Slavery and the Bible (Part Two)


          No religious document addresses the practice of human slavery as the Bible does.

          Though some modern commentators try to deny the words of the Quran (cf. Sura 23:5-6; Sura 4:24) and the actions permitted and practiced by Muhammed in the seventh century A. D., Islam authorizes the enslavement of its enemies and endorses the sexual mistreatment of enslaved females. Fourteen (and counting) centuries of slavery and the brutalization of captive women in Islam’s history document these sad facts.

          Though slavery was not outlawed in the Old Testament, it was highly regulated in the following ways:

  • A Hebrew could not own a fellow Hebrew as a slave for more than six years. On the seventh year, a slave could volunteer to remain a slave (Exodus 21:2-6) or he was set free and given liberal provisions by his former master to begin his life of freedom (Deuteronomy 15:12-14).
  • If someone sold himself into slavery because of abject poverty or bankruptcy, he or a relative were permitted to pay the debt at any time and thus be granted his freedom (Leviticus 25:48-49).
  • Hebrew masters were required to give their slaves a day of rest every Sabbath (Exodus 20:10).
  • If a master caused his slave any physical injury, the slave was to be released immediately (Exodus 21:26-27).
  • Slave owners were not permitted to sexually mistreat a female slave in any way. If an exploitive sexual encounter did occur, she was to be released immediately (Exodus 21:9-11).

          These obvious and significant differences between the Quran and the Old Testament demonstrate the truth that no religious document addresses the practice of human slavery as the Bible does.

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Author: jchowning

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