Deuteronomy 15:16-17

16 But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you,
17 then take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant.

Deuteronomy 15:16-17 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO DEUTERONOMY 15

This chapter treats of a release of debts every seventh year, to which a blessing is promised if attended to, De 15:1-6, which seventh year of release should not hinder lending to a poor man in distress, even though it was nigh at hand, De 15:7-11 and of letting servants go free, whether manservant or maidservant, at the end of six years' servitude, De 15:12-15 but if unwilling to go, and desirous of staying, must have his ear bored through with an awl, and serve to the year of jubilee, De 15:16-18 and of sanctifying and eating the firstlings of the herd and flock where the Lord directs, De 15:19-23.

Deuteronomy 15:16-17 In-Context

14 Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the LORD your God has blessed you.
15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.
16 But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you,
17 then take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant.
18 Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free, because their service to you these six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand. And the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do.
19 Set apart for the LORD your God every firstborn male of your herds and flocks. Do not put the firstborn of your cows to work, and do not shear the firstborn of your sheep.