Exodus 21

Exodus 21


These are the ordinancesI that you shall setII beforeIII them:

Notes on verse 1

I “ordinances” = mishpat. From shaphat (to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, govern). This is a verdict or formal sentence whether from humans or from God. It includes the act of judging as well as the place that judging takes place, the suit itself, and the penalty. Abstractly, this is justice, which includes the rights of the participants.
II “set” = sum. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
III “before” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.

2 When you buyIV a male HebrewV slave,VI

Notes on verse 2a

IV “buy” = qanah. This is to acquire, create, purchase, own. Its root may mean to smith or to produce.
V “Hebrew” = Ibri. From Eber (the region beyond; Eber, the name of several Israelites including a descendant of Shem); from abar (to pass over, pass through, or pass by; cross over or to alienate; used for transitions). This is Hebrew, perhaps meaning a descendant of Eber.
VI “male…slave” = ebed. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.

he shall serveVII sixVIII years, but in the seventhIX he shall go outX a free person,XI without debt.XII 

Notes on verse 2b

VII “serve” = abad. Related to “male…slave” in v2. See note VI above.
VIII “six” = shesh. This is six. Figuratively, it can be a surplus since it is one more than the number of fingers on the hand.
IX “seventh” = shebii. From sheba (seven – the number of perfection/sacred fullness). This is seventh.
X “go out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
XI “free person” = chophshi. 17x in OT. From chaphash (to be free or loose; figuratively used for freeing slaves). This is free, liberty, or a free person. It can mean exempt from bondage, taxation, or worry.
XII “without debt” = chinnam. From chen (grace, favor, kindness, beauty, precious); from chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is out of favor, so it can mean without cost, without payment, nothing, vain, or useless.

If he comes inXIII single,XIV he shall go out single; if he comes in married,XV then his wifeXVI shall go out with him. 

Notes on verse 3

XIII “comes in” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
XIV “single” = gaph. 4x in OT. Root may refer to an arch. This is body, self, or alone. It could also refer to height or elevation.
XV “married” = baal + ishshah. Baal is from ba’al (to marry, have dominion, be master). This is lord, owner, ally, master, or archer. Ishshah is from ish (man); perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is woman, wife, or female.
XVI “wife” = ishshah. Same as “married” in v3. See note XV above.

4 If his masterXVII givesXVIII him a wife and she bearsXIX him sonsXX or daughters,XXI the wife and her childrenXXII shall beXXIII her master’s and he shall go out alone.XXIV 

Notes on verse 4

XVII “master” = adon. From a root that means ruling or being sovereign. This is lord, master, or owner.
XVIII “gives” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
XIX “bears” = yalad. This is to bear or bring forth. It can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage. This is often used for birth or begetting.
XX “sons” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
XXI “daughters” = bat. Related to “sons” in v4. From ben (see note XX above). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.
XXII “children” = yeled. Related to “bears” in v4. From yalad (see note XIX above). This is something born – so, offspring, youth, fruit. It is the same word used in Isaiah 9:6 “for a child will be born to us.”
XXIII “be” = hayah. This is to be or exist.
XXIV “alone” = gaph. Same as “single” in v3. See note XIV above.

5 But if the slaveXXV declares,XXVI “I loveXXVII my master, my wife, and my children;XXVIII I will not go out a free person,” 6 then his master shall bringXXIX him beforeXXX God.XXXI 

Notes on verses 5-6a

XXV “slave” = ebed. Same as “male…slave” in v2. See note VI above.
XXVI “declares” = amar + amar. This is to say or answer. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
XXVII “love” = aheb. This is to love, beloved, friend. It is to have affection for sexually or otherwise.
XXVIII “children” = ben. Same as “sons” in v4. See note XX above.
XXIX “bring” = nagash. This is to draw, bring, or come near. It is approaching for any reason – as an attack on an enemy, in order to worship, to make an argument. It can also be used as a euphemism for sex.
XXX “before” = el. This is to or towards.
XXXI “God” = Elohim.


