How much is the atonement fine? The amount the judges evaluate as being the worth of the person who was killed; everything depends on his worth, as [implied by Exodus 21:30]: "And he shall give the ransom of his1 soul according to all that will be imposed upon him." The atonement fine for a servant, whether an adult or a minor, whether a male or a female, is the amount determined by the Torah: 30 selaim2 of fine3 silver. [This applies] whether the servant was worth 100 maneh4 or only one dinar. If a servant is lacking only a bill of release,5 a fine is not imposed, for he does not have a master, for he has already attained his freedom.


כַּמָּה הוּא הַכֹּפֶר. כְּמוֹ שְׁרָאוּ הַדַּיָּנִין שֶׁהוּא דְּמֵי הַנֶּהֱרָג הַכּל לְפִי שָׁוְיוֹ שֶׁל נֶהֱרָג שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כא ל) "וְנָתַן פִּדְיֹן נַפְשׁוֹ כְּכל אֲשֶׁר יוּשַׁת עָלָיו". וְכֹפֶר הָעֲבָדִים בֵּין גְּדוֹלִים בֵּין קְטַנִּים בֵּין זְכָרִים בֵּין נְקֵבוֹת הוּא הַקְּנָס הַקָּצוּב בַּתּוֹרָה שְׁלֹשִׁים סֶלַע כֶּסֶף יָפֶה בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה הָעֶבֶד שָׁוֶה מֵאָה מָנֶה בֵּין שֶׁאֵינוֹ שָׁוֶה אֶלָּא דִּינָר. וְכָל הַמְעֻכָּב גֵּט שִׁחְרוּר אֵין לוֹ קְנָס הוֹאִיל וְאֵין לוֹ אָדוֹן שֶׁהֲרֵי יָצָא לְחֵרוּת:


To whom is the atonement fine paid? To the heirs of the deceased. If a woman is killed, the atonement fine is paid to her heirs [as though she had not married], and not to her husband.6 If a person who is half a servant, and half a freed man7 is killed, half of the fine should be given to the owner, and the other half is fit to be given, but there is no one to take it.8


לְמִי נוֹתְנִין הַכֹּפֶר. לְיוֹרְשֵׁי הַנֶּהֱרָג. וְאִם הֵמִית אִשָּׁה הַכֹּפֶר לְיוֹרְשֶׁיהָ מֵאָבִיהָ וְאֵינוֹ לַבַּעַל. הֵמִית מִי שֶׁחֶצְיוֹ עֶבֶד וְחֶצְיוֹ בֶּן חוֹרִין נוֹתֵן חֲצִי קְנָס לְרַבּוֹ וְהַחֵצִי הָאַחֵר רָאוּי לִתֵּן וְאֵין מִי יִקָּחֶנּוּ:


When an ox gores a pregnant woman and causes her to miscarry, its owners are not liable for the value of the fetus. [This law applies] even when the ox is mu'ad to gore. For the obligation [stated in] the Torah to pay for the value of the fetus applies only when it is a human who causes the damages.9


שׁוֹר שֶׁנָּגַח אִשָּׁה וְיָצְאוּ יְלָדֶיהָ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא מוּעָד לִגַּח הַבְּעָלִים פְּטוּרִין מִדְּמֵי וְלָדוֹת. שֶׁלֹּא חִיְּבָה תּוֹרָה בִּדְמֵי וְלָדוֹת אֶלָּא לָאָדָם:


If, however, an ox [that is mu'ad] gores a maid-servant and causes her to miscarry, [the owner] is required to pay for the value of the fetus. For this is equivalent to having gored a pregnant donkey.10 If the ox is tam, [the owner] must pay half the value of the fetus from the body of the ox.


נָגַח שִׁפְחָה וְיָצְאוּ יְלָדֶיהָ מְשַׁלֵּם דְּמֵי וְלָדוֹת. שֶׁזֶּה כְּמִי שֶׁנָּגַח חֲמוֹר מְעֻבֶּרֶת. וְאִם הָיָה תָּם מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי דְּמֵי וְלָדוֹת מִגּוּפוֹ:


How is this sum evaluated? We assess the value of this maid-servant when she was pregnant, and how much she is worth now.11 [The owner of the ox] must pay [the owner of the maid-servant] the difference or half the difference.12 If [the ox] kills the maid-servant, [despite the fact that she is pregnant, its owner] need pay only the fine determined by the Torah, as we have explained.13


