The Year of Jubilee, Part II
The many systems set in place in Israel for land, property, the produce of the land, and the like, and which are set up for the care of the people are amazing. In studying these laws in order, and one at a time, we learn all kinds of intricate details about how things operated. But it’s hard to actually place ourselves into the story and really see how it all fits together. The people of Israel, though, would have lived them out, not one at a time, but all the time.
The feasts of Israel were lived out in a continuous fashion each year. The seventh Sabbath year would be a regular part of this cycle. Within that cycle, there would also be the annual tithe which the people set aside year by year. And from that, the tithe would be given away once every third year. This means that there would be two such tithe-years for each seven Sabbath year cycle, or even a third if the tithe-year fell on a Sabbath year.
But… if the two happened on the same year, then there would be no reaping of the land, and so how the tithe was collected is rather difficult to determine. And yet, the Lord set each one of these things down as a precept for the people to follow. If they simply followed what was required, and did as they were instructed, the amount of blessing that would come upon them would have been truly remarkable.
We can’t place our society into what the Lord mandated for Israel, and we cannot take the precepts of Chapter 25 and apply them to the functioning of our lives today. But it is such a unique system of ensuring stability that it is hard to simply ignore without giving a great breath of awe at what the Lord did for them.
In Israel, anyone who became poor had numerous ways of at least staying at a basic level, and even the ability to slowly work himself out of his pit if he was industrious enough. And eventually, even if that was just not possible, at the Year of Jubilee, he could once again reclaim his land and make a clean start of life all over again.
The laws of Israel found here would help considerably in relieving highs and lows of economic issues. Everything would be kept on a much more even keel because of the ingenious laws which are presented here. And someday, an even more perfect system will be introduced for the redeemed of the Lord. How good that will be.
In today’s world, we are all just one economic collapse away from disaster, and there is no true security to be found. Wealth is a house of cards that could come tumbling down with the next major correction. So let us not put our hope in a failed system of digital readouts and shaky land deals.
Text Verse: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints… Ephesians 1:17, 18
Israel is being told what they are to do with their inheritance once again in today’s verses. There are all kinds of interesting provisions to be looked into, and these are the laws that the people were bound to all their days. It was a regular part of life for them, just as it is for us when we go to buy a house. We don’t think of it, we just do as the law requires and that’s that.
But, if we consider buying land in another country, there is a lot of checking on what can and cannot be done. Failure to understand what one is getting into could end with a rather sad result. But such is not the case with the inheritance of the saints. There will be no catches, no hidden deals, and nothing that will bring about buyer’s remorse. When we receive our inheritance, we will be eternally grateful for the unmerited grace which has been poured out on us through the work of Another, through the work of the Lord.
How Israel could complain about the deal they got is a bit hard to imagine. They were given land, they were given it forever, and they need do nothing to keep it. If they sold it off, it would eventually come back to them. There was never a permanent lack for those in the land.
And so how much greater is our eternal inheritance! The possibilities of the universe itself are awaiting us. So don’t have fear that the future won’t be bright. It will, in fact, be dazzling. Until then, we are here, and we can look at what God did for Israel as an ingenious hint into what lies ahead for us. Let us be confident of our inheritance, grateful to our Lord, and willing to be attentive to the many lessons about such things which are found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. Redemption of Property (verses 23-34)
23 ‘The land shall not be sold permanently,
The Lord now reverts to the instructions from verses 14-17. He had explained that the exchange of property was based upon the number of crops to be expected until the next year of Jubilee. This counting was exclusive of any Sabbath years where crops could not be harvested for profit. To ensure that this was an understood precept, the laws of the Sabbath year were then expanded on in verses 18-22. Now the property laws continue to be explained.
Here, a special word is given which is translated as “permanently,” tsemithuth. It will only be used here and in verse 30 in the whole Bible. It comes from a root meaning “to destroy.” The idea then is that the people are not to excise themselves from what has been ordained in the original granting of land. In so doing, there would be a destruction of what was originally intended. In both uses of the word, it is prefixed by “to.” In other words, “The land shall not be sold to extinction.” And this is not without reason…
23 (con’t) for the land is Mine;
ki li ha’arets – “for to Me the land.” This sets the basis for all of the dealings with Israel, and any other group of people who would enter into the land. The Lord claims sovereign ownership over the land, and therefore, they have no right to permanently sell what is not theirs. They only have the rights to deal with the land as He lays out, but their rights go no further.
The words being placed here are a logical and necessary step in order for the next chapter to be introduced – that of the blessings and curses. The people had already bound themselves under the law, to include all such blessing and curses, but the issue of exile from the land becomes clear and understandable because of the placement of this chapter, and this statement – “for the land is Mine.” Israel is granted the land, but only so far as the Lord allows them to live in it. He is the Lord of the soil, and therefore, all land dealings are ultimately at His will, not Israel’s.
A beautiful example of fundamentally misunderstanding this precept by the people is found in Ezekiel. The only time Abraham is mentioned in the entire book, it is in connection with the land –
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 24 “Son of man, they who inhabit those ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one, and he inherited the land. But we are many; the land has been given to us as a possession.’ Ezekiel 33:23, 24
They remembered that their father, Abraham, had possessed the land despite being just one man. How much more then did they figure they had a right to possess it when there were many of them who had inherited the right to the land! But they failed to accept the whole scope of this tapestry. The land was given to Israel. When they were obedient, it was theirs and they could live in it. When they were disobedient, the land was theirs and they could not. It was theirs to possess, but not as an unconditional right.
23 (con’t) for you are strangers and sojourners with Me.
As Lord of the soil, Israel was (and is) a group of tenants at will. In failure to meet the requirements of this state, they gave up their right to dwell in their allotment. Again, all of this was with the intent of securing a set, and continuing, inheritance which would someday lead the people to the Messiah. It is a giant fabric of intricate weavings intended for that one, ultimate purpose.
24 And in all the land of your possession you shall grant redemption of the land.
With the things already addressed in mind, the concept of geullah, or redemption, is now introduced. It is a word which will be seen 14 times, but 9 of them will be in this chapter. To see the practice in action, the Lord will provide two examples of it – one in Ruth 4, and one in Jeremiah 32. Because the land is the Lord’s, and because the people are but temporary dwellers with right of use, redemption of the property was expected. This then works into the greater theme of redemption as is found in Christ Jesus. Here in Leviticus, truths are being relayed which go backward to the fall of man, and forward to the work of Christ.
25 ‘If one of your brethren becomes poor,
One of the very purposes of the land return in the Year of Jubilee was to avoid a permanent state of exactly what is detailed here, which is that a fellow Israelite become muk, or poor. This is a unique word, found only four times in this chapter, and once in Chapter 27. It comes from a root meaning “to become thin,” and thus it signifies being impoverished. By having a return of the land, it would balance out extremes of poverty and wealth. However, poverty could come between the Jubilees, and so provisions are made for such times.
25 (con’t) and has sold some of his possession,
When times of thinness arise, a man could sell some, or all, of his possession in order to alleviate his plight. In fact, it is the only reason given for actually doing so. Outside of poverty, the law presumes that each would retain his land. However, in such a case, it was not automatically lost until the Jubilee. Instead, the provision of geullah, or redemption, was to be adhered to by the new owner…
25 (con’t) and if his redeeming relative comes to redeem it,
A relative of the poor man had the full right to redeem the land which was sold. This wasn’t optional, as if the new owner could say, “No, I want to hold onto it.” Rather, when a near relative presented the fee, the present owner was under obligation to sell back that which he held. This is the meaning of verse 24, “you shall grant redemption of the land.”
25 (con’t) then he may redeem what his brother sold.
The near relative had full right to reacquire that which had been sold away. In this is seen the germ of what is later explained by Paul concerning the work of Christ. Dominion over the earth had been granted to Adam, but he had lost his right. But Christ came, taking on flesh and becoming our near relative in humanity, in order to perform the redemption for us. In Luke 4 the devil said to Jesus –
“All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” Luke 24:7
Jesus didn’t question the truth of the devil’s claim. Instead, He went about, using this very law given to Israel, to reclaim what had been lost. In the end, He prevailed –
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Matthew 28:18
The heavenly scene itself is found in the book of Revelation –
And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.
4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. 5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.” Revelation 5:1-5
26 Or if the man has no one to redeem it, but he himself becomes able to redeem it,
If a man found sufficiency to redeem the property on his own, then the law gave provision for that as well. This verse here presupposes that any human could have potentially reclaimed the title to what Adam lost, but the sad words of Revelation 5 show that such was not actually to be. No one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. The law gave the option nonetheless.
27 then let him count the years since its sale, and restore the remainder to the man to whom he sold it, that he may return to his possession.
The idea here is one of simple mathematics. How many years had passed since the sale, how many had it been in the purchaser’s hands, and how many years of crops were yet ahead until the Jubilee. In figuring these in, the mandatory sale price could be determined. There was no haggling, and there was no actual dispute. The rightful owner would receive the property back based on the law itself, and his ability to meet his requirements under it.
28 But if he is not able to have it restored to himself, then what was sold shall remain in the hand of him who bought it until the Year of Jubilee; and in the Jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his possession.
The words are obvious, but the beauty of them may be missed. The buyer of the land lost nothing. He paid for the crops which lay ahead, and nothing more. Therefore, he had received full for his purchase – be it five years or forty-five. And the one who had sold the land had received full compensation for the use of the land which he lost his right to during the time of absence.
However, with the coming of the Jubilee, meaning the sounding of the ram’s horn, the land returned to his hand once again. The playing field was level, and any time of poverty was potentially gone forever. Nobody became overly wealthy, nobody was permanently poor, and the government could not usurp the rights of the people because the law held final say over the entire matter.
29 ‘If a man sells a house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year he may redeem it.
As all Israel was given an inheritance of land, those who either built or purchased a house within a walled city had merited the right to that property. Human effort was involved in the process, apart from the grace of an inheritance. This is true with a house built on inherited land, but it is the land, not the house, which the Lord considers.
A city with walls was a place specifically designed to promote a different type of industry than that of agriculture. There are artisans, business dealers, smiths, and all of the other things life in such a city included. The walls are man made protection, and it is a place of human effort and endeavor. If a person owned a house within such a place, a set time of redemption could take place; one year. After that, the property would be forever transferred to the new owner without further encumbrance.
30 But if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to him who bought it, throughout his generations. It shall not be released in the Jubilee.
As the dwelling was never a gift of God in the first place, then it did not bear the mark of a permanent inheritance. Further, there was no danger in the confusion of tribes or families in the ownership of houses in walled cities. Because of this, such a transfer was given a set period of time to be reclaimed by the seller, but not a day beyond that. If after one year it was not bought back, the matter was settled forever. This verse has the Bible’s last use of tsemithuth, introduced in verse 23. Its use is permanently ended, and so with finality, we can bid it adieu.
31 However the houses of villages which have no wall around them shall be counted as the fields of the country.
A village without walls presupposes that the houses would be connected to the surrounding land for the purpose of agriculture. Instead of building a house on each piece of land like often occurs, some villages are started with the set purpose of community where the inhabitants daily went out to work the land of one’s inheritance. It is generally accepted that the later addition of walls, for protection or for some other reason, would not change the nature of the tie between the house and it’s acreage.
31 (con’t) They may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the Jubilee.
Such houses were a part of the landed property which was given as grace at the original inheritance, they were necessary for reasonable cultivation of the land, and they were therefore released along with the land at the Jubilee, reverting to the original owner.
32 Nevertheless the cities of the Levites, and the houses in the cities of their possession, the Levites may redeem at any time.
