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Leviticus - Chapter 25

1 Yahweh spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and said:

2 'Speak to the Israelites and say to them: "When you enter the country which I am giving you, the land must keep a Sabbath's rest for Yahweh.

3 For six years you will sow your field, for six years you will prune your vineyard and gather its produce.

4 But in the seventh year the land will have a sabbatical rest, a Sabbath for Yahweh. You will neither sow your field, nor prune your vineyard,

5 nor reap any grain which has grown of its own accord, nor gather the grapes from your untrimmed vine. It will be a year of rest for the land.

6 But what the land produces in its Sabbath will serve to feed you, your slave, male or female, your employee and your guest residing with you;

7 for your cattle too, and the wild animals of your country, whatever it produces will serve as food.

8 "You will count seven weeks of years -- seven times seven years, that is to say a period of seven weeks of years, forty-nine years.

9 And on the tenth day of the seventh month you will sound the trumpet; on the Day of Expiation you will sound the trumpet throughout the land.

10 You will declare this fiftieth year to be sacred and proclaim the liberation of all the country's inhabitants. You will keep this as a jubilee: each of you will return to his ancestral property, each to his own clan.

11 This fiftieth year will be a jubilee year for you; in it you will not sow, you will not harvest the grain that has come up on its own or in it gather grapes from your untrimmed vine.

12 The jubilee will be a holy thing for you; during it you will eat whatever the fields produce.

13 "In this year of jubilee, each of you will return to his ancestral property.

14 If you buy land from, or sell land to, your fellow-countryman, neither of you may exploit the other.

15 In buying from your fellow-countryman, you will take account of the number of years since the jubilee; the sale-price he fixes for you will depend on the number of productive years still to run.

16 The greater the number of years, the higher the price you will ask for it; the fewer the number of years, the greater the reduction; for what he is selling you is a certain number of harvests.

17 So you will not exploit one another, but fear your God, for I am Yahweh your God.

18 "Hence, you will put my laws and customs into practice; you will keep them and put them into practice, and you will live securely in the country.

19 The land will give its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live in security.

20 "In case you should ask: What shall we eat in this seventh year if we do not sow or harvest our produce?

21 I shall order my blessing to be on you in the sixth year, which will yield you enough produce for three years.

22 You will have the old produce to eat while you are sowing in the eighth year, and even in the ninth year, you will be eating the old produce, while waiting for the harvest of that year.

23 "Land will not be sold absolutely, for the land belongs to me, and you are only strangers and guests of mine.

24 You will allow a right of redemption over any ancestral property.

25 If your brother becomes impoverished and sells off part of his ancestral property, his nearest male relative will come and exercise his family rights over what his brother has sold.

26 The man who has no one to exercise this right may, once he has found the means to effect the redemption,

27 calculate the number of years that the alienation would have lasted, repay to the purchaser the sum due for the time still to run, and so recover his ancestral property.

28 If he cannot find the sum in compensation, the property sold will remain in the possession of the purchaser until the jubilee year. In the jubilee year, the latter will vacate it and return to his own ancestral property.

29 "If anyone sells a dwelling house inside a walled town, he will have the right of redemption until the expiry of the year following the sale. His right of redemption is limited to the year;

30 and if the redemption has not been effected by the end of the year, the house in the walled town will become the property of the purchaser and his descendants in perpetuity; he need not vacate it at the jubilee.

31 But houses in villages not enclosed by walls will be considered as situated in the open country; they carry the right of redemption, and the purchaser will vacate them at the jubilee.

32 "As regards the towns of the Levites, town houses forming part of their ancestral property will carry a perpetual right of redemption in their favour.

33 If a Levite is the one to be affected by the right of redemption, at the jubilee he will vacate the purchased property and return to his own home, to the town in which he has a title to property. The houses in the Levites' towns represent their ancestral property in Israel,

34 and the arable land depending on these towns cannot be sold, being their ancestral property for ever.

35 "If your brother becomes impoverished and cannot support himself in the community, you will assist him as you would a stranger or guest, so that he can go on living with you.

36 Do not charge him interest on a loan, but fear your God, and let your brother live with you.

37 You will not lend him money on interest or give him food to make a profit out of it.

38 I am Yahweh your God who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and be your God.

39 "If your brother becomes impoverished while with you and sells himself to you, you will not make him do the work of a slave;

40 you will treat him like an employee or guest, and he will work for you until the jubilee year.

41 He will then leave you, both he and his children, and return to his clan and regain possession of his ancestral property.

42 For they are my servants whom I have brought out of Egypt, and they may not be bought and sold as slaves.

43 You will not oppress your brother-Israelites harshly but will fear your God.

44 "The male and female slaves you have will come from the nations round you; from these you may purchase male and female slaves.

45 As slaves, you may also purchase the children of aliens resident among you, and also members of their families living with you who have been born on your soil; and they will become your property,

46 and you may leave them as a legacy to your sons after you as their perpetual possession. These you may have for slaves; but you will not oppress your brother-Israelites.

47 "If a stranger or guest living with you gets rich and your brother, in the course of dealings with him, becomes impoverished and sells himself to this stranger or guest, or to the descendant of a stranger's family,

48 he will enjoy the right of redemption after being sold, and one of his brothers may redeem him.

49 His paternal uncle, his uncle's son, or a member of his own family may redeem him; if he has the means, he may redeem himself.

50 By agreement with his purchaser, he will count the number of years between the year of sale and the jubilee year; his sale-price will be proportionate to the number of years, his time being valued as that of an employee.

51 If there are still many years to run, in proportion to their number he will refund part of his sale-price as payment for his redemption.

52 And if there are only a few years still to run before the jubilee year, he will calculate with him what should be refunded for his redemption, in proportion to their number,

53 as though he were hired by the year. You will see to it that he is not harshly oppressed.

54 "If he has not been redeemed in any of these ways, he will go free in the jubilee year, both he and his children;

55 for the Israelites are my servants; they are my servants whom I brought out of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God." '

Book of Leviticus Chapters

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