Today's passage: Leviticus 25
- The people of Israel were to keep a Sabbath day every week on the seventh day. The land of Israel was to keep a Sabbath year of rest every seventh year.
- The forty-ninth year was a Sabbath year that brought in the Year of Jubilee (The fiftieth year).
- The land would have rest for the duration of two years.
- All people would go back to their ancestral lands.
- All land ownership (Which was really more like a lease agreement) was returned to the original owners.
- When the land was “sold” (leased) to others, the cost was to be calculated according the the years left before the next Jubilee to ensure a fair price.
- Any Israelite who had become an indentured slave/servant was to be freed.
- Houses in walled cities were exempt from the rule of Jubilee. Once you sold it, you only had the first right to buy it back within a year of the sale. After that, you had no claim to the house.
- Whether a person was an Israelite or a foreigner (An immigrant), they were expected to keep the laws of Israel within the land.
Questions to consider:
- How does the law of the Year of Jubilee differ from our laws? What did the Year of Jubilee do to change the concept of the ownership of land, the needs of the poor, etc.?
- What was the motivation to be to take people in and help them in their time of need (Verse 36)? What actions/attitudes would have made it hard to fulfill this command? What must those who were being helped be willing to do for those who were providing for them?
- In what ways is the slavery spoken of in this passage different than the slavery we often think of from the history of the United States? How were the slaves to be treated according to Leviticus 25? What were they actually providing? Ultimately, who actually “owned” all the people in Israel (Verse 55)?