Despite the book bearing the name of Levi, the only time that the tribe is mentioned by name in the entire book of Leviticus is here in verses 32 & 33. Their homes, even in walled cities, are a special exception to the rule for the redemption of houses. The reason for this is because the Levites were to have no inheritance of land among the people.
They were given forty-eight cities, scattered around Israel, as their dwellings. And instead of land to work, they were to be given the tithes of the common people as their inheritance. Thus their livelihood was far from being a guaranteed abundance. Instead, it was one which depended on the obedience of the people to the precept of the law which mandated the tithe. Further, if the crops of the land failed, the Levites would bear the weight of that loss as heavily as anyone, maybe more so.
As these things were true, this was as much a protection from permanent poverty as is the redemption/release of land for the common people in Israel. The Levite’s homes, despite being in walled cities, were considered just as landed property to all others. They possessed the full right of redemption at any time.
33 And if a man purchases a house from the Levites, then the house that was sold in the city of his possession shall be released in the Jubilee; for the houses in the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel.
Talk about a complicated verse – both in Hebrew, and in scholarly commentary. The Hebrew of this verse is so difficult, that the variety of translations which come from it are numerous. The first clause is not speaking of a purchase, but of the ability to redeem. It’s hard to be dogmatic, but of all of the translations, the Holman Christian Standard appears to have caught the intent –
“Whatever property one of the Levites can redeem–a house sold in a city they possess–must be released at the Jubilee, because the houses in the Levitical cities are their possession among the Israelites.” HCSB
The sale of land in Israel is tied to the produce of the land. Because the houses of the Levites are tied to the produce of the land, meaning the reception of tithes, then for the Levite the house itself is what possesses the value. It might logically follow that the sale of the house of a Levite would be based on the same criteria as for that of land – how many years until the Jubilee, how many Sabbath years should be deducted, and so on.
The division of the tithes among the Levites would be according to the amount received from the surrounding farms of the Israelites. Remember, the Lord is their inheritance, and all land belongs to the Lord. We must always consider how verses point to Jesus.
34 But the field of the common-land of their cities may not be sold, for it is their perpetual possession.
Here comes a new word migrash, or common-land, which will henceforward be quite common. It signifies pasture land. Numbers 35 will detail the measurement of land reserved outside of every city of the Levites to be used as common land. This land belonged to the city and its inhabitants in perpetuity.
Because it belonged to all within, no individual had the right to sell a portion of it. Nor could the city as a whole opt to sell any or all of it, because it didn’t belong to them any more than it belonged to their posterity. Therefore, it could not be sold in part or in whole. The word migrash comes from another word, signifying driving, or casting, something out. Therefore, this land was for the driving of herds which belonged to the Levites within.
The land is mine, and I give it to you
It is for your use, for life and prosperity
In following My laws, you are to remain true
You are to deal with this land in all sincerity
Each precept given is done so with intent
You are to adhere to My word in all dealings of the land
Under My care is found this special arrangement
Each precept is pure, and so follow each command
In the redemption of the land there is much more
There are hints of the Messiah promised long ago
What He will do has been anticipated since ages before
But in the days yet ahead, through Him, redemption I will bestow
II. Care for the Poor Brother (verses 35-38)
35 ‘If one of your brethren becomes poor,
The law of slavery, including Hebrew servitude, follows on to the end of the chapter, but before the commands concerning that are given, we have these four verses which are provided to preclude that from being necessary if at all possible. The words are speaking of Hebrews only, and if following this verse in the KJV, a pen and ink correction of their translation is required.
In this first clause, the individual is identified as “one of your brethren.” It is referring to the redeemed people of Israel. If one of them becomes poor, the Lord would desire that they have their plight corrected. He further defines what this means…
35 (con’t) and falls into poverty among you,
The Hebrew here is idiomatic, bringing in a new word, mot, or “waver.” A literal rendering would be, “and wavers his hand with you.” It gives the pitiful sense of someone who has lost the strength of his hand to simply support himself. Everything he touches falls into ruin. It seems obvious that such a person would have already attempted to rectify his lot by selling his inheritance until the time of redemption in the Year of Jubilee, but even that didn’t pan out.
