Slavery and the Law of Moses

Feb 23, 2019
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Hebrew indentured servitude was far different than that of chattel slavery. The slavery the Hebrews practiced was not the same thing. They were warned they were once slaves in Egypt, which was chattel slavery and that was forbidden under their laws. While indentured servitude, working off a debt type work, was not.
There is a good read that one might consider searching out on this subject. The title is: Hebrew Bible for Meah Educators learning at Hebrew College taught by Rabbi Ben Samuels
 
Mar 12, 2019
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I understand that indentured servitude was practiced but so was slavery. These were two different things and both were regulated by the Law of Moses.
 
Feb 23, 2019
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I understand that indentured servitude was practiced but so was slavery. These were two different things and both were regulated by the Law of Moses.
Chattel slavery? Do you have any scriptures for that? I've not found those as yet. I know Exodus 21 and verse 16 in particular forbids this under penalty of death.
Just for the information of other readers, (Chattel) Slavery=A civil relationship in which one person has absolute power over the life, fortune, and liberty of another.
 
Mar 12, 2019
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Chattel slavery? Do you have any scriptures for that? I've not found those as yet. I know Exodus 21 and verse 16 in particular forbids this under penalty of death.
Just for the information of other readers, (Chattel) Slavery=A civil relationship in which one person has absolute power over the life, fortune, and liberty of another.
Unlike the indentured servant, slaves were regarded as property and could be bought, sold and inherited as part of an estate.

Leviticus 25:44-46, “As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession. You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves.”

There was also a great deal of difference in how an indentured servant was to be treated as apposed to a slave.
 
Feb 23, 2019
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Unlike the indentured servant, slaves were regarded as property and could be bought, sold and inherited as part of an estate.

Leviticus 25:44-46, “As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession. You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves.”

There was also a great deal of difference in how an indentured servant was to be treated as apposed to a slave.
However, that wasn't forced slavery. (chattel slavery)
 
Mar 12, 2019
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Of course it was. Slaves acquired from other nations either by purchase or conquest were permanent property. They were not protected by the sabbath of release nor the Jubilee. They could be severely beaten for any offense or displeasure but they could not be killed. It was a violation of the law to murder anyone, even a slave. The master who beat a slave to death was subject to the judgment of the court.

All bond-servants were required to be released at the end of six years of service and could not be bought or sold. They were to be treated as hired-servants and not as slaves. It was forbidden for a bond-servant to be treated with severity.

“If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service. He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee. He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers. For they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they are not to be sold in a slave sale. You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God.” Leviticus 25:39-46.

It was even forbidden for a master to strike a bond-servant so that he lost a tooth or an eye. If you struck an indentured servant and he lost a tooth or an eye as a result, he was to be compensated by releasing him from his service as a free man. No such law applied to the treatment of slaves.
 
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Feb 23, 2019
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Of course it was. Slaves acquired from other nations either by purchase or conquest were permanent property. They were not protected by the sabbath of release nor the Jubilee. They could be severely beaten for any offense or displeasure but they could not be killed. It was a violation of the law to murder anyone, even a slave. The master who beat a slave to death was subject to the judgment of the court.

All bond-servants were required to be released at the end of six years of service and could not be bought or sold. They were to be treated as hired-servants and not as slaves. It was forbidden for a bond-servant to be treated with severity.

“If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service. He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee. He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers. For they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they are not to be sold in a slave sale. You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God.” Leviticus 25:39-46.

It was even forbidden for a master to strike a bond-servant so that he lost a tooth or an eye. If you struck an indentured servant and he lost a tooth or an eye as a result, he was to be compensated by releasing him from his service as a free man. No such law applied to the treatment of slaves.
Of course it was. Slaves acquired from other nations either by purchase or conquest were permanent property. They were not protected by the sabbath of release nor the Jubilee. They could be severely beaten for any offense or displeasure but they could not be killed. It was a violation of the law to murder anyone, even a slave. The master who beat a slave to death was subject to the judgment of the court.

All bond-servants were required to be released at the end of six years of service and could not be bought or sold. They were to be treated as hired-servants and not as slaves. It was forbidden for a bond-servant to be treated with severity.

“If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service. He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee. He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers. For they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they are not to be sold in a slave sale. You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God.” Leviticus 25:39-46.

It was even forbidden for a master to strike a bond-servant so that he lost a tooth or an eye. If you struck an indentured servant and he lost a tooth or an eye as a result, he was to be compensated by releasing him from his service as a free man. No such law applied to the treatment of slaves.
Of course it was not chattel slavery.
You appear quite adamant so I will leave you to it.
 
Mar 12, 2019
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Of course it was not chattel slavery.
You appear quite adamant so I will leave you to it.
Chattel slavery is the oppression of people who are treated as personal property. It is the forced labor of people who are bought and sold as commodities. Israel was instructed in Deuteronomy 20:11-18 that whenever they went to was against a nation outside the boundries of their lands, they were to offer it terms of peace. If a peace was agreed upon then... "all the people who are found in it shall become your forced labor and shall serve you. However, if it does not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. When the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall strike all the men in it with the edge of the sword. Only the women and the children and the animals and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourself; and you shall use the spoil of your enemies which the LORD your God has given you. Thus you shall do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not of the cities of these nations nearby. Only in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes." NAS.

This is forced slavery and those are the slaves referred to in Lev 25 as personal property to be bought and sold and did not have the privilege of the sabbath of release. An indentured servant could neither be bought of sold.
 
Feb 23, 2019
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So that the wrong impression is not perpetuated concerning the God of Christians and Israel, I wanted to add article links so as to support with scripture the fact that chattel slavery, was forbidden by God. Even enslavement of the pagans or conquered peoples. This is to insure the words of God in full encompass this subject and reiterate chattel slavery was forbidden!
Whoever kidnaps someone, either to sell him or to keep him as a slave is to be put to death.” – Exodus 21:16

If there are ad-links in these articles I apologize. I would think advertising links are the least concern when correcting the misunderstanding about chattel slavery in scriptures, which is forbidden even of those taken in war, need be corrected so that anyone who happens on this thread learns the actual scriptural truth.
Muslims and Atheists will use the slavery angle to argue God is cruel because he condones slavery. We must meet falsehoods and misunderstandings with the truth of God and his word. Even among ourselves. The truth shall set us free.

Slavery In The Bible (2/5)

Slavery In The Law Of Moses

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Chattel slavery did not exist under the Law of Moses. There was no form of servitude under the Law of Moses which placed them in the legal position of chattel slaves. Legislation maintained kinship rights (Exodus 21:3, 9, Leviticus 25:41, 47-49, 54, providing for Hebrew indentured servants), marriage rights (Exodus 21:4, 10-11, providing for a Hebrew daughter contracted into a marriage), personal legal rights relating to physical protection and protection from breach of contract (Exodus 21:8, providing for a Hebrew daughter contracted into a marriage, Exodus 21:20-21, 26-27, providing for Hebrew or foreign servants of any kind, and Leviticus 25:39-41, providing for Hebrew indentured servants), freedom of movement, and access to liberty (Exodus 21:8, 11, providing for a Hebrew daughter contracted into a marriage, Leviticus 25:40-45, 48, 54, providing for Hebrew intendured servants, and Deuteronomy 15:1, 12; 23:15, providing for Hebrew or foreign servants of any kind).

Though several forms of servitude existed under the Law of Moses, in every case all rights were maintained unless voluntarily relinquished (Exodus 21:5-6, Deuteronomy 15:16-17). "




Does the Bible allow for slavery? (No!)
“If any of you kidnap Israelites and make them your slaves or sell them into slavery, you are to be put to death. In this way your nation will get rid of this evil” – Deuteronomy 24:7

“Purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land,”(Leviticus 25:44)
Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner; remember that you were foreigners in Egypt. Do not mistreat any widow or orphan.” – Exodus 22:21-22

Answering Leviticus 25: 44-46 – The Bible Condones Slavery?

Conclusion

As we see, the so called “biblical slavery” isn’t the kind of slavery we all aware of. The Bible condemns “forced slavery” (Exodus 21:16), but condones “voluntary slavery” for a period of time because of poverty, unless the slaves do not want to be freed (Exodus 21:5).
 
Mar 12, 2019
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All of these passages you listed do have to do with indentured servitude and yes, the kidnapping and enslavement of a fellow Hebrew was punishable by death. But you still must deal with the passages I provided for the enslavement of those from other nations by Israel such as Deut. 20 ?
 
