Lev. 25:25-55 – Tools for Preserving a Christian Heritage

Translation & Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ the Redeemer Church of Manhattan KS, 26 Mar. 2017


v     In Leviticus 25 we see that part of being holy to God is to reflect God’s own concern for the poor by caring for the needy. In Hosea 6:6, God says, “I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” (KJV)

v     In my first sermon on Leviticus 25, I focused on spiritual principles of receiving and proclaiming forgiveness of sin, God’s rest, and the attitude of a sojourner,

v     then in my 2nd sermon on Lev. 25, I focused on three economic principles of alleviating poverty:

Ø      The economic “re-set” which was part of the seven- (Ex. 21) or fifty- (Lev. 25) year Jubilee cycle, which we can apply through forgiving debts or through enforcing debt ceilings.

Ø      Secondly, the one-time “redemption” of lost means of production (whether land or some other business tool) which might include debt payback to a third party to get somebody back on their feet to provide for themselves,

Ø      and third, “retaining,” through private charity, on a more long-term basis, people who can’t provide for themselves self-suficiently.

v     Now, in this final sermon on Leviticus 25, I would like to look at three principles related to preserving a Christian heritage – clearing out obstacles for the poor and the young that might cause them to turn away from faith in the true God.

Ø      So much can be lost in just a generation or two:

§         In just two generations, the nation of Israel went from King David, a man after God’s own heart, to Solomon, who respected God’s wisdom but welcomed pagan wives, to Rehoboam, who didn’t even respect God’s wisdom.

§         In the United States, two generations took us from the greatness of George Washington to the un-remarkableness of Zachary Taylor.

§         In a matter of generations, once-Christian European countries have turned anti-Christian, I even heard that Uganda, which was a British colony just a couple of generations ago – and very friendly to Christianity – is starting to shut down Christian schools.

§         Parents who know how much can be lost in a generation or two are rightly anxious about whether their own children and grandchildren grow to love Jesus with all their heart.

Ø      How can we help our families and the next generations of fellow-believers to trust God and not fall away?

Ø      I’d like to suggest three areas, based on Leviticus 25, in which believers can use economics to the advantage God’s kingdom. They are Land, Low-income-earners, and Levites. Let’s first look at…

1) Land-ownership

v     Verse 26 implies that there is some personal responsibility for maintaining your own ability to provide for yourself and make a profit.

Ø      The person who is able to make enough money to redeem his own property that he had sold off; what is he supposed to do? “Hey, I’m getting rich! Time to take a trip to Las Vegas!” Is that what he’s supposed to do? No, he’s supposed to buy back the land he lost. The person who bought that property paid him according to the amount of profit he thought he could make off the agricultural products of that land between the time of the sale and the next Jubilee year, so the poor person who is doing better now is instructed to reimburse that other enterprising farmer and get back on his land.

Ø      And in v.28, if he can’t turn that much of a profit to buy his farmland back, then when he is able to reclaim it in the year of Jubilee, he is not to say, “Oh I’m no good at this farming business; there’s no point in me reclaiming that land; I’ll just loose it again. Maybe I’ll just go back to the welfare office instead.” Now, he is to go get that land back and occupy it again![1]

Ø      The exception in v.29 is a residential house in a walled city, where you only get a one-year war­ranty with the sale. If you can’t buy it back within a year, you don’t get it back in the Jubilee[2].

§         This would apply to things like vacation homes that people would buy in Jerusalem for their stays during the feasts

§         Or homes that businessmen would use when they expanded business into other towns.

§         These second homes were not essential possessions that would make or break their ability to eke out a living for themselves, and they would not have come with farmland attached to them for producing food anyway; they would have been more like what we would think of as apartments or townhomes. (Space was limited inside a walled city, so generally in walled cities all that was available for producing food as was one common gardening area.)

§         Matthew Henry noted, by the way, “This provision [would] encourage strangers and proselytes to come and settle among them. Though they could not purchase land in Canaan to them and their heirs, yet they might purchase houses in walled cities, which would be most convenient for those who … live by trade.”

v     Land ownership is foundational to a stable, prosperous civilization.

Ø      The founders of America realized this. That’s why even the national-level politicians maintained farms of their own. That’s why voting rights were originally tied to land ownership – if you don’t have a stake in what happens long-term in a particular location, then your votes can be bought and you can be manipulated into voting for short-term benefits that have long-term negative consequences for the people who are still there decades after you’ve moved on.

Ø      Sure, there are times in history when Christians have had to live as if they owned no land, but if you can acquire some land, that is a worthwhile thing to do.

Ø      Christians moan and groan about being a persecuted minority in America now, but here are things you can actually do to reclaim Christian civilization – Redeem fellow Christians beside you so that you don’t get split up (the enemy loves to divide and conquer), and acquire and retain means of production so that you can gain economic independence from employers and gain more ability to help others in need.

v     This is not just an Old Testament principle that should be relegated to the trash can of history.

Ø      The New Testament upholds this same principle of productivity in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 “…aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.” (NKJV)

Ø      Engaging in profitable enterprise is a “command” from the New Testament!

v     When Christians value Land-ownership, they give advantage to Christianity

Ø      Proverbs 29:2 “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.” (NKJV)

Ø      Biblical Christians see land as belonging to God and therefore see themselves as stewards of God’s creation rather than imperious consumers of natural resources.

§         The Jews saw the Promised Land as a gift from God[3];

§         the Pilgrims saw the New World as a gift from God – a haven from religious persecution,

§         my own house was to my family a gift from God that we had prayed for for a decade! That gratitude reminds us to remind the generations after us of the story of how God provided the land we live on. It’s a story I hope to tell my great-grandchildren.

Ø      Just as it was for the Jews, our ownership of land can be framed as the story of God’s personal concern for our family, and that’s a powerful testimony to children and grandchildren to encourage them to trust God for themselves.

v     Christians owning land is also a protection against the country losing its heritage. If any foreigner who worshipped other gods could gain property rights perpetually in Israel, then it would be possible for believing Israelites to be gradually displaced by foreigners.

Ø      Today, other countries understand this principle better than most Americans do.

§         Many of the missionaries I know are not able to buy homes in the country where they minister because those countries understand the danger of diluting their national heritage by having houses and land bought up by wealthy foreigners who have the interests of another nation in mind.

§         Meanwhile, Americans will allow pretty much anyone to buy and own land in our country, and now much of American soil is owned by people and companies who are not citizens of America and do not have America’s Christian heritage or best interests in mind.

Ø      When Christians value land ownership, it can be one way to protect against the dividing and conquering and dilution of Christians in a given country.

Ø      Another strategy might be to work on ending ungodly processes that strip away from our families property which God has given us. I don’t have time to go into detail now, but three unbiblical practices – which are also against the original intent of the U.S. Constitution and which are rooted in the pagan idea of the absolute sovereignty of the state – are:

§         Eminent domain[4],

§         Property taxes,

§         And inheritance taxes.[5]

§         All three unjustly remove God-given resources from their rightful owners and heirs. I do not choose to die on that hill of resisting these tyrannical practices, but I would love to see Christian lawmakers rise up and abolish these three practices.

v     It is a total fiction that persons and countries are religiously neutral. That fiction is broadcasted to gullible Americans by non-Christians who intend to displace Christianity. They say that our country was founded on the idea that everyone can believe whatever they want and still live together in harmony. That is nonsense!

