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Slavery in the Bible

There are 4 types of slavery referenced in the bible:


The Bible identifies different types of slaves including female Hebrew slaves, male Hebrew slaves, non-Hebrew and hereditary slaves. These were subject to different regulations which included treatment.

I.) Types of Slavery

    A.)Female Hebrew slaves

1.) There are ambiguous passages concerning whether female Hebrew slaves were to be treated differently from males. Could be sold by their fathers and enslaved for life, but there were some limits to this.

"If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to go free as the male slaves do. If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his unfairness to her. If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights. If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money." (Exodus 21:7-11)

Deuteronomy 15:12-18, however, applies the same standards to female and male slaves, with verse 18 stating, "Your female slave, also, you shall treat in the same way. You must not be reluctant to let your slave go free, since the service they have given you for six years was worth twice a hired man's salary; then also the Lord, your God, will bless you in everything you do."

    B.) Male Hebrew Slaves

1.) Could sell themselves into slavery for a six-year period to eliminate their debts, after which they might go free. However, if the male slave had been given a wife and had children with her, they would remain his master's property. They could only stay with their family by becoming permanent slaves (Exodus 21:2-5). Christians, especially those who subscribe to Biblical inerrancy, will commonly emphasis this debt bondage and try to minimize the other forms of race based chattel slavery when attempting to excuse the Bible for enforcing slavery

"If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment. If he comes alone, he shall go out alone; if he is the husband of a wife, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,’ then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently." (Exodus 21:2-6)

i.) It is interesting to note that if a slave wishes to remain with his wife and family he must submit to his master for life.

2.) On the other hand Hebrew slaves, and only those Hebrew slaves who entered slavery "voluntarily", got some severance package:

"If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free. When you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed. You shall furnish him liberally from your flock and from your threshing floor and from your wine vat; you shall give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today...Your female slave, also, you shall treat in the same way. You must not be reluctant to let your slave go free, since the service they have given you for six years was worth twice a hired man's salary; then also the Lord, your God, will bless you in everything you do." (Deuteronomy 15:12-18)

    C.) Non-Hebrew slaves

1.)  Non-Hebrews could (according to Leviticus 25:44) be subjected to slavery in exactly the way that it is usually understood. The slaves could be bought, sold and inherited when their owner died. This, by any standard, is race- or ethnicity-based, and Leviticus 25:44-46 explicitly allows slaves to be bought from foreign nations or foreigners living in Israel. It does say that simply kidnapping Hebrews to enslave them is a crime punishable by death (Deuteronomy 24:7), but there is no such prohibition regarding foreigners. War captives could be made slaves, assuming they had refused to make peace (this applied to women and children — men were simply killed), along with the seizure of all their property (Deuteronomy 20:10-15):

"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. But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another." (Leviticus 25:44-46)

D.) Hereditary Slaves

1.) The children of slaves were born into slavery and there is no apparent way by which they could obtain their freedom:

"If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out alone." (Exodus 21:4d)

 i.) The children of slaves were born into slavery and there is no apparent way by which they could obtain their freedom.

II.) Treatment of Slaves

    A.) Beating slaves

1.) Beating slaves was perfectly allowable regulated under the following rules:

"If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property."(Exodus 21:20-21)

"If a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave, and destroys it, he shall let him go free on account of his eye. And if he knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, he shall let him go free on account of his tooth." (Exodus 21:26-27)

    B.) Abduction and the slave trade

1.) Hebrews were not allowed to abduct fellow Hebrews and sell them

"He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death." (Exodus 21:16)

2.) Given that the Hebrews were instructed in Leviticus 25:44 to obtain their slaves from the people around them, it is evident that this injunction to not abduct people referred to Hebrews and not non-Hebrews. Obtaining and selling non-Hebrews was evidently not a problem. Deuteronomy 24:7 specifies that only the abduction of Hebrews to enslave them is a crime.

