Exodus 21:22
If men who are fighting strike a pregnant woman and her child is born prematurely, but there is no further injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband demands and as the court allows.
Bodily InjuriesJ. Orr Exodus 21:18-36
Equitable JudgmentExodus 21:22-25
LessonsG. Hughes, B. D.Exodus 21:22-25
Life for LifeExodus 21:22-25
Stripe for StripeGreat ThoughtsExodus 21:22-25
The Criminal Law: was it Written in BloodH. M. Field, D. D.Exodus 21:22-25
The Requirement of Strict Equivalents in Making Compensation for InjuriesD. Young Exodus 21:22-25

The particular illustration here is confessedly obscure; but there can hardly be a mistake as to the principle illustrated, viz., that when injury is inflicted on the person, the very best should be done that can be done to make an adequate compensation. When property is taken it can often be restored or things put practically as they were before; but when the person is seriously injured, there is then no possibility of exact restoration. Hence the injurer might be inclined to say that because he could not do everything by way of compensation he was at liberty to do nothing. But the requirement comes in to stop him from such easy-going reflections. Eve for eye is wanted. You must do your best to restore what you have destroyed. Obviously the purpose of the regulation is, not to justify or aid in anything like revenge, but to make men be contented with the best they can get in substitution for the injury that has been done. The regulation of course was never meant to be interpreted literally, any more than our Lord''s counsel that he who had been smitten on the right cheek, should turn the other to the smiter. What good would it do literally to render an eye for an eye? That would be great loss to the person injuring and not the slightest gain to the person injured. Persistent requirement of compensation is to be distinguished from a passionate seeking for revenge. And be it noted that this requirement of compensation is not to be omitted under any erroneous notions of what weakness and self-denial may compel from us as Christians. We must keep to the principle underlying the regulation here, as well as to that other glorious and beautiful principle which our Lord ]aid down in quoting this regulation (Matthew 5:39). He spoke to stop revenge. But surely he would have been the first to say, on needful occasion, that reckless men must not be suffered to inflict injury on the supposition that Christians would not resent it. Certainly we are not to seek compensation for injuries or punishment of those who injure simply to gratify private feelings, or get a private advantage. But if conscience is clear as to its being for the public good, we must be very urgent and pertinacious in demanding compensation. We may be sure our Master would ever have us contend with all meekness and gentleness, but also with all bravery and stedfastness for all that is right. But the thing of most importance to be learnt from this regulation is, that the most precious things attainable by us are beyond human malice or carelessness to spoil in the slightest degree. The treasures God loves to make the peculiar possession of his children are such as eye has not seen. The eye may be lost, and yet the enjoyment of these treasures remain - nay more, the very loss of the natural may increase the susceptibility of the spiritual in us. The very crippling of the body may help us to make wonderful advances towards the perfect man in Christ Jesus. - Y.