כֵּיצַד שָׁמִין אוֹתָהּ. אוֹמְדִין כַּמָּה הָיְתָה שִׁפְחָה זוֹ שָׁוָה כְּשֶׁהָיְתָה מְעֻבֶּרֶת וְכַמָּה הִיא שָׁוָה עַתָּה וְנוֹתֵן לִבְעָלֶיהָ הַפְּחָת אוֹ חֶצְיוֹ. וְאִם הֵמִית הַשִּׁפְחָה מְשַׁלֵּם הַכֹּפֶר הַקָּצוּב בַּתּוֹרָה בִּלְבַד כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


When an ox intended to gore an animal and instead gored a man, [the owner is not liable], even if the man dies, as explained.14 Nevertheless, if [the ox] injures him, [the owner of the ox] is liable for the damages.15 If the ox is tam, he should pay half the damages from the body of the ox. If it is mu'ad, he must pay the entire amount of the damages.16


שׁוֹר שֶׁנִּתְכַּוֵּן לִבְהֵמָה וְנָגַח אֶת הָאָדָם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאִם הֱמִיתוֹ פָּטוּר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ אִם חָבַל בּוֹ חַיָּב בְּנֵזֶק. וְאִם תָּם הוּא מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק מִגּוּפוֹ. וְאִם מוּעָד נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם:


When an ox that is tam kills [a man] and then causes damage,17 it is sentenced to execution, but there is no financial claim on its owners.18 If an ox that is mu'ad kills and then causes damage, the liability [resulting from the damages] is determined,19 and then it is sentenced to execution. If it is sentenced to execution first, the liability [resulting from the damages] is determined afterwards.


שׁוֹר תָּם שֶׁהֵמִית וְהִזִּיק דָּנִין אוֹתוֹ דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת וְאֵין דָּנִין אוֹתוֹ דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת. וּמוּעָד שֶׁהֵמִית וְהִזִּיק דָּנִין אוֹתוֹ דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת וְחוֹזְרִין וְדָנִין אוֹתוֹ דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת. קָדְמוּ וְדָנוּהוּ דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת תְּחִלָּה חוֹזְרִין וְדָנִין אוֹתוֹ דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת:


How is this money collected? From the profit that will accrue from the labor of the ox after it has been sentenced.20 [This step is taken] because once it is sentenced to be stoned to death, it no longer has owners who are considered liable for the damages it caused.21 If [in the above situation] it was sentenced to death and then it22 fled, no liability [resulting from the damages] is assigned.23


וּמֵהֵיכָן מִשְׁתַּלֵּם מִן הַשֶּׁבַח שֶׁהִשְׁבִּיחַ בִּרְדִיָּתוֹ אַחַר שֶׁנִּגְמַר דִּינוֹ. שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּגְמַר דִּינוֹ לִסְקִילָה אֵין לוֹ בְּעָלִים שֶׁיִּתְחַיְּבוּ בִּנְזָקָיו. דָּנוּהוּ דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת וּבָרַח אֵין דָּנִין אוֹתוֹ דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת:


When an ox killed a human, and afterwards its owner consecrates it, it is not consecrated.24 Similarly, if he declares it ownerless, it is not ownerless. If he sells it, the sale is not effective. If a watchman returns it to its owner, it is not considered to have been returned.25 If it is slaughtered, one is forbidden to benefit from its meat.26 When does the above apply? After it has already been sentenced to death. If, however, it had not been sentenced to death [different rules apply]. If its owner consecrates it, it is consecrated. If he declares it ownerless, it is ownerless. If he sells it, the sale is effective.27 If a watchman returns it to its owner, it is considered to have been returned.28 If it is slaughtered first, one is not forbidden to benefit from its meat.


שׁוֹר שֶׁהֵמִית אֶת הָאָדָם וְהִקְדִּישׁוֹ בְּעָלָיו אֵינוֹ קָדוֹשׁ. וְכֵן אִם הִפְקִירוֹ אֵינוֹ מֻפְקָר. מְכָרוֹ אֵינוֹ מָכוּר. הֶחֱזִירוֹ שׁוֹמֵר לִבְעָלָיו אֵינָהּ חֲזָרָה. שְׁחָטוֹ בְּשָׂרוֹ אָסוּר בַּהֲנָאָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים אַחַר שֶׁנִּגְמַר דִּינוֹ לִסְקִילָה. אֲבָל עַד שֶׁלֹּא נִגְמָר דִּינוֹ לִסְקִילָה אִם הִקְדִּישׁוֹ מֻקְדָּשׁ וְאִם הִפְקִירוֹ הֲרֵי הוּא מֻפְקָר. מְכָרוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מָכוּר. הֶחֱזִירוֹ שׁוֹמֵר לִבְעָלָיו הֲרֵי זֶה מֻחְזָר. וְאִם קָדַם וּשְׁחָטוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר בַּאֲכִילָה:


When an ox [that killed a human] becomes intermingled with other oxen before it was sentenced to death, they are all not held liable. [The rationale is that] just as the judgment of a human being [must be concluded in the presence of that person], so too, the judgment of the ox must be concluded in the presence of the ox.29 If an ox becomes intermingled with other oxen - even 1000 - after it was sentenced to death, they all must be stoned to death.30 It is forbidden to benefit from them, and their carcasses must be buried, as is required whenever an animal is stoned to death.31


שׁוֹר שֶׁלֹּא נִגְמַר דִּינוֹ שֶׁנִּתְעָרֵב בִּשְׁוָרִים אֲחֵרִים כֻּלָּן פְּטוּרִין לְפִי שֶׁאֵין גּוֹמְרִין דִּינוֹ שֶׁל שׁוֹר אֶלָּא בִּפְנֵי הַשּׁוֹר כְּדִין הָאָדָם. נִגְמַר דִּינוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִתְעָרֵב בַּאֲחֵרִים אֲפִלּוּ בְּאֶלֶף כֻּלָּן נִסְקָלִים וְנִקְבָּרִין וַאֲסוּרִין בַּהֲנָאָה כְּדִין בְּהֵמָה נִסְקֶלֶת:


When a pregnant cow kills a person - and similarly, all animals that were used for a sinful purpose [that requires their execution]32 - the laws that apply to it apply to its calf.33 For it and its calf gored; it and its calf were sodomized.


פָּרָה מְעֻבֶּרֶת שֶׁהֵמִיתָה אֶת הָאָדָם וְכֵן כָּל בְּהֵמָה שֶׁנֶּעֶבְדָה בָּהּ עֲבֵרָה הֲרֵי עֻבָּרָהּ כָּמוֹהָ. הִיא וְעֻבָּרָהּ נָגְחָה הִיא וְעֻבָּרָהּ נִרְבְּעָה:


[The following rules apply if a cow] gored a person to death and then became pregnant: If it became pregnant and bore a calf before it was sentenced to death, the calf is permitted.34 If it bore a calf after the sentence was delivered, the calf is forbidden, for a fetus is considered an extension35 of its mother.36 If [the calf] became intermingled with other calves, they must all be enclosed in a closed room until they die.37


נָגְחָה וְהֵמִיתָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִתְעַבְּרָה. אִם עַד שֶׁלֹּא נִגְמַר דִּינָהּ נִתְעַבְּרָה וְיָלְדָה קֹדֶם גְּמַר דִּין וְלָדָהּ מֻתָּר וְאִם יָלְדָה אַחַר גְּמַר דִּין וְלָדָהּ אָסוּר שֶׁהָעֻבָּר יֶרֶךְ אִמּוֹ הוּא. וְאִם נִתְעָרֵב וָלָד זֶה בַּאֲחֵרִים כּוֹנְסִין אֶת כֻּלָּם בְּכִפָּה עַד שֶׁיָּמוּתוּ שָׁם:


When the witnesses whose testimony caused an ox to be sentenced for execution are disqualified because they lied, whoever first takes possession of the ox acquires it as his own. [The rationale is that] once it was sentenced to death, the owners gave up their ownership of it.38 If witnesses testify that the owner [of an ox sodomized his animal] and they were disqualified because they lied, the ox remains the property of its [original] owner. Although another person drew it after him,39 he does not acquire it. [The rationale is that] since the owner knows that he did not sin, and that these are false witnesses, he was planning to have them disqualified. Therefore, he did not give up ownership [of his animal].


שׁוֹר הַנִּסְקָל שֶׁהוּזַמּוּ עֵדָיו כָּל הַקּוֹדֵם בּוֹ זָכָה שֶׁהֲרֵי מִשֶּׁנִּגְמַר דִּינוֹ הִפְקִירוּהוּ בְּעָלָיו. וְאִם הֵעִידוּ שֶׁבְּעָלָיו רִבְּעָהוּ וְהֵזִים אֶת הָעֵדִים הֲרֵי הַשּׁוֹר לִבְעָלָיו וְהַקּוֹדֵם וּמְשָׁכוֹ לֹא זָכָה בּוֹ שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁהַבַּעַל יוֹדֵעַ בְּעַצְמוֹ שֶׁלֹּא חָטָא וְשֶׁאֵלּוּ עֵדֵי שֶׁקֶר הֵם וַהֲרֵי הוּא מְיַחֵל לַהֲזִימָם לֹא הִפְקִיר: