Exodus 21:5

5 But if the servant says clearly, My master and my wife and children are dear to me; I have no desire to be free:

Exodus 21:5 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 21:5

And if the servant shall plainly say
Or, "in saying shall say" F9 shall express himself in plain and full terms, and repeat his words, and abide by them, signifying it as his last will and determined resolution:

I love my master, my wife, and my children, and I will not go out free;
but continue in his servitude, having a great affection for his master, and that he might enjoy his wife and children he dearly loved; and being animated with such a principle, his servitude was a pleasure to him: and when our obedience to God springs from love to him, and to his cause and interest, which should be as dear to us as our families, it is then acceptable to God and delightful to ourselves; in ( Deuteronomy 15:16 ) ,

it is, because he loveth thee, and thine house, because he is well with
thee;
hence the Jewish writers say F11, understanding by "house" a family, if a servant has a wife and children and his master not, his ear is not to be bored; and if his master has a wife and children and he has not, his ear is not to be bored; if he loves his master and his master do not love him, or his master loves him and he do not love his master, or if he is sick his ear is not to be bored.


FOOTNOTES:

F9 (rmay rma)
F11 T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 22. 1. Maimon. in Misn. Kiddushin, c. 1. sect. 2.

Exodus 21:5 In-Context

3 If he comes to you by himself, let him go away by himself: if he is married, let his wife go away with him.
4 If his master gives him a wife, and he gets sons or daughters by her, the wife and her children will be the property of the master, and the servant is to go away by himself.
5 But if the servant says clearly, My master and my wife and children are dear to me; I have no desire to be free:
6 Then his master is to take him to the gods of the house, and at the door, or at its framework, he is to make a hole in his ear with a sharp-pointed instrument; and he will be his servant for ever.
7 And if a man gives his daughter for a price to be a servant, she is not to go away free as the men-servants do.