Exodus 21:29

Exodus 21:29

But if the ox were wont to push with his horns in time past,
&c.] Or "from or before yesterday, to the third" F13 that is, three days before, and had made three pushes, as Jarchi explains it:

and it hath been testified to his owner;
by sufficient witnesses, who saw him push at people for three days past: the Targum of Jonathan is,

``and it hath been testified to the face of his owner three days.''

Concerning this testimony Maimonides F14 thus writes,

``this is a testification, all that testify of it three days; but if he pushes, or bites, or kicks, or strikes even an hundred times on one day, this is no testification (not a sufficient one): three companies of witnesses testify of it in one day, lo, this is a doubt, whether it is a (proper) testimony or not; there is no testification but before the owner, and before the sanhedrim:''

and he hath not kept him in;
in some enclosed place, house or field, not frequented by people, and where there was no danger of doing any hurt, if this care was not taken, after a proper testimony had been given of his vicious disposition. By the Roman laws F15 oxen that pushed with their horns were to have hay bound about them, that those that met them might beware of them; hence that of Horace F16: but that he hath killed a man or a woman; by pushing and goring them with his horns, or any other way, as biting or kicking:

the ox shall be stoned;
as is provided for the preceding law:

and his owner shall be put to death;
since he was accessory to the death of the person killed, not keeping in his beast, when he had sufficient notice of his vicious temper: the Targum of Jonathan, and so other Jewish writers, interpret this of death sent upon him from heaven, or death by the immediate hand of God, as sudden death, or death by some disease inflicted, or before a man is fifty years of age; but there is no doubt to be made but this intends death by the civil magistrate, according to the original law, ( Genesis 9:6 ) .


F13 (Mvlv lmtm) "ab heri et nudiustertius", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Piscator, Drusius.
F14 Hilchot Niske Mammon, c. 6. sect. 1, 2.
F15 Plutarch. in Crasso.
F16 "Foenum habet in cornu, longe fuge". Horat. Sermon. l. 1. Satyr. 4.