Essay Exodus and the Ethics of Labor

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Oppression is something that has been repeated throughout history all over the world. Whether it was the oppression of Black Americans during the Jim Crow period or the oppression of Jews in Nazi Germany during World War II, oppression is an unethical act that humanity has not yet moved past. Looking to the Bible as a source of Christian ethics in terms of how to fight oppression and promote equality brings to attention how God intended His people to be treated, especially the poor and the helpless. The book of Exodus is a primary guide for what the ethics of labor ought to be in the work force to avoid oppression. One might reference the story of the Israelites in the book of Exodus. The Israelites are under the thumb of the Pharaoh and …show more content…
Workers make a knife cut every two or three seconds, totaling to about 10,000 cuts in an eight hour shift (Schlosser, 173). This is considered to be one of the better jobs at the slaughterhouse, especially compared to the workers who must reach inside the cattle and pull out their kidneys with their bare hands. Or the workers who wade around in knee-high blood and guts to drag the unconscious cattle to the production line. These unethical working conditions can be easily compared to the working conditions that the Israelites endured in Exodus. In Exodus 1:13, it states that the Egyptians “became ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites, and made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and brick and in every kind of field labour.” From this passage the reader can infer that the Israelites were forced to endure hours upon hours of harsh physical labor, building supply cities for the Pharaoh under the hot Egyptian sun. The Israelites were even forced to drag and carry their own supplies back to their designated work areas. These supplies were extremely heavy and caused them physical harm, much like the physical harm that was brought upon the slaughterhouse workers who suffered extreme strain on their bodies from the brutal nature of their labor. One may ask, “why did the Egyptians feel that they reigned supreme

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