7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.
8 If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.
9 And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.
10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.
11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.
K.J.V. Bible Text
Today’s reading tells us about God’s plan, given to Moses, for the disposition of maidservants. You will recall from our previous reading that menservants served six years and in the seventh year were given their freedom. This was not the plan for the maids. These were the provisions made for maidservants.
If the master betrothed her to himself and she didn’t please him, he must let her be redeemed. He should not sell her to a strange nation.
If the master betrothed the maid to his son, she shall be dealt with like a daughter.
If the master takes another wife, he shall continue to treat the maidservant in the same manner.
The final rule seems to me to be the most important.
If he doesn’t do act according to the rules, the maid can go free without money.
It seems really odd to me that these were the rights God deemed important for young lady servants in that day and time. We expect so much more today. Yet it seems that these rules would at least permit the young women to know what to expect, allow them to be treated humanely in a standardized way and to know that they will not be sold away from their people.
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