EJ&T: Crime and Punishment
Every Jot and Tittle: All the commandments in the Bible

Introduction

  1. Commandments about the Commandments
  2. Commandments about God
  3. Other Gods and Beliefs
  4. Holy Things and Holy Days
  5. Priests, Levites, Nazarites, and Prophets
  6. Business, Law, and Government
  7. Slavery, War, and Genocide
  8. Crime and Punishment
  9. Sex, Homosexuality, and Circumcision
  10. Marriage, Divorce, Children, and Human Life
  11. Women
  12. Animals, Agriculture, and the Environment
  13. Animal Sacrifice
  14. Health, Diet, Alcohol, Clothing, and Personal Hygiene
  15. Jesus's Commandments
  16. Just for Christians
  17. Good Rules
  18. Fortune Cookie Commandments

Maimonides's List
-248 Positive Mitzvot
-365 Negative Mitvot

List of all the commandments in the order of their occurrence in the Bible



Every Jot and Tittle: All the Commandments in the Bible



Chapter 8: Crime and Punishment

Capital punishment is by far the most common form of punishment in the Bible, with stoning or burning the favored means of execution. Capital crimes include: murder, striking or cursing a parent, witchcraft, beastiality, sacrifice to another god, adultery, sex with your father's wife, sex with your daughter in law, men who have sex with men, refusing to obey a priest or judge, false prophecy, and failure to seek the Lord.

People who must be stoned to death include: sabbath breakers, parents who sacrifice their children to Molech, wizards, people with familiar spirits, blasphemers, family and friends who try to get you to worship another god, people who worship another god, stubborn and rebellious sons, women who are not virgins on their wedding night, and women who are raped in the city and don't cry out loud enough (along with the rapist).

People who must be burned to death include: daughters of priests who play the whore, people who take the accursed thing (along with their families), and a man who marries his wife and her mother (burn all three).

Another common biblical punishment is to be "cut off." This is the punishment for being an uncircumcised male, eating leavened bread during the passover, making God's special perfume for your own purposes, eating blood, touching an unclean thing, eating leftover animal sacrifices, or having sex with a menstruating woman.

There are only a few other punishments in the Bible. Judges can have wicked people beat with forty lashes, there are various punishments for refusing to obey a king or the commandments, and a woman must have her hand cut off (without pity) if she touches the "secrets" of a man when trying to assist her husband in a fight.

There are also punishments for animals. Animals that have sex with people must be killed. And an ox that gores a person must be stoned to death.

If someone accidentally kills another person, the killer must be killed by the "revenger of blood" (the victim's nearest relative) -- unless the accidental killer can get to a city of refuge first. If so, he is safe, at least until the high priest dies. Or something like that.

There are two overall principles to Biblical justice: "an eye for an eye" and "thine eye shall not pity." These two rules produced the cruel and unusual punishments in the Biblical justice system.


People who must:
be killed
be stoned to death
be burned to death
be cut off
be beaten
killed, banished, imprisoned, and/or have goods confiscated
have their hand cut off
Animals who must be:
killed
stoned to death
Cities of Refuge
The Revenger of Blood
An eye for an eye
Thine eye shall not pity

(Numbered P and N links are to the positive and negative commandments on Maimonides's list.)

People who must be killed

  1. Kill whoever kills another person.
  2. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. Genesis 9:6

    He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death. Exodus 21:12

    If a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die. Exodus 21:14

    He that killeth any man shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 24:17

    He that killeth a man, he shall be put to death. Leviticus 24:21

    Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die. Numbers 35:30

  3. Kill children who strike their parents.
  4. He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. Exodus 21:15
    Maimonides
    N319: Don't smite your parents - Ex 21:15
    Punishment: Death by strangling

  5. Kill anyone who steals someone with the intention of selling that person as a slave.
  6. He that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death. Exodus 21:16

    If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him; then that thief shall die. Deuteronomy 24:7

  7. Kill children who curse their parents.
  8. He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. Exodus 21:17

    For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. Leviticus 20:9

    For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Matthew 15:4-6

    Maimonides
    N318: Don't curse your parents - Ex 21:17
    Punishment: Death by stoning

