I was reading Exodus the other day. Right in the middle of a bunch of rules about what should happen to people who beat up other people there’s this little passage:
When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (Exodus 21:22-25)
Observation one – this is a pretty standard go-to verse to demonstrate that the Bible is pro-life. The whole idea of ‘eye for eye, tooth for tooth’ is within the context of harming the unborn. Interesting.
Observation two – this is the only bit in the passage which involves men ‘striving together’ – each other one is just ‘if someone…’, which is interesting, isn’t it?
Observation three – if the unborn child is not harmed, the one who chooses the punishment is the woman’s husband, the child’s father. In other words, the punishment will be chosen by an angry man.
Observation four – this is all about Jesus. The Son of God came to earth, and men strove (is that a word?) together to kill him; humanity killed him – guilty as charged – but although we should pay life for life, what we receive by faith in him is new life for old life!
That’s the Great Exchange – that’s amazing grace!