When the bible talks about owning slaves or killing women who are non-virgins on their wedding night you must understand that this is a metaphor which is just telling us that we need to love or neighbors and daughters as christ would. I mean... the bible is the ultimate source of morality, so if anything in it is not moral then you are simply reading it out of context. haha.... right....
Aww you're not serious? I always wanted a slave :<
Seriously though, Deuteronomy 22:28-29, fifty shekels of silver is a bride price - presumably fixed to avoid inflation. If a bride price is 50, how does 100 sound for a slave? Oh, and don't try to bring the new testament into this, Matthew 5:17-20 assures us that the old testament is still valid.
Note: Should the above comment come across the wrong way or be in any way offensive I reserve the right to claim it's a metaphor for loving my neighbour. I'm moral like that!
Selling price is proportional to hip size and health, I think. We will have to quantify it if we are to return to our Biblical roots as a nation (assuming U.S. here) just like our Founding Father's intended but never really mentioned.
Actually, it's "shekel", and it's kind of a cool story. "Shekel", in many ancient Mesopotamian cultures, was a unit of weight. So, something wouldn't cost "a shekel", it would cost "a shekel of silver" or "a shekel of gold". Formalizing this into state-authorized and -stamped discs (essentially, "the government guarantees that this ingot weighs one shekel") led to the invention of coinage. Then, once this abstraction was in place, the concept of "money" -- where a coin had a value that was agreed-upon but had nothing to do with its inherent value -- became possible.
In any case, yes, the "shekel" has been the name of currency of Israel for about thirty years, though during that time they dropped three zeros off of it to make up for rampant inflation (think Mexican peso, French franc, Zimbabwe dollar, whatever.)
An ancient Hebrew shekel was about ten grams, which is about a third of a troy ounce, and it referred to a weight of silver, and the spot price for silver as of this writing is about $17, so an ancient shekel is roughly $6. A modern Israeli New Shekel is about a quarter dollar. So, take your pick. :-)
By the way:Exodus 21 is simply glorious. If you're going to commit exactly one chapter of the Bible to memory to quote at religionists who tell you that it's a good moral book, this is it.
Highlights, in addition to the daughter bit::
* It's OK to murder someone in certain circumstances.
* You can kill your children if they talk back to you.
* It's a no-no to beat your slave to death if he dies immediately, but if it's a lingering injury that gives him a couple days before he dies, that's all good. (Seriously, read it.)
* Slaves can go free after seven years, but if you bought a slave wife for him and they had kids while he was enslaved, the wife and kids are yours to keep, unless he wants to stay a slave.
* Men are allowed multiple wives.
* If your ox kills another dude, your ox dies. So do you.
* But if you dig a pit to trap some other dude's ox, and it falls in and dies, then you have to pay the other guy for the ox -- but it's yours to keep.
* If you're in a fight with another guy, and you hit a pregnant woman, and she dies, you die. But if she only miscarries, you just owe Dad some money. (Mention this one to a pro-lifer who says that God values the life of mother and fetus equally.)
For real. I am making none of this up.
The defense for this, for Abrahamists, by the way, is obvious: They're. Not. Their. Laws. To. Begin. With. They're all stolen from cultures that weren't dirt-poor nomads in the desert. The laws are kinda slid in sideways into Exodus and hammered until they fit. But they don't fit very well with what else Yahweh is supposed to have said. But will the Abrahamist admit this? Well, no: that would make the Bible errant.