Daily Devotions


Day 168

"Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother." Zechariah 7:10

Text: Exodus 21 : 9-11


God’s laws were carefully crafted out! His laws were well-thought out! A second scenario was described in the following text.

“And if he has betrothed her to his son,
he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters.”

1. Betrothal to the son of the master

The circumstances in which this marriage took place are not described. In any case, the female slave ends up as the daughter-in-law of the master!

2. Customary dues

In any culture, there would be customs to be followed. There were customary procedures to be followed, even if Israel was but a nascent community! The female slave was to be given all that was due as a bride! In other words, she was to be treated with great respect and dignity, as if she was free-born!


A third scenario was described. What if there was a second marriage? What are the rights of the female-slave? Would she immediately be reduced to that of a slave? God’s laws protected the female-slave very well!

“If he takes another wife, he shall not diminish her food,
her clothing, and her marriage rights. And if he does not
do these three for her, then she shall go out free,
without paying money.”
EXODUS 21:10-11

1. A more complex situation

Multiple marriages were not disallowed in those days! (Patriarch Jacob had four wives, two of whom were possibly “female slaves”)! Nevertheless, God had laws to cover and protect them.

2. Three undeniable rights!

a) Clothing (dignity)
b) Food (basic right to eat well)
c) Rights (Conjugal rights in the context of marriage)


If a female slave has to live under unbearable circumstances, she may sue to be released from her bond as a female slave! The law will uphold her rights!