Life for life.
? — The only sense in which retaliation was authorized was as a maxim of law, which helped to fix the measure of punishment for crime. It was the mode of punishment which was at once the simplest, the most natural, and the most easily administered. Indeed, in many cases it was the only mode possible. How would our modern reformers punish such offences? By putting the malefactor in prison? But where was the prison in the desert? In the desert the only possible penalty was one which could be inflicted on the person of the offender, and here the principle of strict retaliation for the crime committed, rigid as it may seem, was perfectly just. It was right that he who inflicted a wound upon his neighbour should feel himself how sharp and keen a wound may be; that he who ferociously tore his brother's eye from its socket should forfeit his own. The law against murder followed the same inexorable rule — "life for life"; a law in which there was no element of pardon or pity. But Moses did not create it; it had been the law of the desert long before he was born. When that old bearded sheik of all the Bedaween of Sinai, sitting under the shadow of a great rock in the desert, explained to us the operation of the lex talionis in his tribe, he set before us not only that which now is, but that which has been from the very beginning of time. It was somewhat startling, indeed, to find that laws and customs which we had supposed to belong only to an extreme antiquity still lingered among these mountains and deserts. The avenger of blood might follow with swift foot upon the murderer's track, and if he overtook him and put him to death the law held him free. But at the same time it gave the criminal a chance for his life. In the cities of refuge the manslayer was safe until he could have a fair trial ....Perhaps nothing shows more the spirit of a law than the modes of execution for those who are to suffer its extreme penalty. It is not two hundred years since torture was laid aside by European nations. James the Second himself witnessed the wrenching of "the boot" as a favourite diversion. The assassin who struck Henry the Fourth was torn limb from limb by horses, under the eye of ladies of the court. The Inquisition stretched its victims on the rack. Other modes of execution, such as burning alive, sawing asunder, and breaking on the wheel, were common in Europe until a late period. The Turks impaled men, or flayed them alive; and tied women in sacks with serpents, and threw them into the Bosphorus. Among the ancients, punishments were still more excruciating. The Roman people, so famous for the justice of their laws, inflicted the supreme agony of crucifixion, in which the victim lingered dying for hours, or even days. After the capture of Jerusalem, Titus ordered two thousand Jews to be crucified. How does this act of the imperial Romans compare with the criminal law of "a semi-savage race"? Under the Hebrew code all these atrocities were unknown. Moses prescribed but two modes of capital punishment — the sword and stoning .... And is this the law that was "written in blood "? No, not in blood, but in tears; for through the sternness of the lawgiver is continually breaking the heart of man. Behind the coat of mail that covers the breast of the warrior is sometimes found the heart of a woman. This union of gentleness with strength is one of the most infallible signs of a truly great nature. It is this mingling of the tender and the terrible that gives to the Hebrew law a character so unique — a majesty that awes with a gentleness that savours more of parental affection than of severity. Crime and its punishment is not in itself a pleasing subject to dwell on; but when on this dark background is thrown the light of such provisions for the poor and the weak, the effect is like the glow of sunset on the red granite of the Sinai mountains. Even the peaks that were hard and cold, look warm in the flood of sunlight which is poured over them all. Thus uniting the character of the supporter of weakness and protector of innocence with that of the punisher of crime, Moses appears almost as the divinity of his nation — as not only the founder of the Hebrew state, but as its guardian genius through all the periods of its history. When he went up into Mount Nebo, and stretched out his arm toward the Promised Land, he gave to that land the inestimable blessings of laws founded in eternal justice; and not only in justice, but in which humanity was embodied almost as much as in the precepts of religion. Nor was that law given for the Israelites alone. It was an inheritance for all ages and generations. That mighty arm was to protect the oppressed so long as human governments endure. Moses was the king of legislators, and to the code which he left rulers of all times have turned for instruction.

(H. M. Field, D. D.)

1. God supposeth the cruel smitings of masters, but alloweth them not.

2. God foreseeth the sufferings of poor slaves, and provides in His law against it.

3. The perishing of the least member of servants, even of a tooth, God will require of superiors (ver. 26).

4. God by His law depriveth those men of lordship, who abuse their power cruelly over servants.

5. Bond and free are equally considered by God in His law without respect of persons. He makes the oppressed free (vers. 26, 27).

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

Great Thoughts.
A boy was one day sitting on the steps of a door. He had a broom in one hand, and in the other a large piece of bread-and-butter, which somebody had kindly given him. While he was eating it, and merrily humming a tune, he saw a poor little dog quietly sleeping not far from him. He called out to him: "Come here, poor fellow!" The dog, hearing himself kindly spoken to, rose, pricked up his ears, and wagged his tail. Seeing the boy eating, he came near him. The boy held out to him a piece of his bread-and-butter. As the dog stretched out his head to take it, the boy hastily drew back his hand, and hit him a hard rap on the nose. The poor dog ran away, howling most dreadfully, while the cruel boy sat laughing at the mischief he had done. A gentleman who was looking from a window on the other side of the street, saw what the wicked boy had done. Opening the street door, he called to him to cross over, at the same time holding up a sixpence between his finger and thumb. "Would you like this?" said the gentleman. "Yes, if you please, sir," said the boy, smiling; and he hastily ran over to seize the money. Just at the moment that he stretched out his hand, he got so severe a rap on the knuckles from a cane which the gentleman had behind him, that he roared out like a bull. "What did you do that for?" said he, making a very long face, and rubbing his hand. "I didn't hurt you, nor ask you for the sixpence." "What did you hurt that poor dog for just now?" said the gentleman. "He didn't hurt you, nor ask you for your bread-and-butter. As you served him, I have served you. Now, remember dogs can feel as well as boys, and learn to behave kindly towards dumb animals in future."

(Great Thoughts.)

Herbert was yet of tender age when his father, the huntsman of Farmstein, was, in the heart of the forest, shot down by an unknown poacher. His mother brought up her fatherless boy as well as she could, and at the age of twenty, when he has become a skilful forester, he obtained his father's situation. It happened that one day, when Herbert was hunting in the forest with many hunters, he shot at a large stag, and missed it. Presently a voice exclaimed piteously in the copse, "Oh, heaven! I am shot." Herbert moved forward, and found an old man who was uttering loud groans, as he lay covered with blood. The whole company of hunters gathered around the dying man. Herbert, however, knelt down beside him and begged his forgiveness, protesting that he had not seen him. The dying man, however, said, "I have nothing to forgive you, for that which has hitherto been concealed from all the world shall now come to light. I am the poacher who shot your father just here, under this old oak. The very ground where we now are was dyed with his blood; and it has evidently been destined that you, the son of the murdered man, should on this precise spot, without any thought or intention of such a thing, avenge the act on me. God is just!" he exclaimed, and presently expired.

"A Teuton made a little fortune here not long ago in the milk business, and decided to return to Germany and enjoy it in his old home. In the ship that was bearing him homeward was a mischievous monkey. The monkey, prying around one day, found a heavy bag and ran up to the masthead with it. The German clasped his hands in despair at seeing the bag; it was his money, all in gold. The monkey in a leisurely way pulled out a piece and flung it down to the deck, when the ex-milkman gathered it up. Then the beast tossed a second piece into the sea. Thus alternately the pieces went, one into the ocean and the next into the distracted man's pocket. 'Ah,' said the ex-milkman, as he pocketed just half of what he had started with, 'it is just. One-half of that milk I have sold was milk, and the money for it comes back; the other half was water, and half goes back to water.'"

Mount Sinai
Agreement, Allow, Allows, Amount, Birth, Case, Causing, Certainly, Child, Contend, Court, Damage, Decide, Decision, Delivered, Demand, Demands, Depart, Determine, Estimate, Evil, Fight, Fighting, Fined, Fixed, Follow, Follows, Fruit, Further, Gives, Harm, Hit, Hurt, Husband, Impose, Injury, Judges, Lay, Loss, Miscarriage, Mischief, Offender, Pay, Payment, Pregnant, Prematurely, Punished, Serious, Smitten, Strike, Strive, Struggle, Surely, Whatever, Woman's, Yet
1. Laws for men servants
5. For the servant whose ear is bored
7. For women servants
12. For manslaughter
16. For kidnappers
17. For cursers of parents
18. For smiters
22. For a hurt by chance
28. For an ox that gores
33. For him who is an occasion of harm

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Exodus 21:22

     5270   court
     5346   injury
     5383   lawsuits

Exodus 21:15-25

     6206   offence

Exodus 21:22-25

     5061   sanctity of life
     5733   pregnancy
     5745   women
     5803   carelessness
     8471   respect, for human beings

The Development of the Earlier Old Testament Laws
[Sidenote: First the principle, and then the detailed laws] If the canon of the New Testament had remained open as long as did that of the Old, there is little doubt that it also would have contained many laws, legal precedents, and ecclesiastical histories. From the writings of the Church Fathers and the records of the Catholic Church it is possible to conjecture what these in general would have been. The early history of Christianity illustrates the universal fact that the broad principles are
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

The Kinsman Redeemer
'After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him.'--LEV. xxv. 48. There are several of the institutions and precepts of the Mosaic legislation which, though not prophetic, nor typical, have yet remarkable correspondences with lofty Christian truth. They may be used as symbols, if only we remember that we are diverting them from their original purpose. How singularly these words lend themselves to the statement of the very central truths of Christianity--a slavery
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

'Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39. But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.'--MATT. v. 38-42. The old law
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A Discourse of the Building, Nature, Excellency, and Government of the House of God; with Counsels and Directions to the Inhabitants Thereof.
BY JOHN BUNYAN, OF BEDFORD. 'Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.'--Psalm 26:8 ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. Beautiful in its simplicity is this treatise on the Church of Christ, by John Bunyan. He opens, with profound knowledge and eminent skill, all those portions of sacred writ which illustrate the nature, excellency, and government of the house of God, with the personal and relative duties of its inhabitants. It was originally published in
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Appeal to the Christian Women of the South
BY A.E. GRIMKE. "Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not within thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place: but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this. And Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer:--and so will I go in unto the king,
Angelina Emily Grimke—An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South

The Doctrine of Non-Resistance to Evil by Force Has Been Professed by a Minority of Men from the Very Foundation of Christianity. Of the Book "What
CHAPTER I. THE DOCTRINE OF NON-RESISTANCE TO EVIL BY FORCE HAS BEEN PROFESSED BY A MINORITY OF MEN FROM THE VERY FOUNDATION OF CHRISTIANITY. Of the Book "What I Believe"--The Correspondence Evoked by it-- Letters from Quakers--Garrison's Declaration--Adin Ballou, his Works, his Catechism--Helchitsky's "Net of Faith"--The Attitude of the World to Works Elucidating Christ's Teaching--Dymond's Book "On War"--Musser's "Non-resistance Asserted"--Attitude of the Government in 1818 to Men who Refused to
Leo Tolstoy—The Kingdom of God is within you

The Sermon on the Mount - the Kingdom of Christ and Rabbinic Teaching.
It was probably on one of those mountain-ranges, which stretch to the north of Capernaum, that Jesus had spent the night of lonely prayer, which preceded the designation of the twelve to the Apostolate. As the soft spring morning broke, He called up those who had learned to follow Him, and from among them chose the twelve, who were to be His Ambassadors and Representatives. [2500] [2501] But already the early light had guided the eager multitude which, from all parts, had come to the broad level
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Deputation from Jerusalem - the Three Sects of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes - Examination of their Distinctive Doctrines.
APART from the repulsively carnal form which it had taken, there is something absolutely sublime in the continuance and intensity of the Jewish expectation of the Messiah. It outlived not only the delay of long centuries, but the persecutions and scattering of the people; it continued under the disappointment of the Maccabees, the rule of a Herod, the administration of a corrupt and contemptible Priesthood, and, finally, the government of Rome as represented by a Pilate; nay, it grew in intensity
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Sixth Commandment
Thou shalt not kill.' Exod 20: 13. In this commandment is a sin forbidden, which is murder, Thou shalt not kill,' and a duty implied, which is, to preserve our own life, and the life of others. The sin forbidden is murder: Thou shalt not kill.' Here two things are to be understood, the not injuring another, nor ourselves. I. The not injuring another. [1] We must not injure another in his name. A good name is a precious balsam.' It is a great cruelty to murder a man in his name. We injure others in
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

That Deep Things Ought not to be Preached at all to Weak Souls.
But the preacher should know how to avoid drawing the mind of his hearer beyond its strength, lest, so to speak, the string of the soul, when stretched more than it can bear, should be broken. For all deep things should be covered up before a multitude of hearers, and scarcely opened to a few. For hence the Truth in person says, Who, thinkest thou, is the faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord has appointed over his household, to give them their measure of wheat in due season? (Luke xii. 42).
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

In Death and after Death
A sadder picture could scarcely be drawn than that of the dying Rabbi Jochanan ben Saccai, that "light of Israel" immediately before and after the destruction of the Temple, and for two years the president of the Sanhedrim. We read in the Talmud (Ber. 28 b) that, when his disciples came to see him on his death-bed, he burst into tears. To their astonished inquiry why he, "the light of Israel, the right pillar of the Temple, and its mighty hammer," betrayed such signs of fear, he replied: "If I were
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia.
Part I. History of the Councils. Reason why two Councils were called. Inconsistency and folly of calling any; and of the style of the Arian formularies; occasion of the Nicene Council; proceedings at Ariminum; Letter of the Council to Constantius; its decree. Proceedings at Seleucia; reflections on the conduct of the Arians. 1. Perhaps news has reached even yourselves concerning the Council, which is at this time the subject of general conversation; for letters both from the Emperor and the Prefects
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

The Section Chap. I. -iii.
The question which here above all engages our attention, and requires to be answered, is this: Whether that which is reported in these chapters did, or did not, actually and outwardly take place. The history of the inquiries connected with this question is found most fully in Marckius's "Diatribe de uxore fornicationum," Leyden, 1696, reprinted in the Commentary on the Minor Prophets by the same author. The various views may be divided into three classes. 1. It is maintained by very many interpreters,
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

The Blessing of Jacob Upon Judah. (Gen. Xlix. 8-10. )
Ver. 8. "Judah, thou, thy brethren shall praise thee; thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; before thee shall bow down the sons of thy father. Ver. 9. A lion's whelp is Judah; from the prey, my son, thou goest up; he stoopeth down, he coucheth as a lion, and as a full-grown lion, who shall rouse him up? Ver. 10. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto Him the people shall adhere." Thus does dying Jacob, in announcing
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

The book of Exodus--so named in the Greek version from the march of Israel out of Egypt--opens upon a scene of oppression very different from the prosperity and triumph in which Genesis had closed. Israel is being cruelly crushed by the new dynasty which has arisen in Egypt (i.) and the story of the book is the story of her redemption. Ultimately it is Israel's God that is her redeemer, but He operates largely by human means; and the first step is the preparation of a deliverer, Moses, whose parentage,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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