Exodus 21:20
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
“When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged.

King James Bible
And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.

American Standard Version
And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall surely be punished.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He that striketh his bondman or bondwoman with a rod, and they die under his hands, shall be guilty of the crime.

English Revised Version
And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall surely be punished.

Webster's Bible Translation
And if a man shall smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he shall die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.

Exodus 21:20 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"But he who acts presumptuously against his neighbour, to slay him with guile, thou shalt take him from Mine altar that he may die." These words are not to be understood as meaning, that only intentional and treacherous killing was to be punished with death; but, without restricting the general rule in Exodus 21:12, they are to be interpreted from their antithesis to Exodus 21:13, as signifying that even the altar of Jehovah was not to protect a man who had committed intentional murder, and carried out his purpose with treachery. (More on this point at Numbers 35:16.) By this regulation, the idea, which was common to the Hebrews and many other nations, that the altar as God's abode afforded protection to any life that was in danger from men, was brought back to the true measure of its validity, and the place of expiation for sins of weakness (cf. Leviticus 4:2; Leviticus 5:15, Leviticus 5:18; Numbers 15:27-31) was prevented from being abused by being made a place of refuge for criminals who were deserving of death. Maltreatment of a father and mother through striking (Exodus 21:15), man-stealing (Exodus 21:16), and cursing parents (Exodus 21:17, cf. Leviticus 20:9), were all to be placed on a par with murder, and punished in the same way. By the "smiting" (הכּה) of parents we are not to understand smiting to death, for in that case ומת would be added as in Exodus 21:12, but any kind of maltreatment. The murder of parents is not mentioned at all, as not likely to occur and hardly conceivable. The cursing (קלּל as in Genesis 12:3) of parents is placed on a par with smiting, because it proceeds from the same disposition; and both were to be punished with death, because the majesty of God was violated in the persons of the parents (cf. Exodus 20:12). Man-stealing was also no less a crime, being a sin against the dignity of man, and a violation of the image of God. For אישׁ "a man," we find in Deuteronomy 24:7, נפשׁ "a soul," by which both man and woman are intended, and the still more definite limitation, "of his brethren of the children of Israel." The crime remained the same whether he had sold him (the stolen man), or whether he was still found in his hand. (For ו - ו as a sign of an alternative in the linking together of short sentences, see Proverbs 29:9, and Ewald, 361.) This is the rendering adopted by most of the earlier translators, and we get no intelligent sense if we divide the clauses thus: "and sell him so that he is found in his hand."

Exodus 21:20 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

smite

Exodus 21:26,27 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake...

Deuteronomy 19:21 And your eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Proverbs 29:19 A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.

Isaiah 58:3,4 Why have we fasted, say they, and you see not? why have we afflicted our soul, and you take no knowledge? Behold...

he shall

Genesis 9:6 Whoever sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Numbers 35:30-33 Whoever kills any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses...

punished. Heb. avenged

Genesis 4:15,24 And the LORD said to him, Therefore whoever slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark on Cain...

Numbers 35:19 The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meets him, he shall slay him.

Romans 13:4 For he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain...

Cross References
Exodus 21:19
then if the man rises again and walks outdoors with his staff, he who struck him shall be clear; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall have him thoroughly healed.

Exodus 21:21
But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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