Verse 33. "And if a man shall open a pit, or-dig a pit" - That is, if a man shall open a well or cistern that had been before closed up, or dig a new one; for these two cases are plainly intimated: and if he did this in some public place where there was danger that men or cattle might fall into it; for a man might do as he pleased in his own grounds, as those were his private right. In the above case, if he had neglected to cover the pit, and his neighbour's ox or ass was killed by falling into it, he was to pay its value in money. ver. 33 and ver. 34 seem to be out of their places.
They probably should conclude the chapters, as, where they are, they interrupt the statutes concerning the goring ox, which begin at ver. 28.
THESE different regulations are as remarkable for their justice and prudence as for their humanity. Their great tendency is to show the valuableness of human life, and the necessity of having peace and good understanding in every neighbourhood; and they possess that quality which should be the object of all good and wholesome laws-the prevention of crimes. Most criminal codes of jurisprudence seem more intent on the punishment of crimes than on preventing the commission of them. The law of God always teaches and warns, that his creatures may not fall into condemnation; for judgment is his strange work, i.e., one reluctantly and seldom executed, as this text is frequently understood.