“But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life …” (v23). Beyond the ten commandments, the Mosaic Law provided a guideline for community life. The laws were similar to other Mideastern cultures of the time, and they attempted to limit the damage done by sinful humans (bad treatment of servants, buying and selling the poor, violence, theft, negligence, etc). Rather than let the richest and strongest dominate everyone else, the law reminded people that they all had obligations and responsibilities.
“He shall let the slave go free” (v21,22). In a primitive era, the Mosaic Law insisted that human life (servants, slaves, citizens) was precious, and we all answer to the same Master (Eph 6:9).