Leviticus 25 (Laws Concerning Slavery)

Leviticus Chapter 25

Laws Concerning Slavery
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1 And the Lord spoke to Moses in the mount Sina, saying, 2 Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them, Whensoever ye shall have entered into the land, which I give to you, then the land shall rest which I give to you, for its sabbaths to the Lord. 3 Six years thou shalt sow they field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vine, and gather in its fruit. 4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath, it shall be a rest to the land, a sabbath to the Lord: thou shall not sow thy field, and thou shalt not prune thy vine. 5 And thou shalt not gather the spontaneous produce of thy field, and thou shalt not gather fully the grapes of thy dedication: it shall be a year of rest to the land. 6 And the sabbaths to the land shall be food for thee, and thy man-servant, and for thy maid-servant, and thy hireling, and the stranger that abides with thee. 7 And for thy cattle, and for the wild beasts that are in thy land, shall every fruit of it be for food.

8 And thou shalt reckon to thyself seven sabbaths of years, seven times seven years; and they shall be to thee seven weeks of years, nine and forty years. 9 In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall make a proclamation with the sound of a trumpet in all your land. 10 And ye shall sanctify the year, the fiftieth year, and ye shall proclaim a release upon the land to all that inhabit it; it shall be given a year of release, a jubilee for you; and each one shall depart to his possession, and ye shall go each to his family. 11 This is a jubilee of release, the year shall be to you the fiftieth year: ye shall not sow, nor reap the produce that comes of itself from the land, neither shall ye gather its dedicated fruits. 12 For it is a jubilee of release; it shall be holy to you, ye shall eat its fruits off the fields. 13 In the year of the release even the jubilee of it, shall each one return to his possession. 14 And if thou shouldest sell a possession to thy neighbour, or if thou shouldest buy of thy neighbour, let not a man oppress his neighbour. 15 According to the number of years after the jubilee shalt thou buy of thy neighbour, according to the number of years of the fruits shall he sell to thee. 16 According as there may be a greater number of years he shall increase the value of his possession, and according as there may be a less number of years he shall lessen the value of his possession; for according to the number of his crops, so shall he sell to thee. 17 Let not a man oppress his neighbour, and thou shalt fear the Lord thy God: I am the Lord thy God.

18 And ye shall keep all my ordinances, and all my judgments; and do ye observe them, and ye shall keep them, and dwell securely in the land. 19 And the land shall yield her increase, and ye shall eat to fulness, and shall dwell securely in it. 20 And if ye should say, What shall we eat in this seventh year, if we do not sow nor gather in our fruits? 21 Then will I send my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and the land shall produce its fruits for three years. 22 And ye shall sow in the eight year, and eat old fruits till the ninth year: until its fruit come, ye shall eat old fruits of the old. 23 And the land shall not be sold for a permanence; for the land is mine, because ye are strangers and sojourners before me. 24 And in every land of your possession, ye shall allow ransoms for the land. 25 And if thy brother who is with thee be poor, and should have sold part of his possession, and his kinsman who is nigh to him come, then he shall redeem the possession which his brother has sold. 26 And if one have no near kinsman, and he prosper with his hand, and he find sufficient money, even his ransom; 27 then shall he calculate the years of his sale, and he shall give what is due to the man whom he sold it, and he shall return to his possession. 28 But if his hand have not prospered sufficiently, so as that he should restore the money to him, then he that bought the possession shall have them till the sixth year of the release; and it shall go out in the release, and the owner shall return to his possession.

29 And if any one should sell an inhabited house in a walled city, then there shall be the ransom of it, until the time is fulfilled: its time of ransom shall be a full year. 30 And if it be not ransomed until there be completed of its time a full year, the house which is in the walled city shall be surely confirmed to him that bought it, throughout his generations; and it shall not go out in the release. 31 But the houses in the villages which have not a wall round about them, shall be reckoned as the fields of the country: they shall always be redeemable, and they shall go out in the release. 32 And the cities of the Levites, the houses of the cities in their possession, shall always be redeemable to the Levites. 33 And if any one shall redeem a house of the Levites, then shall their sale of the houses of their possession go out in the release; because the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession in the midst of the children of Israel. 34 And the lands set apart for their cities shall not be sold, because this is their perpetual possession.

35 And if thy brother who is with thee become poor, and he fail in resources with thee, thou shalt help him as a stranger and a sojourner, and thy brother shall live with thee. 36 Thou shalt not receive from him interest, nor increase: and thou shalt fear thy God: I am the Lord: and thy brother shall live with thee. 37 Thou shalt not lend thy money to him at interest, and thou shalt not lend they meat to him to be returned with increase. 38 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Chanaan, so as to be your God.

39 And if thy brother by thee be lowered, and be sold to thee, he shall not serve thee with the servitude of a slave. 40 He shall be with thee as a hireling or a sojourner, he shall work for thee till the year of release: 41 and he shall go out in the release, and his children with him; and he shall go to his family, he shall hasten back to his patrimony. 42 Because these are my servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; such an one shall not be sold as a common servant. 43 Thou shalt not oppress him with labour, and shalt fear the Lord thy God. 44 And whatever number of men-servants and maid-servants thou shalt have, thou shalt purchase male and female servants from the nations that are round about thee. 45 And of the sons of the sojourners that are among you, of these ye shall buy and of their relations, all that shall be in your lands; let them be to you for a possession. 46 And ye shall distribute them to our children after you, and they shall be to you permanent possessions for ever: but of your brethren the children of Israel, one shall not oppress his brother in labours.

47 And if a stranger or sojorner with thee wax rich, and thy brother in distress be sold to the stranger or the sojourner that is with thee, or to a proselyte by extraction; 48 after he is sold to him there shall be redemption for him, one of his brethren shall redeem him. 49 A brother of his father, or son of his father’s brother shall redeem him; or let one of his near kin of his tribe redeem him, and if he should be rich and redeem himself, 50 then shall he calculate with his purchaser from the year that he sold himself to him until the year of release: and the money of his purchase shall be as that of a hireling, he shall be with him from year to year. 51 And if any have a greater number of years than enough, according to these he shall pay his ransom out of his purchase-money. 52 And if but a little time be left of the years to the year of release, then shall he reckon to him according to his years, and shall pay his ransom 53 as a hireling; he shall be with him from year to year; thou shalt not oppress him with labour before thee. 54 And if he do not pay his ransom accordingly, he shall go out in the year of his release, he and his children with him. 55 For the children of Israel are my servants: they are my attendants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt.

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