Exodus 21:15
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Anyone who attacks their father or mother is to be put to death.

New Living Translation
"Anyone who strikes father or mother must be put to death.

English Standard Version
“Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death.

New American Standard Bible
"He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

King James Bible
And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Whoever strikes his father or his mother must be put to death."

International Standard Version
"Whoever strikes his father or his mother is certainly to be put to death.

NET Bible
"Whoever strikes his father or his mother must surely be put to death.

New Heart English Bible
"Anyone who attacks his father or his mother shall be surely put to death.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Whoever hits his father or mother must be put to death.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

New American Standard 1977
“And he who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he that smites his father or his mother shall be surely put to death.

King James 2000 Bible
And he that strikes his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

American King James Version
And he that smites his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

American Standard Version
And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He that striketh his father or mother, shall be put to death.

Darby Bible Translation
And he that striketh his father, or his mother, shall certainly be put to death.

English Revised Version
And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

World English Bible
"Anyone who attacks his father or his mother shall be surely put to death.

Young's Literal Translation
'And he who smiteth his father or his mother is certainly put to death.
Study Bible
Personal Injury Laws
14"If, however, a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbor, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die. 15"He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. 16"He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.…
Cross References
Exodus 21:14
"If, however, a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbor, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die.

Exodus 21:16
"He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.
Treasury of Scripture

And he that smites his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

To smite either father or mother, in a manner which indicated either contempt or malice, or left marks of violence, was deemed a proof of so ungrateful and unnatural a disposition, that no provocation was admitted as an excuse, but the offence was made capital: nay, he who cursed his father or mother, who uttered imprecations, ill wishes, or revilings, against a parent, was included in the same sense; though few crimes were made capital by the law of Moses. The law of God, as delegated to parents is honoured when they are honoured, and despised when they are despised: and to rebel against the lawful exercise of this authority is rebellion against God.--Rev. T. Scott

Deuteronomy 21:18-21 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey …

Deuteronomy 27:24 Cursed be he that smites his neighbor secretly. And all the people …

Proverbs 30:11,17 There is a generation that curses their father, and does not bless …

1 Timothy 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for …

(15-17) And he that smiteth his father . . .-With homicide are conjoined some other offences, regarded as of a heinous character, and made punishable by death: viz. (1), striking a parent; (2) kidnapping; and (3) cursing a parent. The immediate sequence of these crimes upon murder, and their punishment by the same penalty, marks strongly God's abhorrence of them. The parent is viewed as God's representative, and to smite him is to offer God an insult in his person. To curse him implies, if possible, a greater want of reverence; and, since curses can only be effectual as appeals to God, it is an attempt to enlist God on our side against His representative. Kidnapping is a crime against the person only a very little short of murder, since it is to deprive a man of that which gives life its chief value--liberty. Many a man would prefer death to slavery; and to almost all the passing into the slave condition would be a calamity of the most terrible kind, Involving life-long misery. Its suddenness and unexpectedness, when the result of kidnapping, would augment its grievousness, and render it the most crushing of all misfortunes. Joseph's history shows us how easy it was to sell a free man as a slave, and obtain his immediate removal into a distant country (Genesis 37:25-28). The Egyptian annals tell us of bloody wars carried on for kidnapping purposes (Lenormant, Histoire Ancienne, vol. i., pp. 423, 424). In the classical times and countries, the slaves offered for sale in the markets had usually been obtained in this way. The stringent law of the Mosaic code (Exodus 21:16) was greatly needed to check an atrocious crime very widely committed.

Verses 15-17. - Other capital offences. The unsystematic character of the arrangement in this chapter is remarkably shown by this interruption of the consideration of different sorts of homicide, in order to introduce offences of quite a different character, and those not very closely allied to each other - e.g.,

1. Striking a parent;

2. Kidnapping;

3. Cursing a parent. Verse 15. - He that smiteth his father, etc. To "smite" here is simply to "strike" - to offer the indignity of a blow - not to kill, which had already been made capital (ver. 12), not in the case of parents only, but in every case. The severity of the law is very remarkable, and strongly emphasises the dignity and authority of parents. There is no parallel to it in any other known code, though of course the patria potestas of the Roman father gave him the power of punishing a son who had struck him, capitally. And he that smiteth his father or his mother,.... With his fist, or with a stick, or cane, or such thing, though they died not with the blow, yet it occasioned any wound, or caused a bruise, or the part smitten black and blue, or left any print of the blow; for, as Jarchi says, the party was not guilty, less by smiting there was a bruise, or weal, made, or any mark or scar: but if so it was, then he

shall be surely put to death; the Targum of Jonathan adds, with the suffocation of a napkin; and so Jarchi says with strangling; the manner of which was this, the person was sunk into a dunghill up to his knees, and two persons girt his neck with a napkin or towel until he expired. This crime was made capital, to show the heinousness of it, how detestable it was to God, and in order to deter from it. 21:12-21 God, who by his providence gives and maintains life, by his law protects it. A wilful murderer shall be taken even from God's altar. But God provided cities of refuge to protect those whose unhappiness it was, and not their fault, to cause the death of another; for such as by accident, when a man is doing a lawful act, without intent of hurt, happens to kill another. Let children hear the sentence of God's word upon the ungrateful and disobedient; and remember that God will certainly requite it, if they have ever cursed their parents, even in their hearts, or have lifted up their hands against them, except they repent, and flee for refuge to the Saviour. And let parents hence learn to be very careful in training up their children, setting them a good example, especially in the government of their passions, and in praying for them; taking heed not to provoke them to wrath. Through poverty the Israelites sometimes sold themselves or their children; magistrates sold some persons for their crimes, and creditors were in some cases allowed to sell their debtors who could not pay. But man-stealing, the object of which is to force another into slavery, is ranked in the New Testament with the greatest crimes. Care is here taken, that satisfaction be made for hurt done to a person, though death do not follow. The gospel teaches masters to forbear, and to moderate threatenings, Eph 6:9, considering with Job, What shall I do, when God riseth up? Job 31:13,14.
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