  9. Kill witches.
  10. Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Exodus 22:18
    Maimonides
    N310: Don't permit a sorcerer to live - Ex 22:17
    Punishment: Death

  11. Kill anyone who has sex with an animal.
  12. Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death. Exodus 22:19
    If a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 20:15
    If a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman. Leviticus 20:16

  13. Kill anyone who sacrifices to another god.
  14. He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed. Exodus 22:20

  15. Kill anyone who works on (or defiles) the Sabbath.
  16. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Exodus 31:14-15

    Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Exodus 35:2

  17. If a man has sex with another man's wife, kill them both.
  18. The man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 20:10

    If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. Deuteronomy 22:22

    Maimonides
    P227: Strangle the transgressors of certain commandments - Lev 20:10

  19. If a man has sex with his father's wife, kill them both.
  20. And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:11

  21. If a man has sex with his daughter in law, kill them both.
  22. And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:12

  23. If a man has sex with another man, they have committed an abomination. Kill them both.
  24. If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:13

  25. Kill prophets that give you a sign or a wonder.
  26. If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them ... that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death. Deuteronomy 13:1-5

  27. Kill anyone who refuses to obey a priest.
  28. And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the Lord thy God ... even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel. Deuteronomy 17:12a

  29. Kill anyone who refuses to obey a judge.
  30. And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto ... the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel. Deuteronomy 17:12b

  31. Kill false prophets.
  32. But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak ... even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously. Deuteronomy 18:20-22
    Maimonides
    N27: Don't prophesy falsely - Dt 18:20
    Punishment: Death by strangling

  33. Kill the prophets of other gods.
  34. But the prophet ... that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. Deuteronomy 18:20
    Maimonides
    N26: Don't prophesy in the name of an idol - Dt 18:20
    Punishment: Death by strangling

  35. Whoever commits a sin that is worthy of death shall be killed and hung on a tree.
  36. And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree. Deuteronomy 21:22
    Maimonides
    P230: The bodies of certain transgressors to be hanged after execution - Dt 21:22

  37. But don't let the body hang overnight.
  38. (Take the body down later in the same day and bury it.)
    His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.  Deuteronomy 21:22-23
    Maimonides
    P231: The law of burial - Dt 21:23
    N66: Don't leave the body of a criminal hanging overnight after execution - Dt 21:23

  39. Kill whoever will not seek the Lord.
  40. Whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. And they sware unto the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets. And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the LORD gave them rest round about. 2 Chronicles 15:13-15

    People who must be stoned to death

  41. Stone to death parents who sacrifice their children to Molech.
  42. Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. ... And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people. Leviticus 20:2-5

  43. Stone to death wizards.
  44. A man ... that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:27a

  45. Stone to death people with familiar spirits.
  46. A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit ... shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:27b

  47. Stone to death blasphemers.
  48. He that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death. Leviticus 24:16
    Maimonides
    N60: Don't blaspheme the great name - Lev 24:16
    Punishment: Death by stoning

  49. Stone to death anyone who gathers sticks on the Sabbath.
  50. And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses. Numbers 15:32-36

  51. If your family or friends try to get you to worship another god, stone them to death.
  52. If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth ... thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die. Deuteronomy 13:6-10

  53. Don't consent to, listen to, pity, spare, or conceal your family or friends as you stone them to death.
  54. (For trying to get you to believe in another god.)
    Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die. Deuteronomy 13:8-10
    Maimonides
    N17: Don't love the person who seeks to mislead you into idolatry - Dt 13:9
    N18: Don't relax one's aversion to the misleader - Dt 13:9
    N19: Don't save the life of a misleader - Dt 13:9
    N20: Don't plead for the misleader - Dt 13:9
    N21: Don't suppress evidence unfavorable to the misleader - Dt 13:9

  55. Stone to death anyone who worships another god.
  56. If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the Lord thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. Deuteronomy 17:2-5

  57. Stone to death stubborn and rebellious sons.
  58. If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. Deuteronomy 21:18-21

  59. Stone (and burn) to death anyone who takes the accursed thing.
  60. (Along with his family and possessions.)
    Achan ... took of the accursed thing. ... He that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan and his sons, and his daughters ... and all that he had And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones ... So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Joshua 7:1-26

