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The Seventh Year
(Deuteronomy 15.1-11)
1 # Ex 23.10,11 The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and commanded him 2to give the following regulations to the people of Israel. When you enter the land that the Lord is giving you, you shall honor the Lord by not cultivating the land every seventh year. 3You shall plant your fields, prune your vineyards, and gather your crops for six years. 4But the seventh year is to be a year of complete rest for the land, a year dedicated to the Lord. Do not plant your fields or prune your vineyards. 5Do not even harvest the grain that grows by itself without being planted, and do not gather the grapes from your unpruned vines; it is a year of complete rest for the land. 6Although the land has not been cultivated during that year, it will provide food for you, your slaves, your hired men, the foreigners living with you, 7your domestic animals, and the wild animals in your fields. Everything that it produces may be eaten.
The Year of Restoration
8Count seven times seven years, a total of forty-nine years. 9Then, on the tenth day of the seventh month, the Day of Atonement, send someone to blow a trumpet throughout the whole land. 10In this way you shall set the fiftieth year apart and proclaim freedom to all the inhabitants of the land. During this year all property that has been sold shall be restored to the original owner or the descendants, and any who have been sold as slaves shall return to their families. 11You shall not plant your fields or harvest the grain that grows by itself or gather the grapes in your unpruned vineyards. 12The whole year shall be sacred for you; you shall eat only what the fields produce of themselves.
13In this year all property that has been sold shall be restored to its original owner. 14So when you sell land to an Israelite or buy land, do not deal unfairly. 15The price is to be set according to the number of years the land can produce crops before the next Year of Restoration. 16If there are many years, the price shall be higher, but if there are only a few years, the price shall be lower, because what is being sold is the number of crops the land can produce. 17Do not cheat an Israelite, but obey the Lord your God.
The Problem of the Seventh Year
18Obey all the Lord's laws and commands, so that you may live in safety in the land. 19The land will produce its crops, and you will have all you want to eat and will live in safety.
20But someone may ask what there will be to eat during the seventh year, when no fields are planted and no crops gathered. 21The Lord will bless the land in the sixth year so that it will produce enough food for two years. 22When you plant your fields in the eighth year, you will still be eating what you harvested during the sixth year, and you will have enough to eat until the crops you plant that year are harvested.
Restoration of Property
23Your land must not be sold on a permanent basis, because you do not own it; it belongs to God, and you are like foreigners who are allowed to make use of it.
24When land is sold, the right of the original owner to buy it back must be recognized. 25If any of you Israelites become poor and are forced to sell your land, your closest relative is to buy it back. 26If you have no relative to buy it back, you may later become prosperous and have enough to buy it back yourself. 27In that case you must pay to the one who bought it a sum that will make up for the years remaining until the next Year of Restoration, when you would in any event recover your land. 28But if you do not have enough money to buy the land back, it remains under the control of the one who bought it until the next Year of Restoration. In that year it will be returned to its original owner.
29If you sell a house in a walled city, you have the right to buy it back during the first full year from the date of sale. 30But if you do not buy it back within the year, you lose the right of repurchase, and the house becomes the permanent property of the purchasers and their descendants; it will not be returned in the Year of Restoration. 31But houses in unwalled villages are to be treated like fields; the original owner has the right to buy them back, and they are to be returned in the Year of Restoration. 32However, Levites have the right to buy back at any time their property in the cities assigned to them. 33If a house in one of these cities is sold by a Levite and is not bought back, it must be returned in the Year of Restoration,#25.33: Probable text If a house … Restoration; Hebrew unclear. because the houses which the Levites own in their cities are their permanent property among the people of Israel. 34But the pasture land around the Levite cities shall never be sold; it is their property forever.
Loans to the Poor
35 # Dt 15.7,8 If any Israelites living near you become poor and cannot support themselves, you must provide for them as you would for a hired worker, so that they can continue to live near you. 36Do not charge Israelites any interest, but obey God and let them live near you. 37#Ex 22.25; Dt 23.19,20 Do not make them pay interest on the money you lend them, and do not make a profit on the food you sell them. 38This is the command of the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt in order to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.
Release of Slaves
39 # Ex 21.2-6; Dt 15.12-18 If any Israelites living near you become so poor that they sell themselves to you as a slave, you shall not make them do the work of a slave. 40They shall stay with you as hired workers and serve you until the next Year of Restoration. 41At that time they and their children shall leave you and return to their family and to the property of their ancestors. 42The people of Israel are the Lord's slaves, and he brought them out of Egypt; they must not be sold into slavery. 43Do not treat them harshly, but obey your God. 44If you need slaves, you may buy them from the nations around you. 45You may also buy the children of the foreigners who are living among you. Such children born in your land may become your property, 46and you may leave them as an inheritance to your children, whom they must serve as long as they live. But you must not treat any Israelites harshly.
