Exodus 21:20

20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result,

Read Exodus 21:20 Using Other Translations

And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
"When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged.
“If a man beats his male or female slave with a club and the slave dies as a result, the owner must be punished.

What does Exodus 21:20 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Exodus 21:20

And if a man smite his servant or his maid with a rod
A Canaanitish servant or maid, as the Targum of Jonathan, and so Jarchi; and that only with a rod for the correction of them, and not with a sword or any such destroying weapon, which would seem as though he intended to kill, yet nevertheless:

and he die under his hand;
immediately, while he is smiting or beating him or her, on the same day, as the above Targum interprets it:

he shall be surely punished;
or condemned to the punishment of being slain with the sword, as the said Targum and Jarchi explain it: this law was made to deter masters from using severity and cruelty towards their servants.

California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information  California - CCPA Notice