This is a most humane and merciful addition to the law in
If thou buy an Hebrew
servant, six years he shall serve: and in the
seventh he shall go out free for nothing. ... And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.
; enforced upon the Israelites by the consideration of their Egyptian bondage. As a faithful servant has made no property for himself while honestly serving his master, so now, when he quits his service, he has nothing to begin the world with except what the kindness of his master may bestow upon him as a remuneration for his zeal and fidelity. Though what was to be bestowed upon servants is not fixed, yet they were to be liberally supplied (
Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: [of that
] wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him.
Genesis 31:42 Except
the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear
of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen
mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked [thee
And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty:
For they [are
] my servants
, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondmen. ... Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, [shall be
] of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
not good from them to whom it is due
, when it is in the power of thine hand to do [it
]. ... Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
him that buildeth
his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; [that
] useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work;
And I will come
near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift
witness against the sorcerers
, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those
the hireling in [his
] wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger [from his right
], and fear
not me, saith the LORD of hosts.
] servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye
also have a Master in heaven.