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Leviticus 19:23-25

Context
The Produce of Fruit Trees

19:23 “‘When you enter the land and plant any fruit tree, 1  you must consider its fruit to be forbidden. 2  Three years it will be forbidden to you; 3  it must not be eaten. 19:24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, praise offerings 4  to the Lord. 19:25 Then in the fifth year you may eat its fruit to add its produce to your harvest. 5  I am the Lord your God.

1 tn Heb “tree of food”; KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV “trees for food.”

2 tn Heb “you shall circumcise its fruit [as] its foreskin,” taking the fruit to be that which is to be removed and, therefore, forbidden. Since the fruit is uncircumcised it is forbidden (see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 306, and esp. B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 131-32).

3 tn Heb “it shall be to you uncircumcised.”

4 tn See B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 132, where the translation reads “set aside for jubilation”; a special celebration before the Lord.

5 tn Heb “to add to you its produce.” The rendering here assumes that the point of this clause is simply that finally being allowed to eat the fruit in the fifth year adds the fruit of the tree to their harvest. Some take the verb to be from אָסַף (’asaf, “to gather”) rather than יָסַף (yasaf, “to add; to increase”), rendering the verse, “to gather to you the produce” (E. S. Gerstenberger, Leviticus [OTL], 260, and see the versions referenced in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 306). Others take it to mean that by following the regulations given previously they will honor the Lord so that the Lord will cause the trees to increase the amount of fruit they would normally produce (Hartley, 303, 306; cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).



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