The New Bible – Exodus 21


God and Moses team up for a while to figure out how to govern the Israelites, and all of the rules they must obey. They are still camped out in a bunch of tents in the middle of the desert though, so you would have thought that getting to the Holy Land would be at the top of the list of their priorities.

  1. “Now, slavery is perfectly acceptable, provided we set some ground rules,” Moses told everybody, “If you buy a slave, he must be set free on the seventh year, and if he has a wife when you buy him, she goes free too. But if he gets a wife and has kids while serving you, only he is to go free.”

2. “It’s a perfect way to make sure the slave doesn’t just up sticks and leave happily,” God explained, “Because the slave can choose to serve you forever if he wants to, you just have to punch a hole in his ear.”

3. Moses continued his speech, “If someone sells his daughter into slavery, she doesn’t go free. But at least she can’t be sold to any foreigners! And if he does not look after her, she can go free.”

4. “That just about wraps things up for slavery,” God said, “Now get onto the death penalty, my favorite punishment!”

5. “I’m getting to it, I’m getting to it,” Moses replied, “Anyone who kills a person on purpose must be put to death, but if it’s an accident and God ‘lets it happen’ then they can just run away and live somewhere else.

6. Anyone who attacks their parents must be killed. Anyone who is a kidnapper must be killed. Anyone who curses their parents must be killed…”

7. “Goddammit Moses, are you guys trying to wipe us out!?” An Israelite exclaimed.

8. “You’re lucky we haven’t told you about the blasphemy laws and using my name in vain yet!” God replied.

9. Moses continued, “Anyone who beats their slave to death must be punished – see, we’re not completely horrible! And likewise, if a slave is blinded in one eye or has a tooth knocked out they must be set free for compensation.

10. If someone hits a pregnant woman and causes her to give birth prematurely, they can sue. And if somebody digs a big hole and an animal falls in, they must pay the owner what the animal is worth, so watch out where you’re digging giant holes.”

11. The Israelites were getting bored listening to Moses long speech. “Has he made a law about murder yet? This guy and his condescending attitude is getting on my nerves” An Israelite asked.

12. “It was somewhere at the beginning, I think” Another replied.

13. Moses kept on going, “If a bull kills someone then the bull is to be put to death, and don’t you dare go and eat it! And if a bull kills someone else’s bull then they must sell the living one and split the money and the dead bull equally.”

14. Moses was finally done, for now, at least. There are more oddly specific rules to come!

The New Bible homepage can be found here.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at


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