What the Pharisees say to Jesus in John 8:33 is a truth. They never were slaves. They were never chattel slaves. They were never enslaved by either a man or nation.
How we measure a slave and slavery has as its predicate an outward appearance, the color of a man's skin, wealth, or a result of war. We, as in western civilization, envision as slave in the same manner that we reckon a species of fowl or beast. It is not by the fowl's or beast's behavior, since throughout the history and legacy of the Negro in America there'd be no great exception held by those who envisioned themselves as his master as for his testimony. Since in the years after the ratification of the 13th Amendment (6 December 1865) (Jethro K. Lieberman, A Practical Companion to the Constitution, pg. 581) we witness the insidious reality of in which blacks lived, even where it concerned the practice of law and serving on juries (Charles E. Wynes, Race Relations in Virginia, 1870-1902, pg. 138-141).
So, when it comes to assigning the man the world reckons as meet for slavery it is solely a matter of his outward appearance. What we must be mindful of however is that the source of our strength. The source from which we gather and establish the strength of our convictions is not from the Bible. It is not from the spirits or teachings of Moses and Jesus. Rather it is from the spirits of the Greek philosopher. Most pressingly it is from the spirits of Aristotle, who, in his work Politics writes:
...doubtless if men differed from one another in the mere forms of their bodies as much as the statues of the Gods do from men, all would acknowledge that the inferior class should be slaves of the superior. And if there is a difference in the body, how much more in the soul! But the beauty of the body is seen, whereas the beauty of the soul is not seen. It is clear, then, that some men are by nature free, and others slaves, and that for these latter slavery is both expedient and right (Aristotle, Politics, Translated by Benjamin Jowett, Introduction, Analysis, and Index by H.W.C. Davis, I.5.10-11 pg. 34).
Jesus opens our vesicle of understanding that such spirits are not of him. In John 7:24, as for the type of judgment that is of Jesus, he impresses on us to:
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).
It is on this basis I conclude that we have no sense as for what the Bible actually teaches. It is a consequence of the philosophical beliefs and teachings that underpin our hermeneutics which are Greek philosophical beliefs and teachings. And no more is this as revealingly impactful than with the subject of Israel and slavery.
So, because it demands a greater dialogue than meet for these pages to argue biblically why the Jews were never enslaved. I turn to the philosophical teachings that serve as the means with which we interpret and understand Scripture.
In the 6th book of Plato's Laws, as it concerns the issue of what makes a slave. The Athenian in the play references the ancient Greek poet who attributes the matter to Zeus that:
"If you make a man a slave, that very day / Far-sounding Zeus takes half his wits away" (Plato, Laws VI.777) (Plato, Complete Works, Edited by John M. Cooper, pg. 1450).
In essence what the Greek poet taught is of a Truth, given how you make a man a slave is that you change his name. It was and is with the Negro, as it was with the Helot, as it was with the Phoenician. It was because of how the world impressed a name upon the African (Negro), the populations of Laconia and Messenia (Helots), and the Phoencians (the Ancient Canaanites), was the world able to create for itself and perpetuate a slave. How we arrive at the truth that the children of Israel were never enslaved is because they never lost their name. Even when their name moved from "children of Israel" to "Jew" in the moment David established himself in trespass with the LORD in that he numbered the Jews (1 Chronicles 21) http://biblehub.com/kjv/1_chronicles/21.htm it was a movement of their own choosing.
As for the Jew's sojourn in Egypt. Joshua 5:3-7 http://biblehub.com/kjv/joshua/5.htm makes clear how the Jews were never enslaved in Egypt, as their name was the means by which they called into remembrance the covenant (Genesis 17:9-14) our ETERNAL FATHER (Exodus 3:14) made with Abraham that concerned circumcision. This covenant (Genesis 17:9-14) is very different from what I term as the Promised Covenant (Genesis 17:7-8). Since as for the latter, it is the LORD who makes this covenant (Genesis 17:7-8) with Abraham. This is how we come to the conclusion that we fail to understand what Scripture teaches is because we conflate LORD and God, never to appreciate the words of Balaam (Numbers 23:19).
The conclusion: Because their name never changed, the Jews were never enslaved by any man. But that does not mean that the Jews were not in bondage. For the latter all centers on what Jesus says to Pharisees as for Pharisees' association with Abraham. Though they were the natural seed of Abraham, they were not sons of Abraham, since then they'd do as Abraham (John 8:39-40). And this too is another great mystery within Scripture as for how is it possible to be a man's child, and yet not be reckoned as a child of the man.
For the person who gave me a negative response: The question we fail to consider is, is there a difference between what Scripture interprets as slavery apart from what we customarily believe evidences a slave as a result of war, debt, and crime. That is, is the Bible's sense of slavery a condition of the body or of the soul? Just because a man is enslaved as a result of war, debt, or crime does not mean he is a slave if he is able to retain his name.
It is his name that keeps a man or a people in contact with his or their fathers and the god of his or their fathers. The object in keeping your name is so that you call all things into remembrance, which is not only finds you in lock step with the Spirit of the LORD where it concerns Fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:8-11). But it is even more so in harmony with the Spirit of God that prevailed from the beginning. Where, in closing the whole of Creation (Genesis 1-2:1-3), on the Seventh Day
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made (Genesis 2:1-3).