If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing (Exodus 21:2). The emphasis being on the pattern (not the duration) is clearly seen in Exodus 23:10-12, where the pattern begins with reference to “years” and ends with reference to “days”: And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard. Six days shalt thou do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.

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