Bible: Exodus 21-23
“These are the decisions that you will set before them:21:2
“If you buy 3 a Hebrew servant, 4 he is to serve you for six years, but in the seventh year he will go out free 5 without paying anything. 6 21:3 If he came 7 in by himself 8 he will go out by himself; if he had 9 a wife when he came in, then his wife will go out with him. 21:4 If his master gave 10 him a wife, and she bore sons or daughters, the wife and the children will belong to her master, and he will go out by himself. 21:5 But if the servant should declare, 11 ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out 12 free,’ 21:6 then his master must bring him to the judges, 13 and he will bring him to the door or the doorposts, and his master will pierce his ear with an awl, and he shall serve him forever. 14
21:7 “If a man sells his daughter 15 as a female servant, 16 she will not go out as the male servants do. 21:8 If she does not please 17 her master, who has designated her 18 for himself, then he must let her be redeemed. 19 He has no right 20 to sell her to a foreign nation, because he has dealt deceitfully 21 with her. 21:9 If he designated her for his son, then he will deal with her according to the customary rights 22 of daughters. 21:10 If he takes another wife, 23 he must not diminish the first one’s food, 24 her clothing, or her marital rights. 25 21:11 If he does not provide her with these three things, then she will go out free, without paying money. 2621:12
“Whoever strikes someone 28 so that he dies 29 must surely be put to death. 30 21:13 But if he does not do it with premeditation, 31 but it happens by accident, 32 then I will appoint for you a place where he may flee. 21:14 But if a man willfully attacks his neighbor to kill him cunningly, 33 you will take him even from my altar that he may die.
21:15 “Whoever strikes 34 his father or his mother must surely be put to death.
21:17 “Whoever treats his father or his mother disgracefully 38 must surely be put to death.
21:18 “If men fight, and one strikes his neighbor with a stone or with his fist and he does not die, but must remain in bed, 39 21:19 and then 40 if he gets up and walks about 41 outside on his staff, then the one who struck him is innocent, except he must pay 42 for the injured person’s 43 loss of time 44 and see to it that he is fully healed.
21:20 “If a man strikes his male servant or his female servant with a staff so that he or she 45 dies as a result of the blow, 46 he will surely be punished. 47 21:21 However, if the injured servant 48 survives one or two days, the owner 49 will not be punished, for he has suffered the loss. 50
21:22 “If men fight and hit a pregnant woman and her child is born prematurely, 51 but there is no serious injury, he will surely be punished in accordance with what the woman’s husband demands of him, and he will pay what the court decides. 52 21:23 But if there is serious injury, then you will give a life for a life, 21:24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 21:25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. 53
21:26 “If a man strikes the eye of his male servant or his female servant so that he destroys it, 54 he will let the servant 55 go free 56 as compensation for the eye. 21:27 If he knocks out the tooth of his male servant or his female servant, he will let the servant 57 go free as compensation for the tooth.21:28
Laws about Animals
“If an ox 59 gores a man or a woman so that either dies, 60 then the ox must surely 61 be stoned and its flesh must not be eaten, but the owner of the ox will be acquitted. 21:29 But if the ox had the habit of goring, and its owner was warned, 62 and he did not take the necessary precautions, 63 and then it killed a man or a woman, the ox must be stoned and the man must be put to death. 21:30 If a ransom is set for him, 64 then he must pay the redemption for his life according to whatever amount was set for him. 21:31 If the ox 65 gores a son or a daughter, the owner 66 will be dealt with according to this rule. 67 21:32 If the ox gores a male servant or a female servant, the owner 68 must pay thirty shekels of silver, 69 and the ox must be stoned. 70
21:33 “If a man opens a pit or if a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 21:34 the owner of the pit must repay 71 the loss. He must give money 72 to its owner, and the dead animal 73 will become his. 21:35 If the ox of one man injures the ox of his neighbor so that it dies, then they will sell the live ox and divide its proceeds, 74 and they will also divide the dead ox. 75 21:36 Or if it is known that the ox had the habit of goring, and its owner did not take the necessary precautions, he must surely pay 76 ox for ox, and the dead animal will become his. 7722:1
Laws about Property
22:2 “If a thief is caught 82 breaking in 83 and is struck so that he dies, there will be no blood guilt for him. 84 22:3 If the sun has risen on him, then there is blood guilt for him. A thief 85 must surely make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he will be sold for his theft. 22:4 If the stolen item should in fact be found 86 alive in his possession, 87 whether it be an ox or a donkey or a sheep, he must pay back double. 88
22:5 “If a man grazes 89 his livestock 90 in a field or a vineyard, and he lets the livestock loose and they graze in the field of another man, he must make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard.
