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wife': Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the Saviour of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth®. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord'.
I will therefore, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives, while they behold your chaste conversation, coupled with fear. Whose adorning, Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner, in the old time, the holy women also who trusted in God adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands; even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; whose daughters ye are as long as ye do well".
SECT. 7. The description of a virtuous and industrious wife.
A gracious woman retaineth honour; and strong men retain riches. House and riches are the inheritance of fathers; and a prudent wife is from the Lord". Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above
b 1 Tim. iii. 2.
§ 7. Prov. xi. 16.
1 Tim. iii. 11.
f Col. iii. 18.
b Prov. xi. 14.
Eph. v. 22, 23, 24. 1 Tim. ii. 8-10.
rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchant's ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good; her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple . Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing, and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.
SECT. 1. Institutions of God concerning hired servants. -And 2. Concerning bond-men, and bond-maids.
• Prov. xxxi. 10-22. d Prov. xxxi. 23-28. • Prov. xxxi. 30, 31.
3. The indignation of God against oppressive masters.
SECT. 1. Institutions of God concerning hired
If thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bond-servant; but as an hired servant, and a sojourner he shall be with thee; and shall serve thee unto the year of jubilee; and then shall he depart from thee; both he and his children with him, and shall return, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return. And when thou sendest him out from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty; thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy wine-press; of that wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee, thou shalt give unto him. And it shall be if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee (because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee). Then thou shalt take an awl, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever; and also unto thy maid-servant thou shalt do likewise *. Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shall fear thy God.
And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's family; after that he is sold, he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him; or if he be able he may redeem himself. And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him, unto the year of jubilee'. And if he be not redeemed in these years, then he shall out in the year of jubilee, both he and his children with him. Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is
§ 1. Lev. xxv.39, 40, 41.
Deut. xv. 13, 14.
* See Exod. xxi. 2-11.
* Deut. xv. 16, 17. f Lev. xxv. 50.
poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land, within thy gates. At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it, for he is poor and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee".
SECT. 2.-Concerning bond-men and bond-maids.
Both thy bond-men and thy bond-maids which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bond-men and bond-maids. Moreover, of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land; and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bond-men for ever. But over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour. Thou shalt not deliver unto his master, the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee*. He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose, in one of thy gates where it liketh him best; thou shalt not oppress him. If a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.. And if he smite out his man-servant's tooth or his maid-servant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake.
SECT. 3. The indignation of God against oppressive
Zedekiah made a covenant with all the people that were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them; that every man should let his man-servant, and every man his maid-servant, being an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free; that none should serve himself of them; to wit
b Deut. xxiv. 14, 15.
§ 2. Lev. xxv. 44, 45, 46. b Deut. xxiii. 15, 16. c Exod. xxi. 26, 27. This, it would appear, is to be understood of a servant whom his master would compel to go out of the country.
of a Jew his brother. Now when all the princes, and all the people which had entered into the covenant, heard that every one should let his man-servant, and every one his maid-servant go free, that none should serve themselves of them any more; then they obeyed, and let them go. But afterwards they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids whom they had let go free, to return; and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids. Therefore, thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying, At the end of seven years, let ye go every man his brother an Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee. But your fathers hearkened not unto me, neither inclined their ear. And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house that is called by my name. But ye turned and polluted my name; and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty, at their pleasure to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants, and for handmaids. Therefore thus saith the Lord, Ye have not hearkened unto me in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour; behold I proclaim a liberty unto you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine, and I will give the men which have transgressed the covenant", into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life . And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage; all their service wherein they made them serve, was with rigour. And the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried; and their cry came up unto God. And the Lord said, I
• Jer. xxxiv. 20.
§ 3. Jer. xxxiv. 8, 9.
d Exod. i. 13, 14.
b Jer. xxxiv. 10-18.
e Exod. ii. 23.