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Exodus - Chapter 21

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Exodus Chapters

1 'These are the laws you must give them:

2 'When you buy a Hebrew slave, his service will last for six years. In the seventh year he will leave a free man without paying compensation.

3 If he came single, he will depart single; if he came married, his wife will depart with him.

4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children will belong to her master, and he will depart alone.

5 But if the slave says, "I love my master and my wife and children; I do not wish to be freed,"

6 then his master will bring him before God and then, leading him to the door or the doorpost, his master will pierce his ear with an awl, and the slave will be permanently his.

7 If a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not leave as male slaves do.

8 If she does not please her master who intended her for himself, he must let her be bought back: he has not the right to sell her to foreigners, for this would be a breach of faith with her.

9 If he intends her for his son, he must treat her as custom requires daughters to be treated.

10 If he takes another wife, he must not reduce the food, clothing or conjugal rights of the first one.

11 Should he deprive her of these three things she will leave a free woman, without paying compensation.

12 'Anyone who by violence causes a death must be put to death.

13 If, however, he has not planned to do it but it comes from God by his hand, he can take refuge in a place which I shall appoint for you.

14 But should any person dare to kill another with deliberate planning, you will take that person even from my altar to be put to death.

15 'Anyone who strikes father or mother will be put to death.

16 Anyone who abducts a person -- whether that person has since been sold or is still held -- will be put to death.

17 Anyone who curses father or mother will be put to death.

18 'If people quarrel and one strikes the other a blow with stone or fist so that the injured party, though not dead, is confined to bed,

19 but later recovers and can go about, even with a stick, the one who struck the blow will have no liability, other than to compensate the injured party for the enforced inactivity and to take care of the injured party until the cure is complete.

20 'If someone beats his slave, male or female, and the slave dies at his hands, he must pay the penalty.

21 But should the slave survive for one or two days, he will pay no penalty because the slave is his by right of purchase.

22 'If people, when brawling, hurt a pregnant woman and she suffers a miscarriage but no further harm is done, the person responsible will pay compensation as fixed by the woman's master, paying as much as the judges decide.

23 If further harm is done, however, you will award life for life,

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

25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stroke for stroke.

26 'If anyone strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys the use of it, he will give the slave his freedom to compensate for the eye.

27 If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he will give the slave his freedom to compensate for the tooth.

28 'If an ox gores a man or woman to death, the ox will be stoned and its meat will not be eaten, but the owner of the ox will not be liable.

29 But if the ox has been in the habit of goring before, and if its owner has been warned but has not kept it under control, then should this ox kill a man or woman, it will be stoned and its owner put to death.

30 If a ransom is imposed on the owner, he will pay whatever is imposed, to redeem his life.

31 If the ox gores a boy or a girl, it will be treated in accordance with this same rule.

32 If the ox gores a slave, male or female, its owner will pay the price -- thirty shekels -- to their master, and the ox will be stoned.

33 'If anyone leaves a pit uncovered, or digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox, or donkey falls into it,

34 then the owner of the pit will make good the loss by compensating its owner, and the dead animal will be his.

35 If anyone's ox injures anyone else's ox causing its death, the owners will sell and share the money for it; they will also share the dead animal.

36 But if it is common knowledge that the ox has been in the habit of goring before, and its owner has not kept it under control, the owner will repay ox for ox, and will keep the dead animal.

37 'If anyone steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters or sells it, he will pay back five beasts from the herd for the ox, and four animals from the flock for the sheep.'

Exodus Chapters

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