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Rules For The Slave And The Master

Daily Study of the Noahide Code of Laws

The Divine Code for January 19, 2023

Today: Pages 423 - 425

Topic Chapter 3:11 - 3:13

If a gentile master designates his slavewoman for his male slave and the slave cohabits with her, and subsequently the master or another man cohabits with the slavewoman, the master or the other man is liable for adultery, but not until the slavewoman becomes known in the community as the slave's wife. This applies even though the master can separate her from the slave whenever he wants, and it will be considered a valid divorce, as will be explained in Chapter 4 on the laws of divorce. As long the master has not separated them, he or another gentile man would be liable for adultery with her, as they would for any other married woman.

If however, the master singled het out for his slave, but the slave has not yet had relations with her, or he has had relations with her but the matter has not been made public, another man will not be liable for adultery if he has relations with her. Likewise, if her master had specified her for a free man, after which she has the status of a concubine, then even though the master can separate her from the man whenever he wants, the master would be liable for adultery with her as long as she is known publicly as the free man's wife or concubine.

If the master did not specify a husband for his slavewoman, yet it is known publicly that she lives permanently with a certain slave or free man, and the master does not protest and allows her to do so, another gentile man will be liable for committing adultery if he cohabits with a slavewoman, she will also be liable, unless it is a case of rape.

Reading schedule of the Divine Code

Yesterday's Study Topic: 3:6 - 3:10

Tomorrow's Study Topic: 3:14 - 3:15

Curious about the whole page? You can read it in The Divine Code.

Sources: The Divine Code (4e edition) by rabbi Moshe Weiner


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the website. She contributes for the admin of the website in English and Dutch. She teaches Hebrew to beginners and intermediate students at the Academy.

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