Monday, January 25, 2016
Studying the Laws of God: Vicious Animal Attacks
28 If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit.
An "ox" can also represent any other animal. If a dog kills a man or a woman, he should be put down. This passage requires the use of common sense.
In my younger, wilder days, I worked at a local semi-biker bar to pay the bills. Working nights gave me the opportunity to get to know many of my customers. I remember one guy that would come in at the same time every night. If he didn't show up, I got worried. But, he only drank two beers, then he would leave.
As I spoke with him, I learned that he was starting his own paint and body shop for Semi-trucks. He owned a very mean one-man dog -- a pit bull that was very territorial.
The patron would chain the dog up in the shop at night to ward off intruders. The shop was located in a very bad part of town.
One night, a man broke in and the dog broke the chain and killed the man. The next morning, the patron came to work to a very gruesome sight.
The police were called. They incarcerated the dog and set a court date. The prosecuting attorney wanted to put the dog to sleep. The judge, however, ruled that the dog "was just doing his job," and gave the dog back to his owner.
God's law does not intend for the loss of life; but, God does provide sanctuary for anyone who kills in self-defense or while protecting his family or property. The same should also be for animals who are used for service of any kind. However, just to be clear about this: God's Word does NOT make such a distinction for animals. Listening to the Holy Spirit with-in you is vital in such cases.
But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.
The dog had been chained in the shop at night behind locked doors. If the door of the shop had been left open, or the dog had been freed to roam around, the patron dog-owner would have been just as responsible for the burglar's death. He, too, should have received the death penalty had that been the case.
If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him.
Perhaps the judge should kill the patron dog-owner for his negligence, but they offer him his freedom if he is willing to pay the family five-million dollars for the loss of their loved one. If the patron can pay the restitution, then he should, by God's law, be allowed to go free.
31 Whether he have gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him.
32 If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
However, if the patron dog-owner's dog had killed one of the hired hands on the job, the judgment would have been different. The reason for this is that the hired hand knew about the dog, and was trained to be aware of the dangers. The patron would still have to pay restitution, but the punishment is not as steep. According to the verses, an amount equal to today's worth would have put the patron paying about $3,840.00 for the loss of his helper.
It's amazing how job-related accidents today pay much more sometimes to the families, yet this is what God recommends for payment.