The Sabbatical Year
1 At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. 2 And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release that which he has lent to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, for the Lord's release is proclaimed. 3 Of a foreigner you may exact it, but whatever of yours is with your brother [Israelite] your hand shall release. 4 But there will be no poor among you, for the Lord will surely bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance to possess, 5 If only you carefully listen to the voice of the Lord your God, to do watchfully all these commandments which I command you this day. 6 When the Lord your God blesses you as He promised you, then you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.
7 If there is among you a poor man, one of your kinsmen in any of the towns of your land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not harden your [minds and] hearts or close your hands to your poor brother; 8 But you shall open your hands wide to him and shall surely lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks. 9 Beware lest there be a base thought in your [minds and] hearts, and you say, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand, and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and it be sin in you. 10 You shall give to him freely without begrudging it; because of this the Lord will bless you in all your work and in all you undertake. 11 For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hands to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor in your land.
12 And if your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13 And when you send him out free from you, you shall not let him go away empty-handed. 14 You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, your threshing floor, and your winepress; of what the Lord your God has blessed you, you shall give to him. 15 And you shall [earnestly] remember that you were a bondman in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I give you this command today. 16 But if the servant says to you, I will not go away from you, because he loves you and your household, since he does well with you, 17 Then take an awl and pierce his ear through to the door, and he shall be your servant always. And also to your bondwoman you shall do likewise.
18 It shall not seem hard to you when you let him go free from you, for at half the cost of a hired servant he has served you six years; and the Lord your God will bless you in all you do.
19 All the firstling males that are born of your herd and flock you shall set apart for the Lord your God; you shall do no work with the firstling of your herd, nor shear the firstling of your flock. 20 You shall eat it before the Lord your God annually in the place [for worship] which the Lord shall choose, you and your household. 21 But if it has any blemish, if it is lame, blind, or has any bad blemish whatsoever, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. 22 You shall eat it within your towns; the [ceremonially] unclean and the clean alike may eat it, as if it were a gazelle or a hart. 23 Only you shall not eat its blood; you shall pour it on the ground like water.