Weekly Word Definition – Bondage

Bondage

the state of being a slave

the tenure or service of a villain, serf, or slave

:  a state of being bound usually by compulsion (as of law or mastery): such as

  1. captivity, serfdom
  2. servitude or subjugation to a controlling person or force young people in bondage to drugs

            Merriam-Webster

Used in two senses in Scripture, a literal and a metaphorical sense.

(1) In the former sense, it refers

  • (a) to the condition of the Hebrews (ăbhōdhāh) in Egypt (Exodus 1:14; 2:23) which is frequently called “the house of bondage,” Exodus 13:3, 14; 20:2; Deut. 5:6. It also refers to the condition of the Hebrews in Babylonia (Isaiah 14:3) and in Persia (Ezra 9:8), where a slightly different form of the same root (abhedhūth) is used in the original. In both these cases the bondage was not so much personal as national. As a rule, individuals were not subject to individuals, but the whole Hebrew people were subject to the Egyptian, Babylonian and the Persian states. They were forced to labor on public works, and otherwise, and were denied their own freedom when the exigencies of state seemed to demand it. The former word ʿăbhōdāh is also used in Neh. 5:18 as descriptive of the subject and depressed conditions of the Hebrews in Palestine during the earlier years after their return from captivity, when they were still living under Persian suzerainty.
  • (b) The word bondage ʿăbhādhīm is also used to describe the slavery into which the poor Jews were being forced by their more prosperous brethren in the earlier years under the Persians in Palestine (Neh. 5:5). Here true personal, though temporary, slavery is meant.
  • (c) Marriage is once referred to as a bondage (1 Cor. 7:15). It wasn’t the marriage that Paul was referring to, it was the obligations concerned with marriage.

(2) It is used in the metaphorical sense only in New Testament.

 “Bondage,” is the power of physical corruption as against the freedom of life (Romans 8:21), the power of fear as over against the confidence of Christian faith (Romans 8:15; Hebrews 2:15), and especially is it the bondage of the letter, of the elements, of a ceremonial and institutional salvation which must be scrupulously and painfully observed, as contrasted with the freedom of the sons of God, emancipated by faith in Jesus Christ. This bondage is a peculiarly Pauline idea since he was fighting for Christian freedom (Galatians 2:4; Galatians 4:3, 9, 24-25; Galatians 5:1). In 2 Peter 2:19 the idea is essentially different. Libertinism, masquerading under the name of freedom, is branded as bondage, in contrast with the true freedom of righteous living.

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Bondage to sin is not necessary. Those who are true Christians have nothing to do with bondage to sin.

Romans 6:4-6 (NKJV)

Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

Through our faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will guide us in a life free from sin if we will let Him. Don’t get caught up in bondage, it’s not worth it. Instead, listen to the Holy Spirit and live the bible every day. If you are living the bible, there will be no room for bondage in your life.

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