According to Halacha, is a gentile allowed to acquire another gentile as a slave? Jews are allowed to have other Jews be slaves, so does the Same principle apply here? Say that the law allows for it so we’ll forget Dina D’malchuta Dina for example

  • 1
    Gentiles own slaves all the time in tanach. Take Gen 20:8 וַיַּשְׁכֵּם אֲבִימֶלֶךְ בַּבֹּקֶר וַיִּקְרָא לְכָל-עֲבָדָיו
    – Double AA
    Jan 16 at 16:52
  • 1
    @DoubleAA that's not necessarily referring to slaves- it could be servants
    – Lo ani
    Jan 16 at 17:39
  • Btw, Jews are not allowed to own other Jews. Definitely not in the way Jews can own gentiles
    – Lo ani
    Jan 16 at 18:01
  • @Loani You mean at-will employees? Is there any reason to think that was the intention?
    – Double AA
    Jan 16 at 18:12
  • @DoubleAA like any king had his entourage of servants: men-at-arms, butlers, stable boys, etc. They weren't all slaves
    – Lo ani
    Jan 16 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


In Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 267:10) it says:

במה דברים אמורים שכשלקח עבד מהעובד כוכבים אין הגוף קנוי לו? כשאותו עובד כוכבים קנה אותו עבד על ידי שנמכר לו הוא עצמו. אבל אם קנאו בדינא דמלכותא דקני ליה גופיה. ולקחו ממנו ישראל, אם קדם וטבל לשם בן חורין -- לא קנה עצמו בו חורין.

What is the case in which we say that one who buys a slave from a gentile, the slaves body doesn't belong to him [until he immerses for the purpose of slavery, see the previous seif]? When that gentile [whom he bought the slave from] bought the slave through the slave selling himself. But if he was bought through the kingdom's laws, in which the slave's body belongs to his [gentile] master, and a Jew bought the slave from him, if the slave immersed with the purpose of becoming a free Jew, it doesn't work [because his body is already owned].

So we see that a gentile can both be sold according to local law to another gentile, and can sell himself into slavery to another gentile. However, if a gentile seems himself into slavery, his body is still considered his own (maybe it'd be considered sort of like an עבד עברי status), whereas if he's sold by law, it'd follow whatever the law states (and presumably his body would belong to his master).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .