Exodus 21

21:1-32. Laws Relating to Persons.

1-11. Servitude.
12-14. Violence.
15. Parents (smiting).
16. Servitude.
17. Parents (cursing).
18-32. Violence.

1491 B.C.

(God will be giving us His General laws dealing with Worship, and Laws dealing with persons and property. God gave us these first ten commandments to live by, but He is now going to go into greater detail of how we are to live with, and get along with our neighbors. When we try to follow these laws and commandments of God, God promises us that we will be blessed in our lives, and when we don't, there will be a price to pay for our willful violation of His laws.)

Exodus 21:1 Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them.

(God is telling Moses that these are the rules and regulations by which you will judge the people. These instructions in large part are directed event to our generation.)

2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.

(This is not talking about slaves, but one of our own people that has chosen to serve a master for six years. This was not a wicked thing to have servants at this time, but quite the contrary, for the children of Israel were on the move through the wilderness, and many would have starved had they not been allowed to take in these less fortunate ones that could not provide for themselves. Here they are just a few months on the road back to the promise land, and the children of Israel would be another forty years before the crossing of the Jordan river into the promise land. Many sold themselves into servitude, to be servants of those that had much. This form of service is very common today, in all parts of our society. It is nothing more than having a good job, with God setting the rules for the boss that you are working for. So we will also see that many of our laws today stem right from these same set of rules that God is giving to Moses and the children of Israel out there in the wilderness.

When a father could not provide for his own children, he had to sell his children to another person so that both that child and the man could exist. In many cases today, when a person can't provide for himself, the state will step in to take over the needs of the child and even the entire family. These laws are nothing more than plain common sense.)

3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.

(God is saying that servitude can not break up the family.)

4 If his master have 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.

(Now we are talking about a slave, where there is ownership of the slave by a master. If the slave were given a wife while he was under the service of this master; even though he is free to leave after six years, the wife and children are not. Remember it is the Master that is providing for the wife and children, not the slave, and just as he could not provide for the family under slavery, when he is free, that income will stop. The purpose for this law was for the protection of the family members, when there would be no competent provider to do so for the wife and kids.)

5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:

(If the man loves his wife and kids, and down not want to leave them, this is all that he has to do by the law. This man must state clearly that He will chose of his own accord not to be free. He states this before the judge, and the Judge then places him under the permanent custody of the Master; to provide for that servant and his family all his days. He is saying that, "I like my job, and I chose to work for you the rest of my life. I made that commitment to the company that I worked for, and they provide well for my family and retirement for the past 38 years. There is nothing new under the sun, and we see masters following these rules today. When you get a job you love, and it provides well for you, you stay with it. It's only common sense. Its also part of God's law.)

6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges;

(At this time there was not an established group of judges yet, but God is our chief judge. The children of Israel were camped in tents at the base of Mount Sinai, and Moses is up on the mountain.)

he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul;

(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 ever.

(All time put for a limited time; "for life", or till the jubilee, Lev. 25:13,28,40,41. All people on the jubilee year are set free for life. That is just the way that it is. If you place yourself in slavery with the jubilee year in three years, going back to the door post to have your ear pierced, would only be for three years, however, it is your choice to stay or leave then. That was just the way it is.)

7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.

(That Master is required by law to treat her as you would any other lady.)

8 If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.

(In the law it is a lot more restrictive that it reads here, for if this daughter conducts herself in an evil manner, if she is a naughty person. If this man has purchased her to be his wife, God is telling us that that man can not sell that woman to another people. If she is a Hebrew, she can only be sold to a Hebrew man, if she is an Moabite, then she can only be sold to an Moabite, and so on. The father sold her in the first place to get money for the rest of the family to live. An example of this was in Boaz and Ruth in the book of Ruth. Boaz was able to take her, whereas the other man was not. You cannot sell her to an foreigner [of different ethnos], that is what "strange" means.)

9 And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.

(This means that this master would have to treat this lady in the same manner that he would one of his own daughters. This is law, God's law, and common sense.)

10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.

(In the case here, if a man take on another wife, saying that he has two wives, his duties to each of the wives shall be the same, and neither one shall be diminished, or lessoned. That husband with two wives will not embarrass either of the wives.

What Western laws and culture call "unlawful" bigamy and polygamy, or the practice of having more than one wife, was very common in Bible times and perfectly legal under the Mosaic Law. Many great Bible heroes such as Abraham, Moses, Gideon, David etc. were blessed with more than one wife.--Genesis 16:1-4; 29:16-3O; Judges 8:29-31; 1Samuel 1:1-2; 2Samuel 3:3-5; 12:8; 1Chronicles 4:5; 14:3; 2Chronicles 11:18-21; 24:2-3. The only warning was not to "multiply wives", or take TOO many (Deuteronomy 17:17), such as King Solomon who had 700 wives (1Kings 11:3-4)!

Although Western laws strictly forbid simultaneous polygamy, or having more than one wife at the same time, these same lawmakers are very tolerant towards sequential polygamy, or having as many wives as you want, as long as you only have them one at a time, and divorce each one before you marry the next one. This is strictly in defiance of God's laws regarding multiple marriage, where, if you took a new wife, you were not allowed to divorce or neglect the first one!--Exodus 21:10; Deuteronomy 21:15-16.)

11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.

(If the man does not provide these three to that first wife, then she is free to leave with out giving the man anything. She does not have to stick around to be belittled by the rest of the family.)

12 He that smiteth a man,

(I.e. criminal homicide, murder)

so that he die, shall be surely put to death.

(Not "maybe". This is the sixth commandment taking a little deeper in depth. God is going to spell out what murder is and what it is not.)

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 thee a place whither he shall flee.

(This means that if a man does not premeditate the taking of another man or woman's life, but it does happen. In the case of an accidental death, God is telling Moses and the judges that rule over that man, to provide a place for this man to flee from the family of the slain person. This is so that additional problems will not develop between family members over the loss of the loved one. Remember that this death is not part of a criminal homicide, but by an accident. That is God's way.)

14 But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die.

(God is telling you not to tell him that he can go to Christ and at the altar of God and that he can escape the punishment at the throne of God while he is here in his flesh body. No, God is telling you to try him and send that soul directly to Him. That is called Capital punishment, and it is very Scriptural. Salvation is not there for him in this flesh body. Surely you can understand what John said, in I John 3:15 "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer; and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." No murderer can have salvation because he must be put to death and his soul sent to the Father, The altar will not save him, "take him from the mine altar, that he may die." That murderer must stand before God and the person that he murdered, and the trial that counts is in heaven.

Woe to those that have condemned a man by false witness, or tainted evidence for the murder trial for the conviction of that innocent soul is then on their hands. That one bearing the false witness will stand at the throne of God condemn of the same murder that they accused an innocent man of, and had executed. No man will get away with any murder before God, if an innocent man is executed, but the true murderer still must stand on trial where it counts, before the throne of God. There are no secrets there, for God can read your mind and know the true intent of your act. God is waiting for that murderer in heaven, and he may get away with it here on earth for a while, but judgment time is coming. Sure judges in these flesh courts will let the guilty walk, but not in God's court. Remember, there are no unsolved mysteries in heaven. "No murderer hath eternal life abiding in him". This is New Testament, just the same as God's law of the Old Testament. "Thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he should die."

If you have a quick temper that would allow you to boil up within yourself to plot another man's or woman's life, you better think twice of what you are doing. This goes far beyond your flesh life, and on into the condition of our very soul. If the hatred boils up within you, it is time to walk away, and rethink your entire situation. If you are a pervert and take the life of a child, how willing will that precious soul be to forgive you at the throne of God? That murdered soul will be at your true trial in heaven, and that soul does have the ear of Almighty God. That child would be far more willing to forgive that murderer than God would, for you have murdered one of His children. So look at this verse again, "Thou shalt take him from mine altar, and not even mention Christ's name, that he should die." So what does Christ say about this law of putting a murderer to death.

In Matthew 5:18-22 Jesus tells us that "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." That time when it is all fulfilled is after the seventh trump sounds, after the thousand year Millennium age is completed and the great white throne judgment is over and completed. Then all is fulfilled.)

