Summary: God protects women in his law.
God Protects Women
Protection of the married servant – (Exodus 21:2-3)
If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve for six years, and in the seventh year he shall go free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself. If he was married when he came in, then his wife shall go out with him.
Protection of the maidservant – (Exodus 21:7-11)
And if a man sells his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. If she does not please her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no power to sell her to a strange nation, seeing he has dealt deceitfully with her.
And if he has betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.
If he takes for him another wife, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her duty of marriage,. And if he does not do these three for her, then she shall go out free without money.
Protection of her inheritance – (Numbers 27:1-8)
Zelophehad, of the family of Manasseh, had five daughters.
His daughters came before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
The daughters: Our father died and had no sons. Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he has no son? Give to us a possession among the brethren of our father.
And Moses brought their cause before the Lord.
The Lord (to Moses): The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: you shall give them an inheritance among their father’s brethren. The inheritance of their father shall pass to them. And if any man dies, and has no son, then you shall pass his inheritance to his daughter.
Protection for the captive women – (Deuteronomy 21:10-14)
When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God has delivered them into your hands, and you have taken them captive, And you see you among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her, that you would have her for your wife; Then you shall bring her home to your house; and she shall shave her head and cut her nails; And she shall put off the garments of her captivity from her, and shall remain in your house, and mourn her father and her mother for a full month: and after that you shall go in to her, and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.
If you have no delight in her, then you shall let her go where she will; but you shall not sell her for money, you shall not make merchandise of her, because you have humbled her.
Protection for the unloved wife’s child – (Deuteronomy 21:15-17)
If a man has two wives, one beloved and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son is hers that was hated: When he makes his sons to inherit that which he has, he may not make the son of the beloved as the firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn: But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated as the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he has: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.
Protection for the new wife – (Deuteronomy 22:13-19)
If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and hates her, and gives occasions of speech against her, and brings an evil name on her, and says, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found that she was not a virgin:
Then the father of the damsel and her mother shall bring the tokens of the damsel’s virginity to the elders of the city in the gate (sheets with blood): And the damsel’s father shall say to the elders, I gave my daughter to this man to wife, and he hates her; And he has spoken against her, saying, I found that your daughter was not a virgin; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city.
And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him;
And they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver, and give them to the father of the damsel, because he has brought an evil name on a virgin of Israel:
And she shall be his wife; he may not divorce her all his days.