Biblical Principle #264: Laws for Injuries and Damages Suffered

Biblical Principles List


The Law of Moses prescribed economic remedies for specific situations involving injury or damage.


The Law of Moses covered the following scenarios in this category:

Open Pits

33 “If a man opens a pit, or digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the owner of the pit shall make it good; he shall give money to their owner, but the dead animal shall be his.

Exodus 21:33-34 OSB

Fire Damage

6 “‘And if a fire breaks out and finds thorny plants and ignites a threshing floor or stacked grain or a field, the one who lit the fire shall give compensation.

Exodus 22:6 LES

Crops Damaged by Animals

5 “‘And if a person puts a flock out to graze in a field or a vineyard and lets his livestock loose to graze in another’s field, he shall make compensation from his field according to his own produce. And if he causes his flock to feed upon the whole field, he shall make compensation from the very best of his field and the very best of his vineyard.

Exodus 22:5 LES

Bull Goring a Person

28 “If a bull gores a man or a woman to death, then the bull shall surely be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the bull shall be acquitted. 29 But if the bull tended to gore in times past, and it was made known to its owner, but he did not keep it confined, and it killed a man or a woman, the bull shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. 30 But if a sum of money is imposed on him, then he shall pay the amount imposed so as to redeem his life. 31 If a bull gores a son or daughter, it shall be done to him according to this ordinance. 32 If a bull gores a male or female servant, he shall pay their lord thirty shekels of silver, and the bull shall be stoned.

Exodus 21:28-32 OSB

This is the concept of being charged with a crime, by the way. This is precisely how the modern legal system works. (Think about it: How do cases settle outside of court? They agree to a settlement payment. Want out of jail? Post bail payment. It’s all about money.)

Price for Killing an Animal

18 Whoever strikes an animal and it dies, let him compensate life for life.

Leviticus 24:18 OSB

Prevention of Injury

8 “If you should build a new house, then you shall make a railing for your house, that you may not be guilty of manslaughter in your own house, if anyone happen to fall from it.

Deuteronomy 22:8 OSB

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