"Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother." Zechariah 7:9
Text: Exodus 21 : 7-8
HUMANE LAWS CONCERNING FEMALE SLAVES
God also spoke to Moses concerning female slaves! (We need to remember that women did not enjoy a high social status in the ancient days, yet God made sure that female slaves were not unfairly victimized)!
“And if a man sells his daughter to be a female slave,
she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she does not
please her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then
he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her
to a foreign people, since he has dealt deceitfully with her.”
1. An extra set of laws to protect the female slave
There was an extra set of laws protecting female slaves (Unheard of among other nations)! These clauses were added to protect the dignity of the female slave.
A father may allow a man to marry his daughter, as part and parcel of an agreement. However, if the marriage did not work out, the master was not allowed to send her away as he might in the case of a male slave! The female slave, once married to her master, would be at a great disadvantage if the master was not pleased with her. Her chances of re-marriage were slim. The chances of employment were also fairly dim!
If after marriage, the master chooses to dispose of her, the law would be used against him. His action against her was described harshly as “deceit”. In other words, he took advantage of his female slave! The penalty was as follows:-
a) He has no right to sell her, especially to foreigners
He cannot get rid of the female slave, as if she is a piece of furniture that has outlived its usefulness! Foreigners are mentioned, because they do not have humane laws that treat female slaves with dignity!
b) Her redemption as a slave is now no longer an option!
We are not told how the female slave may be redeemed. It might well that the master has to offer her freedom, long before the six years of service are up! He may well have to pay compensation to the female slave and her family!
AMAZED AT THE GRACIOUSNESS OF GOD’S LAWS
God’s laws were truly astounding, especially when viewed in the light of the often barbaric laws of neighbouring nations! Israel had a wonderful and holy God! These laws concerning slavery help us appreciate why God allowed slavery to exist in Israel!