Exodus 21:6
New International Version
then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

New Living Translation
If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door or doorpost and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will serve his master for life.

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.

Berean Study Bible
then his master is to bring him before the judges. And he shall take him to the door or doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he shall serve his master for life.

New American Standard Bible
then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.

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.

Christian Standard Bible
his master is to bring him to the judges and then bring him to the door or doorpost. His master will pierce his ear with an awl, and he will serve his master for life.

Contemporary English Version
Then he must stand beside either the door or the doorpost at the place of worship, while his owner punches a small hole through one of his ears with a sharp metal rod. This makes him a slave for life.

Good News Translation
then his master shall take him to the place of worship. There he is to make him stand against the door or the doorpost and put a hole through his ear. Then he will be his slave for life.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
his master is to bring him to the judges and then bring him to the door or doorpost. His master must pierce his ear with an awl, and he will serve his master for life."

International Standard Version
then his master is to bring him before the judges and he is to bring him to the door or to the doorpost. His master is to pierce his ear with an awl, and he is to serve him permanently.

NET Bible
then his master must bring him to the judges, and he will bring him to the door or the doorposts, and his master will pierce his ear with an awl, and he shall serve him forever.

New Heart English Bible
then his master shall bring him to God, and shall bring him to the door or to the doorpost, and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him for ever.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
then his master must bring him to God. The master must bring him to the door or the doorframe and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his slave for life.

JPS Tanakh 1917
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.

New American Standard 1977
then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.

Jubilee Bible 2000
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 forever.

King James 2000 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 awl; and he shall serve him forever.

American King James Version
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.

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.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
his master shall bring him to the judgment-seat of God, and then shall he bring him to the door, —to 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.

Darby Bible Translation
then his master shall bring him before the judges, and shall bring him to the door, or to the door-post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall be his bondman 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.

World English Bible
then his master shall bring him to God, and shall bring him to the door or to the doorpost, and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him for ever.

Young's Literal Translation
then hath his lord brought him nigh unto God, and hath brought him nigh unto the door, or unto the side-post, and his lord hath bored his ear with an awl, and he hath served him -- to the age.
Study Bible
Laws for Servants
5But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children; I do not want to go free,’ 6then his master is to bring him before the judges. And he shall take him to the door or doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he shall serve his master for life. 7And if a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as the menservants do.…
Cross References
Exodus 21:5
But if the servant declares, 'I love my master and my wife and children; I do not want to go free,'

Exodus 21:7
And if a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as the menservants do.

Deuteronomy 15:16
But if your servant says to you, 'I do not want to leave you,' because he loves you and your household and is well off with you,

Psalm 82:1
God presides in the divine assembly; He renders judgment among the gods:

Treasury of Scripture

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.

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, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

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; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.

Exodus 18:21-26
Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: …

bore his ear.

Psalm 40:6-8
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required…

for every

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

Deuteronomy 15:17
Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise.

1 Samuel 1:22
But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever.







Lexicon
then his master
אֲדֹנָיו֙ (’ă·ḏō·nāw)
Noun - masculine plural construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 113: Sovereign, controller

is to bring
וְהִגִּישׁ֤וֹ (wə·hig·gî·šōw)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hifil - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5066: To draw near, approach

him before
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 413: Near, with, among, to

the judges.
הָ֣אֱלֹהִ֔ים (hā·’ĕ·lō·hîm)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative

And he shall take him
וְהִגִּישׁוֹ֙ (wə·hig·gî·šōw)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hifil - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5066: To draw near, approach

to
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 413: Near, with, among, to

the door
הַדֶּ֔לֶת (had·de·leṯ)
Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1817: Something swinging, the valve of a, door

or
א֖וֹ (’ōw)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 176: Desire, if

doorpost
הַמְּזוּזָ֑ה (ham·mə·zū·zāh)
Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4201: A doorpost, gatepost

and pierce
וְרָצַ֨ע (wə·rā·ṣa‘)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7527: To bore, pierce

his ear
אָזְנוֹ֙ (’ā·zə·nōw)
Noun - feminine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 241: Broadness, the ear

with an awl.
בַּמַּרְצֵ֔עַ (bam·mar·ṣê·a‘)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4836: A boring instrument, awl

Then he shall serve his master
וַעֲבָד֖וֹ (wa·‘ă·ḇā·ḏōw)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5647: To work, to serve, till, enslave

for life.
לְעֹלָֽם׃ (lə·‘ō·lām)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5769: Concealed, eternity, frequentatively, always
(6) His master shall bring him unto the judges.--A formal act was necessary. The State must sanction the passing of a citizen into the slave condition, and so the "judges" were called in. The change was to be made by a significant ceremony. In order to mark that henceforth the volunteer bondman became attached to the household, he was to be physically attached to the house by having an awl forced through his ear, and then driven into the door or door-post. Hence "opening the ear" became a synonym for assigning a man to the slave condition in perpetuity (Psalm 40:6). The word used for "judges" is ha-Elohim, "the gods," or "the exalted ones," which has the same sense in Exodus 22:8-9.

21:1-11 The laws in this chapter relate to the fifth and sixth commandments; and though they differ from our times and customs, nor are they binding on us, yet they explain the moral law, and the rules of natural justice. The servant, in the state of servitude, was an emblem of that state of bondage to sin, Satan, and the law, which man is brought into by robbing God of his glory, by the transgression of his precepts. Likewise in being made free, he was an emblem of that liberty wherewith Christ, the Son of God, makes free from bondage his people, who are free indeed; and made so freely, without money and without price, of free grace.
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