Exodus 21–23: An Eye for an Eye, and a Tooth for a Tooth

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 51

Exodus 21–23 contains specific, case-by-case applications of God’s laws. For example, “thou shalt not kill” is one of the Ten Commandments, but what if you hurt someone badly? Or what if you kill an animal versus a human? Exodus 21–23 discusses many of these kinds of questions and also describes the punishment that may come from breaking a commandment. The punishments given are the maximum penalty for a violation and are not necessarily automatic. This Old Testament principle was replaced by the gospel of Jesus Christ (see Matthew 5:38–48).