Harm Scenarios

calendar_today July 2, 2023
menu_book Exodus 21:18-32
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Sermon 59 in Series

Exodus 21:18-32
[18] “When men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist and the man does not die but takes to his bed, [19] then if the man rises again and walks outdoors with his staff, he who struck him shall be clear; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall have him thoroughly healed.

[20] “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. [21] But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money.

[22] “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. [23] But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, [24] eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, [25] burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

[26] “When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye. [27] If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth.

[28] “When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. [29] But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. [30] If a ransom is imposed on him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed on him. [31] If it gores a man’s son or daughter, he shall be dealt with according to this same rule. [32] If the ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

DEEP SHEET: Sermon Study Questions
1.   Up to this point, what has this legal material in Exodus taught you about the Lord? How has it given you practical wisdom?
2.   How do the quarreling/fighting scenarios highlight self-control and the sanctity of human life? In what ways do they show God’s justice?
3.   What protections were in place for slaves harmed by their masters? How was this unique in the ancient world?
4.   How does the “eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth” principle (lex talionis) maximize justice? What does Jesus say about this principle in our personal interactions?
5.   How does the last scenario challenge you to exercise greater care and to have a higher view of human life?
6.   In what general and particular ways does this passage point us to Christ?

References: Exodus 24:7; James 4:1-2; Genesis 4:23-24; Matthew 5:38-40; Proverbs 29:19; Job 31:15; Ephesians 6:9; Genesis 9:5; Numbers 35:31; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Matthew 26:15.

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