    People who must be burned to death

  61. If a man "takes" a wife and her mother, burn all three.
  62. If a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they. Leviticus 20:14
    Maimonides
    P228: Burn to death the transgressors of certain commandments - Lev 20:14

  63. If the daughter of a priest plays the whore, burn her to death.
  64. And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. Leviticus 21:9

    People who must be cut off

  65. Cut off any uncircumcised male.
  66. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people. Genesis 17:14

  67. Cut off anyone who eats leavened bread during the feast of unleavened bread.
  68. Whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. Exodus 12:15

    Whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. Exodus 12:19

  69. Whoever makes any holy perfume for anyone but God will be cut off.
  70. Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people. Exodus 30:38

  71. If yout eat the flesh of a peace offering whole you have your uncleanness upon you, you will be cut off.
  72. The soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. Leviticus 7:20

  73. If you touch an unclean thing (like the uncleanness of man, or an unclean beast, or any abominable unclean thing) while eating the flesh of a peace offering, you will be cut off.
  74. The soul that shall touch any unclean thing, as the uncleanness of man, or any unclean beast, or any abominable unclean thing, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain unto the LORD, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. Leviticus 7:21

  75. Cut off anyone who eats blood.
  76. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. Leviticus 7:27

    Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off. Leviticus 17:14

  77. If you eat a peace offering on the third day after the animal is sacrificed, you will be cut off.
  78. If ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD ... if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable ... that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Leviticus 19:5-8

  79. If a man has sex with his sister or half-sister, they shall be cut off.
  80. If a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity. Leviticus 20:17

  81. If a man has sex with a menstruating woman, they shall be cut off.
  82. (Because he has discovered her fountain, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood.)
    And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people. Leviticus 20:18

  83. If you don't afflict your soul on the tenth day of the seventh month, you will be cut off.
  84. This shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls. ... Whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. Leviticus 23:27-29

  85. If you are clean and not traveling and refuse to celebrate Passover, you will be cut off from your people.
  86. But the man that is clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the passover, even the same soul shall be cut off from among his people: because he brought not the offering of the LORD in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin. Numbers 9:13

    People who must be beaten

  87. When a judge decides that someone is wicked, make him lie down and beat him with up to forty lashes.
  88. If the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee. Deuteronomy 25:2-3
    Maimonides
    P224: Whip the transgressors of certain commandments - Dt 25:2
    N300: Don't inflict excessive corporal punishment - Dt 25:2

    People who must be killed, banished, imprisoned, and/or have goods confiscated

  89. Kill, banish, imprison, and/or confiscate the goods of anyone who refuses to obey the commandments.
  90. Whosoever will not do the law of thy God ... let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart. Ezra 7:26-27

  91. Kill, banish, imprison, and/or confiscate the goods of anyone who refuses to obey the law of the king.
  92. Whosoever will not do ... the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart. Ezra 7:26-27

    People who must have their hand cut off

  93. If two men fight and the wife of one grabs the "secrets" of the other, "then thou shalt cut off her hand."
  94. When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then thou shalt cut off her hand. Deuteronomy 25:11-12a
    Maimonides
    P247: Save the life of the pursued - Dt 25:11-12
    N293: Don't spare the life of a pursuer - Dt 25:11-12
    (How Maimonides got these two commandments out of Dt 25:11-12 is one of the great mysteries of Judaism.)

  95. Don't pity the woman as you cut off her hand
  96. Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her. Deuteronomy 25:12b

    Animals that must be killed

  97. Kill any animal that has sex with a human.
  98. If a man lie with a beast ... ye shall slay the beast. And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast ... their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:15-16

    Animals that must be stoned to death

  99. If an ox gores someone to death, the ox shall be stoned.
  100. (But the owner shall not be punished - unless the ox had reputation for goring people.)
    If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned; ; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. Exodus 21:28
    Maimonides
    P237: The law of injuries caused by an ox - Ex 21:28

  101. If an ox has a reputation for goring people and its owner did nothing to restrain it, the ox shall be stoned and its owner shall be executed.
  102. 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 a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death. Exodus 21:29

