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A concubine is a woman who lives with a man in a quasi-marital relationship and secondary status to an actual wife. Concubines were common in ancient middle eastern culture, especially among the affluent or powerful. From the Biblical patriarchs through the early kings, concubines were a part of the culture, culminating with Solomon's 300 concubines. The Old Testament accepted concubinage and included laws to protect the rights of concubines, of which the following is an example:
And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. If he take him another [wife]; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money. Exodus 21:7-11 (KJV)
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