Parsha Mishpatim (Laws)

 

Torah Reading: Exodus 21:1-24:18

First Reading: Exodus 21:1-19
Second Reading: Exodus 21:20-22:4
Third Reading: Exodus 22:5-27
Fourth Reading: Exodus 22:28-23:5
Fifth Reading: Exodus 23:6-19
Sixth Reading: Exodus 23:20-25
Seventh Reading: Exodus 23:26-24:18

First Prophets’ Reading: Jeremiah 34:8-22, 33:25-26
Second Prophets’ Reading: Jeremiah 34:8-22, 33:25-26

Apostles’ Reading: Hebrews 9:15-22

 

First Torah Reading: Exodus 21:1-19

21:1 “Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them.

21:2 “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve for six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. 21:3 If he comes in by himself, then he shall go out by himself; if he is married, then his wife shall go out with him. 21:4 If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, then the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. 21:5 But if the servant shall say plainly, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children, so I will not go out free,’ 21:6 then his master shall bring him to God, 1 and shall bring him to the door, or to the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.

21:7 “And if a man sells his daughter to be a maid servant, she shall not go out as the men servants do. 21:8 If she does not please her master, who has espoused her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed; 2 he shall have no power to sell her to a foreign people, seeing that he has dealt deceitfully with her. 21:9 And if he espouses her to his son, then he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. 21:10 If he takes another wife for himself, then he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her conjugal rights. 21:11 And if he does not do these three things for her, then shall she go out for nothing, without money.

21:12 “He that strikes a man, so that he dies, shall surely be put to death. 21:13 And if a man does not lie in wait, but God causes it to come to hand, then I will appoint a place for you to which he may flee.

21:14 “And if a man comes presumptuously on his neighbor, to slay him with deceit, then you shall take him from My altar, that he may die.

21:15 “And he that strikes his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

21:16 “And he that steals a man, 3 and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

21:17 “And he that curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

21:18 “And if men contend, and one strikes the other with a stone, or with his fist, and he does not die, but remains in his bed; 21:19 then if he rise again, and walks around on his staff, then he that struck him shall be acquitted; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.

 

Second Torah Reading: Exodus 21:20-22:4

21:20 “And if a man strikes his male servant, or his female servant, with a rod, and he dies under his hand, then he shall surely be punished. 21:21 Notwithstanding, if he survives a day or two, then he shall not be punished; for he is his money.

21:22 “And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit departs, 4 and yet no harm follows, then he shall be surely fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 21:23 But if any harm follows, 5 then you shall give life for life, 21:24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 21:25 burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

21:26 “And if a man strikes the eye of his male servant, or the eye of his female servant, and destroys it, then he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake. 21:27 And if he strikes out his male servant’s tooth, or his female servant’s tooth, then he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.

21:28 “And if an ox gores a man or a woman, so that they die, then the ox shall surely be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be acquitted. 21:29 But if the ox was prone to gore in times past, and warning has been given to its owner, and he has not kept it in, but it has killed a man or a woman, then the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. 21:30 If a ransom is laid upon, then he shall give whatever is laid upon him for the redemption of his life. 21:31 Whether it has gored a son, or has gored a daughter, it shall be done to him according to this judgment. 21:32 If the ox gores a male servant or a female servant, he shall give thirty shekels of silver to their master, and the ox shall be stoned.

21:33 “And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit and not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls in it, 21:34 then the owner of the pit shall make it good; he shall give money to their owner, and the dead beast shall be his.

21:35 “And if one man’s ox hurts another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox, and divide the price of it; and they shall also divide the dead one. 21:36 Or if it is known that the ox was prone to gore in times past, and its owner has not kept it in, then he shall surely pay, ox for ox, and the dead beast shall be his own.

22:1 “If a man steals an ox, or a sheep, and kills it, or sells it, then he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. 22:2 If a thief is found breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, then there shall be no guilt of bloodshed for him. 22:3 If the sun has risen upon him, there shall be guilt of bloodshed for him– he shall make restitution; if he has nothing, 6 then he shall be sold for his theft. 22:4 If the theft is found alive in his hand, whether it is ox, or donkey, or sheep, then he shall pay double.

 

Third Torah Reading: Exodus 22:5-27

22:5 “If a man causes a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall let his beast loose, and it feeds in another man’s field, then he shall make compensation of his own field according to his produce; and if he shall have fed down the whole field, 7 then he shall make restitution from the best of his own field, and from the best of his own vineyard.

22:6 “If fire breaks out, and catches in thorns, so that the shocks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field are consumed, then he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.

22:7 “If a man delivers money or stuff to keep to his neighbor, and it is stolen out from the man’s house, then if the thief is found, he shall pay double. 22:8 If the thief is not found, then the master of the house shall come near to God, to see whether he has not put his hand to his neighbor’s goods. 22:9 For every matter of trespass, whether it is for an ox, for a donkey, for sheep, for clothing, or for any manner of lost thing, of which one says, ‘This is it,’ the cause of both parties shall come before God; he whom God shall condemn shall pay double to his neighbor.

22:10 “If a man delivers a donkey, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast to his neighbor to keep, and it dies, or is hurt, or is driven away, where no man sees it, 22:11 then the oath of the Lord shall be between them both, to see whether he has not put his hand to his neighbor’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept it, and he shall not make restitution. 22:12 But if it is stolen from him, then he shall make restitution to the its owner. 22:13 If it is torn in pieces, 8 then let him bring it for witness; he shall not make good that which was torn.

22:14 “And if a man borrows anything from his neighbor, and it is hurt, or dies, while its owner is not with it, then he shall surely make restitution. 22:15 If its owner is with it, then he shall not make it good; if it is a hireling, then he loses his hire.

22:16 “And if a man entices a virgin that is not betrothed, and lies with her, then he shall surely pay a dowry for her to be his wife. 22:17 If her father completely refuses to give her to him, then he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.

22:18 “You shall not permit a sorceress to live.

22:19 “Whoever lies with a beast shall surely be put to death.

22:20 “He that sacrifices to the gods, except to the Lord only, shall be completely destroyed.

22:21 “And you shall not wrong a stranger, neither shall you oppress him; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 22:22 You shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. 22:23 If you afflict them in any way– for if they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry– 22:24 then My wrath shall grow hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children shall be fatherless.

22:25 “If you lend money to any of My people, even to the poor that is with you, then you shall not be a creditor to him; neither shall you lay interest upon him. 22:26 If you take at all your neighbor’s garment to pledge, then you shall restore it to him by the time the sun goes down; 22:27 for that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin. In what shall he sleep? And it shall come to pass, that when he cries out to Me, I will hear; for I am gracious.

 

Fourth Torah Reading: Exodus 22:28-23:5

22:28 “You shall not revile God, 9 nor curse a ruler of your people.

22:29 “You shall not delay to offer of the fullness of your harvest, and of the outflow of your presses. You shall give the firstborn of your sons to Me. 22:30 You shall do likewise with your oxen, and with your sheep; it shall be with its mother for seven days, and on the eighth day you shall give it Me. 22:31 And you shall be set apart men to Me; therefore you shall not eat any flesh that is torn from beasts in the field; you shall cast it to the dogs.

23:1 “You shall not speak a false report; do not put your hand in with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. 23:2 You shall not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shall you bear witness in a cause to turn aside after a multitude to pervert justice; 23:3 neither shall you favor a poor man in his cause.

23:4 “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, then you shall surely bring it back to him again.

23:5 “If you see the donkey of him that hates you lying under its burden, then you shall resist passing by him; you shall surely release it with him.

 

Fifth Torah Reading: Exodus 23:6-19

23:6 “You shall not remove the judgment of your poor in his cause. 23:7 Keep yourself far from a false matter, and do not slay the innocent and the righteous; for I will not justify the wicked. 23:8 And you shall take no bribe; for a bribe blinds the eyes of 10 them that have sight, and perverts the words of the righteous.

