Pgs. 225-230

Ch. 25-26



XXV. AND the Lord spake with Mosheh in the mountain of Sinai, saying: Speak with the children of Israel, and say to them: When you have entered into the land that I will give to you, then shall the ground rest for a rest before the Lord. Six years you shall sow your fields, and six years prune your vineyards and gather in the fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a rest of remission to the earth, that she may rest before the Lord; you shall not sow your fields, nor prune your vineyards. The after crop which remaineth from your harvests you may not reap, nor of your later grapes make a vintage; a year of remission it shall be unto the earth; but the remission[1] of the ground shall be to you for food, to thee, to thy servant, and to thine handmaid, and to thy hireling, and to the stranger who dwelleth with thee; and for thy cattle and for the animals that are in thy land shall be the produce of it (also).

And thou shalt number to thee seven Sabbaths of years, seven times seven years, and they shall be to thee the sum of the days of seven Sabbaths (or remissions, shemittin) of years, forty and nine years. And thou shalt make the voice of the trumpet to sound a jubilee in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, on the Day of the Expiations thou shalt make the voice of the trumpet of Liberty to pass through all your land. And you shall sanctify that year, the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty in the land of Israel to all the inhabitants; Jubela shall it be to you, and you shall return every man to his inheritance, and every man unto his family, you shall return. The year of Jubela shall that fiftieth be to you: ye shall not sow, nor reap the after crop, nor make vintages of the grapes which have been let alone. For that Jubela shall be sacred to you, the produce of the field shall you eat. In this year of Jubela you shall return every man unto his inheritance.

And when you sell sales to your neighbours, or you buy disposable (or moveable) goods from the hand of your neighbours, it is not allowable for a man to defraud his neighbour. Sons of Israel, My people, if you sell a field or a vineyard, according to the sum of the number of years after the Jubela you shall buy of your neighbour; according to the number of years for gathering the produce they shall sell it to you; according to the greatness of the amount of the years shall the price be enlarged; and according to the smallness of the amount of the years the price shall be diminished, because be sells to thee the amount of the fruitage to be ingathered. And you shall not overreach one man his neighbour by hard words, but fear your God: I am the Lord your God. And you shall perform My statutes, and observe the order of My judgments and do them, that you may dwell upon the land securely. And the land will yield her produce, and you shall eat and be satisfied, and dwell upon the land in security.

But if you say, What shall we eat in the seventh year; behold, we sow not, nor ingather even the after crop of our provision? I will command My blessing upon you from my treasures of goodness, which are in the heaven of My Presence, in the sixth year, and it will create produce that will suffice for three years. But you shall sow in the eighth year, and eat of the old produce of the sixth year until the ninth year; until the time of the incoming of the new produce, shall you eat of the old.

And the land of Israel shall not be sold absolutely, for the land is Mine; for you are sojourners and guests with Me. And in all the land of your possession you shall let the ground have redemption.

And if thy brother hath become poor and hath sold his possession, his redeemer who is near of kin to him may come and redeem the sale of his brother. But if a man have no one who is qualified to redeem that which he hath sold, and it befall to his own hand to find the price of its redemption, then let him count the sum of the years of its sale, and give the amount to the man who bought it, and return to his possession. But if his hand meet not with the price that he should give him, then the property sold shall (remain) in the hand of him who bought it until the year of Jubela, and shall then go out without money, and he shall return to his possession.

And if a man sell a dwelling‑house, in a town surrounded by a wall, it may have redemption until the completing of the year from its sale: from time to time shall be its redemption. But if it be not redeemed at the completing of the full year, the house that is in a walled town shall be confirmed absolutely to him who bought it, unto his generations: it shall not go out at the Jubela. But houses in villages which have no walls round about them, are to be accounted as tents which are spread upon the fields of the earth; they may be redeemed, and they shall go out at the Jubela. But the cities of the Levites, the houses of the cities of their possession may be always redeemable by the Levites. And when one hath purchased of the Levites the house that was sold in the cities of their possession, it shall go out at the Jubela; for the houses of the Levites are their inheritance among the children of Israel. But a field in the suburbs of their cities shall not be sold for it is an everlasting possession for them. [JERUSALEM. But a field in the suburbs of their cities shall not be sold, because a possession].                                     

And if thy brother hath become poor, and his hand wavereth with thee, then thou shalt strengthen and do him good, as a guest and a sojourner he shall be nourished with thee. My people of the house of Israel you shall not take usuries or remunerations (in his case) but thou shalt fear thy God, and let thy brother have nourishment with thee. My people of the house of Israel, you shall not lend him for usury, nor give him your provisions for increase. [JERUSALEM. Thy money thou shalt not lend him for usuries, nor give thy food for increase]. I am the Lord your God, who redeemed and brought you out redeemed from the land of Mizraim, to give unto you the land of Kenaan, and to be unto you Eloha.

If thy brother with thee shall have become poor, and have sold himself unto thee, thou shalt not make him serve according to the laws of the service of bondmen but as a hired man and as a sojourner shall he serve with thee, until the year of Jubela shall he serve thee. Then shall he go out from thee at liberty, he and his children with him, and return to his family, and to the heritage of his fathers shall he return. For they are My servants whom I brought forth redeemed from the land of Mizraim; they shall not be sold according to the laws of the sale of bondmen. Neither may you make him serve with rigour, but thou shalt fear the Lord thy God. But your bondmen and your handmaids which you may have, of the handmaids of the Gentiles, of them you may purchase bondmen and handmaids.

Moreover, of the children of the uncircumcised strangers who sojourn among you, of them you may buy, and of their families that are with you, which they have begotten in your land; but not from the Kenaanaee; and they shall be yours for possession. And you may leave them to your children after you, to inherit as a perpetual possession; them you shall make to serve: but of your brethren of the sons of Israel no man (may enslave) his fellow; them shall you not make to serve with rigour.

And if the hand of the uncircumcised sojourner with you wax strong, and thy brother with him become poor, and sell himself to the uncircumcised stranger who is with thee, or to the stock of a strange religion, to serve him or to worship with him who is of the generation of strangers; when it is known to you that he hath been sold, forthwith redemption shall, be his; one of his brethren shall redeem him; either the brother of his father or the son of his father's brother may redeem him; or a kinsman of the flesh of his family may redeem him; or by his own hand being made strong, or by the hand of the congregation, he may be redeemed. And he shall account with the uncircumcised person who had bought him, from the year that he was sold until the year of Jubela, and the price of his re‑purchase shall be according to the number of the years; according to the days of an hireling shall it be with him. If yet there be many years, according to their number he shall give for his redemption of the money that he was bought for. But if few years remain till the year of Jubela, he shall compute with him, and according to the amount of the years give for his redemption. As a hireling by the year shall he be with him, and his master shall not make him to serve with rigour while thou see it. But if he be not redeemed within those years, he shall go out free at the year of Jubela, he and his children with him. For the sons of Israel are Mine, to obey My laws; servants are they whom I brought out redeemed from the land of Mizraim. I am the Lord your God.

XXVI. You shall not make to you idols or images, nor erect for you statues to worship, neither a figured stone[2] shall ye place in your land to bow yourselves toward it. [JERUSALEM. Nor a stone for an idol.] Nevertheless a pavement sculptured with imagery you may set on the spot of your sanctuary, but not to worship it: I am the Lord your God. The days of My Sabbaths you shall keep, and walk to the house of My sanctuary in My fear; I am the Lord.

[1] The produce yielded spontaneously during the time of remission to be enjoyed in common. So Rashi, Eben Ezra, and Bar Nachman.

[2] Glossary, p. 23.