Exodus 21:21

21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

Read Exodus 21:21 Using Other Translations

Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.
But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money.
But if the slave recovers within a day or two, then the owner shall not be punished, since the slave is his property.

What does Exodus 21:21 mean?

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

Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two
And does not die immediately, or the same day, but lives twenty four hours, as the Jewish writers interpret it; so Abendana F24 explains the phrase, "a day or two";

``a day which is as two days, and they are twenty four hours from time to time,''

that is, from the time he was smitten to the time of his continuance; and so it is elsewhere explained F25 by a day we understand a day, which is like two days, that is, from time to time, the meaning of which is, from a certain time in one day to the same in another:

he shall not be punished;
that is, with death;

for he [is] his money;
is bought with his money, and is good as money, and therefore it is a loss sufficient to him to lose him; and it may be reasonably thought he did not smite his servant with an intention to kill him, since he himself is the loser by it.


FOOTNOTES:

F24 Not. in Miclol Yophi in loc.
F25 Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Zabim, c. 2. sect. 3.
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