Exo 21: "The laws in this ch relate to the fifth and sixth
commandments; and though they differ from our times and customs, nor are they
binding on us, yet they explain the moral law under which Israel now found
herself, and the rules of natural justice. The servant, in the state of
servitude, was an emblem of that state where man finds himself in bondage to
sin. The law brings man face to face with his God, because by his sins he is
robbing God of his glory. However, the Law is based on 'Not' teaching. That is,
man learns under the Law largely what God is NOT. However, in God's grace
through Jesus Christ, we have learned what God IS. So this, says Jesus, 'is life
eternal that they might KNOW THEE the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou
hast sent' -- John 17:3. Likewise, back in Exo 21, a servant in being made free,
was an emblem of that liberty wherewith Christ, the Son of God, makes his people
free from bondage, [and they] are now free indeed -- Rom 8:1; and made so
freely, without money and without price, through the grace of God -- John 8:32"
AND ONLY THE MAN SHALL GO FREE: The wife, being Jewish,
and the children would be freed in any case in less than 7 years. Typ Christ's
love for us: He did not go out alone, but rather became a slave (Phi
Anytime we marry, we give up freedoms. A loving man will not
Christ is the servant of his master -- that is, Yahweh -- who,
because he is without sin, might have "gone free" from the penalty of sin, which
is death (Rom 6:23). But because he loves his Master -- and because he loves his
"family" (you and me!) -- he willingly and lovingly submits to the Father's
service for his whole life, including the anguished death upon the cross. And
all so that you and I can belong to him, and he to us, forever.
JUDGES: Heb "elohim". "God" (NIV mg).
THE DOOR... PIERCE HIS EAR: Figuratively, his ear will
be affixed, steadfast, to the door of his master (ie 2Sa 11:9) -- so as to hear
with a sharp ear/conscience. Christ = door (Joh 10:9). Also, Christ = the slave
whose ear has been pierced (Psa 40:6; Heb 10:7-9).
ROD: Used in correction, discipline.
That is, it is thought not to be malicious. And so the owner
is punished sufficiently by the loss.
GIVES BIRTH PREMATURELY: NIV mg has "has a
miscarriage". "Gives birth" = Heb "go forth", as in birth (Gen 25:25,26;
38:28-30; Jer 1:5; 2Sa 7:12; Ecc 5:15...); thus favors "give birth prematurely"
BUT THERE IS NO SERIOUS INJURY: That is, "if no harm
comes to either mother or child". The fetus, or unborn child, is treated as a
human being under the Law. No "second class" status (cp generally Gen 25:22; Luk
1:44; Psa 139:13-16; Jer 1:5; etc.).
WHATEVER... THE COURT ALLOWS: The judges will moderate
a too severe penalty asked by husband.
Vv 23-25: Sig proper monetary compensation for loss, not
retribution by similar maiming. Compensation may be given, as judges see fit (vv
18,30). But no satisfaction may be accepted in case of willful murder (Num
35:31), thus implying it may be accepted in lesser cases.
No thought to hinder men seeking water, but only a safety
precaution (LB 335).