1 The Lord gave Moses the following
laws for his people:
Murder and Other Violent Crimes
2 If you buy a Hebrew
slave, he must remain your slave for six years. But in the seventh
year you must set him free, without cost to him. 3 If he was single
at the time you bought him, he alone must be set free. But if
he was married at the time, both he and his wife must be given
their freedom. 4 If you give him a wife, and they have children,
only the man himself must be set free; his wife and children remain
the property of his owner.
5 But suppose the slave
loves his wife and children so much that he wont leave without
them. 6 Then he must stand beside either the door or the doorpost
at the place of worship, while his owner punches a small hole
through one of his ears with a sharp metal rod. This makes him
a slave for life.
7 A young woman who was sold by her father
doesnt gain her freedom in the same way that a man does.
8 If she doesnt please the man who bought her to be his
wife, he must let her be bought back. He cannot sell her to foreigners;
this would break the contract he made with her. 9 If he selects
her as a wife for his son, he must treat her as his own daughter.
10 If the man later marries another woman,
he must continue to provide food and clothing for the one he bought
and to treat her as a wife. 11 If he fails to do any of these
things, she must be given her freedom without cost.
- The Lord said:
- 12 Death is the punishment for murder.
13 But if you did not intend to kill someone, and I, the Lord,
let it happen anyway, you may run for safety to a place that
I have set aside. 14 If you plan in advance to murder someone,
theres no escape, not even by holding on to my altar. You
will be dragged off and killed.
15 Death is the punishment for attacking
your father or mother.
16 Death is the punishment for kidnapping.
If you sell the person you kidnapped, or if you are caught with
that person, the penalty is death.
17 Death is the punishment for cursing
your father or mother.
18 Suppose two of you are arguing, and
you hit the other with either a rock or your fist, without causing
a fatal injury. If the victim has to stay in bed, 19 and later
has to use a stick when walking outside, you must pay for the
loss of time and do what you can to help until the injury is
completely healed. Thats your only responsibility.
20 Death is the punishment
for beating to death any of your slaves. 21 However, if the slave
lives a few days after the beating, you are not to be punished.
After all, you have already lost the services of that slave who
was your property.
22 Suppose a pregnant woman suffers a
miscarriage as the result of an injury caused by someone who
is fighting. If she isnt badly hurt, the one who injured
her must pay whatever fine her husband demands and the judges
approve. 23 But if she is seriously injured, the payment will
be life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand,
foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, cut for cut, and bruise for
26 If you hit one of
your slaves and cause the loss of an eye, the slave must be set
free. 27 The same law applies if you knock out a slaves
tooththe slave goes free.
28 A bull that kills someone with its
horns must be killed and its meat destroyed, but the owner of
the bull isnt responsible for the death.
29 Suppose you own a bull that has been
in the habit of attacking people, but you have refused to keep
it fenced in. If that bull kills someone, both you and the bull
must be put to death by stoning. 30 However, you may save your
own life by paying whatever fine is demanded. 31 This same law
applies if the bull gores someones son or daughter. 32 If the bull kills a slave, you must pay the
slave owner thirty pieces of silver for the loss of the slave,
and the bull must be killed by stoning.
33 Suppose someones ox or donkey
is killed by falling into an open pit that you dug or left uncovered
on your property. 34 You must pay for the dead animal, and it
35 If your bull kills someone elses,
yours must be sold. Then the money from your bull and the meat
from the dead bull must be divided equally between you and the
36 If you refuse to fence in a bull that
is known to attack others, you must pay for any animal it kills,
but the dead animal will belong to you.
The Contemporary English Version c1995 by the American
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary