Lev. 25:25-55 – Biblical Solutions to Poverty: Reset, Redeem, Retain

Translation & Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ the Redeemer Church of Manhattan KS, 19 Mar. 2017

And for Gloria Deo Church of Manhattan, KS, 9 Apr 2017


v     When the Apostle Paul met to compare notes with the other apostles in Jerusalem, he reported in his epistle to the Galatians that Peter, James, and John gave Him the right hand of fellowship as a fellow preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then exhorted him to “remember the poor.”

v     If we take our cues from the dominant political parties of our day, we will find,

Ø      on one hand a theory held by the majority of the younger generations of our country that a strong, secular central government should level out the incomes of Americans by taxing business and wealthy people and distributing that money freely among the poor. Popular also among that crowd is the theory that debt is wealth, so, the more money a person or a country can get in loans the better off they will be.

Ø      On the other hand, the competing theory held by a majority of the older generations is that government should be de-centralized and should not intervene in people’s economic affairs and that everybody should mind their own business. Popular among that crowd is the theory that money is wealth, so the more money a person or nation has, the better off they will be.

Ø      When presented with these extremes of Communist Marxism and Libertarian Capitalism, it’s easy to throw up our hands and give up on politics because we’ve tried both and neither works to solve the problem of poverty.

§         The fabulous capitalistic industrial age of our nation in the 1800’s only widened the gap between rich and poor, it seems,

§         and, the last century of War on Poverty using wealth redistribution and government programs has only seen an increase in the percentage of poor people.

v     A look at church history shows American Christianity swinging back and forth between conservativism and liberalism in regards to Biblical accuracy in theology, but often it’s the liberal side that has carried the concern for the poor most passionately. It seems, on the other hand, that churches like ours, which are formed out a renewed commitment to Biblical teaching, tend to downplay the vision of helping the poor in all the effort of theological and ideological reform. This is natural and not necessarily a problem if you consider the larger seasons in the life of a church, but in Leviticus 25, God gives us a challenge to think further and stretch our wings, as it were, in this area of addressing the problem of poverty.

v     As we look at Leviticus 25 we see Capitalism with a strong emphasis on land ownership, but it is not Libertarian or secular in nature, it is grounded in responsibility to God and limited by God’s laws against evil. At the same time, we also see wealth redistribution in Leviticus 25, with a strong emphasis on handouts to the poor, yet again, it is grounded, not in obligation to mankind, but rather it is grounded in gratitude toward God and limited by the strength of personal relationships. (And I would point out that a Biblical worldview sees good relationships as the greatest wealth.)

v     Now, Leviticus 25 is only one chapter in God’s revelation, so it doesn’t deal with every economic issue, but can begin to give us a handle on things. Also, Leviticus 25 is a delineation of a particular economy which does not apply at all points to all economies; nevertheless, it was an economy organized by God Himself, and, because God is just and righteous, any system He designed was necessarily just and righteous, therefore it is worth examining in order to learn what true justice and righteousness look like, then we can identify enduring principles of justice and righteousness that apply to our economy today.

v     I see three main economic principles in Leviticus 25 with enduring value that we can use.

Ø      The first is the concept of an economic “re-set,” which was part of the Jubilee cycle,

Ø      Second is the concept of “redemption” of lost means of production,

Ø      and third is the concept of “retaining” people without economic self-suficiency through private charity.

Ø      Re-set, Redeem, Retain.


Reset (vs. 10-16, 28-31, 40-41, 54)

v     The Year of Jubilee[1], which is introduced in Leviticus 25 was an economic “re-set button.”

Ø      In v.28, anyone who sold his land to be used by another person and never made enough money to buy his land back got to get his land back for free in the Year of Jubilee. All he had to do was go claim it, and live and work on it again.

Ø      In v.41, every person among God’s people who sold himself as a slave was released from slavery in the 50th year and was re-instated to his forefather’s property and made a property owner again.[2]

Ø      There was also a re-set every seven years for slaves which acted much in the same manner. Most folks who entered servitude were not allowed to sell more than seven years of their labor ahead-of-time, and they were released from their debts in the seventh year. (Calvin)

v     Some people are better at production and management than others and will naturally excel at making income and managing larger amounts of land and larger businesses. With a limited amount of land, these natural differences among persons would result in some families having fabulously-large holdings and others living in continuous destitution if left unchecked.

Ø      This is one of the reasons why our nation has passed laws against monopolies, although our laws also have their problems.

