Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hebrew Slaves - Leasing verses Buying

For quite some time my wife has been saying that we need a maid, but I've always balked at the price. Today however, I may have found the answer to our problems in Exodus 21. The second verse goes as follows:

If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.

Now I'm assuming that the cost of a slave is cheaper than that of a housekeeping service. The first question that I have though, is where are Hebrew slaves for sale to be found? I'm sure that in ancient Babylon they were quite plentiful, but here in 21st Century America, they're not easy to come by. I tried looking in the Yellow Pages, on Craigslist and Ebay, but came up with nothing. Also, does God allow only Hebrews to be owned as slaves? Is that the meaning of the "Chosen People?" If so, can they perform manual labor, or can I only get them to do things like bookkeeping or give legal advice?

Next, does the word of God override The Thirteenth Amendment? Section 1 of the amendment says:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Does that mean I can only own Jewish convicts? Do I have to uphold the conditions of their punishment after I pay for them? In other words, do God and the US Government expect me to run a prison in my home? Will the government provide money for their upkeep?

What about this part that says he goes free after seven years? Am I buying the slave or leasing him? If it's a seven year lease, do I get the option to trade him in for another slave at the end of the term? Can I buy him outright after seven years? Will he remain under warranty during the whole time? Who will provide his health insurance? Is that my responsibility or God's?

If I understand correctly, the next two verses explain what happens if I just want to turn him in after the term. Verses 3 and 4 are as follows:

3. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.

4. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.

So this means that I have to turn him in in the same condition as I bought him. If I bought him single I return him single, and if I bought him married I return him married. And it goes on to say that I get to keep any improvements that I add during his slavery. If I get him a wife, then at the end I get to keep her and any kids she has.

Now what if he comes with a wife? Do I get to use her as well? Is it like a package deal? Does she have any mileage restrictions? And what if she expires? Will I be responsible for any replacement cost? Can I purchase additional insurance with lower deductibles in case the wife gets damaged?

And what if I decide to purchase an accessory to go with my slave, like a wife? Does she have to be Hebrew as well, or can I just purchase any woman so long as she's to go with a Hebrew slave? God doesn't specify? Do I have to buy a convicted woman to stay within compliance of the Amendment Thirteen? Can I claim these slaves on my taxes? Where are the boxes for slave deductions on the 1040A? What happens at the end of my lease if I don't want to keep the wife and kids? Can I turn them in with the slave? Can I split them up or do they have to stay together as a set? Will my refund be increased if I return some or all of them? Is there some sort of Blue Book that tells the going value for slave wives and kids? How can I be sure the slave leasers (or sellers) won't cheat me?

Verses five and six tell what happens if he wants to stay with his family:

5. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:

6. Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.

Will he be trained in the proper words to say? Will he say them in English or Hebrew? What if he loves me but not his wife? Can he alter the words to this incantation? Do I have the power to override if he utters these words? Can I trade him in anyway? And if I do have to keep him, what the hell is an aul and where do I get one? Will my slave ownership kit come with one? Whatever the hell it is, how deep do I have to bore his ear with it? Won't it decrease his value if I screw up his hearing by boring his ear? I guess it won't matter since I'll be stuck with him forever, but I'd still like him to have some equity in case I want to will him to my kids or grandkids.

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