Leviticus Chapter 25  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Leviticus 25
Lev 25:1(top)
Lev 25:2(top)
Lev 25:3(top)
Lev 25:4

“Sabbath of complete rest.” The Hebrew is shabbath shabbathon, more literally, “a Sabbath of Sabbath observance.” This is to be understood as a Sabbath in which there is Sabbath observance, or a Sabbath of complete rest (cp. “complete rest,” CJB; HCSB; NAB; NET; NLT). This Hebrew phrase occurs six times in the Bible: Exodus 31:15, 35:2; Leviticus 16:31; 23:3, 32, and here in Leviticus 25:4.

God rested on the seventh day in Genesis 2:1-3, but He did not command that anyone follow His example and rest on the seventh day until Exodus 16, when He gave the manna from heaven, and even then He did not fully explain the Sabbath. The Sabbath became part of the Law and the Old Covenant when it was given as part of the Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:8-11).

[For more on the Sabbath, see commentary on Exodus 20:10.]

Lev 25:5

“from your harvest.” This is a very accurate statement because the grain was not harvested until it was ripe, and during the act of cutting the grain and carrying it to the threshing floor some of the grain would be knocked off the stalk and fall to the ground, where it would grow. That “volunteer grain” was not to be harvested in the Sabbath year.

Although this seems somewhat harsh, it taught the people to rely on God and not be sneaky about it. If people could eat the volunteer grain on the Sabbath year, then they would almost certainly give in to the temptation to “allow” more than just accidental grain to fall to the ground the year before the Sabbath year. In fact, quite a bit of grain would likely be “accidentally knocked off the stalk,” by people as they harvested, in full knowledge that it would grow and be food during the Sabbath year. God wanted to avoid such dishonesty and teach the people to rely on Him.

Lev 25:6

“for…for…for…for…for.” This is the figure of speech anaphora, where successive sentences or phrases begin with the same word or words. Anaphora emphasizes each individual item in the list.a God is making it clear that everyone, yes, everyone, living in Israel obeys His law about the Sabbath.

[See figure of speech “anaphora.”]

Being a resident alien did not exempt a person from God’s law. If a person did not want to live under the laws of God, Israel was only a small country, not even 200 miles long and 100 miles wide, and a person was free to leave.

Cp. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 199, “anaphora.”
Lev 25:7(top)
Lev 25:8(top)
Lev 25:9

“shofar.” The ram’s horn trumpet, not the metal trumpet.

Lev 25:10(top)
Lev 25:11(top)
Lev 25:12(top)
Lev 25:13(top)
Lev 25:14(top)
Lev 25:15(top)
Lev 25:16(top)
Lev 25:17(top)
Lev 25:18(top)
Lev 25:19(top)
Lev 25:20(top)
Lev 25:21(top)
Lev 25:22(top)
Lev 25:23(top)
Lev 25:24(top)
Lev 25:25(top)
Lev 25:26(top)
Lev 25:27(top)
Lev 25:28(top)
Lev 25:29(top)
Lev 25:30(top)
Lev 25:31(top)
Lev 25:32(top)
Lev 25:33(top)
Lev 25:34(top)
Lev 25:35(top)
Lev 25:36

“Take no interest from him, or profit.” The command to not charge interest on a loan to a fellow Israelite occurs in several places in the Torah (cp. Exod. 22:25; Lev. 25:35-38; Deut. 23:19-20; see commentary on Deut. 23:19 and 23:20).

Lev 25:37(top)
Lev 25:38(top)
Lev 25:39(top)
Lev 25:40

“he may serve with you until the Year of Jubilee.” Israelites who were slaves served for six years and go free in the seventh year (Exod. 21:2; Deut. 15:12). But if an Israelite slave does not want to be set free, then he or she goes through a ceremony where his or her ear is pierced, and then the slave serves “forever” (Exod. 21:5-6; Deut. 15:16-17). But here in Leviticus we learn that “forever” just refers to what could be a long time, the time until the Jubilee year when all Israelite slaves were allowed to return to their tribe and family area. However, it is questionable how many slaves actually did that and went free if they wanted to be with the household they were serving in when they could have been set free years earlier.

Lev 25:41(top)
Lev 25:42(top)
Lev 25:43(top)
Lev 25:44(top)
Lev 25:45(top)
Lev 25:46(top)
Lev 25:47(top)
Lev 25:48(top)
Lev 25:49(top)
Lev 25:50

“according to the time period of a hired servant is it to be with him.” This law reflects the wonderful justice in the Mosaic Law. If a man sold himself to another man and the buyer knew that the one who sold himself was going to go free on the year of Jubilee, then the price the person sold himself for would depend on how long it would be until the Jubilee. So similarly, if the man is going to be bought back from the buyer, the price would depend on how long until the Jubilee. The man who is selling back the man who sold himself will have to hire a worker to replace him, so the cost of the worker from date of sale until the Jubilee would be the price the man (or a kinsman-redeemer) would have to pay to buy him back.

Note that the cost of buying the man back is not calculated based on how much the man originally sold himself for. People who are poor and desperate may agree to sell themselves for a lot less than they are worth just to have food and shelter. But if a man sold himself for less than he was worth, that does not change the fact that the one who bought him will now have to hire a man to replace him, so the cost of buying the man out of slavery may end up being more than the man originally sold himself for, but that is not the original buyer’s problem. The slave originally sold himself of his own free will for an agreed-upon price, and now it will cost him the amount of hiring a man to replace him to buy him back.

Lev 25:51(top)
Lev 25:52(top)
Lev 25:53(top)
Lev 25:54(top)
Lev 25:55(top)

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