22 If two men are fighting with each other and happen to hit a pregnant woman during the quarrel causing her to give birth prematurely (but no other harm is done), then the one who hit her must pay whatever fine the judges determine based upon the amount demanded by the woman’s husband.
23 But if any further harm comes, then the standard for the punishment is reciprocal justice: a life for a life, 24 an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,[a] a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, 25 a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.
26 If anyone hits one of his slaves (male or female) in the eye and blinds him in that eye, then the master is to free the slave to compensate for the loss of the eye. 27 If anyone hits one of his slaves (male or female) and knocks out a tooth, then the master is to free the slave to compensate for the loss of the tooth.
28 If a bull gores a man or woman and the injury leads to the victim’s death, then the bull must be put to death by stoning. No one is allowed to eat the bull meat, and the owner of the bull has no further liability. 29 But if a bull has gored people before and its owner is aware of the problem but has not confined it, and if that bull kills a man or woman, then the bull must be stoned and the owner must also be put to death.
30 There is an exception. If the relatives of the dead demand money instead of his life, then the owner of the bull may redeem his life in exchange for whatever is required of him. 31 The same rule applies whether the bull gores someone’s son or daughter. 32 If the bull gores a slave (male or female), then the owner of the bull is to give the dead slave’s master 12 ounces of silver, and the bull must be stoned.
33 If someone uncovers an old pit or digs a new pit and leaves it uncovered, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 then the person who owns the pit will be held responsible and must compensate the owner for the full cost of the animal; but the dead animal at the bottom of the pit belongs to the man who owns it.
35 If a person’s bull injures another’s bull and it dies, then together they must sell the living bull and split the money equally; they must also divide the dead bull equally. 36 Now if the bull already has a reputation for goring and the owner has not confined it, then the owner of the living bull must pay a healthy bull for the dead one, but he may keep the dead bull for himself.
22 Eternal One: If someone steals an ox or a sheep and either kills or sells it for profit, then he must pay five oxen for the one ox he stole or four sheep for the one sheep he stole. 4 But if the stolen animal—the ox or donkey or sheep—is still alive and in his possession when he is caught, then the thief must pay the owner double. 3b A thief must make restitution for what he has taken. If he has no means of doing so, he must be sold to pay for his theft.
2 If a person attacks a thief in the act of breaking into his house and the thief is killed during the attack, then the homeowner is innocent of blood guilt. 3a It is different if the sun has already risen; so any homeowner who kills a thief during the day must be considered guilty of bloodshed.[b]
The difference between these two situations is the difference between daylight and dark. If a homeowner is protecting his property at night and injures a thief, it is to be treated as a case of self-defense. But if the crime takes place during the light of day, it is not necessary to incapacitate or capture the thief; it is necessary only to recognize the thief and bear truthful witness against him in court. The right to personal property does not eclipse the right to life.
Eternal One: 5 If someone allows his animals to graze a field or vineyard until it is bare and then lets his animals wander over onto a neighbor’s field, then he must compensate his neighbor from the very best of his field and vineyard.
6 If someone starts a fire and the fire spreads and sets the thorn bushes ablaze, and eventually that fire burns up stacks of harvested grain and everything growing in the fields, then the person who started the fire is responsible and must pay reparations for what was lost.
7 If someone gives his neighbor money or items to keep for him and it is stolen from his neighbor’s house, then if the thief is captured, he must pay double for what he stole. 8 If the thief is not found, then the person who owned the house that was burglarized must go stand before God’s presence so that He can decide whether he is the one who stole the property.
9 Whenever there is a breach of trust—regarding an ox, a donkey, a lamb, a piece of clothing, or any lost item—and the contested item is discovered in the possession of a neighbor and claimed by two different parties, then both sides must appear before God. If God finds the neighbor guilty, he must pay double for what he stole.
10 If someone leaves a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any other kind of livestock in his friend’s keeping, and the animal dies or is injured or disappears while no one is watching, 11 then the two are to make an oath in the presence of the Eternal. The neighbor must swear he had nothing to do with the loss of the animal, and the owner of the animal must accept his statement and not demand any compensation for the loss.
12 But if the animal was stolen while in his neighbor’s care, then the neighbor must compensate the owner. 13 If it was torn to pieces by another animal, then the neighbor may use the remains as evidence, and not have to pay any compensation for the torn animal.
14 If someone borrows an animal from a neighbor and it is harmed or dies while not in the possession of the owner, then the borrower must compensate the owner in full. 15 But if the owner was there when the animal dies or is harmed, then no compensation is required. If the animal has been rented and not borrowed, then the rental fee paid shall cover the loss of the animal.
The owner who rents the animal must calculate the risk of losing the animal when he assesses the rental fee.