15 And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

(Those parents brought you into the world age of flesh man. They produced the embryo where God placed your soul in that formed mass in your mother's womb at conception, and you formed then into the human flesh being that you have become. Sure there has been controversy over the sanctity of life as to when the soul entered into that embryo, and most of the argument comes because of man's desire to free himself from the obligation of his sinful and willful acts to find pleasure. However, no matter how bad your parents are, and how poor judgment they have shown, they were still the ones that God selected to all your soul to enter into this age of flesh man. For that reason alone, we are to honor then. This does not allow them to abuse you, but God respects and honors the family unit. It is from the family that gives stability to all societies, no matter how primitive.)

16 And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

(It's called kidnapping, it is an insult to God. Today there are many unsolved cases of kid-napping, but everyone will be resolved at the throne of God. Again, there are no unsolved mysteries to our heavenly Father. When the kidnapper is caught, "he shall surely be put to death.")

17 And he that curseth

(The cursing spoken of here is "revileth", or as in # 7043 in Strong's Hebrew dictionary; "brings into contempt, despise or curses", and even though the laws of our land today look the other way, there still is a judgment day coming. When there are hard feelings, it's time to turn and walk away, and just don't say a thing. God will not tolerate your cursing. Cp. Matt. 15:4. Mark 7:10.)

his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

18-32. Violence: Relating to Persons.

18,19. Man.
20,21. Servants.
22. Men and women.
23-25. Man.
26,27. Servants.
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 keepeth his bed:

19 If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.

(This is directed to those men that like to settle their argument with their fists, or the use of something in their fists. You lose even when you win the fight, for you are required to pay all the loss of time of the one you hit, including the damage you did to him. In our court system today, you can be required to pay far more than just these damages. This in reality is still part of the ten commandments, for if you have brotherly love toward that neighbor, you will never reach the point of wanting to do him harm. Notice that each of these verses are part of one of the ten commandments that God gave us in Exodus 20:1-17.)

20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand;

(I.e. this shed blood of the one murdered.)

he shall be surely punished.

21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.

(However this is telling us that if the death did not occur right away, then he will not be punished. It just doesn't make sense when you first read this verse, for the point that this is directed to is that this servant was a slave to him. It is looking at the loss as being financial only. So the point that must enter into the judgment is the act of the servant, what was he doing at the time of being hit with the rod. Was he attacking the master or stealing from the master? There is no set rule dealing with master and slave, when it comes to discipline. By law you must judge each and every act as it comes before the judge independently. Every case has a set of circumstances surrounding it, and each case is judged by itself.)

22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

(She is trying to brake the fight up and protect her husband. Both men and the woman will be taken before the elders, the judges, and they will asses the damages to the woman, providing that there is no mischief followed after the fight was over; that followed the loss of that unborn child.)

23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

(That child in the womb is considered a soul in the womb, and if the fight carried on after the damage was done to the woman, then the man that caused the loss of life will be tried as a murderer; a life for life.)

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.

(The judgment on the man that caused the death of the child will be judged with the proper penalty for the damage that he had caused. The eye and teeth will not heal, are used for all parts of the body. If one man causes damage to another in anger, he pays the price with the loss of that shame part of the body.)

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.

(That lost eye just bought that person's freedom. Appendix 15 in the Companion Bible gives us the laws of Khammurabi that existed prior to the laws that were given on mount Sinai to Moses. It also contains this same law.)

27 And if he smite out his manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake.

(Stripe for stripe, foot for foot, and tooth for tooth. It gets down to common sense, in both the ancient law, as in the law of Sinai. If our modern day courts were judged properly, it would follow through even today, however we do not judge people today by these same laws of God, but by precedent. When one man makes a judgment in his court, that judgment is used in other cases of similar circumstances. It doesn't matter what God says, and that is what make it hard, for facts and absolutes are out, and man's thinking and imagination sets the standard. When some case comes up without a precedent, they get all flustered, and it has to go to a higher court. Laws by Precedent is stupidity to the highest degree, and that is why our court system is all bogged down and loaded down. Man has taken out the simply task of Yea and Nay, yes and no; stripe for stripe, and tooth for tooth, that is in God's law. If murder is involved, and the proper witnesses are there where there is no doubt, send the murderer's soul to the Father and God has required in His law. That murderer becomes a walking dead man, ordered by God himself. It is God that makes the sentence on that soul, and peace comes back into the community that the murderer has been taken out of.)

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 quit.

(Now this gets to animal life. If the ox murdered a man, even though the ox is clean meat, God is telling us that that ox can not be eaten. At that moment of death, that animal has become a murderer also, and it becomes unclean meat by God's standards. There is no clean flesh over the lost of human life; though the ox is killed, the owner of the ox is innocent of the taking of life. The owner had no idea that the ox would rise up and gore the man or woman.)

29 But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.

(It is like having a loaded weapon and leaving it out for a child to play with. The thousand pound bull become your gun to kill someone with. If there is a death to a man or woman, then the owner and the ox are both put to death as murderers. This is just plain common sense to an animal owner.)

30 If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him.

(Implying that death-penalties were in certain cases commutable. Cp. 30:12 and Ps. 49:8. This man with the wild ox, could have the opportunity to buy his way out of his conviction of death hanging over his head. It seems that the rich always find a way out of their trouble, as is present in this law. If the loss of the husband has left the widow or children with out an income, by this law they can set the price of the ransom laid on the owner, and if he pays that ransom the death sentence is lifted. Is it fair, it's the law of God. It is common sense to seek provision for the family in their loss of life. Notice that it is the injured family member that must chose between the money of vengeance on that man's life.)

31 Whether he have gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him.

(The same and equal judgment shall be given out no matter which have lost their life. God considers each of same value.)

32 If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

(It sets the price of a wounded foreign slave at thirty shekels of silver. Remember back in the New Testament when Jesus was betrayed by Judas. The price given for the betrayal of our Lord Jesus Christ was the same as this foreign slave that lost his life to the ox. That thirty pieces of silver could not be used in the Temple, so it was used to by the potters field. Christ's blood was used to buy that potters field, to put a lot of these clay pots we call flesh man back together, when by faith in Christ, and repentance in Jesus name, they come under the blood of Christ and move into a new life.)

Laws as to Property.

33-36. Carelessness (Pit. Oxen).

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;

(Here again is a law using just plain common sense. If you dig a pit, you cover it over so any man or animal coming along will not fall into that pit you have dug. God's laws covers just simple things that any man or woman with half a brain should know what to do. Is this law done away with by Jesus death on the cross? Of course not, just go out in the streets today anywhere there is digging going on, and of course there are signs and protection for that dug site.)

34 The owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money unto the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his.

(If the trap or pit that you have dug catches an other man's animal, then you pay the man the value that his animal was worth. However if the man pays the going value for the animal, then owner of the pit has the right to keep the animal and use it for food.)

35 And if one man's ox hurt another's, that he die; then they shall sell the live ox, and divide the money of it; and the dead ox also they shall divide.

(Remember that the ox was used at this time for plowing, and doing work on the farm. Notice that no man is not involved in the actions of either of these two animals, but one is left with a live animal, and the other a dead ox. This law says that the live animal is sold and the money divided between the two men, while the dead ox is divided equally between the two men to be used as food for their families. Both men are at fault for not keeping their animals separated, yet they both share in the gain, yet lose the use of the live animal.)

36 Or if it be known that the ox hath used to push in time past, and his owner hath not kept him in; he shall surely pay ox for ox; and the dead shall be his own.

(The man with the live ox will pay the full price for the other man to go out and buy another ox that he can use. God's laws in each of these cases is just common sense: Man is responsible for his actions and possessions. Today this is why we carry insurance for it is used for those times when we overlook something and either have loss to ourselves or to the life or property of our neighbor. Does this sound like something that is done away with through the cross, of Christ? Of course it is not. The problem today in this final generation is that so many people are not willing to take on the responsible of their own actions or that of their family or property to their fellow man. God's law is true and just, it is the laws that man puts on himself and those that create those unjust laws that cause the confusion that exists today in the system.)

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