Ø      “Religion” originally meant “Christianity,” so “Freedom of religion” originally meant freedom to practice anything within the range of historic Christianity. Freedom to practice any pagan religion would be foolishness:

§         What’s an American police officer to do if he sees someone burning children to death on a metal statue? Is he supposed to say, “Oh, it’s O.K., their religion is Molech-worship; we can’t discriminate against their religious practices.” No way!

§         We’ve already run into that problem when one of our soldiers tried to rescue a child a year or two ago from bring molested in Afghanistan and got punished for attempting to rescue the child because that practice which is a crime in God’s eyes is not thought of as a bad practice in most Muslim countries.

§         You could go on and on with things like lying and stealing which are perfectly acceptable in certain religious systems, but not in Christianity. You see, there can’t be any such thing as a justice system in a consistently-pluralistic country that accepts everything every religion does.

Ø      It is perfectly reasonable for countries to favor the faith of their heritage. It was perfectly reasonable for God to tell Israel to protect their heritage by not allowing people who refused to enter into a covenant relationship with God to own land permanently and become voting citizens. It’s perfectly reasonable to take similar measures to favor Christianity in our businesses and ultimately in our government, and, at the very least, to buy property and hang on to it.

v     A second practical tool for preserving a Godly heritage has to do with how we deal with…

2) Low-income

v     Protection of national heritage shows up commonly is in the area of interest and usury:

Ø      Muslims don’t lend at interest to Muslims, but they will exact interest from Christians.

Ø      God does the same thing in Leviticus 25:36-37, commanding that to preserve the national heritage and to give advantage to believers in God, Jews lend without usury to their fellow-Jews but charge interest to Gentiles.

Ø      This is natural practice and it is pointless to make such a practice out to be somehow unfair[6]. We extend interest-free loans to our own children, but we don’t expect banks to do that for us.

Ø      But there are a few ethical dilemmas we can run into if we are not careful with the application of this law prohibiting usury.

§         If we say that this law means that it is against God’s law ever to practice usury, we run into the problem that Jesus supported usury in His parable of the Talents (Luke 19:23, Matthew 25:27), as well as other practical economic problems.

§         The attempt to solve this by saying that usury just means oppressive amounts of interest doesn’t wash because it can be proved that the Biblical words for usury meant any kind of interest or income made off of lending money.

§         The solution is that the Biblical commands against usury are limited to the context of relationships with poor people. If your brother is poor, don’t try to make more money off him by charging him interest. But interest per se is not a sin; it’s appropriate to take a share in the profits of a business that borrowed money from you and is making a good profit.

§         In his Institutes of Biblical Law, R.J. Rushdoony summarized the Biblical support for this position well: “[I]n two of the three statements of this law [Ex. 22:25ff & Lev. 25:35ff], it is specifically stated that the law has reference to the poor, and moreover, to poor fellow believers or covenant members. Deuteronomy [23:19ff, the third statement of this law] is in part a summary of the law and apparently assumes the same fact… [T]he law did not abolish interest but rather called for help to the deserving poor brother… The charity in this case is thus a gift of the interest…” [7]

§         “[I]t is reasonable that the lender share with the borrower in the profit. The law here is plainly intended for the relief of the poor, to whom it is sometimes as great a charity to lend freely as to give.” ~Matthew Henry (We are seeing this in the TentMaker Project as we grow deeper in our knowledge of the Ugandan economic landscape:

·         There are business owners like the swanky urban department stores, doing well enough to get bank loans and pay market interest rates, so we don’t worry about providing loans to them,

·         then, there are business owners like the pastor who made shampoo in his backyard to sell to saloons (that’s what they call beauty salons over there) who can’t clear enough income to be able to pay interest on a loan, although they are capable of paying back a loan – it’s church members like that to whom we extend interest-free loans,

·         then there are the truly marginal poor, like the woman who has a couple of bottles of generic aspirin and cough medicine and sells a few pills at a time to fellow slum-dwellers who can only afford to buy tiny quanities. She calls herself a pharmacist, but she is in no position to even pay back principle on a loan, much less interest. We spun off the Five Loaves agency to handle those kind of situations where free food and a small gift are the only reasonable way to help. But it takes wisdom to tell which kind of response is best.

v     This concept of showing extra care for fellow-believers also shows up in the New Testament in Galatians 6:10 where we are commanded, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (KJV)

Ø      And so I will say it: modern anti-discrimination laws are unbiblical when they prohibit preferential treatment based on religion. God commands us to treat fellow-Christians with preference, and so we should absolutely prefer Christians[8].

Ø      Besides, Christians who live out Christian ethics are far better for business than non-Christians who have no qualms with cheating, lying, and selfishness - and every good manager knows it!

v     Now, what about slavery of foreigners and their children in v.44-46?

Ø      These were individuals who were selling themselves – or more properly their labor – to individuals in Israel in return for lifelong provision of their needs.

§         Note the wording in v.44: it is not merely speaking of faceless masses of “slaves” but rather of “your (singular, in particular) manservants” and “your maidservants.” This brought up faces and names before the Israelites who knew the individuals serving in their own homes personally.

§         Furthermore it says, “y’all may buy from the nations around you” not “y’all may go halfway around the world and round them up like animals” and not “y’all may buy and then turn around and sell in a flesh market in another nation.” The wording here does not condone the wholesale capturing of foreigners to be sold in slave markets like we saw in 18th and 19th century Europe and America. That’s not what it’s talking about.

Ø      When a person reaches the point when they are willing to sell the rest of their life in labor to a foreigner as long as they can be provided with food, shelter, and clothing, you have to consider that these kind of people were on the brink of death. They saw selling the rest of their life labor as the only way to survive. They saw slavery as a kind of salvation of their life.

§         I’m not trying to equate slavery with salvation, but I’m pointing out that it could be used as a picture of salvation in that it was a way to sustain very needy non-citizens, just as Jesus saved us where were not fit to be citizens of the kingdom of God and made us his servants for life.

§         In this way, as long as masters treated their slaves according to Biblical law, as fellow human beings and not harshly, slavery could be a blessing to victims of war or to the unwanted children of pagans – giving such a home to live in, daily bread, and instruction in Godliness.

Ø      This maintained a distinction between citizens and non-citizens. Non-citizens, while they have certain human rights from being made in the image of God, if they are not willing to enter into a covenant relationship with God still don’t have the right of redemption or the right of the Jubilee economic reset. This creates a picture in the physical world of the spiritual reality that those outside of God’s people will not be redeemed from hell and will not enter into the freedom and rest of heaven.

§         “It intimates that none shall have the benefit of the gospel jubilee but those only that are Israelites indeed, and the children of Abraham by faith: as for those that continue heathenish, they continue bondmen.” ~Matthew Henry

v     Moving down to v.49, we see a command to value personal freedom. If a person who has sold themselves into slavery, and if, while in that status of bondage, they are able to make enough money on the side to pay the master back the money that the master paid for his seven years of labour (or whatever the agreed-upon timeframe was), then the slave was to go ahead and pay it and get out of bondage if he could. Verses 50-52 say he just has to pay a fair price at the same rate the buyer used, paying for the contracted years he hadn’t worked yet, just the same as you’d pay a hired hand.