16 If a man entices a virgin who is not promised to another man to have sex with him, then he must pay her father the bride-price and marry her. 17 If the young woman’s father refuses the marriage offer because he disapproves of the man, then the man still must pay the amount of money that is customary for the bride-price for virgins.
18 You are not to allow a sorceress to live.
19 Anyone who has sex with an animal must be put to death.
20 Anyone who dares to sacrifice to any god other than the Eternal must be declared under the ban and destroyed.
21 Do not wrong or oppress any outsiders living among you, for there was a time when you lived as outsiders in the land of Egypt.
22 You must not take advantage of any widow or orphan. 23 If you do oppress them and they cry out to Me, I will certainly hear them, 24 and My wrath will be kindled. I will make sure you are slaughtered by your enemy’s sword, and your own wives and children will become widows and orphans.
25 If you loan money to any of the poor among My people, do not treat them as borrowers and act as their creditors by charging interest. 26 If your neighbor gives his coat to you as collateral, then be sure to give it back before night falls—even if he has not repaid you in full. 27 You see that coat covers his body and may be his only protection against the cold. What do you think he would sleep in? When he calls out for Me, I will hear his cry. I am kind and compassionate as you should be when a fellow Israelite is in need.
28 Do not curse the one True God or any rulers of your people.[c]
God demands respect from His people and expects His people to honor those He puts in charge.
29 You must not hold back or delay your offering from the bounty of your harvest or the juice of your vineyard.[d] Dedicate every one of your firstborn sons to Me. 30 But dedicate your livestock—your ox and sheep—to Me in sacrifice. The firstborn of your livestock may stay with its mother for the first seven days. When the eighth day arrives, give the firstborn to Me. 31 You must be holy before Me. Do not eat any animal that has been torn to pieces by wild beasts in the field. Toss its remains to the dogs.
23 Eternal One: Do not pass along a false report. Do not plot with evil people to give a false witness.
2 Even if the majority of people are doing evil, do not follow them. Also when you are called to give testimony in a dispute, do not let the crowd pressure you into perverting justice. 3 In the same way, do not side with the poor in a complaint just because he is poor.
4 If you are walking along and come across your enemy’s ox or donkey that has wandered away, then you must return it to its owner. 5 If you see the donkey of someone you know who hates you and it has fallen beneath its load, you must not leave it there. You must stop and help the donkey recover the load.
6 Do not deny justice to the poor among you in their disputes. 7 Stay far away from false accusations, and do not condemn the innocent or righteous to death. Understand this: I will not acquit those who commit such miscarriages of justice.
8 Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe can blind those who see and twist the words of those who are in the right. 9 Do not oppress an outsider. You know well what it is like to be an outsider living in a foreign land, for you were strangers once in the land of Egypt.
10 You have six years to plant your fields and harvest your crops. 11 When the seventh year arrives, let your land rest and lie fallow. Let the poor and hungry among you come and harvest the volunteer crops that spring up in your fields. Whatever is left over, the beasts may eat. Do the same thing with your vineyards and your olive groves. 12 You have six days to work. When the seventh day arrives, stop all work so that your ox and donkey can rest. When you observe the Sabbath Day, your female slave’s son and any outsider serving you have a chance to catch their breath and relax.
13 Be careful to do all that I have instructed you. Do not even acknowledge the names of other gods or let their names spill from your lips.
24 Jesus left the temple. As He was walking away, His disciples came up to Him and asked what He thought about the temple buildings.
Jesus: 2 Look around you. All of it will become rubble. I tell you this: not one stone will be left standing.
3 Later, as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately.
Disciples: We don’t understand Your predictions. Tell us, when will these things happen: When will the temple be destroyed? What will be the sign that You are returning? How will we know that the end of the age is upon us?
In this, the last of the five major sermons, Jesus focuses on prophetic and apocalyptic themes of judgment and the end times. The disciples have been listening to the prophetic judgment Jesus has issued on the religious leaders. They have images of collapsing temple buildings, of prophets pursued from town to town, of floggings, and of blood-soaked garments. They can imagine themselves blood-soaked. When will this all happen, and what does it mean?
Jesus: 4 Take care that you are not deceived. 5 For many will come in My name claiming they are the Anointed One, and many poor souls will be taken in. 6 You will hear of wars, and you will hear rumors of wars, but you should not panic. It is inevitable, this violent breaking apart of the sinful world, but remember, the wars are not the end. The end is still unfolding. 7 Nations will do battle with nations, and kingdoms will fight neighboring kingdoms, and there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 But these are not the end. These are the birth pangs, the beginning. The end is still unfolding.
9 They will hand you over to your enemies, who will torture you and then kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me. 10 And many who have followed Me and claimed to love Me and sought God’s kingdom will turn away—they will abandon the faith and betray and hate one another. 11-12 The love that they had for one another will grow cold because few will obey the law. False prophets will appear, many will be taken in by them, and the only thing that will grow is wickedness. There will be no end to the increase of wickedness. 13 But those who do not waver from our path and do not follow those false prophets—those among you will be saved. 14 And this good news of God’s kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, a testimony to all people and all nations. Then, beloved, the end, the consummation of all things, will come.
