A A A A A
Bible Book List

Exodus 21:3-5 New English Translation (NET Bible)

If he came in[a] by himself[b] he will go out by himself; if he had[c] a wife when he came in, then his wife will go out with him. If his master gave[d] him a wife, and she bore sons or daughters, the wife and the children will belong to her master, and he will go out by himself. But if the servant should declare,[e] ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out[f] free,’

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 21:3 tn The tense is imperfect, but in the conditional clause it clearly refers to action that is anterior to the action in the next clause. Heb “if he comes in single, he goes out single,” that is, “if he came in single, he will go out single.”
  2. Exodus 21:3 tn Heb “with his back” meaning “alone.”
  3. Exodus 21:3 tn The phrase says, “if he was the possessor of a wife”; the noun בַּעַל (baʿal) can mean “possessor” or “husband.” If there was a wife, she shared his fortunes or his servitude; if he entered with her, she would accompany him when he left.
  4. Exodus 21:4 sn The slave would not have the right or the means to acquire a wife. Thus, the idea of the master’s “giving” him a wife is clear—the master would have to pay the bride price and make the provision. In this case, the wife and the children are actually the possession of the master unless the slave were to pay the bride price—but he is a slave because he got into debt. The law assumes that the master was better able to provide for this woman than the freed slave and that it was most important to keep the children with the mother.
  5. Exodus 21:5 tn The imperfect with the infinitive absolute means that the declaration is unambiguous, that the servant will clearly affirm that he wants to stay with the master. Gesenius says that in a case like this the infinitive emphasizes the importance of the condition on which some consequence depends (GKC 342-43 §113.o).
  6. Exodus 21:5 tn Or taken as a desiderative imperfect, it would say, “I do not want to go out free.”
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

  Back

1 of 1

You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes