Slavery in the Bible: How the Chosen Bought and Sold Humans in Biblical Times — Fari Magdala

Slavery in the Bible is a topic that churches don’t spend much time explaining. Contrary to what most church goers say, slavery in the Bible was not always voluntary. Many of these Bible teachers would have believers think that slavery was a wonderful, and effective way that the people of the book created to help those in debt. Sorry! Not always so…

There were 8 types of slavery in the Bible. I outlined and gave the 8 types of slavery in my last article. I also presented book, chapter and verse for each type.

In Biblical times the chosen did buy and purchase slave like cattle. We’re led to believe that these slaves in their different ranks, were always treated well. But scripture tells a different story. In the book we’re given more details that Biblical teachers somehow manage to leave out. Slaves were beaten and mistreated. I’ll give you the scriptures below.

The Bible, if one reads it with a heart to truly know, describes scenarios where the chosen people of the book bought slaves and sold slaves. Slavery in the Bible also gave permissions for families to sell their own daughters into slavery. Can you imagine selling your own children to someone as a slave? So, they couldn’t just hire people to do a job? Was money really that tight in those days?

Take a look here at the Biblical rules for beating slaves:

When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20–21 NAB)

So, first, tell me, why would an adult need to be beat? Next, if the slaves survives a day or two, the master will not be punished. Why? Because the slave is seen as property like a cow or sheep. So, if the slaves can just live a day or two, nothing more, all is well? And why on earth is any God fearing person beating a slave, bond servant or bond maid so hard that they would die under the masters hand?

And take a closer look at the following scriptures:

However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.(Leviticus 25:44–46 NLT)

We see above that slaves were purchased and sold. Slaves were quite clearly considered property. Slavery in the Bible also had built in perks for human property owners. Slaves could be inherited and passed down to children like you pass down furniture, or jewels. And Jesus did not abolish slavery. Old Testament laws on how to handle slaves were not addressed or changed by Jesus. So, if we say “ Oh, this was just the Old Testament where slaves were bought and sold, wrong answer.

Jesus and the New Testament did mention the following directives regarding slavery, the buying and selling of human beings, etc etc. See here:

“ The Hope “?

Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1–2 NLT)

Slavery in the Bible included much more than poor people who owed debts.

The fact of the matter is that slavery according to scripture, was a popular institution where the treatment of slaves was often inhumane. You could beat a slave, but if the slave survived two to three days, no punishment for the master since slaves are property like cow, sheep and other livestock.

The church is leaving out a lot of details about slavery in the Bible. Why not come clean, admit, fess’ up and make the world a better place?