Loading...

Slave, Slavery

SLAVE, SLAVERY (עֶ֫בֶד֒, H6269, δοῦλος, slave, servant). The ownership of one man by another man so that the former was viewed in most respects as property rather than as a person. It was a deeply rooted part of the economy and social structure of the ancient Near E and of the Graeco-Rom. world. Outline I. Slavery in the OT Slavery was a widespread practice in the ancient E during OT times. However, the number of slaves in Israel prob. did not run as high as in classical times. In Israel it was cheaper to hire laborers for work than to keep slaves. The use of slaves seems to have been largely confined to household duties and to work in the field alongside the master and his family. A. Literary sources. The OT legislation is recorded in Exodus 21, Leviticus 25, and Deuteronomy 15. There are numerous references to slaves throughout the OT. Extra-Biblical data on slavery among the Jews is limited to the Elephantine Papyri from the Egyp. colony of the 5th cent. b.c. The private and p