A few short words are in order about one of the most famous of biblical cruxes. The verse is Exodus 21:6 which reads as follows:
והגישו אדניו אל האלהים והגישו אל הדלת או אל המזוזה ורצע אדניו את אזנו במרצע ועבדו לעלם׃
His master must bring him to the Elohim and make him approach the door or the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl and he shall serve him forever.
What are the Elohim? When the word appears as a singular it means the one true God; in the plural it most often means idols or lesser celestial powers or beings. The context here provides for either. The Rabbis, alert to the problem, read Elohim as "judges" and suggest that the ear piercing is to occur on the court-house steps. The bible critics however have pointed out that ANE scholars have discovered that it was once common for household idols to be kept at the doorpost; moreover, often oaths or other declerations relating to the household would take place in front of them.
So what does this verse mean?
Per the Rabbis: His master must bring him to court and make him approach the door or the doorpost, [of the courthouse] and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl and he shall serve him forever [the legal rite having been performed in a legal setting.
Per the Critics: His master must bring him in front of the household gods, that is the door or the doorpost, [The words "that is the door or the doorpost" are understood to be a later gloss] and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl and he shall serve him forever [the rite having been performed at the door of the household to which the slave has committed himself.]