The Pregnant Woman Victim

Bernard S. Jackson

in Wisdom-Laws

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780198269311
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683596 | DOI:
The Pregnant Woman Victim

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The talionic provisions of the Mishpatim are presented in the context of an assault on a pregnant woman which occurs in the course of a brawl in Exodus 21:22–25. There are many disputed points of interpretation. Exod. 21:22–23 deals with the following indirect consequences of a brawl: first, a miscarriage; second, the death of, and perhaps other injuries to, the mother. We have the use of an unusual term, ason, here rendered ‘harm’, which is interpreted by most commentators as referring to ‘death’, but which, if so, is a hapax legomenon in the normative sources, and one which is difficult to explain. This chapter looks at the various interpretations of ason, including those by Raymond Westbrook and Shmuel Loewenstamm. Exod. 21:22–23 presents a ‘second-order’ problem, as opposed to the more typical situations contemplated by the Mishpatim.

Keywords: Mishpatim; pregnant woman; assault; brawl; Exodus; ason; miscarriage; death; injuries; Shmuel Loewenstamm

Chapter.  18455 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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