[b-hebrew] Exodus 21:8

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Oct 27 14:43:22 EDT 2009

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׃

I get the basic picture that if the slave girl does not please her master, a
master who has not had sexual relations with her, he still does not have the
authority to sell her to people of other nations. That would be treating her

My particular question deals with והפדה what is it? The final heh is a
personal pronoun, referring to the slave. Is it related to the word פיד as
in doing something bad to her?

The Qere reading has it that the master has had sexual relations with her,
therefore he is not allowed to sell her because of how he has treated her
underhandedly. Is there any variant reading that supports the Qere reading?
The Qere reading makes sense of the בבגדו־בה.

Any thoughts?

Karl W. Randolph.

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