Exodus 21:26
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"An owner who hits a male or female slave in the eye and destroys it must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye.

New Living Translation
"If a man hits his male or female slave in the eye and the eye is blinded, he must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye.

English Standard Version
“When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye.

New American Standard Bible
"If a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave, and destroys it, he shall let him go free on account of his eye.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave and destroys it, he must let the slave go free in compensation for his eye.

International Standard Version
"If a man strikes the eye of his male or female servant and destroys it, he is to release him as a free man in exchange for his eye.

NET Bible
"If a man strikes the eye of his male servant or his female servant so that he destroys it, he will let the servant go free as compensation for the eye.

New Heart English Bible
"If a man strikes his servant's eye, or his maid's eye, and destroys it, he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Whenever an owner hits his male or female slave in the eye and the slave is blinded, he must let the slave go free to make up for the loss of the eye.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And if a man smite the eye of his bondman, or the eye of his bondwoman, and destroy it, he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.

New American Standard 1977
“And if a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave, and destroys it, he shall let him go free on account of his eye.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And if someone smites the eye of their slave or the eye of their maid that it perishes, he shall let them go free for their eye's sake.

King James 2000 Bible
And if a man strikes 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.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, and destroy it; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If any man strike the eye of his manservant or maidservant, and leave them but one eye, he shall let them go free for the eye which he put out.

Darby Bible Translation
And if a man strike the eye of his bondman or the eye of his handmaid, and it be marred, he shall let him go for his eye.

English Revised Version
And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, and destroy it; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.

Webster's Bible Translation
And if a man shall smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it shall perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.

World English Bible
"If a man strikes his servant's eye, or his maid's eye, and destroys it, he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.

Young's Literal Translation
'And when a man smiteth the eye of his man-servant, or the eye of his handmaid, and hath destroyed it, as a freeman he doth send him away for his eye;
Study Bible
Personal Injury Laws
25burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. 26"If a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave, and destroys it, he shall let him go free on account of his eye. 27"And if he knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, he shall let him go free on account of his tooth.…
Cross References
Exodus 21:25
burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

Exodus 21:27
"And if he knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, he shall let him go free on account of his tooth.
Treasury of Scripture

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.

Exodus 21:20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die …

Deuteronomy 16:19 You shall not wrest judgment; you shall not respect persons, neither …

Nehemiah 5:5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children as …

Job 31:13-15 If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, …

Psalm 9:12 When he makes inquisition for blood, he remembers them: he forgets …

Psalm 10:14,18 You have seen it; for you behold mischief and spite, to requite it …

Psalm 72:12-14 For he shall deliver the needy when he cries; the poor also, and …

Proverbs 22:22,23 Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted …

Ephesians 6:9 And, you masters, do the same things to them, forbearing threatening: …

Colossians 4:1 Masters, give to your servants that which is just and equal; knowing …

(26, 27) The eye . . . Tooth.--An exception to the law of retaliation is here made. If the injurer is a free man and the injured person a slave, the marked social inequality of the parties would make exact retaliation an injustice. Is the slave, then, to be left without protection? By no means. As the legislation had already protected his life (Exodus 21:20), so it now protects him from permanent damage to his person. The master who inflicts any such permanent damage--from the least to the greatest--loses all property in his slave, and is bound at once to emancipate him. The loss of an eye is viewed as the greatest permanent injury to the person; the loss of a tooth as the least.

Verses 26, 27. - Assaults on Slaves. The general law of retaliation was not made to extend to slaves. For ordinary blows the slave was not thought entitled to compensation, any more than the child. They were natural incidents of his condition. In extremer cases, where he was permanently injured in an organ or a member, he was, however, considered to have ground of complaint and to deserve a recompense. But for him to revenge himself upon his master by inflicting the same on him was not to be thought cf. It would have put the slave into a false position, have led to his prolonged ill-treatment, and have been an undue degradation of the master. Therefore, compulsory emancipation was made the penalty of all such aggravated assaults, even the slightest (ver. 27). Verses 26, 27. - If a man smite the eye, etc. The "eye" seems to be selected as the most precious of our organs, the "tooth" as that the loss of which is of least consequence. The principle was that any permanent loss of any part of his frame entitled the slave to his liberty. A very considerable check must have been put on the brutality of masters by this enactment. If a man smite the eye of his servant,.... Give him a blow on the eye in a passion, as a correction for some fault he has committed:

or the eye of his maid, that it perish; strike her on that part in like manner, so that the eye is beaten or drops out, or however loses its sight, and "is blinded", as the Septuagint version; or "corrupts" it (k), it turns black and blue, and gathers corrupt matter, and becomes a sore eye; yet if the sight is not lost, or corrupts so as to perish, this law does not take place; the Targum of Jonathan, and to Jarchi restrain this to a Canaanitish servant or maid:

he shall let him go free for his eye's sake; or "them", as the Septuagint; his right to them as a servant was hereby forfeited, and he was obliged to give them their freedom, let the time of servitude, that was to come, be what it would. This law was made to deter masters from using their servants with cruelty, since though humanity and goodness would not restrain them from ill usage of them, their own profit and advantage by them might.

(k) "et corruperit eum", Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius; so Ainsworth. 21:22-36 The cases here mentioned give rules of justice then, and still in use, for deciding similar matters. We are taught by these laws, that we must be very careful to do no wrong, either directly or indirectly. If we have done wrong, we must be very willing to make it good, and be desirous that nobody may lose by us.
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Account Bondman Bondwoman Causing Compensate Damage Destroy Destroyed Destroys Destruction Eye Female Free Freeman Gives Handmaid Hits Maid Maid's Maidservant Male Manservant Man-Servant Marred Perish Sake Servant Servant's Slave Smite Smiteth Strikes Woman-Servant
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