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Exodus 21:26 is about letting a slave go free if they are injured by their owner. This appears to be a good thing, but I'm also wondering if it would be detrimental to a slave to be freed when they have now lost an eye.

I guess I see slavery at that time as similar to employment of today. The Hebrews were to treat their slaves well. It's not really that different from having a job in today's world - except room and board was provided. So would freeing a slave be like firing an employee, and then the former slave having to go find a new owner?

Am I entirely wrong in my understanding of this culture?

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Good question.

A freed slave did not go to another master. He obtained the status of a full-fledged Jew. (In fact, many of the laws pertaining to converts in the Talmud are actually phrased as "converts and freed slaves.")

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Was a slave not a Jew? –  Charles Koppelman Mar 9 at 20:33
    
@CharlesKoppelman, a slave has a quasi-Jewish status. He can't eat pork, but doesn't have to hear megillah reading. When he is freed, he is given full Jewish status. (There's a separate legal category, the full-fledged Jew who is sold for monetary reasons, but that's not what we're discussing here.) –  Shalom Mar 9 at 20:39

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