Jump to: Smith'sATSISBEEaston'sWebster'sConcordanceThesaurusGreekHebrewLibrarySubtopicsTermsResources
Smith's Bible Dictionary

The institution of slavery was recognized, though not established, by the Mosaic law with a view to mitigate its hardship and to secure to every man his ordinary rights. I. Hebrew slaves. --

  1. The circumstances under which a Hebrew might be reduced to servitude were-- (1) poverty; (2) the commission of theft; and (3) the exercise of paternal authority. In the first case, a man who had mortgaged his property, and was unable to support his family, might sell himself to another Hebrew, with a view both to obtain maintenance and perchance a surplus sufficient to redeem his property. (Leviticus 25:25,39) (2) The commission of theft rendered a person liable to servitude whenever restitution could not be made on the scale prescribed by the law. (Exodus 22:1,3) The thief was bound to work out the value of his restitution money in the service of him on whom the theft had been committed. (3) The exercise of paternal authority was limited to the sale of a daughter of tender age to be a maidservant, with the ulterior view of her becoming the concubine of the purchaser. (Exodus 21:7)
  2. The servitude of a Hebrew might be terminated in three ways: (1) by the satisfaction or the remission of all claims against him; (2) by the recurrence of the year of jubilee, (Leviticus 25:40) and (3) the expiration of six years from the time that his servitude commenced. (Exodus 21:2; 15:12) (4) To the above modes of obtaining liberty the rabbinists added, as a fourth, the death of the master without leaving a son, there being no power of claiming the salve on the part of any heir except a son. If a servant did not desire to avail himself of the opportunity of leaving his service, he was to signify his intention in a formal manner before the judges (or more exactly at the place of judgment), and then the master was to take him to the door-post, and to bore his ear through with an awl, (Exodus 21:6) driving the awl into or "unto the door," as stated in (15:17) and thus fixing the servant to it. A servant who had submitted to this operation remained, according to the words of the law, a servant "forever." (Exodus 21:6) These words are however, interpreted by Josephus and by the rabbinsts as meaning until the year of jubilee.
  3. The condition of a Hebrew servant was by no means intolerable. His master was admonished to treat him, not "as a bond-servant, but as an hired servant and as a sojourner," and, again, "not to rule over him with rigor." (Leviticus 25:39,40,43) At the termination of his servitude the master was enjoined not to "let him go away empty," but to remunerate him liberally out of his flock, his floor and his wine-press. (15:13,14) In the event of a Hebrew becoming the servant of a "stranger," meaning a non-Hebrew, the servitude could be terminated only in two ways, viz. by the arrival of the year of jubilee, or by the repayment to the master of the purchase money paid for the servant, after deducting a sum for the value of his services proportioned to the length of his servitude. (Leviticus 25:47-55) A Hebrew woman might enter into voluntary servitude on the score of poverty, and in this case she was entitled to her freedom after six years service, together with her usual gratuity at leaving, just as in the case of a man. (15:12,13) Thus far we have seen little that is objectionable in the condition of Hebrew servants. In respect to marriage there were some peculiarities which, to our ideas, would be regarded as hardships. A master might, for instance, give a wife to a Hebrew servant for the time of his servitude, the wife being in this case, it must be remarked, not only a slave but a non-Hebrew. Should he leave when his term had expired, his wife and children would remain the absolute property of the master. (Exodus 21:4,5) Again, a father might sell his young daughter to a Hebrew, with a view either of marrying her himself or of giving her to his son. (Exodus 21:7-9) It diminishes the apparent harshness of this proceeding if we look on the purchase money as in the light of a dowry given, as was not unusual, to the parents of the bride; still more, if we accept the rabbinical view that the consent of the maid was required before the marriage could take place. The position of a maiden thus sold by her father was subject to the following regulations: (1) She could not "go out as the men-servants do," i.e. she could not leave at the termination of six years, or in the year of jubilee, if her master was willing to fulfill the object for which he had purchased her. (2) Should he not wish to marry her, he should call upon her friends to procure her release by the repayment of the purchase money. (3) If he betrothed her to his son, he was bound to make such provision for her as he would for one of his own daughters. (4) If either he or his son, having married her, took a second wife, it should not be to the prejudice of the first. (5) If neither of the three first specified alternatives took place, the maid was entitled to immediate and gratuitous liberty. (Exodus 21:7-11) The custom of reducing Hebrews to servitude appears to have fallen into disuse subsequent to the Babylonish captivity. Vast numbers of Hebrews were reduced to slavery as war-captives at different periods by the Phoenicians, (Joel 3:6) the Philistines, (Joel 3:6; Amos 1:6), the Syrians, 1 Macc. 3:42; 2 Macc. 8:11, the Egyptians, Joseph Ant. xii. 2,3, and above all by the Romans. Joseph. B.C. vi. 9,3. II. Non-Hebrew slaves. --
  4. The majority of non-Hebrew slaves were war-captives, either of the Canaanites who had survived the general extermination of their race under Joshua or such as were conquered from the other surrounding nations. (Numbers 31:26) ff. Besides these, many were obtained by purchase from foreign slave-dealers, (Leviticus 25:44,45) and others may have been resident foreigners who were reduced to this state by either poverty or crime. The children of slaves remained slaves, being the class described as "born in the house," (Genesis 14:14; 17:12; Ecclesiastes 2:7) and hence the number was likely to increase as time went on. The average value of a slave appears to have been thirty shekels. (Exodus 21:32)
  5. That the slave might be manumitted appears from (Exodus 21:26,27; Leviticus 19:20)
  6. The slave is described as the "possession" of his master, apparently with a special reference to the power which the latter had of disposing of him to his heirs, as he would any other article of personal property. (Leviticus 25:45,46) But, on the other hand, provision was made for the protection of his person. (Exodus 21:20; Leviticus 24:17,22) A minor personal injury, such as the loss of an eye or a tooth, was to be recompensed by giving the servant his liberty. (Exodus 21:26,27) The position of the slave in regard to religious privileges was favorable. He was to be circumcised, (Genesis 17:12) and hence was entitled to partake of the paschal sacrifice, (Exodus 12:44) as well as of the other religious festivals. (12:12,18; 16:11,14) The occupations of slaves were of a menial character, as implied in (Leviticus 25:39) consisting partly in the work of the house and partly in personal attendance on the master. It will be seen that the whole tendency of the Bible legislation was to mitigate slavery, making it little than hired service, and to abolish it, as indeed it was practically abolished among the Jews six hundred years before Christ.
ATS Bible Dictionary

Jeremiah 2:14; Revelation 18:13. See SERVANT.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Jeremiah 2:14 (A.V.), but not there found in the original. In Revelation 18:13 the word "slaves" is the rendering of a Greek word meaning "bodies." The Hebrew and Greek words for slave are usually rendered simply "servant," "bondman," or "bondservant." Slavery as it existed under the Mosaic law has no modern parallel. That law did not originate but only regulated the already existing custom of slavery (Exodus 21:20, 21, 26, 27; Leviticus 25:44-46; Joshua 9:6-27). The gospel in its spirit and genius is hostile to slavery in every form, which under its influence is gradually disappearing from among men.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) See Slav.

2. (n.) A person who is held in bondage to another; one who is wholly subject to the will of another; one who is held as a chattel; one who has no freedom of action, but whose person and services are wholly under the control of another.

3. (n.) One who has lost the power of resistance; one who surrenders himself to any power whatever; as, a slave to passion, to lust, to strong drink, to ambition.

4. (n.) A drudge; one who labors like a slave.

5. (n.) An abject person; a wretch.

6. (v. i.) To drudge; to toil; to labor as a slave.

7. (v. t.) To enslave.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

slav, slav'-er-i:

1. Acquiring of Slaves

2. Hebrews as War Captives

3. Freedom of Slaves

4. Rights of Slaves

5. Rights of Slave Masters

6. The New Testament Conception


The origin of the term "slave" is traced to the German sklave, meaning a captive of the Slavonic race who had been forced into servitude (compare Slav); French esclave, Dutch slaaf, Swedish slaf, Spanish esclavo. The word "slave" occurs only in Jeremiah 2:14 and in Revelation 18:13, where it is suggested by the context and not expressed in the original languages (Hebrew yelidh bayith, "one born in the house"; Greek soma, "body"). However, the Hebrew word `ebhedh, in the Old Testament and the Greek word doulos, in the New Testament more properly might have been translated "slave" instead of "servant" or "bondservant," understanding though that the slavery of Judaism was not the cruel system of Greece, Rome, and later nations. The prime thought is service; the servant may render free service, the slave, obligatory, restricted service.

Scripture statement rather than philological study must form the basis of this article. We shall notice how slaves could be secured, sold and redeemed; also their rights and their masters' rights, confining the study to Old Testament Scripture, noting in conclusion the New Testament conception. The word "slave" in this article refers to the Hebrew slave unless otherwise designated.

1. Acquiring of Slaves:

Slaves might be acquired in the following ways, namely:

(1) Bought.

There are many instances of buying slaves (Leviticus 25:39). Hebrew slavery broke into the ranks of every human relationship: a father could sell his daughter (Exodus 21:7 Nehemiah 5:5); a widow's children might be sold to pay their father's debt (2 Kings 4:1); a man could sell himself (Leviticus 25:39, 47); a woman could sell herself (Deuteronomy 15:12, 13, 17), etc. Prices paid were somewhat indefinite. According to Exodus 21:32 thirty shekels was a standard price, but Leviticus 27:3-7 gives a scale of from 3 to 50 shekels according to age and sex, with a provision for an appeal to the priest in case of uncertainty (27:8). Twenty shekels is the price set for a young man (27:5), and this corresponds with the sum paid for Joseph (Genesis 37:28).

But in 2 Maccabees 8:11 the price on the average is 90 for a talent, i.e. 40 shekels each. The ransom of an entire talent for a single man (1 Kings 20:39) means that unusual value (far more than that of a slave) was set on this particular captive.

There were certain limitations on the right of sale (Exodus 21:7).

(2) Exchange.

Slaves, i.e. non-Hebrew slaves, might be traded for other slaves, cattle, or provisions.

(3) Satisfaction of Debt.

It is probable that a debtor, reduced to extremity, could offer himself in payment of his debt (Leviticus 25:39), though this was forbidden in the Torath Kohanim; compare 'Otsar Yisra'el, vii.292b. That a creditor could sell into slavery a debtor or any of his family, or make them his own slaves, has some foundation in the statement of the poor widow whose pathetic cry reached the ears of the prophet Elisha: "Thy servant my husband is dead;.... and the creditor is come to take unto him my two children to be bondsmen" (2 Kings 4:1).

(4) Gift.

The non-Hebrew slave, and possibly the Hebrew slave, could be acquired as a gift (Genesis 29:24).

(5) Inheritance.

Children could inherit non-Hebrew slaves as their own possessions (Leviticus 25:46).

(6) Voluntary Surrender.

In the case of a slave's release in the seventh year there was allowed a willing choice of indefinite slavery. The ceremony at such a time is interesting: "Then his master shall bring him unto the judges (margin), and shall bring him to the door, or unto the door-post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever" (Exodus 21:6). A pierced ear probably meant obedience to the master's voice. History, however, does not record a single instance in which such a case occurred.

(7) Arrest.

"If the thief be found breaking in,.... he shall make restitution: if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft" (Exodus 22:2, 3).

(8) Birth.

The children of slaves, born within the master's house of a wife given to the slave there, became slaves, and could be held, even if the father went free (Exodus 21:4; compare Leviticus 25:54).

(9) Capture in War.

Thousands of men, women and children were taken in war as captives and reduced, sometimes, to most menial slavery. Such slavery, however, was more humane than wholesale butchery according to the customs of earlier times (Numbers 31:7-35). Males were usually slain and females kept for slavery and concubinage (Deuteronomy 21:10, 11, 14). Captive slaves and bought slaves, "from nations round about," forced moral ruin into Israel's early civilization.

See SIEGE, 3.

The two principal sources of slave supply were poverty in peace and plunder in war.

2. Hebrews as War Captives:

The Hebrews themselves were held as captive slaves at various times by

(1) Phoenicians (the greatest slave traders of ancient times),

(2) Philistines,

(3) Syrians (2 Kings 5:2),

(4) Egyptians, and

(5) Romans.

There must have been thousands subjected to severest slavery.


3. Freedom of Slaves:

The freedom of slaves was possible in the following ways:

(1) By Redemption.

Manumission by redemption was common among the Hebrews. The slave's freedom might be bought, the price depending on

(a) the nearness to the seventh year or the Jubilee year,

(b) the first purchase price, and

(c) personal considerations as to age and ability of the one in bondage.

A slave could be redeemed as follows:

(a) by himself,

(b) by his uncle,

(c) by his nephew or cousin,

(d) or by any near relative (Leviticus 25:48-55).

The price depended on certain conditions as indicated above.

(2) By the Lapse of Time.

The seventh year of service brought release from bondage. "If thou buy a Hebrew servant (margin "bondman"), six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing" (Exodus 21:2-4).

(3) By the Law of the Jubilee Year.

The year of Jubilee was the great year when slaves were no longer slaves but free. "He shall serve with thee unto the year of jubilee: then shall he go out from thee, he and his children.... return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers" (Leviticus 25:40 f).

(4) By Injury.

A servant whose master maimed him (or her), in particular by causing the loss of an eye or even a tooth, was thereby freed (Exodus 21:26 f).

(5) By Escape.

(Deuteronomy 23:15 1 Kings 2:39). See "Code of Hammurabi" in HDB (extra vol, p. 600) and compare Philemon 1:12;.

(6) By Indifference.

In case of a certain kind of female slave, the neglect or displeasure of her master in itself gave her the right to freedom (Exodus 21:7-11 Deuteronomy 21:14).

(7) By Restitution.

A caught thief, having become a bondsman, after making full restitution by his service as a slave, was set at liberty (Exodus 22:1-4).

(8) By the Master's Death.

"And Abram said,.... I go childless, and he that shall be possessor of my house is Eliezer of Damascus.... and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir" (Genesis 15:2 f). This passage has been mistakenly supposed to indicate that a master without children might give freedom to a slave by constituting the slave an heir to his possessions. But on the contrary, Abram seems to contemplate with horror the possibility that Eliezer will take possession of his goods in the absence of an heir. In view of the fact that adoption, the adrogatio of the Roman law, was unknown both to Biblical and Talmudic law (see Jewish Encyclopedia, under the word), the statement in Genesis 15:2 does not seem to indicate any such custom as the adoption of slaves. If any method of emancipation is here suggested, it is by the death of the master without heir, a method thoroughly discussed in the Talmud (mithath ha-'adhon).

(9) By Direct Command of Yahweh.

"The word that came unto Jeremiah from Yahweh,.... that every man should let his man-servant, and.... his maid-servant, that is a Hebrew or a Hebrewess, go free; that none should make bondsmen of them.... they obeyed, and let them go" (Jeremiah 34:8-10).

The nine methods here enumerated may be classified thus:

A. By operation of law:

1. By lapse of time.

(a) After serving six years or other contractual period. See (2) above.

(b) Upon the approach of the Jubilee year. See (3) above.

2. By death of the master without heirs. See (8) above.

B. By act of the parties:

1. By an act of the master.

(a) Voluntary manumission, including (9) above.

(b) Indifference in certain cases. See (6) above.

(c) Maiming servant. See (4) above.

2. By act of the servant.

(a) Redemption. See (1) above.

(b) Restitution. See (7) above.

(c) Escape. See (5) above.

3. By act of a third party.

Redemption-(1) above.

4. Rights of Slaves:

As noted in the beginning of this article, the Hebrew slaves fared far better than the Grecian, Roman and other slaves of later years. In general, the treatment they received and the rights they could claim made their lot reasonably good. Of course a slave was a slave, and there were masters who disobeyed God and even abused their "brothers in bonds." As usual the unfortunate female slave got the full measure of inhuman cruelty. Certain rights were discretionary, it is true, but many Hebrew slaves enjoyed valuable individual and social privileges. As far as Scripture statements throw light on this subject, the slaves of Old Testament times might claim the following rights, namely:

(1) Freedom.

Freedom might be gained in any one of the above-mentioned ways or at the master's will. The non-Hebrew could be held as a slave in perpetuity (Leviticus 25:44-46).

(2) Good Treatment.

"Thou shalt not rule over him (Hebrew slave) with rigor, but shalt fear thy God..... Ye shall not rule, one over another, with rigor" (Leviticus 25:43, 46). The non-Hebrew seemed to be left unprotected.

