The sabbatical year and jubilee
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai: 2 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When you enter the land I am giving you, let the land rest for Yahweh every seventh year. 3 For six years you shall sow your field, prune your vineyard and harvest the produce, 4 but in the seventh year the land shall have a rest, or sabbath, a sabbath for Yahweh. You shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard; 5 you shall not reap the aftergrowth of your har vest nor gather the grapes of your uncultivated vines.
5 This shall be a year of rest for the land, 6 but whatever it produces of it self will provide food for you, for your male and female slaves, for your hired servant and for the stranger who lives with you.
7 Its produce will likewise provide food for your livestock and for the wild animals on your land.
8 When seven sabbaths of years have passed, that is, seven times seven years, there shall be the time of the seven weeks of years, that is forty-nine years. 9 Then on the tenth day of the seventh month sound the trumpet loudly. On this Day of Atonement sound the trumpet all through the land. 10 Keep holy the fiftieth year and proclaim freedom for all the inhabitants of the land. It shall be a jubilation year for you when each one shall recover his property and go back to his family. 11 In this fiftieth year, your year of Jubilee, you shall neither sow nor reap the aftergrowth, nor gather the grapes from the uncultivated vines. 12 This Jubilee year shall be holy for you, and you shall eat what the field yields of itself without cultivation.
13 In this year of Jubilee each of you shall recover his own property. 14 When you sell something to your neighbor or buy something from him, do not wrong one another. 15 Ac cord ing to the number of years after the Jubilee, you shall buy it from your neighbor and according to the number of years left for har vesting crops he shall sell to you. 16 When the years are many the price shall be greater and when the years are few the price shall be less, for it is the number of crops that he is selling to you. 17 So you shall not wrong one another but you shall fear your God, for I am Yahweh, your God.
18 Carry out my precepts and obey my laws. In that way you will live securely in the land. 19 The land will give its fruit so that you may have food in abundance and live securely.
20 But if you ask: What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not sow or gather crops?; see that 21 I will send you my blessing in the sixth year that it may produce enough for three years. 22 So in the eighth year the remains of the old crop will provide you with what to sow and to eat until the harvest of the ninth year is ready.
23 The land shall not be sold forever for the land is mine, where you are but strangers and guests of mine. 24 In all the territory you occupy, the land is to be redeemed.
25 When your brother becomes poor and sells his property, his nearest relative is to come and buy back what his relative has sold. 26 If the man has no relatives to buy back his property, but later has sufficient means to redeem it, 27 he will calculate the value based on the number of years since he sold it and refund the balance to the man to whom he sold it and in that way he shall re -cover his property. 28 But if he does not find the means to repay him, what has been sold shall remain with the buyer until the Jubilee year when it must be given back to its original owner.
29 In the same way, if a man sells a house in a walled city, his right of re demption shall last until the end of a year from the time of its sale; his right of redemption lasts a whole year. 30 If it is not redeemed by the end of a complete year, the house in the walled city shall be long permanently to the one who bought it and to his descendants, and it shall not be released in the Jubilee year.
31 Houses in villages which have no surrounding wall are considered as fields; they have redemption rights and may be released in a Jubilee year.
32 As for the towns of the Levites, their houses belong to the Levites and they have a permanent right to redeem what is bought from them. 33 Any house in a town of the Levites can return to them at the time of the Jubilee, for the houses in the towns of the Levites are their possession among the Israelites. 34 The field also be longing to their towns must not be sold forever; it is their permanent possession.
How to share with your neighbor
35 If your brother becomes poor and is unable to support himself, help him. Help this stranger or this guest that he may live with you. 36 Do not take interest from him, but fear your God, so that your brother may live among you. 37 Do not give him your silver at interest nor your food for gain.
38 I am Yahweh, your God, who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of the Canaanites and to be your God.
39 If your brother becomes poor and sells himself to you, do not make him work as a slave, 40 but let him remain with you as a hired servant and an alien until the year of Jubilee. 41 He shall then leave you, he and his sons with him, and return to his own family and to the property of his fathers. 42 For they are my servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt and they are not to be sold as slaves. 43 Do not rule over them harshly, but fear your God.
44 As for the male and female slaves, it is from the nations around you that you are to buy them. 45 You may also buy from among the aliens who live with you and from their families, born in your land, and they may be your property. 46 So you may leave them to your children as inherited possessions and make them slaves for life. But regarding your fellow Israe lites, you must not rule over them harshly.
47 If an alien or temporary resident becomes prosperous and one of your brothers becomes so poor as to sell himself to a stranger who is living with you or to a member of the stranger’s family, 48 he shall have the right of redemption. One of his brothers may redeem him, 49 or his uncle or the son of his uncle or a near relative may redeem him. 50 If he becomes rich, let him redeem him self. He shall reckon with his buyer from the time he sold himself until the year of Jubilee and the price of his sale shall correspond to the number of years. If many years remain, he shall be reckoned at the price of a hired servant, according to the number of years. 51 If redeemed when many years remain, he shall refund out of the price paid for him, according to the re maining time. 52 If only a few years re main until the Jubilee year, he will calculate and refund accordingly. 53 He shall be with him as a servant hired year by year and he shall not be harshly dealt with.
54 If he is redeemed in any of these ways, he shall be released in the Jubilee year, he and his sons with him.
55 For it is to me that the Israelites are servants; they are my servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh, your God.