Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Exodus 21:29

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 28-32

The animal was slain as a tribute to the sanctity of human life (Compare the marginal references and Genesis 4:11). It was stoned, and its flesh was treated as carrion. Guilty negligence on the part of its owner was reckoned a capital offence, to be commuted for a fine.

In the case of a slave, the payment was the standard price of a slave, thirty shekels of silver. See Leviticus 25:44-46; Leviticus 27:3, and the marginal references for the New Testament application of this fact.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
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.
Ellen G. White
Temperance, 288

A Cause of Accidents—We read of steamboat disasters, and railroad accidents, and what is the matter? Somebody in many, many cases has beclouded the mind with intoxicating drink. He did not feel the weight of responsibility resting upon him. Many, many lives have been lost because somebody got drunk. Thus lives will be charged to the man that put the bottle to his neighbor's lips. Te 288.1

In olden times when a man had a vicious animal he paid for it. It says in Exodus 21:28, 29: “If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.” Te 288.2

Now we wish to carry this principle right out to those that brew the deadly poison. Here is the law that the God of heaven gave to regulate what to do with vicious animals. Christ is seeking to save, and Satan to destroy. I ask you that have reasoning powers to think on these things. The man that is intoxicated is robbed of his reason. Satan comes in and takes possession of him and imbues him with his spirit; and his first desire is to bruise or kill some of his loved ones. Yet men will allow this accursed thing to go on, that makes man lower than the beast. What has the drunkard obtained? Nothing but a madman's brain. And here the laws are such that the temptations are continually before them. Te 288.3

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 343

The man who has a vicious beast and who, knowing its disposition, allows it liberty, is by the laws of the land held accountable for the evil the beast may do. In the laws given to Israel the Lord directed that when a beast known to be vicious caused the death of a human being, the life of the owner should pay the price of his carelessness or malignity. On the same principle the government that licenses the liquor seller should be held responsible for the results of his traffic. And if it is a crime worthy of death to give liberty to a vicious beast, how much greater is the crime of sanctioning the work of the liquor seller! MH 343.1

Licenses are granted on the plea that they bring a revenue to the public treasury. But what is this revenue when compared with the enormous expense incurred for the criminals, the insane, the paupers, that are the fruit of the liquor traffic! A man under the influence of liquor commits a crime; he is brought into court; and those who legalized the traffic are forced to deal with the result of their own work. They authorized the sale of a draft that would make a sane man mad; and now it is necessary for them to send the man to prison or to the gallows, while often his wife and children are left destitute to become the charge of the community in which they live. MH 343.2

Read in context »