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.”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

If men striue, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischiefe follow, he shalbe surely punished, according as the womans husband will lay vpon him, and hee shall pay as the Iudges determine.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

"If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges {decide.}
- New American Standard Version (1995)

And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow; he shall be surely fined, according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
- American Standard Version (1901)

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.
- Basic English Bible

And if men strive together, and strike a woman with child, so that she be delivered, and no mischief happen, he shall in any case be fined, according as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and shall give it as the judges estimate.
- Darby Bible

If men shall contend, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit shall 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.
- Webster's Bible

If men fight and hurt a pregnant woman so that she gives birth prematurely, and yet no harm follows, he shall be surely fined as much as the woman's husband demands and the judges allow.
- World English Bible

`And when men strive, and have smitten a pregnant woman, and her children have come out, and there is no mischief, he is certainly fined, as the husband of the woman doth lay upon him, and he hath given through the judges;
- Youngs Literal Bible

And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow, he shall be surely fined, according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
- Jewish Publication Society Bible

Bible commentary

Discussion for Exodus 21:22

  • John Rycraft for verse 22
    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?
  • John Rycraft for verse 22
    Those who are pro-choice argue that this passage describes a miscarriage and is, therefore, clear evidence that a fetus was not considered to be a human being. Pro-life advocates disagree, claiming that the passage relates to a premature birth where the baby is born alive. What the pro-lifers fail to acknowledge is that, in Biblical times, a baby born prematurely would have had very little chance of survival, so the distinction between a miscarriage and a premature live birth would seem to be largely academic.

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