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All of these passages you listed do have to do with indentured servitude and yes, the kidnapping and enslavement of a fellow Hebrew was punishable by death. But you still must deal with the passages I provided for the enslavement of those from other nations by Israel such as Deut. 20 ?
I have done. If you'd read the articles linked I think it would assist greatly your understanding as Deuteronomy 20 is part of those writings.

[removed by moderator] For my part I don't know why anyone would insist the Hebrews owned chattel slaves when God's word is crystal clear to the contrary.
 
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Mar 12, 2019
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I have done. If you'd read the articles linked I think it would assist greatly your understanding as Deuteronomy 20 is part of those writings.

After that if you insist chattel slavery as defined was lawful for Hebrews, that will be your burden to carry when you meet God. For my part I don't know why anyone would insist the Hebrews owned chattel slaves when God's word is crystal clear to the contrary.
I read through much of that link and his treatment of many of the texts is completely unwarranted and completely lacking of scholarship. He completely ignores the language of the test. He is failing to differentiate between the indentured servant and the slave. He attempts to lump all of these passages into one theme. If you think chattel slavery was forbidden under the Law of Moses then could I please ask you to explain to me the context of Deut 20:10-18? Could you also please explain why the Law of Moses provides two separate sets of regulation regarding the treatment of each?
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Oldhermit am looking at the passges you quote but my bibles a different version KJV it dosesnt say sLave, but bondmen and bondmaids. Which seems to be the same as indentured servant.

Also the passage of Deuteronomy 20:11 says tributataries unto thee and they shall serve thee. It does not say slaves or anything about forced labour. So I dont know what bible version you are reading from.
 
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Hired servant and bonsdservant.

Well we know Hagar was a bondmaid and she wasnt free. She gave birth to Ishmael and sarah could put her away if she wanted to but the angel told her to go back. She had no choice to give birth it was up to sarah as she was her mistress. She was not a Hebrew she was an egyptian.

Because abraham was before Moses they didnt have any laws regulating bondmaids or bondservants then.

So, maybe think of another example.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Looking at the passage in Levitocus several times it say you shall not rule over them with rigour. Its not saying or meanign with bondservants that because you are not ruling over your brethren with rigour that means you van rule over you foreign bondservants with rigour. Then it goes on to say these people can be redeemed.

Verse 53

The passages are long but Im not really getting that its ok to treat bondservants harshly from Leviticus.
 
Mar 12, 2019
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Yes, those passages that address the laws of indentured servitude is translated as bond servants in many translations. These are those Hebrews who indentured themselves to a fellow Hebrew because of poverty or as payment of a debt. This was largely voluntary servitude and such were required to serve for six years.

In Deuretonomy 20:11 the word is lā·mas. The primary meaning is a body of forced laborers or forced servitude. Tributataries would also be a good understanding of the circumstances because those nations outside the boundaries of Canaan could be forced into tributary service as a nations paying tribute to the nation of Israel. It was these truibutary nations from which Israel was free to buy and sell slaves. A good example of forced labor is Joshua 9 where those of the city of Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim were pressed into servitude to Israel by Joshua bcause of their deception. "So they became hewers of wood and drawers of water for the whole congregation, just as the leaders had spoken to them.... Now therefore, you are cursed, and you shall NEVER CEASE being slaves, both hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.” verse 21-23.
 
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Leviticus 19:33-34

Talks about strangers dwelling with you in your land and compares them with the time the hebrews spent in egypt. That you should love them.

Theother long pasage in leviticus 25 does talk about the jubilee. When bondservants or servants are allowed to go free. This happened every 50th year, it seems. Also every seventh year was a time for the land to rest. GOd had broken the bonds of their yoke from egypt.

Oldhermit why are you asking this because Jesus has now set the captives free, so hes not saying we ought to be slaves to anyone anymore or keep slaves. Although he does say we can bind on earth what is bound in heaven and loose on earth what is loose in heaven.

But I dont see that as forcing people to labour.
 
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Looking at the passage in Levitocus several times it say you shall not rule over them with rigour. Its not saying or meaning with bondservants that because you are not ruling over your brethren with rigour that means you can rule over you foreign bondservants with rigour. Then it goes on to say these people can be redeemed.

Verse 53

The passages are long but Im not really getting that its ok to treat bondservants harshly from Leviticus.
In other words, Israel was not to treat their indentured servants in the same way they would treat their slaves. They were to treat them as brethren.