ואך את דמכם. אַעַ"פִּ שֶׁהִתַּרְתִּי לָכֶם נְטִילַת נְשָׁמָה בַּבְּהֵמָה, אֶת דִּמְכֶם אֶדְרֹשׁ מֵהַשּׁוֹפֵךְ דַּם עַצְמוֹ:
ואך את דמכם HOWEVER YOUR BLOOD — Although I have permitted you to take the life of cattle yet your blood I will surely require from him amongst you who sheds his own blood (see Bava Kamma 91b).
לנפשתיכם. אַף הַחוֹנֵק עַצְמוֹ, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא יָצָא מִמֶּנּוּ דָם:
לנפשותיכם YOUR LIFE — Even though one strangles himself (Genesis Rabbah 34:13) so that no blood flows from him yet I will require it from him.
מיד כל חיה. לְפִי שֶׁחָטְאוּ דוֹר הַמַּבּוּל וְהֻפְקְרוּ לְמַאֲכַל חַיּוֹת רָעוֹת לִשְׁלֹט בָּהֶן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר נִמְשַׁל כַּבְּהֵמוֹת נִדְמוּ (תהלים מ"ט), לְפִיכָךְ הֻצְרַךְ לְהַזְהִיר עֲלֵיהֶן אֶת הַחַיּוֹת:
מיד כל חיה AT THE HAND OF EVERY BEAST — Because the generation of the Flood sinned and they were therefore freely exposed to become food for wild beasts which would have power over them — as it is said (Psalms 49:21), “He is ruled over by wild beasts like the beasts that perish” (these being the prey of other animals) (Shabbat 151b) — it was therefore necessary to proclaim a punishment against wild animals on their account.
ומיד האדם. מִיַּד הַהוֹרֵג בְּמֵזִיד וְאֵין עֵדִים, אֲנִי אֶדְרֹשׁ:
ומיד האדם AT THE HAND OF MAN — At the hand of one who kills with premeditation, when there are no witnesses to the murder, will “I” require it.
מיד איש אחיו. שֶׁהוּא אוֹהֵב לוֹ כְאָח וְהָרַג שׁוֹגֵג, אֲנִי אֶדְרֹשׁ אִם לֹא יִגְלֶה וִיבַקֵּשׁ עַל עֲוֹנוֹ לִמָּחֵל, שֶׁאַף הַשּׁוֹגֵג צָרִיךְ כַּפָּרָה, וְאִם אֵין עֵדִים לְחַיְּבוֹ גָלוּת וְהוּא אֵינוֹ נִכְנָע, הַקָּבָּ"ה דוֹרֵש מִמֶּנוּ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁדָּרְשוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ "וְהָאֱלֹהִים אִנָּה לְיָדוֹ" – בְּמַסֶּכֶת מַכּוֹת – הַקָּבָּ"ה מְזַמְּנָן לְפֻנְדָּק אֶחָד וְכוּ':
מיד איש אחיו AT THE HAND OF EVERY MAN’S BROTHER — At the hand of a man who loves him like a brother and slays him accidentally will “I” require it, unless he go into banishment (in one of the Cities of Refuge) and pray for forgiveness for his iniquity. For even one who kills another by accident needs atonement: therefore if there are no witnesses to the deed to make him liable to banishment and he does not humble himself, the Holy One, blessed be He, will require it of him, just as our Rabbis explain the text, (Exodus 21:13) ‘‘But God causes it to come to hand”, in Treatise Makkot (Makkot 10b): The Holy One, blessed be He, causes them (the man who killed by accident and had not expiated the murder and the man who killed with premeditation) to meet at the same inn. The former in ascending a ladder falls upon the latter and kills him and has therefore — the accident having been seen by men — to go to banishment.