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In Exo. 21:33-34, the word for "pit" can also mean well, cistern, or any other cavity dug into the earth. Such were not to be left uncovered. If a man leaves his well or pit open, and an animal falls into it, he is liable. Double restitution is not owed, as in the case of theft (Exo. 22:4), but simple compensation. He is to make the situation whole or right by paying for the animal, and the carcass (valuable for the hide, but not for the meat since it died by itself, Deut. 14:21) becomes his.
- James Jordan, The Law of the Covenant 129 (1984), at http://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/: HTML, DjVu.