He shall be brought to the doorXXXII or the doorpost; and his master shall pierceXXXIII his earXXXIV with an awl;XXXV and he shall serve him for life.XXXVI

Notes on verse 6b

XXXII “door” = mezuzah. 19x in OT. From the same as ziz (moving things like animals, abundance). This is a door or gate post. In modern Judaism, a mezuzah adorns the doorpost of many Jewish homes in reference to Deuteronomy 6:9. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mezuzah
XXXIII “pierce” = ratsa. 1x in OT. This is to pierce.
XXXIV “ear” = ozen. This is ear, hearing, audience, show. Properly, it is broadness – applied to its ear in reference to its shape.
XXXV “awl” = martsea. Related to “pierce” in v6. 2x in OT. From ratsa (see note XXXIII above). This is an awl or some other tool used to pierce.
XXXVI “life” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).

7 When a manXXXVII sellsXXXVIII his daughter as a slave,XXXIX she shall not go out as the male slaves do.XL  8 If she does not pleaseXLI, XLII her master,

Notes on verses 7-8a

XXXVII “man” = ish. Related to “married” in v3. See note XV above.
XXXVIII “sells” = makar. This is to sell – could be commerce/trade, a daughter to be married, someone into slavery. Figuratively, it can mean to surrender.
XXXIX “slave” = amah. This is female servant or slave, handmaid.
XL “do” = yatsa. Same as “go out” in v2. See note XX above.
XLI “does not please” = ra’. From ra’a’ (to be evil, bad, afflict; properly, to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces; figuratively, to cause something to be worthless; this is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense; that which displeases, to do harm or mischief, to punish or vex). This is bad, disagreeable, that which causes pain, misery, something having little or no value, something that is ethically bad, wicked, injury, calamity. This refers to anything that is not what it ought to be – a natural disaster, a disfigurement, an injury, a sin.
XLII {untranslated} = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).

who designatedXLIII her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed;XLIV he shall have no rightXLV to sell her to a foreignXLVI people,XLVII since he has dealt unfairlyXLVIII with her. 

Notes on verse 8b

XLIII “designated” = yaad. This is to appoint, assemble or gather selves, agree. Here, it is to meet at a prearranged place/time or to gather as to go to war.
XLIV “redeemed” = padah. This is to sever, which is to say to ransom. To secure someone’s release (by paying their debt to free them from slavery) and thus redeem, rescue, deliver, preserve. Can also be the redemption price.
XLV “have…right” = mashal. This is to rule, reign, govern, have authority, wield.
XLVI “foreign” = nokri. From neker (strange; to act foreign or strange; to disguise; can also be misfortune or unexpected calamity); from nakar (to recognize, examine, take notice, show, scrutinize). This is foreign, alien, stranger, extraordinary, adulteress. It is strange in many different senses – foreign, not being one’s relative, different, wonderful, relating to adultery.
XLVII “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
XLVIII “dealt unfairly” = bagad. This is to cover or conceal. Figuratively, it is to act in a covert or treacherous way, to transgress or pillage.

If he designates her for his son, he shall dealXLIX with her as withL a daughter. 10 If he takesLI anotherLII wife to himself, he shall not diminishLIII the food,LIV clothing,LV or marital rightsLVI of the first wife. 

Notes on verses 9-10

XLIX “deal” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
L {untranslated} = mishpat. Same as “ordinances” in v1. See note I above.
LI “takes” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
LII “another” = acher. From achar (to be behind, delay, be late, procrastinate, continue). This is following, next, strange, other.
LIII “diminish” = gara. This is to remove, restrain, cut off, take away, shave, limit
LIV “food” = sheer. 16x in OT. Perhaps from sha’ar (properly, swelling up i.e. being left over; a remnant, remaining, being redundant). This is flesh, body, meat, kin, self.
LV “clothing” = kesut. 8x in OT. From kasah (to cover, conceal, overwhelm; to cover as clothes do or to hide a secret). This is a covering – a garment or veiling. It can also be vindication.
LVI “marital rights” = onah. 1x in OT. May come from a word that means to live together. This can refer to marriage or living together and having sex.

11 And if he does not doLVII these threeLVIII things for her, she shall go out without debt, without payment of money.LIX 12 Whoever strikesLX a personLXI mortallyLXII shall be put to death.LXIII 

Notes on verses 11-12

LVII “do” = asah. Same as “deal” in v9. See note XLIX above.
LVIII “three” = shalosh. This is three, fork, three times.
LIX “money” = keseph. From kasaph (to long for, be greedy; to become pale). This is silver or money.
LX “strikes” = nakah. This is to hit whether lightly or severely. It can be used in a literal or figurative sense. So, this could be beat, punish, give wounds, kill, or slaughter.
LXI “person” = ish. Same as “man” in v7. See note XXXVII above.
LXII “mortally” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.
LXIII “put to death” = mut + mut. Same as “mortally” in v12. See note LXII above. It is also an infinitive absolute. See note XXVI above.

13 If it was not premeditated,LXIV but came aboutLXV by an actLXVI of God, then I will appointLXVII for you a placeLXVIII to which the killer may flee.LXIX 

Notes on verse 13

LXIV “premeditated” = tsadah. 3x in OT. This is to hunt, chase, or destroy.
LXV “came about” = anah. 6x in OT. This is to meet, happen, approach.
LXVI “act” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
LXVII “appoint” = sum. Same as “set” in v1. See note II above.
LXVIII “place” = maqom. From qum(to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide; rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action; standing in a figurative sense). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.
LXIX “flee” = nus. This is to flee, vanish away, hide, escape, be displayed.

14 But if someoneLXX willfully attacksLXXI and killsLXXII anotherLXXIII by treachery,LXXIV you shall take the killer from my altarLXXV for execution.LXXVI

Notes on verse 14

LXX “someone” = ish. Same as “man” in v7. See note XXXVII above.
LXXI “willfully attacks” = zud. 10x in OT. This is to cook, boil up, or seethe. Figuratively, it can mean to act with arrogance or insolence, to be rebellious.
LXXII “kills” = harag. This is to strike with deadly intent so it can be kill, destroy, murder, or put to death.
LXXIII “another” = rea. From raah (to associate with). This is the same as neighbor in Leviticus 19:18 “love your neighbor as yourself.” This is friend, companion, fellow, neighbor. It is someone with whom you associate, whether more or less close.
LXXIV “treachery” = ormah. 5x in OT. From orem (craftiness, shrewdness); from arom (being shrewd or crafty, cunning; properly, being or making bare). This is prudence or wisdom. Alternately, it’s craftiness, guile, or trickery.
LXXV “altar” = mizbeach. From zabach (to kill, slay, offer; slaughtering an animal to offer as a sacrifice). This is an altar.
LXXVI “execution” = mut. Same as “mortally” in v12. See note LXII above.

15 Whoever strikes fatherLXXVII or motherLXXVIII shall be put to death.LXXIX 16 Whoever kidnapsLXXX a person, whether that person has been sold or is still heldLXXXI in possession,LXXXII shall be put to death.LXXXIII

Notes on verses 15-16

LXXVII “father” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXVIII “mother” = em. This is a mother as binding a family together or a breeding female animal. It could be mother in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXIX “put to death” = mut + mut. Same as “put to death” in v12 with infinitive absolute. See note LXIII above.
LXXX “kidnaps” = ganab. This is to steal in a stealthy way rather than through violence. It can also mean to deceive. There is a Yiddish word ganef that derives from this root. It means thief or scoundrel.
LXXXI “held” = matsa. This is to find, catch or acquire. It can also mean to come forth or appear. Figuratively, this can mean to meet or be together with.
LXXXII “possession” = yad. Same as “act” in v13. See note LXVI above.
LXXXIII “put to death” = mut. Same as “put to death” in v12 with infinitive absolute. See note LXIII above.

17 Whoever cursesLXXXIV father or mother shall be put to death.LXXXV 18 When individualsLXXXVI quarrelLXXXVII and oneLXXXVIII strikes the otherLXXXIX

Notes on verses 17-18a

LXXXIV “curses” = qalal. This is to be little, insignificant, swift. It can also mean to bring down in esteem, create contempt, curse.
LXXXV “put to death” = mut. Same as “put to death” in v12 with infinitive absolute. See note LXIII above.
LXXXVI “individuals” = ish. Same as “man” in v7. See note XXXVII above.
LXXXVII “quarrel” = rib. This is properly to toss or grapple. It is used figuratively to mean wrangling and so for arguments, complaints, or disputes. It is used in a legal setting for pleading or defending a case.
LXXXVIII “one” = ish. Same as “man” in v7. See note XXXVII above.
LXXXIX “other” = rea. Same as “another” in v14. See note LXXIII above.

with a stoneXC or fistXCI so that the injured party, though not dead,XCII is confinedXCIII to bed,XCIV 

Notes on verse18b

XC “stone” = eben. This is a stone, weight, or mason. It is part of the word “Ebenezer.”
XCI “fist” = egroph. 2x in OT. From garaph (to conduct away forcefully). This is a fist.
XCII “dead” = mut. Same as “mortally” in v12. See note LXII above.
XCIII “confined” = naphal. This is to fall, whether by accident, to fall prostrate, or to fall in violent death. Figuratively, it can refer to personal ruin or calamity, a city falling, an attack or a falling away. It can also be a deep sleep or wasting away.
XCIV “bed” = mishkab. From shakab (to lie down, lodge; lying for sleep, sex, or other reasons). This is a place where one lies down i.e. a bed, couch, or bedchamber. It can also be used in an abstract sense to refer to sleep or euphemistically for sex.

19 but recoversXCV and walksXCVI around outsideXCVII with the help of a staff,XCVIII

Notes on verse 19a

XCV “recovers” = qum. Same as “place” in v13. See note LXVIII above.
XCVI “walks” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
XCVII “outside” = chuts. Root may mean to sever. So, this is something that is separated by a wall – the outside, the street, a field, highway, or abroad.
XCVIII “staff” = mish’enah. 12x in OT. From mish’en (a support or staff; figuratively, a protector or sustenance); from sha’an (to lean or support oneself; to rely or trust). This is a staff or walking stick.

then the assailantXCIX shall be free of liability,C exceptCI to payCII for the loss of time,CIII and to arrange for full recovery.CIV

Notes on verse 19b

XCIX “assailant” = nakah. Same as “strikes” in v12. See note LX above.
C “be free of liability” = naqah. This is to be empty, cleanse, acquit, blameless, immune, innocent. It is to be clean or to make clean in a literal or figurative sense. It can also be bare in a negative sense, destroyed.
CI “except” = raq. From the same as raq (thin, surely, only); perhaps from raqaq (to spit). This is but, except, at least. In the sense of being thin, it figuratively refers to some kind of limit.
CII “pay” = natan. Same as “gives” in v4. See note XVIII above.
CIII “loss of time” = shebet. 4x in OT. From shabat (to rest, stop, repose, cease working; by implication, to celebrate). This is a cessation, rest, sit still, dwelling, interruption.
CIV “arrange for full recovery” = rapha + rapha. Properly, this is to repair by stitching – figuratively this means to heal or cure. It can also mean to make whole. It is also an infinitive absolute. See note XXVI above.

20 When a slaveownerCV strikes a male or female slave with a rodCVI and the slave dies immediately,CVII the owner shall be punished.CVIII 

Notes on verse 20

CV “slaveowner” = ish. Same as “man” in v7. See note XXXVII above.
CVI “rod” = shebet. This is a rod, staff, club, scepter, dart, or tribe. Literally a stick that can be used for punishing, writing, fighting, walking, ruling; thus, used figuratively for a clan.
CVII “immediately” = tachat + yad. Tachat is under or instead of. Yad is the same as “act” in v13. See note LXVI above.
CVIII “be punished” = naqam + naqam. 17x in OT. From naqam (to avenge, punish, have a grudge, execute). This can be a quarrel or vengeance. It is also an infinitive absolute. See note XXVI above.

