Bible Trivia: Who lost his ear and almost his career?

Matthew 26:51, The servant of the high priest…cut off his ear. Was it Peter’s (John 18:10) intention to cut of the servant’s ear or head? Some theologians suggest that Peter was going for the head, but missed and got the ear (actually it was the earlobe; see TDNT 5:543) instead.


Likely, Peter’s intended target was indeed the ear, for the servant, who was a priest himself, would have been disqualified by the Torah from serving in the temple if he had any physical defect or blemish such as a missing ear (Lev 21:18–21).

Not only that, but Peter went for the right earlobe (Luke 22:50; John 18:10), which according to the Torah (Exod 29:20) had to be anointed with blood as part of the consecration process of a priest. An improperly consecrated priest was disqualified from service in the temple as well. So by cutting off the servant’s earlobe, Peter was striking a fatal blow to his career, not to mention his ego.


1 thought on “Bible Trivia: Who lost his ear and almost his career?

  1. Really enjoyed the insights in this article. For example, the understanding about the servant’s earlobe just added to understanding the passage better. It’s easier to identify the nuances of what was really going on. Thanks for this teaching.

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