23:9 “And you shall not oppress a stranger; for you know the heart of a stranger, seeing that you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

23:10 “And you shall sow your land for six years, and gather in its increase; 23:11 but in the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor of your people may eat; and the beast of the field shall eat what they leave. In like manner you shall deal with your vineyard, and with your olive yard.

23:12 “You shall do your work for six days, but you shall rest on the seventh day, so that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your female servant, and the stranger, may be refreshed.

23:13 “And take heed in all things that I have said to you; and do not make mention of the name of other gods, neither let them be heard out of your mouth.

23:14 “You shall keep a feast to Me three times in the year. 23:15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Abib– for you came out from Egypt during it; and none shall appear before Me empty handed; 23:16 and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors, which you sow in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering, at the end of the year, when you gather in your labors out of the field. 23:17 All your males shall appear before the Lord God three times in the year.

23:18 11 “You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of My feast remain all night until the morning. 23:19 You shall bring the the most choice firstfruits of your land into the house of the Lord your God.

“You shall not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk.

 

Sixth Torah Reading: Exodus 23:20-25

23:20 “Behold, I send an angel before you, to keep you along the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. 23:21 Heed him, and listen to his voice; do not be rebellious against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; for My name is in him. 23:22 12 But if you shall indeed listen to his voice, and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and an adversary to your adversaries. 23:23 For My angel shall go before you, and shall bring you in to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Canaanite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; and I will cut them off. 23:24 You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their doings; but you shall completely overthrow them, and break their pillars in pieces. 23:25 And you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread, and your water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of you.

 

Seventh Torah Reading: Exodus 23:26-24:18

23:26 “None in your land shall miscarry, nor be barren; I will fulfill the number of your days. 23:27 I will send My terror before you, and will cause confusion among all the people to whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 23:28 And I will send the hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before you. 23:29 I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land becomes desolate, and the beasts of the field multiply against you; 23:30 but I will drive them out from before you little by little, until you are increased, and inherit the land. 23:31 And I will set your border from the Red Sea even to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River; 13 for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and you shall drive them out before you. 23:32 You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. 23:33 They shall not dwell in your land– lest they make you sin against Me, for you will serve their gods– for they will be a snare to you.”

24:1 And He said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship from far off. 24:2 And Moses alone shall come near to the Lord; but they shall not come near; neither shall the people go up with him.”

24:3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, “We will do 14 all the words which the Lord has spoken.”

24:4 And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar under the mount, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 24:5 And he sent the young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. 24:6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and he dashed half of the blood against the altar.

24:7 And he took the Book of the Covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “We will do and obey all that the Lord has spoken.”

24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold, the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you in agreement with all these words.”

24:9 Then Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 24:10 and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet was the likeness of a paved work of sapphire stone, and the likeness of the very heaven in its clearness. 24:11 And He did not lay His hand on the nobles of the children of Israel; 15 and they beheld God, and ate and drank.

24:12 And the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mount, and be there; and I will give you the tables of stone, and the law, and the commandment, which I have written, that you teach them.”

24:13 And Moses rose up, and Joshua his minister; and Moses went up to the mount of God. 24:14 And he said to the elders, “Remain here for us, until we come back to you; and behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a cause, let him come near to them.”

24:15 And Moses 16 went up to the mount, and the cloud covered the mount. 24:16 And the glory of the Lord dwelt upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 24:17 And the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. 24:18 And Moses entered into the midst of the cloud, and went up into the mount; and Moses was on the mount for forty days and forty nights.

 

First Prophets’ Reading: Jeremiah 34:8-22

34:8 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people that were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty to them, 34:9 that every man should let his male servant, and his female servant, being a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, go free; so that none should make servants of them, even of his brother, a Jew. 17 34:10 And all the princes and all the people listened, that had entered into the covenant to let every one his male servant, and his female servant, go free, and not to make servants of them anymore; they listened, and let them go. 34:11 But afterwards they turned, and caused the male servants and female servants, whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for male servants and female servants.

