Slavery in the Bible is Different

I was wading through Leviticus because it’s on my Bible reading plan, and got to the part about owning slaves in 25:44.


At first when God decrees, “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you. . .” I thought, ‘That sucks! I wish it didn’t sound like God endorses slavery. That is so uncool these days.’

But a couple verses later I regained a little bit of respect for his stance on slavery.

In verse 47 it says, if someone gets poor and sells themselves to a rich person . . . blah blah blah he said some other stuff.

But basically I realized that the situation for slavery might often have been a personal choice on the part of the slave for his own wellbeing.

I know society is way different these days, and I barely understand the situation back then, but I’m picturing if you’re like really poor in an ancient desert city, and you’re barely able to put food on your plate, and there’s no welfare or soup kitchens, and you see this rich dude rolling in the doe (as in mommy deers, or some other ancient livestock) it might sound pretty appealing to say, ‘hey man, i’ll be your slave if you just put me up and feed me.’

I mean, that actually sounds kind of like a good idea if I really struggled on my own! To sacrifice freedom in exchange for the assurance of food and a bed might not be so bad.


I guess that’s cool, God. Carry on.

Raw Spoon, 8-6-15


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