02 July 2015

The Bible's Slavery Commandments

(In biblical order)

  1. Your circumcised slaves shall eat the Passover meal.
  2. And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover ... Every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. Exodus 12:43-44

  3. If you buy a Hebrew slave, set him free after six years of slavery.
  4. If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. Exodus 21:2

    And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. Deuteronomy 15:12-14

    Maimonides #504: Purchase a Hebrew slave in accordance with the prescribed laws — Ex. 21:2

  5. If your Hebrew slave was married when you bought him, set the slave and his wife free after six years of slavery.
  6. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. Exodus 21:3

  7. If you gave your Hebrew slave a wife and they had children, keep your slave's wife and children and let him go free.
  8. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. Exodus 21:4

  9. If your Hebrew slave refuses to leave his wife and children, bore a hole in his ear and he shall be your slave forever.
  10. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. Exodus 21:5-6

    If he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee; Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise. Deuteronomy 15:16-17

  11. If you sell your daughter, she shall not be freed after six years (as are male Hebrew slaves).
  12. And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. Exodus 21:7

  13. If your daughter fails to please her master, she shall be sold again to a Hebrew man.
  14. 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. Exodus 21:8
    Maimonides #511: Redeem Jewish maidservants — Ex. 21:8
    Maimonides #512: Betroth the Jewish maidservant — Ex. 21:8
    Maimonides #513: The master must not sell his maidservant — Ex. 21:8

  15. If the man who bought your daughter gives her to his son, the man who bought her shall treat her as his own daughter.
  16. And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. Exodus 21:9

  17. A slave owner who beats his slave to death shall be punished.
  18. If a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Exodus 21:20
    Maimonides #547: The courts must carry out the death penalty of the sword — Ex. 21:20

  19. A slave owner shall not be punished for beating his slave if the slave lives for a day or two, for the slave is the slave owner's money.
  20. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money. Exodus 21:21

  21. If a man hits his slave and causes the slave to lose sight in one eye, he shall set the slave free.
  22. If a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake. Exodus 21:26

  23. If a man hits his slave and causes the slave to lose a tooth, he shall set the slave free.
  24. If he smite out his manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake. Exodus 21:27

  25. If a thief is caught and is too poor to make full restitution, he shall be sold to pay for his theft.
  26. He should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. Exodus 22:3

  27. If an ox kills a slave, the owner of the ox shall give the owner of the dead slave thirty shekels of silver.
  28. (And the ox shall be stoned)
    If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned. Exodus 21:32

  29. If a priest buys a slave, the slave and his family may eat the priest's meat.
  30. If the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat. Leviticus 22:11

  31. If someone in your country becomes poor and is sold to you as a slave, treat that person as a servant, not as a slave, and set him free on the next jubilee year.
  32. If thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee ; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile. And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return. ... Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour. Leviticus 25:39-43
    Maimonides #508: Not to have him do menial slave labor — Lev. 25:39
    Maimonides #505: Not to sell him as a slave is sold — Lev. 25:42
    Maimonides #506: Not to work him oppressively — Lev. 25:43

  33. When you buy slaves, buy a heathen from a nearby country.
  34. Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Leviticus 25:44

  35. You may also buy slaves that are strangers, or their children that are born in your land.
  36. Of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. Leviticus 25:45

  37. Your slaves are your property and your children will inherit them after you die. They will be your family's slaves forever.
  38. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever. Leviticus 25:46
    Maimonides #514: Canaanite slaves must work forever unless injured in one of their limbs — Lev. 25:46

  39. If a foreigner buys someone who lives in this country, the slave may be bought back by the slave's family, with the usual jubilee year pricing.
  40. And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's family: After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: Either his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself. And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubile: and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years, according to the time of an hired servant shall it be with him. If there be yet many years behind, according unto them he shall give again the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for. And if there remain but few years unto the year of jubile, then he shall count with him, and according unto his years shall he give him again the price of his redemption. And as a yearly hired servant shall he be with him: and the other shall not rule with rigour over him in thy sight. And if he be not redeemed in these years, then he shall go out in the year of jubile, both he, and his children with him. Leviticus 25:47-54

  41. If a city decides not to fight against you, enslave its inhabitants.
  42. When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. Deuteronomy 20:10-11

  43. If a city resists your attack, enslave the women and younger children.
  44. (After killing all of the males.)

    This commandment applies not just to the cities that God gives to you, but to the far-away cities as well.

    And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations. Deuteronomy 20:12-15

  45. Don't return runaway slaves to their masters. Let them live with you in peace and freedom.
  46. Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee: He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him. Deuteronomy 23:15-16
    Maimonides #515: Not to extradite a slave who fled to (Biblical) Israel — Deut. 23:16
    Maimonides #515: Not to wrong a slave who has come to Israel for refuge — Deut. 23:16

  47. Don't accuse a slave to his master.
  48. Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty. Proverbs 30:10

  49. Free your Hebrew slaves.
  50. This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD ... that every man should let his manservant, and every man his maidservant, being an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free. Jeremiah 34:9

  51. If you are a slave, don't worry about it.
  52. Art thou called being a servant [slave]? care not for it. 1 Corinthians 7:21

  53. If you are set free, that's OK too.
  54. But if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. 1 Corinthians 7:21

  55. Don't be a slave to humans.
  56. Be not ye the servants of men. 1 Corinthians 7:23

  57. Slaves, obey your masters.
  58. (Even those that are evil and cruel.)
    Servants [slaves], obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God Colossians 3:22

    Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 1 Peter 2:18

  59. Masters, give your slaves what is just and equal.
  60. Masters, give unto your servants [slaves] that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. Colossians 4:1

    Exhort servants [slaves] to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. Titus 2:9-10

  61. Slaves, honor your masters.
  62. (So that God isn't blasphemed.)
    Let as many servants [slaves] as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. 1 Timothy 6:1

  63. If your master is a believer, serve him.
  64. (Since he is a faithful and beloved partaker of the benefit.)
    They that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. 1 Timothy 6:2

1 comment:

Kestrel said...

Great list, Steve. So too is "What the Bible Says About Women."

I'm constantly dumbfounded by my fundamentalist friends that have multiple Bible studies a week, and don't even know this stuff exists in the texts.