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Lev 25:1 Yahweh said to Moses in Mount Sinai-
The assumption at this point was that those hearing these words would soon be established in the promised land. God foreknew they would not, but He goes ahead with His ideal potentials with absolute enthusiasm and legitimate enthusiasm.

Lev 25:2 Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a Sabbath to Yahweh.
Lev 25:3 Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in its fruits-
The parallel here is with six days of work followed by the seventh day of rest. The seventh year was therefore to be a temporary suspension of the curse, the possibility of having a taste of the Kingdom now; just as we today can live "the eternal life", the kind of life which we will eternally live in the Kingdom. The idea of the sabbath year was also to lead Israel away from the mentality of justification by works. And that was to involve faith in God's provision, rather than trust in our own works.


Lev 25:4 but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to Yahweh. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.
Lev 25:5 What grows of itself in your harvest you shall not reap, and the grapes of your undressed vine you shall not gather. It shall be a year of solemn rest for the land.
Lev 25:6 The Sabbath of the land shall be for food for you; for yourself, for your servant, for your maid, for your hired servant, and for your stranger, who lives as a foreigner amongst you-
Ex. 23:11 expresses the reason for this as being "that the poor of your people may eat". It’s true that often, although not always, poverty is partly due to poor decisions and mismanagement, and any aid given is often misused. And it’s true that the materially poor are partly poor [in many cases] exactly because of that. And yet the Bible teaches generosity to “the poor”. There is no attempt in the Bible teaching about “the poor” to subdivide them into the genuinely poor, and those who are poor because of their own fault or laziness, or who are asking for support when they don’t actually need it. A person who comes to you claiming need is “the poor”. Thus Israel were not to farm their land in the seventh year, “that the poor of your people may eat” (Ex. 23:11). This immediately raised the issue that all manner of people could eat the fruit which grew naturally on the land that year- but there is no legislation to try to limit who had access to it. Those who had food in their barns might eat what grew- but there was no mechanism within the law which controlled that. The point is, in our spiritual poverty we are just the same. We are in that position partly because of our human situation and other factors over which we have no control; but also partly and largely because we choose to be in it. We cry to God for the riches of His forgiveness- and we waste it, by doing the same sin over and again. Our hold on spiritual things is weak, we don’t respond with the grace and appreciation we ought to. We’re spiritually lazy. We’re no better than those who are materially poor through nothing but their own fault. Our generosity to them is a reflection of our recognition of this.
Lev 25:7 For your livestock also, and for the animals that are in your land, shall all its increase be for food.

Lev 25:8 You shall count off seven Sabbaths of years, seven times seven years; and there shall be to you the days of seven Sabbaths of years, even forty-nine years.
Lev 25:9 Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land.
Lev 25:10 You shall make the fiftieth year holy, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee to you; and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family-
 
To preach [proclaim] the acceptable year of the Lord (Lk. 4:19) is thus parallel with “You shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants” (Lev. 25:10). Likewise there are to be found other such allusions to the proclamation of Jubilee: “We as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive…the grace of God…a time accepted…in the day of salvation [the Jubilee] have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time” (2 Cor. 6:1,2) “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached [proclaimed, s.w. 4:19] in his name among all nations” (Lk. 24:47).

This is alluded to in Lk. 4:19 where we read that Jesus proclaimed “the acceptable year of the Lord”. We are to make the same proclamation in preaching the good news to all people- “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached [proclaimed, s.w. Lk. 4:19] in his name among all nations” (Lk. 24:47). The year of Jubilee began with the Day of Atonement, which is understood in the New Testament as foreshadowing the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for our sins. We are now to live in a permanent state of Jubilee, announcing it to all people. The Hebrew word translated “jubilee” carries the idea of forgiveness, release, freedom. This is our message to all the people of the world.


