Intro- We are going to focus the majority of our attention on Chapter 21, and then offer some big picture applications we can make from the text.
Having slaves was a very common practice. However, slavery in this time is much different than slavery that we read about in our nation’s history.
Slaves were more like indentured servants.
When the slave reached the end of his alloted time, he could choose to remain a slave forever or go away as a free man.
Slavery was not something that was meant to be permanent.
7 “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. 8 If she does not please her master, who has designated her for 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. 9 If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter. 10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights. 11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.
Female slaves had a whole different set of laws.
Most female slaves were not just slaves. They were also taken in as wives. V. 8 - “Designated her for himself”
If the owner was not intending for her to be his wife, he could purchase her to be his son’s wife.
There were 3 things that every owner of female slaves had to provide for them. Food, clothing, marital rights.
Marital rights was a reference to “finer things” meaning, she could not be treated as the male servants were, she must be taken care of better than the rest.
There has always been, and likely always will be debates surrounding cultures that want to use “the death penalty” - However, It is fairly easy to see how God feels about it.
There are several items that God lists that are worthy of death in His eyes.
“Shall be put to death” - This was not permission, but a directive from God.
If you were guilty of any of the following, you were punished by death
intentionally killed someone (murder)
hit your parents
Stealing a man and selling (slave trade)
Buying a stolen man
curse your parents
Slaves were counted as more than mere property
There is a crucially important component of the way God views life that we would do a disservice to the text if we did not discuss it. V.23.
To ensure that slaves were treated properly God put punishments in place for any master who would physically abuse his slaves.
God holds men accountable. No excuses.
God continues laying out laws concerning restitution and social justice. many of these laws are repeated elsewhere in scripture.
Big Picture Applications:
God’s people are called to be fair
All throughout this text we see examples of God placing boundaries in the interest of dealing fairly with others.
23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
Are we a fair people?
God’s people have responsibility to the less fortunate.
We are called to respect our rulers
28 “You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.
God’s people are called to holiness
31 “You shall be consecrated to me. Therefore you shall not eat any flesh that is torn by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.
They were not allowed to eat the meat of animals torn in the field. They were called to not pollute themselves.
15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,