21 ButCIX if the slave survivesCX a dayCXI or two,CXII there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property.CXIII

Notes on verse 21

CIX “but” = ak. Related to aken (surely, truly, nevertheless); from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is a positive statement – surely, also, certainly, alone, only.
CX “survives” = amad. This is to stand up in a literal or figurative sense. So it can be establish, continue, endure, take a stand, act, be a servant, stand still, remain, stand against an enemy.
CXI “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
CXII “two” = yom. Same as “day” in v21. See note CX above.
CXIII “property” = keseph. Same as “money” in v11. See note LIX above.

22 When peopleCXIV who are fightingCXV injureCXVI a pregnantCXVII womanCXVIII so that there is a miscarriage,CXIX

Notes on verse 22a

CXIV “people” = enosh. Related to “married” in v3 & “man” in v7. See note XV above.
CXV “fighting” = natsah. 11x in OT. Properly, this means to go forth so it implies being expelled. This, in turn, implies being desolate or, causatively, to be laid waste. It can mean waste or ruinous. It can also be used figuratively for quarreling or striving together.
CXVI “injure” = nagaph. This is to strike, beat, hurt, stumble, defeat, inflict disease.
CXVII “pregnant” = harah. 16x in OT. From harah (to conceive or be pregnant –literal or figurative). This is conceive or pregnant.
CXVIII “woman” = ishshah. Same as “married” in v3. See note XV above.
CXIX “is a miscarriage” = yatsa + yeled. Yatsa is the same as “go out” in v2. See note XX above. Yeled is the same as “children” in v4. See note XXII above.

and yet no further harmCXX follows,CXXI the one responsible shall be finedCXXII what the woman’s husbandCXXIII demands,CXXIV paying as much as the judgesCXXV determine. 

Notes on verse 22b

CXX “harm” = ason. 5x in OT– 3x in Genesis & 2x in Exodus. This is mischief, evil, or injury.
CXXI “follows” = hayah. Same as “be” in v4. See note XXIII above.
CXXII “be fined” = anash + anash. 9x in OT. This is to be weak, sick, or frail. Figuratively, it can also mean woeful or melancholy. It is also an infinitive absolute. See note XXVI above.
CXXIII “husband” = baal. Same as “married” in v13. See note XV above.
CXXIV “demands” = shith. This is to place, set, bring, appoint, consider, bring, array or look.
CXXV “judges” = palil. 3x in OT. From palal (to judge for oneself or in an official capacity; to pray or make supplication, to entreat). This is a judge.

23 If any harm follows, then you shall give lifeCXXVI forCXXVII life, 24 eyeCXXVIII for eye, toothCXXIX for tooth,

Notes on verses 23-24a

CXXVI “life” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
CXXVII “for” = tachat. Same as “immediately” in v20. See note CVII above.
CXXVIII “eye” = ayin. Same as {untranslated} in v8. See note XLII above.
CXXIX “tooth” = shen. From shanan (to sharpen, point, pierce; figuratively to teach). This is a tooth, ivory, something sharp, or, figuratively, a cliff.

handCXXX for hand, footCXXXI for foot, 25 burnCXXXII for burn, woundCXXXIII for wound, stripeCXXXIV for stripe.

Notes on verses 24b-25

CXXX “hand” = yad. Same as “act” in v13. See note LXVI above.
CXXXI “foot” = regel. This is foot, endurance, or journey. It is a foot as the means of walking and so it implies a step or a greater journey. It can be used euphemistically for private parts.
CXXXII “burn” = keviyyah. 2x in OT – both here. From kavah (to prick, blister, burn, scorch). This is a burn or branding.
CXXXIII “wound” = petsa. 8x in OT. From patsa (to split, wound, bruise). This is to wound or bruise.
CXXXIV “stripe” = chabburah. 7x in OT. From chabar (to unite, ally, attach, touch; to join in a literal or figurative sense; also, specially, using magic knots or spells to fascinate or connect). This is a blow, striking, or scourging. It can also refer to the wound or bruise – the stripe being blue and black marks on the skin.