Such a person is a perfect candidate for next selling himself into servitude in order to simply survive. If such occurred, he would be in that position until the time of release as well. In hopes of avoiding such misfortune and loss, a different course is sought out by directing the Israelites to be merciful to him…
35 (con’t) then you shall help him,
The Hebrew reads, “then you shall strengthen in him.” His hand has wavered without strength, and that is to be corrected by strengthening him with one’s own hand – building him up and meeting his needs. It is a verse of expected mercy towards the poor, wavering soul.
35 (con’t) like a stranger or a sojourner,
ger v’toshav – “stranger and sojourner.” The KJV incorrectly inserts the words, “though he be a stranger or sojourner.” The first clause has identified him as brother, meaning an Israelite. It should only say, “as a stranger and a sojourner.” In other words, in Leviticus 19 it said –
‘And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. 34 The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:33, 34
The law has already shown that Israel was to provide for the stranger or sojourner among the people. How much more willing then, should the people be to help out a brother who has fallen on great misfortune. His loss of land has put him in the same state as any stranger among the people, and maybe even in a worse state. Israel is being instructed to open their hand to such a person. To fail to do so would be a flagrant disregard for the high moral principles of the law towards one’s fellow man.
35 (con’t) that he may live with you.
To keep him from unnecessary servitude, and to ensure that he could live among the people and be a productive citizen, every means of help possible should be made available.
36 Take no usury or interest from him;
Two words are used in this clause – neshek and tarbuth. Neshek has already been seen in Exodus 22:25. It indicates interest on money, and literally means “to bite.” Just as a snake bites, causing pain, so interest is something which bites at another. This was forbidden in any amount on money lent to a fellow Israelite, and it was allowed in any amount when lent to a non-Israelite.
The second word, tarbuth, is introduced here and will only be seen one more time. It signifies “increase.” It comes from ravah, which means “to multiply.” Hence this is a multiplication of something. What is generally believed is that unlike usury which is interest on money, this is a type of interest on goods. In essence, “I will give you a bushel of wheat, but you must return one and one half to me when return payment is made.”
A passage which deals with exactly what is forbidden here is found in Nehemiah 5:1-13. The people mistreated one another, charged usury, and caused great consternation to arise in those who returned from exile, and who had hoped to start anew in the land of Israel.
36 (con’t) but fear your God,
v’yareta me-eloheka – “and fear your God.” The meaning of this phrase should be obvious, but because of the fallen world, we all have misconceptions about father figures, we all have misconceptions about our relationship with the Creator, and we all have misunderstandings about what it means to have a reverential fear of something.
An electrician, from the first day of training, is taught to fear electricity. And yet, from the first day of training, he is told that electricity is our friend. Both are true at the same time. It all depends on how one treats their friend. As an enemy, a guy here in Sarasota was working close to a high tension wire with a hammer. He lifted his arm back in order to make a strike and touched the wire with the hammer. The electricity went through him, and blew off his opposite hand.
As a friend, electricity gives us light, heat, cooling, fun on the internet, and a million other helpful things which make life convenient and more productive. And yet, if one lets his guard down, electricity can bring a quick end to it all. Had the electricity not blown that guy’s opposite hand off, it would have destroyed his internal organs and killed him.
The Lord is God. He redeemed Israel in order to show them good. He set them apart with many glorious promises and assurances. He also gave Israel these laws and precepts, to ensure they pay heed to what is right and good. The Lord is a friend to Israel, but the Lord is to be feared by Israel. To fear one’s God then, is to admit that He is in control, that He works by certain laws, and when those laws are violated, only disaster can be the expected result.
Even to this day, Israel has failed to see the significance of this truth. The simple lesson of electricity which they seem to understand and apply with all care, is held in higher esteem than the far weightier lesson of fearing God and holding reverence to His being. But not to be too down on Israel, the same is true with the church at large as well. Our lack of respect for the Lord, and His word, places us in a very scary position as a group of people.
36 (con’t) that your brother may live with you.
The words of verse 35 are repeated here again. The intent is that Israel would care for their financially weakened brother so that he could continue to live among them, and not under them. Should this course of action not be taken, the Lord would be displeased, and the man would become subject to the humiliating state of Hebrew servitude. For this reason…
37 You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit.
The two areas of increase which are explicitly forbidden are again noted. Neshek, or usury, and a new word which is very similar to tarbuth of the previous verse, marbith, again meaning “increase,” are both forbidden. No profit was to be made off silver or other commodities when helping out one’s neighbor. Instead, the people were to lend freely, and expect nothing extra upon return of the principle. And so, with a clear and precise statement as to why this was to be, the Lord closes out this short set of verses with a statement of perfect justification, beginning with…
In all of our verses today, the only time that the word “God” has been seen is in these four verses about the poor, three times. And the name Yehovah, or “Lord,” likewise is only seen here. It is a clear indication that the Lord is tying in respect for His sovereignty over the people with tending to the poor among them. He begins this verse with ani Yehovah elohekem. He is Yehovah, and He is their God. They had agreed to this some time earlier when He appeared while giving the law. They had continued to agree to this at several times and in several ways. They had placed themselves under His authority and agreed to comply with His will for them – even in advance of all that would be said.
38 (con’t) who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
Therefore, after stating His name, He relays to them again the reason for obedience which he has given several times now. He says it is He, “who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” He ties His redemptive act of bringing the people out of bondage in with their need for full compliance on this. They were slaves, and He redeemed them from that slavery.
Now He is petitioning the people to act in a manner which reflects that same goodness through tending to those who have become poor. They were in double distress, and He gave them relief. When a brother among them is facing his own distress, they are to act in a manner which emulates their God. They are to extend to him a hand of relief. This is actually reflected in his next words…
38 (con’t) to give you the land of Canaan
Not only did he redeem them out of slavery, but his did it with a goal in mind. He would lead them from slavery to Canaan. This is the third and last time that Canaan is to be seen in Leviticus.
The name Canaan has several possible meanings. One is “a merchant.” Another is “servant.” But the word itself is derived from the word kana, which signifies to humble. It comes from a primitive root signifying “to bend the knee.” This gives the sense of bringing into subjection. Therefore, at least for the immediate context, we can see that a hint is being given with His mentioning the name of the place here.
A brother been humbled, and the Lord is asking those of His people who see this to act in a humble manner and show him kindness. In humbling themselves, it is a sign of agreement that they were once humbled, and they are now looking favorably upon one who has found himself, once again, in such a lowly state.
They had done nothing to merit redemption from Egypt, and they had done nothing deserving of entering the land promised to them. Each step has been an act of grace, and so they were to acknowledge this, and to display every level of kindness to one another, thus reflecting that which they had been granted.
*38 (fin) and to be your God.
Not only is He their God, but He promised to be their God. His care over them would not end at the border of the land, but it would extend into the land itself, and it would extend for all times from that land. To be their God signifies prosperity, blessing, protection, security, and so much more. The promises of the Lord would all be realized for Israel when they paid heed to His word. In these verses are some of the most fundamental words of what it means to reflect His kind and gracious nature, and this is what He expected of them.
The Lord’s care for the poor of Israel extends today for His attentive care for the people of His beloved church. Though at times, the Lord may appear distant or uninterested in our affairs, that is the furthest thing from the truth. He didn’t come and walk among Israel in order to simply experience what it felt like to walk, talk, and laugh.
God knows all things, and so He already knew what it meant to do those things. He doesn’t need experiential knowledge in order to know, He just knows. Every smell of every flower was designed by Him, because He knows. The reason He came to dwell among us, is because without Him doing so, there would be no redemption of man. It was theologically necessary for Christ to come as a Man in order to redeem us.
