Anti-swearing law

James E. Clapp jeclapp at WANS.NET
Thu Feb 24 00:45:39 UTC 2000

A. Maberry wrote:
> Some classes of slaves certainly had more rights than others, and none
> were supposed to be ill-treated.

Of course, ill-treated is a relative term.  As quoted and explained at (where much more on all of
this can be found),

"The owner would have to avoid beating the slave to death.  But it was
acceptable to beat a slave so that he/she was mortally injured and died
a day or so later:

      Exodus 21:20-21 'And if a man smite his servant, or his maid,
      with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely
      punished.  Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he
      shall not be punished: for he is his money [property].'"

I hope the people who want to put up the Ten Commandments all over the
place plan to include this little gloss on the "Thou shalt not
kill/murder/put anyone to death without cause" commandment.  Though I
would prefer something more clear to today's audience than this King
James translation:  "male slave" and "female slave" for servant and
maid, "linger" for continue, and "property" for money.

James E. Clapp

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