Ø      Again, this principle did not change with the New Testament. We find the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:21 encouraging slaves to buy their freedom if they could.

Ø      Likewise, if you yourself are in debt, do what you can to get out of it. Pay off the small debts and the high interest rates first and systematically knock them out!

v     In addition to land issues and low-income issues, a third area is addressed in verses 32-33 as a safeguard to preserve religious heritage, and that was the support of the family of Levi.

3) Levites

v     God assigned a different kind of work to Levites – not farming for income but instead the work of leading worship, maintaining the tabernacle, copying and teaching the Bible, and representing the people in prayer before God. In return for this spiritual service, God instructed the people of Israel to provide food so that the priests would not have to split their attention between growing food and serving God.

v     When Israelites quit supporting the Levites later on during the monarchies, they lost their religious heritage because they didn’t have people dedicated to preserving and passing that heritage on.

v     As part of the arrangement, when they entered the Promised Land, the Levites would not be given farmland like the other tribes were given. They would be forced to depend upon the gifts of their fellow Israelites for food. (Verse 34 refers to the 500 yards of pastureland they had around the outside of their city for all the animals they had to manage for sacrifices, but that wasn’t food production land. See Numbers 35)

v     The Levites, therefore, had no land on which to build a family home; they located their homes in the walled cities near the synagogue or temple where they served. So if a Levite lost his home in the city, it was a different situation than it was for other Israelites. That would be his only home. If he was so hard up he was selling his house in the city, that meant his family was moving in with relatives and had no home of their own anymore. This is part of the reason why a Levite man’s family retained the right of redemption on Jubilee years even when normal Israelites didn’t have that right for a house in a walled city. No matter how much you paid for that house and how much you want to keep it; v.33 says that if a Levite had a legal claim on it in the Jubilee year or pays you back for it before the Jubilee year, you must surrender the property to them.[9]

v     The Levites need to be supported. Is that applicable to today? Well, there is no tribe of Levi anymore, so there is not a one-to-one correspondence, but this can be applied in principle to the people who enter into full-time service in God’s kingdom, pastoring, overseeing ministry projects, and doing mission work.

Ø      We see this carried over in the New Testament when Paul instructs in the book of 1 Timothy (5:17) that elders who rule and teach well should be paid,

Ø      and we see it in his letter to the Philippians (4:10-18) where he clearly accepts a donation which that church had made to him for his ministry of preaching the Gospel and planting churches.

Ø      It is right and good for you to support pastors and missionaries with your tithes and offerings.

Ø      While it may be ideal for every church member to be able to study the Bible in depth and teach it, history shows that Christianity can thrive when there are people supported to specialize in this task.

§         For instance, I have seen in China and in Algeria, despite booming numbers of converts to Christianity, Biblical scholarship has been very limited by the non-Christian governments, so Biblical ignorance and cultism is rampant, along with tremenendous family and interpersonal problems in many churches. Investing in sound Christian education and pastoral training is strategic for setting up future generations to follow Christ. You can support modern-day “Levites” doing this very sort of thing!

§         Our church is living proof that there is value in supporting ministry specialists on campus. Our first few years saw only a few students involved in our church, but when we started supporting Melissa and now Beni to minister on campus, we have seen many more college students in our midst.

§         At the same time, there is a danger (which we see in our country) with the professionalization of Christianity, where it is thought that only people with a Masters or Doctors degree in Theology or Divinity should even attempt to study and teach the Bible. That can result in academic eggheads going off the rails chasing unbiblical ideas because there are no laymen with the courage and knowledge to hold them accountable. Instead, well-trained Bible teachers need to fulfill God’s calling in Ephesians 4:12 to “equip the saints for the work of ministry,” and that is what I see my role as being.


v     Leviticus 25 encourages God’s people to value land, to value economic freedom and to value clergy because all three contribute toward the blessing of Christians in the next generations and remove stumbling blocks for their faith. These are all things we can support and work toward today as well.

v     There, is, however, a ditch on both sides of this road:

Ø      On the one hand, some may object that this is too unspiritual and that it is wrong to use temporal means to achieve a spiritual good.

§         I am reminded of the church elders who told William Carey, “If God wants to save the heathen in India, He can do it fine without your help our ours.” – theoretically true since God is sovereign, but that kind of in-action is disobedience to Christ’s commands to use the world’s wealth and to go into all the world.

§         William Carey rightly countered such hyper-spiritual hyper-Calvinism with his declaration that we need to “use means in the conversion of the heathen” – means like the sciences of sociology, linguistics, and statistics to figure out how to engage every tribe, tongue, and language with the gospel, means like the formation of mission societies and charitable foundations to strategically carry out plans to reach the world.

§         And that is one of the messages of Leviticus 25 – God has given us natural strategies and means that we can rightly employ to benefit His kingdom.

Ø      The ditch on the other side is a reliance on human and worldly means to the extent that dependence upon God is lost.

§         When I was the office manager for The TentMaker Project, a guy from U.S.Aid, who was one of Bush’s appointees to merge government aid with faith-based initiatives offered us (and several other Christian agencies) huge sums of money (collected from your taxes) to help us in our missions. But he said there was one catch: we couldn’t use any of that money to preach the Gospel or teach the Bible. We had to turn him down because we believe that physical help for the poor has to go hand-in-hand with sharing the Gospel and making disciples.

§         I’ll never understand how a stipulation like that ended up helping faith-based-initiatives, but anyway, what would have happened to us if we suddenly were to be rolling in the dough? We would probably have stopped praying so much and trusting God so much for the donations to meet our budget, and we’d focus more on keeping the beaurocrats in D.C. happy with us so we keep getting the money.

Ø      So there’s a balance: It’s good to use worldly goods and common sense for the benefit of Christianity as long as we are doing this in obedience to Christ, in reliance upon His power, and doing it for His glory.

Ø      All right, now go take over the world!


Comparative translations of Leviticus 25:25-55

When a translation adds words not in the Hebrew text, but does not indicate it has done so by the use of italics (or greyed-out text), I put the added words in [square brackets]. When one version chooses a wording which is different from all the other translations, I underline it. When a version chooses a translation which, in my opinion, either departs too far from the root meaning of the Hebrew word or departs too far from the grammar form of the original Hebrew, I use strikeout. And when a version omits a word which is in the Hebrew text, I insert an X. (Sometimes I will place the X at the end of a word if the original word is plural but the English translation is singular.) I occasionally use colors to help the reader see correlations between the various editions and versions when there are more than two different translations of a given word. Hebrew text that is colored purple matches the Dead Sea Scrolls, and variants between the DSS and the MT are noted in endnotes with the following exceptions: When a holem or qibbutz pointing in the MT is represented in the DSS by a vav, when a hireq pointing in the MT is represented in the DSS by a yod (the corresponding consonantal representation of the same vowel), or when the tetragrammaton is spelled with paleo-Hebrew letters, I did not record it a variant. Dead Sea Scrolls which contain Leviticus 25 11Q1 paleoLeviticusa (verses 28-36), 4Q24 Leviticus b(verses 28-29, 45-49, 51-52,54), 11Q2 Leviticusb (verses 31-33, 46)







25 ἐὰν δὲ πένηται ὁ ἀδελ­φός σου [ὁ μετὰ σοῦ] καὶ ἀποδῶται ἀπὸ τῆς κατα­σχέσεως αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔλθῃ ὁ ἀγχιστεύων ἐγγίζων ἔγγιστα αὐτοῦ, καὶ λυτρώσεται τὴν πρᾶσιν τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ.

25 And if thy brother [who is with thee] be poor, and should have sold part of his possession, and his kinsman who is nigh to him come, then he shall redeem the possession which his brother has sold.

25 If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and [if] [any of] his kin X come [to redeem it], then shall he redeem that which his brother sold.

25 Now if your brother becomes poor and sells some of his possessions, then his redeemer who is close to him should go and redeem his brother’s real-estate[A].

25 [B]כִּי-יָמוּךְ[C] אָחִיךָ וּמָכַר מֵאֲחֻזָּתוֹ וּבָא גֹאֲלוֹ הַקָּרֹב אֵלָיו וְגָאַל אֵת מִמְכַּר אָחִיו:

26 ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ᾖ τινι ὁ ἀγχιστεύων καὶ εὐπορηθῇ τῇ χειρὶ καὶ εὑρεθῇ αὐτῷ τὸ ἱκανὸν λύτρα αὐτοῦ,

26 And if one have no near kinsman, and he prosper with his hand, and he find sufficient money, even his ransom;

26 And if the man have none to redeem it, and himself be able to redeem it;

26 But even in the case of a man who does not have a redeemer for himself, even then should his employment make earnings and should he find sufficiency to match its redemption,

26 וְאִישׁ כִּי לֹא יִהְיֶה-לּוֹ גֹּאֵל וְהִשִּׂיגָה יָדוֹ וּמָצָא כְּדֵי גְאֻלָּתוֹ[D]:

27 καὶ συλλογιεῖται τὰ ἔτη τῆς πράσεως αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀποδώσει ὃ ὑπερέχει τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ, ᾧ ἀπέδοτο ἑαυτὸν αὐτῷ, καὶ ἀπελεύσεται εἰς τὴν κατάσχεσιν αὐτοῦ.

27 then shall he calculate the years of his sale, and he shall give what is due to the man to whom he sold it, and he shall return to his possession.

27 Then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; that he may return unto his possession.

27 then he should reckon the years of his real-estate and he should reimburse the bounty to the man he sold it to, and he should return to his possession.

27 וְחִשַּׁב אֶת-שְׁנֵי מִמְכָּרוֹ וְהֵשִׁיב אֶת-הָעֹדֵף[E] לָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר מָכַר-לוֹ וְשָׁב לַאֲחֻזָּתוֹ:

28 ἐὰν δὲ μὴ εὐπορηθῇ ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ τὸ ἱκανὸν ὥστε ἀποδοῦναι αὐτῷ, καὶ ἔσται ἡ πρᾶσις τῷ κτησαμένῳ αὐτὰ ἕως τοῦ ἕκτου ἔτους τῆς ἀφέσ­εως· καὶ ἐξελεύσεται τῇ ἀφέσει, καὶ ἀπελεύσεται εἰς τὴν κατάσχεσιν αὐτοῦ.

28 But if his hand have not prospered sufficiently, so as that he should restore [the money] to him, then he that bought the possessions shall have them till the 6th year of the release; and it shall go out in the release, and the owner shall return to his possession.

28 But if he be not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubile: and in the jubile it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession.

28 If, however, his employ­ment does not find the suffi­ciency to make a reimburse­ment for it, then his real-estate will remain in the employment of the one who bought it until the year of the Jubilee, and then he must go out during the Jubilee and return to his property.

28 וְאִם לֹא-מָצְאָה יָדוֹ דֵּי הָשִׁיב לוֹ וְהָיָה מִמְכָּרוֹ בְּיַד הַקֹּנֶה אֹתוֹ עַד שְׁנַת הַיּוֹבֵל וְיָצָא בַּיֹּבֵל וְשָׁב לַאֲחֻזָּתוֹ:






29 Ἐὰν δέ τις ἀποδῶται οἰκίαν οἰκητὴν ἐν πόλει τετειχισμένῃ, καὶ ἔσται ἡ λύτρωσις αὐτῆς, ἕως πληρωθῇ ἐνιαυτὸς X ἡμερῶν, ἔσται ἡ λύτρωσις αὐτῆς.

29 And if any one should sell an inhabited house in a walled city, then there shall be the ransom of it, until the time is fulfilled: its [time of] ransom shall be a full year.

29 And if a man sell 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.

29 Now, in the case where a man sells a residential house in a walled city, then his warranty will only last until the completion of a year from its sale. [That] will be his warranty period,

29 וְאִישׁ כִּי-יִמְכֹּר בֵּית-מוֹשַׁב עִיר חוֹמָה וְהָיְתָה גְּאֻלָּתוֹ עַד-תֹּם שְׁנַת מִמְכָּרוֹ[F] יָמִים תִּהְיֶה גְאֻלָּתוֹ:

30 ἐὰν δὲ μὴ λυτρωθῇ, ἕως ἂν πληρωθῇ αὐτῆς ἐνιαυτὸς ὅλος, X κυρω­θήσεται ἡ οἰκία ἡ οὖσα ἐν πόλει X τῇ ἐχούσῃ τεῖχος βεβαίως τῷ κτη­σαμένῳ αὐτὴν εἰς τὰς γενεὰς αὐτοῦ [καὶ] οὐκ ἐξελεύσεται ἐν τῇ ἀφέσει.

30 And if it be not ransomed until there be completed of its [time] a full year, the house which is in the walled city shall be surely confirmed to him that bought it, throughout his generations; and it shall not go out in the release.

30 And if it be not redeemed within the space of X a full year, then the house that is in the walled city X X shall be established for ever to him that bought it throughout his generations: it shall not go out in the jubile.

30 and if it is not redeemed by him before a full year is completed, then the house which is in the city that has a wall around it will stand belonging to its buyer perpetually [and] to his heirs. It will not expire in the Jubilee.

30 וְאִם לֹא-יִגָּאֵל עַד-מְלֹאת לוֹ שָׁנָה תְמִימָה וְקָם הַבַּיִת אֲשֶׁר-בָּעִיר אֲשֶׁר-לֹא[G] חֹמָה לַצְּמִיתֻת לַקֹּנֶה אֹתוֹ לְדֹרֹתָיו לֹא יֵצֵא בַּיֹּבֵל:

31 αἱ δὲ οἰκίαι αἱ ἐν ἐπαύλεσιν, αἷς οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν αὐταῖς τεῖχος κύκλῳ, πρὸς τὸν ἀγρὸν τῆς γῆς λογισθήτωσαν· λυτρωταὶ διὰ παντὸς ἔσονται καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀφέσει ἐξελεύσονται.

31 But the houses in the villages which have not a wall round about them, shall be reckoned as X the field[s] of the country: they shall always be redeemable  X, and they shall go out in the release.

31 But the houses of the villages which have no wall round about them shall be counted as X the field[s] of the country: they may be redeemed X X, and they shall go out in the jubile.

31 But the suburban houses which don’t have a wall around them must be reckoned as land on a field; there must be the redemption-right for such, and in the Jubilee it expires.

31 וּבָתֵּי הַחֲצֵרִים[H] אֲשֶׁר אֵין-לָהֶם חֹמָה סָבִיב עַל-שְׂדֵה הָאָרֶץ יֵחָשֵׁב[I] גְּאֻלָּה תִּהְיֶה-לּוֹ וּבַיֹּבֵל יֵצֵא:

32 καὶ αἱ πόλεις τῶν Λευιτῶν οἰκίαι τῶν πόλεων αὐτῶν κατασχέσ­εως λυτρωταὶ διὰ παντὸς ἔσονται τοῖς Λευίταις·

32 And the cities of the Levites, the houses of the cities in their possession, shall be always redeemable to the Levites.

32 Notwithstanding the cities of the Levites, and the houses of the cities of their possession, may the X Levites redeem at any time.

32 Now, as for the cities of the Levites, houses in cities are their posses­sion. The redemption-right will always belong to the Levites.

32 וְעָרֵי הַלְוִיִּם בָּתֵּי עָרֵי אֲחֻזָּתָם[J] גְּאֻלַּת עוֹלָם תִּהְיֶה לַלְוִיִּם:

33 καὶ ὃς ἂν λυτρωσά­μενος παρὰ τῶν Λευιτῶν, καὶ ἐξελεύσεται ἡ διά­πρασις αὐτῶν οἰκιῶν πόλεως κατασχέσεως αὐτῶν ἐν τῇ ἀφέσει, ὅτι οἰκίαι τῶν πόλεων τῶν Λευιτῶν κατάσχεσις αὐτῶν ἐν μέσῳ υἱῶν Ισραηλ.

33 And if any one shall redeem a house of the Levites, then shall their sale of the houses of their possession go out in the release; because the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession in the midst of the children of Israel.

33 And if a man purchase of the Levites, then the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, shall go out in the year of jubile: for the houses of the cities of the Levites X are their possession among the children of Israel.

33 And if someone from among the Levites redeems a sold house or even a city under their possession, it must be let go because it is houses of cities of the Levites; it is their possession among the children of Israel.

33 וַאֲשֶׁר יִגְאַל מִן-הַלְוִיִּם וְיָצָא מִמְכַּר-בַּיִת וְעִיר אֲחֻזָּתוֹ בַּיֹּבֵל כִּי בָתֵּי עָרֵי הַלְוִיִּם הִוא[K] אֲחֻזָּתָם בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:






34 καὶ οἱ ἀγροὶ οἱ ἀφω­ρισμένοι ταῖς πόλεσιν αὐτῶν οὐ πραθήσονται, ὅτι κατάσχεσις αἰωνία τοῦτο αὐτῶν ἐστιν.

34 And the lands set apart for their cities shall not be sold, because this is their perpetual possession.

34 But the field of the suburbs of their cities may not be sold; for it is their perpetual possession.

34 But their cities’ pasture field may not be sold because it must be property always belonging to them.

34 וּשְׂדֵה מִגְרַשׁ[L] עָרֵיהֶם לֹא יִמָּכֵר כִּי-אֲחֻזַּת עוֹלָם הוּא לָהֶם: ס

35 Ἐὰν δὲ πένηται ὁ ἀδελφός σου καὶ ἀδυνατήσῃ ταῖς χερσὶν X παρὰ σοί, X ἀντιλήμψῃ αὐτοῦ [ὡς] προσηλύτου καὶ παροίκου, καὶ ζήσεται [ὁ ἀδελφός σου] μετὰ σοῦ.

35 And if thy brother who is with thee become poor, and he fail [in] X resource[s] with thee, X thou shalt help him [as] a stranger and a sojourner, and [thy brother] shall live with thee.

35 And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay X X with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.

35 Now, when your brother becomes poor beside you, and his employment is over­thrown, then you must strengthen him [as you would] a visitor or resi­dent, that your brother may keep living with you.

35 וְכִי-יָמוּךְ אָחִיךָ וּמָטָה יָדוֹ עִמָּךְ וְהֶחֱזַקְתָּ בּוֹ גֵּר וְתוֹשָׁב וָחַי[M] עִמָּךְ:

36 οὐ λήμψῃ παρ᾿ αὐτοῦ τόκον οὐδὲ ἐπὶ πλήθει καὶ φοβηθήσῃ τὸν θεόν σου [ἐγὼ κύριοσ,] καὶ ζήσεται ὁ ἀδελφός σου μετὰ σοῦ.

36 Thou shalt not receive from him interest, nor increase: and thou shalt fear thy God: [I am the Lord]: and thy brother shall live with thee.

36 Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear X thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.

36 You may not take interest or price-hikes from him, rather you must have respect for your God and let your brother live beside you.

36 אַל-תִּקַּח מֵאִתּוֹ נֶשֶׁךְ וְתַרְבִּית וְיָרֵאתָ[N] מֵאֱלֹהֶיךָ וְחֵי אָחִיךָ עִמָּךְ:

37 τὸ ἀργύριόν σου οὐ δώσεις αὐτῷ ἐπὶ τόκῳ καὶ ἐπὶ πλεονασμὸν οὐ δώσεις [αὐτῷ] τὰ βρώματά σου.

37 Thou shalt not lend thy money to him at interest, and thou shalt not lend thy meat [to him to be returned] with increase.

37 Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend [him] thy victuals for increase.

37 You may not lend your money to him with interest, and you may not dispense your food with price-hikes.

37 אֶת-כַּסְפְּךָ לֹא-תִתֵּן לוֹ בְּנֶשֶׁךְ וּבְמַרְבִּית[O] לֹא-תִתֵּן אָכְלֶךָ:

38 ἐγὼ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν ὁ ἐξαγαγὼν ὑμᾶς ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου δοῦναι ὑμῖν τὴν γῆν Χανααν ὥστε εἶναι ὑμῶν θεός.

38 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Chanaan, so as to be your God.

38 I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.

38 I am Yahweh y’all’s God who delivered y’all from the land of Egypt in order to give to y’all the land of Canaan in order to be God for y’all!

38 אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר-הוֹצֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם לָתֵת לָכֶם אֶת-אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן לִהְיוֹת לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים:

39 Ἐὰν δὲ ταπεινωθῇ ὁ ἀδελφός σου παρὰ σοὶ καὶ πραθῇ σοι, οὐ δουλεύσει σοι δουλείαν οἰκέτου·

39 And if thy brother by thee be lowered, and be sold to thee, he shall not serve thee with the servitude of a slave.

39 And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant:

39 Also if your brother beside you becomes poor and sells his [labor] to you, you may not enslave him in the bondage of a slave;

39 וְכִי-יָמוּךְ אָחִיךָ עִמָּךְ וְנִמְכַּר-לָךְ לֹא-תַעֲבֹד בּוֹ עֲבֹדַת עָבֶד:






40 ὡς μισθωτὸς πάροικος ἔσται σοι, ἕως τοῦ ἔτους τῆς ἀφέσεως ἐργᾶται παρὰ σοί.

40 He shall be with thee as a hireling or a sojourner, he shall work for thee till the year of release:

40 But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve X thee unto the year of jubile:

40 he shall be [treated] like a resident contractor with you. He shall serve with you until the year of the Jubilee,

40 כְּשָׂכִיר כְּתוֹשָׁב יִהְיֶה עִמָּךְ עַד-שְׁנַת הַיֹּבֵל יַעֲבֹד עִמָּךְ:

41 καὶ ἐξελεύσεται [τῇ ἀφέσει] X X X X καὶ τὰ τέκνα αὐτοῦ μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀπελεύσεται εἰς τὴν γενεὰν αὐτοῦ, X εἰς τὴν κατάσχεσιν τὴν πατρικὴν ἀποδραμεῖται,

41 and he shall go out ]in the release], X X X X and his children with him; and he shall go to his family, X he shall hasten back to his patrimony.

41 And then shall he depart from X thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his [own] family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return.

41 and then he shall go out from being with you - he and his children with him, and he must return to his family and he must return to his forefathers’ property.

41 וְיָצָא מֵעִמָּךְ[P] הוּא וּבָנָיו עִמּוֹ וְשָׁב אֶל-מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ וְאֶל-אֲחֻזַּת אֲבֹתָיו יָשׁוּב:

42 διότι οἰκέται μού εἰσιν οὗτοι, οὓς ἐξήγαγον ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου, οὐ πραθήσεται ἐν πράσει οἰκέτου·

42 Because these are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; such an one shall not be sold as a common servant.

42 For they are my servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondmen.

42 Since they are my servants - those whom I delivered from the land of Egypt, they must not be sold out of a slave market.

42 כִּי-עֲבָדַי הֵם אֲשֶׁר-הוֹצֵאתִי אֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם לֹא יִמָּכְרוּ מִמְכֶּרֶת עָבֶד:

43 οὐ κατατενεῖς αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ μόχθῳ καὶ φοβηθήσῃ κύριον τὸν θεόν σου.

43 Thou shalt not oppress him with labour, and shalt fear the Lord thy God.

43 Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God.

43 You may not tyranize him with cruelty, rather you must have respect for your God.

43 לֹא-תִרְדֶּה בוֹ בְּפָרֶךְ[Q] וְיָרֵאתָ מֵאֱלֹהֶיךָ:

44 καὶ παῖς X καὶ παιδίσκη X, ὅσοι ἂν γένωνταί σοι ἀπὸ τῶν ἐθνῶν, ὅσοι κύκλῳ σού εἰσιν, ἀπ᾿ αὐτῶν κτήσεσθε δοῦλον καὶ δούλην .

44 And X [whatever number of] men-servants and X maid-servants thou shalt have, thou shalt purchase male and female servants from the nations that are round about thee.

44 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondm[e]n and bondmaid[s].

44 As for your servants and your maids – those which belong to you, it is from the nations which are around y’all - from them - that y’all may buy a servant or a maid.

44 וְעַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתְךָ אֲשֶׁר יִהְיוּ-לָךְ מֵאֵת הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתֵיכֶם מֵהֶם תִּקְנוּ עֶבֶד וְאָמָה:

45 καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν υἱῶν τῶν παροίκων X X τῶν ὄντων ἐν ὑμῖν, ἀπὸ τούτων κτήσεσθε καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν συγγενῶν αὐτῶν, X X X ὅσοι ἂν γένωνται ἐν τῇ γῇ ὑμῶν· ἔστωσαν ὑμῖν εἰς κατάσχεσιν.

45 And of the sons of the sojourners X X X that are among you, of these ye shall buy and of their relations, X X X X all that shall be in your lands; let them be to you for a possession.

45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.

45 Y'all may also buy from the descendents of the visitors residing with y’all – from them and from their families which are with y’all – those to which they gave birth on your land; they may also belong to y’all as property.

45 וְגַם מִבְּנֵי הַתּוֹשָׁבִים הַגָּרִים עִמָּכֶם מֵהֶם תִּקְנוּ וּמִמִּשְׁפַּחְתָּם אֲשֶׁר עִמָּכֶם אֲשֶׁר הוֹלִידוּ בְּאַרְצְכֶם וְהָיוּ לָכֶם לַאֲחֻזָּה:






46 καὶ καταμεριεῖτε αὐτοὺς τοῖς τέκνοις ὑμῶν μεθ᾿ ὑμᾶς, [καὶ ἔσονται ὑμῖν] κατόχιμοι εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα· X X X X τῶν ἀδελφῶν ὑμῶν τῶν υἱῶν Ισραηλ ἕκαστος τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ οὐ κατατενεῖ αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς μόχθοις.

46 And ye shall distribute them to your children after you, [and they shall be to you] permanent possessions for ever: X X X X but of your brethren the children of Israel, one shall not oppress his brother in labour[s].

46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

46 Y’all may even bequeath them to your children after you to possess as property forever. Y’all may make slaves of them, but as for your brothers – children of Israel, you may not tyranize each other with cruelty.

46 וְהִתְנַחֲלְתֶּם אֹתָם לִבְנֵיכֶם אַחֲרֵיכֶם לָרֶשֶׁת אֲחֻזָּה לְעֹלָם בָּהֶם תַּעֲבֹדוּ וּבְאַחֵיכֶם בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ בְּאָחִיו לֹא-תִרְדֶּה בוֹ בְּפָרֶךְ:

47 Ἐὰν δὲ εὕρῃ ἡ χεὶρ τοῦ προσηλύτου ἢ τοῦ παροίκου τοῦ παρὰ σοὶ καὶ ἀπορηθεὶς ὁ ἀδελφός σου X X X πραθῇ τῷ προσηλύτῳ [ἢ] τῷ παροίκῳ τῷ παρὰ σοὶ X X X ἐκ γενετῆς προσηλύτῳ,

47 And if a stranger or sojourner with thee wax rich, and thy brother X X in distress be sold to the stranger [or] the sojourner that is with thee, or to X X a proselyte by extraction;

47 And if X X a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's family:

47 But if the employment of a visitor or a tenant beside you makes earn­ings while your brother beside you becomes poor and he sells himself to the visitor renting beside you or to a migrant from a visitor’s family,

47 וְכִי תַשִּׂיג יַד גֵּר וְתוֹשָׁב עִמָּךְ וּמָךְ אָחִיךָ עִמּוֹ וְנִמְכַּר לְגֵר [R]תּוֹשָׁב עִמָּךְ אוֹ לְעֵקֶר מִשְׁפַּחַת גֵּר:

48 μετὰ τὸ πραθῆναι [αὐτῷ] λύτρωσις ἔσται αὐτῷ· εἷς τῶν ἀδελφῶν αὐτοῦ λυτρώσεται αὐτόν,

48 after he is sold [to him] there shall be redemption for him, one of his brethren shall redeem him.

48 After that he is sold he may be redeemed [again]; one of his brethren may redeem him:

48 a redemption-right belongs to him after he has sold himself. It is one of his brothers who should redeem him -

48 אַחֲרֵי נִמְכַּר גְּאֻלָּה תִּהְיֶה-לּוֹ אֶחָד מֵאֶחָיו יִגְאָלֶנּוּ:

49 X ἀδελφὸς πατρὸς αὐτοῦ ἢ υἱὸς ἀδελφοῦ πατρὸς λυτρώσεται αὐτὸν ἢ ἀπὸ τῶν οἰκείων τῶν σαρκῶν αὐτοῦ ἐκ τῆς φυλῆς αὐτοῦ λυτρώσεται αὐτόν· [ἐὰν] δὲ εὐπορηθεὶς ταῖς χερσὶν λυτρώσηται ἑαυτόν,

49 X A brother of his father, or a son of his father's brother shall redeem him; or let one of his near kin of his tribe redeem him, and if he X should be rich and redeem himself,

49 Either 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 X be able, he may redeem himself.

49 or his uncle or his nephew should redeem him - or someone from his blood relatives (from his family) should redeem him. In the event that his employment makes earnings he may even redeem himself.

49 אוֹ-דֹדוֹ אוֹ בֶן-דֹּדוֹ יִגְאָלֶנּוּ אוֹ-מִשְּׁאֵר בְּשָׂרוֹ מִמִּשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ יִגְאָלֶנּוּ אוֹ-הִשִּׂיגָה יָדוֹ וְנִגְאָל:

50 καὶ συλλογιεῖται πρὸς τὸν κεκτημένον αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἔτους, οὗ ἀπέ­δοτο ἑαυτὸν αὐτῷ, ἕως τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ τῆς ἀφέσ­εως, καὶ ἔσται τὸ ἀργύ­ριον τῆς πράσεως αὐτοῦ ὡς μισθίου· ἔτος ἐξ ἔτους ἔσται μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ.

50 then shall he calculate with his purchaser from the year that he sold himself to him until the year of release: and the money of his purchase shall be as that of a hireling, he shall be with him from year [to year].

50 And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubile: and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years, according to the time of an hired servant shall it be with him.

50 In which case he should reckon with his buyer from the year that he sold himself to him up until the year of the Jubilee, and the money for his sale should be in accordance with the number of years. It should be the same with him as it is with the day-wages of a contractor.

50 וְחִשַּׁב עִם-קֹנֵהוּ מִשְּׁנַת הִמָּכְרוֹ לוֹ עַד שְׁנַת הַיֹּבֵל וְהָיָה כֶּסֶף מִמְכָּרוֹ בְּמִסְפַּר שָׁנִים כִּימֵי שָׂכִיר יִהְיֶה עִמּוֹ:






51 ἐὰν δέ τινι πλεῖον τῶν ἐτῶν ᾖ, πρὸς ταῦτα ἀποδώσει τὰ λύτρα αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀργυρίου τῆς πράσεως αὐτοῦ·

51 And if any have a greater number of years than enough, according to these he shall pay his ransom out of his purchase-money.

51 If there be yet many years behind, according unto them he shall give again [the price of] his redemption out of the money that he was bought for.

51 If there are many years still until their horizon he shall pay-back his redemption-price from the money that purchased him,

51 אִם-עוֹד רַבּוֹת בַּשָּׁנִים לְפִיהֶן יָשִׁיב גְּאֻלָּתוֹ מִכֶּסֶף מִקְנָתוֹ:

52 ἐὰν δὲ ὀλίγον κατα­λειφθῇ ἀπὸ τῶν ἐτῶν εἰς τὸν ἐνιαυτὸν τῆς ἀφέσ­εως, καὶ συλλογιεῖται αὐτῷ κατὰ τὰ ἔτη αὐτοῦ, [καὶ] ἀποδώσει τὰ λύτρα αὐτοῦ.

52 And if but a little time be left of the years to the year of release, then shall he reckon to him according to his years, [and] shall pay his ransom

52 And if there remain [but] few years unto the year of jubile, then he shall count with him, and according unto X X his years shall he give [him] again the price of his redemption.

52 and if there are [only] a few years left until the year of the Jubilee, then he shall reckon for himself according to the horizon of his years; he should pay-back his redemption-price.

52 וְאִם-מְעַט נִשְׁאַר בַּשָּׁנִים עַד-שְׁנַת הַיֹּבֵל וְחִשַּׁב-לוֹ כְּפִי שָׁנָיו יָשִׁיב אֶת-גְּאֻלָּתוֹ:

53 ὡς μισθωτὸς ἐνιαυτὸν ἐξ ἐνιαυτοῦ ἔσται μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ· οὐ κατατενεῖς αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ μόχθῳ ἐνώπιόν σου.

53 as a hireling; he shall be with him from year to year; thou shalt not oppress him with labour before X thee.

53 And as a yearly hired servant shall he be with him: and the other shall not rule with rigour over him in thy sight.

53 He must be [treated] by him like a contract-worker year by year; he may not tyranize him with cruelty before your eyes.

53 כִּשְׂכִיר שָׁנָה בְּשָׁנָה יִהְיֶה עִמּוֹ לֹא-יִרְדֶּנּוּ בְּפֶרֶךְ לְעֵינֶיךָ:

54 ἐὰν δὲ μὴ λυτρῶται κατὰ ταῦτα, X ἐξελεύ­σεται ἐν τῷ ἔτει τῆς ἀφέσεως [αὐτὸς] καὶ τὰ παιδία αὐτοῦ μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ.

54 And if he do not pay [his] ransomX accordingly X, he shall go out in the year of [his] release, he and his children with him.

54 And if he be not redeemed in these years, then he shall go out in the year of jubile, both he, and his children with him.

54 Even if he is not redeemed by these [means], he still gets to go out during the year of the Jubilee – he and his children with him.

54 וְאִם-לֹא יִגָּאֵל בְּאֵלֶּה וְיָצָא בִּשְׁנַת הַיֹּבֵל הוּא וּבָנָיו עִמּוֹ:

55 ὅτι ἐμοὶ οἱ υἱοὶ Ισραηλ οἰκέται, παῖδές μου οὗτοί εἰσιν, οὓς ἐξήγαγον ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου· ἐγὼ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν.

55 For the children of Israel are my servants: they are my attendants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. 26:1 I am the Lord your God

55 For unto me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

55 This is because the children of Israel belong to me as servants; they are my servants - those whom I delivered out of the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh y’all’s God.

55 כִּי-לִי בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲבָדִים עֲבָדַי הֵם אֲשֶׁר-הוֹצֵאתִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם:


[1] The Hebrew text at the end of v.28 supports the subject of the two verbs “go out” and “return” being either “it – the real-estate that was sold” or “he – the poor man that lost access to his property.” All the standard English versions make the subject of the first verb “it” (as it is at the end of vs.30 & 31) and the subject of the second verb “he,” but the parallel grammar indicates to me that both should both have the same subject. I interpreted it actively “he’s gotta get out there and get his land back,” but even if you interpret it passively “the land will leave the other guy’s jurisdiction and return to the original owner’s jurisdiction” the assumption is that the original owner belongs with that land; it’s not o.k. to give up and let it go.

[2]עֹולָם [‘forever’ in v.30] is to be understood as a contrast to the year allowed in the case of other houses” ~K&D (i.e. it does not establish a doctrine of property rights being eternal.) Keil & Delitzsch also comment that the wording of v.33 applies this same principle to Levites as well, that the right of redemption only pertains to one’s primary residence: “The words אח וְעִיר are an explanatory apposition – ‘and that in the town of his possession,’ … This implies that the right of reversion was only to apply to the houses ceded to the Levites in their own towns, and not to houses which they had acquired in other towns either by purchase or inheritance.”

