Laws About Slaves

21 “Now these are the (A)rules that you shall set before them. (B)When you buy a Hebrew slave,[a] he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, 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 be her master's, and he shall go out alone. But (C)if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to (D)God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.

“When a man (E)sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she does not please her master, who has designated her[b] for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has broken faith with her. If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter. 10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or (F)her marital rights. 11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

12 (G)“Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death. 13 (H)But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then (I)I will appoint for you a place to which he may flee. 14 But if a man willfully attacks another to kill him by cunning, (J)you shall take him from my altar, that he may die.

15 “Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death.

16 (K)“Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found (L)in possession of him, shall be put to death.

17 (M)“Whoever curses[c] his father or his mother shall be put to death.

18 “When men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist and the man does not die but takes to his bed, 19 then if the man rises again and walks outdoors with his staff, he who struck him shall be clear; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall have him thoroughly healed.

20 “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the (N)slave is his money.

22 “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and (O)he shall pay as the (P)judges determine. 23 But if there is harm,[d] then you shall pay (Q)life for life, 24 (R)eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

26 “When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye. 27 If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth.

28 “When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the (S)ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. 29 But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. 30 If (T)a ransom is imposed on him, then (U)he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed on him. 31 If it gores a man's son or daughter, he shall be dealt with according to this same rule. 32 If the ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master (V)thirty shekels[e] of silver, and (W)the ox shall be stoned.

Laws About Restitution

33 “When a man opens a pit, or when a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the owner of the pit shall make restoration. He shall give money to its owner, and the dead beast shall be his.

35 “When one man's ox butts another's, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and share its price, and the dead beast also they shall share. 36 Or if it is known that the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has not kept it in, he shall repay ox for ox, and the dead beast shall be his.

22 [f] “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and (X)four sheep for a sheep. [g] If a thief is found (Y)breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He[h] shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then (Z)he shall be sold for his theft. If the stolen beast (AA)is found alive in his possession, whether it is an ox or a donkey or a sheep, (AB)he shall pay double.

“If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets his beast loose and it feeds in another man's field, he shall make restitution from the best in his own field and in his own vineyard.

“If fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, he who started the fire shall make full restitution.

“If a man gives to his neighbor money or goods to keep safe, and it is stolen from the man's house, then, if the thief is found, (AC)he shall pay double. If the thief is not found, the owner of the house shall come near to God to show whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor's property. For every breach of trust, whether it is for an ox, for a donkey, for a sheep, for a cloak, or for any kind of lost thing, of which one says, ‘This is it,’ the case of both parties shall come before God. The one whom God condemns shall pay double to his neighbor.

10 “If a man gives to his neighbor a donkey or an ox or a sheep or any beast to keep safe, and it dies or is injured or is driven away, without anyone seeing it, 11 (AD)an oath by the Lord shall be between them both to see whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor's property. The owner shall accept the oath, and he shall not make restitution. 12 But if (AE)it is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner. 13 If it is torn by beasts, let him bring it as evidence. He shall not make restitution for what has been torn.

14 “If a man borrows anything of his neighbor, and it is injured or dies, the owner not being with it, he shall make full restitution. 15 If the owner was with it, he shall not make restitution; if it was hired, it came for its hiring fee.[i]

Laws About Social Justice

16 (AF)“If a man seduces a virgin[j] who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price[k] for her and make her his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, (AG)he shall pay money equal to the (AH)bride-price for virgins.

18 (AI)“You shall not permit a sorceress to live.

19 (AJ)“Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death.

20 (AK)“Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction.[l]

21 (AL)“You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. 22 (AM)You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you do mistreat them, and they (AN)cry out to me, I will surely (AO)hear their cry, 24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and (AP)your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.

25 (AQ)“If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him. 26 (AR)If ever you take your neighbor's cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down, 27 for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he (AS)cries to me, I will hear, for I am (AT)compassionate.

28 (AU)“You shall not revile God, nor (AV)curse a ruler of your people.

29 “You shall not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. (AW)The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me. 30 (AX)You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep: (AY)seven days it shall be with its mother; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.

