Add parallel Print Page Options

Judgments About Slaves

21 “Now these are the (A)judgments which you are to set before them:

“If you buy (B)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 (C)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, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. Then his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.

(D)And if a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to [e]go free (E)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 treachery to her. And if he designates her for his son, he shall do to her according to the custom of daughters. 10 If he takes for himself another woman, he may not reduce her [i]food, her clothing, or (F)her conjugal rights. 11 And if he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

Judgments About Personal Injuries

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

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

16 (K)He who [k]kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his hand, shall surely be put to death.

17 (L)And he who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

18 “And if men contend with each other and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist, and he does not die but [l]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 [m]loss of time, and he [n]shall take care of him until he is completely healed.

20 “And if a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies [o]at his hand, he shall surely [p]be punished. 21 But if for a day or two he is able to stand, no punishment shall be taken; (M)for he is his [q]property.

22 “And if men struggle with each other and [r]strike a woman with child so that [s]she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband [t]will set for him, and he shall (N)pay [u]as the judges decide. 23 But if there is any further injury, (O)then you shall pay life for life, 24 (P)eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, bruise for bruise, wound for wound.

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

28 “And if an ox gores a man or a woman [w]to death, (Q)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 puts a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death. 30 If a ransom is [x]demanded of him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is [y]demanded of him. 31 Whether it gores a son or [z]a daughter, it shall be done to him according to [aa]the same judgment. 32 If the ox gores a male or female slave, [ab]the owner shall give his or her master [ac](R)thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

33 “And if a man opens a pit, or if a man 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 [ad]give money to its owner, and the dead animal shall become his.

35 “And if one man’s ox [ae]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.


  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 Or so that he did not designate her
  9. Exodus 21:10 Lit flesh
  10. Exodus 21:13 Lit he who
  11. Exodus 21:16 Lit steals
  12. Exodus 21:18 Lit lies
  13. Exodus 21:19 Lit his sitting
  14. Exodus 21:19 Lit healing, he shall cause to be healed
  15. Exodus 21:20 Lit under
  16. Exodus 21:20 Lit suffer vengeance
  17. Exodus 21:21 Lit money
  18. Exodus 21:22 Lit smote
  19. Exodus 21:22 Or an untimely birth occurs; lit her children come out
  20. Exodus 21:22 Lit lays on him
  21. Exodus 21:22 Lit by arbitration
  22. Exodus 21:27 Lit causes to fall
  23. Exodus 21:28 Lit so that he dies
  24. Exodus 21:30 Lit laid on him
  25. Exodus 21:30 Lit laid on him
  26. Exodus 21:31 Lit gores a daughter
  27. Exodus 21:31 Lit this
  28. Exodus 21:32 Lit he
  29. Exodus 21:32 Approx. 12 oz. or 330 gm, a shekel was approx. 0.4 oz. or 11 gm
  30. Exodus 21:34 Lit give back
  31. Exodus 21:35 Lit smites