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Friday, June 22, 2018

Not turning in an escaped slave? Deuteronomy 23:15-16

Deuteronomy 23:15 You shall not deliver to his master a servant who is escaped from his master to you: 16 he shall dwell with you, in the midst of you, in the place which he shall choose within one of your gates, where it pleases him best: you shall not oppress him. (World English Bible, public domain.)

I was just using my read-the-Bible-through-in-a-year plan, and came across these two verses. I don't recall ever paying attention to them before, but the Bible is like that (or we are). This seems to be saying that an escaped slave, or servant, should not be returned to their master, but should be protected. All the English Bible translations, in the Blue Letter Bible, agreed with this. However, Jamieson's commentary on this passage indicates that it is speaking of Canaanite, not Israeli, slaves. Matthew Henry says that this is talking about slaves from foreign lands. Perhaps. But it's interesting, in any case. The passage doesn't seem to give any support for hunting escaped slaves with dogs and whips.

Thanks for reading.

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