31 (AZ)“You shall be consecrated to me. Therefore (BA)you shall not eat any flesh that is torn by beasts in the field; (BB)you shall throw it to the dogs.

23 (BC)“You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a (BD)malicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, (BE)nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit.

(BF)“If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.

(BG)“You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in his lawsuit. (BH)Keep far from a false charge, and (BI)do not kill the innocent and righteous, for (BJ)I will not acquit the wicked. (BK)And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.

(BL)“You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

Laws About the Sabbath and Festivals

10 (BM)“For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield, 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard.

12 (BN)“Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed.

13 (BO)“Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips.

14 (BP)“Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. 15 (BQ)You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of (BR)Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. (BS)None shall appear before me empty-handed. 16 You shall keep (BT)the Feast of Harvest, of the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the (BU)Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. 17 (BV)Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God.

18 (BW)“You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the fat of my feast remain until the morning.

19 “The best of the (BX)firstfruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God.

(BY)“You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.

Conquest of Canaan Promised

20 (BZ)“Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. 21 Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; (CA)do not rebel against him, (CB)for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him.

22 “But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then (CC)I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.

23 (CD)“When my angel goes before you and brings you (CE)to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, 24 you shall (CF)not bow down to their gods nor serve them, (CG)nor do as they do, but (CH)you shall utterly overthrow them and break their (CI)pillars in pieces. 25 You (CJ)shall serve the Lord your God, and (CK)he[m] will bless your bread and your water, and (CL)I will take sickness away from among you. 26 (CM)None shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the (CN)number of your days. 27 I will send (CO)my terror before you and will throw into (CP)confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 28 And (CQ)I will send hornets[n] before you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you. 29 (CR)I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land. 31 (CS)And I will set your border from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates,[o] for (CT)I will give the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. 32 (CU)You shall make no covenant with them and their gods. 33 They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me; for if you serve their gods, (CV)it will surely be a snare to you.”

The Covenant Confirmed

24 Then he said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, (CW)Nadab, and Abihu, and (CX)seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from afar. Moses (CY)alone shall come near to the Lord, but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him.”

Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and (CZ)all the rules.[p] And all the people answered with one voice and said, (DA)“All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And (DB)Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve (DC)pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. And (DD)Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, (DE)“All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” (DF)And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and (DG)seventy of the elders of Israel (DH)went up, 10 and they (DI)saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of (DJ)sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11 And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and (DK)ate and drank.

12 The Lord said to Moses, (DL)“Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the (DM)tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” 13 So Moses rose with his assistant (DN)Joshua, and Moses went up (DO)into the mountain of God. 14 And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and (DP)Hur are with you. Whoever has a dispute, let him go to them.”

15 Then Moses went up on the mountain, and (DQ)the cloud covered the mountain. 16 (DR)The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a (DS)devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18 Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses (DT)was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.


  1. Exodus 21:2 Or servant; the Hebrew term ‘ebed designates a range of social and economic roles; also verses 5, 6, 7, 20, 21, 26, 27, 32 (see Preface)
  2. Exodus 21:8 Or so that he has not designated her
  3. Exodus 21:17 Or dishonors; Septuagint reviles
  4. Exodus 21:23 Or so that her children come out and it is clear who was to blame, he shall be fined as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he alone shall pay. 23If it is unclear who was to blame…
  5. Exodus 21:32 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
  6. Exodus 22:1 Ch 21:37 in Hebrew
  7. Exodus 22:2 Ch 22:1 in Hebrew
  8. Exodus 22:3 That is, the thief
  9. Exodus 22:15 Or it is reckoned in (Hebrew comes into) its hiring fee
  10. Exodus 22:16 Or a girl of marriageable age; also verse 17
  11. Exodus 22:16 Or engagement present; also verse 17
  12. Exodus 22:20 That is, set apart (devoted) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction)
  13. Exodus 23:25 Septuagint, Vulgate I
  14. Exodus 23:28 Or the hornet
  15. Exodus 23:31 Hebrew the River
  16. Exodus 24:3 Or all the just decrees

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