Friday, December 09, 2005

Length of Bond

Strict rules would apply to the treatment of “bonded employees”. If they are mistreated, they could go before a judge and claim their freedom as compensation (Ex 21:26,27; Deut 15:12-18).

The length of the bond would depend on the amount stolen and the size of the restitution. If the items stolen were valuable, the restitution might be quite a large amount, so the criminal might lose their freedom for several years. The thief would be giving the lender a mortgage over their life. The bible teaches that “a borrower is a slave of the lender” (Prov 22:7), so the penalty for theft will be a slave-like life.

The length of the bond would also depend on productive capacity of the criminal. Unlike a charity loan to someone who falls into poverty, the debt would not be cancelled after seven years (Ex 21:2), so a thief with a bad attitude might be under bond for a long time.

The thief would have an incentive to work hard and increase his skills. By becoming more productive to his employer, he might be able negotiate an earlier release from the bond. Developing good work habits and increasing his earning power would make the thief less likely to offend in the future.

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