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When We Were Slaves

Updated on October 18, 2019
Rodric29 profile image

Historical perspective is not as linear as most would like, but it puts understanding in the hands of the reader. Trust your mind to truth.

More people are free around the world than otherwise would have been. More cancerous cultures that murdered children in ritualistic religious ceremonies have declined because of the march of Westernized Roman Christianity. Poverty is less ramped in Western influenced nations. People are wealthier in Western influenced nations.

Europeans destroyed, conquered and created as they have done since the Roman Empire, which single-handedly spread civilization through Europe before the Europeans reached out to other lands. It is only now that all is settling in the world so that the weak and conquered peoples left in the brutal Roman wake have a voice to decry the Western march of civilization.

It is too late to change history, to nurse venomous resentment. Thanks to Western civilization, freedom is the cry for most of the world, which was steeped in monarchy and absolutism of some sort in leadership before the Western march.


All the good the Romans introduced to the world indirectly as it spread through Europe is no mystery, reaching the shores of the British Isle who are the parents of the greatest champion of modern freedom since Rome itself, the United States of America. On every roadway, ship, plane, train, and car are etched the residue of a great empire that offered fidelity to its citizens. With every Latin word put to parchment and saved inspired the satellite cultures influenced by Rome to elevate themselves to equal opportunity and access to governmental participation. At one time, we were slaves to ignorance and prejudice. At one time, were not we all?

Slavery is not unique to any race or culture any more than is a loaf of bread.

Historical Slaves

Thousands of years ago, and even two seconds ago, slavery in some form has existed within humanity. Slavery is not unique to any race or culture any more than is a loaf of bread. Putting fellow sentient beings into bondage has existed as long as a more powerful group yielded control enough to force an institution of servitude.

Mark Wildes Esquire states in his religious perspective frankly:

The Jews began as a slave people. Along with other groups living near the ancient Nile, the Jews lived as slaves for many years serving the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, building for them the great pyramids and the ancient cities of Pithom and Raamses. 1


Hebrew slaves served the Egyptian god-kings according to the holy history contained in religious texts and historical scrolls. Sheltered within the protection of Ancient Egypt's military might, the Hebrews nurtured a culture and a religion prospering for centuries before political change branded them as one of many groups to become the property of the state, slaves.

Historians have conflicting views about the accuracy of the Biblical stories of the existence of Moses as it pertains to the accounts of Egyptian history. According to Daniel Anderson of Creation Ministries International

when placed at the proper time, there is an abundance of historical and archaeological evidence to confirm the books of Genesis and Exodus. 2

Ancient Egyptian authorities have a known prejudice as Philippe Bohstrom wrote in his 2016 article listed in the supporting sources at the end of the article. Boshstrom offered that the ancient

Egyptians were not above altering historical records when the truth proved to be embarrassing or went against their political interests. It was not the praxis of the pharaohs to advertise their failures on temple walls for all to see. 3

Would not a history of a slave-born Egyptian aristocrat's challenge to the head of government resulting in the unrequited release of its population of slaves be such a history-altering incident? Whatever the reason Egyptian history does not reflect such a loss in its annals, Hebrew history records the repressive forced labor of its past.

Upon the backs of forced labor grew at least a portion of Egyptian civilization and not only by Jewish industry. As previously stated, slavery has no cultural monopolization within a singular human culture or society.


After Slavery

This brief treatment of Hebrew slavery is not meant to provide an exhaustive listing of the privations of those men and women who endured the lash of the Egyptian guard and the indignities of the same. Following the departure from Egypt, the Hebrews endured a massive cultural shock due to Post Traumatic Stress. Suddenly receiving freedom from their masters, the Hebrews had no identity of their own on which to hold.

