The penalties inflicted in ancient times for various crimes and offences, varied in different nations, and at different times. Capital punishment for murder is generally agreed to have been permanently instituted at the origin of the human race; and Cain was only saved from it by a special interposition of God, Genesis 4:14-15. It was reenacted, with reasons, after the deluge, Genesis 9:5-6, and in the wilderness, Numbers 35:9-34; and was early and widely recognized among mankind.
The mode of capital punishment usual among the Hebrew was stoning, Deuteronomy 13:9-10 Joshua 17:18 John 8:7; but various other modes became known to them by intercourse with other nations: as decapitation, 2 Kings 10:6-8 Matthew 14:8-12; precipitation from rocks, 2 Chronicles 25:12 Luke 4:29; hanging, Joshua 8:29 Esther 7:10; burning, Daniel 3:1-30; cutting asunder, Daniel 2:5 3:29 Hebrews 11:27; beating, on a wheel-like frame, Hebrews 11:35; exposure to wild beasts, Daniel 6:1-28 1 Corinthians 15:32; drowning, Matthew 18:6; bruising in a mortar, Proverbs 27:22; and crucifixion, John 19:18. Minor punishments were scourging, Leviticus 19:20 2 Corinthians 11:24; retaliation in kind for an injury done, Exodus 21:23-25 Deuteronomy 19:19; imprisonment, 2 Chronicles 16:10 Matthew 4:12; the stocks, Acts 16:24; banishment, Revelation 1:9; and personal torture, 2 Chronicles 18:26 Isaiah 50:6 Matthew 18:30 Hebrews 11:37.