Ø      “But as a social institution the jubilee year remained an ideal which was rarely, if ever, realized. Rabbinic literature says that it was reckoned to be obsolete in postexilic times… Standards of house-building have led archeologists to conclude that early Israel was a relatively egalitarian society, but that by the later monarchy period the gap between rich and poor had widened. ‘The rich houses are bigger and better built and in a different quarter from that where the poor houses are huddled together.’” [3]

v     Viewed from another angle, the Jubilee cycle acted as a kind of debt ceiling. Nobody was allowed to go into debt by more than 49 year’s wages. In other words, if you made fifty grand a year, you couldn’t get a line of credit for more than two and a half million dollars. Contemporary financial institutions have their own limits to the amount of money they will lend to you, but it seems that when it comes to our federal government today, almost no such limits are applied. In the Jubilee principle, God gives us a common-sense way to keep an economy from the threat of a meltdown due to unrecoverable debts.

v     Another modern application of Jubilee is the concept of bankrupty. Our laws allow someone who has failed financially to push the re-set button, as it were, and, by enduring certain penalties, be cleared of unpayable debts to start over again with life. There has to be a provision for this in any economic system, but it needs to be wisely considered when it is appropriate to bring into play because, while it may help some people who made an honest effort at business and failed, there are others out there who are dishonest and could use this provision in ways that amount to theft. By applying this economic re-set predictably to every citizen, the Levitical Jubilee system avoided that problem to some extent.

v     But what if you’re not a lending institution or a government agency. Does Jubilee have any application for you personally? Yes. It teaches us that if someone owes us something but their ability to pay back is poor, absolving their debt is one of three Biblical options we have for responding to their poverty. The second option is…

Redemption (vs.24-34 and 47-50)

v     In verses 25ff, a desperate situation is described: A farmer (or even someone in the suburbs who has a garden in v.31) has become so poor that he is selling off agricultural land in order to buy food. What’s going to happen next? Now that he has less ground to plant seeds and grow crops, he will have even less food and will make even less money. He has started on a course that is not economically sustainable.

Ø      It’s like a taxi-driver who decides to sell his taxi-cab in order to pay rent that month. Now that he’s sold his car he can’t earn any more money, so he’s at a dead end financially. He needs intervention quick, in order to get back on his feet.

Ø      Here is the second God-given principle for dealing with poverty: Privately redeeming means of production for a particular poor person in order to get them back to the ability to provide for themselves.

Ø      The “you” at the beginning of v.25 is singular, and it is the same person as the kinsman-redeemer near-relative, and the relationship between this person and the poor man is described in the Hebrew as that of “brother.”

§         The NAS and NIV translate the Hebrew word “brother” as “countryman” or “relative,” and this is consistent with the wider sense in which the word “brother” is used here.

§         If your own blood brother or sister (or your parents) became so poor that they have to start selling their own means of generating income in order to keep body and soul together for a little longer, certainly you should step in and help, for, as the Apostle said, he who does not provide for his own family is worse than an infidel (1 Tim. 5:8).

§         but your obligation to step in and help applies to other people besides your immediate family.

§         While I can’t help but appreciate efforts of Bill Gates and Bono to alleviate all poverty in Africa, I don’t think our responsibility to help necessarily applies to every poor person in the world. The Hebrew here literally says “his redeemer who is near to him,” so there is some relational nearness that carries the obligation to help.

Ø      Perhaps the term “redeemer” was a predetermined role, like that of a godfather, or perhaps it was not predetermined but was a role taken on by someone who realized God has put them in a position to help, much like Boaz decided to help Ruth and her Mom in their desperate poverty, even though he was not the nearest relative and had to get permission from another relative first.

Ø      In the New Testament we see the term “brother” applied to fellow church members.

§         1 John 3:17 “But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (NKJV, cf. James 2:15).

§         So I think that a way to apply this verse in principle is when you see a family member or a fellow Christian going under financially and you see that God has given you the means to help them recover some of their stuff, you should accept the role of their redeemer and take the initiative to “go” and “redeem.”

