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Deuteronomy 19:5  (King James Version)
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<< Deuteronomy 19:4   Deuteronomy 19:6 >>


Deuteronomy 19:5

The Bible clearly distinguishes between accidental and carelessly caused deaths. If two men are chopping down a tree, and one man's ax head flies off, striking and killing the other, there is no guilt. It was an unavoidable accident. But if a man fails to restrain an ox that has already gored someone, and it gores another and kills him, the owner is guilty of murder.

Here the commandment becomes very personal. Anyone who owns a swimming pool that is not fenced against children may find himself guilty of murder. A reckless driver may find himself in the same position as the owner of a goring ox - even worse, he is the ox!

Hundreds of people die in auto accidents, but thousands are killed by irresponsible traffic-law violators. It is an accident when a car's brakes fail without warning and someone dies; it is homicide to run a stop sign or red light with the same result. It is an accident when a child darts out into traffic and is struck; it is murderous to careen down a neighborhood street at sixty miles an hour and strike the child. An automobile can be a lethal weapon, especially when operated by someone under the influence of a drug.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Sixth Commandment (Part One) (1997)




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Deuteronomy 19:5:

Exodus 21:22-23
Numbers 35:9-28

 

<< Deuteronomy 19:4   Deuteronomy 19:6 >>



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