Lev 25:11 That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee to you. In it you shall not sow, neither reap that which grows of itself, nor gather from the undressed vines.
Lev 25:12 For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat of its increase out of the field.
Lev 25:13 In this Year of Jubilee each of you shall return to his property-
 
The concept of ‘private property’ is indeed a myth. For we die, and leave it all behind. The Mosaic law sought to teach this- because “The land is mine”, what appeared to be a ‘sale’ of property wasn’t really a sale at all- quite simply because the land was God’s (Lev. 25:13,23). And likewise our ‘generosity’, as David observed, isn’t really that at all- for we only give God back what He has given us. In fact, when you think about it, the only ‘thing’ that Biblically a person can say is ‘theirs’ is their partner or family- even though these are also given of God. And so it’s sadly understandable that a materialistic, wealthy society always becomes one that has a low estimate of the family unit and the exclusive sanctity of marriage.


Lev 25:14 If you sell anything to your neighbour, or buy from your neighbour, you shall not wrong one another.
Lev 25:15 According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbour. Relative to the number of years of the crops he shall sell to you-
The ultimate time of Jubilee will be at the return of Christ. We are to perceive the value of all things we buy relative to this. Effectively, the Jubilee was a time of release from debt. “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Mt. 6:12) is probably another allusion to the Jubilee. We release / forgive men their debt to us, as God does to us. If we choose not to participate in this Jubilee by not releasing others, then we cannot expect to receive it ourselves.

Lev 25:16 According to the length of the years you shall increase its price, and according to the shortness of the years you shall diminish its price; for he is selling the number of the crops to you.
Lev 25:17 You shall not wrong one another; but you shall fear your God; for I am Yahweh your God.
Lev 25:18 Therefore you shall do My statutes, and keep My ordinances and do them; and you shall dwell in the land in safety-

The Hebrew mishpat, "ordinances", has a wide range of meaning. The idea is of judgment, as if God and His Angels gave these laws as their considered judgment after considering the human condition, and Israel were to abide by them. But the word also the idea of a right or privilege; and that is how we should see God's laws. They are only felt as a burden because of human hardness of neck towards God's ways. His laws are not of themselves burdensome, but rather a privilege and blessing. The law was indeed "holy, just and good" (Rom. 7:12), designed to inculcate a holy, just and good life (Tit. 1:8), a way in which a man should "walk" in daily life (Lev. 18:4), a culture of kindness and grace to others which reflected God's grace to man. If we dwell upon the idea of "rights" carried within the word mishpat, we note that the law begins in Ex. 21:1,2 (also Dt. 15:12-18) with the rights of a slave- those considered to have no rights in the society of that day. The "rights" to be afforded by us to others are the essence of God's rightness / justice. 

Lev 25:19 The land shall yield its fruit, and you shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety.
Lev 25:20 If you were to say, What shall we eat the seventh year? Behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase; -
We can’t have a spirit of meanness in our personal lives if we are proclaiming Yahweh’s release. This is one of many instances where the process of preaching the Gospel benefits the preacher. The jubilee offered release from the effects of past misfortune and even past foolishness in decisions; and our offer of jubilee offers this same message in ultimate term. Incidentally, the Lord had implied that we are in a permanent Jubilee year situation when He said that we should “take no thought what ye shall eat …Sow not nor gather into barns” and not think “What shall we eat?” (Mt. 6:26,31 = Lev. 25:20). There must be a spirit of telling this good news to absolutely all. And yet according to Luke’s own emphasis, it is the poor who are especially attracted to the Jubilee message of freedom (Lk. 6:20-23; 7:1,22,23; 13:10-17).


 


Lev 25:21 know that I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for the three years-
For all Moses’ desire for Israel’s obedience, there are some subtle differences in his attitude to law and obedience between Deuteronomy, and the law earlier given. Thus in Leviticus it was stressed that obedience would bring blessing; whilst Dt. 28:58 says that obedience results in fearing the fearful Name of Yahweh and His glory. Fear shouldn’t lead to obedience; but obedience leads a man to know and fear his God and His Name. This is blessing enough. Like Jacob and Job, Moses came to a fine appreciation of Yahweh’s Name at his latter end. 

