Exodus 21: Let the Law Begin!

Very early on in this project (which, if you are new to this blog, is me blogging through the whole bible) I realized that I was going to have to read through a lot of legal codes and laws.

And now, 71 chapters in, in Exodus 21, those laws have begun!

There were basically four sections in this chapter: Slave laws, death penalty laws, fight laws, and ox laws.

The big picture? God wants his people to understand that they are responsible for the lives and well being of the people around them. This includes their neighbors and the people living in their homes.

But the smaller pictures and individual laws are where the real fun (read: anger, frustration, confusion) lies. So please allow me to share some of my fav’s and not-s0-fav’s from Exodus 21.


Slaves are to be released after 6 years. Aside from the irony that a culture of former slaves would actually own slaves, this law seems pretty solid. A person who is indebted to you can only be your servant for 6 years tops.

In fact, the only way for him to be a lifelong slave is for you to provide him with a family. Still weird to me, but all things considered, not a bad deal.

If you beat a slave and they loose an eye or tooth, they go free. So beat your slaves at your own risk you douche-lord.

If your animal has “been accustomed to gore” in the past and it kills someone, you die. Why do I like this one? Maybe I thought it was kind of funny. Ok? Geez. Keep your animals under control! If you have a crazy ox, keep that sucker on a tight and short leash!

Least Favorites

If you beat up a slave and they recover in a day or two, you are good to go. Just make sure you don’t knock out an eye or a tooth. Douche-lord.

If you strike a woman and cause her to miscarry, you only have to pay what the husband demands and what the judge orders.

Now, and this is a totally serious question, what do strict pro-lifers do with this? The law was pretty clear that if you kill someone, you die. But you just “killed someone” and are not required to die.


And so begins the law. This is going to be a long road and I am going to need a lot of creativity to get through it. What kinds of things would you like me to try out as I write about the law?


6 responses

  1. Love your creation of the word douche-lord! As far as the law ideas here are a few:
    -how about developing a cheat-sheet conversion table (i.e. 4 turtledoves + a goat = stealing a loaf of bread);

    -how about a few episodes of “BC Law” fashioned after the classic NBC drama LA Law. Or BC Law & Order: Special Crimes Unit – perhaps you could introduce an Xtranormal animation;

    -write a short legal brief using the IRAC model (Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion) for a specific instance where the law may have been broken;

    -write a conversation between two current Supreme Court Justices debating the merits of a single mitzvah.

    That’s all I got…..

    • Tor- Those are some excellent ideas. I will most certainly be trying some/all of them. Maybe I’ll throw in some pop quizzes as well.

      As for the “douche-lord” thing, I cannot accept credit. That was my fiance quoting the Kardashians.

  2. Im with you on the killing a babe in womb… a few chaptes later (23) it says do not kill the innocent. What are they if not the innocent? Great take on the laws! Glad you are bringing some laughs to some heavy material!

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