Exodus 21 AMPC [abbreviation] brought to you by [publisher] Learn More



1 NOW THESE are the ordinances you [Moses] shall set before [the Israelites].
2 If you buy a Hebrew servant [as the result of debt or theft], he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, paying nothing. [Lev. 25:39.]
3 If he came [to you] by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he came married, then his wife shall go out with him.
4 If his master has given him a wife and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out [of your service] alone.
5 But if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go free,
6 Then his master shall bring him to God [the judges as His agents]; he shall bring him to the door or doorpost and shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.
7 If a man sells his daughter to be a maidservant or bondwoman, she shall not go out [in six years] as menservants do.
8 If she does not please her master who has not espoused her to himself, he shall let her be redeemed. To sell her to a foreign people he shall have no power, for he has dealt faithlessly with her.
9 And if he espouses her to his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter.
10 If he marries again, her food, clothing, and privilege as a wife shall he not diminish.
11 And if he does not do these three things for her, then shall she go out free, without payment of money.
12 Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.
13 But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God allowed him to fall into his hand, then I will appoint you a place to which he may flee [for protection until duly tried]. [Num. 35:22-28.]
14 But if a man comes willfully upon another to slay him craftily, you shall take him from My altar [to which he may have fled for protection], that he may die.
15 Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.
16 Whoever kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or is found with him in his possession, shall surely be put to death.
17 Whoever curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.
18 If men quarrel and one strikes another with a stone or with his fist and he does not die but keeps his bed,
19 If he rises again and walks about leaning upon his staff, then he that struck him shall be clear, except he must pay for the loss of his time and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.
20 And if a man strikes his servant or his maid with a rod and he [or she] dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished.
21 But if the servant lives on for a day or two, the offender shall not be punished, for he [has injured] his own property.
22 If men contend with each other, and a pregnant woman [interfering] is hurt so that she has a miscarriage, yet no further damage follows, [the one who hurt her] shall surely be punished with a fine [paid] to the woman's husband, as much as the judges determine.
23 But if any damage follows, then you shall give life for life,
24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
25 Burn for burn, wound for wound, and lash for lash.
26 And if a man hits the eye of his servant or the eye of his maid so that it is destroyed, he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.
27 And if he knocks out his manservant's tooth or his maidservant's tooth, he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake.
28 If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, then the ox shall surely be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be clear.
29 But if the ox has tried to gore before, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it closed in and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also put to death.
30 If a ransom is put on [the man's] life, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is laid upon him.
31 If the [man's ox] has gored another's son or daughter, he shall be dealt with according to this same rule.
32 If the ox gores a manservant or a maidservant, the owner shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
33 If a man leaves a pit open or digs a pit and does not cover it and an ox or a donkey falls into it,
34 The owner of the pit shall make it good; he shall give money to the animal's owner, but the dead beast shall be his.
35 If one man's ox hurts another's so that it dies, they shall sell the live ox and divide the price of it; the dead ox also they shall divide between them.
36 Or if it is known that the ox has gored in the past, and its owner has not kept it closed in, he shall surely pay ox for ox, and the dead beast shall be his.