Exodus 21:21

21 But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be punished; for the slave is his money.

Exodus 21:21 Meaning and Commentary

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.


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

Exodus 21:21 In-Context

19 then if the man rises again and walks abroad with his staff, he that struck him shall be clear; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall have him thoroughly healed.
20 "When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.
21 But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be punished; for the slave is his money.
22 "When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined, according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
23 If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life,
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.