The Goring Ox and Negligence (Exodus 21:28–36)
This chapter examines the famous goring ox laws in the Covenant Code (Exodus 21:28–32, 35–36) and Hammurabi's Laws. It shows that the Covenant Code's revisions are part of its larger systematic revision of homicide and injury laws, as examined in Chapter 6. The Covenant Code used a law from another cuneiform source (similar to Eshnunna Law 53) to create vv. 35–36 about an ox goring an ox, and then made revision in the laws in vv. 28–32 about an ox goring a human. The requirement to stone the goring ox is part of this systematic revision and seeks to provide the victim's kin with a mechanism to vent their need for vengeance. The chapter also examines the negligence laws of vv. 33–34, showing how they either derive from a conceptual revision of Hammurabi's legislation or are based on an unknown cuneiform source.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.