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TheKnight

...Biblical Slavery...

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Lt_Ripley

The Ten Commandments: Rabbi M.J. Raphall (circa 1861) justified human slavery on the basis of the 10th commandment. It places slaves

"... under the same protection as any other species of lawful property...That the Ten Commandments are the word of G-d, and as such, of the very highest authority, is acknowledged by Christians as well as by Jews...How dare you, in the face of the sanction and protection afforded to slave property in the Ten Commandments--how dare you denounce slaveholding as a sin? When you remember that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job--the men with whom the Almighty conversed, with whose names he emphatically connects his own most holy name, and to whom He vouchsafed to give the character of 'perfect, upright, fearing G-d and eschewing evil' (Job 1:8)--that all these men were slaveholders, does it not strike you that you are guilty of something very little short of blasphemy?" 1

--Exodus 20:17"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ***, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's."

--Deuteronomy 5:21"Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbor's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ***, or any thing that is thy neighbor's.

-- Beating and Killing Slaves: Although an owner could beat a male or female slave, she/he would have to avoid serious injury to eyes or teeth. The owner would have to avoid beating the slave to death. But it was acceptable to beat a slave so severely that it only disabled him or her for two days:

==Exodus 21:20-21 "And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money [property]."

== Exodus 21:26-27 "And 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. And if he smite out his manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake."

==Emancipation of Slaves: Slaves in ancient Israel were automatically emancipated after 6 years of slavery, but only if they were Jewish. However, if the slave owner "gave" the slave a wife, the owner could keep the wife and any children as his property.

Passages in Exodus state that female slaves who were sold into slavery by their fathers would be slaves forever. A corresponding passage in Exodus contradicts this; it required female slaves to be given their freedom after 6 years.

One could purchase a slave from a foreign nation or from foreigners living with them. These slaves would remain in slavery forever, unless the owner chooses to frees them An Israelite who was a slave could be freed by a family member or by himself if he had the money. The cost of freeing a slave was computed on the basis of the number of years to the next Jubilee Year; this could be 1 to 50 years. Male Israelite slaves were automatically freed during the Jubilee Year. Depending upon which verse was being followed, female Israelite slaves might also have been freed at that time as well. Foreign slaves were out of luck.

== Exodus 21:1-4: "If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. 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."

==Deuteronomy 15:12-18: "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."

==Exodus 21:7: "And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do."

== Leviticus 25:44-46: "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly." (NIV)

==Leviticus 25:48-53: "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 jubilee: 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."

== Restrictions on the Re-selling of Slaves: A slave was considered a piece of property, and thus could normally be resold to anyone at any time for any reason. However, special rules applied for Hebrew slaves. If a person bought a female slave from her father and she displeased him, he had no right to sell her to a foreign owner. If the owner required her to marry his son, then the owner was required to treat her like a daughter-in-law. If the owner marries his slave and later marries another woman, he was required to treat his slave as he previously had. If he violates any of these requirements, then she must be emancipated. But she would leave without any money or means of supporting herself; she would be free, but abandoned.

== Exodus 21:8: "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.And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money."

== Sexual Activity with an Engaged Female Slave: A man who rapes or engages in consensual sex with a female slave who is engaged to be married to another man must sacrifice an animal in the temple in order to obtain God's forgiveness. The female slave would be whipped. There is apparently no punishment or ritual animal killing required if the female slave were not engaged; men could rape such slaves with impunity.

==Leviticus 19:20-22: "And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free. And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him."

now ................ where is my canadian ?? we could use some help around the house.

Edited by Lt_Ripley

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An_Observer
The sources of Jewish law are not contained within the Torah. It is said many many times that without the Talmud the Torah is "like a piece of trash". Thus, without knowing the full halacha concerning slavery, one would get the wrong impression.

Asking if I can find a reason to justify that is like asking is there a reason to go to war in the first place. Nowadays there really isn't a reason to go to war. Back then war was more necessary. A person had the right to keep slaves after a war, but the chances of it happening were slim. Why? Because the whole of the Torah is not contained in one law/verse. The Torah must be viewed as a whole when concerning its laws. You can't simply cut out a piece and say "this piece is abhorrent". I could respond "That piece is also inunderstandable. The Written Torah without the Oral Torah isn't the Great Torah which we love, its just a simple, confusing, general Torah. The kind that the Christians use.

No one said anything about keeping someone against their will to do your bidding.

the original word of god is trash?

you have posted that for you judaism is the truth but you now say the word of god needs human guidelines?

strange, but for me any 'true' word of god wouldn't need a human commentary.

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will_1835
Yeah, and ok, I get it, but you know what, most people would rather starve and die than be slaves to anyone else. And really, again, while I see the point, it was only relevant about 2000 years ago. Not now.

Why 2,000 years ago?....

Acording to Biblical standards I have been a slave several times. And at the time, it was great. For many people slavery is a life saver. People decide to become slaves so the DONT starve and die...

For me Slavery is keeping someone against their will to do your bidding.

Which is not the case here. In the Bible, the word for "slave", "עבד", is better defined as "servant", or "contracted laborer". This was generally a voluntary occupation. People would be in need of food, shelter, clothing, etc., and contract themselves for 6 years at a time.

Being a slave was a good thing in most cases. And slaves had many rights. As defined in Exodus 21.

We must be careful not to confuse Biblical slavery with the forced, brutal slavery of Rome and America...

Edited by will_1835

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Lt_Ripley
Which is not the case here. In the Bible, the word for "slave", "עבד", is better defined as "servant", or "contracted laborer". This was generally a voluntary occupation. People would be in need of food, shelter, clothing, etc., and contract themselves for 6 years at a time.

Being a slave was a good thing in most cases. And slaves had many rights. As defined in Exodus 21.

We must be careful not to confuse Biblical slavery with the forced, brutal slavery of Rome and America...

Jews could contract themselves or family out for 6 years at a time. If you were a foreigner you were a 'slave' for life.

Emancipation of Slaves: Slaves in ancient Israel were automatically emancipated after 6 years of slavery, but only if they were Jewish. However, if the slave owner "gave" the slave a wife, the owner could keep the wife and any children as his property.

Passages in Exodus state that female slaves who were sold into slavery by their fathers would be slaves forever. A corresponding passage in Exodus contradicts this; it required female slaves to be given their freedom after 6 years.

One could purchase a slave from a foreign nation or from foreigners living with them. These slaves would remain in slavery forever, unless the owner chooses to frees them An Israelite who was a slave could be freed by a family member or by himself if he had the money. The cost of freeing a slave was computed on the basis of the number of years to the next Jubilee Year; this could be 1 to 50 years. Male Israelite slaves were automatically freed during the Jubilee Year. Depending upon which verse was being followed, female Israelite slaves might also have been freed at that time as well. Foreign slaves were out of luck.

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Marby
Which is not the case here. In the Bible, the word for "slave", "עבד", is better defined as "servant", or "contracted laborer". This was generally a voluntary occupation. People would be in need of food, shelter, clothing, etc., and contract themselves for 6 years at a time.

Being a slave was a good thing in most cases. And slaves had many rights. As defined in Exodus 21.

We must be careful not to confuse Biblical slavery with the forced, brutal slavery of Rome and America...

We must also be careful not to paint such a rosy picture. After all, that servant is still considered property. That servant is also not meant to be one of your own, which is very telling because that means that the slave is considered a lesser being. If this person is a spoil of war, they are in that position to begin with because they had their little world destroyed by the slave owner's people. The selling and buying of people, or even renting, is still a blow to human dignity and no matter what a slave's rights, they still do not have the right to freedom until they've done their time or are freed at their master's whim. I don't see how this is in any way positive.

Edited by Marby

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mklsgl

Well, in some certain way, we're all slaves. That argument could easily be asserted and defended. However, I would call this type of slavery a necessity of capitalism.

