In Shemot, chapter 21 verse 4, we learn that a master can give his Jewish slave a Canaanite slavewoman to bear the master slave children:

If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out alone.

Rashi says that this verse could only refer to a Canaanite slavewoman.

Then in Devarim, chapter 7 verse 3, we learn:

You shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughter to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son.

The two verses seem to contradict each other. Do we say that in the case of a Jewish slave, there is an exception where he is permitted to have relations with the Canaanite woman?

  • 1
    A canaanite slave is not a non-Jew. They are half-converted.
    – Double AA
    Jul 25, 2013 at 7:20
  • 1
    That changes things...
    – Ani Yodea
    Jul 25, 2013 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


The Rashi you quote is from the Mekhilta. The Ramban, too, holds that this verse can only refer to a Canaanite woman (see his commentary in which he disputes Rashi somewhat).

The pesuqim discuss an 'Ivri who stole and is subsequently being sold by a Beit Din. The Kli Yaqar (21:4) explains that, if the 'eved was married previously married, the master is liable to support the 'eved's family. For this, the Torah gives the master a chance to beget children from the female Canaanite slave.

As a side note, the Gemara (Qiddushin 14B) quotes a beraita which states that only a slave who stole, and was subsequently sold by a Beit Din, can be given a female Canaanite slave.

  • The Artscroll commentary says the same thing, but what do we do about the contradiction?
    – Ani Yodea
    Jul 24, 2013 at 19:24
  • Artscroll brings the kli Yakar?
    – sam
    Jul 24, 2013 at 19:31
  • Also the passuk in Mishpatim is a פרט
    – sam
    Jul 24, 2013 at 19:33

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