[b-hebrew] Exodus 21:8
Joel C. Salomon
joelcsalomon at gmail.com
Sun Nov 1 15:13:17 EST 2009
On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 11:17 AM, K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > This is from the section from verses 7 – 11 dealing with how one should
>> > deal with a purchased Hebrew slave girl.
>> > אם־רעה בעיני אדניה אשׁר־לא יעדה והפדה לעם נכרי לא־ימשׁל למכרה בבגדו־בה׃
>> The first unclear verb (what the master “did not do” or “did to him”) is
>> יעדה (designated her), not ידעה (sexual relations).
> Here I read יעדה as calling her to an appointed meeting, with the
> implications that it is sexual in nature.
The traditional understanding is that יעדה (related to מועד) is
designation for marriage; cf. v. 10 "If he takes himself another
[wife], he shall not diminish her … conjugal rights." The master has
already provisionally designated the girl for this, and has the
obligation to marry the girl to himself or his son, or (if "אם רעה
>> The second verb in question (והפדה) is taken to be a form of the verb
>> פדה, “redeemed”.
> This is what puzzles me, in that “redeem” does not fit the context here.
> This is a Hebrew female slave, therefore she is not to be “redeemed to a
> foreign people” והפדה לעם נכרי . How does redemption fit in there at all?
I don't recall the name for this grammatical form, but והפדה = "he
shall arrange for her to be redeemed" or "…allow her to be redeemed".
(The word והפדה has an esnachta; "לעם נכרי…" begins a new phrase.)
Verse 11: "If he does none of these three (marry her, marry his son to
her, or have her redeemed by relatives) then [when her term is up] she
goes free gratis."
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