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TheKnight
We've worked long and hard as human beings to move away from that, so no, providing for one's family by submitting to slavery is not relevant in today's world, and is in fact, criminal for very good reason. You can have the kindest master in the world, you can dress up the concept all you want, but if you are his slave, you are really just livestock, and any human being is worth more than that.

So should a poor man allow his wife and children to die because he has too much value to submit himself into slave labor? What kind of value can a person have if they would let children go hungry because of the fact that they have value?

the original word of god is trash?

you have posted that for you judaism is the truth but you now say the word of god needs human guidelines?

strange, but for me any 'true' word of god wouldn't need a human commentary.

I don't consider the Talmud to be "human commentary". The Torah has value, but you can't simply take part of it. Taking the written Torah without the Oral Torah would be like trying to make water with with Hydrogen and no Oxygen.

Edited by ~HaParash~

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Marby
So should a poor man allow his wife and children to die because he has too much value to submit himself into slave labor? What kind of value can a person have if they would let children go hungry because of the fact that they have value?

Well, let me illustrate the point with a personal story. When my grandparents and their four children escaped Cuba in 1967, they were only allowed to take a change of clothing each. There was a Salvation Army booth just beyond the terminal after they got off the plane where they were giving each refugee family $25 in order to help them out. My grandfather refused the money though they had none. They could have starved. They could have lived on the streets. Instead, they made their own way without having to feel as if they owed anyone anything. My family is doing quite well, and my father is a pretty wealthy man. They weren't asked to submit to slavery, no, but they weren't about to live on someone else's charity. My grandfather saw that as an insult to his capability and integrity. He didn't go into a foreign country to live off the natives and be resented later on down the line, or treated like something less because of it.

Your version of benevolent slavery is presented as a charitable handout, but it's little more than an insult to human dignity.

Death is always preferable to slavery, and if death is not an option, you work your butt off and do it on your own terms, or it's all worthless.

Edited by Marby

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TheKnight
Well, let me illustrate the point with a personal story. When my grandparents and their four children escaped Cuba in 1967, they were only allowed to take a change of clothing each. There was a Salvation Army booth just beyond the terminal after they got off the plane where they were giving each refugee family $25 in order to help them out. My grandfather refused the money though they had none. They could have starved. They could have lived on the streets. Instead, they made their own way without having to feel as if they owed anyone anything. My family is doing quite well, and my father is a pretty wealthy man. They weren't asked to submit to slavery, no, but they weren't about to live on someone else's charity. My grandfather saw that as an insult to his capability and integrity. He didn't go into a foreign country to live off the natives and be resented later on down the line, or treated like something less because of it.

Your version of benevolent slavery is presented as a charitable handout, but it's little more than an insult to human dignity.

Death is always preferable to slavery, and if death is not an option, you work your butt off and do it on your own terms, or it's all worthless.

Who said that people would just go "I wanna slave...any takers?" I'm sure that saying "I will provide someone shelter, food, and protection for labor" can hardly be considered inhumane. Nor if a man says "I want to work for you, in exchange for food" can we consider it inhumane.

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Marby
Who said that people would just go "I wanna slave...any takers?" I'm sure that saying "I will provide someone shelter, food, and protection for labor" can hardly be considered inhumane. Nor if a man says "I want to work for you, in exchange for food" can we consider it inhumane.

Will work for food is not the same as working for the enemy for food after the enemy has taken you as a spoil of war. You are oversimplifying what has been spelled out rather thoroughly in this thread regarding this version of slavery to justify it. Doesn't work that way. It's one thing to earn one's keep, but quite another to be bound to an individual to do so, and to be subject to their demands as a piece of property.

And that's just the problem. No one says, "I wanna slave... any takers?" Slaves are taken whether by force, custom, or because they are thrown into a position in which their choices are nearly non-existent. No one is standing around waiting to raise their hand and go, "Oooooo, take me!" unless they are into that sort of thing, and going there would not be the family friendly thing to post.

EDITED TO SAY good night. It's way past my bedtime.

Edited by Marby

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TheKnight
Will work for food is not the same as working for the enemy for food after the enemy has taken you as a spoil of war. You are oversimplifying what has been spelled out rather thoroughly in this thread regarding this version of slavery to justify it. Doesn't work that way. It's one thing to earn one's keep, but quite another to be bound to an individual to do so, and to be subject to their demands as a piece of property.

And that's just the problem. No one says, "I wanna slave... any takers?" Slaves are taken whether by force, custom, or because they are thrown into a position in which their choices are nearly non-existent. No one is standing around waiting to raise their hand and go, "Oooooo, take me!" unless they are into that sort of thing, and going there would not be the family friendly thing to post.

EDITED TO SAY good night. It's way past my bedtime.

They could just as easily not have fought in the war against the people. If they surrender I don't believe they are allowed to take them as spoils of war then.

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Marby
They could just as easily not have fought in the war against the people. If they surrender I don't believe they are allowed to take them as spoils of war then.

But that still doesn't make it okay. Are you going to choose not to fight if you are being invaded just to avoid the possibility of being taken as a slave? You wouldn't defend your home and family? But wait, you would not defend that home and family, but you would be happy to have them, as well as yourself enslaved. Seriously, you're reaching on this one, HaParash. Lt. Ripley was kind enough to put half the Bible into a post regarding slave law. I'm going to copy and paste some of her statements and passages in here and we'll go point by point, shall we?

-- Beating and Killing Slaves: Although an owner could beat a male or female slave, she/he would have to avoid serious injury to eyes or teeth. The owner would have to avoid beating the slave to death. But it was acceptable to beat a slave so severely that it only disabled him or her for two days:

So basically, if you don't mess up eyes or teeth and you don't kill them, you can eff their world up for two days for not doing your bidding. How do you justify this one, HaParash? Surely you don't believe that it's okay to beat someone for not doing your bidding, or for doing something in a way that is not to your liking. No human being has the right to beat another like this.

==Exodus 21:20-21 "And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money [property]."

And again, we have the whole property issue. How is it justifiable to consider another human being property?

== Exodus 21:1-4: "If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. 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."

And here we have another disturbing issue. You can enslave your own for only six years at a time, but those lesser people had to be kept subjugated, right? And if "mass'ah" is nice enough to give you a woman, be aware that she isn't really yours and neither are the litters...er...children you produce. This is a pretty sneaky way to keep a man enslaved if he loves his family, and is justifying treating human beings like dogs.

==Exodus 21:7: "And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do."

Of course, being a woman was even worse. But hey, misogynistic attitudes are okay because women need to be put in their place, shut up and take it. You don't see a problem here? I know I do.

== Leviticus 25:44-46: "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly."

And again, a human being that is a foreigner can't be under that six year contract. They don't exactly have the choice to leave, do they? You know who else I can buy and will to family members should I die? My dog. But hey, the slaves are protected legally from ruthless treatment so that makes it all okay... just like my dog. And we know that it's not ruthless treatment unless you kill them or put them out of commission for longer than two days. Hrm, my dog has it better in that case.

Edited by Marby

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mklsgl

Great post, Marby. Excellent questions/responses!

As for a reply... There is a line from a Talking Heads tune ("Crosseyed and Painless"?) that fits here: "...still waiting"

Whistling smiley guy should be inserted here>

Once again, here we are at a standstill because those non-applicable and non-defensible archaic ideas from an era we truly don't comprehend are trotted out for a debate that is moot before it even starts.

Edited by mklsgl

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Sherapy
Great post, Marby. Excellent questions/responses!

As for a reply... There is a line from a Talking Heads tune ("Crosseyed and Painless"?) that fits here: "...still waiting"

Whistling smiley guy should be inserted here>

Once again, here we are at a standstill because those non-applicable and non-defensible archaic ideas from an era we truly don't comprehend are trotted out for a debate that is moot before it even starts.

I concur Michael, I'd say ineffective and impractical also...

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Marby

Thanks y'all. I am just a little more than appalled that dehumanization is still something that anyone would attempt to justify.

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