Exodus 21:6
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.

King James Bible
Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.

American Standard Version
then his master shall bring him unto God, and shall bring him to the door, or unto the door-post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.

Douay-Rheims Bible
His master shall bring him to the gods, and he shall be set to the door and the posts, and he shall bore his ear through with an awl: and he shall be his servant for ever.

English Revised Version
then his master shall bring him unto God, and shall bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then his master shall bring him to the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or to the door-post: and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.

Exodus 21:6 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

For the worship of Jehovah, the God of heaven, Israel needed only an altar, on which to cause its sacrifices to ascend to God. The altar, as an elevation built up of earth or rough stones, was a symbol of the elevation of man to God, who is enthroned on high in the heaven; and because man was to raise himself to God in his sacrifices, Israel also was to make an altar, though only of earth, or if of stones, not of hewn stones. "For if thou swingest thy tool (חרב lit., sharpness, then any edge tool) over it (over the stone), thou defilest it" (Exodus 20:25). "Of earth:" i.e., not "of comparatively simple materials, such as befitted a representation of the creature" (Schultz on Deuteronomy 12); for the altar was not to represent the creature, but to be the place to which God came to receive man into His fellowship there. For this reason the altar was to be made of the same material, which formed the earthly soil for the kingdom of God, either of earth or else of stones, just as they existed in their natural state; not, however, "because unpolished stones, which retain their true and native condition, appear to be endowed with a certain native purity, and therefore to be most in harmony with the sanctity of an altar" (Spencer de legg. Hebr. rit. lib. ii. c. 6), for the "native purity" of the earth does not agree with Genesis 3:17; but because the altar was to set forth the nature of the simple earthly soil, unaltered by the hand of man. The earth, which has been involved in the curse of sin, is to be renewed and glorified into the kingdom of God, not by sinful men, but by the gracious hand of God alone. Moreover, Israel was not to erect the altar for its sacrifices in any place that it might choose, but only in every place in which Jehovah should bring His name to remembrance. וגו שׁם הזכּיר does not mean "to make the name of the Lord remembered," i.e., to cause men to remember it; but to establish a memorial of His name, i.e., to make a glorious revelation of His divine nature, and thereby to consecrate the place into a holy soil (cf. Exodus 3:5), upon which Jehovah would come to Israel and bless it. Lastly, the command not to go up to the altar by steps (Exodus 20:26) is followed by the words, "that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon." It was in the feeling of shame that the consciousness of sin first manifested itself, and it was in the shame that the sin was chiefly apparent (Genesis 3:7); hence the nakedness was a disclosure of sin, through which the altar of God would be desecrated, and for this reason it was forbidden to ascend to the altar by steps. These directions with reference to the altar to be built do not refer merely to the altar, which was built for the conclusion of the covenant, nor are they at variance with the later instructions respecting the one altar at the tabernacle, upon which all the sacrifices were to be presented (Leviticus 17:8-9; Deuteronomy 12:5.), nor are they merely "provisional" but they lay the foundation for the future laws with reference to the places of worship, though without restricting them to one particular locality on the one hand, or allowing an unlimited number of altars on the other. Hence "several places and altars are referred to here, because, whilst the people were wandering in the desert, there could be no fixed place for the tabernacle" (Riehm). But the erection of the altar is unquestionably limited to every place which Jehovah appointed for the purpose by a revelation. We are not to understand the words, however, as referring merely to those places in which the tabernacle and its altar were erected, and to the site of the future temple (Sinai, Shilloh, and Jerusalem), but to all those places also where altars were built and sacrifices offered on extraordinary occasions, on account of God, - appearing there such, for example, as Ebal (Joshua 8:30 compared with Deuteronomy 27:5), the rock in Ophrah (Judges 6:25-26), and many other places besides.

Exodus 21:6 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the judges

Exodus 21:22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished...

Exodus 12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast...

Exodus 18:21-26 Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness...

Exodus 22:8,9,28 If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought to the judges...

Numbers 25:6-8 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought to his brothers a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses...

Deuteronomy 1:16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brothers...

Deuteronomy 16:18 Judges and officers shall you make you in all your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, throughout your tribes...

Deuteronomy 19:17,18 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges...

1 Samuel 8:1,2 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel...

Isaiah 1:26 And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counsellors as at the beginning: afterward you shall be called...

Zephaniah 3:3 Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.

bore his ear. This significant ceremony was intended as a mark of permanent servitude, and was calculated to impress the servant with the duty of hearing all his master's orders, and obeying them punctually.

Psalm 40:6-8 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire; my ears have you opened: burnt offering and sin offering have you not required...

for every

Leviticus 25:23,40 The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine, for you are strangers and sojourners with me...

Deuteronomy 15:17 Then you shall take an awl, and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant for ever...

1 Samuel 1:22 But Hannah went not up; for she said to her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him...

1 Samuel 27:12 And Achish believed David, saying, He has made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever.

1 Samuel 28:2 And David said to Achish, Surely you shall know what your servant can do. And Achish said to David...

1 Kings 12:7 And they spoke to him, saying, If you will be a servant to this people this day, and will serve them, and answer them...

Cross References
Exodus 21:5
But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,'

Exodus 21:7
"When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.

Deuteronomy 15:16
But if he says to you, 'I will not go out from you,' because he loves you and your household, since he is well-off with you,

Psalm 82:1
God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

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