What does Leviticus 25:44 mean in the bible?

Poster: STANCOBRIDGE | Date: 1:34pm, 14th Feb 2018. | Views: 78 | 1 Replies
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STANCOBRIDGE. Jalingo, Taraba
1:34pm, 14th Feb 2018.
This must be a question within a question, because the plain meaning is clear. Like any other legal system of the time, the Levitical laws (part of the so-called Holiness Collection) includes the regulation of slaves.

Slaves represented an important social class in every ancient culture, more or less analogous to the modern employer-employee distinction with its history of labour laws.

If efficiency is measured by wealth-maximization, it would be hard to maximize wealth without labor moving to its highest and best use. Slavery prevents this movement. (Chicago-Kent Law Review 71(1), 'Measuring the Value of Slaves and Free Persons in Ancient Law')
In the absence of an absolute and timeless law to which humanity could universally appeal, a constitutional law is the best expression of ethical behaviour anyone could hope for. There are some important differences, but our societies and economies still commodify people. There's no point pretending they don't.

Since the question is asked under Christianity - not under the Ancient Near East or even Judaism (whose interpretation of their own laws must surely be taken into account) - I might add one relevant historical detail that plays an important part in the deconstruction of chattel slavery.

The concept of human equality that a humanist might take for granted as a moral indicator, rests on the revolutionary concept of personhood: when to regard someone or something a human person.

Personhood is by no means self-evident.

Christianity is the first philosophical system to use the word "person" in its modern sense. The word "persona" was transformed from its theater use into a term with strict technical theological meaning by Tertullian in his work, De Trinitate ("On The Trinity"), in order to distinguish the three "persons" of the Trinity. Subsequently, Boethius refined the word to mean "an individual substance of a rational nature." This can be re-stated as "that which possesses an intellect and a will." Thus, the word "person" was originally a theological term created and defined by Christians to explain Christian theological concepts.
The concept obviously had to be developed further by theologically-inclined people such like Locke. In the ancient world, freedom (and authority over other people's freedom) was aspirational, because it literally determined your rights. Today, the highest aspiration is equality, because personhood has become more universally recognised (if not consistently upheld) and attached to justice and individual freedom. At least among people who believe the theory of it. The "evidence" still shows that some are obviously more equal than others, if not by virtue of indentured ownership any more, then according to geography, status, sex, gender, race, etc.).

Before someone wants to argue that the concept and implications of human personhood is intuitive, please consider just how problematic this very definition is in the abortion debate ("personhood now", etc.)

We are still arguing over essences, but the conversation has long since jumped the theological fence.

Yet it seems that in our post-enlightened state, we are still in no better position than any ancient society who decided who may or may not be regarded as fully human rather than utilitarian objects only fit for work, trade, sex and/or death.

People still do not regard each other as fully created in the image of God. Even if that's not an idea you accept, it is not hard to recognise that a unifying logic regarding justice and humanity is a necessary belief for the conclusion we would like everyone to be drawing. The more that people are included in that concept, the more people have access to the counter-intuitive, illogical and foolish notion of trinitarian personhood.

Arun Kumar
104w ago
Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person's social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics.

I do not think the verse specifically portrays to be a racist as the definition above describes the term. They did not view themselves to be special from others. They did not consider inferior and superior. Neither they were less intelligent or behave in different manner. If we see biblically, Israel was a Blessed and Prosperous nation with food and shelter available. Other nations and lands fell into famine, drought or economic collapse in some case. During these times, it was more feasible for a men//women to be as slave rather than to die of Starvation and hunger. To regulate how to deal with these situations was regulations employed.

All the laws applicable to Jews were applicable to every one living in Israel.

However, Jews were only allowed to Own Slaves from Gentile nations. Jew could never enslave a Jew. The passage here must be noted that God did not establish Slavery. He made laws to regulate and made it more humane.

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