Leviticus 25:10-18

25:10 So you must consecrate the fiftieth year, and you must proclaim a release in the land for all its inhabitants. That year will be your jubilee; each one of you must return to his property and each one of you must return to his clan. 25:11 That fiftieth year will be your jubilee; you must not sow the land, harvest its aftergrowth, or pick the grapes of its unpruned vines. 25:12 Because that year is a jubilee, it will be holy to you – you may eat its produce from the field.

Release of Landed Property

25:13 “‘In this year of jubilee you must each return to your property. 25:14 If you make a sale to your fellow citizen or buy 10  from your fellow citizen, no one is to wrong his brother. 11  25:15 You may buy it from your fellow citizen according to the number of years since 12  the last jubilee; he may sell it to you according to the years of produce that are left. 13  25:16 The more years there are, 14  the more you may make its purchase price, and the fewer years there are, 15  the less you must make its purchase price, because he is only selling to you a number of years of 16  produce. 25:17 No one is to oppress his fellow citizen, 17  but you must fear your God, because I am the Lord your God. 25:18 You must obey my statutes and my regulations; you must be sure to keep them 18  so that you may live securely in the land. 19 

Leviticus 25:23

25:23 The land must not be sold without reclaim 20  because the land belongs to me, for you are foreigners and residents with me. 21 

tn Heb “the year of the fifty years,” or perhaps “the year, fifty years” (GKC 435 §134.o, note 2).

tn Cf. KJV, ASV, NAB, NIV, NRSV “liberty”; TEV, CEV “freedom.” The characteristics of this “release” are detailed in the following verses. For substantial summaries and bibliography on the biblical and ancient Near Eastern material regarding such a “release” see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 427-34, and B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 270-74.

tn Heb “A jubilee that shall be to you.” Although there has been some significant debate about the original meaning of the Hebrew word translated “jubilee” (יוֹבֵל, yovel; see the summary in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 434), the term most likely means “ram” and can refer also to a “ram’s horn.” The fiftieth year would, therefore, be called the “jubilee” because of the associated sounding of the “ram’s horn” (see B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 172, and the literature cited there).

tn Heb “you [plural] shall return, a man.”

tn Heb “you shall not sow and you shall not…and you shall not….”

sn See v. 5 above and the notes there.

tn That is, the produce of the land (fem.; cf. v. 7 above).

tn Heb “you [plural] shall return, a man.”

tn Heb “sell a sale.”

tn Or “to one of your countrymen” (NIV); NASB “to your friend.”

10 tn The Hebrew infinitive absolute קָנֹה (qanoh, “buying”) substitutes for the finite verb here in sequence with the previous finite verb “sell” at the beginning of the verse (see GKC 345 §113.z).

11 tn Heb “do not oppress a man his brother.” Here “brother” does not refer only to a sibling, but to a fellow Israelite.

12 tn Heb “in the number of years after.”

13 tn The words “that are left” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied.

sn The purchaser is actually buying only the crops that the land will produce until the next jubilee, since the land will revert to the original owner at that time. The purchaser, therefore, is not actually buying the land itself.

14 tn Heb “To the mouth of the many years.”

15 tn Heb “to the mouth of the few years.”

16 tn Heb “a number of produce”; the words “years of” are implied. As an alternative this could be translated “a number of harvests” (cf. NRSV, NLT).

17 tn Heb “And you shall not oppress a man his fellow citizen.”

18 tn Heb “And you shall keep and do them.” This appears to be a kind of verbal hendiadys, where the first verb is a modifier of the action of the second verb (see GKC 386 §120.d, although שָׁמַר [shamar, “to keep”] is not cited there; cf. Lev 20:8, etc.).

19 tn Heb “and you shall dwell on the land to security.”

20 tn The term rendered “without reclaim” means that the land has been bought for the full price and is, therefore, not subject to reclaim under any circumstances. This was not to be done with land in ancient Israel (contrast the final full sale of houses in v. 30; see the evidence cited in B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 174).

21 tn That is, the Israelites were strangers and residents who were attached to the Lord’s household. They did not own the land. Note the parallel to the “priest’s lodger” in Lev 22:10.