Exodus 21 NIV

1 "These are the laws1 you are to set before them:

References for Exodus 21:1

Hebrew Servants

21:2-6pp -- Dt 15:12-18 21:2-11Ref -- Lev 25:39-55

2 "If you buy a Hebrew servant,2 he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free,3 without paying anything.

References for Exodus 21:2

3 If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him.
4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.
5 "But if the servant declares, 'I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,'4

References for Exodus 21:5

6 then his master must take him before the judges.a5 He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce6 his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.7

References for Exodus 21:6

7 "If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do.
8 If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself,b he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her.

References for Exodus 21:8

    • b 21:8 - Or "master so that he does not choose her"
      9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter.
      10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.8

      References for Exodus 21:10

      11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.

      Personal Injuries

      12 "Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death.9

      References for Exodus 21:12

      13 However, if he does not do it intentionally, but God lets it happen, he is to flee to a place10 I will designate.

      References for Exodus 21:13

      14 But if a man schemes and kills another man deliberately,11 take him away from my altar and put him to death.12

      References for Exodus 21:14

      15 "Anyone who attacksc his father or his mother must be put to death.

      References for Exodus 21:15

          16 "Anyone who kidnaps another and either sells13 him or still has him when he is caught must be put to death.14

          References for Exodus 21:16

          17 "Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.15

          References for Exodus 21:17

          18 "If men quarrel and one hits the other with a stone or with his fistd and he does not die but is confined to bed,

          References for Exodus 21:18

            • d 21:18 - Or "with a tool"
              19 the one who struck the blow will not be held responsible if the other gets up and walks around outside with his staff; however, he must pay the injured man for the loss of his time and see that he is completely healed.
              20 "If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished,
              21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.16

              References for Exodus 21:21

              22 "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurelye but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands17 and the court allows.

              References for Exodus 21:22

                • e 21:22 - Or "she has a miscarriage"
                  23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,18

                  References for Exodus 21:23

                  24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth,19 hand for hand, foot for foot,

                  References for Exodus 21:24

                      25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
                      26 "If a man hits a manservant or maidservant in the eye and destroys it, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the eye.
                      27 And if he knocks out the tooth of a manservant or maidservant, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the tooth.
                      28 "If a bull gores a man or a woman to death, the bull must be stoned to death,20 and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible.

                      References for Exodus 21:28

                      29 If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up21 and it kills a man or woman, the bull must be stoned and the owner also must be put to death.

                      References for Exodus 21:29

                          30 However, if payment is demanded of him, he may redeem his life by paying whatever is demanded.22

                          References for Exodus 21:30

                          31 This law also applies if the bull gores a son or daughter.
                          32 If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekelsf23 of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull must be stoned.

                          References for Exodus 21:32

                            • f 21:32 - That is, about 12 ounces (about 0.3 kilogram)
                              33 "If a man uncovers a pit24 or digs one and fails to cover it and an ox or a donkey falls into it,

                              References for Exodus 21:33

                              34 the owner of the pit must pay for the loss; he must pay its owner, and the dead animal will be his.
                              35 "If a man's bull injures the bull of another and it dies, they are to sell the live one and divide both the money and the dead animal equally.
                              36 However, if it was known that the bull had the habit of goring, yet the owner did not keep it penned up,25 the owner must pay, animal for animal, and the dead animal will be his.

                              References for Exodus 21:36