 


Lev 25:22 You shall sow the eighth year, and eat of the fruits, the old store; until the ninth year, until its fruits come in, you shall eat the old store-

If Israel had doubts about how they would survive in the seventh year when the land rested, God would provide them with bumper harvests in the sixth year. But when the Lord bids us take no anxious thought what we shall eat on the morrow, He is surely directing us to the higher level, despite His willingness to make concession to human weakness.

Lev 25:23 The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and live as foreigners with Me-

The principles of the Jubilee taught that all persons and land belong to God; we are only temporarily using them, and nothing ultimately belongs to us personally; all is God’s. This helps us cope better with ‘loss’ of possessions, and should keep us from the manic materialism which has been bred by capitalism, whereby all seek personal ownership of land and resources.


Lev 25:24 In all the land of your possession you shall grant a redemption for the land.
Lev 25:25 If your brother becomes poor, and sells some of his possessions, then his kinsman who is next to him shall come, and redeem that which his brother has sold.
Lev 25:26 If a man has no one to redeem it, and he becomes prosperous and finds sufficient means to redeem it;
Lev 25:27 then let him reckon the years since its sale, and restore the surplus to the man to whom he sold it; and he shall return to his property.
Lev 25:28 But if he isn’t able to get it back for himself, then what he has sold shall remain in the hand of him who has bought it until the Year of Jubilee: and in the Jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his possession-

Eph. 1:13 speaks of our place in God’s Kingdom as our possession which has been purchased by the blood of Christ, and which we will receive as an inheritance at His return. This is all Jubilee language. The eternal time of Jubilee will be when the Kingdom is established upon earth, and we will each receive both literally and more abstractly an eternal inheritance in that Kingdom on earth, each with a varying number of towns to rule over (Lk. 19:17). Whether we are rich or poor in this life, whether or not we purchase our ‘own’ homes (:29), we are assured that our very own personal possession is assured, and we will return to it eternally in the Kingdom of God at Christ’s return. The Israelite who became “poor”, either by his own failures, others’ manipulations or his own poor decision making, would have continually looked forward to the year of Jubilee- when finally he and his family would be free, no longer in servitude, and could return to their very own land and inheritance as their eternal possession (:34). We look forward to Christ’s return with the same spirit.


Lev 25:29 If a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it has been sold. For a full year he shall have the right of redemption.
Lev 25:30 If it isn’t redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be made sure in perpetuity to him who bought it, throughout his generations. It shall not be released in the Jubilee.
Lev 25:31 But the houses of the villages which have no wall around them shall be reckoned with the fields of the country: they may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the Jubilee.
Lev 25:32 Nevertheless the cities of the Levites, the houses in the cities of their possession, the Levites may redeem at any time.
Lev 25:33 The Levites may redeem the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, and it shall be released in the Jubilee; for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel.
Lev 25:34 But the field of the suburbs of their cities may not be sold; for it is their perpetual possession’.

Lev 25:35 ’If your brother has become poor, and his hand can’t support him among you; then you shall uphold him. He shall live with you like an alien and a temporary resident.
Lev 25:36 Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God; that your brother may live among you.
Lev 25:37 You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit-

In some ways, Moses became more demanding in Deuteronomy, whilst at the same time emphasizing grace and love. Thus under the Law, Israel were not to lend to their poor brother upon usury (Ex. 22:25; Lev. 25:37); but  in Deuteronomy Moses forbids them to do this to any Israelite (Dt. 23:19). 


Lev 25:38 I am Yahweh your God, Who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God-

Lev. 25:38 reasons that because of Israel's experience of the Red Sea redemption, therefore they were to have a generous spirit to their brother. Because the Egyptians were hard taskmasters, and Israel had been graciously saved from them, therefore they were not to be hard on each other (Lev. 25:40). If the oppressed [as Israel were oppressed] cry out unto you [as Israel cried out for their affliction], you must hear them, otherwise God will hear them and punish you, as if you are the Egyptian taskmaster (Ex. 22:24-27). Indeed, the whole Law of Moses is shot through with direct and indirect reference to the Red Sea experience. It was as if this was to be the motivator for their obedience and upholding of the culture of kindness which the Law sought to engender (Lev.23, 24; Dt. 17:7; 24:19-24). And our experience of redemption from this world ought to have the same effect.

 


Lev 25:39 If your brother has grown poor among you, and sells himself to you; you shall not make him to serve as a slave.
Lev 25:40 As a hired servant and as a temporary resident he shall live with you; he shall serve with you until the Year of Jubilee:
Lev 25:41 then he shall go out from you, he and his children with him, and shall return to his own family, and to the possession of his fathers.
Lev 25:42 For they are My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. They shall not be sold as slaves.
Lev 25:43 You shall not rule over him with harshness, but shall fear your God.
Lev 25:44 As for your male and your female slaves whom you may have; of the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves.
Lev 25:45 Moreover of the children of the aliens who live among you, of them you may buy, and of their families who are with you, which they have conceived in your land; and they will be your property.
Lev 25:46 You may make them an inheritance for your children after you, to hold for a possession; of them may you take your slaves forever; but over your brothers the children of Israel you shall not rule, one over another, with harshness.

Lev 25:47 If an alien or temporary resident with you becomes rich, and your brother beside him has grown poor, and sells himself to the stranger or foreigner living among you, or to a member of the stranger’s family;
Lev 25:48 after he is sold he may be redeemed. One of his brothers may redeem him;
Lev 25:49 or his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or any who is a close relative to him of his family may redeem him; or if he has grown rich, he may redeem himself.
Lev 25:50 He shall reckon with him who bought him from the year that he sold himself to him relative to the Year of Jubilee: and the price of his sale shall be according to the number of years; according to the time of a hired servant shall he be with him.
Lev 25:51 If there are yet many years, according to them he shall give back the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for.
Lev 25:52 If there remain but a few years to the year of jubilee, then he shall reckon with him; according to his years of service he shall give back the price of his redemption.
Lev 25:53 As a servant hired year by year shall he live with him: he shall not rule with harshness over him in your sight-

Any social superiority we may have over others is temporary, and must be seen in the context of the year of Jubilee which has been announced in Christ. The whole concept was designed to teach humility and gentleness in relationships.


Lev 25:54 If he isn’t redeemed by these means, then he shall be released in the Year of Jubilee, he, and his children with him.
Lev 25:55 For to Me the children of Israel are servants; they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God’-

Those who had servants were to remember that they themselves were servants. Maybe Paul had this in mind when he reminded us that all our brothers and sisters are servants of Christ and not of us, and we therefore have no right to judge another man’s servant (Rom. 14:4). As Israel were to be a nation of servants, so should the Christian community be today.


Israel were "brought forth" from Egypt by God; they had been unwilling to leave Egypt, preferring to serve the Egyptians rather than Yahweh (Ex. 14:12). God had as it were forced through His project of saving Israel by bringing them out of Egypt. And He had done so largely for the sake of Moses, by whose faith the Red Sea parted and they were delivered (Heb. 11:28,29). Therefore Yahweh's bringing Israel out of Egypt was what He did for Moses, and only thereby for His people. We too are brought out of this world towards God's Kingdom by His grace alone, with His consistently taking the initiative in our hearts and life circumstances, in accord with the loving intercession of the Lord Jesus [represented by Moses]. Thus Yahweh brought Israel out of Egypt (Ex. 18:1; 19:1; Lev. 23:43; 25:55; Num. 26:4; 33:1,3,38; Dt. 4:45,46), but Moses did (Ex. 3:10,11).