So several people in my feed have have claimed that the Bible espouses slavery as a good thing. And furthermore several people have asked me some good questions concerning this issue. So I will Biblically break down God’s thoughts on slavery.
Old testament: OK first of all the word slave or slavery does not appear in the King James Bible except in Jeremiah 2:14 and revelation 18:13. Both instanceshave no endorsement of it. Secondly no where in the Bible does it say that God supports slavery. The Bible uses the word servant or bond servant because our modern definition of slave and the biblical definition of “slave” are totally different. Today’s definition of slavery is someone who is captured or sold against their will to forcibly serve someone. In the old testament anyone caught kidnapping and selling a person into slavery or kidnapping and keeping a personwas to be put to death.
Exodus 21:16 “And he that stealth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.”
So this verse alone rules out modern definitions of slavery as practiced in early America.
So let’s get an understanding of ancient cultures. Unlike our modern welfare system, there was no fall back for people who could not provide a living for themselves. In ancient Israel people who could not provide for themselves or their families sold themselves or their family into servitude as bond servants so they would not die from starvation or exposure. This was a voluntary thing. Although there are rules about servatude it was always to protect the servant.
Punishment was allowed by masters to their servants. Though the death penalty was enforced if you killed your servant(Exodus 21:12) Exodus 21:20-21 “And if a man strike his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall surely be punished.  Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.” Punishment by whipping was acceptable for masters to their servants. Now remember these people voluntarily sold themselves to keep from dying. They were not however allowed to do serious harm to their servants, and if they did they had to release them with forgives of all debt. And at that point that person could sell themselves to someone else. Exodus 21:26-28 “And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eyes sake.  And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for tooth’s sake.” So clearly they could use physical punishment if needed but nothing serious or permanent.
The Masters were required to give their servants a day of rest. (Exodus 23:12)
You were not allowed to accuse/slander a servant. Proverbs 30:10
You were not allowed to commit formication with a bondservant, if you did you were scourged. So this obviously rules rape as unacceptable. (Leviticus 19:20)
You were not allowed to give back an escaped servant that came to you. So that way if there was serious abuse that servant could escape. Again laws to protect the servant. (Deuteronomy 23:15)
A Hebrew was not to force his fellow countrymen to be a bondservant even if he sold himself to him. He had to pay him as an hired servant. And he was required to release him after 7 years. (Leviticus 25:39-41)
The option was given to stay with his master if the servant so wished after the seven years were up. (Exodus 21:5)
Masters were encouraged to pamper their servants. (Proverbs 29:21)
Clearly the Bible does not condone 17th century American slavery. All these rules concerning servitude were made to protect the servant. And remember these were people who voluntarily sold themselves. I hope this clears this up that God does not condone slavery and did not condone the way America had slaves