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Exodus 21:28

Context
Laws about Animals

21:28 1 “If an ox 2  gores a man or a woman so that either dies, 3  then the ox must surely 4  be stoned and its flesh must not be eaten, but the owner of the ox will be acquitted.

Exodus 21:32

Context
21:32 If the ox gores a male servant or a female servant, the owner 5  must pay thirty shekels of silver, 6  and the ox must be stoned. 7 

1 sn The point that this section of the laws makes is that one must ensure the safety of others by controlling the circumstances.

2 tn Traditionally “ox,” but “bull” would also be suitable. The term may refer to one of any variety of large cattle.

3 tn Heb “and he dies”; KJV “that they die”; NAB, NASB “to death.”

4 tn The text uses סָקוֹל יִסָּקֵל (saqol yissaqel), a Qal infinitive absolute with a Niphal imperfect. The infinitive intensifies the imperfect, which here has an obligatory nuance or is a future of instruction.

5 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the owner) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 sn A shekel was a unit for measure by means of a scale. Both the weight and the value of a shekel of silver are hard to determine. “Though there is no certainty, the shekel is said to weigh about 11,5 grams” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:181). Over four hundred years earlier, Joseph was sold into Egypt for 20 shekels. The free Israelite citizen was worth about 50 shekels (Lev 27:3f.).

7 sn See further B. S. Jackson, “The Goring Ox Again [Ex. 21,28-36],” JJP 18 (1974): 55-94.



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