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Mishpatim (משפטים — Hebrew for “laws”) is the eighteenth weekly Torah portion (parshah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the sixth in the book of Exodus. It constitutes Exodus 21:1–24:18. Jews in the Diaspora read it the eighteenth Sabbath after Simchat Torah, generally in February.

Jews also read the first part of parshah Ki Tisa, Exodus 30:11–16, regarding the half-shekel head tax, as the maftir Torah reading on the special Sabbath Shabbat Shekalim, which often falls on the same Sabbath as parshah Mishpatim (as it does in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2017).

Moses with the Tablets of the Law (painting by Rembrandt)



Moses Receives the Tablets of the Law (painting by João Zeferino da Costa)

God told Moses to give the people a series of laws (see "Commandments" below), which some scholars call the Covenant Code. (Ex. 21–23.)

God invited Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 elders to bow to God from afar. (Ex. 24:1.) Moses repeated the commandments to the people, who answered: “All the things that the Lord has commanded we will do!” (Ex. 24:3.) Moses then wrote the commandments down. (Ex. 24:4.) He set up an altar and some young Israelite men offered sacrifices. (Ex. 24:4-5.) Moses read the covenant aloud to the people, who once again affirmed that they would follow it. (Ex. 24:7.) Moses took blood from the sacrifices and dashed it on the people. (Ex. 24:8.)

Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the 70 elders of Israel then ascended, saw God, ate, and drank. (Ex. 24:9-11.)

Moses and Joshua arose, and Moses ascended Mount Sinai, leaving Aaron and Hur in charge of legal matters. (Ex. 24:13-14.) A cloud covered the mountain, hiding the Presence of the Lord for six days, appearing to the Israelites as a fire on the top of the mountain. (Ex. 24:15-17.) Moses went inside the cloud and remained on the mountain 40 days and nights. (Ex. 24:18.)

In classical rabbinic interpretation


Exodus chapter 21

Rabbi Akiba (illustration from the 1568 Mantua Haggadah)

Rabbi Akiba deduced from the words “now these are the ordinances that you shall put before them” in Exodus 21:1 that the teacher must wherever possible explain to the student the reasons behind the commandments. (Babylonian Talmud Eruvin 54b.)

The Mishnah interpreted the language of Exodus 21:6 to teach that a man could sell his daughter, but a woman could not sell her daughter. (Mishnah Sotah 3:8; Babylonian Talmud Sotah 23a.)

Rabbi Eliezer interpreted the conjugal duty of Exodus 21:10 to require relations: for men of independence, every day; for laborers, twice a week; for donkey-drivers, once a week; for camel-drivers, once in 30 days; for sailors, once in six months. (Mishnah Ketubot 5:6; Babylonian Talmud Ketubot 61b.)

Chapter 2 of tractate Makkot in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of the cities of refuge in Exodus 21:12–14, Numbers 35:1–34, Deuteronomy 4:41–43, and 19:1–13. (Mishnah Makkot 2:1–8; Tosefta Makkot 2:1–3:10; Jerusalem Talmud Makkot; Babylonian Talmud Makkot 7a–13a.)

The Gemara taught that the words “eye for eye” in Exodus 21:24 meant pecuniary compensation. Rabbi Simon ben Yohai asked those who would take the words literally how they would enforce equal justice where a blind man put out the eye of another man, or an amputee cut off the hand of another, or where a lame person broke the leg of another. The school of Rabbi Ishmael cited the words “so shall it be given to him” in Leviticus 24:20, and deduced that the word “give” could apply only to pecuniary compensation. The school of Rabbi Hiyya cited the words “hand for hand” in the parallel discussion in Deuteronomy 19:21 to mean that an article was given from hand to hand, namely money. Abaye reported that a sage of the school of Hezekiah taught that Exodus 21:23–24 said “eye for eye” and “life for life,” but not “life and eye for eye,” and it could sometimes happen that eye and life would be taken for an eye, as when the offender died while being blinded. Rav Papa said in the name of Raba that Exodus 21:19 referred explicitly to healing, and the verse would not make sense if one assumed that retaliation was meant. And Rav Ashi taught that the principle of pecuniary compensation could be derived from the analogous use of the term “for” in Exodus 21:24 in the expression “eye for eye” and in Exodus 21:36 in the expression “he shall surely pay ox for ox.” As the latter case plainly indicated pecuniary compensation, so must the former. (Babylonian Talmud Bava Kamma 84a.)

Tractate Bava Kamma in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Talmud interpreted the laws of damages related to oxen in Exodus 21:28–32, 35–36, pits in Exodus 21:33–34, men who steal livestock in Exodus 21:37, crop-destroying beasts in Exodus 22:4, fires in Exodus 22:5, and related torts. (Mishnah Bava Kamma 1:1–10:10; Tosefta Bava Kamma 1:1–11:18; Babylonian Talmud Bava Kamma 2a–119b.)

Exodus chapter 22

The Mishnah interpreted the language of Exodus 22:2 to teach that a man was sold to make restitution for his theft, but a woman was not sold for her theft. (Mishnah Sotah 3:8; Babylonian Talmud Sotah 23a.)

Rabbi Ishmael and Rabbi Akiba differed over the meaning of the word “his” in the clause “of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution” in Exodus 22:4. Rabbi Ishmael read Exodus 22:4 to require the damager to compensate the injured party out of property equivalent to the injured party’s best property, whereas Rabbi Akiba read Exodus 22:4 to require the damager to compensate the injured party out of the damager’s best property. The Mishnah required that a damager compensates for damage done out of the damager’s best quality property. (Mishnah Gittin 5:1; Babylonian Talmud Gittin 48b.) The Gemara explained that the Mishnah imposed this high penalty because Exodus 22:4 requires it, and Exodus 22:4 imposes this penalty to discourage the doing of damage. (Babylonian Talmud Gittin 48b–49b.)

Rabbi Samuel bar Nahmani in the name of Rabbi Johanan interpreted the account of spreading fire in Exodus 22:5 as an application of the general principle that calamity comes upon the world only when there are wicked persons (represented by the thorns) in the world, and its effects always manifest themselves first upon the righteous (represented by the grain). (Babylonian Talmud Bava Kamma 60a.)

Rabbi Isaac the smith interpreted Exodus 22:5 homiletically to teach that God has taken responsibility to rebuild the Temple, as God allowed the fire of man’s sin to go out of Zion to destroy it, as Lamentations 4:11 reports, “He has kindled a fire in Zion, which has devoured the foundations thereof,” and God will nonetheless rebuild them, as Zechariah 2:9 reports, “For I, says the Lord, will be to her a wall of fire round about, and I will be the glory in the midst of her.” (Babylonian Talmud Bava Kamma 60b.)

Portions of the latter chapters of Tractate Bava Metzia in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of bailment in Exodus 22:6–14. (Mishnah Bava Metzia 7:8–8:3; Tosefta Bava Metzia 7:9–8:1; Jerusalem Talmud Bava Metzia; Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 93a–99b.) The Mishnah identified four categories of guardians (shomrim): (1) an unpaid custodian (Exodus 22:6–8), (2) a borrower (Exodus 22:13–14a), (3) a paid custodian (Exodus 22:11), and (4) a renter (Exodus 22:14b). The Mishnah summarized the law when damage befell the property in question: An unpaid custodian must swear for everything and bears no liability, a borrower must pay in all cases, a paid custodian or a renter must swear concerning an animal that was injured, captured, or died, but must pay for loss or theft. (Mishnah Bava Metzia 7:8; Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 93a.)

Rabbah explained that the Torah in Exodus 22:8–10 requires those who admit to a part of a claim against them to take an oath, because the law presumes that no debtor is so brazen in the face of a creditor as to deny the debt entirely. (Babylonian Talmud Ketubot 18a.)

Rabbi Eliezer the Great noted that the Torah warns about kindness to the stranger (ger) no less than 36 times, and some say 46 times (including twice in Parshah Mishpatim, in Exodus 22:20 and 23:9). (Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 59b.)

Citing Exodus 22:20 to apply to verbal wrongs, the Mishnah taught that one must not say to a repentant sinner, “remember your former deeds,” and one must not taunt a child of converts saying, “remember the deeds of your ancestors.” (Mishnah Bava Metzia 4:10; Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 58b.) Similarly, a Baraita taught that one must not say to a convert who comes to study the Torah, “Shall the mouth that ate unclean and forbidden food, abominable and creeping things, come to study the Torah that was uttered by the mouth of Omnipotence!” (Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 58b.)

The Gemara taught that the Torah provided similar injunctions in Exodus 22:25 and Deuteronomy 24:12–13 to teach that a lender had to return a garment worn during the day before sunrise, and return a garment worn during the night before sunset. (Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 31b.)

Exodus chapter 23

A Baraita taught that one day, Rabbi Eliezer employed every imaginable argument for the proposition that a particular type of oven was not susceptible to ritual impurity, but the Sages did not accept his arguments. Then Rabbi Eliezer told the Sages, “If the halachah agrees with me, then let this carob tree prove it,” and the carob tree moved 100 cubits (and others say 400 cubits) out of its place. But the Sages said that no proof can be brought from a carob tree. Then Rabbi Eliezer told the Sages, “If the halachah agrees with me, let this stream of water prove it,” and the stream of water flowed backwards. But the Sages said that no proof can be brought from a stream of water. Then Rabbi Eliezer told the Sages, “If the halachah agrees with me, let the walls of this house of study prove it,” and the walls leaned over as if to fall. But Rabbi Joshua rebuked the walls, telling them not to interfere with scholars engaged in a halachic dispute. In honor of Rabbi Joshua, the walls did not fall, but in honor of Rabbi Eliezer, the walls did not stand upright, either. Then Rabbi Eliezer told the Sages, “If the halachah agrees with me, let Heaven prove it,” and a Heavenly Voice cried out: “Why do you dispute with Rabbi Eliezer, for in all matters the halachah agrees with him!” But Rabbi Joshua rose and exclaimed in the words of Deuteronomy 30:12: “It is not in heaven.” Rabbi Jeremiah explained that God had given the Torah at Mount Sinai; Jews pay no attention to Heavenly Voices, for God wrote in Exodus 23:2: “After the majority must one incline.” Later, Rabbi Nathan met Elijah and asked him what God did when Rabbi Joshua rose in opposition to the Heavenly Voice. Elijah replied that God laughed with joy, saying, “My children have defeated Me, My children have defeated Me!” (Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 59b.)

The Mishnah interpreted Exodus 23:8 to teach that judges who accept a bribe and change their judgments on account of the bribe will not die of old age before their eyes grow weak. (Mishnah Peah 8:9.)

Tractate Sheviit in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Jerusalem Talmud interpreted the laws of the Sabbatical year in Exodus 23:10–11, Leviticus 25:1–34, and Deuteronomy 15:1–18, and 31:10–13. (Mishnah Sheviit 1:1–10:9; Tosefta Sheviit 1:1–8:11; Jerusalem Talmud Sheviit 1a–87b.) The Mishnah taught that exile resulted from (among other things) transgressing the commandment (in Exodus 23:10–11 and Leviticus 25:3–5) to observe a Sabbatical year for the land. (Mishnah Avot 5:9.) Rabbi Isaac taught that the words of Psalm 103:20, “mighty in strength that fulfill His word,” speak of those who observe the Sabbatical year. Rabbi Isaac said that we often find that a person fulfills a precept for a day, a week, or a month, but it is remarkable to find one who does so for an entire year. Rabbi Isaac asked whether one could find a mightier person than one who sees his field untilled, see his vineyard untilled, and yet pays his taxes and does not complain. And Rabbi Isaac noted that Psalm 103:20 uses the words “that fulfill His word (dabar),” and Deuteronomy 15:2 says regarding observance of the Sabbatical year, “And this is the manner (dabar) of the release,” and argued that “dabar” means the observance of the Sabbatical year in both places. (Leviticus Rabbah 1:1.)

The Gemara deduced from the parallel use of the word “appear” in Exodus 23:14 and Deuteronomy 16:15 (regarding appearance offerings) on the one hand, and in Deuteronomy 31:10–12 (regarding the great assembly) on the other hand, that the criteria for who participated in the great assembly also applied to limit who needed to bring appearance offerings. A Baraita deduced from the words “that they may hear” in Deuteronomy 31:12 that a deaf person was not required to appear at the assembly. And the Baraita deduced from the words “that they may learn” in Deuteronomy 31:12 that a mute person was not required to appear at the assembly. But the Gemara questioned the conclusion that one who cannot talk cannot learn, recounting the story of two mute grandsons (or others say nephews) of Rabbi Johanan ben Gudgada who lived in Rabbi’s neighborhood. Rabbi prayed for them, and they were healed. And it turned out that notwithstanding their speech impediment, they had learned halachah, Sifra, Sifre, and the whole Talmud. Mar Zutra and Rav Ashi read the words “that they may learn” in Deuteronomy 31:12 to mean “that they may teach,” and thus to exclude people who could not speak from the obligation to appear at the assembly. Rabbi Tanhum deduced from the words “in their ears” (using the plural for “ears”) at the end of Deuteronomy 31:11 that one who was deaf in one ear was exempt from appearing at the assembly. (Babylonian Talmud Chagigah 3a.)

