7. If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him; then that thief shall die: and thou shalt put evil away from among you.
7. Si quis furatus fuerit animam e fratribus suis e filiis Israel, et vendiderit: morietur vir ille, et auferes malum e medio tui.
The same punishment is here deservedly denounced against man-stealers as against murderers; for, so wretched was the condition of slaves, that liberty was more than half of life; and hence to deprive a man of such a great blessing, was almost to destroy him. Besides, it is not man-stealing only which is here condemned, but the accompanying evils of cruelty and fraud, i.e., if he, who had stolen a man, had likewise sold him. Now, such a sale could hardly be made among the people themselves, without the crime being immediately detected; and nothing could be more hateful than that God's children should be alienated from the Church, and delivered over to heathen nations.