Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Genesis 9:6. It has its root in a simple conception of justice, and is found in the laws of many ancient nations. It serves in this place as a maxim for the magistrate in awarding the amount of compensation to be paid for the infliction of personal injury. The sum was to be as nearly as possible the worth in money of the power lost by the injured person. Our Lord quotes Exodus 21:24 as representing the form of the law, in order to illustrate the distinction between the letter and the spirit Matthew 5:38. The tendency of the teaching of the Scribes and Pharisees was to confound the obligations of the conscience with the external requirements of the law. The law, in its place, was still to be "holy and just and good," Romans 7:12, but its direct purpose was to protect the community, not to guide the heart of the believer, who was not to exact eye for eye, tooth for tooth, but to love his enemies, and to forgive all injuries. Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)25. wound] Genesis 4:23 c (lit. for my wound). Isaiah 1:6.
stripe] Genesis 4:23 d (lit. for my stripe), Isaiah 1:6 [EVV. bruises], Isaiah 53:5.
The talio is a principle of punishment which was anciently, and still is, current widely in the world: Kn. quotes examples from the Thurians and Locrians (an eye for an eye), the Indians (Strabo, p. 710) the XII. Tables (‘si membrum rupit, ni cum eo pacit, talio esto’): Rhadamanthys was said to have declared that it was a just punishment when a man suffered what he had done (Arist. Eth. N. v. 8. 3); and there are several cases in the code of Hạmmurabi, §§ 116, 196, 197, 200, 210, 219, 229, 235, 263, &c.: see Cook, p. 249). For numerous instances is modern times, see A. H. Post, Grundriss der ethnol. Jurisprudenz (1894–5), ii. 238 ff.
If in the course of a quarrel one man should hit another with a stone or with his fist, so that, although he did not die, he "lay upon his bed," i.e., became bedridden; if the person struck should get up again and walk out with his staff, the other would be innocent, he should "only give him his sitting and have him cured," i.e., compensate him for his loss of time and the cost of recovery. This certainly implies, on the one hand, that if the man died upon his bed, the injury was to be punished with death, according to Exodus 21:12; and on the other hand, that if he died after getting up and going out, no further punishment was to be inflicted for the injury done.
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