Exodus 21:10

10 If he takes an additional wife, he must not reduce the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife.

Exodus 21:10 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 21:10

If he take him another wife
The father takes another wife for his son, or the son takes another wife to himself after he has betrothed and married his father's maidservant:

her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish;
neither deny it her in whole, nor lessen it in part, but give her her full due of each. What is meant by the two former words is easy, and admits of no difficulty, the latter is differently interpreted. Some take it to signify no other than an "habitation" F21, that as he was to provide food and raiment for her, so an house to dwell, in; but the generality of interpreters, Jewish and Christian, understand it as we do, of the conjugal duty, the use of the marriage bed, or what the apostle calls due benevolence, ( 1 Corinthians 7:3 ) . The word is thought to have the signification of a fixed time for it; and the Misnic doctors F23 are very particular in assigning the set times of it for different persons; and in those countries where there were, and where there still are, plurality of wives, each had, and have their turns, see ( Genesis 30:15 Genesis 30:16 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F21 (htne) "habitationem ejus", Montanus, Junius & Tremellius; so some in Aben Ezra. Vid. Pfeiffer. "dubia vexata", cent. 1. loc. 97.
F23 Misn. Cetubot, c. 5. sect. 6.

Exodus 21:10 In-Context

8 If she is displeasing to her master, who chose her for himself, then he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners because he has acted treacherously toward her.
9 Or if he chooses her for his son, he must deal with her according to the customary treatment of daughters.
10 If he takes an additional wife, he must not reduce the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife.
11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she may leave free of charge, without any exchange of money.
12 "Whoever strikes a person so that he dies must be put to death.