Ø      When I was a consultant on foreign missions, there was a mission pastor in Denver with whom I would meet periodically, and one day while I was waiting for him, I fell into conversation with the janitors at the church building. We quickly discovered a common interest in composing and performing and recording Christian music. These guys were a bit messy though – I think one was an ex-convict – and they were clearly hard-up for money. I was too, though, so I didn’t see much I could do to help them. But one day, one of the guys revealed that he had been in possession of a 16-channel mixing board but had pawned it in order to get cash to live on that month. Well, I happened to be in charge of setting up the sound for my organization’s annual retreat, and I had a budget to rent sound equipment for it. So with my friend’s need in mind, I did some research and found that it would cost about the same amount to rent a mixer as it would to pay to get my new friend’s mixer back from the pawn shop, so I redeemed his mixing board, used it for my retreat, then handed it back to him so he could make recordings with it again. It was a small thing, but I share this as an example of how we can transfer this principle of redeem means of production from the agricultural model of the Old Testament into our contemporary economic context.

Ø      V.26 describes a situation where there is no kinsman-redeemer, but the poor person himself keeps plugging away at whatever work he can do and God blesses him with the means to buy back his field (or his taxi-cab or his business). This should be a reminder that sometimes God doesn’t see fit to give us a free ride.

§         Sometimes God wants us to experience the grind of poverty and hard work to develop our relationship with Him in some way.

§         We can pray for deliverance, but don’t let bitterness and resentment creep in if no rich uncle sweeps in to relieve your uncomfortable situation. Work plus time plus trust in God may be God’s means for your redemption in that case.

v     Later on in verses 47ff, the same principle of redemption is applied not only to property but also to persons. If someone is in such a desperate situation that they have to sell themselves into slavery, then somebody – preferably a relative – certainly one of his own siblings – was to buy him (or her) back.[4]

Ø      Verse 53 even seems to indicate a moral responsibility to look out for your brothers and sisters in case their master (or employer) is mistreating them.

§         Some employers take advantage of their employees, and sometimes it takes a brother or sister to say, “Hey, your employer is not treating you fairly. If he doesn’t shape up, I’m going to get him in trouble or I’ll get you out of that abusive situation.”

§         We’ve had to do that with a couple of our sons’ employers when our sons were young and didn’t realize that their employers were taking advantage of them in illegal ways.

§         It’s a lot easier for unscrupulous employers to take advantage of vulnerable people, so we need to hold those employers accountable to Biblical standards of fairness.

Ø      However, since slavery is illegal here, much of this passage may seem irrelevant, but, Proverbs 22:7 tell us that debt is a form of slavery, and debt is something we have a lot of in our culture.

Ø      We could apply this passage today by saying that if a family member was having to go into debt to make ends meet, and you had the means to help them out of debt, you should redeem them from that bondage.

Ø      Here’s example from my own life: Before we were married, my wife and I entered college expecting to become engineers, so we figured we could afford to go into a good bit of debt for tuition at a Christian college because we would be making good money when we graduated. My wife’s parents warned her, however, not to marry a missionary or a pastor. When we started courting I was planning to be an electrical engineer, but God changed all that, and I became a missionary after all, but the first mission organization I joined had a fiasco which left me and my wife extremely vulnerable financially. We were liable for huge amounts of college loans but we couldn’t even afford to pay rent anymore. We had to move out of our apartment. That’s when our own parents – as well as an uncle – entered the scene as kinsman-redeemers for us. They put us up in their own homes for about a year so we would not have to pay for rent – and I think they paid for a lot of our groceries too! During that time I was able to concentrate on paying down those college debts and on setting up a more stable base of financial support for future mission work. What a blessing to have family members willing to step in and redeem me out of a desperate situation! A few years later, a change in policy with the second mission left us stranded in a high cost-of-living area, far away from family, without enough income to pay rent. This time it was friends who came to the rescue. For almost a year, the Mills, the Noltes, the Paauws, the Cavins, the Appels, the Duncans, and the VanderVeens all took turns hosting us in their homes, and you know what? During that year, we paid off all our student loans! These brothers and sisters in Christ (as well as others) pitched in to redeem us in a very real way.

Ø      Christian Health Care Need-Sharing ministries are another way this happens today. You can sign on with groups like Christian Care Medishare or Christian Brotherhood Newsletter, or Samaritan Ministries and redeem a Christian brother or sister from debt to a hospital, and they can, in turn, do the same for you if you don’t have insurance.

