The Bible in Its Traditions

Exodus 21:1–37

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Now these are the ordinances which thou shalt set before them.

“These are the judgments which you shall place before them

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

If you buy a Hebrew servant, six years shall he serve you; in the seventh, he shall depart freely, without charge.

When you buy a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve you; and in the seventh year he shall go out free from your house without price.

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If he come in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he be married, then his wife shall go out with him.

If he should have come in alone, he shall also go forth alone; and if his wife should have gone in together with him, his wife also shall go out.

With whatever clothing he arrived, with the like let him depart. If he has a wife, his wife also shall depart, at the same time.

If his master give him a wife, and she bear him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.

Moreover, if his master give him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters, the wife and the children shall be his master’s; and he shall go forth alone.

But if his lord gave him a wife, and she has borne sons and daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her lord. Yet still, he himself will go out with his clothing.

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

And if the servant should answer and say, I love my master and wife and children, I will not go away free;

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then his master shall bring him unto God, and shall bring him to the door, or unto the door-post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.

his master shall bring him to the judgement-seat of God, and then shall he bring him to the door, —to the door-post, and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him for ever.

then his lord shall make an offering for him to the heavens, and it shall be applied to the door and the posts, and he will pierce his ear with an awl. And he shall be his servant in perpetuity.

And if a man sell his daughter to be a maid-servant, she shall not go out as the men-servants do.

And if any one sell his daughter as a domestic, she shall not depart as the maid-servants depart.

If anyone sells his daughter to be a servant, she shall not depart as a female servant is accustomed to go out.

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If she please not her master, who hath espoused her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed; to sell her unto a foreign people he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.

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

And if he should have betrothed her to his son, he shall do to her according to the right of daughters.

But if he has betrothed her to his son, he shall treat her according to the custom with daughters.

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10  If he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her conjugal rights, shall he not diminish.

10  And if he take another to himself, he shall not deprive her of necessaries and her apparel, and her companionship with him.

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

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11  And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out for nothing, without money.

11  If he does not do these three things, she shall depart freely, without money.

11  And if be does not these three things to her, then she shall go out free without price.

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12  He that smiteth a man, so that he dieth, shall surely be put to death.

12  And if any man smite another and he die, let him be certainly put to death.

12  Whoever strikes a man, intending to murder, shall be put to death.

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13  And if a man lie not in wait, but God cause it to come to hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he may flee.

13  But as for him that did it not willingly, but God delivered him into his hands, I will give thee a place whither the slayer may flee.

13  But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God delivered him into his hands, then I will appoint for you a place to which he must flee.

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

14  If someone murders his neighbor with deliberation, by lying in wait, you shall tear him away from my altar, so that he may die.

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

15  Whoever smites his father or his mother, let him be certainly put to death.

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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.

16  He that reviles his father or his mother shall surely die.

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17  And he that curseth his father or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

17  Whosoever shall steal one of the children of Israel, and prevail over him and sell him, and he be found with him, let him certainly die.

17  Whoever speaks evil of his father or mother shall die a death.

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18  And if men contend, and one smite the other with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keep his bed;

18  And if two men revile each other and smite the one the other with a stone or his fist, and he die not, but be laid upon his bed;

18  If men will have quarreled, and one of them has struck his neighbor with a stone or a fist, and he does not die, but lies in bed,

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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.

19  if he gets up again and can walk outside on his staff, he who struck him will be innocent, but only if he makes sufficient restitution for his deeds and for the cost of the physicians.

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20  And if a man smite his bondman, or his bondwoman, with a rod, and he die under his hand, he shall surely be punished.

20  Whoever strikes his male or female servant with a staff, and if they have died by his hands, he shall be guilty of a crime.

20  And if a man strikes his servant, or his maid with a staff, and he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished.

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

21  But if the servant continue to live a day or two, let not the master be punished; for he is his money.

21  But if he survives for one day or two, he shall not be subject to punishment, because it is his money.

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22  And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow, he shall be surely fined, according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

22  And if two men strive and smite a woman with child, and her child be born imperfectly formed, he shall be forced to pay a penalty: as the woman’s husband may lay upon him, he shall pay with a valuation.

22  If men will have quarreled, and one of them has struck a pregnant woman, and as a result she miscarries, but she herself survives, he shall be subject to as much damage as the husband of the woman shall petition from him, or as arbitrators shall judge.

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23  But if any harm follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

23  But if her death will have followed, he will repay a life for a life,

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

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24  eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

24  an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot,

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25  burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

25  a scrape for a scrape, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.

25  Smiting for smiting, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

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26  And if a man smite the eye of his bondman, or the eye of his bondwoman, and destroy it, he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.

26  And if one smite the eye of his man-servant, or the eye of his maid-servant, and put it out, he shall let them go free for their eye’s sake.

26  If anyone will have struck the eye of his male or female servant, having left them with one eye, he shall release them freely, because of the eye that he has put out.

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

27  And if he should smite out the tooth of his man-servant, or the tooth of his maid-servant, he shall send them away free for their tooth’s sake.

27  Likewise, if he knocks out a tooth of his male or female servant, he shall similarly release them freely.

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28  And if an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die, the ox shall be surely stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit.

28  If an oxor any animal smiting a man or a woman, that they die: then the animal shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the animal shall be quit.

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29  But if the ox was wont to gore in time past, and warning hath been given to its owner, and he hath not kept it in, but it hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.

29  But if the bull should have been given to goring in former time, and men should have told his owner, and he have not removed him, but he should have slain a man or woman, the bull shall be stoned, and his owner shall die also.

29  But if the ox had been pushing with his horn, from yesterday and the day before, and they warned his owner, but he did not confine it, and it will have killed a man or a woman, then the ox shall be stoned, and his owner shall be killed.

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

30  And if a ransom should be imposed on him, he shall pay for the ransom of his soul as much as they shall lay upon him.

30  But if they have imposed a price on him, he shall give, in exchange for his life, whatever is asked.

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

31  And if the bull gore a son or daughter, let them do to him according to this ordinance.

31  Likewise, if it has struck a son or a daughter with its horns, it shall be subject to a similar verdict.

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32  If the ox gore a bondman or a bondwoman, he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

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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,

33  And if any one open a pit or dig a cavity in stone, and cover it not, and an ox or an ass fall in there,

33  If a man digs or opens a cistern, and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it,

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

34  then the owner of the cistern shall repay the price of the beasts, and what is dead will belong to him.

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

35  And if any man’s bull gore the bull of his neighbour, and it die, they shall sell the living bull and divide the money, and they shall divide the dead bull.

35  If the ox of a stranger wounds the ox of another, and it has died, then they shall sell the live ox and divide the price, but the carcass of the dead one they shall distribute between them.

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36  Or if it be known that the ox was wont to gore in time past, and its owner hath not kept it in; he shall surely pay ox for ox, and the dead beast shall be his own.

36  But if the bull be known to have been given to goring in time past, and they have testified to his owner, and he have not removed him, he shall repay bull for bull, but the dead shall be his own.

36  But if he knew that his ox had pushed with its horns, yesterday and the day before, and its owner did not confine it, then he shall repay an ox for an ox, and he will receive the whole carcass.”