Slave

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 9
(Sclavonian). Slavery came about under Hebrew institutions. (1) By poverty, when a man sold himself to cancel debt (Lev. 25:3939And 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: (Leviticus 25:39)); (2) by theft, when restitution could not be made (Ex. 22:33If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. (Exodus 22:3)); (3) by parents selling their daughters as concubines (Ex. 21:7-117And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. 8If 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. 9And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. 10If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. 11And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money. (Exodus 21:7‑11)). It ended (1) when the debt was paid; (2) on the year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:4040But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubilee: (Leviticus 25:40)); (3) at the end of six years of service (Ex. 21:22If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. (Exodus 21:2); Deut. 15:1212And 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. (Deuteronomy 15:12)). This as to Hebrews. As to non-Hebrew slaves, by far the most numerous class, they were purchased (Lev. 25:4545Moreover 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)); or captured in war (Num. 31:26,4026Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and of beast, thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the chief fathers of the congregation: (Numbers 31:26)
40And the persons were sixteen thousand; of which the Lord's tribute was thirty and two persons. (Numbers 31:40)
). They were freed if ill treated (Ex. 21:26-2726And 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. 27And 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 21:26‑27)); to slay one was murder (Lev. 24:17,2217And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death. (Leviticus 24:17)
22Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 24:22)
); they were circumcised and had religious privileges (Gen. 17:12-1312And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. 13He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. (Genesis 17:12‑13)).