The Hebrew Bible does not recognize slaves to be objects that can be bought and sold, but as persons capable of making choices and entitled to live their lives in freedom and liberty. If some Hebrew slaves were denied their rights as individuals, it was because some people in Israelite society failed to live by the ideals given to them by the God who redeemed them from their own slavery in Egypt.”

Dr. Claude Mariottini - Professor of Old Testament

Joseph-Being-Sold-Into-Slavery - Alexander Maximilian Seitz (1811-1888)

Image: Joseph Being Sold Into Slavery

Painter: Alexander Maximilian Seitz (1811-1888)

The origin of slavery has been lost in antiquity. The institution of slavery existed in the ancient Near East and it was practiced for millennia in many countries of the world. Most free societies today recognize that slavery is morally wrong. Although different forms of slavery can be found in some societies, slavery has been condemned as a violation of human rights and human dignity. However, societies that buy and sell human beings still exist in the twenty-first century. In an article dealing with slavery in the 21st century, Andrew Cockburn said that there are millions of people in slavery today.

Cockburn wrote that there are “27 million men, women, and children in the world who are enslaved—physically confined or restrained and forced to work, or controlled through violence, or in some way treated as property.” According to Cockburn…

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