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Deuteronomy 15:1-2

Context
Release for Debt Slaves

15:1 At the end of every seven years you must declare a cancellation 1  of debts. 15:2 This is the nature of the cancellation: Every creditor must remit what he has loaned to another person; 2  he must not force payment from his fellow Israelite, 3  for it is to be recognized as “the Lord’s cancellation of debts.”

Deuteronomy 15:9

Context
15:9 Be careful lest you entertain the wicked thought that the seventh year, the year of cancellation of debts, has almost arrived, and your attitude 4  be wrong toward your impoverished fellow Israelite 5  and you do not lend 6  him anything; he will cry out to the Lord against you and you will be regarded as having sinned. 7 

1 tn The Hebrew term שְׁמִטָּת (shÿmittat), a derivative of the verb שָׁמַט (shamat, “to release; to relinquish”), refers to the cancellation of the debt and even pledges for the debt of a borrower by his creditor. This could be a full and final remission or, more likely, one for the seventh year only. See R. Wakely, NIDOTTE 4:155-60. Here the words “of debts” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied. Cf. NAB “a relaxation of debts”; NASB, NRSV “a remission of debts.”

2 tn Heb “his neighbor,” used idiomatically to refer to another person.

3 tn Heb “his neighbor and his brother.” The words “his brother” may be a scribal gloss identifying “his neighbor” (on this idiom, see the preceding note) as a fellow Israelite (cf. v. 3). In this case the conjunction before “his brother” does not introduce a second category, but rather has the force of “that is.”

4 tn Heb “your eye.”

5 tn Heb “your needy brother.”

6 tn Heb “give” (likewise in v. 10).

7 tn Heb “it will be a sin to you.”



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