Extract: The Bible Delusion, Chapter 15, pp. 257-259.
God on Forced Servants and Slavery
Genesis 9:25-27. Noah curses his grandson, Canaan, the son of Ham, to be a servant of servants (the lowest of the low), to his uncles, Shem and Japheth. “And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.”
Genesis 17:12-13. God explains that purchased slaves should be circumcised. Ergo, God approved of slavery – not to mention circumcision being a cruel and obscene requirement for believers – let alone non-believing slaves to endure. Why mutilate men who were not Hebrews? “And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.” (Emphasis added).
Exodus 12:44. God says that once slaves are circumcised, they too may eat of the Passover. Once more, God shows his approval of slavery. “But every man’s servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.”
Exodus 21:2. Hebrew slaves can go free in the seventh (Jubilee) year. “If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.” God clearly approved of slavery, even setting terms for it.
Exodus 21:7. If you sell your daughter, she is not to be allowed to go out. “And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.” God approves of children being sold as slaves.
Exodus 22:3. A man shall be sold into slavery if he steals and can’t repay what he has stolen. “…he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.” God commands the use of slavery as a form of punishment.
Leviticus 22:11. Slaves purchased by a priest, or born into his household may eat the holy things. “But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat.” God endorses slavery.
Leviticus 25:39. You can’t treat a purchased brother as a slave, but rather a servant, and he can go free in the year of Jubilee. “And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile [sic].”
Note: ‘Bondservant’ = slave; hired servant = paid help; although, as above, there may be an imposed term of servitude, such as until the year of Jubilee.
Leviticus 25:44-46. You can buy slaves from anyone other than the children of Israel – and you can give them to your children as an inheritance forever. “…thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy… the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.” God not only endorses slavery here, but he explains how to make the best use of it for your children and future generations.
Deuteronomy 15:12. “And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.”
Ephesians 6:5-8. Servants (slaves), obey your masters. “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ… whether he be bond or free.”
Colossians 3:22. God commands servants under the yoke (slaves) to be obedient in all things. “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.”
1 Timothy 6:1. “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.”
Titus 2:9-10. “Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”
1 Peter 2:18. “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward [harsh].”
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