(3) Justice.

An ancient writer raises the query of fairness to slaves. "If I have despised the cause of my man-servant or of my maid-servant, when they contended with me; what then shall I do when God riseth up?" (Job 31:13 f). No doubt the true Hebrew master was considerate of the rights of his slaves. The very fact, however, that the Hebrew master could punish a Hebrew slave, "to within an inch of his life," gave ready opportunity for sham justice. "And if a man smite his servant, or his maid ("bondman or bondwoman"), 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" (Exodus 21:20 f).

(4) Family.

The slave before his release might have his wife and children (Exodus 21:5).

(5) Voluntary Slavery.

Even when the seventh year came, the slave had a right to pledge himself, with awl-pierced ear, to perpetual service for his master (Exodus 21:5 Deuteronomy 15:16). The traditional interpretation of "forever" in these passages is "until the next Jubilee year" (compare Kiddushin 21).

(6) Money or Property.

Some cases at least indicate that slaves could have money of their own. Thus, if a poor slave "waxed rich" he could redeem himself (Leviticus 25:49). Compare 1 Samuel 9:5-10, where, however, the Hebrew throughout calls the "servant" na`ar, "a youth," never `ebhedh.

(7) Children.

If married when free, the slave could take wife and children with him when freedom came, but if he was married after becoming a slave, his wife and children must remain in possession of his master. This law led him often into perpetual slavery (Exodus 21:3 f).

(8) Elevation.

A chance to rise was allowable in some instances, e.g. Eliezer, a foreign slave in a Hebrew household, and Joseph, a Hebrew slave in a foreign household. Each rose to a place of honor and usefulness (Genesis 15:2; Genesis 39:4).

(9) Religious Worship.

After being circumcised, slaves were allowed to participate in the paschal sacrifice (Exodus 12:44) and other religious occasions (Deuteronomy 12:12).

(10) Gifts.

Upon obtaining freedom, slaves, at the discretion of masters, were given supplies of cattle, grain and wine (Deuteronomy 15:13 f).

5. Rights of Slave Masters:

The rights of a slave master may briefly be stated as follows:

(1) to hold as chattel possession his non-Hebrew slaves (Leviticus 25:45);

(2) to leave such slaves as an inheritance for his children (Leviticus 25:46);

(3) to hold as his own property the wife and children of all slaves who were unmarried at the time they became slaves (Exodus 21:4);

(4) to pursue and recover runaway slaves (1 Kings 2:39-41);

(5) to grant freedom at any time to any slave. This is implied rather than stated. Emancipation other than at the Sabbatical and Jubilee years was evidently the right of masters;

(6) to circumcise slaves, both Jew and Gentile, within his own household (Genesis 17:13, 23, 27);

(7) to sell, give away, or trade slaves (Genesis 29:24. According to Torath Kohanim a Hebrew servant could be sold only under certain restrictions. See 1, (1));

(8) to chastise male and female slaves, though not unto death (Exodus 21:20);

(9) to marry a slave himself, or give his female slaves in marriage to others (1 Chronicles 2:35);

(10) to marry a daughter to a slave (1 Chronicles 2:34 f);

(11) to purchase slaves in foreign markets (Leviticus 25:44);

(12) to keep, though not as a slave, the runaway slave from a foreign master (Deuteronomy 23:15, 16. See 3, (5));

(13) to enslave or sell a caught thief (Genesis 44:8-33 Exodus 22:3);

(14) to hold, in perpetuity, non-Hebrew slaves (Leviticus 25:46);

(15) to seek advice of slaves (1 Samuel 25:14;; but the reference here is open to doubt. See 4, (6));

(16) to demand service (Genesis 14:14; Genesis 24).

Throughout Old Testament times the rights of both slaves and masters varied, but in general the above may be called the accepted code. In later times Zedekiah covenanted with the Hebrews never again to enslave their own brothers, but they broke the covenant (Jeremiah 34:8).

6. The New Testament Conception:

There were slaves during New Testament times. The church issued no edict sweeping away this custom of the old Judaism, but the gospel of Christ with its warm, penetrating love-message mitigated the harshness of ancient times and melted cruelty into kindness. The equality, justice and love of Christ's teachings changed the whole attitude of man to man and master to servant. This spirit of brotherhood quickened the conscience of the age, leaped the walls of Judaism, and penetrated the remotest regions. The great apostle proclaimed this truth: "There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free,.... ye all are one man in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). The Christian slaves and masters are both exhorted in Paul's letters to live godly lives and make Christ-like their relations one to the other-obedience to masters and forbearance with slaves. "Bondservants (m), be obedient unto.... your masters,.... as bondservants (m) of Christ.... And, ye masters.... forbear threatening:.... their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no respect of persons with him" (Ephesians 6:5-9).

Christ was a reformer, but not an anarchist. His gospel was dynamic but not dynamitic. It was leaven, electric with power, but permeated with love. Christ's life and teaching were against Judaistic slavery, Roman slavery and any form of human slavery. The love of His gospel and the light of His life were destined, in time, to make human emancipation earth-wide and human brotherhood as universal as His own benign presence.


Nowack, Hebrew Arch.; Ewald, Alterthumer, III, 280-88; Grunfeld, Die Stellung des Sklaven bei den Juden, nach bibl. und talmud. Quellen, 1886; Mielziner, Die Verhaltnisse der Sklaven bei den alter Hebrdern, 1859; Mandl, Das Sklavenrecht des Altes Testament, 1886; Kahn, L'esclavagedans la Bible et le Talmud, 1867; Sayce, Social Life among the Assyrians and Babylonians; Lane, Manners and Customs of Modern Egyptians, 205; Arabian Nights, I, 64;; Thomson, LB; McCurdy, HPM, 1894; Trumbull, Studies in Oriental Social Life, 1894. There is a wealth of material in the Talmudic tractate Kiddushin (pp. 17-22).

William Edward Raffety

1401. doulos -- a slave
... a slave. Part of Speech: Adjective; Noun, Feminine; Noun, Masculine Transliteration:
doulos Phonetic Spelling: (doo'-los) Short Definition: a male slave ...
// - 7k

1399. doule -- female slave, bondmaid.
... 1398, 1399. doule. 1400 . female slave, bondmaid. ... Word Origin fem. of doulos
Definition female slave, bondmaid. female slave, bondwoman ...
// - 6k

1398. douleuo -- to be a slave, to serve
... to be a slave, to serve. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: douleuo Phonetic
Spelling: (dool-yoo'-o) Short Definition: I am a slave, am subject to, obey ...
// - 8k

405. andrapodistes -- a slave dealer
... a slave dealer. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: andrapodistes Phonetic
Spelling: (an-drap-od-is-tace') Short Definition: an enslaver, a ...
// - 6k

1658. eleutheros -- free, ie not a slave or not under restraint
... free, ie not a slave or not under restraint. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration:
eleutheros Phonetic Spelling: (el-yoo'-ther-os) Short Definition: free ...
// - 7k

3124. Malchos -- Malchus, a slave of the high priest
... Malchus, a slave of the high priest. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration:
Malchos Phonetic Spelling: (mal'-khos) Short Definition: Malchus Definition ...
// - 6k

4889. sundoulos -- a fellow servant
... Masculine Transliteration: sundoulos Phonetic Spelling: (soon'-doo-los) Short
Definition: a fellow servant, colleague Definition: a fellow slave, fellow servant ...
// - 7k

3814. paidiske -- a young girl, maidservant
... maidservant. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: paidiske Phonetic Spelling:
(pahee-dis'-kay) Short Definition: a female slave, maidservant, maid. ...
// - 6k

1396. doulagogeo -- to enslave, fig. subdue
... Transliteration: doulagogeo Phonetic Spelling: (doo-lag-ogue-eh'-o) Short Definition:
I enslave Definition: I bring into subjection, enslave, treat as a slave. ...
// - 7k

3816. pais -- a child, boy, youth
... Transliteration: pais Phonetic Spelling: (paheece) Short Definition: a boy or girl
child Definition: (a) a male child, boy, (b) a male slave, servant; thus: a ...
// - 7k

Strong's Hebrew
5650. ebed -- slave, servant
... 5649, 5650. ebed. 5651 . slave, servant. Transliteration: ebed Phonetic
Spelling: (eh'-bed) Short Definition: servants. Word Origin ...
/hebrew/5650.htm - 6k

5649. abad -- slave, servant
... 5648, 5649. abad. 5650 . slave, servant. Transliteration: abad Phonetic
Spelling: (ab-bad') Short Definition: servants. Word Origin ...
/hebrew/5649.htm - 6k

3398. Yarcha -- an Eg. slave
... 3397, 3398. Yarcha. 3399 . an Eg. slave. Transliteration: Yarcha Phonetic Spelling:
(yar-khaw') Short Definition: Jarha. ... slave NASB Word Usage Jarha (2). Jarha ...
/hebrew/3398.htm - 5k

519. amah -- a maid, handmaid
... Word Origin of uncertain derivation Definition a maid, handmaid NASB Word Usage
female (15), female servant (4), female slave (2), handmaid (2), handmaids (1 ...
/hebrew/519.htm - 6k

8198. shiphchah -- maid, maidservant
... NASB Word Usage female (9), female servant (3), female servants (5), maid (20),
maids (5), maidservant (15), maidservants (1), servants* (6), slave (1), slave ...
/hebrew/8198.htm - 6k

5647. abad -- to work, serve
... 2), manufacturers (1), observe (1), perform (9), performed (2), plowed (1), rendered
(1), serve (141), served (52), serves (2), serving (5), slave (1), slaves ...
/hebrew/5647.htm - 6k

5315. nephesh -- a soul, living being, life, self, person, desire ...
... 1), ones (1), others (1), ourselves (3), own (1), passion* (1), people (2), people*
(1), perfume* (1), person (68), person* (1), persons (19), slave (1), some ...
/hebrew/5315.htm - 7k


Free Will --A Slave
... Free Will"A Slave. A Sermon (No.52). Delivered on Sabbath Morning, December 2, 1855,
by the. REV. CH SPURGEON. At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark. ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 1 1855/free willa slave.htm

The Slave's Girdle
... THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER THE SLAVE'S GIRDLE. '... Be clothed with humility ...
It was a part of a slave's uniform. Some scholars think that ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture ephesians peter/the slaves girdle.htm

Prayer for the Slave.
... PHILANTHROPIC SUBJECTS. 801. " Prayer for the Slave. 801. 8s. & 7s. M.
Mrs. Livermore. Prayer for the Slave. 1 Father, who of ...
/.../adams/hymns for christian devotion/801 prayer for the.htm

Whether a Slave Can Marry Without his Master's Consent?
marry without his master's consent? ... Now a slave is his master's chattel. ...
// theologica/whether a slave can marry.htm

Buying a Slave Girl
... BUYING A SLAVE GIRL. It is impossible ... the slave states. The passage of the fugitive
slave law (September, 1850) was but fuel to the flame. ...
/.../griswold/sixty years with plymouth church/buying a slave girl.htm