Moses Receives the Law (illustration by Carolingian book painter circa 840)

Tractate Pesachim in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of the Passover in Exodus 12:3–27, 43–49; 13:6–10; 23:15; 34:25; Leviticus 23:4–8; Numbers 9:1–14; 28:16-25; and Deuteronomy 16:1–8. (Mishnah Pesachim 1:1–10:9; Tosefta Pisha 1:1–10:13; Jerusalem Talmud Pesachim 1a–; Babylonian Talmud Pesachim 2a–121b.)

Tractate Sukkah in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of Sukkot in Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 23:33–43; Numbers 29:12–34; and Deuteronomy 16:13–17; 31:10–13. (Mishnah Sukkah 1:1–5:8; Tosefta Sukkah 1:1–4:28; Jerusalem Talmud Sukkah 1a–33b; Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 2a–56b.)

The Mishnah deduced from the words “the feast of harvest, the first-fruits of your labors, which you sow in the field” in Exodus 23:16 that first fruits were not to be brought before Shavuot. The Mishnah reported that the men of Mount Zeboim brought their first fruits before Shavuot, but the priests did not accept them, because of what is written in Exodus 23:16. (Mishnah Bikkurim 1:3.)

Tractate Bikkurim in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Jerusalem Talmud interpreted the laws of the first fruits in Exodus 23:19, Numbers 18:13, and Deuteronomy 12:17–18 and 26:1–11. (Mishnah Bikkurim 1:1–3:12; Tosefta Bikkurim 1:1–2:16; Jerusalem Talmud Bikkurim 1a–26b.) The Mishnah interpreted the words “the first-fruits of your land” in Exodus 23:19 to mean that a person could not bring first fruits unless all the produce came from that person’s land. The Mishnah thus taught that people who planted trees but bent their branches into or over another’s property could not bring first fruits from those trees. And for the same reason, the Mishnah taught that tenants, lessees, occupiers of confiscated property, or robbers could not bring first fruits. (Mishnah Bikkurim 1:1–2.)

The Gemara interpreted the words of Moses, “I am a hundred and twenty years old this day,” in Deuteronomy 31:2 to signify that Moses spoke on his birthday, and that he thus died on his birthday. Citing the words “the number of your days I will fulfill” in Exodus 23:26, the Gemara concluded that God completes the years of the righteous to the day, concluding their lives on their birthdays. (Babylonian Talmud Rosh Hashanah 11a.)

Exodus chapter 24

Reading Exodus 24:3, Rabbi Simlai taught that when the Israelites gave precedence to “we will do” over “we will hearken,” 600,000 ministering angels came and set two crowns on each Israelite man, one as a reward for “we will do” and the other as a reward for “we will hearken.” But as soon as the Israelites committed the sin of the golden calf, 1.2 million destroying angels descended and removed the crowns, as it is said in Exodus 33:6, “And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments from mount Horeb.” (Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 88a.)


According to the Sefer ha-Chinuch, there are 23 positive and 30 negative commandments in the parshah:

