"Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes." Psalm 119:12
Text: Exodus 21 : 31-32
DIFFERENT SCALES OF COMPENSATIONS
The judges of Israel would have their work cut out for them. They would have to exercise much wisdom and discretion concerning the types of compensations that would be awarded to plaintiffs.
“Whether it has gored a son or gored a daughter,
according to this judgment it shall be done to him.
If the ox gores a male or female servant, he shall give
to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.”
1. “Whether it has gored a son”
Compensation must be paid to the victim! This was a penalty that was placed upon the owner of the rogue animal.
2. “Or gored a daughter”
Daughters that are injured are to be compensated too! They were not treated as “inferior”. They were given due consideration.
3. “According to this judgment it shall be done to him”
A judgment must be made against the owner of the rogue animal. However, the quantum was not stipulated. Much probably depended on the kind of injury sustained by the victims.
4. “If the ox gores a male or female servant…”
Even servants (“slaves”) were given the full protection of the law. The owner of the rogue animal was held accountable, even if slaves were involved!
5. “He shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver”
Since the slave was injured, and he “belonged” to a master, the owner of the rogue animal must pay the fine to the latter! The master paid good money for his slave. It is only right that he be compensated according to the provision of the law!
6. “And the ox shall be stoned”
The rogue animal must be duly dealt with! If the owner of the rogue animal did not provide special enclosures for his beast, he has forfeited it. Lest there is a repeat of the same danger to other people, the judge may order that the rogue animal be put down!
The laws that God had provided for Israel were rather comprehensive. That is as it should be! Good laws must be comprehensive enough to cover many different types of scenarios. These were general laws! If exceptional situations were to occur and these laws did not cover them, these would then be brought to the Lord for special attention!