Joseph Sold as a Slave by his Brothers
seventeen years old, he and his brothers were shepherds ...
// childrens bible/joseph sold as a slave.htm

A Slave Girl who Helped Her Master
of the army of the king of Aram, was a man who was beloved ...
/...// childrens bible/a slave girl who helped.htm

Healing of the Heathen Centurion's Slave at Capernaum. --The ...
... Healing of the Heathen Centurion's Slave at Capernaum. ... His love and care for a faithful
slave [419] shows how his piety had influenced his character. ...
/.../section 160 healing of the.htm

Why, O Plato, do You in the Meno Put to a Young Slave Certain ...
... Book II. 24 Why, O Plato, do you in the Meno put to a young slave certain
questions? Why, O Plato, do you in the Meno [3561] put ...
/.../arnobius/the seven books of arnobius against the heathen/24 why o plato do.htm

If any one Shall Teach a Slave, under Pretext of Piety...
... Canon III. If any one shall teach a slave, under pretext of piety? ... Anathema to him
who persuades a slave to leave his master under pretence of religion. ...
/.../schaff/the seven ecumenical councils/canon iii if any one.htm

Slave (148 Occurrences)
... In Revelation 18:13 the word "slaves" is the rendering of a Greek word meaning
"bodies." The Hebrew and Greek words for slave are usually rendered simply ...
/s/slave.htm - 54k

Slave-girl (6 Occurrences)
Slave-girl. Slave-dealers, Slave-girl. Slave-girl's . Multi-Version
Concordance Slave-girl (6 Occurrences). John 18:17 Then the ...
/s/slave-girl.htm - 8k

Tutor-slave (2 Occurrences)
Tutor-slave. Tutors, Tutor-slave. Twain . Multi-Version Concordance
Tutor-slave (2 Occurrences). Galatians 3:24 So that ...
/t/tutor-slave.htm - 6k

Slave's (2 Occurrences)
...Slave's (2 Occurrences). ... Leviticus 25:39 "'If your brother has grown poor among you,
and sells himself to you; you shall not make him to serve as a slave. ...
/s/slave's.htm - 6k

Slave-traders (1 Occurrence)
Slave-traders. Slave's, Slave-traders. Slaving . Multi-Version
Concordance Slave-traders (1 Occurrence). 1 Timothy 1 ...
/s/slave-traders.htm - 6k

Slave-dealers (1 Occurrence)
Slave-dealers. Slave, Slave-dealers. Slave-girl . Multi-Version Concordance
Slave-dealers (1 Occurrence). 1 Timothy 1:10 fornicators ...
/s/slave-dealers.htm - 6k

Slave-girl's (1 Occurrence)
Slave-girl's. Slave-girl, Slave-girl's. Slavery . Multi-Version
Concordance Slave-girl's (1 Occurrence). Galatians 4 ...
/s/slave-girl's.htm - 6k

Onesimus (2 Occurrences)
... Useful, a slave who, after robbing his master Philemon (qv) at Colosse, fled to
Rome, where he was converted by the apostle Paul, who sent him back to his ...
/o/onesimus.htm - 12k

Bore (221 Occurrences)
... BORE. bor: According to the Book of the Covenant (Exodus 20:20-23:33) a slave whom
his master had purchased was to be released after six years. ...
/b/bore.htm - 38k

Bondmaid (18 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary (n.) A female slave, or one bound to service without wages,
as distinguished from a hired servant. Int. ... It means a slave girl. ...
/b/bondmaid.htm - 13k

Why does the Bible allow slave owners to beat their slaves? |

What does it mean to be a slave to sin? |

Summary of the Book of Philemon - Bible Survey |

Slave: Dictionary and Thesaurus |

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Slave (148 Occurrences)

Matthew 8:9
For I myself am also under authority, and have soldiers under me. To one I say 'Go,' and he goes, to another 'Come,' and he comes, and to my slave 'Do this or that,' and he does it."

Matthew 10:24
"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his lord.
(See NAS)

Matthew 10:25
Enough for the learner to be on a level with his teacher, and for the servant to be on a level with his master. If they have called the master of the house Baal-zebul, how much more will they slander his servants?
(See NAS)

Matthew 18:26
The servant therefore fell down and kneeled before him, saying,'Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you all!'
(See NAS)

Matthew 18:27
The lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
(See NAS)

Matthew 18:28
"But that servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, who owed him one hundred denarii, and he grabbed him, and took him by the throat, saying,'Pay me what you owe!'
(See NAS)

Matthew 18:29
"So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying,'Have patience with me, and I will repay you!'
(See NAS)

Matthew 18:32
Then his lord called him in, and said to him,'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me.
(See NAS)

Matthew 18:33
Shouldn't you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?'
(See NAS)

Matthew 20:27
Whoever desires to be first among you shall be your bondservant,

Matthew 24:45
"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has set over his household, to give them their food in due season?
(See NAS)

Matthew 24:46
Blessed is that servant whom his lord finds doing so when he comes.
(See NAS)

Matthew 24:48
But if that evil servant should say in his heart,'My lord is delaying his coming,'
(See NAS)

Matthew 24:50
the lord of that servant will come in a day when he doesn't expect it, and in an hour when he doesn't know it,
(See NAS)

Matthew 25:21
"His lord said to him,'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
(See NAS)

Matthew 25:23
"His lord said to him,'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
(See NAS)

Matthew 25:26
"But his lord answered him,'You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn't sow, and gather where I didn't scatter.
(See NAS)

Matthew 25:30
Throw out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
(See NAS)

Matthew 26:51
Behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear.

Mark 10:44
Whoever of you wants to become first among you, shall be bondservant of all.

Mark 12:2
When it was time, he sent a servant to the farmer to get from the farmer his share of the fruit of the vineyard.
(See NAS)

Mark 12:4
Again, he sent another servant to them; and they threw stones at him, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated.
(See NAS)

Mark 14:47
But a certain one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

Luke 7:2
A certain centurion's servant, who was dear to him, was sick and at the point of death.

Luke 7:3
When he heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and save his servant.

Luke 7:8
For I too am a man obedient to authority, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this or that,' and he does it."

Luke 7:10
Those who were sent, returning to the house, found that the servant who had been sick was well.

Luke 12:43
Blessed is that servant whom his lord will find doing so when he comes.
(See NAS)

Luke 12:45
But if that servant says in his heart,'My lord delays his coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken,
(See NAS)

Luke 12:46
then the lord of that servant will come in a day when he isn't expecting him, and in an hour that he doesn't know, and will cut him in two, and place his portion with the unfaithful.
(See NAS)

Luke 12:47
That servant, who knew his lord's will, and didn't prepare, nor do what he wanted, will be beaten with many stripes,
(See NAS)

Luke 14:17
He sent out his servant at supper time to tell those who were invited,'Come, for everything is ready now.'
(See NAS)

Luke 14:22
"The servant said,'Lord, it is done as you commanded, and there is still room.'
(See NAS)

Luke 14:23
"The lord said to the servant,'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
(See NAS)

Luke 17:7
But who is there among you, having a servant plowing or keeping sheep, that will say, when he comes in from the field,'Come immediately and sit down at the table,'
(See NAS)

Luke 17:9
Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded? I think not.
(See NAS)

Luke 19:17
"He said to him,'Well done, you good servant! Because you were found faithful with very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.'
(See NAS)

Luke 19:22
"He said to him,'Out of your own mouth will I judge you, you wicked servant! You knew that I am an exacting man, taking up that which I didn't lay down, and reaping that which I didn't sow.
(See NAS)

Luke 20:10
At the proper season, he sent a servant to the farmers to collect his share of the fruit of the vineyard. But the farmers beat him, and sent him away empty.
(See NAS)

Luke 20:11
He sent yet another servant, and they also beat him, and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.
(See NAS)

Luke 22:50
A certain one of them struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.

John 8:34
"In most solemn truth I tell you," replied Jesus, "that every one who commits sin is the slave of sin.

John 8:35
Now a slave does not remain permanently in his master's house, but a son does.

John 13:16
Most certainly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, neither one who is sent greater than he who sent him.
(See NAS)

John 15:15
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn't know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you.
(See NAS)

John 15:20
Remember the word that I said to you:'A servant is not greater than his lord.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will keep yours also.
(See NAS)

John 18:10
Simon Peter therefore, having a sword, drew it, and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.

Acts 7:9
"The Patriarchs were jealous of Joseph and sold him into slavery in Egypt. But God was with him
(Root in WEY NIV)

Acts 16:16
One day, as we were on our way to the place of prayer, a slave girl met us who claimed to be inspired and was accustomed to bring her owners large profits by telling fortunes.

Acts 16:19
But when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas, and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers.
(See NIV)

Romans 7:14
For we know that the Law is a spiritual thing; but I am unspiritual--the slave, bought and sold, of sin.

Romans 7:25
I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! So then with the mind, I myself serve God's law, but with the flesh, the sin's law.
(See NIV)

Romans 8:15
For you didn't receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, " Abba! Father!"

1 Corinthians 6:12
Everything is allowable to me, but not everything is profitable. Everything is allowable to me, but to nothing will I become a slave.

1 Corinthians 7:15
If, however, the unbeliever is determined to leave, let him or her do so. Under such circumstances the Christian man or woman is no slave; God has called us to live lives of peace.

1 Corinthians 7:21
Were you a slave when God called you? Let not that weigh on your mind. And yet if you can get your freedom, take advantage of the opportunity.

1 Corinthians 7:22
For a Christian, if he was a slave when called, is the Lord's freed man, and in the same way a free man, if called, becomes the slave of Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:19
Though free from all human control, I have made myself the slave of all in the hope of winning as many converts as possible.

1 Corinthians 9:27
but I hit hard and straight at my own body and lead it off into slavery, lest possibly, after I have been a herald to others, I should myself be rejected.
(Root in WEY NAS NIV)

1 Corinthians 12:13
For, in fact, in one Spirit all of us--whether we are Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free men--were baptized to form but one body; and we were all nourished by that one Spirit.

Galatians 3:28
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 4:1
Now I say that so long as an heir is a child, he in no respect differs from a slave, although he is the owner of everything,

Galatians 4:7
Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir also through God's own act.

Galatians 4:22
For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave-girl and one by the free woman.

Galatians 4:23
But we see that the child of the slave-girl was born in the common course of nature; but the child of the free woman in fulfilment of the promise.

Galatians 4:30
But what says the Scripture? "Send away the slave-girl and her son, for never shall the slave-girl's son share the inheritance with the son of the free woman."

Galatians 4:31
Therefore, brethren, since we are not the children of a slave-girl, but of the free woman--

Ephesians 6:8
You well know that whatever right thing any one does, he will receive a requital for it from the Lord, whether he is a slave or a free man.

Colossians 3:11
In that new creation there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free man, but Christ is everything and is in all of us.

1 Timothy 1:10
for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine;

Philemon 1:16
no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much rather to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

2 Peter 2:19
And they promise them freedom, although they are themselves the slaves of what is corrupt. For a man is the slave of any one by whom he has been worsted in fight.

Revelation 6:15
The kings of the earth, the princes, the commanding officers, the rich, the strong, and every slave and free person, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains.