  • To purchase a Hebrew slave in accordance with the prescribed laws (Ex. 21:2.)
  • To betroth the Jewish maidservant (Ex. 21:8.)
  • To redeem Jewish maidservants (Ex. 21:8.)
  • The master must not sell his Jewish maidservant. (Ex. 21:8.)
  • Not to withhold food, clothing, or sexual relations from one's wife (Ex. 21:10.)
  • The courts must execute by strangulation those who deserve it. (Ex. 21:12.)
  • Not to strike one's father or mother (Ex. 21:15.)
  • The court must implement laws against the one who assaults another or damages another's property. (Ex. 21:18-19.)
Scales Of Justice.svg
  • The court must carry out the death penalty of the sword. (Ex. 21:20.)
  • The court must judge the damages incurred by a goring ox. (Ex. 21:28.)
  • Not to benefit from an ox condemned to be stoned (Ex. 21:28.)
  • The court must judge the damages incurred by a pit. (Ex. 21:33.)
  • The court must implement punitive measures against the thief. (Ex. 21:37.)
  • The court must judge the damages incurred by an animal eating. (Ex. 22:4.)
  • The court must judge the damages incurred by fire. (Ex. 22:5.)
  • The courts must carry out the laws of an unpaid guard. (Ex. 22:6.)
  • The courts must carry out the laws of the plaintiff, admitter, or denier. (Ex. 22:8.)
  • The courts must carry out the laws of a hired worker and hired guard. (Ex. 22:9.)
  • The courts must carry out the laws of a borrower. (Ex. 22:13.)
  • The court must fine one who seduces a maiden. (Ex. 22:15-16.)
  • The court must not let the sorcerer live. (Ex. 22:17.)
  • Not to insult or harm a sincere convert with words (Ex. 22:20.)
  • Not to cheat a sincere convert monetarily (Ex. 22:20.)
  • Not to afflict any orphan or widow (Ex. 22:21.)
  • To lend to the poor and destitute (Ex. 22:24.)
  • Not to press them for payment if you know they don't have it (Ex. 22:24.)
  • Not to intermediate in an interest loan, guarantee, witness, or write the promissory note (Ex. 22:24.)
  • Not to curse judges (Ex. 22:27.)
  • Not to blaspheme (Ex. 22:27.)
  • Not to curse the head of state or leader of the Sanhedrin (Ex. 22:27.)
  • Not to preface one tithe to the next, but separate them in their proper order (Ex. 22:28.)
  • Not to eat meat of an animal that was mortally wounded (Ex. 22:30.)
  • Judges must not accept testimony unless both parties are present. (Ex. 23:1.)
  • Transgressors must not testify. (Ex. 23:1.)
  • The court must not execute through a majority of one; at least a majority of two is required. (Ex. 23:2.)
Celebrating Sukkot
  • A judge who presented an acquittal plea must not present an argument for conviction in capital cases. (Ex. 23:2.)
  • To decide by majority in case of disagreement (Ex. 23:2.)
  • Not to pity a poor man in judgment (Ex. 23:3.)
  • To help another remove the load from a beast which can no longer carry it (Ex. 23:5.)
  • A judge must not decide unjustly the case of the habitual transgressor. (Ex. 23:6.)
  • The court must not kill anybody on circumstantial evidence. (Ex. 23:7.)
  • Judges must not accept bribes. (Ex. 23:8.)
  • To leave free all produce that grew in the Sabbatical year (Ex. 23:11.)
  • To rest on the seventh day (Ex. 23:12.)
  • Not to swear in the name of an idol (Ex. 23:13.)
  • Not to turn Israelites to idolatry (Ex. 23:13.)
  • To celebrate on the three Festivals of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot (Ex. 23:14.)
  • Not to slaughter the Passover lamb while in possession of leaven (Ex. 23:18.)
  • Not to leave the fat overnight (Ex. 23:18.)
  • To set aside the first fruits and bring them to the Temple (Ex. 23:19.)
  • Not to eat meat and milk cooked together (Ex. 23:19.)
  • Not to make any treaty with the seven nations to be extirpated, or with any idol worshiper (Ex. 23:32.)
  • Not to let them dwell in our land (Ex. 23:33.)
Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem (painting by Rembrandt)

(Sefer HaHinnuch: The Book of [Mitzvah] Education. Translated by Charles Wengrov, vol. 1, 197–355. Jerusalem: Feldheim Pub., 1991. ISBN 0-87306-179-9.)



The haftarah for the parshah is Jeremiah 34:8–22 & 33:25–26. Both the parshah and the haftarah address the law requiring the release of Hebrew slaves. Both the parshah and the haftarah use the words “Hebrew” (ivri) (Ex. 21:2; Jer. 34:9,14), “slave” or “servant” (eved) (Ex. 21:2,5,7; Jer. 34:9–11), “free” (chofshi) (Ex. 21:2,5; Jer. 34:9–11,14), and “covenant” (brit) (Ex. 24:7; Jer. 34:13.) The haftarah literally quotes the parshah. (Jeremiah 34:14; Ex. 21:2.) And the haftarah recites the setting of the parshah (described in the previous parshah), the time at which God brought the Israelites “out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” (Jer. 34:13; Ex. 20:2.)

On Shabbat Shekalim

When the parshah coincides with the special Sabbath Shabbat Shekalim (as it does in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2017), the haftarah is 2 Kings 12:1–17.

In the liturgy

Many Jews recite Exodus 23:20 three times as part of the Tefilat HaDerech (Wayfarer’s Prayer), said on setting out on a journey. (Menachem Davis. The Schottenstein Edition Siddur for Weekdays with an Interlinear Translation, 311–13. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2002. ISBN 1-57819-686-8.)

The Weekly Maqam

In the Weekly Maqam, Sephardic Jews each week base the songs of the services on the content of that week's parshah. For Parshah Mishpatim, Sephardic Jews apply Maqam Saba, the maqam that symbolizes the covenant between man and God. By performing mitzvot and following commandments, one obeys God's covenant, and therefore in this parshah, with its multitude of mitzvot and commandments, it is appropriate to apply Maqam Saba.

Further reading

The parshah has parallels or is discussed in these sources:




Early nonrabbinic

Classical rabbinic

  • Mishnah: Peah 8:9; Sheviit 1:1–10:9; Terumot 3:6–7; Challah 4:10; Bikkurim 1:1–3:12; Pesachim 1:1–10:9; Sukkah 1:1–5:8; Rosh Hashanah 2:9; Chagigah 1:1–3; Ketubot 3:2, 5:6; Sotah 3:8; Kiddushin 1:2–3; Bava Kamma 1:1–10:10; Bava Metzia 2:10, 3:12, 4:10, 5:11, 7:8–8:3; Sanhedrin 1:1, 4, 6, 7:6, 8:6, 9:1, 11:1; Avot 5:9; Zevachim 14:2; Chullin 8:4; Bekhorot 1:7, 8:7; Arakhin 3:1, 3–4; Zavim 2:3. Land of Israel, circa 200 C.E. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, 36, 68–93, 99, 158, 166–75, 229–51, 303, 328–29, 383, 388–89, 453, 487–88, 503–28, 533, 537, 540, 544, 548–51, 583–85, 598, 601–02, 607, 687, 730, 781, 790, 806, 812–13, 1111. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-300-05022-4.
  • Tosefta: Berakhot 4:15; 6:1; Sheviit 1:1–8:11; Terumot 7:8; Bikkurim 1:1–2:16; Shabbat 15:17; Pisha (Pesachim) 1:1–10:13; Shekalim 3:24; Sukkah 1:1–4:28; Yom Tov (Beitzah) 2:12; Chagigah 1:1; Ketubot 3:7; 12:2; Nedarim 2:6; Sotah 8:7; 11:6; Bava Kamma 1:1–11:18; Bava Metzia 2:25–26; 4:2; 7:9–8:1; 8:20–21; Sanhedrin 3:2, 7; 11:5, 9; 12:3; Makkot 2:1–3:10; Shevuot 3:8; 5:2; 6:1, 3; Eduyot 1:15; Avodah Zarah 6:11; Zevachim 8:26; Chullin 8:11; Arakhin 2:10; 3:2; 5:9. Land of Israel, circa 300 C.E. Reprinted in, e.g., The Tosefta: Translated from the Hebrew, with a New Introduction. Translated by Jacob Neusner, 1:25, 37, 178, 203–49, 345–53, 418, 471–522, 538, 567–84, 594, 663, 752, 778, 789, 870, 879; 2:951–1022, 1033, 1044, 1063–66, 1071–72, 1150, 1153–54, 1183–85, 1202–08, 1233–34, 1236, 1240–41, 1250, 1285, 1347, 1397, 1499, 1501, 1514. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Pub., 2002. ISBN 1-56563-642-2.
  • Jerusalem Talmud: Berakhot 39a, 60a, 72b, 88a; Peah 3a, 6b, 41b, 47b, 49a, 57b, 73a; Sheviit 1a–87b; Maaser Sheni 38a; Challah 47b, 48b; Orlah 33b–34b; Bikkurim 1a–26b; Pesachim 1a–; Sukkah 1a–33b. Land of Israel, circa 400 C.E. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, vols. 1–3, 6b, 10–12, 22. Brooklyn: Mesorah Pubs., 2005–2009.
  • Mekhilta According to Rabbi Ishmael 58:1–80:2. Land of Israel, late 4th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., Mekhilta According to Rabbi Ishmael. Translated by Jacob Neusner, vol. 2, 105–250. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988. ISBN 1-55540-237-2.
  • Babylonian Talmud: Sotah 23b; Arachin 29a; Gittin 65a. Babylonia, 6th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr, Chaim Malinowitz, and Mordechai Marcus, 72 vols. Brooklyn: Mesorah Pubs., 2006.


  • Exodus Rabbah 30:1–32:9. 10th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S. M. Lehrman, vol. 3: 346–413. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
  • Rashi on Exodus 21–24. Troyes, France, late 11th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg. Rashi: The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary Translated, Annotated, and Elucidated, vol. 2, 247–317. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1994. ISBN 0-89906-027-7.
  • Judah Halevi. Kuzari. 2:14; 3:1, 35, 47; 4:3, 11. Toledo, Spain, 1130–1140. Reprinted in, e.g., Jehuda Halevi. Kuzari: An Argument for the Faith of Israel. Intro. by Henry Slonimsky, 90, 135, 168, 175, 204, 217. New York: Schocken, 1964. ISBN 0-8052-0075-4.
  • Maimonides. Mishneh Torah, Intro.:1. Cairo, Egypt, 1170–1180.
  • Zohar 2:94a–126a. Spain, late 13th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., The Zohar. Translated by Harry Sperling and Maurice Simon. 5 vols. London: Soncino Press, 1934.
  • Isaac Abrabanel. Principles of Faith. Chs. 3, 5, 12, 17, 19. Naples, Italy, 1494. Reprinted in, e.g., Isaac Abravanel. Principles of Faith (Rosh Amanah). Translated by Menachem Marc Kellner, 66, 76, 116, 118, 154, 171. Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, 1982. ISBN 0-8386-3080-4.


  • Thomas Hobbes. Leviathan, 3:40. England, 1651. Reprint edited by C. B. Macpherson, 503. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Classics, 1982. ISBN 0140431950.
  • Thomas Mann. Joseph and His Brothers. Translated by John E. Woods, 305, 535–36. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. ISBN 1-4000-4001-9. Originally published as Joseph und seine Brüder. Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer Verlag, 1943.
  • Abraham Joshua Heschel. Man's Quest for God: Studies in Prayer and Symbolism, 18. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1954.
  • Jacob Milgrom. “First fruits, OT.” In The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. Supp. vol., 336–37. Nashville, Tenn.: Abingdon, 1976. ISBN 0-687-19269-2.
  • Jacob Milgrom. “‘You Shall Not Boil a Kid in Its Mother’s Milk’: An archaeological myth destroyed.” Bible Review. 1 (3) (Fall 1985): 48–55.
  • Aaron Wildavsky. Assimilation versus Separation: Joseph the Administrator and the Politics of Religion in Biblical Israel, 3–4. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1993. ISBN 1-56000-081-3.
  • Jacob Milgrom. “‘The Alien in Your Midst’: Every nation has its ger: the permanent resident. The Torah commands us, first, not to oppress the ger, and then to befriend and love him.” Bible Review. 11 (6) (Dec. 1995).
  • Jacob Milgrom. “Lex Talionis and the Rabbis: The Talmud reflects an uneasy rabbinic conscience toward the ancient law of talion, ‘eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’” Bible Review. 12 (2) (Apr. 1996).
  • Baruch J. Schwartz. “What Really Happened at Mount Sinai? Four biblical answers to one question.” Bible Review. 13 (5) (Oct. 1997).
  • Jack M. Sasson. “Should Cheeseburgers Be Kosher? A Different Interpretation of Five Hebrew Words.” Bible Review 19 (6) (Dec. 2003): 40–43, 50–51.
  • Joseph Telushkin. The Ten Commandments of Character: Essential Advice for Living an Honorable, Ethical, Honest Life, 218–20, 275–78. New York: Bell Tower, 2003. ISBN 1-4000-4509-6.
  • Lawrence Kushner. Kabbalah: A Love Story, 8. New York: Morgan Road Books, 2006. ISBN 0-7679-2412-6.
  • U.S. Department of State. Trafficking in Persons Report: June 2008.
  • Gloria London. “Why Milk and Meat Don’t Mix: A New Explanation for a Puzzling Kosher Law.” Biblical Archaeology Review. 34 (6) (Nov./Dec. 2008): 66–69.

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