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Shemot 21 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)


21 Now these are the mishpatim which thou shalt set before them.

If thou acquire an eved Ivri, shesh shanim he shall serve; and in the seventh he shall go out lachafeshi (to the freedom) for no charge.

If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he were a ba’al isha, then his isha shall go out with him.

If his adon have given him an isha, and to him she gives birth to banim or banot; the isha and her yeledim shall be her adon’s, and he shall go out [free] by himself.

And if the eved shall plainly say, I love adoni, my isha, and my banim; I will not go out lachafeshi (to the freedom);

Then his adon shall bring him unto HaElohim; he shall also bring him to the delet (door), or unto the mezuzah; and his adon shall pierce through his ozen (ear) with a piercing-tool; then he shall serve him l’olam.

And if an ish sell his bat to be an amah (maidservant), she shall not go out as the avadim [go free].

If she please not her adon, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed [i.e., let her freedom be purchased]; to sell her unto an am nochri (foreign people) he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.

And if he have betrothed her unto his ben, he shall deal with her according to the mishpat habanot (rights of [free] daughters; i.e., those rights of verse 10).

10 If he take him another, her food, her covering of clothing, and her onah (conjugal rights) shall he not deprive.

11 And if he does not perform these three unto her, then shall she go out free without kesef.

12 He that strikes down an ish, so that the ish die, shall be surely put to death.

13 And if he lie not in ambush, but HaElohim deliver him into his yad, then I will appoint thee a makom (i.e., city of refuge) where he shall flee there.

14 But if an ish come premeditatedly upon his re’a, to murder him by guile; thou shalt take him from Mine Mizbe’ach for capital punishment.

15 And he that striketh down his av, or his em, shall be surely put to death.

16 And he that kidnaps an ish, and selleth him, or if he be found in his power, the kidnapper shall surely be put to death.

17 And he that curseth his av, or his em, shall surely be put to death.

18 And if anashim quarrel, and one strike another with an even (stone), or with his egrof (fist), and he die not, but is bedfast;

19 If he rise again, and walk around outside upon his staff, then shall he that struck down him be absolved; only shivto yiten (he shall give for his lost time), and shall provide for him to be thoroughly healed.

20 And if an ish strikes his eved, or his amah, with a shevet (rod), and he die under his yad; he shall be surely avenged.

21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a yom or two, he shall not be avenged; for he is his kesef.

22 If men fight, and hurt an isha harah (pregnant woman), so that she gives birth prematurely but not with any injury; he shall be surely punished, according as the ba’al haisha will assess a fine upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

23 And if any ason (harm, fatality) follow, then thou shalt take nefesh for nefesh,

24 Ayin for ayin, shen for shen, yad for yad, regel for regel,

25 Burn for burn, wound for wound, chaburah (stripe laceration) for chaburah.

26 And if an ish strike the ayin of his eved, or the ayin of his amah, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his ayin’s sake.

27 And if he strike his eved’s shen (tooth), or his amah’s shen; he shall let him go free for his shen’s sake.

28 If an ox gore an ish or an isha, that they die; then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his basar shall not be eaten; but the ba’al hashor (owner of the ox) shall be exempt from punishment.

29 But if the shor habitually from mitmol (yesterday) gored, and its ba’al has been warned, and he hath not kept it in the bull pen, and it hath killed an ish or an isha; the shor shall be stoned, and his ba’al also shall be put to death.

30 If there be laid on him a kofer (atonement payment, ransom), then he shall give for the redemption of his nefesh whatsoever is assessed upon him.

31 Whether he have gored a ben, or have gored a bat, according to this mishpat shall it be done unto him.

32 If the ox shall gore an eved or an amah; he shall give unto their adon sheloshim shekalim kesef, and the ox shall be stoned.

33 And if an ish shall open a bor (pit), or if an ish shall dig a bor and not cover it, and an ox or a donkey fall therein;

34 The ba’al habor shall make restitution, and give kesef unto their ba’alim; and the carcass shall be his.

35 And if the shor ish (ox of a man) hurt the ox of a neighbor, that it die; then they shall sell the shor hachai (live ox), and divide the kesef of it; and the carcass also they shall divide.

36 Or if it be known that the shor hath habitually from mitmol (yesterday) gored, and his ba’al hath not kept it in the bull pen; he shall surely pay ox for ox; and the carcass shall belong to him.

Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International

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.


  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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