Exodus 21-24International Standard Version (ISV)
Laws Concerning Servants
21 “These are the ordinances that you are to set before them.
2 “When you acquire a Hebrew servant, he is to serve for six years, and in the seventh he is to go out a free man without paying anything. 3 If he came in by himself,[a] he is to go out by himself. If he was married, his wife is to go out with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and children belong to her master, and he is to go out by himself. 5 But if the servant, in fact, says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children, and I won’t go out a free man,’ 6 then his master is to bring him before the judges[b] and he is to bring him to the door or to the doorpost. His master is to pierce his ear with an awl, and he is to serve him permanently.
7 “When a man sells his daughter as a servant, she won’t go out as the male servants do.[c] 8 If she’s displeasing to[d] her master who selected her for himself,[e] he must let her be redeemed. He does not have the right to sell her to foreign people, because he has dealt unfairly[f] with her. 9 If he has selected her for his son,[g] he is to treat her according to the ordinance for daughters. 10 If he takes another woman for himself, he may not withhold from the first[h] her food, her clothing, or her marital rights. 11 If he does not do these three things for her, she may go out without paying anything at all.”[i]
Laws Concerning Personal Injury and Homicide
12 “Whoever strikes a man so that he dies is certainly to be put to death. 13 If he didn’t lie in wait, but God let him fall into his reach,[j] then I’ll appoint for you a place to which he may flee. 14 If a man acts deliberately against his neighbor, to kill him by treachery, you are to take him to die even if he’s at[k] my altar.
15 “Whoever strikes his father or his mother is certainly to be put to death.
16 “Whoever kidnaps a person, whether he has sold him or whether the victim[l] is still in his possession, is certainly to be put to death.
17 “Whoever curses his father or his mother is certainly to be put to death.
18 “If people quarrel and one strikes the other with a rock or his fist, and he does not die but ends up[m] in bed, 19 and the injured person[n] then gets up and walks around outside with the help of his staff,[o] the one who struck him is not liable, except that he is to compensate him for his loss of time[p] and take care of his complete recovery.
20 “If a man strikes his male or female servant with a stick and he or she dies as a direct result,[q] the master must be punished.[r] 21 But if the servant[s] survives a day or two, the master[t] is not to be punished because the servant[u] is his property.
22 “If two men are fighting and they strike a pregnant woman and her children are born prematurely,[v] but there is no harm, he is certainly to be fined as the husband of the woman demands of him, and he will pay as the court decides.[w] 23 If there is harm, then you are to require[x] life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, and bruise for bruise.
26 “If a man strikes the eye of his male or female servant and destroys it, he is to release him as a free man in exchange for his eye. 27 If he knocks out the tooth of his male[y] or female servant,[z] he is to release him as a free man in exchange for his tooth.
28 “If an ox gores a man or woman so that they die, the ox is certainly to be stoned and its flesh may not be eaten, but the owner of the ox is free from liability. 29 But if the ox has gored previously, and its owner has been warned about it but didn’t restrain it, and it kills a man or woman, the ox is to be stoned and its owner also is to be put to death. 30 If a fine is imposed on him, he may pay all that was imposed on him as a ransom for his life. 31 This same ordinance applies[aa] if it gores a son or daughter.
32 “If the ox gores a male or female servant, the owner is to give 30 shekels[ab] of silver to the servant’s[ac] master, and the ox is to be stoned. 33 If a man opens a pit or digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or donkey falls into it,[ad] 34 the owner of the pit is to make restitution. He is to pay money to its owner, and the dead animal will become his.
35 “If a man’s ox strikes his neighbor’s ox and it dies, they are to sell the live ox and divide the money. They also are to divide the dead animal. 36 But if it was known that the ox had gored previously, and its owner didn’t restrain it, he is certainly to repay ox for ox, and the dead ox is to become his.”
Laws Concerning Theft of Personal Property
2 “If a thief is found while breaking into a house,[ag] and is struck down and dies, it is not a capital crime[ah] in that case,[ai] 3 but if the sun has risen on him, then it is a capital crime[aj] in that case.[ak] A thief[al] is certainly to make restitution, but if he has nothing, he is to be sold[am] for his theft. 4 If what was stolen is actually found alive in his possession, whether an ox, a donkey or a sheep, he is to repay double.
