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21 Any person who takes the life of an animal is to compensate his owner for it, but any person who takes the life of another human being must be put to death. 22 This law applies to everyone equally, both native-born Israelites and outsiders. I am the Eternal One, your God.

The “law of retaliation,” as it is called, is designed to curb cruelty. It limits the kind and extent of retaliation a person can suffer when he deliberately injures another.

23 Moses told the Israelites what God had decided, so they took the man who had uttered the curse outside the camp and stoned him. The Israelites did exactly as the Eternal One had instructed Moses.

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