Slavishly Hitched

Exodus 21:3-6

If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself. I see three levels of meaning in this law.

  1. P’shat: If a man buys a Hebrew slave who is married, the slave’s wife does not become the master’s slave along with her husband, and the slave will take her with him when he leaves the master’s employ. If the master gave the slave one of his female slaves as a wife, she does not cease to be his slave when her husband goes free. She must stay behind unless her master allows her to be purchased or otherwise redeemed.
  2. Drash: Prior claims are not automatically superseded by more recent claims. If God delegates authority over a nation to a king, that does not mean the nation no longer belongs to God. If the king decides to leave his homeland or if he is removed from the throne, God will grant authority over it to another.
  3. Sod: The slave is a believer and the master is Yeshua, our Messiah.
  • There is an unbeliever who converts and then falls away again. If he was unmarried when he converted and remains unmarried when he falls away, then he is only harming himself. It is an unfortunate thing, but still simple.
  • There is a married couple, and both of them are sinners. One of them comes to believe in God and repents, but the other does not. If the believing spouse then falls away again, he leaves God’s congregation with his wife. This is still relatively uncomplicated.
  • There is an unbeliever who converts and then falls away again. In the meantime, however, he married a fellow believer. Their marriage remains valid, sanctified by God, so long as the unbeliever is willing to stay in it. He continues as one of God’s people, only in a state of rebellion. If the unbeliever chooses to leave his spouse and children, then the marriage is dissolved as if he had died.
  • Finally, there is an unbeliever who converts and marries another believer. He dedicates the remainder of his life and his family to serving God and his kingdom. His marriage and family will be blessed.
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