Leviticus 19:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"'If a man sleeps with a female slave who is promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment. Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed.

New Living Translation
"If a man has sex with a slave girl whose freedom has never been purchased but who is committed to become another man's wife, he must pay full compensation to her master. But since she is not a free woman, neither the man nor the woman will be put to death.

English Standard Version
“If a man lies sexually with a woman who is a slave, assigned to another man and not yet ransomed or given her freedom, a distinction shall be made. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free;

New American Standard Bible
Now if a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave acquired for another man, but who has in no way been redeemed nor given her freedom, there shall be punishment; they shall not, however, be put to death, because she was not free.

King James Bible
And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If a man has sexual intercourse with a woman who is a slave designated for another man, but she has not been redeemed or given her freedom, there must be punishment. They are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed.

International Standard Version
"When a person has sexual relations with a woman servant who is engaged to another man, but she has not been completely redeemed nor has her freedom been granted to her, there is to be an inquiry, but they won't be put to death, since she has not been freed.

NET Bible
"'When a man has sexual intercourse with a woman, although she is a slave woman designated for another man and she has not yet been ransomed, or freedom has not been granted to her, there will be an obligation to pay compensation. They must not be put to death, because she was not free.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"If a man has sexual intercourse with a female slave who is engaged to another man and if her freedom was never bought or given to her, they should not be put to death. He will only pay a fine because she is a slave.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And when a man lies carnally with a woman that is a bondmaid, betrothed to a husband and has not been completely ransomed nor been given her freedom, both shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death because she is not free.

King James 2000 Bible
And whosoever lies carnally with a woman, that is a slave, betrothed to a husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; there shall be punishment; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

American King James Version
And whoever lies carnally with a woman, that is a female slave, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

American Standard Version
And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to a husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; they shall be punished; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If a man carnally lie with a woman that is a bondservant and marriageable, and yet not redeemed with a price, nor made free: they both shall be scourged, and they shall not be put to death, because she was not a free woman.

Darby Bible Translation
And if a man lie with a woman for copulation, and she is a bondwoman betrothed to a husband, but not at all ransomed, nor hath freedom been given to her, there shall be a chastisement: they shall not be put to death, for she was not free.

English Revised Version
And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; they shall be punished; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

Webster's Bible Translation
And whoever lieth carnally with a woman that is a bond-maid betrothed to a husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged: they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

World English Bible
"'If a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave girl, pledged to be married to another man, and not ransomed, or given her freedom; they shall be punished. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

Young's Literal Translation
And when a man lieth with a woman with seed of copulation, and she a maid-servant, betrothed to a man, and not really ransomed, or freedom hath not been given to her, an investigation there is; they are not put to death, for she is not free.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

19:1-37 laws. - There are some ceremonial precepts in this chapter, but most of these precepts are binding on us, for they are explanations of the ten commandments. It is required that Israel be a holy people, because the God of Israel is a holy God, ver. 2. To teach real separation from the world and the flesh, and entire devotedness to God. This is now the law of Christ; may the Lord bring every thought within us into obedience to it! Children are to be obedient to their parents, ver. 3. The fear here required includes inward reverence and esteem, outward respect and obedience, care to please them and to make them easy. God only is to be worshipped, ver. 4. Turn not from the true God to false ones, from the God who will make you holy and happy, to those that will deceive you, and make you for ever miserable. Turn not your eyes to them, much less your heart. They should leave the gleanings of their harvest and vintage for the poor, ver. 9. Works of piety must be always attended with works of charity, according to our ability. We must not be covetous, griping, and greedy of every thing we can lay claim to, nor insist upon our right in all things. We are to be honest and true in all our dealings, ver. 11. Whatever we have in the world, we must see that we get it honestly, for we cannot be truly rich, or long rich, with that which is not so. Reverence to the sacred name of God must be shown, ver. 12. We must not detain what belongs to another, particularly the wages of the hireling, ver. 13. We must be tender of the credit and safety of those that cannot help themselves, ver. 14. Do no hurt to any, because they are unwilling or unable to avenge themselves. We ought to take heed of doing any thing which may occasion our weak brother to fall. The fear of God should keep us from doing wrong things, though they will not expose us to men's anger. Judges, and all in authority, are commanded to give judgment without partiality, ver. 15. To be a tale-bearer, and to sow discord among neighbours, is as bad an office as a man can put himself into. We are to rebuke our neighbour in love, ver. 17. Rather rebuke him than hate him, for an injury done to thyself. We incur guilt by not reproving; it is hating our brother. We should say, I will do him the kindness to tell him of his faults. We are to put off all malice, and to put on brotherly love, ver. 18. We often wrong ourselves, but we soon forgive ourselves those wrongs, and they do not at all lessen our love to ourselves; in like manner we should love our neighbour. We must in many cases deny ourselves for the good of our neighbour. Ver. 31: For Christians to have their fortunes told, to use spells and charms, or the like, is a sad affront to God. They must be grossly ignorant who ask, What harm is there in these things? Here is a charge to young people to show respect to the aged, ver. 32. Religion teaches good manners, and obliges us to honour those to whom honour is due. A charge was given to the Israelites to be very tender of strangers, ver. 33. Strangers, and the widows and fatherless, are God's particular care. It is at our peril, if we do them any wrong. Strangers shall be welcome to God's grace; we should do what we can to recommend religion to them. Justice in weights and measures is commanded, ver. 35. We must make conscience of obeying God's precepts. We are not to pick and choose our duty, but must aim at standing complete in all the will of God. And the nearer our lives and tempers are to the precepts of God's law, the happier shall we be, and the happier shall we make all around us, and the better shall we adorn the gospel.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 20-22. - A distinction is drawn between adultery with a free woman, or a betrothed free virgin, which was punishable with death (Leviticus 20:20; Deuteronomy 22:23), and with a slave betrothed to another man (probably a slave also). In the latter ease a lesser punishment, no doubt that of scourging (according to the Mishna to the extent of forty stripes), was to be inflicted on one or both, according to the circumstances of the case. The words, she shall he scourged, should be translated, there shall be investigation, followed, presumably, by the punishment of scourging, for both parties if both were guilty, for one if the woman was unwilling. The man is afterwards to offer a trespass offering. As the offense has been a wrong as well as a sin, his offering is to be a trespass offering (see on Leviticus 5:14). In this case the fine of one-fifth could not be inflicted, as the wrong done could not be estimated by money, and the cost of the ram seems to be regarded as the required satisfaction. No mention is made of damages to be paid to the man to whom the slave-girl was betrothed, probably because he was himself a slave, and had not juridical rights against a freeman.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman,.... Has carnal knowledge of her: a man and woman are expressed, signifying those that are of age, Aben Ezra observes, that according to the mystical exposition of these words, this same carnally lying is as of divers kinds, of a free man with a bondwoman, and so follows upon the above law and in connection with it: the woman is described as one

that is a bondmaid; either meaning a Canaanitish maid, as Jarchi, or an Israelitish one, as Aben Ezra, whom her father had sold, Exodus 21:7,

betrothed to her husband: to an Hebrew servant, as Jarchi, or who was promised marriage, either by her master or his son, as Aben Ezra, Exodus 21:8,

and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her: or redeemed and not redeemed, as Jarchi; or, as the Targum of Jonathan, not yet redeemed with an entire redemption (or wholly redeemed) with silver, nor a writing of her freedom given her, part of the redemption price being paid, but not the whole; so that she was, as Jarchi and Ben Gersom express it, half a bondmaid and half free:

she shall be scourged; and not he, as the Targum of Jonathan and Jarchi remark, though the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "both shall be beaten"; and the original text does not clearly determine it whether one or both should be scourged, since it may be rendered, "there shall be a scourging" (o); and seeing both were guilty of sin, it is reasonable to suppose that both should be scourged, but this is contrary to the sense of the Jewish writers; so Kimchi (p) observes, the word is in the singular number and feminine gender, and not in the plural; wherefore, according to the simple sense, she is to be beaten, and not he to be beaten; and this was done with the thong of an ox's hide, as is the sense of the word used, according to Gaon, and so some in Aben Ezra; and so it is remarked in the Misnah (q), all the uncleannesses, whether of a man or woman, are alike as to stripes and sacrifice, but with respect to a bondmaid, he (i.e. God) hath not made the man equal to the woman as to stripes, nor the woman to the man as to sacrifice:

they shall not be put to death, because she was not free; otherwise adultery was punished with death of both parties, when committed with a woman married to an husband, Deuteronomy 22:22; and she a free woman, but this not being so, were not guilty of death, because, as Jarchi says, her espousals were no espousals, whereas they would had she been free, and so have been guilty of death: this difference the law made between a bond and free woman, but in Christ Jesus and under the Gospel dispensation there is no difference, Galatians 3:28.

(o) "vapulatio erit", Fagius, Vatablus, Ainsworth; "flagellatio adhibetor"; Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (p) Sepher Shorash. rad. (q) Ceritot, c. 2. sect. 4.



Leviticus 19:20 Additional Commentaries
Context
Keep My Decrees
19'You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together. 20Now if a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave acquired for another man, but who has in no way been redeemed nor given her freedom, there shall be punishment; they shall not, however, be put to death, because she was not free. 21'He shall bring his guilt offering to the LORD to the doorway of the tent of meeting, a ram for a guilt offering.…
Cross References
Galatians 4:22
For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman.

Deuteronomy 22:23
If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her,
Treasury of Scripture

And whoever lies carnally with a woman, that is a female slave, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

betrothed to an husband. or, abused by any [heb] reproached by, or for man.

she shall be scourged. or, they [heb] there shall be a scourging
they shall

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

Deuteronomy 22:23,24 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed to an husband, and a man …

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