Were Israelites to allow all runaway slaves to live without fear of being returned to their masters, or did this command apply only those who were NOT owned by fellow Israelites?


Clarify Share Report Asked October 25 2014 Mini pj edelman

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

84924d6f 9be5 4261 9e07 ab5f6a8c5842 Lena Wms Student @Christ Gospel Church, S.S.Teacher, Observer
Dear PJ, This is an awesome question that is not to be taken lightly. There are many truths interwoven. First, there were different kinds of servants. There was the hired servant, and the bond servant. There were two other types but for this discussion we will only discuss these two. 

The hired servant either owed the land owner money or needed money and chose to work for funds with their labors. (Deu 15:12-15) Yes, This was a Hebrew man or woman. After six years they were free to leave and the land owner liberally blessed them with substance. 

However, if the person loved the Master and chose to stay with them, they were taken before the local judges. Their ear lobe was placed against the door jam and a hole was bore into it. (Deu 15:17) This servant was now a bond servant. A servant of choice to the Master. The hole in their ear lobe was their bodily token of servitude. 

Which brings us to Deu 23:15.16, which gives specific instructions on how Israel was to view, welcome, treat, and live with escaped bond servants. In the Hebrew it is much clearer than in English, The servants were to be treated with respect, they were to be gatekeepers, and be given the best of the city. They were not to be delivered up to the Master they escaped from, they were to live right in the middle of town (not as an outcast). Furthermore, no one shall mistreat them, rage at them nor engage in violence with them. 
(ref: e-sword.net Strong's Concordance)

Israel was obligated to protect all servants, David protected a foreign runaway servant and gained valuable information regarding the enemy who had captured his wives. (1Sam 30:11-18) 

Paul detailed for servants exactly what their daily actions should be (Eph 6:5,6 and Col 3:22,23) Their actions every day were as unto the Lord. What ever they did, as if they were doing it for Jesus Himself. 

We see that the LORD was very specific in His instructions of protection, and actions of bond servants. He is also very specific in the details of the Master. (Eph 6: 9, and Col 4:1) 

Jesus spoke of the hired servant in the parable of the workers, (Matt 20:1-16) These were hired laborers, who agreed to work for a penny, but those that came in the eleventh hour, came with a bond servant attitude. "Whatever you desire, this is what we are willing to do" This is why Jesus said, "Many are called, few are chosen." Why? Because there are so few with the bond servant attitude. 

What is the beautiful bond servant attitude? Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a SERVANT, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 
(Php 2:5-8 KJV)

Jesus was our true example of a bond servant. So many do not want to give all to Jesus. He did only what He saw His Father do, said only what He heard His Father speak. He lived only to please His Father and to do His Father's Will. This is the humble mind of Jesus Christ.

I pray this increases your spiritual desire to know Jesus as a bond servant to Him for He is the Great Master!

Be Blessed

October 27 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining