Peter Barnes | Exodus 21:1-16
SLAVERY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
– Sam Harris says that the Bible celebrates cruelty and recognises slavery which is an abomination.
1. It only lasted for six years.
– Ex.21:2 – unless the slave wanted it (Ex.21:5-6); also releases every fifty years in the Year of Jubilee (Lev.25:39-40)
– escaped slaves were not to be returned (Deut.23:15-16).
2. It was normally linked to punishment for stealing.
3. Kidnapping was a capital crime.
– Ex.21:16; Deut.24:7; note Gen.37:25-28; 1 Tim.1:8-11
– this would have forbidden the African slave trade to the southern states of America.
4. All peoples are to be treated with fairness and compassion.
– Job 31:13-23; Matt.7:12 used by John Newton