Eš e 21:1-32. Persons. f 21:33-22:15. Property. e 22:16,17. Persons.
e g 1-11. Servitude. h i 12-14. Violence. j 15. Parents (smiting). g 16. Servitude. h i 17. Parents (cursing). j 18-32. Violence.
1 Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them.
2 If you buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.
3 If he came in by himself (Heb. "with his body"), he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.
4 If his master has given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.
5 And if the servant shall plainly say, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:'
6 Then his master shall bring him to the judges (see 22:9); he shall also bring him to the door, or to the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl (hence a symbol of obedience and perpetual servitude. Cp. Ps. 40:6. Isa. 48:8; 50:5; and see Heb.10:5); and he shall serve him for life. (all time put for a limited time; "for life", or till the jubilee, Lev. 25:13,28,40,41.)
7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.
8 If she please not her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her to a strange nation (= people) he shall have no power (= authority), seeing he has dealt deceitfully with her.
9 And if he have betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.
10 If he take him another wife; her food, her clothing, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.
11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.
12 He that smites a man (i.e. criminal homicide, murder), so that he die, shall be surely put to death. (Not "maybe".)
13 And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand (Heb. idiom, by which God is said to do what He allows to be done); then I will appoint you a place where he shall flee.
14 But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbor, to slay him with guile, and then seek refuge at My altar; you shall take him from My altar, that he may die.
15 And he that smites his father (here and elsewhere in this chapter, except v.26, to smite to death, or seriously), or his mother, shall be surely put to death.
16 And he that steals a man (of the sons of Israel), and sells him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.
17 And he that curses (or reviles, cp. Matt. 15:4. Mark 7:10) his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
i m 21:18,19. Man. n 20,21. Servants. o 22. Men and women. m 23-25. Man. n 26,27. Servants. o 28-32. Men and women.18 And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keeps his bed:
20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely avenged.(i.e. this shed blood of the one murdered.)
21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be avenged: for he is his money. (money put for the servant who earns it.)
22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, (who intervenes) so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely fined (the laws of Khamurrabi distinguished between the classes. Here it is any woman. See the "code" see note at Gen.15:3), according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
23 And if any mischief (hurt) follow, then you shall give life for life, (live = soul)
24 Eye for eye (Lex talionis, 8 particulars for completeness, seven in separate category, vv.24,25. These laws made prisons unnecessary, and prevented crime), tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake. (By the "Code of Khamurrabi the master was compensated, §199. Cp. Deut. 4:8.)
27 And if he smite (not the same word as elsewhere in this chapter. Here Heb. = naphal = to fall) out his manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake.
28 If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be acquitted.
29 But if the ox was used to push with his horn in time past, and it has been testified to his owner, and he has not kept him in, but that he has killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.
30 If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom (implying that death-penalties were in certain cases commutable. Cp. 30:12 and Ps. 49:8) of his life whatsoever is laid upon him.
31 Whether he have gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him.
32 If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver (about $80), and the ox shall be stoned.
f p 21:33-36. Carelessness (Pit. Oxen). q 22:1-5. Dishonesty (Theft). p 22:6. Carelessness (Fire). q 22:7-15. Dishonesty (Trusts).33 And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein;