And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: 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 for ever (Exodus 21:5,6).
Our text refers to an indentured Hebrew servant, obligated to serve his master for six years, but then free to leave in the seventh. If in the meantime, however, the master had obtained a wife for him, and then children, the law permitted the master to keep the wife and children in servitude while the man left with his freedom.
The man servant might, on the other hand, choose to remain in service permanently with his wife and children. The piercing of his ear symbolized that, forever thereafter, he would hear and do only the will of his master.
This was a foreshadowing of the voluntary submission of the Lord Jesus, who made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant (Philippians 2:7), being sold for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave (Exodus 21:32; Matthew 26:15), in order to identify with His Bride, the church, in bringing many sons unto glory (Hebrews 2:10).
The psalmist prophesied that the coming Messiah would also say in effect: Mine ears hast thou opened [i.e., pierced]. . . . I delight to do thy will, O my God (Psalm 40:6,8). That this was fulfilled in Christ is made clear when the writer of Hebrews, by divine inspiration, interprets this passage to read as follows: Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, . . . a body hast thou prepared me, . . . Lo, I come . . . to do thy will, O God (Hebrews 10:5,7). He could have gone out free, but instead He gave up His own life that we might be with Him forever. HMM