The slave himself probably thought no more of the operation than does a South African beauty, when her lip or ear is pierced for the lip-ring and the ear-ring, which in her estimation are to add to her charms.It is really too much when a staid professor makes such a prescription the ground for a grave charge of inhumanity against the law of Moses .What is there said of divorce is applicable to plurality of wives.
It was suited to the low stage of civilization to which the Israelites had at the time attained; the severe punishments which it prescribed for transgressors were necessary to bend the stiff necks of a rude people; the temporal rewards held out to those who observed the law were adapted to an unspiritual and carnal race. In its treatment of the poor, of strangers, of slaves, and of enemies, it was vastly superior to the civilly more advanced Code of Hammurabi and other celebrated codes of ancient law.
It did not aim merely at regulating the external acts of the people of God, it curbed also licentious thoughts and covetouss desires.
It was a sign and mark by which he was known to be a lifelong slave.
The practice was doubtless already familiar to the Israelites of the time, as it was to their neighbours.
A great want of historical perspective is shown by those, critics who judge the Mosaic Law by the humanitarian and sentimental canons of the twentieth century.