According to the Biblical accounts, the survivors of slavery desired to return to captivity when the food ran scarce. Slaves. Slaves who did not know how to take care of themselves

murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness... [saying] Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. 4

The next steps to freedom were to remove the stain of slavery on the minds of the people which took about 40 or so years after their freedom on their own accord and build a culture. In other words, free from the persecution of Egypt and isolated in the wilderness for a generation, a new culture developed centered around their religious practices called the Law of Moses.

Moses, who historically grew to maturity in the Pharaoh's household learned duty through an Egyptian education to stand on equal grounds and footing with his fellow-citizens. Learning the worth of his existence as a person in a society that rewarded his accomplishments prepared him for the task of leading a psychologically immature group of people who depended on masters to give them food and drink.

Theophany and education gave Moses the tools needed with which to work to govern these new freedmen. What Moses did not receive in the revelatory processes attested to in the Scriptures, he gleaned from other sources such as the High Priest of Midian (his father-in-law) Jethro to govern.

Slave mentality is just as crippling as physical slavery. Moses' task by divine decree was to raise a nation out of obscurity and slavery to what it became. It took time. It took isolation. It took the death of a generation and the education of the rising one.

After establishing themselves as a nation in the land of Canaan or present-day Israel following the exodus from ancient Egypt, political forces and military conquests reduced the national identity of Hebrew life to a fraction of its former glory. What slavery could not do, war and captivity, which includes assumptive slavery heretofore undocumented succeeded at doing: destroying the Hebrews.


Today's Results

Slavery occurred among the Hebrews thousands of years ago without completely destroying the identity of that nation. Two of the 12 political bodies referred to as Tribes of Israel in religious context remain identifying as Jews in modern times: Judah and Benjamin.

Genocide and ethnic prejudice could not destroy these descendants of slaves. In 1948 following the destructive homicidal World War 2, the United Nations with the support of Western governments chartered the nation of present-day Israel, which is now a powerful sovereign nation rivaling other Western cultures. To form the nation of Israel, Muslims in the area were displaced and several Arab Muslim nations attempted to destroy Israel unsuccessfully multiple times.

With a powerful military and the destructive power of nuclear weapons, Isreal again is independently able to defend itself against other nations and exists as the only Jewish nation on the planet. Slavery did not have a lasting stifling impact on Israel because of the ability for the slaves to find isolation to grow a strong Judeo-culture and identity following slavery that lasted until the Hebrew nation could successfully defend itself in modern times.

Western culture in its cry for freedom has offered that freedom to Israel who has successfully assimilated it for generation and built a modern nation upon the principles associated with it. To think, at one time Romans lorded over the Jews, but now Roman cultural influence makes it thrive.

Supporting Sources

© 2019 Rodric Anthony


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    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      2 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Pamela, thanks or reading. Because I believe the accounts of what happened to the Hebrews from the Bible, I see them from more than a religious point of view. Those people were expected to start a nation when they had grown up knowing only slavery and idol worship of the Egyptians. It took those 40 years in isolation to become the people needed to start a nation. Too bad they rejected their Republic of Judges for a monarch, tho.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Rodric, This is a very interesting, histocial account of slavery of the Herew people. Slavery is awful and cruel. I understand that anyone getting out of slavery would exhibit the PTSD symptoms as you explained.

      Very good article.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      2 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Eric, thanks for reading. I think it is important for us all to realize that other people experienced slavery, so I wanted to talk about what happened to the Jews. It is Black history month. In America, slavery is a part of our history. I plan on doing one about the native Americans too.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      2 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Bill, thanks for reading. Slavery is a sad history, but it is one of triumph for the American people too. Though this article is about the Jewish bondage, I wanted to write it to show how people can overcome slavery and make a nation. It took a couple of generations, but the Israelites did it.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Rodric I know too many people slaves to working. My wife is one. There are so many ways to be a slave. Sometimes I note organized religious people are slaves to the preacher.

      Really good article friend.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is a fascinating history for sure. Not always a loving history, but fascinating nonetheless. I hope you are feeling better, my friend. Have a great week!


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