Chapter

Agricultural Delicts

Bernard S. Jackson

in Wisdom-Laws

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780198269311
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683596 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269311.003.0010
Agricultural Delicts

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Between the two Exodus passages on the goring ox, the first dealing with the homicidal and the second with the bovicidal variety, we find a law dealing with harm resulting from a pit. Philo and Josephus both assume that a water pit is involved here, and give credible accounts of the realia involved. In depasturation, the delict certainly includes wilful sending of the animal into the non-permitted field. In the fire delict, however, there is no suggestion that the damage was caused wilfully, although the lighting of the fire was certainly intentional. One cannot infer from this that strict liability attached to everyone who in all circumstances started a fire. The context of the agricultural delict has to be borne in mind. Damage from both depasturation and fire — and, one might add, from the pit — occur in the context of normal agricultural activities. It may be that the action of starting a fire is inherently less blameworthy than that of sending one's cattle into an unauthorised field.

Keywords: harm; pit; depasturation; fire; agricultural delict; liability; damage

Chapter.  10200 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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