The Hebrew Letter that corresponds to this chapter is Shin- Divine power; provision; protection.
In the following verses we will see how the law protected every one, including the unborn child and the slave.
Sh'mot 21:1 "Now these are the rulings which you are to set before them.
The rulings - Mishpatim
The next few chapters are a combination of direct commands and case law. They describe in more depth the Ten Commandments.
If this seems to be overwhelming remember that it can be summarized into 2 basic commands.
Luke 10:27 And he answered and said, "You shall love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."
Sh'mot 21:2-6 If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment. If he comes alone, he shall go out alone; if he is the husband of a wife, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,' then his master shall bring him to G-d, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.
This law stresses that there is to be an end date for slavery. It was the slaves decision if he wanted it to be a permanent arrangement not the slave owner.
Bring him to the door - Notice that when the slave decides to remain a servant of his master what happens to him. He is taken to the door of the house and his ear is pierced there. This identifies him with the household forever. This is a picture of Yeshua choosing voluntarily to serve the Master of the universe. His hands, feet, and sides were pierced for His bride, believers in Him, and He chose to stay with us and pay the price. The believer too must follow His example and go to "the door", Yeshua, and be identified with Him.
John 10:9 "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved,
Sh'mot 21:7-11 "If a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, then he shall let her be bought back again; but he has no power to sell her to foreigners, since he has wronged her by no longer wanting her after marrying her. And if he arranges an engagement between a Hebrew slave-girl and his son, then he may no longer treat her as a slave-girl, but must treat her as a daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing, or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three things, then she may leave freely without any payment.
This law protected the female slave. She is not to be a slave forever. She is to be treated as one of the family and no longer a slave if she is married into the family. In other words, she had rights; she was not at the mercy of the slave master.
Sh'mot 21:12-13 "Anyone who hits a man so hard that he dies shall surely be put to death. But if it is accidental-an act of G-d-and not intentional, then I will appoint a place where he can run and get protection.
Here we see that HaShem approves of the death penalty in the case of murder.
If it is an accident, an act of HaShem, then there was to be no death penalty.
Appoint a place where he can run and get protection. - These where known as cities of refuge. (See Num 35:6-24; Deut 19:1-13) There were 6 cities that a person could go for protection. This would spare them from being the victim of a vigilante attack from the family of the dead person.