34:12 Therefore the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 34:13 “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying, 34:14 “At the end of seven years 18 you shall let go every man his brother that is a Hebrew, that has been sold to you, and has served you for six years; you shall let him go free from you;” 19 but your fathers did not listen to Me, nor did they incline their ear. 34:15 And you were now turned, and had done that which is right in My eyes, in proclaiming liberty to every man his neighbor; and you had made a covenant before Me in the house on which My name is called. 34:16 But you turned and profaned My name, and every man caused his male servant and his female servant, whom you had let go free at their pleasure, to return; and you brought them into subjection, to be as male servants and as female servants to you.’

34:17 “Therefore, thus says the Lord: ‘You have not listened to Me, for every man to proclaim liberty to his brother, and to his neighbor. Behold, I proclaim a liberty for you,’ says the Lord, ‘To the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 34:18 And I will give the men that have transgressed My covenant, that have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two, and passed between its parts– 34:19 the princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the officers, and the priests, and all the people of the land, that passed between the parts of the calf– 34:20 I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life; and their dead bodies shall be as food for the birds of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth. 34:21 And I will give Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, that have gone up from you. 34:22 Behold, I will command,’ says the Lord, ‘And cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire; and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.’”

 

Second Prophets’ Reading: Jeremiah 33:25-26

33:25 “Thus says the Lord: ‘If My covenant is not with day and night, if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, 33:26 then I will also cast away the seed of Jacob, and of My servant David, so that I will not take of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; for I will cause their captivity to return, and will have compassion on them.’” 20

 

Apostles’ Reading: Hebrews 9:15-22

9:15 And for this reason He became the Mediator of the new covenant, so that by His death He might be redemption to them who had transgressed the first covenant; so that they, who are called to the eternal inheritance, might receive the promise. 9:16 For where there is a covenant, it indicates the death of him who made it; 9:17 for it is valid only of he who is deceased; because it has no use, so long as its maker still lives.

9:18 Therefore also the first was not confirmed without blood; 9:19 for when the whole ordinance had been commanded by Moses to all the people, according to the Torah, Moses took the blood of a heifer, and water, with scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled on the books and on all the people, 9:20 and said to them, “This is the blood of the covenant which is commanded by God.” 21 9:21 With that blood he also sprinkled on the tabernacle, and on all the vessels of ministry; 9:22 for everything, according to the Torah, is purified with blood; and there is no remission without the shedding of blood.

 

Footnotes

1 The literal Hebrew has “to God.” This is a rare instance in which “ha Elohim” could be translated “to the judges,” based on the context. The LXX has “to the judgment seat of God.”

2 LXX has “then he shall let her go free.”

3 LXX has “he that steals one of the children of Israel, and prevails over him.”

4 LXX has “and her child is born imperfectly formed.”

5 LXX has “But if it is perfectly formed.”

6 DSS adds “to pay.”

7 Following LXX. MT omits “then he shall make compensation of his own field according to his produce; and if he shall have fed down the whole field,.”

8 LXX has “if it is seized by beasts.”

9 The literal Hebrew has “to God.” This is a rare instance in which “ha Elohim” could be translated “to the judges,” based on the context. The LXX has “to the judgment seat of God.”

10 Following LXX, SP, and DSS. MT omits “the eyes of.”

11 LXX adds, “When I have cast out the nations from before you, and have widened your borders…”

12 LXX adds, “If you will indeed hear My voice, and if you will do all the things I shall instruct you with, and keep My covenant, then you shall be to Me a peculiar people above all nations, for the whole earth is Mine; and you shall be a royal priesthood to Me, and a holy nation. You shall speak these words shall to the children of Israel…”

13 LXX has, “to the Euphrates River.”

14 LXX adds, “and obey.”

15 LXX has, “And not even one of the chosen ones of Israel was missing.”

16 LXX adds, “and Joshua.”

17 LXX has, “so that no man of Judah should be a servant.”

18 LXX has, “When six years are completed.”

19 LXX has, “When six years are accomplished.”

20 Verses 33:25-26 are lacking in LXX.

21 Exodus 24:8.

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