והגישו. מלת אלהים כמו מקימי משפט אלהים בארץ. והמנהג להיותם בשער העיר יושבים שיש לה דלתים ובריח וזה טעם אל הדלת או אל המזוזה שיעשה זה לפני יושבי השער: THEN HIS MASTER SHALL BRING HIM UNTO GOD. The term Elohim (God) means those who establish God’s laws in the land.107That is, elohim means judges. It is customary for the judges to sit in the gate of a city that has doors and a bolt. To the door or the door-post means that what Scripture deals with in this verse is to be performed before those who sit in the gate.
ועבדו לעלם. ידענו כי מלת לעולם בלשון הקודש הוא זמן. כמו כבר היה לעולמים. זמנים. וישב שם עד עולם עד זמן שיהיה גדול. וכן ועבדו לעולם. לזמנו של יובל שאין זמן מועדי ישראל ארוך ממנו ויציאת חירות כאילו עולם מתחדש או יהיה פי' שישוב לזמנו הראשון שהיה חפשי: AND HE SHALL SERVE HIM FOR EVER. We know that the word le-olam (for ever) in Hebrew refers to time, as in it hath been already, in the ages (le-olamim) which were before us (Eccles. 1:10), wherein olamim means ages.108In other words, for ever here means some definite time span. Similarly, ve-yashav sham ad olam (and there abide for ever) (I Sam. 1:22) means: and he will there abide until he grows up. Va-avado le-olam (and he shall serve him for ever) likewise means: and he will serve him until the year of jubilee,109This is the opinion of the sages of the Talmud. See Mekhilta on third verse. for there is no season of Israel that is longer than it.110The jubilee year comes around once in 50 years. Going free is comparable to a renewal of the world.111Hence Scripture reads, va-avado le-olam (and he shall serve him for ever); that is, he shall serve him until the world is renewed, namely, the year of jubilee when all slaves are freed. The word le-olam literally means to a world. Hence I.E.’s comment. This interpretation appears to differ slightly from the preceding one, which took the word olam to mean time. It is also possible that its meaning is that he should be as he was in former times.112Literally, he should return to his former “time.” This interpretation takes the word le-olam to mean: to a time.