Exodus 21:5
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’

King James Bible
And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:

American Standard Version
But if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And if the servant shall say: I love my master and my wife and children, I will not go out free:

English Revised Version
But if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:

Webster's Bible Translation
And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not depart free:

Exodus 21:5 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

For the worship of Jehovah, the God of heaven, Israel needed only an altar, on which to cause its sacrifices to ascend to God. The altar, as an elevation built up of earth or rough stones, was a symbol of the elevation of man to God, who is enthroned on high in the heaven; and because man was to raise himself to God in his sacrifices, Israel also was to make an altar, though only of earth, or if of stones, not of hewn stones. "For if thou swingest thy tool (חרב lit., sharpness, then any edge tool) over it (over the stone), thou defilest it" (Exodus 20:25). "Of earth:" i.e., not "of comparatively simple materials, such as befitted a representation of the creature" (Schultz on Deuteronomy 12); for the altar was not to represent the creature, but to be the place to which God came to receive man into His fellowship there. For this reason the altar was to be made of the same material, which formed the earthly soil for the kingdom of God, either of earth or else of stones, just as they existed in their natural state; not, however, "because unpolished stones, which retain their true and native condition, appear to be endowed with a certain native purity, and therefore to be most in harmony with the sanctity of an altar" (Spencer de legg. Hebr. rit. lib. ii. c. 6), for the "native purity" of the earth does not agree with Genesis 3:17; but because the altar was to set forth the nature of the simple earthly soil, unaltered by the hand of man. The earth, which has been involved in the curse of sin, is to be renewed and glorified into the kingdom of God, not by sinful men, but by the gracious hand of God alone. Moreover, Israel was not to erect the altar for its sacrifices in any place that it might choose, but only in every place in which Jehovah should bring His name to remembrance. וגו שׁם הזכּיר does not mean "to make the name of the Lord remembered," i.e., to cause men to remember it; but to establish a memorial of His name, i.e., to make a glorious revelation of His divine nature, and thereby to consecrate the place into a holy soil (cf. Exodus 3:5), upon which Jehovah would come to Israel and bless it. Lastly, the command not to go up to the altar by steps (Exodus 20:26) is followed by the words, "that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon." It was in the feeling of shame that the consciousness of sin first manifested itself, and it was in the shame that the sin was chiefly apparent (Genesis 3:7); hence the nakedness was a disclosure of sin, through which the altar of God would be desecrated, and for this reason it was forbidden to ascend to the altar by steps. These directions with reference to the altar to be built do not refer merely to the altar, which was built for the conclusion of the covenant, nor are they at variance with the later instructions respecting the one altar at the tabernacle, upon which all the sacrifices were to be presented (Leviticus 17:8-9; Deuteronomy 12:5.), nor are they merely "provisional" but they lay the foundation for the future laws with reference to the places of worship, though without restricting them to one particular locality on the one hand, or allowing an unlimited number of altars on the other. Hence "several places and altars are referred to here, because, whilst the people were wandering in the desert, there could be no fixed place for the tabernacle" (Riehm). But the erection of the altar is unquestionably limited to every place which Jehovah appointed for the purpose by a revelation. We are not to understand the words, however, as referring merely to those places in which the tabernacle and its altar were erected, and to the site of the future temple (Sinai, Shilloh, and Jerusalem), but to all those places also where altars were built and sacrifices offered on extraordinary occasions, on account of God, - appearing there such, for example, as Ebal (Joshua 8:30 compared with Deuteronomy 27:5), the rock in Ophrah (Judges 6:25-26), and many other places besides.

Exodus 21:5 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

and if

Deuteronomy 15:16,17 And it shall be, if he say to you, I will not go away from you; because he loves you and your house, because he is well with you...

Isaiah 26:13 O LORD our God, other lords beside you have had dominion over us: but by you only will we make mention of your name.

2 Corinthians 5:14,15 For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead...

shall plainly say. Heb. saying shall say

Cross References
Exodus 21:4
If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out alone.

Exodus 21:6
then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.

Deuteronomy 15:16
But if he says to you, 'I will not go out from you,' because he loves you and your household, since he is well-off with you,

Deuteronomy 15:17
then you shall take an awl, and put it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your slave forever. And to your female slave you shall do the same.

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