Rabbi M. J. Raphall on Slavery according to the Bible

Rabbi M.J. Raphall was asked to write a commentary on the view of slavery by the Bible. In his response Raphall makes the point that Slavery is permitted according to the Bible, and denouncing it is comparable to blasphemy.
To highlight his point Raphall imagines a hypothetical conversation between a preacher who denounced slavery and himself. By doing this Raphall is able to refute rebuttals by him.
"I would therefore ask the reverend gentleman of Brooklyn and his compeers—How dare you,
in the face of the sanction and protection afforded to slave property in the Ten Commandments
—how dare you denounce slaveholding as a sin? When you remember that Abraham, Isaac,
Jacob, Job—the men with whom the Almighty conversed, with whose names he emphatically
connects his own most holy name, and to whom He vouchsafed to give the character of
"perfect, upright, fearing G-d and eschewing evil" (Job i. 8)—that all these men were
slaveholders, does it not strike you that you are guilty of something very little short of
blasphemy? And if you answer me, "Oh, in their time slaveholding was lawful, but now it has
become a sin," I in my turn ask you, "When and by what authority you draw the line?" Tell us
the precise time when slaveholding ceased to be permitted, and became sinful?"
Raphall also provides justification for the Fugitive Slave Act, which many abolitionist opposed by citing the verse from the book of Devarim:
"Thou shalt not surrender unto his master the slave who has escaped from his master unto
thee: (Deut. xxiii. 16).

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