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If a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant - Exo 21:7-11

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  • If a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant - Exo 21:7-11

    An unbeliever threw this passage in my face to prove that our God is a meanie who tells His children to sell their daughters. At first I was quite annoyed because: here we go again, someone twisting our Father's word in the worst possible way to not only fortify their unbelief, but sabotage our faith and prevent others from a fair consideration of our Father's abundant grace. Little did I suspect I was about to receive a humbling lesson. I should have known better. The Holy Spirit had a lot to say about this passage.

    Exo 21:7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.
    Exo 21:8 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.
    Exo 21:9 And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.
    Exo 21:10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.
    Exo 21:11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.

    The first thing I noticed was that this is not a commandment or encouragement to engage in slavery. But it seems widely understood by learned men that it was an apparently accepted practice among the peoples. Yet God didn't say "No, don't do that!" We should wonder why. We should seriously inquire! Because in today's age, servitude is considered slavery, synonymous with exploitation and a cardinal sin of secular society. Unbelievers are very critical of scripture, and this topic is a pet peeve. Believers should try to understand why slavery was practiced and accepted then without controversy, and why we don't accept it now (assuming that is how you feel--I don't presume to dictate to anyone--but we might look at how this reveals Christ, and understand more deeply the theme of bondage and freedom).

    So, back in the day, if a father could not support the family then he might sell his daughter into a term of maid service. We should take care not to judge harshly. When people go through tough times, for whatever cause, they will do what they think is necessary to endure. Sometimes there are no easy choices. God teaches us here, and in many places, that difficulties grant no license for lawlessness.

    The nations seemed to have had no problem with selling their daughters into prostitution, slavery (perhaps even to foreigners), sending them out to fend for themselves, and too often ritual sacrifice. If a father doesn't provide for his children, then clearly it opens the door to all manner of compromise and defilement. Paul says in 1Ti 5:8, "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." That notion is perhaps what Jesus intended in Mat 5:32, "But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."

    So in Exo 21:7-11 we see commandments to both the father and the master to care for the maid, and do right. It even provides for the case where the master might renege on the deal he made. In an age when men were making their own rules according to their own desires, this is truly a mercy. (And should we expect anything less of our Father in heaven, whose mercy endures forever?)

    Therefore, we can understand Exo 21:7-11 additionally as a protection against fornication. We know women were at high risk of being raped from the book of Ruth, when Boaz instructed Ruth how to walk safely in his fields, and from many other places in scripture. We know God is particularly offended by fornication, and that natural fornication and spiritual fornication go hand in hand. In Numbers, Balaam taught Moab to seduce God's people with sex, and in the end they bowed down to Baal Peor--a common formula. We know especially God's stance on spiritual fornication. Wherever sexual sin is rampant, so is idolatry.

    On another level, we can see that Exo 21:7-11 is a picture of mankind in bondage, and the restraint that honoring God's law imposes upon evil. The Israelites were under bondage of the law when they obeyed, or a conqueror when they rebelled; and the nations were in bondage to unjust and cruel gods, ultimately Satan. The converse is that, through God's just governance and ordained grace, those in bondage shall be freed. The Israelites in bond-service could be redeemed by the grace of a family member who is able to make payment, and were freed by grace in the Jubilee year. The nations were freed when Jesus Christ shed His blood for us, our debts are forgiven, and God showered His grace upon all who receive Him.

    Indeed, even the world enjoys a remarkable peace for a season, while God's spirit flows and the people observe His laws, beginning with Pax Romana as an obvious miracle of His grace and enduring into these times. We have had some very dark times, for certain. But God hasn't left us, staying true to His promise: I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Never in history has the world seen seasons of peace as this age has enjoyed.

    When I had finished, I saw that the Lord's wisdom is deep and rich, and His goodness and mercy can be found even in places we think belong to the darkness. In putting me in the path of this critical person seeking to destroy the faith of children, God blessed me with revelation, and an opportunity to bear witness to unbelievers of His wisdom and mercy in the book that people hate, and modern men feel a need to apologize for. We are so very blessed that His goodness and grace do not fail at man's doubting and accusations.

