This one is troublesome. After looking at it in a few different translations, many don't say the slave gets up, rather they say if the slave continues a day or two. The implication being that if the slave dies as a direct result of the master's beating (that same day) then the master obviously beat them too hard and killed them in a very unwise manner, but if the slave dies a couple of days later the master likely stopped in time for most slaves to survive, but for some reason this particular slave didn't recover.

It makes a certain kind of rough sense, when you think about it. Anyone who can't control themselves well enough to dole out punishment without killing the person they are punishing deserves to be punished themselves. The verse doesn't say what the punishment would be, but on the cheap end it could be giving a larger offering to the Temple or on the more expensive end the master could be executed himself for murdering his slave.

Not being able to read Hebrew, I don't know what the original said, but the fact that some translations say if the slave gets up while others say if he continues on, I'm not sure what to think about this slave and his situation. If he gets up that means he survived the beating and went on his way, but if it's just if the slave continues breathing for a day or two before dying from the beating, I'd hope that the master would still be punished.

That's not what the verse says though. It says if the slave continues on/gets up, the master shouldn't be punished because he beat his own property/money/slave.

I'll stop rambling for the time being.
America should be punished for letting people without healthcare die.
@1: I can't believe people actually engage brain cells trying to parse this stuff.
This passage is definitive proof that the bible was written by immoral savages.
@3 then your ability to believe must be severely limited.

Everything has a purpose, even if it is just providing a tool to control elements of society. Understanding the purpose and intent behind scriptures (whatever tradition they're from) helps one to get a better understanding of the whole, and often helps to build communication and understanding with people who take them as literal truth.

I took a few minutes on a Sunday morning to think about why some ancient Hebrew created a law that differentiated between cruel, overly violent masters and masters who were just appropriately violent. It wasn't time wasted.
@1-- According to Shelby Spong, nobody does. Ancient Hebrew is even deader a dead language than Old English. The Hebrew scripture we have today was translated into a useable form in Greek, then into Modern Hebrew.

Further proof, in my mind, that the timeless truths that can be extracted from these texts are relative truths. The Bible is a general guide, not a blueprint.
It reads a bit like one of the 'Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy'

“If you ever fall off the Sears Tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like a dummy and people will try to catch you because, hey, free dummy.”
This week's verse reminds me of that old Monty Python skit with the exploding penguin.

"I think she's dead"
"No, I'm not"

But Python, of course, is much more serious.
Intriguing discussion -- a lot of commentaries on it at, one as follows:
>If the slave who had been beaten by his master died under his hand, the master was punished >with death - see Genesis 9:5, Genesis 9:6. But if he survived the beating a day or two [24-48 >hours] the master was not punished, because it might be presumed that the man died through >some other cause. And all penal laws should be construed as favourably as possible to the >accused.
Still a tough passage to take, but if the punishment for the master would have been death also, then the stakes were high on whether to punish as well.

Except for shit that is pointless. Pointless shit has no purpose. Everything else does, though. But it takes time, study, and thought to tell the difference between things that have a purpose and things that have none.
Obviously slavery was condoned in the Bible.

Explicating what kind of punishment was appropriate for killing your slave seems kind of secondary to both that A. slavery is okay and B. killing is sort of okay as long as you're killing a slave.

Also obviously, slavery isn't okay anymore. What changed? The Bible didn't. We did. Which I think leads to a third obviously: obviously the Bible isn't the immutable word of God.
So, if some other, stronger tribe (say, the Egyptians or Babylonians) were to invade and enslave a weaker tribe, then the weaker tribal group would have nothing to complain about...since slavery is cool and all.

Mr. Dixon, if Thomas Jefferson was for come he had slaves!…
I have only one thing to say PRAISE THE LORD!!! Can I get an AMEN up in here?!?!?

Shout Glory!!!

I can't wait for the bible to replace the constitution as the dominionists desire.

I need some slaves, dammit.

Praise the lord!

and that's why I always beat the shit outta my slaves with my bare hands
It's a metaphor, dammit. A metaphor for... hold, putting on my big hat, just gotta say the magic words now...

Go-Go-Gadget Gnosis!

Oh, that's interesting. God just told me it's literal, slavery is A-OK in his book (He said that should've been pretty obvious) and we're supposed to try not to kill them. You heard it here first.

My brother does this shit all the time.
@ 19.

Thank you for the insightful comment.
@19, that's a fascinating thought that nonetheless sends chills down my spine. I nicknamed my car, but that doesn't make it a sentient being. Clearly, the ancient world was red in tooth and claw. I would never have survived.
It is so enlightened to judge ancient cultures by our standards.

The Hebrews themselves had been slaves for centuries leading up to this point.
Slavery was endemic in the ancient world.
The Greeks, who you homoliberalhumanists just adore, had slaves.
Perhaps someone is trying to make a savage barbaric tribe a little less savage and barbaric here, perhaps total perfect enlightenment wasn't on the menu just yet.

Perhaps you
enlightened self-righteous homoliberalhumanists
should worry less about Hebrew policy toward the help
and more about how the next generation will view
your 900,000 murders a year abortion addiction.
So the biblical take-away is:

As long as we here wage slaves happen to recover from our economic beating after a bit of time, our Corporate overlords shouldn't be punished by the same rod that beat all us into the ground.

Praise Jebus!
@16 Unless you are the slave. Surprise!
I think this is Bible's commandment that ye shall have a safe word.
So. Old testament.
"This passage is definitive proof that the bible was written by immoral savages."

Compared to what? This verse isn't all that shocking to me as slavery was a common and accepted institution at that time. We like to think that morality can be easily logically deduced, but in practice people largely accept the norms of the culture they grew up in and are very resistant to the idea that they're wrong. Tell someone the moral values their parents and everyone they know's parents instilled in them are wrong, and they will hear that you think their own family and everyone they know and love is evil. No one will easily come around to accepting that.

I do think verses like this make the best sort of challenge to people who believe the Bible to be an unerring and complete guide to morality. The thing is, I don't think there can be such a thing as a true fundamentalist, but lots of people like to believe themselves to be such, and that is enabled by the fact that their preachers would never mention a passage like this.
This is one of those passages that is often, and rightly, cited as evidence of why we shouldn't use that Bible as a moral guide. It is just hopelessly outdated. Morality is something that changes and the last thing we need is to freeze our moral sense in Iron Age Canaan.
19, Living human beings are not comparable to inanimate things like cars. If you wake in the middle of the night to a burning house, are you going to spend any time wondering if you should save another human being, or the TV?

The Bible gets one of the most basic questions of human rights wrong here. How could it be trusted to be a moral guide for anything?
31, Driving a car is not anywhere close to being the moral equivalent of owning other human beings, and forcing them to labor for you. Cars can be made with zero emissions, and as the technology advances, they will be. There never has, nor will ever be a good way to own slaves, or subject fellow human beings to forced labor and beatings, no matter how kind a slave holder may be. Not to mention, the Bible condones the beating of another human being to the point it takes them days to recover. When was the last time you beat a defenseless person so badly that they were out of commission for days? How could anyone possibly think that is moral?

1 Peter 2

18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh

Slavery is a very basic question of human rights. The Bible is often touted as an everlasting, perfect moral guide for all times, yet it repeatedly got it wrong on this issue.
@30, @31's comment is an analogy, it isn't made to be taken literally. Surely @31 agrees with you, car's aren't people, nobody should own people. @30 is pointing out the social norms of the time, not condoning slavery. The bible is setting rules for the day it was written. This particular biblical lesson obviously doesn't apply to modern times.

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