Previous Next

Table of Contents


Manslayer, one who kills another unintentionally, and is thus distinguished from a murderer, who kills with malice aforethought. The cases of manslaughter mentioned in Scripture appear to be a sufficient indication of the intention of the lawgiver.

1. Death by a blow in a sudden quarrel. Num. 35:22. 2. Death by a stone or missile thrown at random. Ibid., 22, 23. 3. By the blade of an axe flying from its handle. Deut. 19:5. In all these and the like cases the manslayer was allowed to retire to a city of refuge. A thief overtaken at night in the act of stealing might lawfully be put to death, but if the sun had risen the killing him was to be regarded as murder. Ex. 22:2, 8.