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ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture

1. Among the most horrific aspects of slavery is the inability to escape, to flee from oppression, and seek refuge. Throughout history, to run away meant being hunted down and returned. Some laws prescribed penalties for harboring slaves, and rewards for returning them. The following laws and codes precede the time of Moses, and are among the oldest in human history:

-Code of Ur-Nammu, 2350 BC: “If a slave or slave woman […] ventures beyond the borders of his or her city and a man returns him or her, the slave's master shall weigh and deliver […] shekels of silver to the man who returned the slave."

-Laws of Lipit-Ishtar, 1934 BC: “If a man's female slave or male slave flees within the city, and it is confirmed that the slave dwelled in a man's house for one month, the one who harbored the fugitive slave shall give slave for slave. If he has no slave he shall weigh and deliver fifteen shekels of silver.”

-Laws of Dadusha of Eshnunna, 1800 BC: “If a military governor, a governor of the canal system, or any person in a position of authority seizes a fugitive slave, fugitive slave woman […] and does not lead it to Eshnunna, but detains it in his house and allows more than one month to elapse, the palace shall bring a charge of theft against him.”

2. The following now comes from recent history. In 1793 slave owners in America were allowed to enter other states to recapture their runaway slaves. In 1850, in order to seize an alleged slave, a slaveholder simply had to appear before a commissioner and swear that the runaway was his. All citizens were expected to assist officials. Theodore Parker, a Christian clergymen, called the new law "a hateful statue of kidnappers."

-Article IV of the United States Constitution: “No person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.”

-Section 7 of the Fugitive Slave Act: “Any person who shall knowingly and willingly obstruct, hinder, or prevent such claimant, his agent or attorney, or any person or persons lawfully assisting him, her, or them, from arresting such a fugitive from service or labor, either with or without process as aforesaid, or shall rescue, or attempt to rescue, such fugitive from service or labor, from the custody of such claimant... or shall aid, abet, or assist such person so owing service or labor as aforesaid, directly or indirectly, to escape from such claimant... or shall harbor or conceal such fugitive, so as to prevent the discovery and arrest of such person, after notice or knowledge of the fact that such person was a fugitive from service or labor as aforesaid, shall, for either of said offences, be subject to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, and imprisonment not exceeding six months, by indictment and conviction before the District Court of the United States... and shall moreover forfeit and pay, by way of civil damages to the party injured by such illegal conduct, the sum of one thousand dollars for each fugitive so lost as aforesaid, to be recovered by action of debt, in any of the District or Territorial Courts aforesaid, within whose jurisdiction the said offence may have been committed."

3. In contrast to such laws, that both required people to return runaway slaves under penalty of law, and allowed slaveowners to hunt after fugitives, often with the use of slave-hunting dogs, Scripture breaks away from such laws:

Deuteronomy 23:15, circa 1500 BC - “If slaves should escape from their masters and take refuge with you, you must not hand them over to their masters. Let them live among you in any town they choose, and do not oppress them."

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LostLocke's picture
"Most students of the Old

"Most students of the Old Testament agree that this regulation concerns a slave who has escaped from his master in some foreign land and sought refuge in Israel. We do know that, in addition to slaves captured in battle, debt slavery and voluntary slavery existed in Israel and was protected by law, so it seems unlikely that this law applies to those two categories of slaves. We simply aren't given any detail beyond these two verses."

And second, a book written by a "True and Loving God" would just say "Don't own slaves". Instead, by handing down laws and regulations regarding slavery, this "god" is saying that slavery is OK.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I agree the verse refers more

I agree the verse refers more specifically to foreign slaves fleeing into Israel, partly because domestic servants were already not allowed to be abused, and thus were already protected (a subject I'll discuss later). It does make you wonder why a foreign slave would flee to Israel in the first place, unless they expected a better experience there, and in this case freedom.

Interestingly, the codes and laws in the OP were from those very surrounding nations. From Mesopotamia, and Sumeria. Israel placed itself in conflict with foreign nations by not returning slaves. Its very reminiscent of Southern slaves fleeing North. And how in response to the Refugee Slave Act, the North passed other laws known as the Personal Liberty laws, to lend some protection for slaves against the Act.

I don't want you to think I'm being dismissive, but I also don't want you to bring up different issues and think you've addressed the OP by doing so. I intend to write more posts, each dealing with a different aspect: hence the "pt. 1" of the title.

Sheldon's picture
"domestic servants were

"domestic servants were already not allowed to be abused, and thus were already protected "

Unlike slaves of course, who could be beaten to death as long as they survived the beating for at least 48 hours. This perfect deity's rules seem a bit of a lottery tbh.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I assume you have nothing to

I assume you have nothing to comment in regards to the OP?