    Glory to Jesus.
    Last edited by Baruch; December 11, 2015, 01:27 AM.

  • #2
    Amen Barry.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Barry and Steve,

      Today we have jobs that pay by the hour, some pay by the week, and others by the month. Others pay when the job is finished. We even have some that pay a percentage of the profit and also others that pay in many different ways. Most of us work for companies or small businesses.

      When God sent His people to the promised land, every family was given land. But of course many lost their land by making poor decisions etc. It was NOT God's plan that these people lose their land, it was by their own mistakes that they lost it.

      Once a family had no land, they had to find work to survive so they did not starve. But they did not work by the hour or week, or month. Today we sell ourselves by the hour, but back them they sold themselves by the year, or even longer. A servant was NOT a slave, but simply a person with a long term job. They did not work for companies as we do today, but worked for families.

      There were servants with different length of terms. There were also bond servants who had sold themselves ( or taken a job) for life. It was not slavery, but long term employment.

      Today most people do not want to be obligated for a very long time at one job. But back then people looked it as job security and desired long term obligations to be a servant if the master was good to work for. Most would agree to serve for a short term, to see what kind of master someone was. If he was good to work for they would ask to be a servant for life. That was agreeing to be his bond servant. They did not look at it as being trapped for life, but as job security for life.

      If someone agreed to be a masters bond servant, and then left, that was the same as stealing, by not living up to the agreement.

      Of course some had to sell their services because they had made big mistakes. Some had dept that they could not pay, and would sell their services for life to pay their dept. Some had stolen from a person and certainly agreeing to be their lifelong servant was better than being punished for being a thief.

      So being a servant was NOT slavery. No one was forced to be a servant. Slavery was forced upon people.

      But the whole servant issue was not God's plan. His plan was for everyone to have their own land.

      But just as God allowed divorce because men were not born of God and so made bad mistakes; God also allowed servant hood for men because they did not have wisdom that comes only from knowing Him. If two people refuse to love one another, it may be better they separate than to live in hate. Also if someone is foolish with their land or life, it is better to be a servant than starve.

      Both divorce and servant hood were God's extreme mercy for sinful men; not His perfect will for men.

      The love between a man ( a shadow of Jesus) and a woman ( a shadow of the church) is supposed to be an example of how Jesus loves His church, and how the church is to love Jesus. Jesus promises to never leave His people and laid His life down for the church. The man is to never leave his wife and lay down his life for her. The woman is to obey the husband as she would Christ and to be faithful to him for her whole life.

      Divorce teaches a nation to be unfaithful to The Lord. It is divorce that brought our nation to where it is today. I have seen divorce go from not being accepted by society, to being accepted by almost everyone in our society in my short lifetime. In that same time our nation has gone from a nation where is was looked down upon not to go to church and being an atheist was considered terrible; to today where Christians are the ones that are mocked.

      Being a bond servant was also a shadow of how Jesus loves His church and how His people are to love Him.

      The master would protect, feed, and care for the bond servant for his whole life. The master was RESPONSIBLE for these things. Can you imagine any boss today that would risk his life to protect a worker. If anyone attacked one of Abraham's servants, it was the same as attacking Abraham. Today if someone would be attacked, their boss might fire them for being in any kind of trouble instead of fighting to protect them.

      The bond servant would give himself to the master for life. Once he had done this, his life was no longer his, but it belonged to his master. Usually when a man agreed to be a master's bond servant, it was because he had extreme trust in him. For he was trusting him with his life.

      When we give our life to The Lord Jesus, we are trusting Him with our life. We do this because we have learned that we can not trust ourselves to save our eternal life. So we give our life to Him. Once we do this our life is NOT our own, but our life belongs to Jesus. He is able to hold it is His hand and save us from our sinful selves.

      Jesus is then our Master and it is His responsibility to care for us and keep us safe. We have to work just as the bond servant does, but Jesus is the wise one who can save us from anything.

      Certainly my security is that I am the bond servant of the Lord Jesus. My hope is that He will not allow me to leave in any circumstance. I can not trust myself to stay faithful to Him when times get really difficult. My trust is in the fact that I have given my life to Him and He will hold it in His hand and not allow me to leave when I am afraid or cowardly.

      If any part of my salvation depends on me, I am certainly lost and have no hope. Because I am not dependable. I do not have the wisdom, courage, faithfulness, etc to depend on myself. I would certainly fail at any part that was required of me.

      My salvation depends totally on my Savior. I gave my life to The Lord Jesus who is my Savior. He proved He was willing to save me by shedding His blood for me. Jesus proved He was able to save me by raising Himself from the dead.

      Lou Newton

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Lou Newton View Post
        Hi Barry and Steve,

        Today we have jobs that pay by the hour, some pay by the week, and others by the month. Others pay when the job is finished. We even have some that pay a percentage of the profit and also others that pay in many different ways. Most of us work for companies or small businesses.

        When God sent His people to the promised land, every family was given land. But of course many lost their land by making poor decisions etc. It was NOT God's plan that these people lose their land, it was by their own mistakes that they lost it.

        Once a family had no land, they had to find work to survive so they did not starve. But they did not work by the hour or week, or month. Today we sell ourselves by the hour, but back them they sold themselves by the year, or even longer. A servant was NOT a slave, but simply a person with a long term job. They did not work for companies as we do today, but worked for families.

        There were servants with different length of terms. There were also bond servants who had sold themselves ( or taken a job) for life. It was not slavery, but long term employment.

        Today most people do not want to be obligated for a very long time at one job. But back then people looked it as job security and desired long term obligations to be a servant if the master was good to work for. Most would agree to serve for a short term, to see what kind of master someone was. If he was good to work for they would ask to be a servant for life. That was agreeing to be his bond servant. They did not look at it as being trapped for life, but as job security for life.

        If someone agreed to be a masters bond servant, and then left, that was the same as stealing, by not living up to the agreement.

        Of course some had to sell their services because they had made big mistakes. Some had dept that they could not pay, and would sell their services for life to pay their dept. Some had stolen from a person and certainly agreeing to be their lifelong servant was better than being punished for being a thief.

        So being a servant was NOT slavery. No one was forced to be a servant. Slavery was forced upon people.

        But the whole servant issue was not God's plan. His plan was for everyone to have their own land.

        But just as God allowed divorce because men were not born of God and so made bad mistakes; God also allowed servant hood for men because they did not have wisdom that comes only from knowing Him. If two people refuse to love one another, it may be better they separate than to live in hate. Also if someone is foolish with their land or life, it is better to be a servant than starve.

        Both divorce and servant hood were God's extreme mercy for sinful men; not His perfect will for men.

        The love between a man ( a shadow of Jesus) and a woman ( a shadow of the church) is supposed to be an example of how Jesus loves His church, and how the church is to love Jesus. Jesus promises to never leave His people and laid His life down for the church. The man is to never leave his wife and lay down his life for her. The woman is to obey the husband as she would Christ and to be faithful to him for her whole life.

        Divorce teaches a nation to be unfaithful to The Lord. It is divorce that brought our nation to where it is today. I have seen divorce go from not being accepted by society, to being accepted by almost everyone in our society in my short lifetime. In that same time our nation has gone from a nation where is was looked down upon not to go to church and being an atheist was considered terrible; to today where Christians are the ones that are mocked.

        Being a bond servant was also a shadow of how Jesus loves His church and how His people are to love Him.

        The master would protect, feed, and care for the bond servant for his whole life. The master was RESPONSIBLE for these things. Can you imagine any boss today that would risk his life to protect a worker. If anyone attacked one of Abraham's servants, it was the same as attacking Abraham. Today if someone would be attacked, their boss might fire them for being in any kind of trouble instead of fighting to protect them.

        The bond servant would give himself to the master for life. Once he had done this, his life was no longer his, but it belonged to his master. Usually when a man agreed to be a master's bond servant, it was because he had extreme trust in him. For he was trusting him with his life.

