21:14 If you are not pleased with her, then you must let her go25 where she pleases. You cannot in any case sell26 her;27 you must not take advantage of28 her, since you have already humiliated29 her.
sn Heb “send her off.” The Hebrew term שִׁלַּחְתָּה (shillakhtah) is a somewhat euphemistic way of referring to divorce, the matter clearly in view here (cf. Deut 22:19, 29; 24:1, 3; Jer 3:1; Mal 2:16). This passage does not have the matter of divorce as its principal objective, so it should not be understood as endorsing divorce generally. It merely makes the point that if grounds for divorce exist (see Deut 24:1–4), and then divorce ensues, the husband could in no way gain profit from it.
tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates by the words “in any case.”
tn The Hebrew text includes “for money.” This phrase has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.
sn You have humiliated her. Since divorce was considered rejection, the wife subjected to it would “lose face” in addition to the already humiliating event of having become a wife by force (21:11–13). Furthermore, the Hebrew verb translated “humiliated” here (עָנָה, ’anah), commonly used to speak of rape (cf. Gen 34:2; 2 Sam 13:12, 14, 22, 32; Judg 19:24), likely has sexual overtones as well. The woman may not be enslaved or abused after the divorce because it would be double humiliation (see also E. H. Merrill, Deuteronomy [NAC], 291).