SECTION XVIII.

 

MISHPATIM.

 

 

AND these are the judgments which thou shalt set In order before them. When thou dost purchase a servant, a son of Israel, six years he shall serve, and in the seventh go forth free, for nothing. If he came in alone, he shall go out alone; if the husband of a wife, his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have borne him sons or daughters, the wife and the children are the master's, and he shall go out alone. But if the servant saying shall say, I love my master, my wife and my children, I will not go out free; his master shall bring him before the judges, and shall take him to the door, even to the post, and his master shall bore his ear with an awl; and he shall be to him a working servant for ever.

 

And when a man selleth his daughter to be a handmaid, she shall not go out as at the outgoing of the men servants. If she be evil in the eyes of the master who had covenanted with her to be his, then shall he make her free; to another man he shall not have ability to sell her to domineer over her. And if he hath covenanted her to his son, after the custom of the daughters of Israel shall he act towards her. And if he take another to him, her food, her raiment, and her marriage due he shall not restrain. And if these three he doth not perform to her, he shall release her freely without money.

 

Whosoever striketh a man and killeth him, being killed he shall be killed. But if it was not (done) covertly to him, but he was delivered into his hand from before the Lord, then I will appoint thee a place whither he may flee. But when a wicked man acts toward his neighbour with deceitfulness to kill him, even from Mine altar thou shalt bring him away to put him to death. Whosoever striketh his father or his mother shall be surely put to death. And whosoever stealeth a soul of the house of Israel and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, shall be surely put to death. And he who curseth his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. And when men contend, and a man smiteth his neighbour with a stone or with his fist, and he die not, but fall upon his bed; ‑if he rise (again) and walk about upon his staff, he who smote him shall be acquitted; only he shall make good his loss of labour, and defray the charge of the physician.

 

And when a man smiteth his servant or his handmaid with a staff, and he die under his hand, condemned he shall be condemned. But if he survive one day, or two, he shall not be condemned, because he was his money. If men contending strike a woman with child and she miscarry, but die not, fined he shall be fined, as the husband of the woman may set upon him, and he shall give according to the sentence of judgment. But if death take place, thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot., burning for burning, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. And if a man smite the eye of his servant or his handmaid and destroy it, he shall let him go free, for the sake of his eye. Or if he beat out (cause to fall) a tooth of his servant or a tooth of his handmaid, he shall let him go free for the sake of his tooth.

 

If an ox gore a man or woman unto death, the ox being stoned shall be stoned, and his flesh must not be eaten; but the master of the ox shall be acquitted. But if the ox had gored in time before (yesterday and the day before), and it had been attested to his master, and he not keeping him he hath killed man or woman, the ox shall be stoned and the owner be put to death. If a fine of money[1] (if mammon) be laid upon him, he may give redemption for his life according to all that is laid upon him. If the ox gore a son or daughter of Israel, after this judgment shall it be done to him. If an ox gore a man‑servant or a maidservant, (the owner) shall give to his master thirty sileen of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

 

And if a man open a pit, or dig a pit, and doth not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein, the master of the pit shall pay: he shall give silver to his owner, and the carcass shall be his own. And if the ox of one man hurt a neighbour's ox that it die, they shall sell the living ox and divide the money; and that which is dead they shall also divide. But if it be known that the ox gored in time past and his owner did not keep him in, paying he shall pay ox for ox, and the dead one shall be his. If a man steal an ox or a lamb, and kill or sell it, he shall repay five oxen for the ox, and four sheep for the lamb.

 

XXII. If a thief be found breaking through, and he be smitten and die, there shall be no blood due to him. If the eyes of witnesses fall upon him, blood shall be due to him, paying he shall pay. If he have nothing, he shall be sold for his robbery. If the thing stolen, from an ox to an ass, be found in his possession, they being alive, he shall restore two for one. If a man make waste a field or vineyard, or send his cattle to consume another's field, the best of his field and the best of his vineyard he shall restore. If fire break out, and it find thorns, so that sheaves or standing corn or the field be consumed, he who kindled the fire paying shall pay.

