Exodus Chapter 21  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Exod 21

1“Now these are the ordinances that you must set before them.

Laws about Slaves

2“If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve six years, and in the seventh he is to go out free, without paying anything.
  3If he comes in by himself, he is to go out by himself; if he is married, then his wife is to go out with him.
  4If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children will be her master‘s, and he must go out by himself.

5“But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’
  6then his master is to bring him to the judges, and will bring him to the door or to the doorpost. And his master must bore his ear through with an awl, and he will serve him forever.

7“If a man sells his daughter to be a female servant, she is not to go out as the male servants do.
  8If she does not please her master, who has married her to himself, then he must let her be redeemed. He will have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt deceitfully with her.
  9If he marries her to his son, he must deal with her as a daughter.
  10If he takes another wife to himself, he must not hold back her food, her clothing, or her marital rights.
  11If he does not do these three things for her, she may go free, without paying any money.

Laws about Personal Injury

12“Anyone who strikes a person so that he dies must be put to death, yes, death.
  13But not if it is unintentional, but God allows it to happen, then I will appoint you a place where he may flee.
  14If a man schemes and comes presumptuously on his neighbor to kill him, you must take him from my altar, that he may die.

15“Anyone who attacks his father or his mother must be put to death, yes, death.

16“Anyone who kidnaps someone and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, he must be put to death, yes, death.

17“Anyone who curses his father or his mother must be put to death, yes, death.

18“If men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist but he does not die but is confined to bed,
  19if he rises again and walks around with his staff, then he who struck him will be cleared; only he must pay for the loss of his time, and must provide for his healing until he is thoroughly healed.

20“If a man strikes his servant or his maid with a staff and he dies under his hand, he must be punished, yes, punished.
  21Notwithstanding, if he gets up after a day or two, he should not be punished, for he is his property.

22“If men fight and hurt a pregnant woman, such that her fruit departs, and yet no harm follows, he must be surely fined, as much as the woman’s husband demands, and the judges allow.
  23But if any harm follows, then you must take life for life,
  24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
  25burning for burning, wound for wound, and bruise for bruise.

26“If a man strikes his servant’s eye, or his maid’s eye, and destroys it, he must let him go free for his eye’s sake.
  27If he strikes out his male servant’s tooth, or his female servant’s tooth, he must let him go free for his tooth’s sake.

28“If a bull gores a man or a woman to death, the bull must surely be stoned, and its flesh may not be eaten, but the owner of the bull will not be held responsible.
  29But if the bull had a habit of goring in the past, and it has been testified to its owner and he has not kept it in, but it has killed a man or a woman, the bull must be stoned, and its owner must also be put to death.
  30If a ransom is laid on him, then he can give for the redemption of his life whatever is laid on him.
  31Whether it has gored a son or has gored a daughter, according to this judgment it is to be done to him.
  32If the bull gores a male servant or a female servant, thirty shekels of silver must be given to their master, and the ox must be stoned.

33“If a man opens a pit, or if a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and a bull or a donkey falls into it,
  34the owner of the pit must make it good. He must give money to its owner, and the dead animal will be his.

35“If one man’s bull injures another’s, so that it dies, then they must sell the live bull and divide its price, and they must also divide the dead animal.
  36Or if it is known that the bull was in the habit of goring in the past, and its owner has not kept it in, he must surely pay bull for bull, and the dead animal will be his own.”

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