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Exodus 21:12 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— He that smiteth a man, so that he dieth, shall surely be put to death.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— He that smiteth a man, so that he dieth, shall be surely put to death.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— He that striketh a man, so that he die, shall certainly be put to death.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall, surely be put to death.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— 'He who smiteth a man so that he hath died, is certainly put to death;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— He that striketh a man with a will to kill him, shall be put to death.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shalbe surely put to death.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And if any man smite another and he die, let him be certainly put to death.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
He that smiteth 5221
{5221} Prime
A primitive root; to strike (lightly or severely, literally or figuratively).
<8688> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 857
a man, 376
{0376} Prime
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
so that he die, 4191
{4191} Prime
A primitive root; to die (literally or figuratively); causatively to kill.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
shall be surely y4191
[4191] Standard
A primitive root; to die (literally or figuratively); causatively to kill.
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
put to death. 4191
{4191} Prime
A primitive root; to die (literally or figuratively); causatively to kill.
<8714> Grammar
Stem - Hophal (See H8825)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 178
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Exodus 21:12-21

_ _ Here is, I. A law concerning murder. He had lately said, Thou shalt not kill; here he provides, 1. For the punishing of wilful murder (Exodus 21:12): He that smiteth a man, whether upon a sudden passion or in malice prepense, so that he die, the government must take care that the murderer be put to death, according to that ancient law (Genesis 9:6), Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed. God, who by his providence gives and maintains life, thus by his law protects it; so that mercy shown to a wilful murderer is real cruelty to all mankind besides: such a one, God here says, shall be taken even from his altar (Exodus 21:14), to which he might flee for protection; and, if God will not shelter him, let him flee to the pit, and let no man stay him. 2. For the relief of such as killed by accident, per infortuniumby misfortune, or chance-medley, as our law expresses it, when a man, in doing a lawful act, without intent of hurt to any, happens to kill another, or, as it is here described, God delivers him into his hand; for nothing comes to pass by chance; what seems to us purely casual is ordered by the divine Providence, for wise and holy ends secret to us. In this case God provided cities of refuge for the protection of those whose infelicity it was, but not their fault, to occasion the death of another, Exodus 21:13. With us, who know no avengers of blood but the magistrates, the law itself is a sufficient sanctuary for those whose minds are innocent, though their hands are guilty, and there needs no other.

_ _ II. Concerning rebellious children. It is here made a capital crime, to be punished with death, for children either, 1. To strike their parents (Exodus 21:15) so as either to draw blood or to make the place struck black and blue. Or, 2. To curse their parents (Exodus 21:17), if they profaned any name of God in doing it, as the rabbies say. Note, The undutiful behaviour of children towards their parents is a very great provocation to God our common Father; and, if men do not punish it, he will. Those are perfectly lost to all virtue, and abandoned to all wickedness, that have broken through the bonds of filial reverence and duty to such a degree as in word or action to abuse their own parents. What yoke will those bear that have shaken off this? Let children take heed of entertaining in their minds any such thought or passions towards their parents as savour of undutifulness and contempt; for the righteous God searches the heart.

_ _ III. Here is a law against man-stealing (Exodus 21:16): He that steals a man (that is, a person, man, woman, or child), with design to sell him to the Gentiles (for no Israelite would buy him), was adjudged to death by this statute, which is ratified by the apostle (1 Timothy 1:10), where men-stealers are reckoned among those wicked ones against whom laws must be made by Christian princes.

_ _ IV. Care is here taken that satisfaction be made for hurt done to a person, though death do not ensue, Exodus 21:18, Exodus 21:19. He that did the hurt must be accountable for damages, and pay, not only for the cure, but for the loss of time, to which the Jews add that he must likewise give some recompence both for the pain and for the blemish, if there were any.

_ _ V. Direction is given what should be done if a servant died by his master's correction. This servant must not be an Israelite, but a Gentile slave, as the negroes to our planters; and it is supposed that he smite him with a rod, and not with any thing that was likely to give a mortal wound; yet, if he died under his hand, he should be punished for his cruelty, at the discretion of the judges, upon consideration of circumstances, Exodus 21:20. But, if he continued a day or two after the correction given, the master was supposed to suffer enough by losing his servant, Exodus 21:21. Our law makes the death of a servant, by his master's reasonable beating of him, but chance-medley. Yet let all masters take heed of tyrannizing over their servants; the gospel teaches them even to forbear and moderate threatenings (Ephesians 6:9), considering with holy Job, What shall I do, when God riseth up? Job 31:13-15.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.
Genesis 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
Leviticus 24:17 And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.
Numbers 35:16-24 And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he [is] a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. ... Then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the revenger of blood according to these judgments:
Numbers 35:30-31 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person [to cause him] to die. ... Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which [is] guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.
Deuteronomy 19:11-13 But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities: ... Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away [the guilt of] innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.
2 Samuel 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
Matthew 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
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Gn 9:6. Ex 20:13. Lv 24:17. Nu 35:16, 30. Dt 19:11. 2S 12:13. Mt 26:52.

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