Leviticus chapter 25

The Sabbath Year. The Jubilee Year. Restoration of property. Restoration of poor people. Restoration of slaves.

 


 

THE SABBATH YEAR

 

VERSE 1. The LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai,

 

VERSE 2. “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a Sabbath to the LORD.

the land shall keep a Sabbath. The land itself needs a Sabbath.

 

VERSE 3. You shall sow your field six years, and you shall prune your vineyard six years, and gather in its fruits;

 

VERSE 4. but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the LORD. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.

in the seventh year. The land itself gets a Sabbath every seven years.

a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land. Back in the Garden of Eden, the LORD God instilled within us humans a desire to care for the earth.

Back then, we were stewards and caretakers of the planet.

But in our day, Christians are exploiting the earth in order to further our own financial interests. To get rich.

A bumper sticker said this:

Earth First! We can strip-mine the other planets later!

We need a restoration of that God-given sense of stewardship of the world.

 

VERSE 5. What grows of itself in your harvest you shall not reap, and you shall not gather the grapes of your undressed vine. It shall be a year of solemn rest for the land.

you shall not reap. They are not allowed to reap any harvest from the land.

not gather the grapes. They are not allowed to pick grapes.

 

VERSE 6. The Sabbath of the land shall be for food for you; for yourself, for your servant, for your maid, for your hired servant, and for your stranger, who lives as a foreigner with you.

 

VERSE 7. For your livestock also, and for the animals that are in your land, shall all its increase be for food.

 

THE JUBILEE YEAR

 

VERSE 8. “ ‘You shall count off seven Sabbaths of years, seven times seven years; and there shall be to you the days of seven Sabbaths of years, even forty-nine years.

count off seven Sabbaths of years. At the close of the 49th year, the Jubilee Year begins.

 

VERSE 9. Then you shall sound the loud shofar on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the shofar throughout all your land.

sound the shofar. The Jubilee Year is a major event. They are to specially mark it off. They are to announce it by sounding the shofar.

 

VERSE 10. You shall make the fiftieth year holy, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee to you; and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.

This fiftieth year. Every fifty years, the people are to observe a Jubilee Year. Its a year-long Sabbath.

All people return to their roots and set everything aright. It’s a time of restoration and blessing.

When you celebrate your own fiftieth birthday, it might be an occasion to recall this verse. Perhaps you could pray that God anoint your own Jubilee Year with restoration and blessing.

It shall be a jubilee to you. The Hebrew word for jubilee is יובל (“Yovel”).

each of you shall return to his own property. Everyone regains their ancestral homeland. Property that was sold or justly taken away is restored, as is property that was unjustly taken away.

 

VERSE 11. That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee to you. In it you shall not sow, neither reap that which grows of itself, nor gather from the undressed vines.

you shall not sow, neither reap. During the Jubilee Year, nobody has a job. Nobody works.

 

VERSE 12. For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat of its increase out of the field.

eat of its increase out of the field. They were not to work. Instead, they ate whatever grew naturally in the fields.

 

VERSE 13. “ ‘In this Year of Jubilee each of you shall return to his property.

each of you shall return to his property. Financial situations are restored.

 

VERSE 14. “ ‘If you sell anything to your neighbor, or buy from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another.

 

VERSE 15. According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor. According to the number of years of the crops he shall sell to you.

 

VERSE 16. According to the length of the years you shall increase its price, and according to the shortness of the years you shall diminish its price; for he is selling the number of the crops to you.

 

VERSE 17. You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the LORD your God.

You shall not wrong one another. Godly people do not exploit other humans.

 

VERSE 18. “ ‘Therefore you shall do my statutes, and keep my ordinances and do them; and you shall dwell in the land in safety.

you shall do my statutes. To live a godly life means doing.

We Christians say salvation is by faith. Yet the New Testament calls us to put our faith into action. Otherwise our faith is worthless. Read more »

 

VERSE 19. The land shall yield its fruit, and you shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety.

 

VERSE 20. If you said, “What shall we eat the seventh year? Behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase;”

What shall we eat the seventh year. This is a natural question.

 

VERSE 21. then I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, and it shall bear fruit for the three years.

my blessing on you in the sixth year. The sixth-year harvest will be super-abundant.

it shall bear fruit for the three years. The six-year harvest will last them three years.

 

VERSE 22. You shall sow the eighth year, and eat of the fruits from the old store until the ninth year. Until its fruits come in, you shall eat the old store.

The sixth-year harvest will carry them three years:

  1. The jubilee year
  2. the eighth year: A year of sowing
  3. the ninth year: A year of harvesting

 

VERSE 23. “ ‘The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; for you are strangers and live as foreigners with me.

you are strangers. We believers are not citizens of this world. Our allegiance transcends national or cultural boundaries. On this earth, we are strangers and aliens. Read more »

 

VERSE 24. In all the land of your possession you shall grant a redemption for the land.

 

RESTORATION OF PROPERTY

 

VERSE 25. “ ‘If your brother becomes poor, and sells some of his possessions, then his kinsman who is next to him shall come, and redeem that which his brother has sold.

If your brother becomes poor. The LORD God required them to have compassion for poor people.

However, in our day, many Christians have contempt for poor people. They call poor people bad names, and refuse to help.

 

VERSE 26. If a man has no one to redeem it, and he becomes prosperous and finds sufficient means to redeem it,

 

VERSE 27. then let him reckon the years since its sale, and restore the surplus to the man to whom he sold it; and he shall return to his property.

restore the surplus. We can’t imagine Christians doing this.

Contemporary Christian culture has built up far too much selfishness and greed for Christians to be able to give away surplus to someone else.

 

VERSE 28. But if he isn’t able to get it back for himself, then what he has sold shall remain in the hand of him who has bought it until the Year of Jubilee. In the Jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his property.

In the Jubilee it shall be released. We can’t imagine Christians doing this.

 

VERSE 29. “ ‘If a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it has been sold. For a full year he shall have the right of redemption.

 

VERSE 30. If it isn’t redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be made sure in perpetuity to him who bought it, throughout his generations. It shall not be released in the Jubilee.

 

VERSE 31. But the houses of the villages which have no wall around them shall be accounted for with the fields of the country: they may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the Jubilee.

 

VERSE 32. “ ‘Nevertheless, in the cities of the Levites, the Levites may redeem the houses in the cities of their possession at any time.

 

VERSE 33. The Levites may redeem the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, and it shall be released in the Jubilee; for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel.

 

VERSE 34. But the field of the pasture lands of their cities may not be sold, for it is their perpetual possession.

 

RESTORATION OF POOR PEOPLE

 

VERSE 35. “ ‘If your brother has become poor, and his hand can’t support himself among you, then you shall uphold him. He shall live with you like an alien and a temporary resident.

If your brother has becomes poor. The LORD God required them to have compassion for poor people.

However, in our day, many Christians have contempt for poor people. They call poor people bad names, and refuse to help.

 

VERSE 36. Take no interest from him or profit; but fear your God, that your brother may live among you.

 

VERSE 37. You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit.

 

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

 

RESTORATION OF SLAVES

 

VERSE 39. “ ‘If your brother has grown poor among you, and sells himself to you, you shall not make him to serve as a slave.

If your brother has grown poor. The LORD God required them to have compassion for poor people.

However, in our day, many Christians have contempt for poor people. They call poor people bad names, and refuse to help.

 

VERSE 40. As a hired servant, and as a temporary resident, he shall be with you; he shall serve with you until the Year of Jubilee.

 

VERSE 41. Then he shall go out from you, he and his children with him, and shall return to his own family, and to the possession of his fathers.

then he shall go out from you, he and his children with him. Family members who became slaves were to be set free. Those were to regain their freedom and not be property any more. Liberty would be restored.

 

VERSE 42. For they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. They shall not be sold as slaves.

 

VERSE 43. You shall not rule over him with harshness, but shall fear your God.

 

VERSE 44. “ ‘As for your male and your female slaves, whom you may have from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves.

 

VERSE 45. Moreover, of the children of the aliens who live among you, of them you may buy, and of their families who are with you, which they have conceived in your land; and they will be your property.

 

VERSE 46. You may make them an inheritance for your children after you, to hold for a possession. Of them you may take your slaves forever, but over your brothers the children of Israel you shall not rule, one over another, with harshness.

 

VERSE 47. “ ‘If an alien or temporary resident with you becomes rich, and your brother beside him has grown poor, and sells himself to the stranger or foreigner living among you, or to a member of the stranger’s family,

 

VERSE 48. after he is sold he may be redeemed. One of his brothers may redeem him;

 

VERSE 49. or his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or any who is a close relative to him of his family may redeem him; or if he has grown rich, he may redeem himself.

 

VERSE 50. He shall reckon with him who bought him from the year that he sold himself to him to the Year of Jubilee. The price of his sale shall be according to the number of years; he shall be with him according to the time of a hired servant.

 

VERSE 51. If there are yet many years, according to them he shall give back the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for.

 

VERSE 52. If there remain but a few years to the year of jubilee, then he shall reckon with him; according to his years of service he shall give back the price of his redemption.

 

VERSE 53. As a servant hired year by year shall he be with him. He shall not rule with harshness over him in your sight.

 

VERSE 54. If he isn’t redeemed by these means, then he shall be released in the Year of Jubilee: he and his children with him.

 

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

the children of Israel are servants. The Hebrew people are but servants of the Most High God. And so are we.

Christians often act as though they are the lords and masters of their nation’s culture. But the Bible calls us to be the least of all people. And the servants of everyone. Read more »

 


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LEVITICUS

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize, The Scapegoat, Female Sacrificial Animals

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.