bible slavery verses

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The Bible contains a number of verses related to slavery. These verses have been used to justify the practice of slavery, but they can also be interpreted in different ways and used to advocate for the abolition of slavery. This article will explore some of the most commonly cited Bible verses on slavery and discuss how they can be interpreted in different contexts.”Exodus 21:16 – “Anyone who kidnaps someone is to be put to death, whether the victim has been sold or is still in the kidnapper’s possession.”

“Leviticus 25:39-43 – “If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves. They are to be treated as hired workers or temporary residents among you; they are to work for you until the Year of Jubilee. Then they and their children are to be released, and they will go back to their own clans and to the property of their ancestors. Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves. Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God.”

“Deuteronomy 15:12-18 – “If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today. But if your servant says to you, ‘I do not want to leave you,’because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, then take an awl and push it through his ear lobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant.”

Old Testament Passages on Slavery

The Old Testament contains several passages that discuss slavery. One of the most widely known passages is found in Exodus 21:2-6, which states that if a man sells his daughter as a slave, she must be treated well and can be redeemed. Other passages include Leviticus 25:44-46, which states that slaves should be treated with respect; Deuteronomy 15:12-18, which discusses how to treat slaves humanely; and Exodus 21:20-21, which outlines the consequences of mistreating slaves.

The Old Testament also contains several laws concerning slavery. These laws include regulations on buying and selling slaves, how to treat slaves humanely, and punishments for mistreating them. For example, in Leviticus 25:44-46 it is stated that if a man buys a Hebrew slave he must treat him as part of his family and not mistreat him or sell him outside of the land of Israel. In Deuteronomy 15:12-18 it is stated that Hebrew slaves must be freed after six years of service and given gifts for their freedom. Exodus 21:20-21 outlines the punishments for mistreating a slave, including death or life imprisonment.

The Old Testament also contains several passages about freeing slaves. For example, in Leviticus 25:47-54 it is stated that if a Hebrew slave chooses to remain with his master after six years of service he must be given certain rights and privileges. In Deuteronomy 15:12-18 it is also stated that any Hebrew slave who has been freed must not be sent away empty handed but should receive gifts from the master. Finally in Exodus 21:2-6 it is stated that any female slave who has been sold can be redeemed by her family or friends.

New Testament Passages on Slavery

The New Testament does not make a direct, moral pronouncement against slavery. However, there are several passages that have been interpreted as suggesting a critique of the practice. In the Epistle to Philemon, Paul encourages Philemon to accept Onesimus back not as a slave, but as “no longer as a slave but…as a beloved brother” (Philemon 16). Similarly, Galatians 3:28 exhorts believers to “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free…for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

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Colossians 4:1 states that masters should treat their slaves with justice and fairness, implying that slaves should be treated with respect and dignity. Ephesians 6:5-9 also outlines duties for both slaves and masters; it states that slaves should obey their masters with respect and fear, while masters must treat their slaves justly and fairly. Finally, 1 Corinthians 7:20-23 suggests that if a person is enslaved when they become Christian, they should remain enslaved without trying to gain their freedom.

Overall, although the New Testament does not directly condemn slavery as an institution in its passages on slavery, it certainly implies respect for slaves as human beings and encourages believers to treat them with justice and fairness.

Biblical Laws about Slavery

The Bible contains numerous laws governing the practice of slavery. The most prominent are found in the Mosaic law, which is found in the Old Testament of the Bible. These laws are outlined in Leviticus 25:44-46 and Exodus 21:20-21. The laws provide guidelines for how slaves should be treated, as well as rules for their emancipation.

The Bible states that slaves should be treated with respect and kindness. It also states that slaves should not be mistreated or abused, and they should not be sold without their consent. Furthermore, it states that slaves should not be burdened with any excessive labor or work beyond what they can reasonably do. In addition, the Bible states that slaves should be released after seven years of servitude, or if they have been injured or ill-treated in any way.

The Bible also outlines certain rights for slaves, such as the right to marry and own property. Slaves were also allowed to earn wages from their masters and use it to purchase their freedom if they so desired. Finally, the Bible encourages masters to treat their slaves fairly and humanely as a part of their duty before God.

Overall, the Biblical laws regarding slavery provide an important framework for understanding how people are to treat each other when it comes to servitude and ownership of human beings. These laws emphasize respect for human dignity and emphasize the importance of treating people fairly regardless of their station in life.

Old Testament Verses on Slavery

The Bible contains several Old Testament verses that discuss the treatment of slaves. In Leviticus 25:44-46, God instructs the Israelites to treat their slaves kindly: “Both your male and female slaves whom you may have from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who sojourn with you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves.” This verse makes it clear that slavery is permissible under certain conditions, but also implies that it should be done with kindness and respect.

Deuteronomy 15:12-18 outlines a code of conduct for slaves in ancient Israel, stating that masters should not be hard on their slaves but rather show them mercy and kindness: “If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. And when you send him away free from you, you shall not let him go away empty-handed; but shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your winepress.” This verse underscores the importance of providing for a slave’s needs before releasing them from bondage.

New Testament Verses on Slavery

In addition to Old Testament verses about slavery, there are several passages in the New Testament that address this topic. In Colossians 4:1-2 Paul writes: “Masters give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.” Here Paul makes it clear that masters must treat their servants fairly and equally. Furthermore, masters are reminded by Paul that they must answer to God for how they treat their servants.

Ephesians 6:5-9 elaborates on this point by instructing masters to treat their servants with respect: “Servants be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh with fear and trembling; in singleness of heart as unto Christ; not with eye service as men pleasers; but as servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart.” This passage encourages masters to think of how Jesus would want them to treat their servants when dealing with any issues related to slavery.

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Overall, both Old Testament verses about slavery and New Testament verses about slavery emphasize treating servants fairly according to God’s standards. Although these passages discuss different aspects of slavery such as buying or selling slaves or how masters should treat their servants, each one reinforces the idea that people should be treated with kindness no matter what their social status is.

Bible Verses about Masters and Slaves

The Bible contains many references and teachings about masters and slaves. In the Old Testament, God commands his people to treat their slaves well. In the New Testament, Jesus also speaks of the importance of treating slaves with respect and kindness. Here are some Bible verses on this topic:

Old Testament

Exodus 21:20-21: “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money.”

Leviticus 25:44-46: “Your male and female slaves shall be from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy the children of temporary residents living among you, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.”

Deuteronomy 15:12-17: “If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress…Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free because their service to you these six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand…Remember that you were once slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.”

New Testament

Ephesians 6:5-9: “Slaves obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart just as you would obey Christ…Your master is Christ himself…And whatever you do work at it with all your heart as though working for the Lord rather than for people…for it is God who gives meaning to our work.”

Colossians 3:22-25: “Slaves obey in everything those who are truly your masters; don’t just obey out of eye service when they are watching but serve wholeheartedly knowing that whatever good each one does will be rewarded by the Lord…You masters too must treat their slaves justly and fairly knowing that they too have a Master in heaven.”

Servants and Slaves in the Bible

The Bible has a lot to say about servants and slaves. In the Old Testament, slaves were primarily used for labor purposes, and sometimes as a form of punishment. Servants were seen as people hired to help with tasks such as taking care of livestock and preparing food. In the New Testament, Jesus taught that all people should be treated with respect and dignity no matter their station in life. Here are some Bible verses that talk about servants and slaves:

Exodus 21:2–6
“If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; but on the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing. If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door or the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.”

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Ephesians 6:5–9
“Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart; with goodwill doing service as to the Lord rather than to men; knowing that whatever good anyone does for another will receive back from God.”

These verses show that God expects us to treat all people with respect regardless of their station or position in life. We should not take advantage of our servants or slaves but rather treat them fairly. The Bible teaches us that we should treat others how we want to be treated ourselves – with kindness and compassion even if they are our servants or slaves.

Exchanging Servants and Slaves in the Bible

The Bible contains numerous references to the exchange of servants and slaves. In some cases, these exchanges are described as a form of payment or compensation for services rendered. In other cases, they are seen as a way to demonstrate loyalty or allegiance to a particular person or group. Here, we will look at some of the most common verses in the Bible that reference exchanging servants and slaves.

The first example can be found in Exodus 21:7-11, which states: “And if a man sells his daughter to be a female slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she does not please her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has broken faith with her.” This passage clearly describes an exchange of servants and slaves, with the daughter being exchanged for services rendered by her master.

Leviticus 25:44-46 speaks of exchanging slaves as part of an agreement between two parties: “Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy…and they shall be your possession.” This passage outlines how one party can acquire servants or slaves from another party through exchange or purchase.

Finally, Deuteronomy 15:12-18 speaks about exchanging servants or slaves in order to demonstrate loyalty: “And if thy brother…be sold unto thee…thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant…but thou shalt rather set him free from thee; then thou shalt not let him go empty handed; thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock…according to that which the Lord hath blessed thee with.” This passage shows how one could express loyalty by exchanging servants or slaves in order to benefit both parties involved in the transaction.

In conclusion, there are numerous references in the Bible about exchanging servants and slaves for various purposes such as payment for services rendered, demonstrating loyalty or allegiance, or acquiring new servants or slaves from another party through exchange or purchase. Each verse provides insight into how this practice was viewed during biblical times and can help us gain a better understanding of this important aspect of ancient life


Bible slavery verses can be seen as a reflection of the society and culture of that time. These verses were used to maintain order and control, and provide guidance for how to treat slaves. While it is important to recognize the historical context in which they were written, it is also important to remember that these verses are often interpreted differently today.

In looking at Bible slavery verses, it is important to note that the Bible does not condone slavery in any form. Instead, it provides guidance on how those who are enslaved should be treated with dignity and fairness. As Christians, we should strive to follow these teachings in our daily lives. We must also acknowledge that people have been mistreated in the name of religion throughout history and work towards ensuring that this never happens again.




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