One of my professors at Cleveland State University told us one day in a class on the Old Testament...."Never take the text out of context." His words could not ring more true today. There is a tendancy, I believe, to say....'the bible says __________.' And once that someone establishes that the bible says _______ it all must be true. Looking into the more specific laws that honor others, we need to be careful how we hear what the bible does say.
Immediately if we read these laws out of context and institute them, everyone dies (insert your favorite game of thrones connection here). In not so far off history, some priests were have known to give advice to husbands on beating their wives with a stick no wider than their own thumbs (hence the rule of thumb), awful! Yet God has specific standards for how we treat (and mistreat) one another.
the punishment must match the injury: a life for a life, 24 an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, 25 a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.
this is one of the most quoted verses in scripture. Yet Jesus says
38 “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. 40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. 41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. 42 Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow. - MATTHEW 5:38-42
Context is everything, the scripture in Exodus reminds us that God is interested in the provisions of all people and when violence causes them to lose their livlihood God expects compensation to them. Again, these are the laws that honor others and was the expectation of upholding these laws within the community. Whew!
Remember, the bible says.....a lot!