There are no rose-tinted glasses. I'm not claiming what I've said is in fact the way it was. However, there is no reason to assume the worst possible scenerio either. It should also not be assumed that their enemies were just innocent victims. You conclusions are based on assumptions.
Rose-tinted glasses aren't about facts, they're about viewpoints. And you have consistently tried to insert the viewpoint that, despite the known fact that every other culture
which had slavery that we have had the opportunity to investigate tended to treat its slaves pretty badly in general
, despite the fact that all their non-Hebrew slaves were captured in war, often wars Israel started for the purpose of either conquering or destroying neighboring nations, and despite the fact that the Israelites consistently backslid on their religious rules even according to the writings of the Bible, that we shouldn't "assume the worst" about biblical Israelite slavery. The thing is, Jst, I'm not assuming the worst. Not even close. I would say that my assumptions, such as they are and what there are of them, lead to them being slightly worse than average.
Yes, you heard me right. As bad as Israelite slavery was, there were worse slave systems. For example, chattel slavery in the American south was worse. And Mesoamerican slaves were frequently picked as human sacrifices. Spartan helotry was such a bad system that they actually organized their (free) society on authoritarian, militaristic lines just so they could keep control of the helots. The point is not that biblical Israelite slavery was especially awful compared to other slavery systems, although I would argue that it was slightly worse than average, but that slavery itself is a pretty awful institution.
They were pretty consistently unfaithful. However, they were not at all times. So here another assumption is required. But I'm not defending Israel because I don't know what they did beyond what is in the record. I am unwilling to make assumption whether it puts them in a good light or a bad light.
Ah, and now we get to the crux of it. This isn't about assuming the worst; this is about making assumptions, period. Except that you are making assumptions; among other things, you are assuming that biblical Israelite slavery was pretty much as it was described in the Bible. But this assumption is not itself justifiable, because slaves were non-entities and would not have been written about in the Bible except in passing. So all that this assumption is based on is a scanty set of religious rules regarding the acquisition, ownership, and treatment of slaves from the Bible. And furthermore, you just acknowledged that the Israelites were pretty consistently unfaithful - which would necessarily include the rules on slavery. Yeah, sure, they weren't always unfaithful. I'm sure men who beat their wives when they got drunk could be okay individuals when they stayed sober - but the fact remains that the wife-beating would ultimately poison the relationship. So too it goes with what slavery systems ultimately do to societies. Whatever the initial causes were, no groups of slaves in history have ever been content with remaining slaves, and the 'safeguards' the slave-owners had to put in place to keep their slaves from rising up and killing them off always did more harm than good.
That is why I do not like to debate the character of God over ancient Israel. The facts simply cannot be known apart from what is in the Bible record and it is not complete enough to make so many judgments.
The Bible - especially the Old Testament - is the epic story of the Israelites, much like the Odyssey is the epic story of Odysseus. And the thing about epic stories is that they are not sober recitations of facts and truths, but ways to engage and excite the reader. This often involves dressing up factual events, or even making stuff up entirely, not to mention all the cultural stuff that gets added in simply so that it relates to its intended audience.
The fact remains, if the epic story of a culture involves regularly engaging in wars of conquest or even destruction against one's neighbors, then it's a pretty safe bet that they were not people that anyone else would have looked up to.
That doesn't change anything. Many people in Iraq were happy when the U.S. invaded. Perhaps you are viewing Israel's enemies through rose-tinted glasses.
A nation engaging on regular wars of conquest or destruction doesn't change anything
Oh, I'm sure that Israel's neighbors weren't the pick of the litter; I certainly wouldn't want to have lived in any of those societies. But that's beside the point, which is that you're utilizing the 'facts' written in the Bible - the epic story of the Hebrews, which helped define them as a people - to justify Israel's treatment of their neighbors. And that doesn't fly; every nation in history tends to denigrate its enemies in various ways. The Israelites were no exception to this rule; your assumption that they were - because you believe that what's written in the Bible are the pure facts of the matter, even though history written by the winners is going to be slanted towards them - is what led me to the conclusion that you are wearing rose-tinted glasses regarding them.