        When we give our life to The Lord Jesus, we are trusting Him with our life. We do this because we have learned that we can not trust ourselves to save our eternal life. So we give our life to Him. Once we do this our life is NOT our own, but our life belongs to Jesus. He is able to hold it is His hand and save us from our sinful selves.

        Jesus is then our Master and it is His responsibility to care for us and keep us safe. We have to work just as the bond servant does, but Jesus is the wise one who can save us from anything.

        Certainly my security is that I am the bond servant of the Lord Jesus. My hope is that He will not allow me to leave in any circumstance. I can not trust myself to stay faithful to Him when times get really difficult. My trust is in the fact that I have given my life to Him and He will hold it in His hand and not allow me to leave when I am afraid or cowardly.

        If any part of my salvation depends on me, I am certainly lost and have no hope. Because I am not dependable. I do not have the wisdom, courage, faithfulness, etc to depend on myself. I would certainly fail at any part that was required of me.

        My salvation depends totally on my Savior. I gave my life to The Lord Jesus who is my Savior. He proved He was willing to save me by shedding His blood for me. Jesus proved He was able to save me by raising Himself from the dead.

        Lou Newton
        Lou,
        That was so beautifully put. Thank you for that. I agree with you.

        Comment


        • #5
          I echo Steve. I knew that the Holy Spirit had a lot more to say about that passage!

          Comment


          • #6
            I am so happy that I can get all this savory meat that both you and Lou serve up on so many of the threads here. This forum has blessed me more than I am able to express.
            Lou, thanks for always trying to do the Lord's will. I can't imagine how I would ever learn all that I have and all that I will if I didn't have you in my life. You have been such a wonderful blessing from the Lord I really appreciate it. And now there's Barry with all the good stuff revealed through him as well.
            This forum is turning into a spiritual buffet. Thanks again. ..... Steve

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Steve Hollander View Post
              I am so happy that I can get all this savory meat that both you and Lou serve up on so many of the threads here. This forum has blessed me more than I am able to express.
              Lou, thanks for always trying to do the Lord's will. I can't imagine how I would ever learn all that I have and all that I will if I didn't have you in my life. You have been such a wonderful blessing from the Lord I really appreciate it. And now there's Barry with all the good stuff revealed through him as well.
              This forum is turning into a spiritual buffet. Thanks again. ..... Steve
              Thanks Steve for your very kind and generous reply. I can not write unless The Holy Spirit inspires me. He does not seem to do that unless people participate in some way. So thanks for taking part with your additions, questions and other replies.

              Also many thanks to Barry.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well all I can say is that I am very thankful for all the Holy Spirit has revealed to me since I have been fortunate enough to have known you Lou. I would not have even realized that it is He and not you doing the instructing. I would have been guilty of the sin of giving glory to a man as that was how I was brought up by my parents before me. It is you who has been the vessel the Lord used to open my eyes to the truth. Remember when we first met how you helped me to see that there is not "air lift" aka. rapture coming before the end. It is at the end that it takes place.
                I pray for this ministry and forum daily and I support it as well with physical efforts as best as I can. I believe this is one of the only oasis in the area as we are living in the Laodicean era. There is a famine for the word of God and truth is obscured in our society. God save us.
                Blessings ..... Steve

                Comment


                • #9
                  An oasis. Well said, Steve. Out of your belly flow rivers of living water. I'm grateful for this forum. It's not a busy place, which is a blessing of its own kind. I find it a rich, meaty diet of godly goodness. I haven't traveled the world looking for such places, but it is the first and only one of its kind I have found. Here I pitch my tent.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Baruch View Post
                    An oasis. Well said, Steve. Out of your belly flow rivers of living water. I'm grateful for this forum. It's not a busy place, which is a blessing of its own kind. I find it a rich, meaty diet of godly goodness. I haven't traveled the world looking for such places, but it is the first and only one of its kind I have found. Here I pitch my tent.

                    I find it very encouraging and it also makes me thankful to The Lord Jesus that you feel that way.

                    Comment

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