Slavery : The Old Testament

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Slavery in Exodus 21-The Old Testament deemed to be a common practice. Modern readers should gain understanding like other nation, slavery was rampant and flourished in the Israelites, but the biblical slavery is very different from the modern slavery. The old testament lacks slavery condemnation but it has a clear teaching on ethical treatment of slaves, which was part of the culture of the surrounding nations. Slavery in the bible in the time of the Jews was not an exploitation act but rather an act of enabling the poor to provide for themselves. The word slave was used in referring to various forms of servile situations, not the slave familiar to many modern bible readers. In the ancient Israel, the “slave” referred to both a person who is under the masters’ law and to any subordinate person in the social status ladder. Westbrook lists subjects of a king, heads of households, debtors volunteering to service to pay their debts and non-citizens to be examples of servile situations encompassed in Israel in the ancient times. The bible engages the reader in many passages regarding slavery and further tells one how to obtain the slaves, how they should be treated, and how to draw the moral and ethical line between a slave male and female slave.
The problem as per exodus 21: 2-11
Exodus 21 tackles a quite difficult topic of slavery as it applied in the days of the Israelites drawing a strict contradiction to the contemporary understanding of slavery. The chapter outlines the
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