 

When a man giveth his neighbour silver or vessels to keep, and they be stolen from the man's house; if the thief be found, he shall repay double. If the thief be not found, the master of the house shall be brought before the judges (to make oath) that he hath not put forth his hand upon that which his neighbour had delivered to him. Upon every matter of guiltiness about ox or ass or lamb, or raiment, or anything destroyed of which it may be said, This is it, the cause of both shall be brought before the judges, and he whom the judges shall condemn shall pay double to his neighbour. If a man deliver to his neighbour an ass or an ox or a lamb or any cattle to keep, and it die, or be injured, or be carried away, no one seeing; an oath of the Lord shall be between them that he bath not put forth his hand against that which his neighbour had delivered, and the owner shall accept the oath, and he shall not repay. But if it be stolen from him, he shall repay its owner; and if it be torn, and he bring witnesses that it was torn, he shall not repay. And if a man borrow of his neighbour and it be injured or die, the owner of it not being with it, repaying he shall repay. But if the owner be with it, he shall not repay. If it were hired, let it be (considered) for its hire.

 

And if a man seduce a virgin who is not betrothed and lie with her, he shall surely establish her to be his wife. If her father be unwilling to give her to him, he shall weigh down silver according to the dowry of virgins. An enchantress[2] shall not live. Whosoever lieth with a beast shall be surely put to death. Whosoever sacrificeth to the idols of the Gentiles shall be put to death : ‑but to the Name of the Lord alone.

 

And a stranger thou shalt not trouble nor oppress; for you were sojourners in the land of Mizraim. Afflict not the widow or the orphan: if you indeed afflict them, and they cry before Me, I will surely hearken to their cry; and My displeasure shall be strong, and will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows and your children fatherless. If thou lend money to My people, to the poor who is with thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer,[3] neither shalt thou inflict an injury upon him. If, (as) a pledge, thou take thy neighbour's garment, at the going away of the sun thou shalt return it unto him. For it may be his only covering; for (then) it is the clothing for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? And it shall be that when he crieth before Me I will hearken; for I am merciful.

 

Thou shalt not revile the judges, nor curse the ruler of My people. Thy firstfruits and thy tithes thou shalt not delay (to offer:) the firstborn of thy children thou shalt separate before Me; so shalt thou do with thy oxen and with thy sheep. Seven days shall (the firstling) be with its mother; on the eighth day thou shalt separate it before Me. And ye shall be holy men before Me; and the flesh torn from a living animal you may not eat; you shall cast it to the dogs.

 

Thou shalt not take up a false report, nor set thine hand with the wicked to be a false witness for him. Thou shalt not follow the many to wickedness, neither shalt thou fail to teach that which in thine eyes is judgment;[4] after the many (majority?) thou shalt fulfil judgment. And upon the poor thou shalt not be pitiful in judging him.

 

If thou meet the ox of thy enemy, or his ass, wandering away, thou shalt surely bring it back to him. When thou seest thine enemy’s ass prostrate beneath his burden, thou shalt forbear from forsaking him;[5] thou shalt surely abandon what is in thy heart against him, and shalt deliver it unto him. Thou shalt not warp the judgment of the poor man in his cause. From a false matter keep distant; and him who has been acquitted and has come forth from judgment uncondemned thou shalt not kill; for I will not justify the guilty. And thou art not to receive a bribe; for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise, and perverts the words of the just. And thou shalt not distress the sojourner; for you know the mind of a sojourner; for you were dwellers in the land of Mizraim.

 

Six years thou shalt sow the land and gather in its produce, but the seventh year thou shalt let it alone and suffer it to rest, that the poor of thy people may eat, and what they leave the beast of the field may eat. So also shalt thou do with thy vineyard and with thy olive ground. Six days shalt thou do thy work, and in the seventh day have rest, that thy ox and thy ass may rest, and the son of thine handmaid and thy sojourner may be quiet. And of all that I have spoken to you be mindful, and the name of the idols of the Gentiles remember not; let it not be heard upon thy lips.

 

Three times thou shalt solemnize festival before Me in the year. Thou shalt keep the festival of unleavened bread. Seven days shalt thou eat unleavened cake, as I have commanded thee, in the time of the moon of Abiba, for therein you went forth from Mizraim; and you shall not appear before Me empty. And the festival of harvest, the first fruits of thy labours which thou hast sowed in thy fields; and the festival of gathering, at the end of the year when thou gatherest in thy labours from the field. Three times in the year shall all thy males appear before the Lord, the Ruler of the world. Thou shalt not offer with unleavened bread the blood of My pascha, neither shall the fat of the sacrifice of the feast remain without on the altar until morning. The beginning of the first fruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the sanctuary of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not eat flesh with milk.

