it be said that the servants from the Strangers did not receive a like bountiful supply, we answer, neither did the most honorable class of Israelitish servants, the free-holders; and for the same reason, they did not go out in the seventh year, but continued until the jubilee. If the fact that the Gentile servants did not receive such a gratuity proves that they were robbed of their earnings, it proves that the most valued class of Hebrew servants were robbed of theirs also; a conclusion too stubborn for even pro-slavery masticators, however unscrupulous.
VII. The servants were bought. In other words, they received compensation in advance. Having shown, under a previous head, that servants sold themselves, and of course received the compensation for themselves, except in cases where parents hired out the time of their children till they became of age, a mere reference to the fact is all that is required for the purposes of this argument.
VIII. We find masters at one time having a large number of servants, and afterwards none, without any intimation that they were sold. The wages of servants would enable them to set up in business for themselves. Jacob, after being Laban's servant for twenty-one years, became thus an independent herdsman, and was the master of many servants. Gen. xxx. 43, xxxii. 15. But all these servants had left him before he went down into Egypt, having doubtless acquired enough to commence business for themselves. Gen. xlv. 10, 11; xlvi. 1—7, 32.
IX. God's testimony to the character of Abraham. Gen. xviii. 19. "For I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep, the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment." God here testifies that Abraham taught his servants "the way of the Lord." What was the "way of the Lord" respecting the payment of wages where service was rendered? "Wo unto him that useth his neighbor's service without wages!" Jer. xxii. 13. "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal." Col. iv. 1. "Render unto all their
nish him liberally,' &c. "That is to say, 'Loading, ye shall load him,' likewise every one of his family, with as much as he can take wiih him—abundant benefits. And if it be avariciously asked, "How much must I give him?" I say unto you, not less than thirty shekels, which is the valuation of a servant, as declared in Ex. xxi. 32."—Maimonides, Hilcoth Obedim, Chap. ii. Sec. 3.
- Among the Israelites, girls became of age at twelve, and boys at thirteen years.