Vol.VIII No.XII Pg.1
February 1972

The Ox Law

Robert F. Turner

And if an ox gore a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be surely stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. But if the ox was wont to gore in time past, and it hath been testified to its owner, and he hath not kept it in, but it hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. (Ex. 21: 28-29)

The Old Testament OX Law emph- asizes the responsibility of those who own, promote or control that which has great potential. The danger in that which is powerful is not a valid argument against growth, but we have a responsibility to others to control that power. Should our ox inadvertently gore, the ox shall be stoned. but we are free. We must take no profit (flesh) from that proven evil.

But some things show a tendency to go astray — their history is a record of bloody warnings; and when it hath been testified that our pet ox was wont to gore. what then? Shall we ridicule him who warns as a self-appointed watchman lacking in love?

There are poorly informed, over-zealous watchmen, but there are far more willfully ignorant people. History may be abused and the fallacy of generalization may lead us to false conclusions; but he is foolish indeed who ignores the records. In the absence of fore-sight, we must use all available hind-sight to profit.

Why would anyone, made aware of a proven danger, fail to curb this ox? Two most obvious reasons are selfish pride and indifference to others. One may contend the end justifies the means, but his plea is smothered in the decree of divine justice. While he boasts of the good done, the Lord is looking at the remains of his neighbor, impaled upon the cruel horn of his instrument for doing. (Rom. 3:8)


God shall destroy the instrument for wrong-doing, but He will not stop there. God shall not hold guiltless those who ignore valid warnings, and promote, encourage and profit by that which was wont to gore. Brother, have you an ox that needs corralling?