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Leviticus 25.1 - 24

posted 14 Feb 2014, 02:50 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com
The Eternal One addressed Moses on Mount Sinai.

Eternal One: Go, talk with the Israelites and tell them that when you arrive in the land I have promised to give to you, you are to make sure the land observes a Sabbath rest before Me. Plant your fields, take care of your vineyards, and harvest your crops for six years; but when the seventh year arrives, I want the entire land to have a Sabbath rest to Me. Do not plant your fields or prune your vineyards during this seventh year. Do not harvest whatever grows on its own from earlier plantings, and do not pick grapes from the unpruned vines. The entire year is to be a year of Sabbath rest for the land. 6-7 You, your slaves, your hired workers, the outsiders living among you, your domesticated and the wild animals may eat whatever the land produces naturally during the Sabbath year.

You are to count off seven Sabbath years (that’s seven times seven years), which gives you 49 years. After the 49th year is over, sound a ram’s horn across the land in the 50th year on the tenth day of the seventh month. Sound the ram’s horn throughout the land on the Day of Atonement. 10 When the 50th year arrives, sanctify it and declare liberty throughout the land for all who live there—dramatic, radical liberty for all. It is to be your jubilee year. Each of you is allowed to go back to the land that belonged to your ancestors; and each of you may return to your own family. 11-12 The 50th year is to be your jubilee year. Do not plant. Do not harvest anything that grows on its own or pick grapes from the unpruned vines. You may eat what the land produces naturally. For it is a jubilee, a special, sacred time for you.

The year of jubilee is a far-reaching idea in the ancient world. In the 50th year, land that has been sold to pay debts during the preceding 49 years returns to its original owners. Israelites who had to sell themselves into slavery to pay debts are set free. All debts are declared “paid in full.” The jubilee is a regular reminder to God’s covenant people that every acre of ground, every soul belongs to God, not to those rich enough to buy them. Actually land cannot be sold; it can only be leased in 50-year increments, from jubilee to jubilee. So God’s law protects the welfare of future generations by preventing the permanent transfer of land and wealth outside the control of the family.

Eternal One: 13 Everyone will return to his ancestral property during the year of jubilee. 14 If you sell something to a friend or buy something from your neighbor, do it honestly. 15 When you lease property from a friend, you should pay only for the time you get to use it. He will base the price on the number of harvest years remaining until the jubilee returns. 16 You will raise the price if the jubilee year is far away. You will lower the price if the year is near, for what you are really buying is the number of harvests you can get in before the next jubilee. 17 Do not cheat each other. Instead, fear the God who has power over you; for I am the Eternal One, your God.

18 So follow My directives and live by My rules; as you do, you and your people will most certainly be secure in the land I will give you. 19 The land will produce an abundance of food, and you will have all you need to eat and live safely in the land. 20 You might ask, “What will we eat in the seventh year if we don’t plant and harvest crops?” 21 Don’t worry. I will direct My blessing to come to you during the sixth year so that the land will produce three years’ worth of crops in that one year: 22 Even while you are planting during the eighth year, you will eat your fill of the previous crops harvested in the sixth year. You will eat those crops right up until the time when you harvest the new crops in the ninth year.

23 You are not allowed to sell the land in perpetuity because it isn’t actually yours. The land belongs to Me. You will always be strangers and outsiders living in My land. 24 So every plot of ground you possess carries a “right of redemption.”