Revelation 13:16
He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads;

Revelation 19:18
that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, and small and great."

Genesis 9:25
He said, "Canaan is cursed. He will be servant of servants to his brothers."

Genesis 9:26
He said, "Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Shem. Let Canaan be his servant.

Genesis 9:27
May God enlarge Japheth. Let him dwell in the tents of Shem. Let Canaan be his servant."

Genesis 15:3
Abram said, "Behold, to me you have given no seed: and, behold, one born in my house is my heir."
(See RSV)

Genesis 20:17
Abraham prayed to God. God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his female servants, and they bore children.

Genesis 21:10
Therefore she said to Abraham, "Cast out this handmaid and her son! For the son of this handmaid will not be heir with my son, Isaac."

Genesis 21:12
God said to Abraham, "Don't let it be grievous in your sight because of the boy, and because of your handmaid. In all that Sarah says to you, listen to her voice. For from Isaac will your seed be called.
(See RSV)

Genesis 21:13
I will also make a nation of the son of the handmaid, because he is your seed."
(See RSV)

Genesis 39:17
She spoke to him according to these words, saying, "The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought to us, came in to me to mock me,

Genesis 39:19
It happened, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, "This is what your servant did to me," that his wrath was kindled.

Genesis 44:10
He said, "Now also let it be according to your words: he with whom it is found will be my bondservant; and you will be blameless."

Genesis 44:17
He said, "Far be it from me that I should do so. The man in whose hand the cup is found, he will be my bondservant; but as for you, go up in peace to your father."

Genesis 44:33
Now therefore, please let your servant stay instead of the boy, a bondservant to my lord; and let the boy go up with his brothers.

Genesis 49:15
He saw a resting place, that it was good, the land, that it was pleasant. He bows his shoulder to the burden, and becomes a servant doing forced labor.

Exodus 2:5
Pharaoh's daughter came down to bathe at the river. Her maidens walked along by the riverside. She saw the basket among the reeds, and sent her handmaid to get it.
(See NIV)

Exodus 3:7
Yahweh said, "I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.
(See NIV)

Exodus 5:6
The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,
(See NIV)

Exodus 5:14
The officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, "Why haven't you fulfilled your quota both yesterday and today, in making brick as before?"
(See NIV)

Exodus 11:5
and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of livestock.

Exodus 12:44
but every man's servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then shall he eat of it.

Exodus 21:2
"If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years and in the seventh he shall go out free without paying anything.

Exodus 21:5
But if the servant shall plainly say,'I love my master, my wife, and my children. I will not go out free;'

Exodus 21:7
"If a man sells his daughter to be a female servant, she shall not go out as the male servants do.

Exodus 21:20
"If a man strikes his servant or his maid with a rod, and he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished.

Exodus 21:21
Notwithstanding, if he gets up after a day or two, he shall not be punished, for he is his property.



Related Terms

Slave-girl (6 Occurrences)

Tutor-slave (2 Occurrences)

Slave's (2 Occurrences)

Slave-traders (1 Occurrence)

Slave-dealers (1 Occurrence)

Slave-girl's (1 Occurrence)

Onesimus (2 Occurrences)

Bore (221 Occurrences)

Bondmaid (18 Occurrences)

Freeman (9 Occurrences)

Freed (32 Occurrences)

Freedman (1 Occurrence)

Maid (57 Occurrences)

Maiden (40 Occurrences)

Bondman (108 Occurrences)

Slavery (31 Occurrences)

Freedom (45 Occurrences)

Hagar (15 Occurrences)

Philemon (2 Occurrences)

Manservant (14 Occurrences)

Christian (41 Occurrences)

Adoption (5 Occurrences)

Ishmael (44 Occurrences)

Sell (58 Occurrences)

Homeborn (4 Occurrences)

Home-born (14 Occurrences)

Vassal (4 Occurrences)

Naaman (19 Occurrences)

Gomer (7 Occurrences)

Freely (101 Occurrences)

Female (95 Occurrences)

Forehead (23 Occurrences)

Ransom (46 Occurrences)

Especially (23 Occurrences)

Dearer (4 Occurrences)

Peculiarly (1 Occurrence)

Python (6 Occurrences)

Bondservant (34 Occurrences)

Commanders (93 Occurrences)

Sells (14 Occurrences)

Steward (23 Occurrences)

Servile (13 Occurrences)

Sabbatical (1 Occurrence)

Serve (407 Occurrences)

Profit (143 Occurrences)

Specially (26 Occurrences)

Service (317 Occurrences)

Becomes (138 Occurrences)

Homicide (1 Occurrence)

Nicanor (1 Occurrence)

Joseph (248 Occurrences)

Code (6 Occurrences)

Inheritance (263 Occurrences)

Share (138 Occurrences)

Circumcision (98 Occurrences)

Sojourner (81 Occurrences)

Twain (16 Occurrences)

Servitude (21 Occurrences)


Dear (120 Occurrences)

Stranger (152 Occurrences)

Beloved (117 Occurrences)

Rich (140 Occurrences)

Year (4027 Occurrences)

Handmaid (77 Occurrences)

Although (167 Occurrences)

Slaves (119 Occurrences)

Better (218 Occurrences)

Sold (92 Occurrences)

Deal (170 Occurrences)

Longer (373 Occurrences)

Zilpah (7 Occurrences)

Kidnapers (1 Occurrence)

Kidnapping (1 Occurrence)

Kidnapper (1 Occurrence)

Native-born (16 Occurrences)

Unspiritual (6 Occurrences)

Urbanus (1 Occurrence)

Top of Page
Top of Page