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Bible Commentaries

Geneva Study Bible

Exodus 21

Verse 2

21:2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for {a} nothing.

(a) Paying no money for his freedom.

Verse 3

21:3 If he {b} came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.

(b) Not having wife nor children.

Verse 4

21:4 If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her {c} master’s, and he shall go out by himself.

(c) Till her time of servitude was expired which might be the seventh year or the fiftieth.

Verse 6

21:6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the {d} door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for {e} ever.

(d) Where the judges sat.

(e) That is, to the year of Jubile, which was every fiftieth year.

Verse 7

21:7 And if a man {f} sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.

(f) Forced either by poverty, or else with the intent that the master should marry her.

Verse 8

21:8 If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall {g} he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.

(g) By giving another money to buy her from him.

Verse 9

21:9 And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her {h} after the manner of daughters.

(h) That is, he shall give his dowry.

Verse 10

21:10 If he take {i} him another [wife]; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.

(i) For his son.

Verse 11

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

(k) Neither marry her himself, nor give another money to buy her, nor bestow her on his son.

Verse 13

21:13 And if a man lie not in wait, but {l} God deliver [him] into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee.

(l) Though a man be killed unawares, yet it is God’s providence that it should so be.

Verse 14

21:14 But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine {m} altar, that he may die.

(m) The holiness of the place should not defend the murderer.

Verse 18

21:18 And if men strive together, and one smite another with a {n} stone, or with [his] fist, and he die not, but keepeth [his] bed:

(n) Either far away from him or near.

Verse 19

21:19 If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote [him] be {o} quit: only he shall pay [for] the loss of his time, and shall cause [him] to be thoroughly healed.

(o) By the civil justice.

Verse 21

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

(p) By the civil magistrate, but before God he is a murderer.

Verse 22

21:22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart [from her], and yet no {q} 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].

(q) Or, "death": of the mother or child in the event she miscarries. Also the death on the unborn infant.

Verse 24

21:24 {r} Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

(r) The execution of this law only belonged to the magistrate, Matthew 5:38.

Verse 27

21:27 And if he smite {s} out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.

(s) So God revenges cruelty in the even the least things.

Verse 28

21:28 If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely {t} stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox [shall be] quit.

(t) If the beast be punished, much more shall the murderer.

Verse 30

21:30 If there be laid on him a {u} sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him.

(u) By the next of the kindred of him that is so slain.

Verse 32

21:32 If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty {x} shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

(x) Read Genesis 23:15.

Verse 34

21:34 The owner of the pit shall {y} make [it] good, [and] give money unto the owner of them; and the dead [beast] shall be his.

(y) This law forbids not only to hurt, but to beware lest any be hurt.

Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Exodus 21". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.