Deuteronomy 15:13
And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
15:12-18 Here the law concerning Hebrew servants is repeated. There is an addition, requiring the masters to put some small stock into their servants' hands to set up with for themselves, when sent out of their servitude, wherein they had received no wages. We may expect family blessings, the springs of family prosperity, when we make conscience of our duty to our family relations. We are to remember that we are debtors to Divine justice, and have nothing to pay with. That we are slaves, poor, and perishing. But the Lord Jesus Christ, by becoming poor, and by shedding his blood, has made a full and free provision for the payment of our debts, the ransom of our souls, and the supply of all our wants. When the gospel is clearly preached, the acceptable year of the Lord is proclaimed; the year of release of our debts, of the deliverance of our souls, and of obtaining rest in him. And as faith in Christ and love to him prevail, they will triumph over the selfishness of the heart, and over the unkindness of the world, doing away the excuses that rise from unbelief, distrust, and covetousness.literally: "Beware that there be not in thy heart a word which is worthlessness" (compare Deuteronomy 13:13 note). 13-15. thou shalt not let him go away empty—A seasonable and wise provision for enabling a poor unfortunate to regain his original status in society, and the motive urged for his kindness and humanity to the Hebrew slave was the remembrance that the whole nation was once a degraded and persecuted band of helots in Egypt. Thus, kindness towards their slaves, unparalleled elsewhere in those days, was inculcated by the Mosaic law; and in all their conduct towards persons in that reduced condition, leniency and gentleness were enforced by an appeal which no Israelite could resist. No text from Poole on this verse.

And when thou sendest him out free from thee,.... When he discharged him from his servitude, and made him a free man:

thou shall not let him go away empty; without anything to support himself, or to put himself in a way of business; he having in the time of his servitude worked entirely for his master, and so could not have got and saved anything for himself.

And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. empty] In Pent. only in E (Genesis 31:42; Exodus 3:21; Exodus 23:15), J (Exodus 34:20) and D (here, and Deuteronomy 16:16).

13, 14. Peculiar to D and characteristic of its philanthropy.

Deuteronomy 15:13These provisions in favour of the poor are followed very naturally by the rules which the Israelites were to be urged to observe with reference to the manumission of Hebrew slaves. It is not the reference to the sabbatical year in the foregoing precepts which forms the introduction to the laws which follow respecting the manumission of Hebrews who had become slaves, but the poverty and want which compelled Hebrew men and women to sell themselves as slaves. The seventh year, in which they were to be set free, is not the same as the sabbatical year, therefore, but the seventh year of bondage. Manumission in the seventh year of service had already been commanded in Exodus 21:2-6, in the rights laid down for the nation, with special reference to the conclusion of the covenant. This command is not repeated here for the purpose of extending the law to Hebrew women, who are not expressly mentioned in Exodus 21; for that would follow as a matter of course, in the case of a law which was quite as applicable to women as to men, and was given without any reserve to the whole congregation. It is rather repeated here as a law which already existed as a right, for the purpose of explaining the true mode of fulfilling it, viz., that it was not sufficient to give a man-servant and maid-servant their liberty after six years of service, which would not be sufficient relief to those who had been obliged to enter into slavery on account of poverty, if they had nothing with which to set up a home of their own; but love to the poor was required to do more than this, namely, to make some provision for the continued prosperity of those who were set at liberty. "If thou let him go free from thee, thou shalt not let him go (send him away) empty:" this was the new feature which Moses added here to the previous law. "Thou shalt load (העניק, lit., put upon the neck) of thy flock, and of thy floor (corn), and of thy press (oil and wine); wherewith thy God hath blessed thee, of that thou shalt give to him."
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