Exodus 21:7 NASB

7 “Now if a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to [f]go free as the male slaves [g]do

It is clear slaves were treated as property and they were treated similarly both males and females in most situations

Exodus 21:20 NASB

20 “And if someone strikes his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies [s]at his hand, he shall [t]be punished. 21 If, however, the slave [u]survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for the slave is his [v]property.

Exodus 21:26 NASB

26 “And if someone strikes the eye of his male or female slave and destroys it, he shall let [aa]the slave go free on account of the eye. 27 And if he [ab]knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, he shall let [ac]the slave go free on account of the tooth.

but what is not clear is the distinction between male and female slaves when it comes to freedom.

What is the reason for not setting free the female slaves?


Why are female slaves not set free as males in Exodus 21:7?

Actually, they are to be set free as directed unambiguously in Deuteronomy 15:

12 If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. ...

16But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, 17then take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant.

Now, let's see the context in Exodus 21:

7“If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to go free as the male slaves do. 8 “If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his unfairness to her. 9“If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. 10“If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights. 11“If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

In Exodus 21, the female slave has acquired the status of a wife. As such, she has more rights than a regular slave. She is not just to be let go without compensation.

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