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Public stoning points toward God’s ultimate sanction at judgment day, images the promised judgment against Satan of crushing his head (Gen. 3:15), allows the criminal his right to have final word to his witnesses and executioners, and allows the surviving victims to see God’s justice done in public. In contrast, the private, impersonal executions by the modern state corrupts the penal system. The Bible does not allow a community to delegate its covenantal responsibility to a professional, taxpayer-financed guild of faceless executioners, who inevitably grow callous and impersonal toward their awful (full of awe) task, or else grow sadistic.
- Gary North, Tools of Dominion: The Case Laws of Exodus 44-45 (1990), at www.garynorth/freebooks.com: HTML, DjVu.