Leviticus 22:28

Leviticus 22:28

And [whether it be] cow or ewe
Or "an ox or sheep" F6, for this law, as Aben Ezra says, respects both male and female, and neither the one nor the other with their young might be slain; though Jarchi says, the custom is concerning the female, for it is forbidden to slay the dam and its son, or daughter; but it is not the custom concerning males, wherefore it is lawful to slay the father and the son: ye shall not kill it and her young both in one day;
or, "it and its son" F7, the young, whether of a cow or ewe, and whether it be male or female; though Gersom observes, that this law takes place only in the dam and its female young, and not in the father and the son; for it is not manifest, in many animals, who is their father, wherefore he is not guilty of stripes, if the father and his son are slain in one day, even though it is known it is its father: the reason of the law seems to be, to encourage mercy and pity, and to discourage cruelty: hence the Targum of Jonathan is,

``and my people, the children of Israel, as our Father is merciful in heaven, so be ye merciful on earth: a cow, or a sheep''

FOOTNOTES:

F6 (hv wa rwv) "bovem vel pecus", Pagninus, Montanus
F7 (wnb taw wta) "ipsum et filium ejus", Pagninus, Montanus
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