54 Bible Verses about Slavery

Leviticus 25:44-46 ESV / 283 helpful votes

As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you. You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their clans that are with you, who have been born in your land, and they may be your property. You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever. You may make slaves of them, but over your brothers the people of Israel you shall not rule, one over another ruthlessly.

Exodus 21:20-21 ESV / 176 helpful votes

“When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money.

Ephesians 6:5 ESV / 160 helpful votes

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,

Galatians 5:1 ESV / 147 helpful votes

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Colossians 4:1 ESV / 128 helpful votes

Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Exodus 21:16 ESV / 123 helpful votes

“Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.

Galatians 3:28 ESV / 96 helpful votes

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 2:18 ESV / 53 helpful votes

Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.

Titus 2:9-10 ESV / 42 helpful votes

Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

John 3:16-17 ESV / 38 helpful votes

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Exodus 21:1-36 ESV / 35 helpful votes

“Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’

Luke 4:18 ESV / 32 helpful votes

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

Deuteronomy 23:15 ESV / 32 helpful votes

“You shall not give up to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you.

Leviticus 25:42 ESV / 26 helpful votes

For they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves.

Exodus 21:26-27 ESV / 24 helpful votes

“When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye. If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth.

Colossians 3:22 ESV / 21 helpful votes

Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.

Romans 6:16 ESV / 14 helpful votes

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Leviticus 19:20 ESV / 14 helpful votes

“If a man lies sexually with a woman who is a slave, assigned to another man and not yet ransomed or given her freedom, a distinction shall be made. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free;

Luke 12:47 ESV / 13 helpful votes

And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating.

Deuteronomy 23:15-16 ESV / 13 helpful votes

“You shall not give up to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you. He shall dwell with you, in your midst, in the place that he shall choose within one of your towns, wherever it suits him. You shall not wrong him.

Exodus 21:1-6 ESV / 13 helpful votes

“Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’

John 8:34 ESV / 12 helpful votes

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.

Deuteronomy 24:7 ESV / 12 helpful votes

“If a man is found stealing one of his brothers of the people of Israel, and if he treats him as a slave or sells him, then that thief shall die. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

Exodus 21:7 ESV / 10 helpful votes

“When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.

Leviticus 25:39 ESV / 9 helpful votes

“If your brother becomes poor beside you and sells himself to you, you shall not make him serve as a slave:

Mark 10:42-45 ESV / 8 helpful votes

And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Leviticus 25:55 ESV / 8 helpful votes

For it is to me that the people of Israel are servants. They are my servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19:18 ESV / 8 helpful votes

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Exodus 22:3 ESV / 8 helpful votes

But if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

Exodus 21:7-11 ESV / 8 helpful votes

“When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she does not please her master, who has designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has broken faith with her. If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter. If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights. And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

1 Timothy 1:10 ESV / 7 helpful votes

The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,

Malachi 3:17 ESV / 7 helpful votes

“They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him.

Revelation 13:16 ESV / 6 helpful votes

Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead,

1 Timothy 6:1-2 ESV / 6 helpful votes

Let all who are under a yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV / 6 helpful votes

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Luke 4:18-19 ESV / 6 helpful votes

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”

2 Kings 4:1 ESV / 6 helpful votes

Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.”

1 Samuel 17:55-58 ESV / 6 helpful votes

As soon as Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.” And the king said, “Inquire whose son the boy is.” And as soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

Philemon 1:16 ESV / 5 helpful votes

No longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 7:21 ESV / 5 helpful votes

Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)

Leviticus 22:11 ESV / 5 helpful votes

But if a priest buys a slave as his property for money, the slave may eat of it, and anyone born in his house may eat of his food.

Exodus 23:12 ESV / 5 helpful votes

“Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed.

Romans 8:15 ESV / 4 helpful votes

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

John 7:12 ESV / 4 helpful votes

And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.”

Matthew 7:6 ESV / 4 helpful votes

“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

Joel 3:8 ESV / 4 helpful votes

I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a nation far away, for the Lord has spoken.”

Isaiah 1:1-31 ESV / 4 helpful votes

The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master's crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.

Proverbs 1:1-33 ESV / 4 helpful votes

The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,

Numbers 31:1-54 ESV / 4 helpful votes

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Avenge the people of Israel on the Midianites. Afterward you shall be gathered to your people.” So Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm men from among you for the war, that they may go against Midian to execute the Lord's vengeance on Midian. You shall send a thousand from each of the tribes of Israel to the war.” So there were provided, out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand from each tribe, twelve thousand armed for war.

Ezekiel 29:1-21 ESV / 3 helpful votes

In the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him and against all Egypt; speak, and say, Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lies in the midst of his streams, that says, ‘My Nile is my own; I made it for myself.’ I will put hooks in your jaws, and make the fish of your streams stick to your scales; and I will draw you up out of the midst of your streams, with all the fish of your streams that stick to your scales. And I will cast you out into the wilderness, you and all the fish of your streams; you shall fall on the open field, and not be brought together or gathered. To the beasts of the earth and to the birds of the heavens I give you as food.

Ecclesiastes 6:1-12 ESV / 3 helpful votes

There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil. If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life's good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered. Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he.

Proverbs 14:31 ESV / 3 helpful votes

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.

Revelation 2:18 ESV / 2 helpful votes

“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

Joshua 1:8 ESV / 2 helpful votes

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

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