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Exodus 21:7

Context

21:7 “If a man sells his daughter 1  as a female servant, 2  she will not go out as the male servants do.

Exodus 22:7

Context

22:7 “If a man gives his neighbor money or articles 3  for safekeeping, 4  and it is stolen from the man’s house, if the thief is caught, 5  he must repay double.

1 sn This paragraph is troubling to modern readers, but given the way that marriages were contracted and the way people lived in the ancient world, it was a good provision for people who might want to find a better life for their daughter. On the subject in general for this chapter, see W. M. Swartley, Slavery, Sabbath, War, and Women, 31-64.

2 tn The word אָמָה (’amah) refers to a female servant who would eventually become a concubine or wife; the sale price included the amount for the service as well as the bride price (see B. Jacob, Exodus, 621). The arrangement recognized her honor as an Israelite woman, one who could be a wife, even though she entered the household in service. The marriage was not automatic, as the conditions show, but her treatment was safeguarded come what may. The law was a way, then, for a poor man to provide a better life for a daughter.

3 tn The word usually means “vessels” but can have the sense of household goods and articles. It could be anything from jewels and ornaments to weapons or pottery.

4 tn Heb “to keep.” Here “safekeeping,” that is, to keep something secure on behalf of a third party, is intended.

5 tn Heb “found.”



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