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Slavery in the Bible

Slavery in the Bible refers to people who are slaves. Slaves are people who work for other people and do not get paid for their work. There are many passages in the Bible that talk about slavery. These passages describe what it was like to be a slave and how God feels about slavery. They also describe what slaves should do and how they should behave.

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The Old Testament contains many laws about slavery. In Leviticus 25:44-46, it says that if a person sells himself into slavery he will be set free after six years so long as his master has not harmed him during that time. The New Testament also has some references to slavery. For example, 1 Corinthians 7:21-22 says that wives should submit themselves unto their husbands, just as they should also submit themselves unto Christ Jesus. This means that wives should obey their husbands without question and without protestation (or opposition). In Ephesians 6:5-8, Paul tells slaves to obey their masters even if they do not like them very much or even if they mistreat them severely; however, he also says that if masters abuse their slaves then it is acceptable for those slaves to leave their masters’ homes and take another job elsewhere if possible.

Why Did So Many Christians Support Slavery? | Christian History |  Christianity Today

Slavery in the Bible


The Bible covers many topics, including slavery. However, there are many misconceptions about slavery and the Bible.

The Israelites were slaves in Egypt and treated poorly by their Egyptian masters.

The Bible tells us that the Israelites, under the leadership of Moses, were slaves in Egypt for 430 years. God delivered them from slavery when he sent 10 plagues upon the Egyptians. The first nine plagues were just enough to convince Pharaoh (the king of Egypt) to let them go so that he could save his people from further harm.

The Israelites were treated poorly by their Egyptian masters and had no rights at all as slaves; they were not allowed to eat with their fellow Egyptians or even have their own household goods! This was all because they were not considered part of Egyptian society, but rather outsiders who lacked access to anything except bare necessities like food and water (Exodus 1:11).

After slavery ended, there were still other forms of servitude.

After slavery ended, there were still other forms of servitude. The Hebrew word for servant (Hebrew: עבד) refers to the person who works for another and receives a wage or payment. Servants could be sold, along with their children, but they were paid wages and could buy their freedom if they had enough money to do so. After six years of service to one master, servants were free to go wherever they wanted.

Slave domination came to the forefront when the southern economy depended on it.

Slavery was not always the mainstay of the southern economy. In fact, when wealthy planters first began to bring slaves over from Africa in large numbers during the early seventeenth century, few Americans considered slavery an important part of their lives.

  • Slaves were expected to work long hours on plantations growing cash crops such as tobacco and indigo dyes; they weren’t paid wages or given any rights. Instead, their owners provided food and shelter in exchange for labor that was usually hard physical labor in hot climates with little opportunity for rest or recreation. It didn’t take long before some wealthy owners realized that slaves could be forced into working even harder than they might have otherwise wanted them to if they were punished harshly enough after each day’s work was finished up (this is called “the whip”).

The Bible has taken a role in the fight over slavery.

In the Bible, slavery was not a part of the American founding. In fact, it appears that the slaves in America were imported from Europe and Africa and not taken from another tribe (as they were in Africa). In other words, Native Americans were not enslaved by European settlers.

However, many people have claimed that what they did is justified because it came straight out of the Bible. It’s true that there are passages that seem to condone slavery or even punish it with death; however, there are also plenty of other passages where God himself says “Free them!” So if we’re going to use this text as our guide for modern-day laws then we need to look at all sides of this debate carefully before making any decisions about how things should be done here on earth–and especially here in America!

The Bible gave both sides in the Civil War a basis for arguments.

In the 19th century, both sides of the Civil War looked to the Bible for support. The South argued that slavery was a necessary evil: it was seen as an institution ordained by God and therefore beyond question. The North called for its abolition on moral grounds and because they wanted to preserve the Union. Neither side could have predicted how much their beliefs would be used against them later in history by those who opposed them.

Both groups focused on certain passages in order to support their arguments while ignoring other passages that didn’t fit into their worldviews. For example, many Christians point out that Abraham owned slaves (Genesis 15:13; 24:2; 25:4). However, this ignores many other references about how God dislikes slavery (Leviticus 25:39-46; Deuteronomy 23:15-16). It also ignores Jesus’ commandment to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12) which was based on Golden Rule teachings from earlier prophets such as Hillel and Confucius but not from any Biblical text I know of…

While there are references to slavery in the Bible, it is not as explicit as some people might think.

While there are references to slavery in the Bible, it is not as explicit as some people might think. The Bible actually condones slavery, both before and after the Civil War. It’s also clear that God takes an interest in regulating how owners treat their slaves—and at times he even expresses anger at bad treatment of slaves by their owners.

In fact, according to Dr. Mabie, “there are over 800 references to slavery” in the Bible! That’s right: there are many more than just one or two verses where slavery is mentioned (though those do exist). These verses show God’s acceptance of this practice and even encourage it when used properly. For example, Exodus 21:20 reads “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if they are injured but not killed; but if they die their punishment will be death.” For those who were against slavery during this time period, this was often cited as proof that God supported it–but looking at things from another angle shows us that yes while he did allow it he also limited its use because being cruel was wrong too!


It’s difficult to say whether the Bible condones slavery or not. Some Christians use biblical quotes to justify owning slaves, while others condemn it as inhumane and unjust. Ultimately, it seems that the Bible is ambiguous on the topic of slavery. Yes, it gives instructions for how slaves should be treated, but those instructions aren’t necessarily good ones—which would indicate an endorsement by God himself. But does that mean everyone who owns slaves is acting like a good Christian? We’d have to call into question the morality of many ancient civilizations—including some that were supposedly enlightened and advanced—if we take this view too far. The truth is probably somewhere in between these two extremes: there are aspects of slavery mentioned in scripture that most people wouldn’t consider acceptable today; however, not every part of our society has progressed as much since then either (think about child labor laws). For example: if you work full time at minimum wage without benefits, do you really have any more freedom than someone else working 40 hours per week plus overtime just because your boss doesn’t own your body?

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