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The Law Concerning Slavery

39 ‘And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave. 40 As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee. 41 And then he shall depart from you—he and his children (A)with him—and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers. 42 For they are (B)My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves. 43 (C)You shall not rule over him (D)with [a]rigor, but you (E)shall fear your God. 44 And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have—from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. 45 Moreover you may buy (F)the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. 46 And (G)you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor.

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Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 25:43 severity

39 “‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves.(A) 40 They are to be treated as hired workers(B) 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(C) of their ancestors.(D) 42 Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt,(E) they must not be sold as slaves. 43 Do not rule over them ruthlessly,(F) but fear your God.(G)

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.

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