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1And Jehovah spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, 2Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto Jehovah. 3Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruits thereof; 4but in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath unto Jehovah: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. 5That which groweth of itself of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, and the grapes of thy undressed vine thou shalt not gather: it shall be a year of solemn rest for the land. 6And the sabbath of the land shall be for food for you; for thee, and for thy servant and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant and for thy stranger, who sojourn with thee. 7And for thy cattle, and for the beasts that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be for food.
8And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and there shall be unto thee the days of seven sabbaths of years, even forty and nine years. 9Then shalt thou send abroad the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month; in the day of atonement shall ye send abroad the trumpet throughout all your land. 10And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. 11A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of the undressed vines. 12For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field.
13In this year of jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession. 14And if thou sell aught unto thy neighbor, or buy of thy neighbor’s hand, ye shall not wrong one another. 15According to the number of years after the jubilee thou shalt buy of thy neighbor, and according unto the number of years of the crops he shall sell unto thee. 16According to the multitude of the years thou shalt increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of the years thou shalt diminish the price of it; for the number of the crops doth he sell unto thee. 17And ye shall not wrong one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am Jehovah your God.
18Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep mine ordinances and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. 19And the land shall yield its fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety. 20And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase; 21then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for the three years. 22And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat of the fruits, the old store; until the ninth year, until its fruits come in, ye shall eat the old store.
23And the land shall not be sold in perpetuity; for the land is mine: for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. 24And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land. 25If thy brother be waxed poor, and sell some of his possession, then shall his kinsman that is next unto him come, and shall redeem that which his brother hath sold. 26And if a man have no one to redeem it, and he be waxed rich and find sufficient to redeem it; 27then let him reckon the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; and he shall return unto his possession. 28But if he be not able to get it back for himself, then that which he hath sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubilee: and in the jubilee it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession.
29And if a man sell a dwelling-house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; for a full year shall he have the right of redemption. 30And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be made sure in perpetuity to him that bought it, throughout his generations: it shall not go out in the jubilee. 31But the houses of the villages which have no wall round about them shall be reckoned with the fields of the country: they may be redeemed, and they shall go out in the jubilee. 32Nevertheless the cities of the Levites, the houses of the cities of their possession, may the Levites redeem at any time. 33And if one of the Levites redeem, then the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, shall go out in the jubilee; for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel. 34But the field of the suburbs of their cities may not be sold; for it is their perpetual possession.
35And if thy brother be waxed poor, and his hand fail with thee; then thou shalt uphold him: as a stranger and a sojourner shall he live with thee. 36Take thou no interest of him or increase, but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. 37Thou shalt not give him thy money upon interest, nor give him thy victuals for increase. 38I am Jehovah your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.
39And if thy brother be waxed poor with thee, and sell himself unto thee; thou shalt not make him to serve as a bond-servant. 40As a hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee; he shall serve with thee unto the year of jubilee: 41then shall he go out from thee, he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return. 42For they are my servants, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondmen. 43Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor, but shalt fear thy God. 44And as for thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, whom thou shalt have; of the nations that are round about you, of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. 45Moreover of the children of the strangers that sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they have begotten in your land: and they shall be your possession. 46And ye shall make them an inheritance for your children after you, to hold for a possession; of them shall ye take your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel ye shall not rule, one over another, with rigor.
47And if a stranger or sojourner with thee be waxed rich, and thy brother be waxed poor beside him, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner with thee, or to the stock of the stranger’s family; 48after that he is sold he may be redeemed: one of his brethren may redeem him; 49or his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be waxed rich, he may redeem himself. 50And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he sold himself to him unto the year of jubilee: and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years; according to the time of a hired servant shall he be with him. 51If there be yet many years, according unto them he shall give back the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for. 52And if there remain but few years unto the year of jubilee, then he shall reckon with him; according unto his years shall he give back the price of his redemption. 53As a servant hired year by year shall he be with him: he shall not rule with rigor over him in thy sight. 54And if he be not redeemed by these means, then he shall go out in the year of jubilee, he, and his children with him. 55For unto me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am Jehovah your God.
The Seventh Year
(Deuteronomy 15.1-11)
1 # Ex 23.10,11. When Moses was on Mount Sinai, the Lord told him 2to say to the community of Israel:
After you enter the land that I am giving you, it must be allowed to rest one year out of every seven. 3You may raise grain and grapes for six years, 4but the seventh year you must let your fields and vineyards rest in honor of me, your Lord. 5This is to be a time of complete rest for your fields and vineyards, so don't harvest anything they produce. 6-7However, you and your slaves and your hired workers, as well as any domestic or wild animals, may eat whatever grows on its own.
