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Leviticus

The Sabbatical Year.  Lv.25.1-7 - Dt.15.1-11

1THE LORD SPOKE TO MOSES on Mount Sinai and said, 2Speak to the Israelites in these words: When you enter the land which I give you, the land shall keep sabbaths to the LORD. 3For six years you may sow your fields and for six years prune your vineyards and gather the harvest, 4but in the seventh year the land shall keep a sabbath of sacred rest, a sabbath to the LORD. You shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5You shall not harvest the crop that grows from fallen grain, nor gather in the grapes from the unpruned vines. It shall be a year of sacred rest for the land. 6Yet what the land itself produces in the sabbath year shall be food for you, for your male and female slaves, for your hired man, and for the stranger lodging under your roof, 7for your cattle and for the wild animals in your country. Everything it produces may be used for food.

The Year of Jubilee.  Lv.25.8-17

8You shall count seven sabbaths of years, that is seven times seven years, forty-nine years, 9and in the seventh month on the tenth day of the month, on the Day of Atonement, you shall send the ram's horn round. You shall send it through all your land to sound a blast, 10and so you shall hallow the fiftieth year and proclaim liberation in the land for all its inhabitants. You shall make this your year of jubilee. Every man of you shall return to his patrimony, every man to his family. 11The fiftieth year shall be your jubilee. You shall not sow, and you shall not harvest the self-sown crop, nor shall you gather in the grapes from the unpruned vines, 12because it is a jubilee, to be kept holy by you. You shall eat the produce direct from the land.

13In this year of jubilee you shall return, every one of you, to his patrimony. 14When you sell or buy land amongst yourselves, neither party shall drive a hard bargain. 15You shall pay your fellow-countryman according to the number of years since the jubilee, and he shall sell to you according to the number of annual crops. 16The more years there are to run, the higher the price, the fewer the years, the lower, because he is selling you a series of crops. 17You must not victimize one another, but you shall fear your God, because I am the LORD your God.

Abundance for the Sabbatical year.  Lv.25.18-22

18Observe my statutes, keep my judgements and carry them out; and you shall live in the land in security. 19The land shall yield its harvest; you shall eat your fill and live there secure. 20If you ask what you are to eat during the seventh year, seeing that you will neither sow nor gather the harvest, 21I will ordain my blessing for you in the sixth year and the land shall produce a crop to carry over three years. 22When you sow in the eighth year, you will still be eating from the earlier crop; you shall eat the old until the new crop is gathered in the ninth year.

23No land shall be sold outright, because the land is mine, and you are coming into it as aliens and settlers. 24Throughout the whole land of your patrimony, you shall allow land which has been sold to be redeemed.

Restoration of property.  Lv.25.25-34

25When one of you is reduced to poverty and sells part of his patrimony, his next-of-kin who has the duty of redemption shall come and redeem what his kinsman has sold. 26When a man has no such next-of-kin and himself becomes able to afford its redemption, 27he shall take into account the years since the sale and pay the purchaser the balance up to the jubilee. Then he may return to his patrimony. 28But if the man cannot afford to buy back the property, it shall remain in the hands of the purchaser till the year of jubilee. It shall then revert to the original owner, and he shall return to his patrimony.

29When a man sells a dwelling-house in a walled town, he shall retain the right of redemption till the end of the year of the sale; for a time he shall have the right of redemption. 30If it is not redeemed before a full year is out, the house in the walled town shall vest in perpetuity in the buyer and his descendants; it shall not revert at the jubilee. 31Houses in unwalled hamlets shall be treated as property in the open country: the right of redemption shall hold good, and in any case the house shall revert at the jubilee. 32Levites shall have the perpetual right to redeem houses of their own patrimony in towns belonging to them. 33If one of the Levites does not redeem his house in such a town, then it shall still revert to him at the jubilee, because the houses in Levite towns are their patrimony in Israel. 34The common land surrounding their towns shall not be sold, because it is their property in perpetuity.

The poor.  Lv.25.35-38

35When your brother-Israelite is reduced to poverty and cannot support himself in the community, you shall assist him as you would an alien or a stranger, and he shall live with you. 36You shall not charge him interest on a loan, either by deducting it in advance from the capital sum, or by adding it on repayment. You shall fear your God, and your brother shall live with you; 37you shall not deduct interest when advancing him money nor add interest to the payment due for food supplied on credit. 38I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to become your God.

Manumission.  Lv.25.39-55

39When your brother is reduced to poverty and sells himself to you, you shall not use him to work for you as a slave. 40His status shall be that of a hired man or a stranger lodging with you; he shall work for you until the year of jubilee. 41He shall then leave your service, with his children, and go back to his family and to his ancestral property: 42because they are my slaves whom I brought out of Egypt, they shall not be sold as slaves are sold. 43You shall not drive him with ruthless severity, but you shall fear your God. 44Such slaves as you have, male or female, shall come from the nations round about you; from them you may buy slaves. 45You may also buy the children of those who have settled and lodge with you and such of their family as are born in the land. These may become your property, 46and you may leave them to your sons after you; you may use them as slaves permanently. But your fellow-Israelites you shall not drive with ruthless severity.

47When an alien or a stranger living with you becomes rich, and your brother becomes poor and sells himself to the alien or stranger or to a member of some alien family, 48he shall have the right of redemption after he has sold himself. One of his brothers may redeem him, 49or his uncle, his cousin, or any blood-relation of his family, or, if he can afford it, he may redeem himself. 50He and his purchaser together shall reckon from the year when he sold himself to the year of jubilee, and the price shall be adjusted to the number of years. His period of service with his owner shall be reckoned at the rate of a hired man. 51If there are still many years to run to the year of jubilee, he must repay for his redemption a proportionate amount of the sum for which he sold himself; 52if there are few, he shall reckon and repay accordingly. 53He shall have the status of a labourer hired from year to year, and you shall not let him be driven with ruthless severity by his owner. 54If the man is not redeemed in the intervening years, he and his children shall be released in the year of jubilee; 55for it is to me that the Israelites are slaves, my slaves whom I brought out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.


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