Holman Christian Standard Bible
21 “These are the ordinances that you must set before them:
Laws about Slaves
2 “When you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for six years; then in the seventh he is to leave as a free man[a] without paying anything.(A) 3 If he arrives alone, he is to leave alone; if he arrives with[b] a wife, his wife is to leave with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children belong to her master, and the man must leave alone.
5 “But if the slave declares: ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I do not want to leave as a free man,’(B) 6 his master is to bring him to the judges[c] and then bring him to the door or doorpost. His master must pierce his ear with an awl, and he will serve his master for life.
7 “When a man sells his daughter as a slave,[d] she is not to leave as the male slaves do.(C) 8 If she is displeasing to her master, who chose her for himself, then he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners because he has acted treacherously toward her. 9 Or if he chooses her for his son, he must deal with her according to the customary treatment of daughters. 10 If he takes an additional wife, he must not reduce the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife.(D) 11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she may leave free of charge, without any exchange of money.[e]
Laws about Personal Injury
12 “Whoever strikes a person so that he dies must be put to death.(E) 13 But if he didn’t intend any harm,[f] and yet God caused it to happen by his hand, I will appoint a place for you where he may flee.(F) 14 If a person schemes and willfully[g] acts against his neighbor to murder him, you must take him from My altar to be put to death.(G)
15 “Whoever strikes his father or his mother must be put to death.
16 “Whoever kidnaps a person must be put to death, whether he sells him or the person is found in his possession.(H)
17 “Whoever curses his father or his mother must be put to death.(I)
18 “When men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or his fist, and the injured man does not die but is confined to bed, 19 if he can later get up and walk around outside leaning on his staff, then the one who struck him will be exempt from punishment. Nevertheless, he must pay for his lost work time[h] and provide for his complete recovery.
20 “When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod, and the slave dies under his abuse,[i] the owner must be punished.[j] 21 However, if the slave can stand up after a day or two, the owner should not be punished[k] because he is his owner’s property.[l](J)
22 “When men get in a fight and hit a pregnant woman so that her children are born prematurely[m] but there is no injury, the one who hit her must be fined as the woman’s husband demands(K) from him, and he must pay according to judicial assessment. 23 If there is an injury, then you must give life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth,(L) hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, bruise for bruise, wound for wound.
26 “When a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave and destroys it, he must let the slave go free in compensation for his eye. 27 If he knocks out the tooth of his male or female slave, he must let the slave go free in compensation for his tooth.
28 “When an ox[n] gores a man or a woman to death, the ox must be stoned,(M) and its meat may not be eaten, but the ox’s owner is innocent. 29 However, if the ox was in the habit of goring, and its owner has been warned yet does not restrain it, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox must be stoned, and its owner must also be put to death. 30 If instead a ransom(N) is demanded of him, he can pay a redemption price for his life in the full amount demanded from him. 31 If it gores a son or a daughter, he is to be dealt with according to this same law. 32 If the ox gores a male or female slave, he must give 30 shekels(O) of silver[o] to the slave’s master, and the ox must be stoned.
33 “When a man uncovers a pit or digs a pit, and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the owner of the pit must give compensation; he must pay money to its owner, but the dead animal will become his.
35 “When a man’s ox injures his neighbor’s ox and it dies, they must sell the live ox and divide its proceeds; they must also divide the dead animal. 36 If, however, it is known that the ox was in the habit of goring, yet its owner has not restrained it, he must compensate fully, ox for ox; the dead animal will become his.
- Exodus 21:2 Lit to go forth
- Exodus 21:3 Lit he is the husband of
- Exodus 21:6 Or to God; that is, to His sanctuary or court
- Exodus 21:7 Or concubine
- Exodus 21:11 She doesn’t have to pay any redemption price.
- Exodus 21:13 Lit he was not lying in wait
- Exodus 21:14 Or maliciously
- Exodus 21:19 Lit his inactivity
- Exodus 21:20 Lit hand
- Exodus 21:20 Or must suffer vengeance
- Exodus 21:21 Or not suffer vengeance
- Exodus 21:21 Lit money
- Exodus 21:22 Either a live birth or a miscarriage
- Exodus 21:28 Or a bull, or a steer
- Exodus 21:32 About 1 pound of silver
New International Version
21 “These are the laws(A) you are to set before them:
2 “If you buy a Hebrew servant,(D) he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free,(E) without paying anything. 3 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. 4 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.
5 “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’(F) 6 then his master must take him before the judges.[a](G) He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce(H) his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.(I)
7 “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. 8 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. 9 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.(J) 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.
12 “Anyone who strikes a person with a fatal blow is to be put to death.(K) 13 However, if it is not done intentionally, but God lets it happen, they are to flee to a place(L) I will designate. 14 But if anyone schemes and kills someone deliberately,(M) that person is to be taken from my altar and put to death.(N)
15 “Anyone who attacks[c] their father or mother is to be put to death.
17 “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.(Q)
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.(R)
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(S) and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,(T) 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth,(U) 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,(V) 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(W) 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.(X) 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](Y) of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull is to be stoned to death.
33 “If anyone uncovers a pit(Z) 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,(AA) the owner must pay, animal for animal, and take the dead animal in exchange.