The Year of Celebration
The Lord said to his people:
8Once every 49 years 9on the tenth day of the seventh month,#25.9 seventh month: See the note at 16.29. which is also the Great Day of Forgiveness,#25.9 Great Day of Forgiveness: See the note at 16.34. trumpets are to be blown everywhere in the land. 10This fiftieth year#25.10 fiftieth year: The year following seven periods of seven years. is sacred—it is a time of freedom and of celebration when everyone will receive back their original property, and slaves will return home to their families. 11This is a year of complete celebration, so don't plant any seed or harvest what your fields or vineyards produce. 12In this time of sacred celebration you may eat only what grows on its own.
13During this year, all property must go back to its original owner. 14-15So when you buy or sell farmland, the price is to be determined by the number of crops it can produce before the next Year of Celebration. Don't try to cheat. 16If it is a long time before the next Year of Celebration, the price will be higher, because what is really being sold are the crops that the land can produce. 17I am the Lord your God, so obey me and don't cheat anyone.
18-19If you obey my laws and teachings, you will live safely in the land and enjoy its abundant crops. 20Don't ever worry about what you will eat during the seventh year when you are forbidden to plant or harvest. 21I will see to it that you harvest enough in the sixth year to last for three years. 22In the eighth year you will live on what you harvested in the sixth year, but in the ninth year you will eat what you plant and harvest in the eighth year.
23No land may be permanently bought or sold. It all belongs to me—it isn't your land, and you only live there for a little while.
24When property is being sold, the original owner must be given the first chance to buy it.
25If any of you Israelites become so poor that you are forced to sell your property, your closest relative must buy it back, 26if that relative has the money. Later, if you can afford to buy it, 27you must pay enough to make up for what the present owner will lose on it before the next Year of Celebration, when the property would become yours again. 28But if you don't have the money to pay the present owner a fair price, you will have to wait until the Year of Celebration, when the property will once again become yours.
29If you sell a house in a walled city, you have only one year in which to buy it back. 30If you don't buy it back before that year is up, it becomes the permanent property of the one who bought it, and it will not be returned to you in the Year of Celebration. 31But a house out in a village may be bought back at any time just like a field. And it must be returned to its original owner in the Year of Celebration. 32If any Levites own houses inside a walled city, they will always have the right to buy them back. 33And any houses that they do not buy back will be returned to them in the Year of Celebration, because these homes are their permanent property among the people of Israel. 34No pastureland owned by the Levi tribe can ever be sold; it is their permanent possession.
Help for the Poor
The Lord said:
35 # Dt 15.7,8. If any of your people become poor and unable to support themselves, you must help them, just as you are supposed to help foreigners who live among you. 36-37#Ex 22.25; Dt 23.19,20. Don't take advantage of them by charging any kind of interest or selling them food for profit. Instead, honor me by letting them stay where they now live. 38Remember—I am the Lord your God! I rescued you from Egypt and gave you the land of Canaan, so that I would be your God.
39 # Ex 21.2-6; Dt 15.12-18. Suppose some of your people become so poor that they have to sell themselves and become your slaves. 40Then you must treat them as servants, rather than as slaves. And in the Year of Celebration they are to be set free, 41so they and their children may return home to their families and property. 42I brought them out of Egypt to be my servants, not to be sold as slaves. 43So obey me, and don't be cruel to the poor.
44If you want slaves, buy them from other nations 45or from the foreigners who live in your own country, and make them your property. 46You can own them, and even leave them to your children when you die, but do not make slaves of your own people or be cruel to them.
47Even if some of you Israelites become so much in debt that you must sell yourselves to foreigners in your country, 48you still have the right to be set free by a relative, such as a brother 49or uncle or cousin, or some other family member. In fact, if you ever get enough money, you may buy your own freedom 50by paying your owner for the number of years you would still be a slave before the next Year of Celebration. 51-52The longer the time until then, the more you will have to pay. 53And even while you are the slaves of foreigners in your own country, your people must make sure that you are not mistreated. 54If you cannot gain your freedom in any of these ways, both you and your children will still be set free in the Year of Celebration. 55People of Israel, I am the Lord your God, and I brought you out of Egypt to be my own servants.