  103. If the victim's family would rather have money, then the owner of the ox must pay them whatever they demand.
  104. If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him. Exodus 21:30

  105. If an ox kills a slave, stone it to death.
  106. If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant ... the ox shall be stoned. Exodus 21:32

    Cities of Refuge

  107. Make six cities of refuge (three on each side of the Jordan River), where accidental murderers can flee.
  108. Ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares. And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment. And of these cities which ye shall give six cities shall ye have for refuge. Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge. These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither. Numbers 35:11-15

    Then Moses severed three cities on this side Jordan toward the sunrising; That the slayer might flee thither, which should kill his neighbour unawares, and hated him not in times past; and that fleeing unto one of these cities he might live: Namely, Bezer in the wilderness, in the plain country, of the Reubenites; and Ramoth in Gilead, of the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, of the Manassites. Deuteronomy 4:41-43

    Thou shalt separate three cities for thee in the midst of thy land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee to possess it. Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the coasts of thy land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither. And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past; As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live: Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past. Wherefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt separate three cities for thee. And if the Lord thy God enlarge thy coast, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, and give thee all the land which he promised to give unto thy fathers; If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the Lord thy God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three: That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee. Deuteronomy 19:2-10

    The Lord also spake unto Joshua, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood. And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them. And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime. And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled. Joshua 20:1-6

    Maimonides
    P182: Establish Six Cities of Refuge - Dt 19:2-3
    N292: Don't kill a murderer without trial - Num 35:12

  109. If someone kills another person accidentally, then the congregation sends him to a city of refuge, where he shall live until the high priest dies.
  110. (If the killer leaves the city of refuge before the high priest dies, the revenger of blood can kill him.)
    But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or have cast upon him any thing without laying of wait, Or with any stone, wherewith a man may die, seeing him not, and cast it upon him, that he die, and was not his enemy, neither sought his harm: Then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the revenger of blood according to these judgments: And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the revenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge, whither he was fled: and he shall abide in it unto the death of the high priest, which was anointed with the holy oil. But if the slayer shall at any time come without the border of the city of his refuge, whither he was fled; And the revenger of blood find him without the borders of the city of his refuge, and the revenger of blood kill the slayer; he shall not be guilty of blood: Because he should have remained in the city of his refuge until the death of the high priest: but after the death of the high priest the slayer shall return into the land of his possession. Numbers 35:22-28
    Maimonides
    P225: The law of manslaughter - Num 35:25

  111. Don't accept monetary restitution for the person who has fled to the city of refuge.
  112. If you do, you will pollute the land. "The land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it."
    And ye shall take no satisfaction for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest. So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. Numbers 35:32-33
    Maimonides
    N296: Don't accept a ransom from one who has committed murder unwittingly - Num 35:32

    The Revenger of Blood

  113. Murderers must be killed by "the revenger of blood" (the victim's nearest male relative).
  114. And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. Or if he smite him with an hand weapon of wood, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him. But if he thrust him of hatred, or hurl at him by laying of wait, that he die; Or in enmity smite him with his hand, that he die: he that smote him shall surely be put to death; for he is a murderer: the revenger of blood shall slay the murderer, when he meeteth him. Numbers 35:16-21

    But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities: Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. Deuteronomy 19:11-12


    An eye for an eye

  115. If you damage another person, you will be damaged in the same way.
  116. (Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, blemish for blemish.)
    Life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. Exodus 21:23-25

    If a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again. Leviticus 24:19-20

    Life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. Deuteronomy 19:21


    Thine eye shall not pity

  117. Don't pity the person who is being punished.
  118. Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee. Deuteronomy 19:13

    And thine eye shall not pity. Deuteronomy 19:20

    Maimonides
    N279: A judge shall not pity one who has killed or caused loss of limb - Dt 29:13

See Also:

Slavery
If a thief is caught and is too poor to make full restitution, he shall be sold to pay for his theft.

Women
If a man rapes a betrothed damsel outside of the city, then kill the man but do nothing to the damsel.
If a betrothed virgin is raped in the city, stone her and the rapist to death.

Marriage
Stone to death women who are not virgins on their wedding night.


Chapter 9: Sex, Homosexuality, and Circumcision