Exodus 21:1–22:24

Ordinances for the People

1 “Now these are the aordinances which you are to set before them:

2 “If you buy aa Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment.

3 “If he comes 1alone, he shall go out 1alone; if he is the husband of a wife, then his wife shall go out with him.

4 “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 1alone.

5 “But aif the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,’

6 then his master shall bring him to 1God, 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.

7 aIf a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to 1go free bas the male slaves 1do.

8 “If she is 1displeasing in the eyes of her master 2who 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 3unfairness to her.

9 “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 1food, her clothing, or aher 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 aHe who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.

13 aBut 1if he did not lie in wait for him, but bGod let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint you a place to which he may flee.

14 aIf, 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 aHe who 1kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his 2possession, shall surely be put to death.

17 aHe 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 1remains 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 1loss of time, and 2shall 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 1at his hand, he shall 2be punished.

21 “If, however, he 1survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; afor he is his 2property.

22 “If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that 1she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband 2may demand of him, and he shall apay 3as the judges decide.

23 “But if there is any further injury, athen you shall appoint as a penalty life for life,

24 aeye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

25 burn for burn, wound for wound, 1bruise 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 1knocks 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 1to death, athe 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 1demanded of him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is 1demanded of him.

31 “Whether it gores a son or 1a daughter, it shall be done to him according to 2the same rule.

32 “If the ox gores a male or female slave, 1the owner shall give his or her master athirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

33 “If a man opens a pit, or 1digs 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 1give 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.

Chapter 22

Property Rights

1 1If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for the ox and afour sheep for the sheep.

2 1If the athief is 2caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account.

3 But if the sun has risen on him, there will be bloodguiltiness on his account. He shall surely make restitution; if he owns nothing, then he shall be asold for his theft.

4 “If what he stole is actually found alive in his 1possession, whether an ox or a donkey or a sheep, ahe shall pay double.

5 “If a man lets a field or vineyard be grazed bare and lets his animal loose so that it grazes in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard.

6 “If a fire breaks out and spreads to thorn bushes, so that stacked grain or the standing grain or the field itself is consumed, he who started the fire shall surely make restitution.

7 aIf a man gives his neighbor money or goods to keep for him and it is stolen from the man’s house, if the thief is 1caught, he shall pay double.

8 “If the thief is not 1caught, then the owner of the house shall 2appear before 3athe judges, to determine whether he 4laid his hands on his neighbor’s property.

9 “For every 1breach of trust, whether it is for ox, for donkey, for sheep, for clothing, or for any lost thing about which one says, ‘This is it,’ the 2case of both parties shall come before 3athe judges; he whom 3the judges condemn shall pay double to his neighbor.

10 “If a man gives his neighbor a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any animal to keep for him, and it dies or is hurt or is driven away while no one is looking,

11 an aoath before the Lord shall be made by the two of them 1that he has not 2laid hands on his neighbor’s property; and its owner shall accept it, and he shall not make restitution.

12 “But if it is actually stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner.

13 “If it is all torn to pieces, let him bring it as evidence; he shall not make restitution for what has been torn to pieces.

14 “If a man 1borrows anything from his neighbor, and it is injured or dies while its owner is not with it, he shall make full restitution.

15 “If its owner is with it, he shall not make restitution; if it is hired, it came for its hire.

Sundry Laws

16 aIf a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife.

17 “If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he shall 1pay money equal to the adowry for virgins.

18 “You shall not allow a asorceress to live.

19 aWhoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death.

20 aHe who sacrifices to 1any god, other than to the Lord alone, shall be 2utterly destroyed.

21 aYou shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

22 aYou shall not afflict any widow or orphan.

23 “If you afflict him at all, and aif he does cry out to Me, bI will surely hear his cry;

24 and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, aand your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.

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