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Exodus 21 :: English Standard Version (ESV)

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Laws About Slaves

(Deu 15:12–18 )
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:1 - “Now these are the rules that you shall set before them.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:2 - When you buy a Hebrew slave,[fn] he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:3 - If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:4 - If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out alone.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:5 - But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:6 - then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:7 - “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:8 - If she does not please her master, who has designated her[fn] for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has broken faith with her.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:9 - If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:10 - If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:11 - And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:12 - “Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:13 - But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint for you a place to which he may flee.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:14 - But if a man willfully attacks another to kill him by cunning, you shall take him from my altar, that he may die.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:15 - “Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:16 - “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:17 - “Whoever curses[fn] his father or his mother shall be put to death.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:18 - “When men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist and the man does not die but takes to his bed,
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:19 - then if the man rises again and walks outdoors with his staff, he who struck him shall be clear; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall have him thoroughly healed.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:20 - “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:21 - But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:22 - “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:23 - But if there is harm,[fn] then you shall pay life for life,
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:24 - eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:25 - burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:26 - “When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:27 - If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:28 - “When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:29 - But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:30 - If a ransom is imposed on him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed on him.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:31 - If it gores a man’s son or daughter, he shall be dealt with according to this same rule.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:32 - If the ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master thirty shekels[fn] of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

Laws About Restitution

Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:33 - “When a man opens a pit, or when a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it,
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:34 - the owner of the pit shall make restoration. He shall give money to its owner, and the dead beast shall be his.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:35 - “When one man’s ox butts another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and share its price, and the dead beast also they shall share.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:36 - Or if it is known that the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has not kept it in, he shall repay ox for ox, and the dead beast shall be his.
ESV Footnotes
Or servant; the Hebrew term ‘ebed designates a range of social and economic roles; also verses 5, 6, 7, 20, 21, 26, 27, 32 (see Preface)
Or so that he has not designated her
Or dishonors; Septuagint reviles
Or so that her children come out and it is clear who was to blame, he shall be fined as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he alone shall pay. 23 If it is unclear who was to blame…
A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001, 2007, 2011, 2016 by Crossway Books and Bibles, a Publishing Ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

See detailed copyright information.

For more information on this translation, see the ESV Preface.

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