Burn Your Bible's picture
Slavery is allowed by the god

Slavery is allowed by the god of the Bible, you can buy your slaves from the heathens around you, you can pass them down to your children as they are your property, Hebrew slaves must be freed(only men) after 6 years unless you give him a wife then he can be your slave forever. You can beat them as long as they don't die within the first few days, if your slave does something he didn't know was wrong you should beat him but not as bad as you would beat him if he did wrong knowingly.

You can cite as many different laws as you want it does not change the fact that slavery is wrong! I do not care if you want to call it super nice awesome slavery, the owning of another human as property even to pay off a debt is immoral.

Anyone who thinks you can own another human as property is immoral

And you showing bible verses that suggest freeing slave only shows the contradictions that the Bible is full of.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Stay tuned for more..

Stay tuned for more.. : )

Kataclismic's picture
Justification of slavery is

Justification of slavery is one of the highest orders in the Bible. When you need slaves to do their work for the good of the community the introduction of a senior slave-driver only makes sense. The scam that the meek get everything in the afterlife is the simplest version of convincing your slaves that they are doing good work. We know that if our slavemasters abuse us that they will get their suffering later and us slaves will be laughing at them as they're tortured.

Now get back to work.


chimp3's picture
IMHO, every slave in the

IMHO, every slave in the world, then and now, has the right to two things. They have the right to demand an immediate release from their bonds. If they are not released immediately they have the right to hack their oppressor into little pieces. They did not then , or do not now, need special permission from sky fairies or priests.

Sky Pilot's picture
According to the Bible

According to the Bible Gentiles will become slaves to the Jews.

In the Jewish Babylonian Talmud each Jew will get 2,800 slaves in the afterlife.

xenoview's picture
Why did you leave out the

Why did you leave out the verses condoning slavery in the bible?

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I left out everything not

I left out everything not concerned with fugitives and runaways. That's typically what you do when you have a topic and things fall outside it lol.

Randomhero1982's picture
Slavery is unjustifiable and

Slavery is unjustifiable and completely wrong!

No amount of scripture or literature could convince a rational mind otherwise, not even a beautifully crafted Shakespearean piece could detract me from the fact that it is woeful and should not be condoned in anyway.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I don't know weather to agree

I agree with you, but I also want you to think about the reasons. Can you substantiate your statement? Why shouldn't slavery be condoned? Give me your top three reasons.

algebe's picture
@John: "I agree with you, but

@John: "I agree with you, but I also want you to think about the reasons."

Absolutely right. Instead of memorizing the words "slavery is bad" like parrots, every generation should be taught to think about the reasons.

Economic reasons
1. Slavery halts progress. If we can use people as machines, we don't need technology.
2. Slavery is bad for the economy. Slaves have no income or property, so they generate no demand.
3. Slaves are bad for labor productivity. Slaves have no incentive to produce more or better products.
Moral reasons
1. Slavery devalues humanity. When we treat people like us as cattle/property, we also reduce our own value.
2. Slavery violates the Golden Rule. I don't want to be a slave, so I don't want others to be slaves.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Weeeell..... lol. I agree

Weeeell..... lol. I agree with the moral aspects, in fact, the Golden Rule is found in the Bible, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." Matt 7:12.

But I disagree with your economic reasons. It doesn't halt technology, since we saw the invention of the cotton gin in the midst of slavery. Its also not bad for the economy, since the greatest nations prospered off the back of slaves. The South was also pretty wealthy because of slavery. Slavery rose for economic reasons, and it fell for moral ones.

algebe's picture
@John 61X Breezy: "he Golden

@John 61X Breezy: "he Golden Rule is found in the Bible"

Yes. Jesus seems to have borrowed it from Confucius or Buddha, or maybe someone even earlier. Or perhaps they all learned from their mothers, as we have.

While the South was inventing the cotton gin in the midst of slavery, Britain was inventing steam engines, trains, telegraphy, etc., without it. Also, for all its wealth, the South couldn't match the industrial might of the North when it came to the Civil War.

Early economists opposed slavery. "From the experience of all ages and nations, I believe, that the work done by free men comes cheaper in the end than the work performed by slaves. Whatever work he does, beyond what is sufficient to purchase his own maintenance, can be squeezed out of him by violence only, and not by any interest of his own." (Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations).

For that, economics was labeled the "dismal science" by Thomas Carlyle in his essay "Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question".

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Very well, I'll concede to

Very well, I'll concede to your point.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Weeeell..... lol. I agree


Aposteriori unum's picture
Let's just get right to it

Let's just get right to it then: the bible does not condemn slavery, we all know this (otherwise you would just point to that verse). You condemn it, but the bible does not. So, are you wrong or is the bible wrong?

If the bible isn't the inspired word of god but rather a collection of myths from ancient humans then it isn't relevant. But you think it is relevant. So, I assume you believe it's the inspired word of god. So, refrasing the question: are you wrong for condemning slavery or is god wrong for allowing it? If you disagree with god, right or wrong as you may be, do you not run the risk of eternal torture?

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I can asure you I will

I can asure you I will address the subject in my subsequent threads.

Putting aside slavery, my answer is no. If God gave us brains, He intends for us to use them. That means we can condemn something that isn't condemned by Scripture. For example, child pornography, drunk driving, drug abuse, etc. In the NT you have the apostles debating what Jewish laws should be kept by the Gentiles. Some Pharisees said "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses” (Acts 15:5). Paul argued "My judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood."

There are laws which cannot be changed, and Scripture tells us which those are, the ten commandments for example. Then there are laws specific to times and places, which by definition change from time and place.

Sheldon's picture
"If God gave us brains, He

"If God gave us brains, He intends for us to use them. That means we can condemn something that isn't condemned by Scripture. For example, child pornography, drunk driving, drug abuse, etc."

But he needs to unequivocally condemn consuming shellfish, or wearing blended fabrics, or consuming pork derivatives? What's the point in using your brain,if all you do is use it to do mental cartwheels to rationalise something to the point you're ignoring both what it says, and what it fails to say. It's absurd to think a being that gave us brains felt that the first 4 of it's most important commandments should be dedicated to how it wants the saccharine worship of it's pets, but fails to even mention not abusing children. And before anyone dares suggest it is too obvious to require a moratorium, consider the result as represented in the endemic child abuse within the largest and oldest christian church. Or the fact that the north american slave trade was endorsed exclusively by those who cited the biblical endorsements of it.

I agree about one thing, people really should use their brains, and stop deluding themselves.

Burn Your Bible's picture
If the Ten Commandments you

If the Ten Commandments you speak of is the first version then the laws surrounding slaves were written on them as well... there are 613 commandments written on the front and back of each stone. If you are speaking of the actual 10 commandments sure don't boil your baby goats in their mothers milk.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Ahh my math is off today. You

Ahh my math is off today. You're right, when people say the Ten Commandments they actually mean the Six-Hundred-Thirteen Commandments.

Those stone tablets must have been massive, but God probably used 12 point font.

Sky Pilot's picture
John 6IX Breezy,

John 6IX Breezy,

All of the laws were not written on stone tables.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I'm sure they weren't. If

I'm sure they weren't. If only I could see the relevance of all this to the OP, perhaps I'd be more interested in your History Channel theories.

Sky Pilot's picture
John 6IX Breezy,

John 6IX Breezy,

We are arguing about the contents in an ancient ethnocentric Middle Eastern Jewish religious fairy tale. To be intellectually honest about it it's necessary to the points that support our contentions. There is only one passage in the Bible that lists the items written on the stone tablets and that calls them the Ten Commandments, and that is in Exodus chapter 34.

Now here's the main point: If you continually refuse to accept that reality then you are an idiot and shouldn't discuss the fairy tale because it's evident that you don't know a damn thing about it. All of the biblical stories are based upon the verses found in Exodus 34:10-28.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
We are not discussing the

We are not discussing the contents (plural) in an ancient ethnocentric Middle Easter Jewish religious fairy. We are discussing one very specific subject: runaway slaves. So, even if I granted that Exodus 34:10-28 were the "real ten," and I granted that I don't know anything about the Bible, how does that relate to the OP?

Sky Pilot's picture
John 6IX Breezy,

John 6IX Breezy,

It relates to the OP because the First Commandment says that the Israelites/Hebrews/Jews are superior to everyone else because they have Yahweh on their side. This sets the stage for the idea of racial/ethnic slavery in which all of the Gentiles will become slaves to the Jews in Isaiah 14:1-2 (CEV) = "The Lord will have mercy on Israel and will let them be his chosen people once again. He will bring them back to their own land, and foreigners will join them as part of Israel. 2 Other nations will lead them home, and Israel will make slaves of them in the land that belongs to the Lord. Israel will rule over those who once governed and mistreated them."

That sense of superiority is also expressed in the Jewish Babylonian Talmud, in which each Jew will get 2,800 Gentile slaves each in the afterlife.

Even if you personally don't believe any of that other people do and they conduct their affairs based on it.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Don't take me wrong, this is

Don't take me wrong, this is impressive work, I almost feel as though I am in a Dan Brown novel. I just don't quiet see how this relates to runaway slaves.....

Jews will get 2,800 gentile slaves, but the moment any of them run away, they are not to be oppressed, and must be allowed to live in any town they wish?

Sky Pilot's picture
John 6IX Breezy,

John 6IX Breezy,

They will never be able to escape because they will be slaves for eternity. That's a very long time.


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