Genesis 21:27), I'd like to introduce the leasing contract as a leasing agreement met both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. This type of contract has been borrowed from the Biblical texts and used in the course of time even in the nowadays world civil laws. I'd like to follow the origins and evolution of the leasing contract from the ancient times till today and spy on and make some relevant notes about several similarities and differences among the multifarious codes of it, in a comparative and contrastive approach into which I am not willing to go deeply due to the limited space allowed to this paper, but to offer only some sample patterns of how the leasing contracts have been concluded beginning with Biblical times and ending in ours.

2.1Laban and Jacob. (B.C.) The ways a contract is carried out in the Old Testament

If we wanted to travel back in time, when Moses had written the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament, we should meet Jacob and Laban. The story goes that Laban concluded with Jacob, his son-in-law, a leasing contract, under which Jacob made a series of activities in Laban's household. After many years of hard work, Jacob decided to leave Laban's lands and his father-in-law asked him how much wages he wanted to be paid, the wages asked representing the lease rate. As wages, Jacob asked Laban to give him the spotted sheep and goats while the handing of these animals was to take place in three days' time. But Jacob resorted to wiles and, after having taken his sheep and goats, handing them to his sons, he also took some of Laban's sheep and goats. By using fraudulent practices under the contract, he succeeded in getting rich beyond measure at the expense of Laban. The reaction of Laban's sons was immediate and they said that, "Jacob has taken away all that was our father's, and from our father's property he acquired all his wealth." (Genesis: 31, 1) Jacob answered that he had carried out his contractual obligations in good faith and added that, "yet your father deceived me and changed my wages ten times." (Genesis: 31, 7) The changing of the wages of Jacob was equivalent to a one-sided change of the leasing contract, which was unacceptable. Such a change in the rate of Jacob's wages could have taken place only with his consent but it was obvious that such a contract had not existed between the two parties. (Safta-Romano, 1997: 117)

After we had read the story of Laban and Jacob, we could come to the conclusion that the Biblical text puts indirectly into question the way in which a contract has to be performed. …

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