Exodus Chapter 21
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.
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.
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.
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Exodus Chapter 21 Bible commentary...
Laws respecting servants. (1-11) Judicial laws. (12-21) Judicial laws. (22-36)1-11 The laws in this chapter relate to the fifth and sixth commandments; and though they differ from our times and customs, nor are they binding on us, yet they explain the moral law, and the rules of natural justice. The servant, in the state of servitude, was an emblem of that state of bondage to sin, Satan, and the law, which man is brought into by robbing God of his glory, by the transgression of his precepts. Likewise in being made free, he was an emblem of that liberty wherewith Christ, the Son of God, makes free from bondage his people, who are free indeed; and made so freely, without money and without price, of free grace.
12-21 God, who by his providence gives and maintains life, by his law protects it. A wilful murderer shall be taken even from God's altar. But God provided cities of refuge to protect those whose unhappiness it was, and not their fault, to cause the death of another; for such as by accident, when a man is doing a lawful act, without intent of hurt, happens to kill another. Let children hear the sentence of God's word upon the ungrateful and disobedient; and remember that God will certainly requite it, if they have ever cursed their parents, even in their hearts, or have lifted up their hands against them, except they repent, and flee for refuge to the Saviour. And let parents hence learn to be very careful in training up their children, setting them a good example, especially in the government of their passions, and in praying for them; taking heed not to provoke them to wrath. Through poverty the Israelites sometimes sold themselves or their children; magistrates sold some persons for their crimes, and creditors were in some cases allowed to sell their debtors who could not pay. But "man-stealing," the object of which is to force another into slavery, is ranked in the New Testament with the greatest crimes. Care is here taken, that satisfaction be made for hurt done to a person, though death do not follow. The gospel teaches masters to forbear, and to moderate threatenings, #Eph 6:9|, considering with Job, What shall I do, when God riseth up? #Job 31:13,14|.
22-36 The cases here mentioned give rules of justice then, and still in use, for deciding similar matters. We are taught by these laws, that we must be very careful to do no wrong, either directly or indirectly. If we have done wrong, we must be very willing to make it good, and be desirous that nobody may lose by us.
Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.
Michael Horton's Exodus Chapter 21 comment about verse 16 on 8/03/2015, 1:44am...
Proof that the Bible, contrary to popular belief, does NOT condone slavery!
John Rycraft's Exodus Chapter 21 comment about verse 22 on 6/25/2015, 7:04pm...
Something else to consider is that the passage clearly indicates that the husband should be compensated for damages incurred, which implies a monetary loss. A male child would be viewed as a future worker a female child could either provide future labor or be sold. If the woman is so close to her due date that she is able to deliver a live, healthy child, what loss has the husband sustained?
Dewey J's Exodus Chapter 21 comment on 6/24/2015, 12:56pm...
Randy, in some ways we worse than the people of that time because we have knowledge. Christ has come and been crucified, resurrected, and acended to heaven. But look at the way man treat each other today with more than 7 billion people on the planet. The Incredible pain from hatred, war though sometimes necessary, greed, poverty, mostly for power and worldly list. Also, those laws were not the laws of man but God. They are the laws of God given by Moses 2 Peter 1:20, 21 says, "knowing this first that no prophecy of of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. V21 "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved-or-inspired by the Holy Ghost ". God bless us all and in the understanding of his Word. Glory be to Jehovah in the highest through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen!
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