Deuteronomy 15:12-18
2 ב
כִּי יִמָּכֵר לְךָ אָחִיךָ הָעִבְרִי אוֹ הָעִבְרִיָּה וַעֲבָדְךָ שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים וּבַשָּׁנָה הַשְּׁבִיעִת תְּשַׁלְּחֶנּוּ חָפְשִׁי מֵעִמָּךְ: וְכִי תְשַׁלְּחֶנּוּ חָפְשִׁי מֵעִמָּךְ לֹא תְשַׁלְּחֶנּוּ רֵיקָם: הַעֲנֵיק תַּעֲנִיק לוֹ מִצֹּאנְךָ וּמִגָּרְנְךָ וּמִיִּקְבֶךָ אֲשֶׁר בֵּרַכְךָ ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ תִּתֶּן לוֹ: וְזָכַרְתָּ כִּי עֶבֶד הָיִיתָ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וַיִּפְדְּךָ ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ עַל כֵּן אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ אֶת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה הַיּוֹם: וְהָיָה כִּי יֹאמַר אֵלֶיךָ לֹא אֵצֵא מֵעִמָּךְ כִּי אֲהֵבְךָ וְאֶת בֵּיתֶךָ כִּי טוֹב לוֹ עִמָּךְ: וְלָקַחְתָּ אֶת הַמַּרְצֵעַ וְנָתַתָּה בְאָזְנוֹ וּבַדֶּלֶת וְהָיָה לְךָ עֶבֶד עוֹלָם וְאַף לַאֲמָתְךָ תַּעֲשֶׂה כֵּן: לֹא יִקְשֶׁה בְעֵינֶךָ בְּשַׁלֵּחֲךָ אֹתוֹ חָפְשִׁי מֵעִמָּךְ כִּי מִשְׁנֶה שְׂכַר שָׂכִיר עֲבָדְךָ שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים וּבֵרַכְךָ ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶׂה:
If a fellow Hebrew, man or woman, is sold to you, s/he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall set him/her free. When you set him/her free, do not let her/him go empty-handed: Furnish her/him out of the flock, threshing floor, and vat, with which Adonai your God has blessed you. Bear in mind that you were slaves in the land of Egypt and Adonai your God redeemed you; therefore I enjoin this commandment upon you today. But should he say to you, "I do not want to leave you" --for he loves your household and is happy with you -- you shall take an awl and put it through his ear into the door, and he shall become your slave in perpetuity. Do the same with your female slave. When you do set him free, do not feel aggrieved; for in the six years he has given you double the service of a hired slave. Moreover, Adonai your God will bless you in all you do. [JPS translation edited for gender-neutrality]
3 ג

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. In what ways are slaves portrayed as property in this text? In what ways are they portrayed as people? Does gender make a difference?

2. What do you think this text says about slavery in general? How might this text inform our notions of person-hood today?

4 ד
Time Period: Biblical (early ancestors to 165 BCE)