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Exodus 21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Ordinances for the People

21 “Now these are the ordinances which you are to set before them:

“If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment. If he comes [a]alone, he shall go out [b]alone; if he is the husband of a wife, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out [c]alone. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,’ then his master shall bring him to [d]God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.

If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to [e]go free as the male slaves [f]do. If she is [g]displeasing in the eyes of her master [h]who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his [i]unfairness to her. If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. 10 If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her [j]food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights. 11 If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

Personal Injuries

12 He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death. 13 But [k]if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint you a place to which he may flee. 14 If, however, a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbor, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die.

15 “He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

16 He who [l]kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his [m]possession, shall surely be put to death.

17 He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

18 “If men have a quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist, and he does not die but [n]remains in bed, 19 if he gets up and walks around outside on his staff, then he who struck him shall go unpunished; he shall only pay for his [o]loss of time, and [p]shall take care of him until he is completely healed.

20 “If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies [q]at his hand, he shall [r]be punished. 21 If, however, he [s]survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his [t]property.

22 “If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that [u]she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband [v]may demand of him, and he shall pay [w]as the judges decide. 23 But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, [x]bruise for bruise.

26 “If a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave, and destroys it, he shall let him go free on account of his eye. 27 And if he [y]knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, he shall let him go free on account of his tooth.

28 “If an ox gores a man or a woman [z]to death, the ox shall surely be stoned and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall go unpunished. 29 If, however, an ox was previously in the habit of goring and its owner has been warned, yet he does not confine it and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death. 30 If a ransom is [aa]demanded of him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is [ab]demanded of him. 31 Whether it gores a son or [ac]a daughter, it shall be done to him according to [ad]the same rule. 32 If the ox gores a male or female slave, [ae]the owner shall give his or her master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

33 “If a man opens a pit, or [af]digs a pit and does not cover it over, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the owner of the pit shall make restitution; he shall [ag]give money to its owner, and the dead animal shall become his.

35 “If one man’s ox hurts another’s so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and divide its price equally; and also they shall divide the dead ox. 36 Or if it is known that the ox was previously in the habit of goring, yet its owner has not confined it, he shall surely pay ox for ox, and the dead animal shall become his.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 21:3 Lit by himself
  2. Exodus 21:3 Lit by himself
  3. Exodus 21:4 Lit by himself
  4. Exodus 21:6 Or the judges who acted in God’s name
  5. Exodus 21:7 Lit go out
  6. Exodus 21:7 Lit go out
  7. Exodus 21:8 Lit bad
  8. Exodus 21:8 Another reading is so that he did not designate her
  9. Exodus 21:8 Lit dealing treacherously
  10. Exodus 21:10 Lit flesh
  11. Exodus 21:13 Lit he who
  12. Exodus 21:16 Lit steals
  13. Exodus 21:16 Lit hand
  14. Exodus 21:18 Lit lies
  15. Exodus 21:19 Lit his sitting
  16. Exodus 21:19 Lit healing, he shall cause to be healed
  17. Exodus 21:20 Lit under
  18. Exodus 21:20 Lit suffer vengeance
  19. Exodus 21:21 Lit stands
  20. Exodus 21:21 Lit money
  21. Exodus 21:22 Or an untimely birth occurs; lit her children come out
  22. Exodus 21:22 Lit lays on him
  23. Exodus 21:22 Lit by arbitration
  24. Exodus 21:25 Lit welt
  25. Exodus 21:27 Lit causes to fall
  26. Exodus 21:28 Lit so that he dies
  27. Exodus 21:30 Lit laid on him
  28. Exodus 21:30 Lit laid on him
  29. Exodus 21:31 Lit gores a daughter
  30. Exodus 21:31 Lit this judgment
  31. Exodus 21:32 Lit he
  32. Exodus 21:33 Lit if a man digs
  33. Exodus 21:34 Lit give back
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Exodus 21 New International Version (NIV)

21 “These are the laws you are to set before them:

Hebrew Servants

“If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.

“But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges.[a] He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

“If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself,[b] he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.

Personal Injuries

12 “Anyone who strikes a person with a fatal blow is to be put to death. 13 However, if it is not done intentionally, but God lets it happen, they are to flee to a place I will designate. 14 But if anyone schemes and kills someone deliberately, that person is to be taken from my altar and put to death.

15 “Anyone who attacks[c] their father or mother is to be put to death.

16 “Anyone who kidnaps someone is to be put to death, whether the victim has been sold or is still in the kidnapper’s possession.

17 “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.

18 “If people quarrel and one person hits another with a stone or with their fist[d] and the victim does not die but is confined to bed, 19 the one who struck the blow will not be held liable if the other can get up and walk around outside with a staff; however, the guilty party must pay the injured person for any loss of time and see that the victim is completely healed.

20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

22 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely[e] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

26 “An owner who hits a male or female slave in the eye and destroys it must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye. 27 And an owner who knocks out the tooth of a male or female slave must let the slave go free to compensate for the tooth.

28 “If a bull gores a man or woman to death, the bull is to be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible. 29 If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up and it kills a man or woman, the bull is to be stoned and its owner also is to be put to death. 30 However, if payment is demanded, the owner may redeem his life by the payment of whatever is demanded. 31 This law also applies if the bull gores a son or daughter. 32 If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels[f] of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull is to be stoned to death.

33 “If anyone uncovers a pit or digs one and fails to cover it and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the one who opened the pit must pay the owner for the loss and take the dead animal in exchange.

35 “If anyone’s bull injures someone else’s bull and it dies, the two parties are to sell the live one and divide both the money and the dead animal equally. 36 However, if it was known that the bull had the habit of goring, yet the owner did not keep it penned up, the owner must pay, animal for animal, and take the dead animal in exchange.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 21:6 Or before God
  2. Exodus 21:8 Or master so that he does not choose her
  3. Exodus 21:15 Or kills
  4. Exodus 21:18 Or with a tool
  5. Exodus 21:22 Or she has a miscarriage
  6. Exodus 21:32 That is, about 12 ounces or about 345 grams
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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