Synopsis:Not only must they rest every seven days, but every seven years, the fields must not be sown or harvested. They should reap enough in the 6th year to feed themselves for three years (The 6th year, the year of the Sabbath and the 8th year until the harvest comes in). Every seventh Sabbath year (49 years) is a special year, because the next year is the jubilee. During the jubilee, all debts between Israelites are erased. All land sold is returned to the original family. The only exception is if you buy a house in a walled city. That doesn’t revert to the former owner. But farm houses, those revert. Levite homes anywhere may be redeemed by a Levite at any time. Also, you may not take an Israelite for a slave. You have hire them and pay them to pay off debts, but they cannot be owned and at the Jubilee, even if they haven’t paid off their debts, they are free to go. All other people can be owned and enslaved.
In other words:Fields are to be rested every 7 years and every 50 years, all debts between families are to be erased and land sold is to be returned.
Favorite bit:I love that the Sabbath concept is extended to farming every 7th year. We now know that fields do need to rest. I also like the concept of the jubilee, every 50 years, all debts are erased. Basically, I loved this chapter.
Least favorite bit:That slavery was still allowed, just not between Israelites. I am reminded again that they were creating an “in group” with special privileges and as a cult, they had to be kind to their brother cultists.
Moral lesson learned:
- Let your fields rest (Leviticus 25:4)
- Don’t hold debts over other people (Leviticus 25:13)