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Leviticus 25:2-12

Context
25:2 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you enter the land that I am giving you, the land must observe a Sabbath 1  to the Lord. 25:3 Six years you may sow your field, and six years you may prune your vineyard and gather the produce, 2  25:4 but in the seventh year the land must have a Sabbath of complete rest 3  – a Sabbath to the Lord. You must not sow your field or 4  prune your vineyard. 25:5 You must not gather in the aftergrowth of your harvest and you must not pick the grapes of your unpruned 5  vines; the land must have a year of complete rest. 25:6 You may have the Sabbath produce 6  of the land to eat – you, your male servant, your female servant, your hired worker, the resident foreigner who stays with you, 7  25:7 your cattle, and the wild animals that are in your land – all its produce will be for you 8  to eat.

Regulations for the Jubilee Year of Release

25:8 “‘You must count off 9  seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, 10  and the days of the seven weeks of years will amount to forty-nine years. 11  25:9 You must sound loud horn blasts 12  – in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, on the Day of Atonement – you must sound the horn in your entire land. 25:10 So you must consecrate the fiftieth year, 13  and you must proclaim a release 14  in the land for all its inhabitants. That year will be your jubilee; 15  each one of you must return 16  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. 17  25:12 Because that year is a jubilee, it will be holy to you – you may eat its produce 18  from the field.

1 tn Heb “the land shall rest a Sabbath.”

2 tn Heb “its produce,” but the feminine pronoun “its” probably refers to the “land” (a feminine noun in Hebrew; cf. v. 2), not the “field” or the “vineyard,” both of which are normally masculine nouns (see B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 170).

3 tn Heb “and in the seventh year a Sabbath of complete rest shall be to the land.” The expression “a Sabbath of complete rest” is superlative, emphasizing the full and all inclusive rest of the seventh year of the sabbatical cycle. Cf. ASV “a sabbath of solemn rest”; NAB “a complete rest.”

4 tn Heb “and.” Here the Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) has an alternative sense (“or”).

5 tn Heb “consecrated, devoted, forbidden” (נָזִיר, nazir). The same term is used for the “consecration” of the “Nazirite” (and his hair, Num 6:2, 18, etc.), a designation which, in turn, derives from the very same root.

6 tn The word “produce” is not in the Hebrew text but is implied; cf. NASB “the sabbath products.”

7 tn A “resident who stays” would be a foreign person who was probably residing as another kind of laborer in the household of a landowner (B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 170-71). See v. 35 below.

8 tn The words “for you” are implied.

9 tn Heb “And you shall count off for yourself.”

10 tn Heb “seven years seven times.”

11 tn Heb “and they shall be for you, the days of the seven Sabbaths of years, forty-nine years.”

12 sn On the “loud horn blasts” see the note on Lev 23:24, but unlike the language there, the Hebrew term for “horn” (שׁוֹפָר, shofar) actually appears here in this verse (twice).

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

14 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.

15 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).

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

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

sn See v. 5 above and the notes there.

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



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