Exodus 21:22

Hebrew Bible

22 “If men fight and hit a pregnant woman and her child is born prematurely, but there is no serious injury, the one who hit her will surely be punished in accordance with what the woman’s husband demands of him, and he will pay what the court decides. 23 But if there is serious injury, then you will give a life for a life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

LXX Exodus 21:22


22 And if two men strive and smite a woman with child, and her child be born imperfectly formed, he shall be forced to pay a penalty: as the woman's husband may lay upon him, he shall pay with a valuation. 23 But if it be perfectly formed, he shall give life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

 Notes and References

"... This law comes in the midst of a series of statutes concerned with HabiHty for personal injury. This particular case involves a pregnant woman, apparently an innocent bystander at a fight, who is struck by one of the fighters in such a way that she miscarries.' The translation is an attempt to duplicate some of the difficulties of the law as it appears in the traditional Hebrew text. And difficulties there certainly are. What, for example, does the text mean by saying 'and there is no mishap' when the case itself describes a mishap? Apparently, the mishap mentioned refers to something other than, still more severe than, a miscarriage. Or is it the case that the 'mishap' applies to some kinds of miscarriages but not all? Then there is the apparent contradiction in the penalty described when there is no "mishap" ... The Septuagint's interpretation (for it has apparently deviated from direct translation here) holds that the 'mishap' in question is the death of a baby at a relatively advanced state of development, that is, one that was 'fully formed' in the womb. If the accident happens before the baby is fully formed, then the guilty party is merely fined; but if the baby is fully formed, then the man who struck her is liable to the death penalty. Among other things, this interpretation seems to imply that the unformed fetus is not yet a "soul" for whom the principle of "a soul for a soul" may be implied ..."

Kugel, James L. The Bible as it Was (p. 396) Harvard University Press, 1998

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