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Chapter 21

Exodus 21 Commentary

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Exodus 21:1 meaning

So begins a section known as the Book of the Covenant. It contains 42 judgments.

Exodus 21:2-11 meaning

The first section of the Book of the Covenant concerns how male and female servants (or slaves) were to be treated.

Exodus 21:12-17 meaning

Violent acts perpetuated against another person require capital punishment. The persons in view here are free and not servants. There are four crimes described in these verses.

Exodus 21:18-27 meaning

Here are the judgements for four instances of violence done to a person where the victim does not die. The four instances are: violence between free people, violence done to servants, violence done to a pregnant woman which causes the loss of her baby, and bodily injury to a servant.

Exodus 21:28-36 meaning

This passage is concerned with other things that could cause injury to a person and their livelihood. A violent ox, the loss of livestock by negligence, or one ox killing another.