47Suppose a foreigner living with you becomes rich, while some Israelites become poor and sell themselves as slaves to that foreigner or to a member of that foreigner's family. 48After they are sold, they still have the right to be bought back. A brother 49or an uncle or a cousin or another close relative may buy them back; or if they themselves earn enough, they may buy their own freedom. 50They must consult the one who bought them, and they must count the years from the time they sold themselves until the next Year of Restoration and must set the price for their release on the basis of the wages paid hired workers. 51-52They must refund a part of the purchase price according to the number of years left, 53as if they had been hired on an annual basis. Their master must not treat them harshly. 54If they are not set free in any of these ways, they and their children must be set free in the next Year of Restoration. 55Israelites cannot be permanent slaves, because the people of Israel are the Lord's slaves. He brought them out of Egypt; he is the Lord their God.
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1And the Lord spoke unto Moses in Mount Sinai, saying,2Speak unto the sons of Israel and say unto them, When ye have come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord.3Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard and gather in the fruit thereof,4but the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath of rest, a sabbath unto the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field nor prune thy vineyard.5That which grows of its own accord in thy land that was harvested, thou shalt not reap; neither fence in the grapes of thy consecrated vine; for it is a year of rest unto the land.6But the sabbath of the land shall be food for you, for thee and for thy slave and for thy maid and for thy hired servant and for thy stranger that sojourns with thee7and for thy beast and for the animals that are in thy land shall all the fruit thereof be food.
8And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty-nine years.9Then shalt thou cause the shofar to sound an alarm on the tenth day of the seventh month; in the day of the reconciliations shall ye cause the shofar to sound throughout all your land.10And ye shall sanctify the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every one unto his possession, and ye shall return each one unto his family.11A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you; ye shall not sow nor reap that which grows of itself in it nor fence in thy consecrated vine.12For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you; ye shall eat the fruit of the land.13In this year of jubilee ye shall return each one unto his possession.14And if thou sell anything unto thy neighbour or buy anything of thy neighbour’s hand, ye shall not oppress one another.15According to the number of years after the jubilee thou shalt buy of thy neighbour, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee.16According to the multitude of years thou shalt increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of years thou shalt diminish the price of it; for according to the number of the years of the fruits does he sell unto thee.17Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God; for I am the Lord your God.18Execute, therefore, my statutes and keep my rights and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety;19and the land shall yield her 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 fruits,21then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years.22And ye shall sow the eighth year and eat yet of old fruit; until the ninth year, until her fruits come in ye shall eat of the old store.
23The land shall not be sold for ever, for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.24Therefore, in all the land of your possession, ye shall grant a redemption for the land.25If thy brother becomes poor and has sold away some of his possession, his redeemer shall come, his closest kinsman, and shall redeem that which his brother sold.26And when the man has no redeemer and is able to stretch forth his hand and find enough for his redemption,27then he shall count the years from the sale thereof and pay that which remains unto the man to whom he sold it; that he may return unto his possession.28But if he is not able to stretch forth his hand and find enough to return unto it, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of the one that has bought it until the year of jubilee; and in the jubilee the land shall go out free, and he shall return unto his possession.29And if a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year may he redeem it.30And if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be established for ever to the one that bought it for his descendants; it shall not go out in the jubilee.31But the houses of the villages which have no wall round about them shall be counted as the fields of the country; they may be redeemed, and they shall go out in the jubilee.32Notwithstanding the cities of the Levites and the houses of the cities of their possession, the Levites may redeem at any time.33And if a man makes a purchase from the Levites, then the house that was sold and the city of his possession, shall go out in the year of jubilee; for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the sons 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 becomes poor and comes unto thee, then thou shalt receive him; as a stranger, or a sojourner, he shall live with thee.36Take thou no usury of him, or increase; but thou shalt have the fear of thy God, and thy brother shall live with thee.37Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy food for increase.38I AM 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 when thy brother becomes poor, being with thee, and if he should sell himself unto thee, thou shalt not compel him to serve as a slave.40As a hired servant and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee and shall serve thee unto the year of jubilee.41Then he shall depart free from thy house, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he be restored.42For they belong to me, I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves.43Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor, but shalt fear thy God.44Both thy menslaves and thy maidslaves, which thou shalt have, shall be of the Gentiles that are round about you; of them shall ye buy slaves.45Ye may also buy of the children of the strangers that live among you and of those of their lineage that are born in your land, who are with you, and they shall be your possession.46And ye shall possess them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit as a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever; but over your brethren, the sons of Israel, ye shall not rule over one another with rigor.47And if a sojourner or stranger who is with thee becomes rich and thy brother who is with him becomes poor and sells himself unto the stranger or sojourner who is with thee or to the race of the lineage of the stranger,48after he is sold he shall have redemption; one of his brethren shall redeem him;49either his uncle or his uncle’s son shall redeem him; or any that is near of kin unto him of his lineage shall redeem him; or if he is able, he may redeem himself.50And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubilee; and the price of his sale shall be according to the number of years, according to the time of a hired servant shall it be with him.51If there are yet many years, according unto them he shall give again 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 count with him, and according unto his years shall he give him again the price of his redemption.53And as a yearly hired servant shall he be with him; and the other shall not rule with rigor over him in thy sight.54And if he is not redeemed in these years, then he shall go out in the year of jubilee, both he and his children with him.55For the sons of Israel are mine; they are my slaves whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt. I AM your God.