100 Bible Verses about Slavery

Leviticus 25:44-46 ESV / 431 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.

Galatians 5:1 ESV / 342 helpful votes

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

Ephesians 6:5 ESV / 312 helpful votes

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

Exodus 21:16 ESV / 291 helpful votes

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

Colossians 4:1 ESV / 278 helpful votes

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

Exodus 21:20-21 ESV / 259 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.

Galatians 3:28 ESV / 165 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.

Titus 2:9-10 ESV / 111 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.

1 Peter 2:18 ESV / 103 helpful votes

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

Luke 4:18 ESV / 75 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,

Exodus 21:26-27 ESV / 72 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.

Exodus 21:1-36 ESV / 66 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,’ ...

Deuteronomy 23:15 ESV / 65 helpful votes

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

1 Corinthians 7:21 ESV / 52 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.)

Deuteronomy 24:7 ESV / 46 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.

Deuteronomy 23:15-16 ESV / 46 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.

Colossians 3:22 ESV / 44 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.

Proverbs 22:16 ESV / 44 helpful votes

Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

Ephesians 6:8-10 ESV / 40 helpful votes

Knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Romans 6:16 ESV / 40 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?

Philemon 1:16 ESV / 39 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.

Leviticus 25:42 ESV / 36 helpful votes

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

Leviticus 25:39 ESV / 34 helpful votes

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

Leviticus 22:11 ESV / 34 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.

Leviticus 19:20 ESV / 33 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;

1 Peter 2:16 ESV / 32 helpful votes

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

1 Timothy 6:1-2 ESV / 31 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.

Proverbs 14:31 ESV / 30 helpful votes

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

Romans 8:20-21 ESV / 27 helpful votes

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Acts 6:1-3 ESV / 26 helpful votes

Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.

Matthew 11:28 ESV / 26 helpful votes

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Acts 16:16-18 ESV / 24 helpful votes

As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

Amos 8:6 ESV / 24 helpful votes

That we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals and sell the chaff of the wheat?”

Isaiah 14:2 ESV / 24 helpful votes

And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the Lord's land as male and female slaves. They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.

Ecclesiastes 3:13 ESV / 24 helpful votes

Also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.

2 Kings 4:1 ESV / 24 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.”

James 5:4 ESV / 23 helpful votes

Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.

1 Timothy 5:18 ESV / 23 helpful votes

For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”

Luke 12:47 ESV / 23 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.

Luke 6:31 ESV / 23 helpful votes

And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Jeremiah 34:8-9 ESV / 22 helpful votes

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to make a proclamation of liberty to them, that everyone should set free his Hebrew slaves, male and female, so that no one should enslave a Jew, his brother.

Isaiah 61:1-11 ESV / 22 helpful votes

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; ...

Proverbs 12:24 ESV / 22 helpful votes

The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.

John 8:36 ESV / 21 helpful votes

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Joshua 17:13 ESV / 21 helpful votes

Now when the people of Israel grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out.

Mark 10:42-45 ESV / 20 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.”

Psalm 9:9 ESV / 20 helpful votes

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Genesis 9:25 ESV / 20 helpful votes

He said, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.”

Genesis 25:23 ESV / 19 helpful votes

And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”

John 15:15 ESV / 18 helpful votes

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Joel 3:2-3 ESV / 18 helpful votes

I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land, and have cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it.

Psalm 18:43-45 ESV / 18 helpful votes

You delivered me from strife with the people; you made me the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me. As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me; foreigners came cringing to me. Foreigners lost heart and came trembling out of their fortresses.

Job 31:13-15 ESV / 18 helpful votes

“If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant, when they brought a complaint against me, what then shall I do when God rises up? When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him? Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?

1 Samuel 17:55-58 ESV / 18 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.”

Ephesians 6:6-8 ESV / 16 helpful votes

Not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.

John 8:34 ESV / 16 helpful votes

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

John 4:36 ESV / 16 helpful votes

Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.

1 Samuel 30:11-15 ESV / 16 helpful votes

They found an Egyptian in the open country and brought him to David. And they gave him bread and he ate. They gave him water to drink, and they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. And when he had eaten, his spirit revived, for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. And David said to him, “To whom do you belong? And where are you from?” He said, “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago. We had made a raid against the Negeb of the Cherethites and against that which belongs to Judah and against the Negeb of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire.” And David said to him, “Will you take me down to this band?” And he said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this band.”

Judges 1:30 ESV / 16 helpful votes

Zebulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, or the inhabitants of Nahalol, so the Canaanites lived among them, but became subject to forced labor.

Deuteronomy 21:10-14 ESV / 16 helpful votes

“When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. But if you no longer delight in her, you shall let her go where she wants. But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her.

Leviticus 25:55 ESV / 16 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 25:10 ESV / 16 helpful votes

And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan.

Leviticus 23:22-25 ESV / 16 helpful votes

“And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.” And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work, and you shall present a food offering to the Lord.”

Revelation 13:16 ESV / 14 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,

Colossians 3:23 ESV / 14 helpful votes

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

Ephesians 6:7 ESV / 14 helpful votes

Rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,

Luke 16:13 ESV / 14 helpful votes

No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Malachi 3:5 ESV / 14 helpful votes

“Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

Daniel 4:27 ESV / 14 helpful votes

Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.”

Isaiah 28:9 ESV / 14 helpful votes

“To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast?

2 Chronicles 8:8 ESV / 14 helpful votes

From their descendants who were left after them in the land, whom the people of Israel had not destroyed—these Solomon drafted as forced labor, and so they are to this day.

Exodus 21:7-11 ESV / 14 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.

Exodus 5:9 ESV / 14 helpful votes

Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.”

Psalm 146:7 ESV / 13 helpful votes

Who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;

James 5:1-4 ESV / 12 helpful votes

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.

2 Timothy 2:15 ESV / 12 helpful votes

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Galatians 2:4 ESV / 12 helpful votes

Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—

Matthew 6:23-24 ESV / 12 helpful votes

But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Zechariah 13:5-6 ESV / 12 helpful votes

But he will say, ‘I am no prophet, I am a worker of the soil, for a man sold me in my youth.’ And if one asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your back?’ he will say, ‘The wounds I received in the house of my friends.’

Zechariah 11:5 ESV / 12 helpful votes

Those who buy them slaughter them and go unpunished, and those who sell them say, ‘Blessed be the Lord, I have become rich,’ and their own shepherds have no pity on them.

Zechariah 7:9-10 ESV / 12 helpful votes

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”

Isaiah 52:3 ESV / 12 helpful votes

For thus says the Lord: “You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.”

Isaiah 14:3-8 ESV / 12 helpful votes

When the Lord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: “How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury ceased! The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers, that struck the peoples in wrath with unceasing blows, that ruled the nations in anger with unrelenting persecution. The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing. ...

Isaiah 14:1-3 ESV / 12 helpful votes

For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the Lord's land as male and female slaves. They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them. When the Lord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve,

Isaiah 1:17 ESV / 12 helpful votes

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.

Proverbs 31:8-9 ESV / 12 helpful votes

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Ezra 9:9 ESV / 12 helpful votes

For we are slaves. Yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to grant us some reviving to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us protection in Judea and Jerusalem.

Job 5:15-16 ESV / 11 helpful votes

But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth and from the hand of the mighty. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts her mouth.

Joel 3:8 ESV / 10 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 33:14-16 ESV / 10 helpful votes

The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: “Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?” He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil, he will dwell on the heights; his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks; his bread will be given him; his water will be sure.

Psalm 119:134 ESV / 10 helpful votes

Redeem me from man's oppression, that I may keep your precepts.

2 Chronicles 16:8 ESV / 10 helpful votes

Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, he gave them into your hand.

Amos 5:11-13 ESV / 8 helpful votes

Therefore because you trample on the poor and you exact taxes of grain from him, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine. For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins— you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate. Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time, for it is an evil time.

1 Samuel 4:9 ESV / 8 helpful votes

Take courage, and be men, O Philistines, lest you become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been to you; be men and fight.”

Romans 8:15 ESV / 7 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!”

Deuteronomy 28:68 ESV / 7 helpful votes

And the Lord will bring you back in ships to Egypt, a journey that I promised that you should never make again; and there you shall offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer.”

Proverbs 6:6-11 ESV / 6 helpful votes

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, ...

Deuteronomy 28:33 ESV / 6 helpful votes

A nation that you have not known shall eat up the fruit of your ground and of all your labors, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually,

John 13:1-38 ESV / 4 helpful votes

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. ...

Isaiah 60:2-5 ESV / 4 helpful votes

For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried on the hip. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult, because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.

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