Judicial Flogging in Egyptian Painting

Middle Kingdom (Egypt), 20th–18th Century BCE

Drawing of man held down as another prepares to hit him with a stick.

Judicial flogging in Egyptian painting, Beni Hasan, Egypt, Twelfth Dynasty (1938–1759 BCE). A culprit is held down by three men as the court overseer watches. Biblical law included provisions for corporal punishment, but restricted the number of lashes, so as not to exceed forty. Later, rabbinic law interpreted it as indicating a maximum of thirty-nine.


John Gardner Wilkinson, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians… Illustrated by Drawings, etc., vol. 2 (London: John Murray, 1837), fig. 87, p. 41.

Published in: The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, vol. 1.

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