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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Exodus 21



1Laws for men servants.
5For the servant whose ear is bored.
7For women servants.
12For manslaughter.
16For stealers of men.
17For cursers of parents.
18For smiters.
22For a hurt by chance.
28For an ox that gores.
33For him that is an occasion of harm.

Verse 1
Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them.
the judgments
Leviticus 18:5,26; 19:37; 20:22; Numbers 35:24; 36:13; Deuteronomy 5:1,31; 6:20; 1 Kings 6:12; 2 Chronicles 19:10; Nehemiah 9:13,14; 10:29; Psalms 147:19; Ezekiel 20:11,25; Malachi 4:4
19:7; 24:3,4; Deuteronomy 4:5,8,14,45; 6:20; Matthew 28:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:1

Verse 2
If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.
an Hebrew
12:44; 22:3; Genesis 27:28,36; Leviticus 25:39-41,44; 2 Kings 4:1; Nehemiah 5:1-5,8; Matthew 18:25; 1 Corinthians 6:20
and in the
Leviticus 25:40-43,45; Deuteronomy 15:1,12-15,18; 31:10; Jeremiah 34:8-17

Verse 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.
by himself
Heb. with his body.
Deuteronomy 15:12-14

Verse 4

shall be her: Exodus 4:22; Genesis 14:14, Genesis 15:3, Genesis 17:13, Genesis 17:27, Genesis 18:19; Ecclesiastes 2:7; Jeremiah href="/desk/?q=jer+2:14&sr=1">Jeremiah 2:14

Verse 5
And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:
And if
Deuteronomy 15:16,17; Isaiah 26:13; 2 Corinthians 5:14,15
shall plainly say
Heb. saying shall say.

Verse 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.
the judges
22; 12:12; 18:21-26; 22:8,9,28; Numbers 25:5-8; Deuteronomy 1:16; 16:18; Deuteronomy 19:17,18; 1 Samuel 8:1,2; Isaiah 1:26; Zephaniah 3:3
bore his ear
This significant ceremony was intended as a mark of permanent servitude, and was calculated to impress the servant with the duty of hearing all his master's orders, and obeying them punctually.
Psalms 40:6-8
for ever
Leviticus 25:23,40; Deuteronomy 15:17; 1 Samuel 1:22; 27:12; 28:2; 1 Kings 12:7

Verse 7
And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.
Nehemiah 5:5
go out

Verse 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.
please not
Heb. be evil in the eyes of, etc.
Genesis 28:8; Judges 14:3; 1 Samuel 8:6; 18:8; *marg:
who hath
Deuteronomy 20:7; 21:11-14
8:29; Judges 9:19; Job 6:15; Malachi 2:11-15

Verse 9

betrothed her unto: Exodus 22:17; Genesis 38:11; Leviticus href="/desk/?q=le+22:13&sr=1">Leviticus 22:13

Verse 10
If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.
her food
Sheairah, "her flesh;" he shall not only afford her a sufficient quantity of food, as before, but of the same quality. She is not to be fed, like a common slave, with a sufficiency of bread, vegetables, milk, etc., but with her customary supply of flesh, and other agreeable articles of food.
1 Corinthians 7:1-6

Verse 11

Exodus href="/desk/?q=ex+21:2&sr=1">Exodus 21:2

Verse 12
He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.
20:13; Genesis 9:6; Leviticus 24:17; Numbers 35:16-24,30,31; Deuteronomy 19:11-13; 2 Samuel 12:13; Matthew 26:52

Verse 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.
lie not
Numbers 35:11,22; Deuteronomy 19:4-6,11; Micah 7:2
1 Samuel 24:4,10,18; 2 Samuel 16:10; Isaiah 10:7
I will appoint
Numbers 35:11; Deuteronomy 4:41-43; 19:1-3,9; Joshua 20:2-9

Verse 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.
Numbers 15:30,31; Deuteronomy 1:43; 17:12,13; 18:22; 19:11-13; 1 Kings 2:29-34; Psalms 19:13; Hebrews 10:26; 2 Peter 2:10
Numbers 35:20,21; Deuteronomy 27:24; 2 Samuel 3:27; 20:9,10
take him
1 Kings 1:50,51; 2:28-34; 2 Kings 11:15

Verse 15
And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.
Deuteronomy 21:18-21; 27:24; Proverbs 30:11,17; 1 Timothy 1:9

Verse 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.
Genesis 40:15; Deuteronomy 24:7; 1 Timothy 1:10; Revelation 18:12
selleth him
Genesis 37:28
found in

Verse 17
And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
or, revilteth.
Leviticus 20:9; Deuteronomy 27:16; Proverbs 20:20; 30:11,17; Matthew 15:3-6; Mark 7:10,11

Verse 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:
22; 2:13; Deuteronomy 25:11; 2 Samuel 14:6
or, his neighbour. a stone.
20; Numbers 35:16-24

Verse 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.
upon his staff
2 Samuel 3:29; Zechariah 8:4
only he shall pay
This was a wise and excellent institution. The same provision is made in the civil law; and most courts of justice still regulate their decisions in such cases by this Mosaic precept.
the loss
Heb. his ceasing.

Verse 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.
26,27; Deuteronomy 19:21; Proverbs 29:19; Isaiah 58:3,4
he shall
Genesis 9:6; Numbers 35:30-33
Heb. avenged.
Genesis 4:15,24; Numbers 35:19; Romans 13:4

Verse 21
Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.
Leviticus 25:45,46

Verse 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.
as the judges
30; Deuteronomy 16:18; 22:18,19

Verse 23
And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,
life for life
Numbers 35:31

Verse 24
Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
26,27; Leviticus 24:19,20; Deuteronomy 19:21; Judges 1:6,7; 1 Samuel 15:33; Matthew 5:38-40; 7:2; Luke 6:38; Revelation 16:6

Verse 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.
20; Deuteronomy 16:19; Nehemiah 5:5; Job 31:13-15; Psalms 9:12; 10:14,18; 72:12-14; Proverbs 22:22,23; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1

Verse 27

smite: Exodus href="/desk/?q=ex+21:19&sr=1">Exodus 21:19

Verse 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.
the ox
32; Genesis 9:5,6; Leviticus 20:15,16

Verse 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.
his owner also
Deuteronomy 21:1-9

Verse 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.
for the ransom
22; 30:12; Numbers 35:31-33; Proverbs 13:8

Verse 31

judgment: or, sentence, Exodus href="/desk/?q=ex+21:31&sr=1">Exodus 21:31

Verse 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.
Genesis 37:28; Zechariah 11:12,13; Matthew 26:15; 27:3-9; Philippians 2:7
and the ox

Verse 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;
Psalms 9:15; 119:85; Proverbs 28:10; Ecclesiastes 10:8; Jeremiah 18:20,22

Verse 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.
29,30; 22:6,14

Verse 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.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Exodus 21:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, October 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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