15 You will remember that the prophet Daniel predicted this—predicted the abomination that causes desolation[a]—when you see the prophesied desolation of the holy place. (Reader, take notice; it is important that you understand this.) 16 When you see this, let those in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 If you are relaxing on your rooftop one evening and the signs of the temple’s destructions come, don’t return to your house to rescue a book or a pet or a scrap of clothing. 18 If you are in the field when the great destruction begins, don’t return home for a cloak. 19 Pregnant women and nursing mothers will have the worst of it. 20 And as for you, pray that your flight to the hills will not come on the Sabbath or in the cold of winter. 21 For the tribulation will be unparalleled—hardships of a magnitude that has not been seen since creation and that will not be seen again. 22 Indeed the Lord God your merciful judge will cut this time of trial short, and this will be done for the benefit of the elect that some might indeed be saved—for no one could survive the depravity for very long.
23 I cannot say this clearly enough: during this time, someone will say to you, “Look, here is the Anointed One!” or “Aren’t you relieved? Haven’t you seen the Savior down there, around the bend, over the hill and dale?” Do not believe them. 24 False liberators and false prophets will appear, and they will know a few tricks—they will perform great miracles, and they will make great promises. If it were possible, they would even deceive God’s elect. 25 But I am warning you ahead of time: remember—do not fall for their lies or lines or promises. 26 If someone says, “He’s out there in the desert”—do not go. And if someone says, “He’s here at our house, at our table”—do not believe him. 27 When the Son of Man comes, He will be as visible as lightning in the East is visible even in the West. 28 And where the carcass is, there will always be vultures.
A song of David.
1 Give all credit to the Eternal, O heavenly creatures;
give praise to Him for His glory and power.
2 Give to the Eternal the glory due His name;
worship Him with lavish displays of sacred splendor.
3 The voice of the Eternal echoes over the great waters;
God’s magnificence roars like thunder.
The Eternal’s presence hovers over all the waters.
4 His voice explodes in great power over the earth.
His voice is both regal and grand.
5 The Eternal’s voice shatters the cedars;
His power splinters the great cedars of Lebanon.
6 He speaks, and Lebanon leaps like a young calf;
Sirion jumps like a wild, youthful ox.
7 The voice of the Eternal cuts through with flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Eternal rumbles through the wilderness
with great quakes;
He causes Kadesh to tremble.
9 The Eternal’s voice brings life from the doe’s womb;
His voice strips the forest bare,
and all the people in the temple declare, “Glory!”
10 The Eternal is enthroned over the great flood;
His reign is unending.
11 We ask You, Eternal One, to give strength to Your people;
Eternal One, bless them with the gift of peace.
People are forgetful, so we must be reminded constantly of Wisdom and her ways. We don’t always need to hear something new; often we just need to be reminded of what is true. In these proverbs wisdom is found when one not only knows what is right, but acts on that knowledge. Foolishness, on the other hand, means a lack of understanding and wrongdoing.
6 One day I was at the window of my house,
looking out through my lattice shutters,
7 And there among the usual crowd of the gullible people
I spotted a naive young man.
8 He was going down the street near the corner where she lived—that mysterious and evil woman—
taking the road that led directly to her house.
9 At the end of the day, as night approached
and darkness crept in,
10 I saw her! A woman came out to meet him.
She was dressed for temptation and devious with her affections.
11 Here’s what I know about her: she is loud and obnoxious, a rebel against what is proper and decent.
She’s always on the move—anxious to get out of the house and
12 Down the street; at times in the open,
at others lurking around every corner.
13 As I am watching them, she grabs him and kisses him,
then shamelessly tells him:
14 The Immoral Woman: It was my turn to offer a peace offering,
and today I paid my vows,
15 So now I come to see you.
I really want to be with you, and what luck! I have found you!
16 You’ll be impressed. I have decorated my couch,
laid colorful Egyptian linens over where we will be together,
17 And perfumed the bed with exotic oils and herbs:
myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come in, and we will feast on love until sunrise;
we will delight ourselves in our affections.
19 You don’t need to worry; my husband is long gone by now,
away from home on a distant journey.
20 He took a bag of money with him,
so I don’t expect him home until next month.
21 It worked! She enticed him with seductive words,
seduced him with her smooth talk.
22 Right away he followed her home.
He followed her like a bull being led to the slaughter,
Like a fool[a] caught in a trap
23 (that is, until an arrow punctures his liver),
Like a bird flying straight into a net.
He had no clue his life was at stake; everything was about to change.
- 7:22 Some manuscripts read “deer.”