XXVIII. (150) The law expressly enjoins that it shall not be lawful to take any ransom from murderers who ought to be put to death, for the purpose of lessening their punishment, or substituting banishment for death. For blood must be atoned for by blood, the blood of him who has been treacherously slain by that of him who has slain him. (151) Since men of wicked dispositions are never wearied of offending, but are always committing atrocious actions in the excess of their wickedness, and increasing their iniquities, and extending them beyond all bounds or limits. For the lawgiver would, if it had been in his power, have condemned those men to ten thousand deaths. But since this was not possible, he prescribed another punishment for them, commanding those who had slain a man to be hanged upon a tree. (152) And after having established this ordinance he returned again to his natural humanity, treating with mercy even those who had behaved unmercifully towards others, and he pronounced, “Let not the sun set upon persons hanging on a Tree;”{14}{#de 21:23.} but let them be buried under the earth and be concealed from sight before sunset. For it was necessary to raise up on high all those who were enemies to every part of the world, so as to show most evidently to the sun, and to the heaven, and to the air, and to the water, and to the earth, that they had been chastised; and after that it was proper to remove them into the region of the dead, and to bury them, in order to prevent their polluting the things upon the earth.

XXIX. (153) Moreover, there is this further commandment given with great propriety, that the fathers are not to die in behalf of their sons, nor the sons in behalf of their parents, but that every one who has done things worthy of death is to be put to death by himself alone. And this commandment is established because of those persons who set might above right, and also for the sake of those who are too affectionate; (154) for these last, out of their extraordinary and extravagant good will, will be often willing cheerfully to die for others, the innocent thus giving themselves up for the guilty, and thinking it a great gain not to see them punished; or else sons giving themselves up for their fathers in the idea that, if deprived of them they would for the future live a miserable life, more grievous than any kind of death. (155) But to such persons one must say, “This your good-will is out of season.” And all things which are out of season are very properly blamed, just as things that are done seasonably are praised on that account. Moreover, it is right to love those who do actions worthy to attract love. But no wicked man can be really a friend to any one. And wickedness alienates relations, and even those who are the most attached of relations, when men violate all the principles of justice. For the agreement as to principles of injustice and as to the other virtues, is a closer tie than relationship by blood; and if any one violates such an agreement, he is set down not only as a stranger and a foreigner, but even as an irreconcilable enemy. (156) “Why then do you pervert and misapply the name of good-will which is a most excellent and humane one, and conceal the truth, exhibiting as a veil an effeminate and womanly disposition? For are not those person womanly in whose minds reason is overcome by compassion? And you do this in order to effect a double iniquity, delivering the guilty from punishment, and thinking it fair to punish yourselves, who are blameable in no respect whatever, instead of them.”