Lex Talionis in Exod 21:22–25:- Its Origin and Context

  • Yung Suk Kim


Was the biblical lex talionis to be applied by equal retribution or in a figurative sense? What was its origin? How or for what purpose was the lex talionis practiced in ancient Israelite life? This article argues that lex talionis in Exod 21:22-25 should be understood figuratively in the ancient village life context and that the development of the lex talionis should be understood as a complex process, depending on the corresponding social, economic structure of the time. Comparative considerations between the lex talionis in Exod 21:22-25 and other relevant ANE texts are advanced.