bore his ear
21:6 bore his ear. This ordinance is very significant, being the first given after the ten commandments. This first ordinance and those that follow center first on the most humble members of society (the slaves–recognizing the then-universal existence of slavery, and ameliorating the practice), then on other people, then on property–thus establishing God’s priorities. Second, right at the beginning of the dispensation of Law, we are given a typological picture of God’s Servant, who would someday come to bear the curse of the Law for us, saving us by His grace. The slave, with full right to be set free in his seventh year, chooses rather to stay in the will of his master, listening to his voice only–symbolized and sealed by the opening in his ear. Just so, Christ said prophetically: “Mine ears hast thou opened:...Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:6-8). The fulfillment of this prophecy is described in Hebrews 10:5-10. There, the opening of the ears of the servant is included in the preparation of the Lord’s human body “to do thy will, O God... By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:7,10).