Leviticus 25




1 Jehovah spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and commanded:
2 Give the following regulations to the people of Israel: 'When you enter the land that Jehovah is giving you, honor Jehovah by not cultivating the land every seventh year.
3 Plant your fields, prune your vineyards, and gather your crops for six years.
4 But the seventh year is to be a sabbath year of complete rest for the land. It is a year dedicated to Jehovah. Do not plant your fields or prune your vineyards.
5 Do not even harvest the grain that grows by itself without being planted. Do not gather the grapes from your unpruned vines. It is a year of complete rest for the land.
6 Even though the land has not been cultivated during that year, it will provide food for you, your slaves, your hired men, the foreigners living with you,
7 your domestic animals, and the wild animals in your fields. Everything that it produces may be eaten.
8 Count seven times seven years (seven sabbaths of years), a total of forty-nine years.
9 Then, on the tenth day of the seventh month, the Day of Atonement, send someone to blow a trumpet throughout the whole land.
10 In this way you will set the fiftieth year apart and proclaim freedom to all the inhabitants of the land. During this year all property that has been sold must be restored to the original owner or the descendants, and any who have been sold as slaves may return to their families.
11 That fiftieth year will be your jubilee year. Do not plant or harvest what grows by itself or pick grapes from the vines in the land.
12 The jubilee year will be holy to you. You will eat what the field itself produces.
13 In this jubilee year every slave will be freed in order to return to his property.
14 In the business of trading goods for money, do no wrong to one another.
15 Corresponding to the number of years after the jubilee, you shall buy from your friend; he is to sell to you according to the number of years of crops.
16 In proportion to the extent of the years you shall increase its price, and in proportion to the fewness of the years you shall diminish its price, for it is a number of crops he is selling to you.
17 You must not wrong one another. You shall respect your God. I am Jehovah your God.
18 You must observe my statutes and keep my judgments, so as to carry them out. That way you may live securely on the land.
19 The land will give you its products. You will eat all you want and live there securely.
20 You may ask: What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or bring in our crops?'
21 I will give you my blessing in the sixth year so that the land will produce enough for three years.
22 You will plant again in the eighth year but live on what the land already produced. You will eat it, even in the ninth year, until the land produces more.
23 No land may be permanently bought or sold. It all belongs to me! It is not your land! You only live there for a little while.
24 When property is sold, the original owner must be given the first chance to buy it.
25 If any of you Israelites become so poor that you are forced to sell your property, your closest relative must buy it back.
26 If that relative has the money. Later, if you can afford to buy it,
27 you must pay enough to make up for what the present owner will lose on it before the next Year of Celebration, when the property would become yours again.
28 If he cannot earn enough to buy it back, what he sold stays in the hands of the buyer until the year of jubilee. In the jubilee it will be released, and he will own it again.
29 If anyone sells a home in a walled city, for one year after selling it he has the right to buy it back. He may buy it back only within that time.
30 If he does not buy it back during that year, the house in the city belongs to the buyer for generations to come. It will not be released in the jubilee.
31 Houses in villages without walls are regarded as belonging to the fields of the land. They can be bought back. They will be released in the jubilee.
32 The Levites always have the right to buy back their property in the cities they own.
33 If any Levite buys back a house, in the jubilee the purchased house in the city will be released. This is because the houses in the Levite cities are their property among the Israelites.
34 But a field that belongs to their cities must not be sold, because it is their property from generation to generation.
35 If an Israelite becomes poor and cannot support himself, you should help him. He must live with you as a stranger without a permanent home.
36 Do not collect interest or make any profit from him. Respect your God by respecting other Israelites' lives.
37 Do not collect any interest on your money or on the food you give them.
38 I am Jehovah your God. I brought you out of Egypt to give you Canaan and to be your God.
39 If an Israelite becomes poor and sells himself to you, do not work him like a slave.
40 He will be like a hired worker or a visitor to you. He may work with you until the year of jubilee.
41 Then you will release him and his children to go back to their family and the property of their ancestors.
42 They are my servants. I brought them out of Egypt. They must never be sold as slaves.
43 Do not treat them harshly. Respect your God.
44 You may have male and female slaves, but buy them from the nations around you.
45 You may also buy the children of the foreigners who are living among you. Such children born in your land may become your property.
46 You may leave them as an inheritance to your children, whom they must serve as long as they live. But you must not treat any Israelites harshly.
47 Suppose a foreigner living with you becomes rich, while some Israelites become poor and sell themselves as slaves to that foreigner or to a member of that foreigner's family.
48 He has the right to be set free by a relative, such as a brother.
49 His uncle, his cousin, or some other relative could also buy him back. If he becomes rich, he could buy his own freedom.
50 Then he and his buyer must take into account the number of years from the year he was bought until the year of jubilee. His sale price will be adjusted based on the number of years he was with his buyer. This is like the wages of a hired worker.
51 If there are many years left, he must refund from his purchase price an amount equal to those years.
52 If there are only a few years left until the year of jubilee, he must take them into account. He must refund from his purchase price an amount equal to those years.
53 He should serve his buyer as a hired worker during those years. His buyer should not treat him harshly.
54 If he cannot buy his freedom he and his children will be released in the year of jubilee.
55 The Israelites belong to me! They are my servants. I brought them out of Egypt. I am Jehovah your God!'