Exodus 21:5

5 But the slave may declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I don’t want to go 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 was single when he became your slave, he shall leave single. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife must be freed with him.
4 “If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave and they had sons or daughters, then only the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master.
5 But the slave may declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I don’t want to go free.’
6 If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door or doorpost and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will serve his master for life.
7 “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.