    C.) Escaped slaves

1.) An escaped slave could not be handed over to his master, and would gain full citizenship among Israelites:

"You shall not hand over to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you. He shall live with you in your midst, in the place which he shall choose in one of your towns where it pleases him; you shall not mistreat him." (Deuteronomy 23:15-16)

i.)However, as the BibleTrack commentary puts it regarding Deuteronomy 23:15:

"Most students of the Old Testament agree that this regulation concerns a slave who has escaped from his master in some foreign land and sought refuge in Israel. We do know that, in addition to slaves captured in battle, debt slavery and voluntary slavery existed in Israel and was protected by law, so it seems unlikely that this law applies to those two categories of slaves. We simply aren't given any detail beyond these two verses."

So, the Bible endorses various types of slavery.

How useful is this information in deconverting the religious?

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SirDaddyGru 4 Oct 8

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It is useful but black pagan Conservatives who resemble this one will still cuss you out.


The old testiment is antiquated laws for the nation of Israel prior to 2000 years ago. The nation of is does not currently or specifically use or enforce these old laws of "Moses".

For enforcement of these antiquated laws outside of Israel would basically be out of Jurisdiction. Then.again, those antiquated laws could serve as example laws for other jurisdictions.

Biblical text being called "religious " text is about the establishment and enforcement of government laws. If your are then involved in government establishment or enforcement of government upon people you are then being a religious person.

Please keep your government to yourself.

Word Level 8 Oct 8, 2021

New Testament or Old Testament; Christians believe it's the same god... A god whose rules, at any time in history, allowing for the ownership of people by people, destroys any case for that god to be a measure of morality.

Old Testament, New Testament: Same god so it doesn't matter.

@SirDaddyGru old testiment meme organism produced an offspring of itself, "son of meme" Jesus of biblical text.

Most Christians do not exactly understand this. Are you familiar with a meme mind virus organism as defined by illogical atheist and biologist Richard Dawkins?

@SirDaddyGru Understanding meme organism has mutation and things altered, does that mean it is a different God-meme organism? Or, would it be the same God-meme organism that just has changes?

You were once a child, you are still you but now an adult.

It can be observed that the Egyptian God-meme organism out of Egypt into Israel over to Rome and across Europe (christianity and Masonic lodge secret religion racist devil worship), has then crossed into what is now United States of America and following such as the establishment of the mark of the beast-666 requiring birth certificate, social security number and photo identification since the European invasion of the year 1492 and the Masonic lodge secret religion racist devil worshipper European invador governmental terrorist freedom from England July 4th, 1776.

My post was about a specific topic for a reason, but I'll get to that. I understand religions evolve. But try telling a Christian their god changed...Explain to them while showing them, in their own holy book that, god has changed...and they will do to you exactly what they do to me when I sit down with them with their holy book and show them the god of the Old Testament sanctioned slavery, and that Jesus in the New Testament forgot to tell us to not own people.

I get it dude: Religions evolve.

Now, I still don't know what you think about my post. Would you add to it, take from it, or maybe reword something?

I made the post so it could be critiqued; I didn't give my reason for this post but that's what typically happens when I post something: It gets critiqued.

@SirDaddyGru I understand you are expecting a critique. However, I have given you a critique that you for sure do not expect and most like do not initially understand.

From your response, you said, "...and that Jesus in the New Testament forgot to tell us to not own people.".

Thou shall not own people, is not specifically in new testiment. However, the implications that people should be servant (slaves) is very well implicated in new testiment writings. Just as an example as purported as Jesus saying"For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves." Luke 22:27

Without going into other existing new testiment references, It is still implicated that people should be servant(slave) minded to promote "believers" to do work of a servant.

I do not consider it my niche but here is something you may want to consider as to the unchanging god ideology. Without listening many, just a single point to give you. The Immutability of God is an attribute that "God is unchanging in his character, will, and covenant promises. []

@SirDaddyGru Also, If you were to dive into the BDSM alternative lifestyle with their High protocols you might better understand "50 shades of Jesus " lifestyle with their particular rules of protocol.

