conjecture the cause for these laws.
It is written, Lev. XVIII. “Defile not ye yourselves in any of these; for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you. For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;” and, “Ye shall not walk in the manners of the nations which I cast out before you; for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.”
We can be at no loss to see that the remnant of heathen who survived the slaughter, and still dwelt in the land which the Israelites settled, were in such power, and accustomed to such opinions and habits of bestiality, as to render the progress of civilization, in unrestrained contact with them, at least a problem, if not an absolute impossibility.
Equality of political and social condition with the Jews would have made short work of civilization in that age. Hence we find that bold lines of demarcation were drawn between the Jews and those depraved “strangers.”
Both political and social equality were forbidden.
The Jews were authorized (Lev.
XXV.) to make “bond-men and bond-raids” in perpetuity (unlike the slavery of their brethren, which was for a definite period) of the “heathen that were round about them, and of ”