Ø      Is there anyone you know of who is staggering under some kind of bondage that you could help out of that bondage? God may be calling you to redeem them. The third strategy to fight poverty is…

Retain (vs. 32-46)

v     In v.35 we see that sometimes there are people who just need to be retained. They may or may not have the cleverness and fortitude to provide for themselves. They need help in order to keep “living,” and to keep living “with you” and not be sold on the slave market and carted off into slavery somewhere else. What the rest of us are called to do is “relieve/help/sustain/literally “strengthen” him/or her.

v     This is also commanded in the New Testament; it hasn’t changed:

Ø      Gal 2:10 – remember the poor

Ø      Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (NKJV)

Ø      I Tim 5 – “honor” widows who have no other means of income by providing for them out of the church treasury.

v     We see three categories of people to be retained Leviticus 25:

Ø      First, provide for yourself by buying your freedom and buying your land, if possible, so that you can have the freedom to provide for yourself and others.

Ø      Second, provide for Levites. God called them to a different sort of work which did not produce food, so they needed to be retained by the rest of God’s people so that they could lead worship, offer sacrifices, pray for their communities, practice music, maintain the tabernacle, and study and teach the scriptures.

Ø      The third category to be retained, is the poor, and they are my focus this morning.

v     I see three ways mentioned in this passage that the poor can be sustained:

Ø      First, by keeping fair prices for the commodities you sell them.

§         That includes in v.36 not exacting interest (or usury)

§         and in v.37, if you are selling food, not gouging them with prices they can’t afford to pay.

§         The object, according to vs. 35 & 36 is to keep him “living next to you” – not shuffling him off to the low-income section of town so you don’t have to see him. Keep him next to you!

§         Why? V.38 gives the reason: Because of who the LORD is; He is your God. Generous sustenance of a fellow-believer brings us into conformity with the character and habits of God:

·         God strengthens weak people. (Isa. 40:29)

·         He did it by delivering the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt.

·         He did it by delivering the Jewish exiles from Babylon too:

·         “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, my loved one; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest cor­ners, saying to you, ‘You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off;’ fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I chose/ strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isa. 41:8-10, NAW)

·         When we strengthen and uphold the weak, we reflect the character of God.

Ø      Second, we can retain the poor through charitable donations.

§         Notice that Leviticus 25 encourages this kind of sustenaince to be done privately. It doesn’t say, if you have a widow in your church, tell them to apply for Social Security, or if you have poor people tell them to apply for welfare benefits, or if you have handicapped or chronically ill people, tell them to apply for Medicaid. There is no mention of impersonal, government-run charity, only of private charity, where you reach out to help a needy person that you know personally. I’m not saying that we need to go on a crusade to immediately abolish all the government support systems in our nation, rather I want to encourage you as the church to look for ways that you can provide private, relationship-based assistance to needy people whom God brings to your attention. Model the ideal and let the world see superior results, then the bigger systems can change with time.

§         Private friendship and accountability is very important in meeting the needs of the financially destitute.

·         People call our church phone number frequently to ask for money, and for 99% of the ones I have talked to, their problems mostly stem from not having a web of friends that can provide accountability and support. In most cases it’s because they they don’t want it. As soon as I talk about calling their pastor or encourage them to join our church for accountability and community, they tend to hang up pretty soon afterward.

·         But there is the occasional person who is willing to meet regularly, accept help, build relationships, and submit to accountability, and it’s a beautiful thing.

§         This can also be done on an international scale. I just got a newsletter from the Five Loaves ministry that spun off last year from The TentMaker Project. Across the street from First Presbyterian Church of Kamala, Uganda is a slum. I’ve seen it myself; it’s the kind of place where people live in cardboard boxes and try to survive one day at a time. A recent drought has left people in desperate circumstances – hunting for rats to eat. So the Five Loaves Minstry sends Pastor Bukenya $500/month to buy food and hire needy church members to cook a meal on the church grounds and serve it for free. People from the slums know that they can get a square meal if they come to the church building at dinner time, and then they hear a gospel message to feed their souls as well. Some of them have begun to regularly attend worship services - even when there is not a meal served - as a result. I recall Floyd sharing about something similar he helps with; it’s worth checking out.

Ø      The third way of sustaining the poor in addition to donations and fair trade is through employment. If they lost their business or assets, they can work for you in exchange for a decent wage. I believe that is the spirit of verses 39 and following.

§         Depending on the version you’re looking at, the words “slave” or “servant” appear, but the word “servant” has a much wider range of meaning in the Bible than it has today. In the Bible it includes work relationships that we would call “internships” or even “employment.”