[3] “The object of the law was that none of those whom God had adopted should be alienated from their race and thus depart from the true worship of God Himself… [T]he land had been promised to Abraham and his posterity, and thus the land of Canaan was an earnest or symbol or mirror of the adoption on which their salvation was founded… God desired that the lands should be retained by their legal possessor… in order that the recollection of His kindness should never be lost.” ~J. Calvin, Harmony of the Penteteuch

“[T]o alienate their part of that land would be in effect to cut themselves off from their fellowship and communion with God, of which that was a token and symbol…” ~M. Henry

“Jubilee became … to the whole nation… a year in which … every member of the covenant nation was to find his redeemer in the Lord, who brought every one back to his own property and home. [Just as their forefathers had found rest when] Jehovah had brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to give them the land of Canaan.” ~Keil & Delitzsch

[4]“Eminent Domain is a divine right. It belongs to God alone. The ‘right’ of the state to eminent domain has no place in Biblical law. The state has a duty to protect man and his property, but not to tax or to confiscate it… This power was not claimed by the original colonies and states but did grow as a consequence of the Natural Law philosophy and the influences of English law… [T]he Virginia Declaration of Rights specifically excluded eminent domain… There is no express delegation of eminent domain to the federal government in the Constitution, which means that it was prohibited to it, if the Tenth Amendment has any meaning. [A] paragraph in William M. McKinney and Burdett A. Rich, Ruling Case Law (1915), gives an excellent summary of the concept as it developed in the 19th century in the United States: ‘… It was the theory of Grotius that the power of eminent domain was based on the principle that the state had an original and absolute ownership of the whole property possessed by the individual members of it…’ No legislation can give citizens any immunity against a state wherein the courts maintain a doctrine of eminent domain, hwereby every law is sugject to rejection wherever the sovereign power of the state so decrees.” ~R. J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblial Law, pp.492-502.

[5] In some countries, certain religions are discriminated against by being barred from passing any inheritance down to their Children. This happened in the past in Roman Catholic countries to discriminate against Protestant Christians, and it happens today in some Muslim countries to discriminate against the children of any Muslim who becomes a Christian. In America, the secular state takes control of inheritances because big government recognizes that strong families are a direct threat to the increase of the power of big government and it will always fight against the free transfer of wealth from parents to children.

[6] Calvin: “[N]o wonder that God should have permitted His people to receive interest from the Gentiles since otherwise a just reciprocity would not have been preserved… In order, therefore, that equality (ratio analogica) might be preserved, he accords the same liberty to His people which the Gentiles would assume for themselves, for this is the only intercourse that can be endured when the condition of both parties is similar and equal.”

[7] “[R]eason does not suffer us to admit that all usury is to be condemned without exception… the question is only as to the poor, and consequently, if we have to do with the rich, that usury is freely premitted; because the Lawgiver, in alluding to one thing, seems not to condemn another… Hence if follows that usury is not now unlawful, except in so far as if contravenes equity and brotherly union.” ~Calvin

[8] “Statism assumes that its law, rather than God’s regenerating power, is the principle of freedom. As a result, it legislates against Biblical law. Modern ‘civil liberty’ and civil rights’ legislation requires an equalizing of all men, so that an employer cannot hire or favor his fellow believers in distinction from unbelievers. The end result it the enslavement to the state of all men; the need for charity remains, but the state now makes itself the source of charity and the judge as to who shall receive it.” ~R. J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, p.481

[9] “The Levites, however, were at liberty to make exchanges among themselves; and a priest might sell his house, garden, and right of pasture to another priest, but not to an Israelite of another tribe (Jer. 41:7-9).” ~JFB

[A] This is the same Hebrew word as that found in v.14, and, while it is not limited to real-estate (it can denote any kind of merchandise), the context seems to be limited to real-estate or means of production.

[B] The LXX, Syriac, and SP all start this verse with a conjunction, so it may have been original and edited out of the MT. The SP omits the vav in the next word, changing the verb “be impoverished” to a synonym “be decayed/wasted away” which doesn’t harm the meaning. It does this again in vs.35 & 39.

[C] This verb is unique to Leviticus 25 & 27, emphasizing the economic condition of poverty as opposed to דל, which emphasizes the weakness of poverty, and ענה, which emphasises the lowliness of poverty.

[D] The masculine pronoun here (and in some instances in the next verse) relates to the masculine “real-estate/merchandise” not the feminine “redemption,” “land,” or “possession”

[E] This word does not occur outside the Pentateuch. It seems to indicate positive “overage” not negative “remainder.”

[F] Though omitted by the LXX, this word is in the SP and DSS (11Q1), so I’ll keep it.

[G] DSS 11Q1 reads לוֹ (“[belonging] to it”) instead of the MT אֲשֶׁר-לֹא (“which there is not”). The SP reads אֲשֶׁר לוֹ (“which belongs to it”) and the LXX reads ἐχούσῃ (“having” - which supports the DSS and SP against the MT). The standard English versions also chose to abandon the reading of the MT keteb in favor of the qere.

[H] This word was translated “courtyard” in Lev. 6:16 & 26, but here it is speaking of the suburban living around the outside of the walled city.

[I] DSS 1Q1 adds a vav here, making the verb plural (they shall be considered). The only other known DSS with this verse is not helpful because it only become legible after this word, but since the SP, LXX, Syriac, and Targums also agree with the plural, and all the standard English versions go with the plural, we will assume the MT’s singular is not correct.

[J] DSS 11Q1 omits the second letter of this word, making a nonsense word as far as I can tell. This word is obliterated in the other known DSS containing this verse (11Q2), but the character spacing in 11Q2 supports the inclusion of the second letter as it is in the Masoretic.

[K] DSS 11Q1 spells this היא feminine. Since it is in paleo script, it is not likely a visual error because yod and vav are more distinct in paleo Hebrew letters than in print. 11Q2 is obliterated at this point. It is a common substitution and does not change the meaning (SP does the same thing in v. 34, and Cairo does it in v.10).

[L] 11Q1 omits the third letter of this word which changes the meaning to “being brought/offered.” There are no other known DSS to corroborate. Numbers 35:1-8 explains the layout of these 48 Levitical towns that had houses inside them and they had pasture land for their cattle starting from the wall of the city and radiating outward 500 yards. (They handled a lot of cattle because of all the animal sacrifices, and some of the cattle was for them to eat too.)

[M] Both the LXX and the SP insert “your brother” here. There are no known DSS containing this verse to corroborate with, so I will go with the agreement of the LXX & SP. The subject would have been assumed to be that brother already, so it doesn’t change the meaning. This extra word is undisputably in the next verse which, unlike this verse, is attested by the DSS.

[N] 11Q1 omits the next-to-last letter of this word in the Masoretic text (an aleph), forming a nonsense word. This missing letter is a vowel which might perhaps be compensated for by an unwritten pointing, but the more common switches between matris lectia and masoretic pointing involve the vav, not the aleph, so this would be unusual.

[O] SP substitutes one letter, changing the word to a synonym with the same root, meaning “with interest,” but the LXX supports the MT. (There is no known DSS of this verse.)

[P] The ‘im (“with”) seems to indicate a covenant relationship. In the previous verse, “your brother with you” seems to indicate a relationship as a fellow citizen, then in this verse “serve with you” seems to indicate a different relationship of master and servant, and then “his children with him” indicates yet another relationship of parent to child, but in each case the relationship is a defined one with certain obligations and privileges.

[Q] Cf. previous use to describe Egyptian slavery in Exodus 1:13-14.

[R] The LXX and SP have a little wordier rendering (adding “or” and “or to” respectively) which reads more clearly, but the DSS support the MT, so I will keep its terse reading.