Board index Slavery in the Bible

Re: what are your thoughts on slavery in the bible?

Postby Dude » Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:04 pm

You are misusing the Hebrew.

Re: what are your thoughts on slavery in the bible?

Postby jimwalton » Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:06 pm

> Yes, I did. I even cited the actual words and strong.

Here's what you said about 'eved: "I have, that's how I know it's false." That's it.

Here's what you said about כַסְפּוֹ: "Also false!"

Then you linked me to a link about achuzzah. That's different than eved. Then you linked me to kaspo, but said the Leviticus text uses a different word.

If you want to talk, let's talk. Let's start with אֶת־עַבְדּוֹ in Ex. 21.20. The word can be used in various senses, so it's difficult to pin down each reference to it with specificity, though sometimes it's obvious.

  • Gn. 9.25-27: Canaan will be a "servant of servants." Or "slave of slaves"? It's impossible to know. In context, the phrase is talking about an inferior social and political status.
  • Gn. 12.16: Abraham took his servants. What exactly their social status was is impossible to determine.
  • Gn. 18.3, 5: Clearly means one who serves (a term of humility) and not a slave, let alone a chattel slave.
  • Gn. 19.2, 19: Again, one who serves, and not a slave.
  • Gn. 24.2: The "chief servant" in Abraham's house. Again, we don't really know the social status of this individual. He seems to have a lot of status, authority, and responsibility.
  • Gn. 24.14: Eved is used to describe Isaac as a God-follower. Clearly not a slave.
  • Gn. 41: Joseph is a purchased slave of Potiphar.
  • Gn. 42: Joseph's brothers call themselves Joseph's servants. It's a respectful title of humility. They are not slaves and Joseph doesn't own them.
  • Ex. 4.10: Moses calls himself a servant (eved) of the Lord. He's certainly not a chattel slave. It's a respectful title of humility.
  • Ex. 5: The Israelites call themselves Pharaoh's eved. What was their exact status? He didn't seem to own them like chattel, since they may have been free to go (and they eventually did). This seems more like corvee labor, though it's hard to tell.
  • Through Exodus, sometimes the term refers to slaves, sometimes to servants, and sometimes used figuratively as a statement of humility.

So when we get to Ex. 21.1-11, the term is used to refer to Hebrew debt slaves (indentured servants), who are working off debt and will be freed at the 7-yr mark. These servants (slaves?) in Israel were given radical, unprecedented legal/human rights, even if not equaling that of free person. They certainly weren't owned like chattel. Even though they were "bought," it was more like their labor was owned than their person, until the debt was paid off. It was a lot like out employment system. We work for others to pay off our debts. They own our labor. We have certain obligations, and each party (boss and employee) have certain legal rights. That's what it was like there.

But when we get to Ex. 21.20-21, you are insisting you know that this is ugly and immoral chattel slavery. How do you know that? I mean, c'mon, let's talk about it.
Site Admin
Posts: 9013
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: what are your thoughts on slavery in the bible?

Postby Dude » Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:40 pm

You really need to go back and read what I wrote, along with the links I provided.

Because you don't seem to be responding to anything I actually said.

Re: what are your thoughts on slavery in the bible?

Postby jimwalton » Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:39 pm

Dude, just engage with me instead of avoiding. Mostly all of what you said is "You don't know what you're talking about," and "scholars don't what they're talking about."

The only actual CONTENT I've gotten from you is this:

> For example in Leviticus 25:46-47 when it talks about how you your slaves are yours for life and your children may inherit them as property, the word does not mean money, it rather means possession, and is used elsewhere in the bible to refer taking ownership, as in land. (אֲחֻזָּ֔ה) [url]([/url]

> It's an explicitly different word than is used in exodus 21:20-21 when it talks about being his "money." (כַסְפּ֖וֹ) [url]([/url]

> So, while it's true that in part of the bible talking specifically about Israelite slaves, you are correct the word is closer to "money," in Leviticus, a different word is used that explicitly in that verse and elsewhere means "property."

> And I've copied and pasted BOTH Hebrew words because, you know, I had to check the Hebrew myself.

So you don't want to engage about Ex. 21. Fine, whatever. Let's go to Leviticus.

> Lev. 25.46-47 and achuzzah.

  • Gn. 17.8; Lev. 14.34; 25.10. It is used of the Promised Land, and therefore possession and stewardship, not ownership. God is the one who owned the Promised Land (Lev. 25.23).
  • Gn. 23.4, 9; 49.30: Abraham bought the land with money and he was its owner.
  • It is used in Gn. 47.11 for land that Joseph's brothers could live on. It seems to have been rights to settle and use, not ownership. They didn't sell it when they left.

Though in one sense the Israelites "possess" the land (Gn. 28.4; Ex. 6.8; Lev. 20.24; Num. 33.53), in another sense it is not their "property" to do with as they wish. It doesn’t denote inalienable property but rather an acquisition. It is in his stewardship. This is coming from the SAME CHAPTER as the 'eved section of vv. 45-46. Therefore the slave/servant is not the master's inalienable property to do with as he wishes (chattel), but rather an acquisition of which he is the steward.

So let's talk about it.

Last bumped by Anonymous on Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:39 pm.
Site Admin
Posts: 9013
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm


Return to Slavery in the Bible

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest