Posted by Christian Scholar (220.127.116.11) on April 17, 2004 at 21:36:56:
2) Slavery is “legitimized” in Scripture. Again, you are making this statement based on a post modern view of things. What America had done with the Slavery issue in the 1700-1800s would “legitimize” your point. But that is not what slavery was back in the days of ancient Israel. In fact, that kind of slavery (taking men and women from a different race of people, who are not hostile, and forcing them to do slave work) is exactly what Egypt had done to the people of Israel, in which GOD DELIVERED THEM from it!!!! That slavery was unjust and immoral, and Israel DID NOT practice any thing of the like.
The Slavery within the Hebrew community was for a couple of reasons:
1. To pay off debts to debtors, a person would sell himself to a wealthy person in the community. But one important thing you forgot to mention was, that this person who “sold himself” into slavery was able to GO FREE at the end of six years, and the masters had to make sure that he or she had some sustenance to be able to go back to normal life (see Exodus 21:2; Deuteronomy 15:12-15). They were NOT ALLOWED to be mistreated under punishment of the law, and could be sent free if there was any brutality (that went for men and women, by the way, Exodus 21:26-27).
2. In sparing the lives of captives from war, they could be slaves. Now notice the difference here, Pangea, in Egypt (as with the slave trade in the days before the Abolition of slavery in America) men and women who were not at war with them would be forced into slavery beyond their own will. In Israel, captives of other nations warring with Israel were given the option to become slaves, instead of being imprisoned or put to death. You may have your problems with that, but that is perfectly reasonable in the ancient world where you couldn’t trust other nations (and they didn’t have the media or the television where we have the advantage here).
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