Exodus 20:1 - 24:18
ESV - 1 And God spoke all these words, saying. 2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
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I would say that God allowed and regulated slavery in Biblical times because the slavery spoken of by the Bible did not generally arise from considerations such as skin color, nationality, or a belief in racial superiority or inferiority (which the Bible refutes in passages such as Genesis 1:27), and was not routinely conducted through practices such as kidnapping (as was the case of black slaves forcibly brought to the New World from Africa), which was condemned (Exodus 21:16; 1 Timothy 1:8-10). Biblical slavery was more of an economic system that was used as a means of paying debts or providing for families. People commonly sold themselves into slavery, rather than being involuntarily forced into it, so that their basic needs would be supplied by their masters. Individuals in diverse social classes (even including people whom we today would consider "professionals", such as doctors, lawyers, and politicians) could be slaves. As such, the Bible regulated slavery as it existed at that time, rather than demanding its abolition. Also, in this regard, the goal of the teachings in the Bible was not primarily to reform society, but to point the way past temporal concerns to eternal salvation. Through individuals experiencing the life-changing power of Christ one person at a time, they come to see that slavery is wrong, and to regard all people as brothers and sisters, as Paul urged his friend Philemon to do in welcoming his escaped slave Onesimus back as a fellow Christian (Philemon 1:16).
I believe slavery in the old testament was voluntary. Men sold them selves into slavery because they had no means of support. The same way women sold themselves as prostitutes as a means of staying alive.. Now, whether slaves were sold I do not know. There is also the fact that when Israel as a nation served other gods, God put them in slavery. They were in Egypt as slaves until God sent Moses to free them. We can put our selves in slavery when we borrow money. We become the slave of the lender. Slavery comes in many forms.
Although we can find laws in the OT that regulate the treatment of slaves, it’s important to note that slavery was not established by God, but a common practice throughout the ancient Near East, including Israel. God did not proscribe it, but He did regulate it in order to protect slaves from abuse and exploitation. God works with us in our own culture and makes us better persons. A similar issues is divorce: God hates divorce but He gave them laws not as an endorsement, but to protect its people (Mark 10:4-12). Some of slavery laws point to a time when there would be no more slaves (the law of jubilee). The Hebrew term “slave,” ‘ebed, means “servant, worker, adviser, slave,” etc. Most slaves were prisoners of war who served those who defeated them, probably for life. In Israel people became slaves because of poverty (Lev 25:35, 39) or for committing a crime (Ex 22:3). In such cases they were not supposed to be abused and still considered a fellow Hebrew (Deut 15:12). In cases when physical abuse resulted in injuries was compensated by freeing the slave (Ex 21:26, 27). Slaves also had the Sabbath free to rest and serve God (Ex 20:10). The poor, often voluntarily became slaves to pay their debts and to have food and shelter assured. While in Egypt, Joseph instituted such laws (Gen 47:20, 21). In Exodus 21:2-6 we find a law that legislates how to deal with a person who has become a debt slave: those who had a family when they became debt slaves, would leave with their families. If they did not have a family and the owner gave them a wife and they had children, slaves would leave without their wives and children. In that case they could choose to remain a slave by permanently becoming part of the household. This required taking a vow before the Lord and having the ear pierced indicating that the person had become part of the household. However, the significance of such legislation within the larger context of OT law is concerned with the well-being of slaves: 1.The Lord does not want slavery to be a permanent – it was limited to 6 years. In fact, a redeemer could set slaves free by paying their debt. And the 6 years could be shortened if, during that period, there was a sabbatical year, when the debts of the poor were remitted (Deut 15:1-6), or the jubilee was celebrated, granting freedom to all Hebrew slaves (Lev 25:10). 2.The family of those who were married when they sold themselves into slavery was cared for by the master. This was not a free service, but was paid by the work of the family members. 3. After 6 years the owner was not to send them away empty-handed (Deut 15:13, 14). Former slaves were granted a new beginning. 4. Although the person who came alone into slavery could not take his wife and children with him, he had the right to redeem them. Also, a second option was legally available: he could become a member of the household of the owner. Under this arrangement they would not have to worry about their own subsistence as a family. Obviously, none of this was an ideal situation. But in an imperfect world, God legislated slavery to make it as humane as possible, while at the same time announcing the coming of a final jubilee when slavery, including slavery to sin, would come to an end (Luke 4:17-19).
It is not God that allows slavery, it's humans. Just like all the other ungodly things in this world. God can not give us humans the freedom to make our own choices in life and then control all our decisions. He could do one or the other, but He gave us the freedom to choose what we want to do, not just until we make the wrong decisions. If He did, the world would be a wonderful place
Yes, there has been slavery in biblical days. Much worse that what so much of the population of America cries about today. Real beatings, real torture. God didn't allow this, man did. God keeps giving us one more chance to be His children but we continue to live with our own lives as number one in our minds. There is so much murder, rape, and even slavery today, because we allow it. From the day when you can't say no to your children because you may hurt someone's feelings to when you start giving children choices in every matter instead of you being the adult and give them what you want them to have. You are the master of your home, act like it. God is the Master of your life, act like it.
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