@SirDaddyGru Are you an activist against the BDSM alternative lifestyle of Domination/submission Master/slave ideology?

Here is a place wh err re they have slave registration. Are you famuliar with this sorts if ownership?


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The Bible endorses all kinds of things. Cognitive dissonance means that believers are adept at ignoring it, while cherry-picking out the bits they want.

Yeah, but why do they do that?

I've been on that side-of-the-fence.

I'm reasonably sure of a few things: Not everyone believes as much as they say they do. They say they believe because there are no social consequences to "believing" when so many people around them are making the same mistake... If everyone in an elevator looks up and your in the elevator and try not to, you will immediately feel uncomfortable...but if you look up, even if you knew they were playing a prank, you wouldn't feel bad.

Also, I think atheists tend to downplay the sincerity of believers. Sure, they can't know there is a god to the extent they claim to know, but I'm probably projecting (my past, onto their present) lol. I understand their asurity is based on hope, and there is no consequence to losing that hope...but there can be a reward in believing in something that is not true: Peace of mind, and a Delusion to rely on when "no one understands", "My baby is with the lord now", "everything will be okay if we just keep the faith"...this doesn't make them right of course, but their belief is not intentionally malicious, and beyond that I understand it.

@SirDaddyGru But I don't doubt their sincerity, for one, at least en masse.

Cherry-picking what parts of the Bible to "believe" is a necessity when it's such a self- contradictory, cobbled together mess of stories collected over 4000 years or so. The same goes for Al Quran, the beliefs of Buddhists, Hindus, Native Americans, I dare say everyone. Not just religion but in everyday life. People can't construct a self-consistent and complete set of beliefs or rules to live by and adhere to them 100% of the time, because there's just too much need to compromise in order to survive in the world. The same goes for atheists and agnostics.

For example, none but the most fundamentalist of believers actually thinks that the sun stood still for Joshua. They may say they do, in a perfunctory way, but enough science has penetrated most minds to know that it's physically impossible (not least because the sun isn't moving around us, but vice versa). They just choose not to think about it, since it's not really "important" to the overall belief.


No information is useful in deconverting the religious. They have no interest in information. Everyone has to find their own path out, and finding an interest in information is one of the last stages, after people escape.


Getting educated was useful for me. I was a Christain apologist. I studied pretty hardcore for about 16 years...Finally, I just realized that if Christianity were true I should be doing a much better job of convincing myself...It took a long time, but eventually, I learned enough to realize I wasn't right.

...Information like this (lots of it) helped me break away from the fairytale.

Information can be useful in discussions with an honest interlocutor, but my experience with them must be very different than yours.

@SirDaddyGru Everone is different, but of course you deconverted yourself, I assumed, perhaps wrongly that it was talking about deconverting someone else, which is very hard, and has a lot more to do with emotion than facts.

@Fernapple I didn't deconvert myself...I was a Christian Apologist who saw no fun in snaching low-hanging fruit...I debated with those who would compel me to study after our conversation.

I used to love how "god made science" until I studied and understood that science is learned by applying a method...a method which could not be applied to discover a god even if a god were to exist.

Then, I was the "god is a historical fact" guy lol ... Until I studied anthropology.

Then I learned god had to exist because "he is necessary"; but then I learned he's not necessary to explain anything lol...That path lead me to get my degree in philosophy because I fell in love with epistemology 🙂 ...
Atheists reasoned with me, tested my info, and I cared enough to listen. It can take many, over a long period, but people who are like me can affect those who are like I was.

@SirDaddyGru Well done. And I am corrected. But I would still hold that your case is a quite rare and exceptional one.


and why is this important to an atheist or agnostic?

Are you asking why information is important to us? I hope not. The answer would be too obvious for you to have to ask the question.

Why is "what" important to us?

@SirDaddyGru What some bronze age tribe had to say about slavery. What does this have to do with anything today. Slavery has been illegal in this country for over 100 years. What the Hebrew rules were for slaves over 2 millennia ago has no importance today.

Except that slavery still goes on today, in this country. It should get more press...

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