5 “When a man lets a field or vineyard be grazed over or releases his livestock so that they graze in another man’s field, he is to make restitution from the best of his field or vineyard.[an]
6 “When a fire breaks out and spreads into thorn bushes and consumes stacked grain or standing grain or the field, the one who started the fire certainly is to make restitution.
7 “When a man gives his neighbor money or goods for safekeeping and it’s stolen from the neighbor’s house, the thief, if found, is to repay double. 8 If the thief is not found, the owner of the house is to appear before the judges[ao] to see[ap] whether or not the thief took[aq] his neighbor’s property.
9 “In every ownership dispute[ar] involving an ox, donkey, sheep, garment, or anything that is lost where a person says, ‘This is mine,’[as] the case between the two of them is to come before the judges,[at] and the one that the judges[au] declare guilty is to repay double to his neighbor.
10 “When a man gives a donkey, ox, sheep, or any animal to his neighbor for safe keeping, and it dies or is injured or is driven away when no one is looking, 11 the two of them are to take an oath in the Lord’s presence that the accused[av] has not taken[aw] his neighbor’s property. Its owner is to accept this, and the neighbor[ax] is not to make restitution. 12 But if it was actually stolen from him, the neighbor[ay] is to make restitution to its owner. 13 If it was torn to pieces, let the neighbor[az] bring the remains[ba] as evidence, and he is not to make restitution for what was torn apart.
14 “When a man borrows[bb] an animal from his neighbor, and it’s injured or dies while its owner was not with it, he is certainly to make restitution. 15 If its owner was with it, he is not to make restitution. If it was hired, its fee covers the loss.”[bc]
Various Other Laws
16 “When a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to be married and has sexual relations with her, he must pay her bride price, and she is to become his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he is to pay an amount[bd] equal to the bride price for virgins.
18 “You are not to allow a sorceress to live.
19 “Whoever has sexual relations with an animal is certainly to be put to death.
20 “Anyone who sacrifices to a god, except the Lord alone, is to be utterly destroyed.
21 “You are not to wrong or oppress an alien, because you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
22 “You are not to mistreat any widow or orphan. 23 If you do mistreat them, they’ll certainly cry out to me, and I’ll immediately hear their cry. 24 And I’ll be angry and will kill you with swords,[be] and your wives will become widows and your children orphans.
25 “If you loan money to my people, to the poor among you, don’t be like a creditor to them and don’t impose interest on them. 26 If you take your neighbor’s coat as collateral, you are to return it to him by sunset, 27 for it’s his only covering; it’s his outer garment,[bf] for what else can he sleep in? And when he cries out to me, I’ll hear him, for I am gracious.
28 “You are not to blaspheme God or curse a ruler of your people.
29 “You are not to hold back the fullness of your harvest[bg] and the outflow of your wine presses.[bh] You are to give to me the firstborn of your sons. 30 You are to do the same with your oxen and your sheep. They are to be with their mother for seven days and then on the eighth day you are to give them to me.
31 “You are to be people set apart[bi] for me. You are not to eat flesh torn apart in the field; you are to throw it to the dogs.”
Laws about Truthful Testimony
23 “You are not to spread a false report, nor are you to join forces[bj] with the wicked to be a malicious witness. 2 You are not to follow the majority[bk] in doing wrong, and you are not to testify in a lawsuit so as to follow the majority and pervert justice. 3 You are not to show partiality to a poor man in his lawsuit.
4 “If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, you are to certainly return it to him. 5 If you see your enemy’s donkey lying helpless under its load, you must not abandon it; rather, you are certainly to return it to him.[bl]
6 “You are not to pervert justice for the poor among you[bm] in their lawsuits.[bn] 7 Stay far away from a false charge, and don’t kill the innocent or the righteous, because I won’t acquit the guilty. 8 You are not to take a bribe because a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and distorts the words of the righteous. 9 You are not to oppress the resident alien, because you were aliens in the land of Egypt.”
Instructions for Sabbaths and Sabbatical Years
10 “You are to sow your land and gather its crops for six years, 11 but you are to let it rest the seventh year, leaving it unplanted. The poor of your people may eat from it,[bo] and the wild animals may eat what they leave. You are to do the same with your vineyards and olive groves. 12 You are to do your work for six days, but on the seventh day you are to refrain from work so that your ox and donkey[bp] may rest, and so the son of your maidservant and the alien may be refreshed.
13 “Be careful about everything I’ve told you, and don’t mention the name of other gods. Don’t let them be heard in your mouth!”
The Three Major Festivals
14 “Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival for me. 15 You are to observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you are to eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month Abib, because in it you came out of Egypt. No one is to appear before me empty handed. 16 You are to observe[bq] the Festival of Harvest,[br] celebrating[bs] the first fruits of your work in planting the field, and the Festival of Tabernacles[bt] at the end of the year, when you gather the fruit of your work from the field. 17 Three times a year all your males are to appear in the presence of the Lord God.”
18 “You are not to offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, and you are not to let the fat portion of my sacrifice remain overnight until morning.
19 “You are to bring the best of the first fruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.
“You are not to boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
God Promises Help as the Israelis Enter Canaan
20 “Look, I’m sending an angel in front of you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place I’ve prepared. 21 Be careful! Be sure to obey him. Don’t rebel against him, because he won’t forgive your transgression, since my Name is in him. 22 Indeed, if you carefully obey him and do everything that I say, then I’ll be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries, 23 because my angel will go ahead of you and will bring you to the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and I’ll annihilate them. 24 You are not to bow down to their gods or serve them. You are not to follow their practices,[bu] but you are to overthrow them completely and smash their sacred stones[bv] to pieces. 25 You are to serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your food[bw] and water, and I’ll remove sickness from you. 26 No woman will miscarry or be barren in your land, and I’ll make every day of your life complete.[bx]
27 “I’ll go ahead of you and terrorize all the people to whom you are coming. I’ll confuse your enemies and make them turn their backs on you and run away.[by] 28 I’ll send hornets ahead of you and they’ll drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites before you. 29 I won’t drive them out before you in a single year, so that the land does not become desolate and so that wild animals do not overrun you. 30 I’ll drive them out ahead of you little by little until you increase in numbers[bz] and possess the land.
31 “I’ll set your borders from the Reed[ca] Sea to the Sea of the Philistines,[cb] and from the desert to the Euphrates[cc] River, bringing[cd] the inhabitants of the land under your control,[ce] and you are to drive them out ahead of you. 32 You are not to make a covenant with them or with their gods. 33 They are not to live in your land. Otherwise they will cause you to sin against me. If you worship their gods, it will become a snare for you.”
The Covenant is Sealed with Blood
24 The Lord[cf] told Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and 70 of the elders of Israel, and worship[cg] at a distance. 2 Only Moses is to approach the Lord, but the others[ch] are not to approach; the people are not to come up with him.”
3 Then Moses came and reported all the words of the Lord and all the statutes to the people, and they all[ci] answered with one voice, “We will do everything that the Lord has decreed.”
4 So Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He got up early in the morning and built an altar with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel at the base of the mountain. 5 He sent young Israeli men to offer up burnt offerings and sacrifice bulls as peace offerings to the Lord. 6 Moses took half the blood and put it in bowls, while he sprinkled the other half[cj] on the altar. 7 He took the Book of the Covenant and read it to[ck] the people. They said, “We will put into practice and obey everything that the Lord has decreed.”
8 Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord made with you based on all these words.”
9 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and 70 of the elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, as clear as the sky. 11 Because[cl] God[cm] did not punish[cn] the Israeli leaders, they looked at God, yet lived[co] to eat and drink.
Moses Receives the Law on the Mountain
13 So Moses got up, along with Joshua his servant, and went up on the mountain of God. 14 He told the elders, “Wait here for us until we return to you. Look, Aaron and Hur are with you, and whoever has a dispute, let him come to them.”
15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it. 16 The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. Then on the seventh day he called to Moses from within the cloud. 17 To the Israelis[cr] the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. 18 When Moses went up on the mountain, he went into the center of the cloud and was on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights.
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