Moses went through the difference between manslaughter and murder again, as well as the rules for the cities of refuge, that there needed to be three witnesses to convict a person, and that it was wrong to move boundary markers.
God told Moses that the other tribes were supposed to collectively give the Levites 48 cities with farm land. Six of these cities were to be the cities of refuge where those guilty of manslaughter (i.e. the accidental or unintentional killing of another person) could flee for sanctuary. Three of them were to be in Gilead and its environs and the other three across the Jordan in Canaan.
Then God was all, that didn’t take as long as I thought it might, so let’s start getting into some of the other rules I have for you guys. First I want to make some rules about owning slaves.
First, a Hebrew man will only serve six years as a slave and will be freed in the seventh. If he was married when he became a slave, then his wife and kids will go free with him, but if he got married while he was your property, then his wife and kids remain your property and not his. If the Hebrew man really likes his wife and kids and wants to stay with them, then he can relinquish his freedom. You will pierce his ear on your doorway, and then the man will be your slave for life.
However, if you buy a girl as a slave from her father or other male relative, then there are different rules. If you buy her as your intended sex slave, but she doesn’t please you, you can’t sell her to foreigners or anything. You have to give her father the chance to buy her back. Also, if you have more than one wife/concubine, you can’t neglect any of them, but must provide each with enough food, clothing and regular sex, even if you get bored with her. If you don’t, then the neglected one will get to go free.
If you bought the girl to give to your son, then you must treat her as a daughter.
If a man beats his slave to death, it’s ok, because it’s his slave.
If someone irreparably damages a slave’s eye or knocks out his tooth, then the slave gets to go free because of the damage.
Ok, onto some rules about murder and fighting. If someone kills someone else, then the murderer will be executed. However, if the murder was an accident or was unpremeditated, then the killer can flee to the safety of one of the sanctuary cities I will establish later.
If a person hits, or even just curses at, one of his or her parents, then that person will be executed.
If two men get into a fight and one hits the other hard enough to injure him so that he is laid up for a few days, but the injured party gets better, then the injurer will pay the injured for the loss of his time and his doctor’s bills.
If two men are fighting and one of them accidentally hits a pregnant woman so that she goes into premature labor, but the child lives and is healthy, then the one who hit her will be fined according the the judgment of the judges and her husband. But if the child dies or is injured, then invoke lex talionis (eye for an eye…)
If someone steals a person and sells him or her into slavery, then the thief will be executed
Hmmmm. what haven’t we covered, Moses? Animals can be violent too, so let’s discuss that a bit.
If an ox gores a person to death, the ox will be stoned to death and left out in the wilderness to rot, but its owner won’t be liable for damages. However if the ox had a reputation for violence and then kills someone, then not only will you stone the animal as directed above, but you will also execute the owner. Unless he pays a ransom for his own life. That’s ok too…..Oh, but if the person that got killed was a slave, then the ox still gets killed, but the owner only has to pay the slave’s owner 30 shekels of silver.
If two men’s oxen fight and one dies, then the men will sell the living ox and split the profits. However, if the killer ox had a reputation for violence, then the men swap oxen, so that the one whose ox died gets to keep the violent live ox and the neglectful owner is stuck with a dead ox.
Speaking of dead animals, if someone digs a pit, and then someone else’s animal falls into it and dies, then the pit digger will have to buy the dead animal from its owner….