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Exodus 21 :: New Living Translation (NLT)

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Fair Treatment of Slaves
(Deu 15:12–18 )
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:1 - “These are the regulations you must present to Israel.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:2 - “If you buy a Hebrew slave, he may serve for no more than six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:3 - If he was single when he became your slave, he shall leave single. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife must be freed with him.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:4 - “If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave and they had sons or daughters, then only the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:5 - But the slave may declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I don’t want to go free.’
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:6 - If he does this, his master must present him before God.[fn] Then his master must take him to the door or doorpost and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will serve his master for life.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:7 - “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:8 - If she does not satisfy her owner, he must allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:9 - But if the slave’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave but as a daughter.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:10 - “If a man who has married a slave wife takes another wife for himself, he must not neglect the rights of the first wife to food, clothing, and sexual intimacy.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:11 - If he fails in any of these three obligations, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.
Cases of Personal Injury
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:12 - “Anyone who assaults and kills another person must be put to death.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:13 - But if it was simply an accident permitted by God, I will appoint a place of refuge where the slayer can run for safety.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:14 - However, if someone deliberately kills another person, then the slayer must be dragged even from my altar and be put to death.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:15 - “Anyone who strikes father or mother must be put to death.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:16 - “Kidnappers must be put to death, whether they are caught in possession of their victims or have already sold them as slaves.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:17 - “Anyone who dishonors[fn] father or mother must be put to death.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:18 - “Now suppose two men quarrel, and one hits the other with a stone or fist, and the injured person does not die but is confined to bed.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:19 - If he is later able to walk outside again, even with a crutch, the assailant will not be punished but must compensate his victim for lost wages and provide for his full recovery.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:20 - “If a man beats his male or female slave with a club and the slave dies as a result, the owner must be punished.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:21 - But if the slave recovers within a day or two, then the owner shall not be punished, since the slave is his property.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:22 - “Now suppose two men are fighting, and in the process they accidentally strike a pregnant woman so she gives birth prematurely.[fn] If no further injury results, the man who struck the woman must pay the amount of compensation the woman’s husband demands and the judges approve.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:23 - But if there is further injury, the punishment must match the injury: a life for a life,
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:24 - an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot,
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:25 - a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:26 - “If a man hits his male or female slave in the eye and the eye is blinded, he must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:27 - And if a man knocks out the tooth of his male or female slave, he must let the slave go free to compensate for the tooth.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:28 - “If an ox[fn] gores a man or woman to death, the ox must be stoned, and its flesh may not be eaten. In such a case, however, the owner will not be held liable.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:29 - But suppose the ox had a reputation for goring, and the owner had been informed but failed to keep it under control. If the ox then kills someone, it must be stoned, and the owner must also be put to death.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:30 - However, the dead person’s relatives may accept payment to compensate for the loss of life. The owner of the ox may redeem his life by paying whatever is demanded.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:31 - “The same regulation applies if the ox gores a boy or a girl.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:32 - But if the ox gores a slave, either male or female, the animal’s owner must pay the slave’s owner thirty silver coins,[fn] and the ox must be stoned.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:33 - “Suppose someone digs or uncovers a pit and fails to cover it, and then an ox or a donkey falls into it.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:34 - The owner of the pit must pay full compensation to the owner of the animal, but then he gets to keep the dead animal.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:35 - “If someone’s ox injures a neighbor’s ox and the injured ox dies, then the two owners must sell the live ox and divide the price equally between them. They must also divide the dead animal.
Unchecked Copy BoxExo 21:36 - But if the ox had a reputation for goring, yet its owner failed to keep it under control, he must pay full compensation—a live ox for the dead one—but he may keep the dead ox.
NLT Footnotes
Or before the judges.
Greek version reads Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of. Compare Matt 15:4; Mark 7:10.
Or so she has a miscarriage; Hebrew reads so her children come out.
Or bull, or cow; also in 21:29-36.
Hebrew 30 shekels of silver, about 12 ounces or 342 grams in weight.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Full copyright information is provided here. Visit the New Living Translation website.

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

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