LEVITICUS CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

LEVITICUS CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

1 The Lord told Moses at Mount Sinai, 2 “Tell

              The Israelites: ‘When you go in the land

              That I’ll give you, the land itself has to

Observe a sabbath to the Lord. 3 For six

              Years plant your fields; for six years prune your vineyards

              And gather crops, 4 but in the seventh year

The land shall have a year of sabbath rest,

              A sabbath to the Lord. Don’t plant your fields

              Or prune your vineyards. 5 Do not reap what grows

All by itself or harvest grapes of your

              Untended vines. The land shall have a year

              Of rest. 6 The stuff the land yields in the year

Of sabbath will be food for you—for you,

              Your male and female servants, workers you

              Have hired, and temporary residents

Who live among you, 7 with your livestock and

              Wild animals that roam your land. Whatever

              The land produces, you may eat. 8 Count off

Seven sabbath years—that is, seven times

              Seven years—so the seven sabbath years

              Become a period of forty-nine

Years, 9 then have trumpets sounded everywhere

              Upon the tenth day of the seventh month;

              On the Atonement Day let trumpets sound

Throughout your land, 10 and consecrate year fifty;

              Proclaim deliverance throughout the land

              To its inhabitants, for it shall be

A jubilee for you; each one of you

              Shall go back to your family property

              And to your own clan. 11 The year fifty is

To be a jubilee for you; don’t plant;

              Don’t reap what grows all on its own or harvest

              Untended vines, 12 for it’s a jubilee,

Which shall be holy for you; only eat

              What workers take directly from the fields.

              13 “‘In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to their own property.

14 If you sell land to any of your own people

              Or buy some land from them, don’t take advantage

              Of one another. 15 You must buy from your

Own people on the basis of the years

              Elapsed since Jubilee, and they shall sell

              It to you based upon the number of

Years left to harvest crops, 16 and when the years

              Are many, you shall raise the price, and when

              The years are few, you must decrease the price,

Because what you are buying is the number

              Of crops. 17 Don’t take advantage of each other,

              But fear your God. I am the Lord your God.

18 Comply with my decrees; be careful to

              Obey my laws, and you’ll live safely in

              The land, 19 then will the land produce its fruit,

And you will eat your fill and live there safely.

              20 But you may ask, “What will we eat in year

              Seven if we don’t plant or harvest crops?”

21 I will send you such blessing in the sixth year

              That land will yield enough for three years. 22 While

              You plant during the eighth year, you will eat

From the old crop and will keep eating from

              It ‘til the ninth year’s harvest comes in. 23 You

              Are not to permanently sell the land,

Because the land is mine and you reside

              Within my land as foreigners and strangers.

              24 Throughout the land you hold as a possession,

You must let Israelites redeem the land.

              25 For if a fellow Israelite becomes

              Poor and sells some of their own property,

Their nearest relative must come redeem

              What they have sold, 26 but if he has no one

              Who can redeem it for him, but he prospers

Later on and has money to redeem

              It on his own, 27 he is to calculate

              The value for the years since he sold it

And give the balance to the buyer; then

              He can return to his own property.

              28 But if they don’t acquire the means to pay

It back, the buyer will retain the land

              Until the Year of Jubilee, and in

              The Jubilee the buyer will return

The land, and they can go back to their land.

29 Anybody who sells a house within

              A city that is walled retains the right

To buy it back a full year after he

              Has sold it. 30 If he fails to redeem it

              Before a full year has gone by, the buyer

And his descendants shall possess the house

              In the walled city permanently; in

              The Jubilee it shall not be returned.

31 But houses in the unwalled villages

              Belong in open country. They can be

              Redeemed, and buyers shall return them in

The Jubilee. 32 In the Levitical towns,

              Which Levites own, the Levites always have

              The right to buy their houses back, 33 that is,

The Levites’ property can be redeemed—

              For any house that’s sold in any town

              They hold—and in the Jubilee it shall

Go back, because the houses in the towns

              Of Levites are their property among            

              The Israelites, 34 but you are not to sell

The pastureland belonging to their towns,

              For it’s their permanent possession. 35 If

              A fellow Israelite becomes so poor

He can’t support himself, help him as you

               Would for a foreigner and stranger, so

              They can continue living among you.

36 Do not take interest or a profit from         

              Them; fear your God, so they may keep on living

              Among you, 37 and you must not lend them money

At interest or sell them some food for profit.

              38 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out

              Of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan

And be your God. 39 If any of your fellow

              Israelites sink to poverty and sell

              Themselves to you, don’t make them work as slaves.

40 You are to treat them as hired workers or

              As temporary residents among

              You; they must work for you until the Year

Of Jubilee, 41 then you are to release

              Them and their children, and they will return

              To their own clans and to the property

Their ancestors had. 42 As the Israelites

              Serve me, and I brought them from Egypt, you

              Must not sell them as slaves. 43 Don’t govern them

Mercilessly, but fear your God. 44 Your male

              And female slaves must come from lands around

              You; from them you may buy your slaves. 45 You may

Purchase some short-term residents who live

              Among you and the members of their clans

              Born in your country, and they will become

Your property. 46 You can bequeath them to

              Your children, an inheritance, and they

              Can make them slaves for life, but you must not

Govern your fellow Israelites without

              Mercy. 47 Now if a foreigner who lives

              Among you has become a wealth man

And any of your fellow Israelites

              Become so poor they sell themselves to him              

              Or to a member of his clan, 48 they keep

The right to be redeemed once they have sold

              Themselves. One of their relatives may still

              Redeem them, 49 for an uncle or a cousin

Or a blood relative within their clan

              May still redeem them. Or if they do well

              And prosper, then they may redeem themselves.

50 They and their buyer are to count the time

              From the same year they sold themselves up to

              The Year of Jubilee. The price for their

Release is to be based on the rate paid

              To a hired worker for that many years.

              51 If many years remain, they have to pay

A higher price for their redemption. 52 If

              But a few years remain until the Year

              Of Jubilee, they must compute that figure

And pay for their redemption as required.

              53 You must treat them as workers hired from year

              To year; you must make sure that those to whom

They owe their service do not govern them with

              No mercy. 54 Even if someone is not

              Redeemed in any of these ways, you must

Release them and their children in the Year

              Of Jubilee, 55 because the Israelites

              Belong to me as servants. They’re my servants,

Whom I brought out of Egypt by my rod

And mighty arm: I am the Lord our God.