Vayikra (Leviticus): Behar > Ch 25

Every 7th year the land shall rest a Sabbath to the Lord

  • When you come to the land that I am giving you, the land shall rest a Sabbath to the Lord.
  • You may sow your field for six years, and for six years you may prune your vineyard, and gather in its produce, but in the seventh year, the land shall have a complete rest a Sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field, nor shall you prune your vineyard.
  • You shall not reap the aftergrowth of your harvest, and you shall not pick the grapes you had set aside [for yourself], [for] it shall be a year of rest for the land.
  • [The produce of] the Sabbath of the land shall be yours to eat for you, for your male and female slaves, and for your hired worker and resident who live with you, all of its produce may be eaten [also] by your domestic animals and by the beasts that are in your land.


Every 50th year is a holy year of Jubilee

  • Count for yourself seven sabbatical years, seven years seven times. And the days of these seven sabbatical years shall amount to forty nine years for you.
  • Proclaim [with] the shofar blasts, in the seventh month, on the tenth of the month; on the Day of Atonement, sound the shofar throughout your land.
  • Sanctify the fiftieth year, and proclaim freedom [for slaves] throughout the land for all who live on it. It shall be a Jubilee for you, return each man to his property, and each man to his family.
  • This fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee for you, you shall not sow, nor shall you reap its aftergrowth or pick [its grapes] that you had set aside [for yourself].
  • For it is Jubilee. It shall be holy for you; you shall eat its produce from the field. During this Jubilee year, you shall return, each man to his property.
  • And when you make a sale to your fellow Jew or make a purchase from the hand of your fellow Jew, you shall not wrong one another. According to the number of years after the Jubilee, you shall purchase from your fellow Jew; according to the number of years of crops, he shall sell to you. The more [the remaining] years, you shall increase its purchase [price], and the fewer the [remaining] years, you shall decrease its purchase [price], because he is selling you a number of crops. And you shall not wrong, one man his fellow Jew, and you shall fear your G-d, for I am the Lord, your G-d.
  • And if you should say, "What will we eat in the seventh year? We will not sow, and we will not gather in our produce!" [Know then, that] I will command My blessing for you in the sixth year, and it will yield produce for three years. And you will sow in the eighth year, while [still] eating from the old crops until the ninth year; until the arrival of its crop, you will eat the old [crop].
  • Perform My statutes, keep My ordinances and perform them then you will live on the land securely and the land will then yield its fruit and you will eat to satiety, and live upon it securely.


The land shall not be sold permanently

  • The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land belongs to Me, for you are strangers and [temporary] residents with Me. Therefore, throughout the land of your possession, you shall give redemption for the land.
  • If your brother becomes destitute and sells some of his inherited property, his redeemer who is related to him shall come forth and redeem his brother's sale. And if a man does not have a redeemer, but he gains enough means to afford its redemption, he shall calculate the years for which the land has been sold, and return the remainder to the man to whom he sold it, and [then] he may return to his inheritance. But if he cannot afford enough to repay him, his sale shall remain in the possession of the one who has purchased it, until the Jubilee year. And then, in the Jubilee year, it shall go out and revert to his inheritance.
  • When a man sells a residential house in a walled city, its redemption may take place until the completion of the year of its sale. Its [period of] redemption shall be a full year. But if it is not redeemed by the end of a complete year, then that house which is in the city that has a wall, shall remain permanently [the property] of the one who purchased it throughout his generations. It will not leave [his possession] in the Jubilee.
  • But houses in open cities, which do not have a wall surrounding them, are to be considered as the field of the land. It may have redemption and shall leave [the purchaser's possession] in the Jubilee.
  • [Regarding] the cities of the Levites, the houses of their inherited cities shall forever have a [right of] redemption for the Levites. And if one purchases from the Levites, whether a house or an inherited city, will leave [the possession of the purchaser] in the Jubilee, because the houses of the cities of the Levites, are their inherited property amidst the children of Israel.
  • A field in the open areas of their cities cannot be sold, because it is their eternal inheritance.


Support your brother if he can’t support himself

  • If your brother becomes destitute and his hand falters beside you, you shall support him [whether] a convert or a resident, so that he can live with you. You shall not take from him interest or increase, and you shall fear your G-d, and let your brother live with you. You shall not give him your money with interest, nor shall you give your food with increase. I am the Lord, your G-d, Who took you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, to be a G-d to you.
  • If your brother becomes destitute with you, and is sold to you, do not work him with slave labor. As an employee or a [hired] resident, he shall be with you; until the Jubilee year he shall work with you. Then, he shall leave you he, and his children with him, and he shall return to his family and resume the status of his fathers. For they are My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt they shall not be sold as a slave is sold.
  • You shall not work him with rigor, and you shall fear your G-d.


Slavery – Jews that fall into slavery must be redeemed

  • Your male slave or female slave whom you may have from the nations that are around you, from them you may acquire a male slave or a female slave. And also from the children of the residents that live among you, from them you may acquire [slaves] and from their family that is with you whom they begot in your land, and they shall become your inheritance. You shall hold onto them as an inheritance for your children after you, as acquired property, and may thus have them serve you forever. But as for your brethren, the children of Israel, a man shall not work his brother with rigor.
  • If a resident non Jew gains wealth with you, and your brother becomes destitute with him and is sold to a resident non Jew among you or to an idol of the family of a non Jew. After he is sold, he shall have redemption; one of his brothers shall redeem him. Or his uncle or his cousin shall redeem him, or the closest [other] relative from his family shall redeem him; or, if he becomes able to afford it, he can be redeemed [on his own]. He shall calculate with his purchaser [the number of years] from the year of his being sold to him until the Jubilee year; then, the purchase price shall be [divided] by the number of years; as the days of a hired worker, he shall be with him. If there are still many years, according to them, he shall return his redemption [money] out of the money for which he was purchased. But if only a few years remain until the Jubilee year, he shall make the [same] calculation; according to his years [that remain until Jubilee], he shall return the redemption [money]. He shall be with him as an employee hired year by year; he shall not enslave him with rigor in your sight. And if he is not redeemed through [any of] these [ways], he shall go out in the Jubilee year he and his children with him. For the children of Israel are servants to Me; they are My servants, whom I took out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord, your G-d.


 

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