For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2001 James Melough



21:1.  “Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them.”

21:2.  “If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.”

21:3.  “If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.”

21:4.  “If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters: the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself.

21:5.  “And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:”

21:6.  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.”

In the Hebrew servant who refused to go out free we are given another type of the Lord Jesus Christ, for it is written of Him that He came into this world as a servant, “... the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many,” Mt 20:28; “... I (Jesus) am among you as one that serveth,” Lk 22:27.

The servant’s being a Hebrew reminds us that as to His humanity the Lord Jesus Christ was also a Jew.

The wife mentioned in verses 4-5 is a type of the Church, the bride given Christ by the Father, it being written that, “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it,” Eph 5:25.  The children represent the men and women who comprise that mystical bride, see Heb 3:13, “Behold I and the children which God hath given me.”  It was Christ’s love for the Father, and for that bride and those children that led Him out to Calvary to glorify the Father, and to redeem the Church and those who constitute her.  He could have “gone out free,” i.e., returned to heaven without dying, but had He done so there would have been no redemption for sinners.

As the Hebrew servant was brought unto the judges so was Christ, but how different were the judgments!  In the case of the Hebrew servant they simply witnessed to his voluntary renunciation of his freedom; but the judges who examined Christ refused to believe His testimony, and unjustly condemned Him to death as a malefactor!

Following his testimony before the judges the Hebrew servant’s master led him to the door, and bored his ear through with an aul, thus sealing the transaction in blood and an indelible mark on the servant’s ear.  The type was fulfilled when God the Holy Spirit led the Lord Jesus Christ out to Calvary’s cross, that cross being the doorway between life and death: by means of it Christ passed from life to death so that believing men and women might, through faith in Him, pass from death to life, and at the end of their earthly lives enter heaven instead of hell.

And as it was the voluntary submission of the Hebrew servant that resulted in the boring of his ear, so was it voluntary submission on Christ’s part that resulted in the piercing of His hands and feet with nails, of His head with thorns, and of His side by the Roman soldier’s spear, as He Himself declared, “I lay down my life for the sheep.... Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again,” Jn 10:15-18.

It is doubtful that the Hebrew servant’s master would ever forget the avowal of love for him made by his servant that day; nor will God the Father ever forget the love for Him displayed by Christ that day at Calvary.  Likewise the wife and children would never forget the love for them that was expressed both in word and deed.  That pierced ear would be the permanent reminder of his sacrificial love for them, as were the hands and side of Christ displayed to the disciples on the night of His resurrection when He assured them of that resurrection by showing unto them His hands and His side, and a week later saying unto Thomas, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither they hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing,” Jn 20:20-27.

It is a terrible indictment of Christendom that so few remember the Lord’s death in the weekly eating of the Lord’s Supper on the first day of each week as He has appointed, that ordinance having been for the most part relegated to an annual rather than a weekly remembrance, that annual event having degenerated for the most part into an empty ritual which is a travesty of the reality portrayed by the bread and wine.


     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough