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The Law concerning Slaves

21 “These are the ordinances that you shall set before them:(A)

“When you buy a male Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, but in the seventh he shall go out a free person, without debt.(B) 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 if the slave declares, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out a free person,’ then his master shall bring him before God. He shall be brought to the door or the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl, and he shall serve him for life.(C)

“When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.(D) If she does not please her master, who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed; he shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt unfairly 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 the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife.[a](E) 11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out without debt, without payment of money.

The Law concerning Violence

12 “Whoever strikes a person mortally shall be put to death.(F) 13 If it was not premeditated but came about by an act of God, then I will appoint for you a place to which the killer may flee.(G) 14 But if someone willfully attacks and kills another by treachery, you shall take the killer from my altar for execution.(H)

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

16 “Whoever kidnaps a person, whether that person has been sold or is still held in possession, shall be put to death.(I)

17 “Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death.(J)

18 “When individuals quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or fist so that the injured party, though not dead, is confined to bed 19 but recovers and walks around outside with the help of a staff, then the assailant shall be free of liability, except to pay for the loss of time and to arrange for full recovery.

20 “When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment, for the slave is the owner’s property.(K)

22 “When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine. 23 If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life,(L) 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,(M) 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

26 “When a slaveowner strikes the eye of a male or female slave, destroying it, the owner shall let the slave go, a free person, to compensate for the eye. 27 If the owner knocks out a tooth of a male or female slave, the slave shall be let go, a free person, to compensate for the tooth.

Laws concerning Property

28 “When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable.(N) 29 If the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past and its owner has been warned but did not restrain it, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. 30 If a ransom is imposed on the owner, then the owner shall pay whatever is imposed for the redemption of the victim’s life.(O) 31 If it gores a boy or a girl, the owner shall be dealt with according to this same rule. 32 If the ox gores a male or female slave, the owner shall pay to the slaveowner thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.(P)

33 “If someone leaves a pit open or digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it,(Q) 34 the owner of the pit shall make restitution, giving money to its owner but keeping the dead animal.

35 “If someone’s ox hurts the ox of another, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and divide the price of it, and the dead animal they shall also divide. 36 But if it was known that the ox was accustomed to gore in the past and its owner did not restrain it, the owner shall restore ox for ox but keep the dead animal.

Laws of Restitution

22 [b]“When someone steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, the thief shall pay five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep. [c](If the thief is found breaking in and is struck dead, no bloodguilt is incurred;(R) but if it happens after sunrise, bloodguilt is incurred.) The thief shall make full restitution or, if unable to do so, shall be sold for the theft.(S) When the animal, whether ox or donkey or sheep, is found alive in the thief’s possession, the thief shall pay double.

“When someone causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over or lets livestock loose to graze in someone else’s field, restitution shall be made from the best in the owner’s field or vineyard.

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

“When someone delivers to a neighbor money or goods for safekeeping and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house, then the thief, if caught, shall pay double.(T) If the thief is not caught, the owner of the house shall be brought before God, to determine whether or not the owner had laid hands on the neighbor’s goods.(U)

“In any case of disputed ownership involving ox, donkey, sheep, clothing, or any other loss, of which one party says, ‘This is mine,’ the case of both parties shall come before God; the one whom God condemns shall pay double to the other.(V)

10 “When someone delivers to another a donkey, ox, sheep, or any other animal for safekeeping and it dies or is injured or is carried off without anyone seeing it, 11 an oath before the Lord shall decide between the two of them that the one has not laid hands on the property of the other; the owner shall accept the oath, and no restitution shall be made.(W) 12 But if it was stolen, restitution shall be made to its owner.(X) 13 If it was mangled by beasts, let it be brought as evidence; restitution shall not be made for the mangled remains.

14 “When someone borrows an animal from another and it is injured or dies, the owner not being present, full restitution shall be made. 15 If the owner was present, there shall be no restitution; if it was hired, only the hiring fee is due.

Social and Religious Laws

16 “When a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to be married and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife.(Y) 17 But if her father refuses to give her to him, he shall pay an amount equal to the bride-price for virgins.

18 “You shall not permit a female sorcerer to live.(Z)

19 “Whoever has intercourse with an animal shall be put to death.(AA)

20 “Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the Lord alone shall be devoted to destruction.(AB)

21 “You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.(AC) 22 You shall not abuse any widow or orphan.(AD) 23 If you do abuse them, when they cry out to me, I will surely heed their cry;(AE) 24 my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children orphans.(AF)

25 “If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them.(AG) 26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as guarantee, you shall restore it before the sun goes down, 27 for it may be your neighbor’s only clothing to use as a cover. In what else shall that person sleep? And when your neighbor cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate.

28 “You shall not revile God or curse a leader of your people.(AH)

29 “You shall not delay to make offerings from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses.[d]

“The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me.(AI) 30 You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall remain with its mother; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.(AJ)

31 “You shall be people consecrated to me, so you shall not eat any meat that is mangled by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.(AK)


  1. 21.10 Heb of her
  2. 22.1 21.37 in Heb
  3. 22.2 22.1 in Heb
  4. 22.29 Meaning of Heb uncertain

Teaching about Divorce

19 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.(A) Large crowds followed him, and he cured them there.(B)

Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?”(C) He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’(D) and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?(E) So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?”(F) He said to them, “It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”[a](G)

10 The[b] disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given.(H) 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13 Then children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”(I) 15 And he laid his hands on them and went on his way.

The Rich Young Man

16 Then someone came to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”(J) 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness.(K) 19 Honor your father and mother. Also, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”(L) 20 The young man said to him, “I have kept all these;[c] what do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money[d] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”(M) 22 When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven.(N) 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”(O)

27 Then Peter said in reply, “Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?”(P) 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.(Q) 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or[e] children or fields for my name’s sake will receive a hundredfold[f] and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.(R)


  1. 19.9 Other ancient authorities lack and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery
  2. 19.10 Other ancient authorities read His
  3. 19.20 Other ancient authorities add from my youth
  4. 19.21 Gk lacks the money
  5. 19.29 Other ancient authorities lack wife or
  6. 19.29 Other ancient authorities read manifold