Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, May 30th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
Tired of seeing ads while studying? Now you can enjoy an "Ads Free" version of the site for as little as 10¢ a day and support a great cause!
Click here to learn more!

Bible Commentaries
Exodus 21

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-36

The Covenant Code Exodus 21:1 to Exodus 23:12 can be called the “Covenant Code.” Sailhamer tells us that the laws listed in the “Covenant Codes” (Exodus 21:1 to Exodus 23:12) are 42 (7 x 6), which was in intentional multiple of seven. He also notes that there are 611 laws listed in the Pentateuch, which equals the numerical value of the Hebrew word “Torah” ( תורה ). He notes that “the traditional number of laws in the Pentateuch (613) is obtained by treating both Deuteronomy 6:4 (the “Shema”) and Exodus 20:2 (“I am the Lord your God”) as ‘laws.’” In addition, there are three hundred seventy-five (375) proverbs in Solomon’s First Collection (Exodus 10:1 to Exodus 22:16), which equals the numerical value of Solomon’s Hebrew name. He says there are His point is that such numerical coincidences reflect deliberate composition by the ancient Jewish scribes, and concludes that the laws, as well as the statutes, were not intended to be exhaustive. [87]

[87] See John H. Sailhammer, Introduction to Old Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, c1995), 257.

Exodus 21:10 Scripture References - Note

Isaiah 4:1, “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel : only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.”

Exodus 21:11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.

Exodus 21:12 He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.

Exodus 21:12 Comments - The Mosaic Law considered murder as a capital offence punishable by death. This method of judgment against such a sin is a type and shadow of eternal judgment God will impart unto wicked men.

Exodus 21:13 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.

Exodus 21:13 Comments - This is killing a man accidentally.

Exodus 21:14 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.

Exodus 21:14 Illustrations:

Deuteronomy 19:11-12, “But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities: Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.”

1 Kings 2:29-30, “And it was told king Solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD; and, behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him. And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the LORD, and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, Nay; but I will die here. And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.”

Exodus 21:15 And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

Exodus 21:16 And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

Exodus 21:17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

Exodus 21:17 Scripture References - Note:

Matthew 15:4, “For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.”

Mark 7:10, “For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:”

Exodus 21:18-19 Comments The Penalty for Smiting a Man - See Luke 10:25-37. The good Samaritan paid the penalty under the Law for those who beat the man. Likewise, Jesus paid our penalty.

Exodus 21:21 “if he continue a day or two” - Comments - That is, “If the man live a few days before dying.”

Exodus 21:22 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.

Exodus 21:22 “No mischief follow” Comments - That is, the woman is not hurt in any way. Note Exodus 23:25-26.

Exodus 23:25-26, “And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. There shall nothing cast their young , nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil.”

Exodus 21:23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

Exodus 21:24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

Exodus 21:24 Comments - The context of this passage is referring to compensation and not to retribution. It is not about getting even with someone, but about how we are to give a righteous compensation to those who are injured and wronged by others. It is to be an act of love and not an act of vengeance. Evidently, the first-century Jews used it to justify retribution (Matthew 5:38).

Matthew 5:38, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:”

Exodus 21:32 “thirty shekels of silver” Comments - Scholars suggest that thirty shekels of silver was considered the price of a good, healthy slave (see Adam Clarke [88] , Keil [89] ).

[88] Adam Clarke, Exodus, in Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc., 1996), in P.C. Study Bible, v. 3.1 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc., 1993-2000), comments on Exodus 21:32.

[89] C. F. Keil, and F. Delitzsch, Pentateuch, vol. 2, in Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, trans. James Martin, in P.C. Study Bible, v. 3.1 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc., 1993-2000), comments on Exodus 21:32.

Matthew 26:15, “And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver .”

Exodus 21:33 Comments - This pit would most commonly be a well. Short walls around a well were required to prevent a person or animal from falling into the pit.

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Exodus 21". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/exodus-21.html. 2013.
Ads FreeProfile