Exodus 21
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Hebrew Servants
(Deuteronomy 15:12–18)

1“These are the judgments which you shall place before them:

2If you buy a Hebrew servant, six years shall he serve you; in the seventh, he shall depart freely, without charge. 3With whatever clothing he arrived, with the like let him depart. If he has a wife, his wife also shall depart, at the same time. 4But 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. 5And if the servant will say, ‘I love my lord, and my wife and children, I will not depart freely,’ 6then 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.

7If anyone sells his daughter to be a servant, she shall not depart as a female servant is accustomed to go out. 8If she displeases the eyes of her lord, to whom she had been delivered, he shall dismiss her. But he shall have no authority to sell her to a foreign people, even if he despises her. 9But if he has betrothed her to his son, he shall treat her according to the custom with daughters. 10And if he takes another for him, he shall provide to the maiden a marriage, and clothing, and he shall not refuse the price of her chastity. 11If he does not do these three things, she shall depart freely, without money.

Personal Injury Laws

12Whoever strikes a man, intending to murder, shall be put to death. 13But 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. 14If someone murders his neighbor with deliberation, by lying in wait, you shall tear him away from my altar, so that he may die.

15Whoever strikes his father or mother shall die a death.

16Whoever will have stolen a man and sold him, having been convicted of the crime, shall be put to death.

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

18If 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, 19if 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.

20Whoever strikes his male or female servant with a staff, and if they have died by his hands, he shall be guilty of a crime. 21But if he survives for one day or two, he shall not be subject to punishment, because it is his money.

22If 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. 23But if her death will have followed, he will repay a life for a life, 24an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, 25a scrape for a scrape, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.

26If 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. 27Likewise, if he knocks out a tooth of his male or female servant, he shall similarly release them freely.

28If an ox has struck a man or a woman with his horn, and if they die, it shall be stoned. And its flesh shall not be eaten; also, the owner of the ox will be innocent. 29But 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. 30But if they have imposed a price on him, he shall give, in exchange for his life, whatever is asked. 31Likewise, if it has struck a son or a daughter with its horns, it shall be subject to a similar verdict. 32If it attacks a male or female servant, he shall give thirty shekels of silver to their lord, yet truly the ox shall be stoned.

33If a man digs or opens a cistern, and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34then the owner of the cistern shall repay the price of the beasts, and what is dead will belong to him.

35If 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. 36But 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.”

Catholic Public Domain Version

Section Headings Courtesy Berean Bible

Exodus 20
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