The clan was protected by the geographical location of their settlement (warmer or temperate clime), the strength of the building materials, the precautions taken for
unfavorable weather, and the defensibility of location and battlements against wild animals or rival clans. Caves seemed to be adequate for many of the same uses just
listed, except there was no ability to flee, unless there were back entrance/exit points. A location next to water was also prized, because crops could be watered and
yields would be higher with a constant source of water. Bodies of water—lakes or rivers—stimulated a need to build the means to transport one individual or many
individuals across or on these waterways. Rivers provided a means to meet other clans, and if the meeting was friendly, the clans could trade. Agrarian societies do
not need to keep moving to find food. The food is all about them, if they plant it and take care of it until time for harvest. They can grow more than needed or as
little as needed. This new dietary feature makes survival a bit easier, although it does not make the clan impervious to dangers of fire, parching winds, or blight.
Grain can be made into flour or roasted before being consumed. Breads from flour or corn can be made small enough to carry on hunting trips, or large enough to satisfy
a family for a few days. However, grains created a problem that is still observable today. Proteins are eliminated from the body’s system through urine. Proteins are
not stored. But carbohydrates, if not burned up, will turn into fat, to be burned another day. An active person can burn carbohydrates, leaving little to spare, but an
inactive person—if they eat the same type and amount of carbohydrates—will store what is not burned up and fat deposits will occur. Technologically-driven societies
spend less time exercising and more time sitting around watching the technology do what it was designed to do. Societies not dependent on technology, are more active,
and can burn carbohydrates as fuel. Shepherds and Herdsmen. Towns and cities dotted the landscape in and around the Fertile Crescent (central and southern Iraq). As
clans grew in people and strength, they would splinter off into other groups: reproducing the skills and abilities of the original clan. Meanwhile, the splinter groups
splintered again and again, until towns and cities choked the land. The splinter groups did not journey far before putting down roots in the fertile area
between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. As the numbers of town and city dwellers grew, so did their appetite. More land had to be tilled. Harvests had to be abundant,
or the entire city could come to ruin. Enter the herdsmen. Besides farmers and warriors, we see a growing dependence on herd animals, such as oxen, sheep, and goats.
Oxen were good for pulling heavy loads; sheep were useful for the making of clothes and for meat; and goats produced an abundance of milk and meat. Herdsmen in most
cultures were not admired or respected, even though their labor produced the necessities of life. The keeping of flocks and herds is an old tradition, reaching back
more than 7,000 years. In the book of Genesis [chapter 13], from the New American Standard translation of the Bible, there is an important story told of Abraham and
Lot. Lot chose to live in the city and Abram—having given Lot first choice—ended up in the wilderness of rocks, scorpions, and dust. There was little for Abram’s
flocks and herds to eat or drink, so they often moved about, looking for good grazing land. Fights would break out over grazing land and watering sources, and we see a
story illustrating this point in Exodus [chapter 2]. Jethro’s daughter Zipporah, one of seven daughters who came to the well to draw water for Jethro’s folks were
badgered and bullied by some shepherds. Moses arrives on the scene and helps the women out, keeping the shepherds at bay. Jethro gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses
and a very important relationship followed. It was Jethro who later mentioned to Moses that governing the people who had left Egypt would go easier if he would
delegate the chore of administering justice and settling disputes.
The Need for Order
The modern types of civil and criminal offenses were derived over centuries of attempts to modify behavior among people groups. We can imagine a time when murder was
something new, and accidental death was also new. And there was likely a discussion about the difference between the two types of untimely death. Moreover, there was a
discussion about how best to keep order, while efficiently employing the knowledge, skills, and abilities of all the clan members.