Exodus 21:22-25

22 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely[a] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows.
23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,
24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

Exodus 21:22 in Other Translations

KJV
22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
ESV
22 "When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine.
NLT
22 “Now suppose two men are fighting, and in the process they accidentally strike a pregnant woman so she gives birth prematurely. If no further injury results, the man who struck the woman must pay the amount of compensation the woman’s husband demands and the judges approve.
MSG
22 "When there's a fight and in the fight a pregnant woman is hit so that she miscarries but is not otherwise hurt, the one responsible has to pay whatever the husband demands in compensation.
CSB
22 "When men get in a fight, and hit a pregnant woman so that her children are born [prematurely], but there is no injury, the one who hit her must be fined as the woman's husband demands from him, and he must pay according to judicial assessment.

Exodus 21:22-25 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 21

In this, and the two following chapters, are delivered various laws and precepts, partly of a moral, and partly of a religious, but chiefly of a civil nature, respecting the commonwealth of Israel, and its political good. This chapter treats of servants, and laws relating to them; to menservants, how long they shall serve, and what is to be done to those who are desirous of staying with their masters after their time is up, Ex 21:1-6, to maidservants, and especially betrothed ones, either to a father or a son, Ex 21:7-11, likewise it contains laws concerning the slaughter of men, whether with design or unawares, Ex 21:12-14, and concerning the ill usage of parents, Ex 21:15,17, and man stealing, Ex 21:16 and of mischief that comes by men's quarrelling and fighting, Ex 21:18,19 and by smiting a man or maidservant, Ex 21:20,21,26,27, to a woman with child, that is, by means of men's striving and contending with each other, Ex 21:22-25 and of damages that come by oxen, or to them, Ex 21:28-36.

Exodus 21:22-25 In-Context

20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result,
21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.
22 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows.
23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,
24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
26 “An owner who hits a male or female slave in the eye and destroys it must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye.
27 And an owner who knocks out the tooth of a male or female slave must let the slave go free to compensate for the tooth.

Cross References 3

  • 1. ver 30; Deuteronomy 22:18-19
  • 2. Leviticus 24:19; Deuteronomy 19:21
  • 3. S ver 23; Matthew 5:38*

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "she has a miscarriage"
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.