Exodus - Chapter 21


The King James Version Basic English Version (BBE)

1 Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them.

1 Now these are the laws which you are to put before them.

2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.

2 If you get a Hebrew servant for money, he is to be your servant for six years, and in the seventh year you are to let him go free without payment.

3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.

3 If he comes to you by himself, let him go away by himself: if he is married, let his wife go away with him.

4 If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.

4 If his master gives him a wife, and he gets sons or daughters by her, the wife and her children will be the property of the master, and the servant is to go away by himself.

5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:

5 But if the servant says clearly, My master and my wife and children are dear to me; I have no desire to be free:

6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.

6 Then his master is to take him to the gods of the house, and at the door, or at its framework, he is to make a hole in his ear with a sharp-pointed instrument; and he will be his servant for ever.

7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.

7 And if a man gives his daughter for a price to be a servant, she is not to go away free as the men-servants do.

8 If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.

8 If she is not pleasing to her master who has taken her for himself, let a payment be made for her so that she may go free; her master has no power to get a price for her and send her to a strange land, because he has been false to her.

9 And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.

9 And if he gives her to his son, he is to do everything for her as if she was his daughter.

10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.

10 And if he takes another woman, her food and clothing and her married rights are not to be less.

11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.

11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she has the right to go free without payment.

12 He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.

12 He who gives a man a death-blow is himself to be put to death.

13 And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee.

13 But if he had no evil purpose against him, and God gave him into his hand, I will give you a place to which he may go in flight.

14 But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die.

14 But if a man makes an attack on his neighbour on purpose, to put him to death by deceit, you are to take him from my altar and put him to death.

15 And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

15 Any man who gives a blow to his father or his mother is certainly to be put to death.

16 And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

16 Any man who gets another into his power in order to get a price for him is to be put to death, if you take him in the act.

17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

17 Any man cursing his father or his mother is to be put to death.

18 And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed:

18 If, in a fight, one man gives another a blow with a stone, or with the shut hand, not causing his death, but making him keep in bed;

19 If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.

19 If he is able to get up again and go about with a stick, the other will be let off; only he will have to give him payment for the loss of his time, and see that he is cared for till he is well.

20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.

20 If a man gives his man-servant or his woman-servant blows with a rod, causing death, he is certainly to undergo punishment.

21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.

21 But, at the same time, if the servant goes on living for a day or two, the master is not to get punishment, for the servant is his property.

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.

22 If men, while fighting, do damage to a woman with child, causing the loss of the child, but no other evil comes to her, the man will have to make payment up to the amount fixed by her husband, in agreement with the decision of the judges.

23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

23 But if damage comes to her, let life be given in payment for life,

24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, blow for blow.

26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.

26 If a man gives his man-servant or his woman-servant a blow in the eye, causing its destruction, he is to let him go free on account of the damage to his eye.

27 And if he smite out his manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake.

27 Or if the loss of a tooth is caused by his blow, he will let him go free on account of his tooth.

28 If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit.

28 If an ox comes to be the cause of death to a man or a woman, the ox is to be stoned, and its flesh may not be used for food; but the owner will not be judged responsible.

29 But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.

29 But if the ox has frequently done such damage in the past, and the owner has had word of it and has not kept it under control, so that it has been the cause of the death of a man or woman, not only is the ox to be stoned, but its owner is to be put to death.

30 If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him.

30 If a price is put on his life, let him make payment of whatever price is fixed.

31 Whether he have gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him.

31 If the death of a son or of a daughter has been caused, the punishment is to be in agreement with this rule.

32 If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

32 If the death of a man-servant or of a woman-servant is caused by the ox, the owner is to give their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox is to be stoned.

33 And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein;

33 If a man makes a hole in the earth without covering it up, and an ox or an ass dropping into it comes to its death;

34 The owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money unto the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his.

34 The owner of the hole is responsible; he will have to make payment to their owner, but the dead beast will be his.

35 And if one man's ox hurt another's, that he die; then they shall sell the live ox, and divide the money of it; and the dead ox also they shall divide.

35 And if one man's ox does damage to another man's ox, causing its death, then the living ox is to be exchanged for money, and division made of the price of it, and of the price of the dead one.

36 Or if it be known that the ox hath used to push in time past, and his owner hath not kept him in; he shall surely pay ox for ox; and the dead shall be his own.

36 But if it is common knowledge that the ox has frequently done such damage in the past, and its owner has not kept it under control, he will have to give ox for ox; and the dead beast will be his.




Rights in the Authorized Version are vested in the Crown. Published in the United Kingdom by permission of the Crown"s patentee, Cambridge University Press.

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