26 When a slaveowner strikes the eye of a male orCXXXV female slave, destroyingCXXXVI it, the owner shall let the slave go,CXXXVII a free person, to compensate for the eye. 27 If the owner knocks outCXXXVIII a tooth of a male orCXXXIX female slave, the slave shall be let go, a free person, to compensate for the tooth.

Notes on verses 26-27

CXXXV {untranslated} = ayin. Same as {untranslated} in v8. See note XLII above.
CXXXVI “destroying” = shachat. This is to go to ruin, perish, decay, batter, cast off, lose, one who destroys. This can be used in a literal or figurative sense.
CXXXVII “let…go” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
CXXXVIII “knocks out” = naphal. Same as “confined” in v18. See note XCIII above.
CXXXIX {untranslated} = shen. Same as “tooth” in v24. See note CXXIX above.

28 When an oxCXL goresCXLI a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned,CXLII and its fleshCXLIII shall not be eaten;CXLIV but the ownerCXLV of the ox shall not be liable.CXLVI 

Notes on verse 28

CXL “ox” = shor. Perhaps from shur (to travel, turn, journey; travelling like a prostitute or a merchant). This is bull, ox, head of cattle, cow.
CXLI “gores” = nagach. 11x in OT. This is to push, gore, collide, butt with horns. Figuratively, it can mean to go to war with.
CXLII “be stoned” = saqal + saqal. Properly, this means being weighty. However, it is used for stoning someone (to death) or for removing stones. It is also an infinitive absolute. See note XXVI above.
CXLIII “flesh” = basar. From basar (being a messenger, publish, carry preach; properly, this is being fresh, rosy or cheerful as one bearing news). This is flesh, the body, fat, skin, self, nakedness, humankind, or kin. It can also refer to private parts.
CXLIV “eaten” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
CXLV “owner” = baal. Same as “married” in v13. See note XV above.
CXLVI “not be liable” = naqiy. Related to “be free of liability” in v 19. From naqah (see note C above). This is blameless, innocent, free from punishment, or clear.

29 If the ox has been accustomed to goreCXLVII in the past,CXLVIII and its owner has been warnedCXLIX but has not restrainedCL it, and it killsCLI a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. 

Notes on verse 29

CXLVII “accustomed to gore” = naggach. Related to “gores” in v28. 2x in OT – both in this passage. From nagach (see note CXLI above). This is in the habit of butting or goring.
CXLVIII “past” = temol + shilshom. Temol may be from ethmol (formerly, before, yesterday, time); {from et (with, among, beside, including, toward, near); from anah (to meet, happen, approach)} + mul (front, opposite, toward); {from mul (to cut short, circumcise, blunt, destroy)}. This is ago, recently, yesterday, past. Shilshom is related to “three” in v11. From shalash (to make triplicate, do a third time); from the same as shalosh (see note LVIII above). This is three days ago, before, yesterday in the past.
CXLIX “warned” = ud. This is to repeat, return, do again. This implies testifying something since that is a repetition. It can also mean to charge, admonish, protest, relieve, restore, or lift up.
CL “restrained” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
CLI “kills” = mut. Same as “mortally” in v12. See note LXII above.