§         Just as the sale of land was really about the sale of potential harvests in the Biblical economy described in Lev. 25, so the sale of persons was not about selling the person, but about selling their labor in a contractual way; v.42 says a slave still belonged to God as a person whom God has personally delivered out of Egypt – and this is repeated for emphasis again in verse 55 “…the children of Israel belong to me as servants; they are my servants – those whom I delivered out of the land of Egypt.” (NAW)

§         V.40 says that any person among God’s people who sold his labor and became a servant had to be treated the same as any other hired worker.

·         Peicing together what it says in verses 39 and 41, he might have to live in his new master’s house and follow the rules of that new master’s household, but he (or she) could not be treated as though they were sub-human physical property.

·         Verse 43 also says that you can’t push them ruthlessly to the breaking point like the Egyptians did to the the Jews with harsh labor.

·         That time in the master’s house was to be a time of discipleship, training in the successful business principles which the master had already learned, and training in God’s ways, so that in the year of Jubilee, that slave could “go out” of the master’s house together with his family, ready to succeed in life with a second chance. (According to other parts of the law, the master was even supposed to send that slave out with seed money to start his own business.) As you see, that was a lot like what we would call an “internship.”

·         The New Testament commands to slave owners are consistent with these principles:

¨      Eph. 6:9 “And you, masters, do the same things to them [your servants], giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.” (NKJV)

¨      Col. 4:1 “Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.” (NKJV)

·         Leviticus goes on to deal with an even more desperate case of poverty where a foreigner became so hard up that he became willing to work for the rest of his life for a certain Israelite rather than go back to his home country and die. There was a provision to help even a foreigner in a desperate plight like that.

¨      If you think it was unfair that foreigners didn’t get freed in the Jubilee, remember that all the foreigner had to do to enter into the rights of freedom in the Jubilee was to submit to the terms of God’s covenant. It was his own fault if he wanted to live in Israel but refused to become one of God’s people[5].

¨      There was also the principle of preserving Israel’s spiritual heritage, but that’s a whole ‘nother 45 minute sermon.


v     So, there is a lot more that could be covered in this chapter, but for now, we have these three Biblical tools for approaching poverty: Re-setting, Redeeming, and Retaining.

v     As you notice people with needs, you can ask yourself,

Ø      “Is this a situation where forgiving their debt will solve their problems?

Ø      Do they need to be redeemed out of a bad situation?

Ø      Or do they need long-term support?”

v     It is important to note, however, that this is not about do-good-ism.

Ø      The liberals who have lost touch with the Gospel and slipped into mere Humanism may do the same sorts of things for the poor to feel good about themselves, to benefit mankind, or to look good, but Leviticus 25 calls believers in God to do these kind of things in order to flesh out what our God is like.

Ø      As we forgive, redeem, and support others, we show forth the character of our God who forgives our sins on the basis of Jesus Christ, who redeems us from bondage to sin and who supports in a right relationship with Him!


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] “This law of entail, by which the right heir could never be excluded, was a provision of great wisdom for preserving families and tribes perfectly distinct, and their genealogies faithfully recorded, in order that all might have evidence to establish their right to the ancestral property. Hence the tribe and family of Christ were readily discovered at his birth.” ~JFB

[2] “Jewish writers say that, for ten days before the jubilee-trumpet sounded, the servants that were to be discharged by it did express their great joy by feasting, and wearing garlands on their heads: it is therefore called the joyful sound, Ps. 89:15. And we are thus to rejoice in the liberty we have by Christ.”~Matthew Henry

[3] “…The Biblical law is opposed equally to the monopolistic tendencies of unbridled capitalism and thorough-going communism where all property is in state hands. By keeping land within a particular family, the jubilee also promoted family unity…”(Gordon Wenham, quoting De Vaux) cf. Matthew Henry: “That none should grow exorbitantly rich, by laying house to house, and field to field (Isa. 5:8), but should rather apply themselves to the cultivating of what they had than the enlarging of their possessions. The wisdom of the Roman commonwealth sometimes provided that no man should be master of above 500 acres. That no family should be sunk and ruined, and condemned to perpetual poverty.”

[4] Calvin noted that this could only be enforced with foreigners if the foreigner to whom the Israelite sold himself remained a resident within the commonwealth of Israel where this was the law.

[5] “[T]he poverty here adverted to could only occur from the curse of God and as a just chastisement of their sins. We see, therefore, that of His incomparable lovingkindness, He stretches forth His hand to the transgressors of His law; and, while He chastises them with poverty, still looks upon them, unworthy as they are, and provides a remedy for the ills which their own guilt had brought upon them.” ~John Calvin

[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.