Genesis 9:5

Genesis 9:5

And surely your blood of your lives will I require
Or "for surely your blood" F15; and so is a reason of the preceding law, to teach men not to shed human blood; or though, "surely your blood", as Jarchi and Aben Ezra; though God had given them liberty to slay the creatures, and shed their blood, and eat them, yet he did not allow them to shed their own blood, or the blood of their fellow creatures; should they do this, he would surely make inquisition, and punish them for it:

at the hand of every beast will I require it;
should a beast kill a man, or be the instrument of shedding his blood, it should be slain for it; not by means of another beast, God so ordering it, as Aben Ezra suggests, but by the hands or order of the civil magistrate; which was to be done partly to show the great regard God has to the life of man, and partly to punish men for not taking more care of their beasts, as well as to be an example to others to be more careful, and to lessen, the number of mischievous creatures:

and at the hand of man, at the hand of every man's brother will I
require the life of man;
which may be reasonably supposed; for if it is required of a beast, and that is punished for the slaughter of a man, then much more a man himself, that is wilfully guilty of murder; and the rather, since he is by general relation a brother to the person he has murdered, which is an aggravation of his crime: or it may signify, that though he is a brother in the nearest relation, as his crime is the greater, he shall not go unpunished.


F15 (kai gar) , Sept. "enim", V. L.