Exodus 21:29
But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it has been testified to his owner, and he has not kept him in, but that he has killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.
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(29) His owner also shall be put to death.—It seems clear that under this law the representatives of the slain person might have exacted life for life; but probably they would in almost all cases have been ready to accept a compensation.

21:22-36 The cases here mentioned give rules of justice then, and still in use, for deciding similar matters. We are taught by these laws, that we must be very careful to do no wrong, either directly or indirectly. If we have done wrong, we must be very willing to make it good, and be desirous that nobody may lose by us.The animal was slain as a tribute to the sanctity of human life (Compare the marginal references and Genesis 4:11). It was stoned, and its flesh was treated as carrion. Guilty negligence on the part of its owner was reckoned a capital offence, to be commuted for a fine.

In the case of a slave, the payment was the standard price of a slave, thirty shekels of silver. See Leviticus 25:44-46; Leviticus 27:3, and the marginal references for the New Testament application of this fact.

28-36. If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die—For the purpose of sanctifying human blood, and representing all injuries affecting life in a serious light, an animal that occasioned death was to be killed or suffer punishment proportioned to the degree of damage it had caused. Punishments are still inflicted on this principle in Persia and other countries of the East; and among a rude people greater effect is thus produced in inspiring caution, and making them keep noxious animals under restraint, than a penalty imposed on the owners. It hath been testified, which the Jews say was to be done thrice, and before the magistrate.

A man or a woman, to wit, an Israelite, or a stranger who is free, by comparing this with Exodus 21:32. But if the ox were wont to push with his horns in time past,.... Or "from or before yesterday, to the third" (m) that is, three days before, and had made three pushes, as Jarchi explains it:

and it hath been testified to his owner; by sufficient witnesses, who saw him push at people for three days past: the Targum of Jonathan is,"and it hath been testified to the face of his owner three days.''Concerning this testimony Maimonides (n) thus writes,"this is a testification, all that testify of it three days; but if he pushes, or bites, or kicks, or strikes even an hundred times on one day, this is no testification (not a sufficient one): three companies of witnesses testify of it in one day, lo, this is a doubt, whether it is a (proper) testimony or not; there is no testification but before the owner, and before the sanhedrim:"

and he hath not kept him in; in some enclosed place, house or field, not frequented by people, and where there was no danger of doing any hurt, if this care was not taken, after a proper testimony had been given of his vicious disposition. By the Roman laws (o) oxen that pushed with their horns were to have hay bound about them, that those that met them might beware of them; hence that of Horace (p): but that he hath killed a man or a woman; by pushing and goring them with his horns, or any other way, as biting or kicking:

the ox shall be stoned; as is provided for the preceding law:

and his owner shall be put to death; since he was accessory to the death of the person killed, not keeping in his beast, when he had sufficient notice of his vicious temper: the Targum of Jonathan, and so other Jewish writers, interpret this of death sent upon him from heaven, or death by the immediate hand of God, as sudden death, or death by some disease inflicted, or before a man is fifty years of age; but there is no doubt to be made but this intends death by the civil magistrate, according to the original law, Genesis 9:6.

(m) "ab heri et nudiustertius", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Piscator, Drusius. (n) Hilchot Niske Mammon, c. 6. sect. 1, 2.((o) Plutarch. in Crasso. (p) "Foenum habet in cornu, longe fuge". Horat. Sermon. l. 1. Satyr. 4.

But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.
29. If, however, the owner of the animal had been warned that it was vicious, and had taken no precautions to keep it in, he is held responsible, if it kills any one, and must suffer the penalty of death himself.Verse 29. - If the ox were wont to push with his horns. If he were notoriously, and to his owner' s knowledge, a dangerous animal, which required watching, and no watch was kept on him, then the owner became blame-able, and having by his neglect contributed to a homicide, was "guilty of death." If men strove and thrust against a woman with child, who had come near or between them for the purpose of making peace, so that her children come out (come into the world), and no injury was done either to the woman or the child that was born,

(Note: The words ילדיה ויצאוּ are rendered by the lxx καὶ ἐξέλθη τὸ παιδίον αὐτῆς μὴ ἐξεικονισμένον and the corresponding clause יהיה אסון ואם by ἐὰν δὲ ἐξεικονισμένον ᾖ; consequently the translators have understood the words as meaning that the fruit, the premature birth of which was caused by the blow, if not yet developed into a human form, was not to be regarded as in any sense a human being, so that the giver of the blow was only required to pay a pecuniary compensation, - as Philo expresses it, "on account of the injury done to the woman, and because he prevented nature, which forms and shapes a man into the most beautiful being, from bringing him forth alive." But the arbitrary character of this explanation is apparent at once; for ילד only denotes a child, as a fully developed human being, and not the fruit of the womb before it has assumed a human form. In a manner no less arbitrary אסון has been rendered by Onkelos and the Rabbins מותא, death, and the clause is made to refer to the death of the mother alone, in opposition to the penal sentence in Exodus 21:23, Exodus 21:24, which not only demands life for life, but eye for eye, etc., and therefore presupposes not death alone, but injury done to particular members. The omission of להּ, also, apparently renders it impracticable to refer the words to injury done to the woman alone.)

a pecuniary compensation was to be paid, such as the husband of the woman laid upon him, and he was to give it בּפללים by (by an appeal to) arbitrators. A fine is imposed, because even if no injury had been done to the woman and the fruit of her womb, such a blow might have endangered life. (For יצא roF( to go out of the womb, see Genesis 25:25-26.) The plural ילדיה is employed for the purpose of speaking indefinitely, because there might possibly be more than one child in the womb. "But if injury occur (to the mother or the child), thou shalt give soul for soul, eye for eye,...wound for wound:" thus perfect retribution was to be made.

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