And, it was necessary that when He did, that He would need to die as a man in order for the redemption to come about. Otherwise, there would never be access to God’s paradise. Instead, there would be only separation and condemnation. The coming of Christ shows us that God is not at all uninterested in us. Instead, He is minutely interested in us – to the finest detail of our existence.
If you come to Leviticus, and find anything but absolute attention to the plight of fallen man, you have missed the big picture. This chapter on the Year of Jubilee, and every other chapter found in this book as well, keeps showing us the wonderful truth that God is there, that God cares, and that He has it all figured out. Be of good cheer, and know that what Leviticus points to is one very good end for the people of God. But each step is given in order to get us there. The Year of Jubilee and all that it entails is a marvelous part of that walk.
I would hope that if you are out there struggling with theology, burdened with trying to cross every t and dot every i, that you will step back and take a breather. There is one gospel, it is very simple to understand, and its effects in your life are eternal. Let me tell it to you now. Then, you can work on all the t’s and i’s you want. But first, know that the necessary ones have already been handled for you by God. He sent Jesus.
Closing Verse: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’ Revelation 2:7
Next Week: Leviticus 25:39-55 It’s all about freedom and liberty, you see… (The Year of Jubilee, Part III) (48th Leviticus Sermon)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if you have a lifetime of sin heaped up behind you, He can wash it away and purify you completely and wholly. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
Of Property and the Poor
‘The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine
For you are strangers and sojourners with Me
And in all the land of your possession
You shall grant redemption of the land
‘If one of your brethren becomes poor
And has sold some of his possession, so you are told
And if his redeeming relative comes to redeem it
Then he may redeem what his brother sold
Or if the man has no one to redeem it
But he himself becomes able to redeem it
———-No longer facing depression
Then let him count the years since its sale
And restore the remainder to the man to whom he sold it
———-that he may return to his possession
But if he is not able
To have it restored to himself, so you see
Then what was sold shall remain in the hand
Of him who bought it until the Year of Jubilee
And in the Jubilee it shall be released
And he shall return to his possession
———-His time apart from it shall be ceased
‘If a man sells a house in a walled city
Then he may redeem it, so I submit
Within a whole year after it is sold
Within a full year he may redeem it
But if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year
Then the house in the walled city shall belong permanently
To him who bought it, throughout his generations
It shall not be released in the Jubilee
However the houses of villages which have no wall around them
Shall be counted as the fields of the country
They may be redeemed
And they shall be released in the Jubilee
Nevertheless the cities of the Levites
And the houses in the cities of their possession, so I say
The Levites may redeem at any time
It shall always be this way
And if a man purchases a house from the Levites
Then the house that was sold in the city of his possession
———-shall be released in the Jubilee
For the houses in the cities of the Levites
Are their possession among the children of Israel
———-as stated by Me
But the field of the common-land of their cities may not be sold
For it is their perpetual possession; so you have been told
‘If one of your brethren becomes poor
And falls into poverty among you, sad but true
Then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner
That he may live with you
Take no usury or interest from him, this you shall not do
But fear your God, that your brother may live with you
You shall not lend him your money for usury
Nor lend him your food at a profit; such shall not be
I am the Lord your God
Who brought you out of of Egypt the land
To give you the land of Canaan and to be your God
So these things you are to understand
Lord God, in Christ the world has been redeemed
Our faithful Brother came and dwelt among us
When all hope was lost, or so it once seemed
You sent Your Son to purchase us back; thank You for Jesus
And so help us to remember this thing that You have done
Help us stretch forth our own willing hand
Help us to be gracious to each and every one
Soften our heart, and help us to understand
When the need is seen, may we not be slack
But give willing hearts to every one of us
Not because we must pay some debt back
But because of gratitude for our full redemption, found in Christ Jesus
And may this bring You glory now and forevermore
While we praise You here, and also upon that heavenly shore Hallelujah and Amen…