81 Bible Verses about Slavery

Leviticus 25:44-46 ESV / 290 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 / 205 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 / 170 helpful votes

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

Galatians 5:1 ESV / 153 helpful votes

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

Exodus 21:16 ESV / 150 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 / 138 helpful votes

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

Galatians 3:28 ESV / 113 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 / 64 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 / 46 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.

Exodus 21:1-36 ESV / 39 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 / 38 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 / 33 helpful votes

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

Exodus 21:26-27 ESV / 31 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.

Leviticus 25:42 ESV / 28 helpful votes

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

Colossians 3:22 ESV / 25 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 / 22 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?

John 3:16-17 ESV / 22 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.

Leviticus 19:20 ESV / 16 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;

Deuteronomy 24:7 ESV / 14 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 / 14 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.

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.

Philemon 1:16 ESV / 12 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.

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.

Exodus 21:7-11 ESV / 12 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 Corinthians 7:21 ESV / 10 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.)

Mark 10:42-45 ESV / 9 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 25:39 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:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV / 8 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.

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 22:11 ESV / 8 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 19:18 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 ESV / 8 helpful votes

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

Exodus 21:1-6 ESV / 8 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,’

Revelation 13:16 ESV / 7 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 / 7 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 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,

Proverbs 31:8-9 ESV / 7 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.

2 Kings 4:1 ESV / 7 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.”

Acts 16:16-18 ESV / 6 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.

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.”

Malachi 3:17 ESV / 6 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.

1 Peter 2:16 ESV / 5 helpful votes

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

James 5:1-4 ESV / 5 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.

James 2:2-6 ESV / 5 helpful votes

For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court?

Hebrews 13:5 ESV / 5 helpful votes

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

1 Timothy 6:9-10 ESV / 5 helpful votes

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Galatians 2:4 ESV / 5 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—

Mark 8:36 ESV / 5 helpful votes

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

Isaiah 14:2 ESV / 5 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.

1 Samuel 17:55-58 ESV / 5 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.”

Leviticus 23:22-25 ESV / 5 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.”

Genesis 15:12-16 ESV / 5 helpful votes

As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for yourself, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

Revelation 19:10 ESV / 4 helpful votes

Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

James 5:4 ESV / 4 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 / 4 helpful votes

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

Colossians 3:23 ESV / 4 helpful votes

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

Ephesians 6:8-10 ESV / 4 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.

Ephesians 6:6-8 ESV / 4 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.

Romans 8:20-21 ESV / 4 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.

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!”

Acts 7:7 ESV / 4 helpful votes

‘But I will judge the nation that they serve,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.’

Acts 6:1-3 ESV / 4 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 6:23-24 ESV / 4 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.

Zephaniah 3:18-20 ESV / 4 helpful votes

I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” says the Lord.

Zephaniah 3:1-5 ESV / 4 helpful votes

Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, the oppressing city! She listens to no voice; she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the Lord; she does not draw near to her God. Her officials within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves that leave nothing till the morning. Her prophets are fickle, treacherous men; her priests profane what is holy; they do violence to the law. The Lord within her is righteous; he does no injustice; every morning he shows forth his justice; each dawn he does not fail; but the unjust knows no shame.

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.”

Daniel 4:27 ESV / 4 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 52:3 ESV / 4 helpful votes

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

Isaiah 14:3-8 ESV / 4 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.

Ecclesiastes 3:13 ESV / 4 helpful votes

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

Proverbs 20:23 ESV / 4 helpful votes

Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord, and false scales are not good.

Proverbs 14:31 ESV / 4 helpful votes

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

Proverbs 6:6-11 ESV / 4 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,

Job 5:15-16 ESV / 4 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.

Deuteronomy 28:33 ESV / 4 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,

Numbers 16:13 ESV / 4 helpful votes

Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also make yourself a prince over us?

Leviticus 25:10 ESV / 4 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 19:33-34 ESV / 4 helpful votes

“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Genesis 16:1-16 ESV / 4 helpful votes

Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!”

Genesis 15:14 ESV / 4 helpful votes

But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.

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