22:7 “If a man gives his neighbor money or articles 94 for safekeeping, 95 and it is stolen from the man’s house, if the thief is caught, 96 he must repay double. 22:8 If the thief is not caught, 97 then the owner of the house will be brought before the judges 98 to see 99 whether he has laid 100 his hand on his neighbor’s goods. 22:9 In all cases of illegal possessions, 101 whether for an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any kind of lost item, about which someone says ‘This belongs to me,’ 102 the matter of the two of them will come before the judges, 103 and the one whom 104 the judges declare guilty 105 must repay double to his neighbor. 22:10 If a man gives his neighbor a donkey or an ox or a sheep or any beast to keep, and it dies or is hurt 106 or is carried away 107 without anyone seeing it, 108 22:11 then there will be an oath to the
22:14 “If a man borrows an animal 113 from his neighbor, and it is hurt or dies when its owner was not with it, the man who borrowed it 114 will surely pay. 22:15 If its owner was with it, he will not have to pay; if it was hired, what was paid for the hire covers it. 11522:16
Moral and Ceremonial Laws
“If a man seduces a virgin 117 who is not engaged 118 and has sexual relations with her, he must surely endow 119 her to be his wife. 22:17 If her father refuses to give her to him, he must pay money for the bride price of virgins.
22:18 “You must not allow a sorceress to live. 120
22:19 “Whoever has sexual relations 121 with a beast must surely be put to death.
22:22 “You must not afflict 126 any widow or orphan. 22:23 If you afflict them 127 in any way 128 and they cry to me, I will surely hear 129 their cry, 22:24 and my anger will burn and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives will be widows and your children will be fatherless. 130
22:25 “If you lend money to any of 131 my people who are needy among you, do not be like a moneylender 132 to him; do not charge 133 him interest. 134 22:26 If you do take 135 the garment of your neighbor in pledge, you must return it to him by the time the sun goes down, 136 22:27 for it is his only covering – it is his garment for his body. 137 What else can he sleep in? 138 And 139 when he cries out to me, I will hear, for I am gracious.
22:29 “Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. 142 You must give me the firstborn of your sons. 22:30 You must also do this for your oxen and for your sheep; seven days they may remain with their mothers, but give them to me on the eighth day.23:1
23:2 “You must not follow a crowd 151 in doing evil things; 152 in a lawsuit you must not offer testimony that agrees with a crowd so as to pervert justice, 153 23:3 and you must not show partiality 154 to a poor man in his lawsuit.
23:4 “If you encounter 155 your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, you must by all means return 156 it to him. 23:5 If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen under its load, you must not ignore him, 157 but be sure to help 158 him with it. 159
23:6 “You must not turn away justice for your poor people in their lawsuits. 23:7 Keep your distance 160 from a false charge 161 – do not kill the innocent and the righteous, 162 for I will not justify the wicked. 163
23:8 “You must not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see 164 and subverts the words of the righteous.23:10
Sabbaths and Feasts
“For six years 168 you are to sow your land and gather in its produce. 23:11 But in the seventh year 169 you must let it lie fallow and leave it alone so that the poor of your people may eat, and what they leave any animal in the field 170 may eat; you must do likewise with your vineyard and your olive grove. 23:12 For six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you must cease, in order that your ox and your donkey may rest and that your female servant’s son and any hired help 171 may refresh themselves. 172
23:14 “Three times 176 in the year you must make a pilgrim feast 177 to me. 23:15 You are to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; seven days 178 you must eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you, at the appointed time of the month of Abib, for at that time 179 you came out of Egypt. No one may appear before 180 me empty-handed.
23:16 “You are also to observe 181 the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors that you have sown in the field, and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year 182 when you have gathered in 183 your harvest 184 out of the field. 23:17 At 185 three times in the year all your males will appear before the Lord
23:18 “You must not offer 187 the blood of my sacrifice with bread containing yeast; the fat of my festal sacrifice must not remain until morning. 188 23:19 The first of the firstfruits of your soil you must bring to the house of the
“You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk. 18923:20
The Angel of the Presence
“I am going to send 191 an angel 192 before you to protect you as you journey 193 and to bring you into the place that I have prepared. 194 23:21 Take heed because of him, and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgressions, for my name 195 is in him. 23:22 But if you diligently obey him 196 and do all that I command, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will be an adversary to your adversaries. 23:23 For my angel will go before you and bring you to the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and I will destroy them completely. 197
23:24 “You must not bow down to their gods; you must not serve them or do according to their practices. Instead you must completely overthrow them and smash their standing stones 198 to pieces. 199 23:25 You must serve 200 the
23:27 “I will send my terror 205 before you, and I will destroy 206 all the people whom you encounter; I will make all your enemies turn their backs 207 to you. 23:28 I will send 208 hornets before you that will drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite before you. 23:29 I will not drive them out before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild animals 209 multiply against you. 23:30 Little by little 210 I will drive them out before you, until you become fruitful and inherit the land. 23:31 I will set 211 your boundaries from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert to the River, 212 for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you.
23:32 “You must make no covenant with them or with their gods. 23:33 They must not live in your land, lest they make you sin against me, for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare 213 to you.”