Exodus 21:34
The owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money to the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(34) The dead beast shall be his.—Having paid the full value of the live animal, the owner of the well was entitled to make what he could by the carcass.

21:22-36 The cases here mentioned give rules of justice then, and still in use, for deciding similar matters. We are taught by these laws, that we must be very careful to do no wrong, either directly or indirectly. If we have done wrong, we must be very willing to make it good, and be desirous that nobody may lose by us.The usual mode of protecting a well in the East was probably then, as now, by building round it a low circular wall. 30. If there be laid on him a sum of money, &c.—Blood fines are common among the Arabs as they were once general throughout the East. This is the only case where a money compensation, instead of capital punishment, was expressly allowed in the Mosaic law. The owner of the pit, i.e. he by whose hand or command it was made,

shall give money equal to the worth of the dead beast, in the opinion of the judge. The owner of the pit shall make it good,.... Repair the loss of the ox or ass:

and give the money unto the owner of them: the price of them, what they are worth: the Targum of Jonathan is,"the owner of the pit shall pay the silver, he shall return to its owner the price of the ox or ass:"

and the dead beast shall be his; either the owner of the pit; who pays the full value for the ox or ass killed, which seems but reasonable; or"the injured person as Jarchi, for he says, they reckon or estimate the carcass, and he takes it for the price;''that is, for part of the price it is valued at.

The owner of the pit shall {y} make it good, and give money unto the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his.

(y) This law forbids not only to hurt, but to beware lest any be hurt.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
34. Having paid the value of the dead animal to the owner, he is naturally at liberty to keep the carcase himself. The carcase would be of value for its hide: but though ‘that which died of itself’ was forbidden later as food (Deuteronomy 14:21; cf. Leviticus 17:15 f. P), this may not have been the case at the time when the present code of laws was drawn up.

money] i.e. to the value of the beast; its money (= the price of it, v. 35: כספו for כסף) would be clearer, and should perhaps be restored.Verse 34. - The owner of the pit shall make it good - i.e., "shall duly compensate the owner of the cattle for its loss." And the dead beast shall be his. Having paid the full price of the slain beast, the owner of the cistern was entitled to its carcase. The life of man is also protected against injury from cattle (cf. Genesis 9:5). "If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten;" because, as the stoning already shows, it was laden with the guilt of murder, and therefore had become unclean (cf. Numbers 35:33). The master or owner of the ox was innocent, sc., if his ox had not bee known to do so before. But if this were the case, "if his master have been warned (בּבעליו הוּעד, lit., testimony laid against its master), and notwithstanding this he have not kept it in," then the master was to be put to death, because through his carelessness in keeping the ox he had caused the death, and therefore shared the guilt. As this guilt, however, had not been incurred through an intentional crime, but had arisen simply from carelessness, he was allowed to redeem his forfeited life by the payment of expiation money (כּפר, lit., covering, expiation, cf. Exodus 30:12), "according to all that was laid upon him," sc., by the judge.
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