Deuteronomy Chapter 15  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Deut 15
The Sabbatical Year: Canceling Debts

1At the end of every seven years you are to make a release of debts.
  2This is the way of the release: every creditor is to release what he has lent to his neighbor; he is not to require payment from his neighbor and his brother, because Yahweh’s release has been proclaimed.
  3Of a foreigner you may require payment, but whatever of yours is with your brother your hand must release.

4“However there will be no poor among you (for Yahweh will surely bless you in the land that Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance to possess it),
  5but only if you diligently listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, to be careful do all this commandment that I command you this day.
  6For Yahweh your God will bless you as he promised you and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.

Lending to the Poor

7“If a poor man, one of your brothers, is with you inside any of your gates in your land that Yahweh your God gives you, you must not harden your heart nor close your hand to your poor brother,
  8but you are to open, yes, open your hand to him and are to lend, yes, lend him sufficient for his need that he lacks.
  9Take care that there not be the unworthy thought in your heart that says, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,’ and your eye be evil against your needy brother and you give him nothing, so he cries out to Yahweh against you, and it is sin to you.
  10You are to give, yes, give generously to him, and your heart is not to be grieved when you give to him because on account of this thing Yahweh your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you put your hand to.
  11Because the poor will never cease out of the land, I am commanding you, saying, ‘You must open, yes, open your hand to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor, in your land.’

Release of Slaves

12“If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you are to let him go free from you.
  13When you let him go free from you, do not send him away empty-handed;
  14you are to supply, yes, supply him from your flock and from your threshing floor and from your winepress; as Yahweh your God has blessed you, you are to give to him.
  15And you are to remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and Yahweh your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this thing today.
  16If he tells you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, because he is well-off with you,
  17then you are to take an awl and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he will be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you are to do likewise.
  18You are not to let it seem hard in your eyes when you send him out free from you, for double of the hire of a hired hand he has served you six years, and Yahweh your God will bless you in all that you do.

Consecration of Firstborn Animals

19“All the firstborn males that are born of your herd and of your flock you are to dedicate to Yahweh your God; you are to do no work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock.
  20You are to eat it before Yahweh your God year by year in the place that Yahweh will choose, you and your household.
  21If it has any blemish, is lame or blind or has any defect whatsoever, you must not sacrifice it to Yahweh your God.
  22You are to eat it inside your gates; the unclean person and the clean person both may eat it, as if it were a gazelle or a deer.
  23Only you must not eat its blood; you are to pour it out on the ground like water.”

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