What makes "Indentured Servitude" not slavery when speaking of Exodus 21?

Do employers have the right to beat their employees as much as they want as long as they don't die within a couple days just like slavery in the Bible had in Exodus 21:20?

13 Answers

  • if that was the agreement you entered into

    If I agree to work for you to pay off my debt, and then I lay around on my flabby but eating your food but giving nothing in return you get a beating

  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    atheist trolling ***************** ************************ **********************

  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    It doesn't.

  • Jeremy
    Lv 6
    1 year ago

    Exactly. I think a lot of Christians stick to the "it wasn't slavery, it was indentured servitude" line because they know it is immoral. And, having a supposedly perfect set of moral instructions from a supposedly perfectly moral all knowing being that supports an immoral act like slavery is more than a little problematic for their narrative.

    But, they tend not to dig any further. Indentured servitude is also immoral. It is still slavery. Indentured servants were still beaten. It is not like this is a good system, to place people into debt slavery. It is a problematic system prone to exploitation, well beneath any idyllic perfect morality.

    Furthermore, the bible sets up the rules for both indentured servitude and slavery. Hebrews could become indentured servants, but foreigners would remain slaves FOR LIFE and passed along as inherited property. The distinction between the two classes of slaves is outlined in Leviticus 25.

    Leviticus 25:39 ‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves. 40 They are to be treated as hired workers or temporary residents among you; they are to work for you until the Year of Jubilee. 41 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. 42 Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves. 43 Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God.

    44 ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    So, it supports BOTH indentured servants AND slaves.

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  • 1 year ago

    If this were 1853 Before the Christ, they might but the 10 commandments told us all we need to know.

  • Acetek
    Lv 4
    1 year ago

    Slavery is Slavery no matter how you try to justify it like @Jay tries.

    Why didn't your god just come out and say SLAVERY IS WRONG DON"T DO IT.

    Not even jesus came out against it

    Why I will tell you why. they liked having their slaves so when they invented their god they invented a god that was pro slavery

  • 1 year ago

    In those days it was impossible for some people to live. If you didn't own any sheep or cattle, or land, you couldn't just find a job on Craigslist. Your best bet was to go to work for someone who owned a farm or had flocks of sheep or a fishing boat or something. In other words, you were more or less a voluntary slave. This was not 'chattel slavery' as we had in the Southern US before the Civil war. Early laws on the treatment of slaves were like 'workers' rights' laws today. Beating slaves who were lazy or dishonest was allowed in those days but there was a limit.

    Indentured servitude was a whole different thing. It was really more of a 'contract labor' situation. There was a contract where an employer would pay your passage to the New World with the understanding that you would work for him for a number of years. After that you were a free person. But just as with slavery in ancient times, you did this because you couldn't find a job in Europe. There was a labor shortage in the New World, so if you had marketable skills and some gumption, you could do pretty well in the job market after you finished your indentured period.

  • 1 year ago


  • 1 year ago

    Slavery had a different meaning 3000 years ago. Slavery was a position in life like a caste system. Many opted for servitude just to survive. Conquered peoples had no choice.

    The Bibles use the words servitude and servant repeatedly..

    When Noah cursed Canaan in Genesis 9:25, he used the expression "Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren." The expression "servant of servants", otherwise translated "slave of slaves", emphasizes the degrees of servitude

    The Hebrew elite who wrote the OT certainly had slaves and vassals who had entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch.

    In Medieval Europe we had Feudalism which was structuring around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labor.

    Indentured Servitude in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries was responsible for 50% of the white European to book passage to the New World. It is still practiced today. The “Au Pair” is such a person.

    Then we had the kidnapping and rape of African people at the hands of Christian Bible Thumpers.


  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    only if they choose to sell themself to it

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