12 He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.
13 And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee.
14 But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die.
15 And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.
16 And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.
17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
18 And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed:
19 If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.
In verse 12 of Exodus 21, God gives Moses the penalties for causing death to others. For smiting a man to death, the penalty is death. If the death is done in an accidental encounter, not premeditated, God will give the slayer a place to flee. However, if a man kills someone with no provocation, again the penalty is death.
He that smiteth his mother or father—death.
Stealing a man is cause for death. (I would assume this means either stealing another man’s servant or stealing someway away from their people to enslave them.)
If two men fight and one is struck by stone or fist but does not die, the one who struck him will not be punished but will be required to pay for the loss of the man’s time until he is healed.
I notice that in these passages we see the beginnings of the penal code that now exists in many nations of the world. The outstanding difference over these laws and the complicated penal code of today is very simple. Our Lord God expected the children of Israel to use what we now call common sense and these simple rules would have been easy to follow and would have helped to assure justice for all.
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