I'm asking about the interpretation of Exodus 21:22-25 as a Christian who talks about abortion policies etc. In my reading of the passage, I tend to interpret it that the expectation of the passage is that the baby likely doesn't live (because of primitive health care) and the monetary fine covers damages because in ancient times children were considered a form of property etc. And the "eye for an eye" aspects of the later passage speak to the issue of the mother if she is hurt or dies from the assault. Anyway what do you think of that interpretation? How do Orthodox rabbis interpret it? Thanks!


1 Answer 1


The verse comes to teach that the embryo is "money" of the husband. there is no link to abortion policies. In Mechilta DeRabbi Yishmael, and that there is no death penalty until he kills a man who is already Ben Kayama, who can live.

Masechta deNezikin Parsha 9:

ומה תלמוד לומר וכי ינצו? לפי שהוא אומר: ואיש כי יכה כל נפש אדם. שומע אני אף בן שמונה?! תלמוד לומר: וכי ינצו אנשים, מגיד שאינו חייב עד שיהרוג בן של קיימא.‏

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