Exodus 21:30 MEANING

Exodus 21:30
(30) Whatsoever is laid upon him.--Primarily, by the aggrieved relatives; but in the case of an exorbitant demand there was, no doubt, an appeal to the judges, who would then fix the amount.

Verse 30. - If there be a fine laid upon him. There can scarcely have been any circumstances under which the penalty of death would have been enforced. No neglect could bring the crime into the category of murder. It is assumed, therefore, that practically the penalty would be a fine, proportioned no doubt to the value of the life taken.

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.If there be laid on him a sum of money,.... By the decree of the judges, as Aben Ezra, or which the sanhedrim of Israel have laid upon him; if his sentence of death is commuted for a fine, with the consent of the relations of the deceased, who in such a case are willing to show mercy, and take a fine instead of the person's death; supposing it was through carelessness and negligence, and not with any ill design that he did not keep up his ox from doing damage, after he had notice:

then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatever, is laid upon him; whatever mulct or fine he is amerced with by the court, instead of the sentence of death first pronounced. Of this ransom Maimonides (q) thus writes:"the ransom is according as the judges consider what is the price (or value) of him that is slain; (i.e. according to his rank, whether a noble or common man, a free man or a servant) all is according to the estimation of him that is slain.--To whom do they give the ransom? to the heirs of the slain; and if a woman is killed, the ransom is given to the heirs of her father's (family), and not to her husband.''

(q) Hilchot Niske Mammon, c. 11. sect. 1, 2.

Courtesy of Open Bible