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Leviticus 25

The Sabbatical Year

Yahweh then spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai, saying,
2 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I am giving to you, then the land shall have a sabbath to Yahweh. 3 Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its produce, 4 but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to Yahweh; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5 What grows of its own accord from your harvest you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a sabbatical year. 6 And the sabbath produce of the land shall be for food; for you and your male and female slaves and your hired man and your foreign resident, those who sojourn with you. 7 Even your cattle and the beasts that are in your land shall have all its produce to eat.

The Year of Jubilee

8 ‘You are also to count off seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years.
9 You shall then sound a ram’s horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land. 10 You shall thus set apart as holy the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own possession of land, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow; you shall not reap what grows of its own accord; you shall not gather in from its untrimmed vines. 12 For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its produce out of the field. 13 ‘On this year of jubilee, each of you shall return to his own possession of land. 14 If you make a sale, moreover, to your companion or buy from your friend’s hand, you shall not mistreat one another. 15 Corresponding to the number of years after the jubilee, you shall buy from your companion; he is to sell to you according to the number of years of produce. 16 In proportion to the extent of the years you shall increase its price, and in proportion to the fewness of the years you shall diminish its price, for it is the number of crops it produces that he is selling to you. 17 So you shall not mistreat one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am Yahweh your God. 18 ‘You shall thus observe My statutes and keep My judgments, so as to do them, that you may live securely on the land. 19 Then the land will yield its fruit, so that you can eat your fill and live securely on it. 20 But if you say, “What are we going to eat on the seventh year if we do not sow or gather in our produce?” 21 then I will command My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the produce for three years. 22 So you shall sow the eighth year and eat old things from that produce, eating the old until the ninth year when its produce comes in.

The Redemption of Land

23 ‘The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are but sojourners and foreign residents with Me.
24 Thus for every piece of land of your possession, you shall provide for the redemption of the land. 25 ‘If a brother of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his possession of land, then his nearest kinsman redeemer is to come and redeem what his brother has sold. 26 Or in case a man has no kinsman redeemer, but recovers his means and finds sufficient payment for its redemption, 27 then he shall calculate the years since its sale and return the balance to the man to whom he sold it, and so return to his possession of land. 28 But if he has not found sufficient means to return it to himself, then what he has sold shall remain in the hands of its purchaser until the year of jubilee; but at the jubilee it shall revert, that he may return to his possession of land. 29 ‘Likewise, if a man sells a house for habitation in a walled city, then his redemption right remains valid until a full year from its sale; his right of redemption lasts a full year. 30 But if it is not redeemed for him within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city passes permanently to its purchaser throughout his generations; it does not revert in the jubilee. 31 The houses of the villages, however, which have no surrounding wall, shall be considered as open fields; they have redemption rights and revert in the jubilee. 32 As for cities of the Levites, the Levites have a permanent right of redemption for the houses of the cities which are their possession. 33 What, therefore, belongs to the Levites may be redeemed, and a house sale in the city of their possession reverts in the jubilee, for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the sons of Israel. 34 But pasture fields of their cities shall not be sold, for that is their perpetual possession.

Redemption Rights for Poor Brothers

35 ‘Now if a brother of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a sojourner or a foreign resident, that he may live with you.
36 Do not take usurious interest from him, but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. 37 You shall not give him your silver at interest nor your food for gain. 38 I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God. 39 ‘If a brother of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service. 40 He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a foreign resident; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee. 41 He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall return to his family, that he may return to the possession of the land of his fathers. 42 For they are My slaves whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold in a slave sale. 43 You shall not have dominion over him with brutality, but you shall fear your God. 44 As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the nations that are around you. 45 And also you may acquire from the sons of the foreign residents who sojourn among you, from them and their families who are with you; as for those whom they have begotten in your land, they also may become your possession. 46 You may even give them as an inheritance to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your brothers, the sons of Israel, you shall not have dominion over one another with brutality.

Kindness Toward a Poor Sojourner

47 ‘Now if the means of a sojourner or of a foreign resident with you becomes sufficient, and a brother of yours becomes so poor with regard to him as to sell himself to a sojourner who resides with you or to the descendants of a sojourner’s family,
48 then he shall have redemption right after he has been sold. One of his brothers may redeem him, 49 or his uncle or his uncle’s son may redeem him, or one of his blood relatives from his family may redeem him; or if he prospers, he may redeem himself. 50 He then with his purchaser shall calculate from the year when he sold himself to him up to the year of jubilee; and the price of his sale shall correspond to the number of years. It is like the days of a hired man that he shall be with him. 51 If there are still many years, he shall return part of his purchase price in proportion to them for his own redemption; 52 and if few years remain until the year of jubilee, he shall so calculate with him. In proportion to his years he shall return the amount for his redemption. 53 Like a man hired year by year he shall be with him; he shall not have dominion over him with brutality in your sight. 54 Even if he is not redeemed by these means, he shall still go out in the year of jubilee, he and his sons with him. 55 For the sons of Israel are My slaves; they are My slaves whom I brought out from the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.