Exodus 21:12-21

12 “He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death. 13 “But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint you a place to which he may flee. 14 “If, however, a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbor, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die.

15 “He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

16 “He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.

17 “He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

18 “If men have a quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist, and he does not die but remains in bed, 19 if he gets up and walks around outside on his staff, then he who struck him shall go unpunished; he shall only pay for his loss of time, and shall take care of him until he is completely healed.

20 “If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. 21 “If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property.

It is a bit interesting what punishments God set forth for different crimes, especially those that are violent crimes as listed here. Particularly of interest is that if a man commits murder (not just an accidental death), it carries the same penalty as striking your father or mother: death. On the surface, that seems a bit odd, but in this, and many other things, God valued family above anything else. Your parents have done a lot more for you, and that bond is so valuable, that God didn’t want folks to even think about committing violence against their own parents.

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