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Leviticus 24:17-22


24:17 “‘If a man beats any person to death, 1  he must be put to death. 24:18 One who beats an animal to death 2  must make restitution for it, life for life. 3  24:19 If a man inflicts an injury on 4  his fellow citizen, 5  just as he has done it must be done to him – 24:20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth – just as he inflicts an injury on another person 6  that same injury 7  must be inflicted on him. 24:21 One who beats an animal to death 8  must make restitution for it, but 9  one who beats a person to death must be put to death. 24:22 There will be one regulation 10  for you, whether a foreigner or a native citizen, for I am the Lord your God.’”

1 tn Heb “And if a man strikes any soul [נֶפֶשׁ, nefesh] of mankind.” The idiom seems to derive from the idea of striking a fatal blow to the very “life” (literally, “soul”) of a human being, not just landing a blow on their body (HALOT 698 s.v. נכה hif.2). On the difficult of the meaning and significance of the term נֶפֶשׁ see the notes on Lev 17:10-11.

2 tn Heb “And one who strikes a soul of an animal.”

3 tn Heb “soul under soul.” Cf. KJV “beast for beast”; NCV “must give…another animal to take its place.”

4 tn Heb “gives a flaw in”; KJV, ASV “cause a blemish in.”

5 tn Or “neighbor” (so NAB, NASB, NIV); TEV, NLT “another person.”

6 tn Heb “in the man [אָדָם, ’adam].”

7 tn Heb “just as he inflicts an injury…it must be inflicted on him.” The referent (“that same injury”) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

8 sn See the note on v. 18 above.

9 tn Heb “and,” but here the Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) is adversative, contrasting the consequences of beating an animal to death with those of beating a person to death.

10 tn Heb “a regulation of one”; KJV, ASV “one manner of law”; NASB “one standard.”

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