Did You Know?
In the Old Testament, God permitted the Israelites to purchase people as slaves (how and why this was done is a topic too large for this short article). In the New Testament, God permitted slave-owners to retain their slaves. However, God did give rules for how the master was supposed to treat his slave. In the New Testament, masters were told to remember that they too had a Master in heaven (thus they were slaves to Jesus), and to treat their slaves accordingly (Colossians 4).
In the Old Testament, God gave instructions regarding the treatment of slaves, some of which are quite interesting. If the slave was an Israelite, he had to be released—along with his family—at the year of Jubilee. But did you know that in the Law of Moses, God states that if a master hit his slave, and caused that slave to lose his/her tooth, he had to release them from their slavery? Exodus 21:27 says so.
I don’t know about you, but if I was a slave to a cruel master, that might not be a bad tradeoff!
-Bradley S. Cobb