 

Behold, I send My Angel[6] before thee, to protect thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Take heed before Him, and hearken to His words; rebel not against Him, for He will not forgive your sins; for in My Name are His words. For if thou wilt truly hearken to His words, and do all that I shall speak, I will be a foe to thy enemies, and

will afflict them that afflict thee. For My Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in, to the Amoraee and Hittaee, and Perizaee and Kenaanaee, Hivaee and Jebusaee; and I will destroy them. Thou shalt not worship their idols, nor serve them, nor do according to their doings, but shalt utterly demolish them, and break their images; and you shall serve before the Lord your God, and He will bless thy food and thy drink, and will take away grievous evils from among thee. There shall be none abortive or barren in thy land; the number of thy days will I complete. I will send My terror before thee, and will perturb all the people among whom thou shalt come to fight against them, and I will make all thy adversaries turn their back before thee. I will send the hornet before thee, and it shall drive out the Hivaee and Kenaanaee and the Hittaee from before thee. I will not expel them before thee in one year, lest the land be made desolate., and the beasts of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out before thee, until thou shalt be increased and inherit the land. And I will appoint thy boundary from the sea of Suph unto the sea of the Philistaee, and from the desert to the river; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hands, and thou shalt drive them out before thee. Thou shalt strike no covenant with them nor with their idols. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they cause thee to commit sin before Me; for if thou serve their idols, it will be a stumbling‑block to thee.

 

XXIV. And He said to Mosheh, Come up before the Lord, thou and Aharon, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and they shall worship at a distance. And Mosheh shall draw nigh alone before the Lord, but they shall not draw nigh, nor shall the people ascend with them. And Mosheh came and recited to the people all the words of the Lord and all the judgments; and all the people answered with one voice and said, All the words that the Lord hath spoken will we do. And Mosheh wrote all the words of the Lord. And he arose in the morning, and builded an altar at the lower part of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent the firstborn sons of Israel, and they offered holocausts, and sacrificed oxen (as) consecrated victims before the Lord. And Mosheh took half of the blood and set it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled upon the altar. And he took the Book of the Covenant, and read before the people; and they said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do and obey. And Mosheh took the blood and sprinkled it upon the altar to propitiate for the people, and said, Behold the Blood of the Covenant which the Lord hath ratified with you upon all these words.

 

And Mosheh and Aharon, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up. And they saw the Glory of the God of Israel, and under the throne of His glory as the work of a precious stone, and as the face of heaven for its clearness. Yet the princes of the sons of Israel were not hurt; and they saw the Glory of the Lord, and rejoiced in their sacrifices which were accepted with favour, as though they had eaten and drunk. And the Lord said to Mosheh, Come up into My Presence in the mountain, and be there, and I will give thee the tablets of stone, and the law and the precepts, as I have written (them), that thou mayest teach them.

 

And Mosheh arose and Jehoshua his minister, and Mosheh ascended the mountain on which was revealed the Glory of the Lord. But to the elders he said, Wait for us here until we return to you: and, behold, Aharon and Hur are with you: whosoever hath a (matter for) judgment, let him bring it before them. And Mosheh ascended the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain; and the glory of the Lord dwelt upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud enveloped it six days. And He called to Mosheh on the seventh day out of the midst of the cloud. And the appearance of the Glory of the Lord was as the appearance of devouring fire on the summit of the mountain in the eyes of the sons of Israel. And Mosheh entered into the midst of the cloud, and ascended the mount; and Mosheh was in the mount forty day and forty nights.

 

 

 



[1] Sam. Vers., “If a price of expiation.”

[2] Sam. Vers., “a pythoness.”

[3] Sam. Vers., “an extactor.”

[4] Other copies, “what thou hast sought out concerning judgment.”

[5] Sam. Vers., “wilt thou turn away to abandon him?”

[6] Sam. Vers., shelachi, “my apostle.”