וכי יכה. אין ספק כי משפט הישראלי בין חפשי בין נמכר שוה בכל המשפטים. על כן לא יתכן להיות זה עבד עברי. ועוד כי באחרונה כתוב כי כספו הוא והנה זה העבד והאמה הוא הכתוב עליהם מהם תקנו עבד ואמה. ונפתח בי"ת בשבט שהיה מנהגו להכותם בו. והנה כל החולקים על חכמינו בעל כרחם יסמכו עליהם במלת נקם ינקם. כי הנקמה על דרכים רבים. והנה לא תועיל להם הסברא במקום הזה. והאבות קבלו כי זאת כמו חרב נוקמת נקם ברית: AND IF A MAN SMITE HIS BONDMAN. There is no doubt that according to Israelite jurisprudence the same ordinances that apply to a free man apply to a person sold into bondage. Hence it is impossible for the bondman213Spoken of in our verse. to be a Hebrew servant.214For the same law that applies to any Israelite would apply to him. Thus the law codified in verse 21 cannot relate to a Hebrew. Furthermore, Scripture states at the end,215Of the Masoretic chapter, that is, verse 21. for he is his money.216This cannot apply to an Israelite, for one Hebrew does not become the property of another Hebrew. Now the bondman and bondwoman217Spoken of in our verse. are the ones concerning whom Scripture writes, of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids (Lev. 25:44). The bet of ba-shevet (with a rod) is vocalized with a pattach. 218Rather than with a sheva. The reference is to the rod219The pattach beneath the bet indicates a specific rod. According to I.E., bashevet (with a rod) should be rendered, with the rod, i.e., the rod which the master uses to chastise his servants. which the master was in the habit of using to beat his servants. Now all those who dispute the words of our sages220See I.E.’s comments on the next verse. are forced to agree with them with regard to the phrase nakom yinnakem (he shall surely be avenged),221According to the rabbis, nakom yinakkem means: he shall be executed by the sword. for vengeance takes many forms.222Thus were it not for Rabbinic tradition, we would not know what punishment to mete out to a master who kills his slave. Now logic will not help them in this case.223A logical and literal analysis of this verse will not tell us what punishment Scripture had in mind by he shall surely be avenged. The fathers have received the tradition that nakem yenakem (he shall surely be avenged) is similar to a sword that shall avenge (nokemet) the vengeance of the covenant (nekam berit) (Lev. 26:25).224Translated literally.