30 If a ransomCLII is imposedCLIII on the owner, then the owner shall pay whateverCLIV is imposed for the redemptionCLV of the victim’s life. 31 If it gores a boyCLVI orCLVII a girl,CLVIII the owner shall be dealt with according to this same rule.CLIX 

Notes on verses 30-31

CLII “ransom” = kopher. 17x in OT– including covering Noah’s ark with pitch in Genesis 6. From kaphar (to appease, cover, pacify, cancel, cleanse, pardon). This is ransom, bribe, price of a life. Properly, it means something that covers something else. S, it can be a village, bitumen as a coating, a henna plant that dyes, or a ransom price.
CLIII “imposed” = shith. Same as “demands” in v22. See note CXXIV above.
CLIV “whatever” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
CLV “redemption” = pidyom. Related to “redeemed” in v8. 3x in OT. From padah (see note XLIV above). This is ransom or redemption.
CLVI “boy” = ben. Same as “children” in v4. See note XX above.
CLVII {untranslated} = nagach. Same as “gore” in v28. See note CXLI above.
CLVIII “girl” = bat. Same as “daughters” in v4. See note XXI above.
CLIX “rule” = mishpat. Same as “ordinances” in v1. See note I above.

32 If the ox gores a male or female slave, the owner shall pay to the slaveownerCLX thirtyCLXI shekelsCLXII of silver,CLXIII and the ox shall be stoned.

Notes on verse 32

CLX “slaveowner” = adon. Same as “master” in v4. See note XVII above.
CLXI “thirty” = sheloshim. Related to “three” in v11 & “past” in v29. From the same as shalosh (see note LVIII above). This is thirty.
CLXII “shekels” = sheqel. From shaqal (to weigh, spend, trade). This is shekel or sheqel. It is a unit of weight, generally used in trade.
CLXIII “silver” = keseph. Same as “money” in v11. See note LIX above.

33 If someone leaves a pitCLXIV open,CLXV orCLXVI digsCLXVII a pit and does not coverCLXVIII it,

Notes on verse 33a

CLXIV “pit” = bor. From bur (to bore; figuratively, to explain, examine, or clear up). This is a pit – generally a cistern or dungeon. It could also be a well or fountain.
CLXV “leaves…open” = patach. This is to open wide in a literal or figurative sense. So, it is open, draw out, let something go free, break forth. It can also mean to plow, engrave, or carve.
CLXVI {untranslated} = ish. Same as “man” in v7. See note XXXVII above.
CLXVII “digs” = karah. 17x in OT – 8x of digging a pit or trap, 2x of digging a well, 2x of digging a tomb, 2x of bargaining, 1x shriveled, 1x opening an ear, and 1x of digging up evil. This is properly to dig or open up. Figuratively, it can be to plot or make a banquet.
CLXVIII “cover” = kasah. Related to “clothing” in v10. See note LV above.

and an ox or a donkeyCLXIX fallsCLXX into it, 34 the owner of the pit shall make restitution,CLXXI givingCLXXII money to its owner, but keepingCLXXIII the dead animal.

Notes on verses 33b-34

CLXIX “donkey” = chamor. From chamar (to be red, blush). This is a male donkey.
CLXX “falls” = naphal. Same as “confined” in v18. See note XCIII above.
CLXXI “make restitution” = shalam. This is to be complete or sound – to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate. So, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated. This is the root verb that “shalom” comes from, the Hebrew word for peace.
CLXXII “giving” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
CLXXIII “keeping” = hayah. Same as “be” in v4. See note XXIII above.

35 If someone’s ox hurtsCLXXIV the ox of another, so that it dies, then they shall sell the liveCLXXV ox and divideCLXXVI the priceCLXXVII of it; and the dead animal they shall also divide. 36 But if it was knownCLXXVIII that the ox was accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has not restrained it, the owner shall restoreCLXXIX ox for ox, but keep the dead animal.

Notes on verses 35-36

CLXXIV “hurts” = nagaph. Same as “injure” in v22. See note CXVI above.
CLXXV “live” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
CLXXVI “divide” = chatsah. 15x in OT. This is to halve, divide, reach, participate.
CLXXVII “price” = keseph. Same as “money” in v11. See note LIX above.
CLXXVIII “was known” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
CLXXIX “restore” = shalam + shalam. Same as “make restitution” in v34. See note CLXXI above. It is also an infinitive absolute. See note XXVI above.

Image credit: “Eye” by BinnX 1, 2013.

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