(from One New Man Bible translated by William Morford)
25.1. And the LORD* spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai saying,
25:2. “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them,
“When you come into the land which I give you, then the land will keep a Sabbath to the LORD*: 3. you will sow your field for six years, and for six years you will prune your vineyard and gather in its fruit, 4. but the seventh year will be a Sabbath of rest for the land, a Sabbath for the LORD*: you will neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5. That which grows of its own accord of your harvest you will not reap, neither gather the grapes of your undressed vine for it is a year of rest for the land. 6. And the Sabbath produce of the land will be food for you, for you and for your servant, for your maid, for your hired servant, and for your stranger who lives with you, 7. and for your cattle and for the wild animals that are in your land, all its increase will be for food.”
25:8. “And you will number seven Sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years: and the space of the seven Sabbaths of years will be forty-nine years for you. 9. Then you will sound the horn on the tenth ofthe seventh month, on the Day of Atonement you will sound the horn throughout all your land. 10. And you will sanctify the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the entire land to all its inhabitants. It will be a jubilee for you and you will return his possession to each man, and you will return each man to his family. 11. That fiftieth year will be a jubilee to you. You will not sow or reap that which grows of itself in it, or gather the grapes of your undressed vine. 12. For it is the jubilee; it will be holy to you. You will eat the increase of it out of the field. 13. In the year of this jubilee you will return each man to his possession. 14. And if you sell anything to your neighbor, or buy anything of your neighbor’s hand, you will not oppress one another. 15. According to the number of years after the jubilee you will buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of the fruits he will sell to you. 16. According to the multitude of years you will increase its price, and according to the fewness of years you will diminish its price: for according to the number of the years of the fruits he sells to you. 17. You will therefore not oppress one another, but you will revere your God, for I AM the LORD* your God. 18. So you will do My statutes and keep My judgments, and do them and you will live in the land in safety. 19. And the land will yield its fruit and you will eat your fill and live in it in safety. 20. And if you will say, What will we eat the seventh year? Behold, we will not sow or gather in our increase. 21. Then I shall command My blessing upon you in the sixth year and it will bring forth fruit for three years. 22. And you will sow the eighth year and eat of old fruit until the ninth year, until her fruits come in you will eat of the old store. 23. The land will not be sold forever, for the land is Mine, for you are strangers and sojourners with Me. 24. And in all the land of your possession you will grant a redemption for the land.
25:25. “If your brother is poor and has sold off some of his possession and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then he will redeem that which his brother sold. 26. And if the man has no one to redeem it and is himself able to redeem it, 27. then let him count the years of its sale and restore what is left over to the man to whom he sold it, so he may return to his possession. 28. But if he is not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold will remain in the hand of the one who has bought it until the year of jubilee, and in the jubilee it will go out, and he will return to his possession.
25:29. “And if a man sells a house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold, within a full year he may redeem it. 30. And if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city will be established forever to the one who bought it throughout his generations: it will not go out in the jubilee. 31. But the houses of the villages that do not have a wall around them will be counted as the fields of the country: they may be redeemed and they will go out in the jubilee. 32. But as for the cities of the Levites and the houses of the cities of their possession, the Levites may redeem at any time. 33. And if a man purchases from the Levites, then the house that was sold and the city of his possession, will go out in the year of jubilee, for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel. 34. But the field of the open land of their cities may not be sold, for it is their perpetual possession.
Stranger and Sojourner Equal Brothers
25:35. “And if your brother is poor and fallen in poverty with you, then you will relieve him, even though he is a stranger or a sojourner, so he can live with you. 36. Charge no interest or increase from him, but revere your God so your brother can live with you. 37. You will not give him your money with interest, nor lend him your food for increase. 38. I AM the LORD* your God, Who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, to be your God.
25:39. “And if your brother who lives near you is poor and is sold to you, you will not compel him to serve as a bond servant, 40. buthe will be with you as a hired servant, as a sojourner, serving you until the year of jubilee. 41. And then he will depart from you, he and his children with him and will return to his own family, and to the possession of his fathers will he return. 42. For they are My servants, whom I brought out from the land of Egypt: they will not be sold as bond men. 43. You will not rule over him harshly, but will revere your God. 44. Both your bond men and your bond maids, whom you will have, will be of the nations that are all around you, you will buy bond men and bond maids of them. 45. Moreover of the children of the strangers that sojourn among you, you will buy of them, and of their families that are with you, which they have begotten in your land, and they will be your possession. 46. And you will take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession. They will be your bond men forever, (see v. 10) but over your brothers the children of Israel, you will not rule over one another harshly.
25:47. “And if a sojourner or stranger near you is rich and your brother beside him is poor and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner near you, or to the stock of the stranger’s family: 48. after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him, 49. either his uncle or his uncle’s son may redeem him, or anyone that is close kin to him of his family may redeem him; or if he is able, he may redeem himself. 50. And he will reckon with the one who bought him from the year that he was sold to him to the year of jubilee: and the price of his sale will be according to the number of years, according to the time of a hired servant will he be with him. 51. If there arestill many years to go, according to them he will give back the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for. 52. And if there remain but a few years to the year of jubilee, then he will count with him, and according to his years will he give him again the price of his redemption. 53. And as a servant hired year by year will he be with him: he will not rule harshly over him in your sight. 54. And if he is not redeemed in these years, then he will go out in the year of jubilee,he and his children with him. 55. For the children of Israel are servantsto Me. They are My servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt. I AM the LORD* your God!”
Make No Idols
26.1. “You will make you no idols or graven image, nor raise up a standing image, nor will you set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down to it, for I am the LORD* your God. 2. You will keep My Sabbaths and revere My Sanctuary. I AM the LORD*!”
Next week’s Torah readings: B’hukotai
A thought occured to me as I read this. What did the people do during the year they were not to reap and sow? They must have done something useful during that time.
After asking a rabbi a few years ago about the ‘stranger in the midst’ of us he said that it was the believing stranger as, up until the time of the church, Israel was the only nation which knew the true and living God. It intimates to the body of believers that we should still turn to the needy in our midst first. The ‘church’ as it stands at present, in the West at least, will do everything for anyone else but leaves those in real need abandoned.
You have just read this wek’s portion, giving the seventh year in Lev. 25, quoted here: “When you come into the land which I AM giving to you, then the land will keep a Sabbath to the LORD*: 3. you will sow your field for six years, and for six years you will prune your vineyard and gather in its fruit, 4. but the seventh year will be a Sabbath of rest for the land, a Sabbath for the LORD*: you will neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5. That which grows of its own accord of your harvest you will not reap, neither gather the grapes of your undressed vine for it is a year of rest for the land. 6. And the Sabbath produce of the land will be food for you, for you and for your servant, for your maid, for your hired servant, and for your stranger who lives with you, 7. and for your cattle and for the wild animals that are in your land, all its increase will be for food.” This was to be a year of rest for everyone plus the animals and even the land.
Since we are no longer an agricultural society, we cannot honor the seventh year, and we are to turn to all those who are hurting. The Church needs to take back that ministry from the government and do more than it has been.
Shalom and blessings,