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The law concerning
year. the great. Lawgiver on the occasion ; the man was among them. But what shall we say of Christians, therefore secured till the mind of the Lord should be so called, whose mouths are full of cursing and bitterknown. Moses, no doubt, had recourse to the taber- ness? Were every blasphemer among us to be stoned naele, and received the directions afterward mentioned to death, how many of the people would fall in every from Him who dwelt between the cherubim. In what corner of the land! God is longsuffering; may this way the answer of the Lord was communicated we lead them to repentance! We have excellent laws know not, (probably by Urim and Thummim,) but it against all profaneness, but, alas for our country! they came in such a manner as to preclude all doubt upon are not enforced ; and he who attempts to put the laws the subject : the man was declared to be guilty, and in force against profane swearers, Sabbath breakers, was sentenced to be stoned to death; and on this oc- &c., is considered a litigious man, and a disturber casion a law is made relative to blasphemy in general. of the peace of society. Will not God visit for However sinful the Jews might have been at this time, these things ?. This is not only contempt of God's we have reason to believe they did not take the name holy word and commandments, but rebellion against of the Lord in vain, and blasphemy was not known the laws.
B. C. 1490.
CHAPTER XXV. The law concerning the Sabbatical or seventh year repeated, 1-7. The law relative to the jubilee, or fiftieth
year, and the hallowing of the fiftieth, 8-12.. In the year of jubilee every one to return unto his possessions, 13.
None to oppress another in buying and selling, 14. Purchases to be rated from jubilee to jubilee, according to the number of years unexpired, 15-17.. Promises to obedience, 18, 19. Promises relative to the Sabbatical year, 20-22. No inheritance must be finally alienated, 23, 24. No advantage to be taken of a man's poverty in buying his land, 25-28. Ordinances relative to the selling of a house in a walled city, 29, 30; in a village, 31. Houses of the Leviles may be redeemed at any time, 32, 33. The fields of the Levites in the suburbs must not be sold, 34. No usury to be taken from a poor brother, 35–38. If an Israelite be sold to an Israelite, he must not be obliged to serve as a slave, 39, but be as a hired servant or as a sojourner, till the year of jubilee, 40, when he and his family shall have liberty lo depart, 41 ; because God claims all Israelites as his servànts, having redeemed them from bondage in Egypt, 42, 43. The Israelites are permitted to have bond-men and bond-women of the heathens, who, being bought with their money, shall be considered as their property, 44–46. If an Israelite, grown poor, be sold to a sojourner who has wared rich, he may be redeemed by one of his relatives, an uncle or uncle's son, 47–49. In the interim between the jubilees, he may be redeemed; but if not redeemed, he shall go free in the jubilee, 50-54. · Obedience enforced by God's right over them as his servants, 55. A. M. 2514.
the Lord spake unto thou shalt neither sow thy field,. 4. M. 2514 B. C. 1490. An. Exod. Isr. 2. Moses in Mount Sinai, say- nor prune thy vineyard.
An. Exod. Isr. 2. Abib or Nisan.
Abib or Nisan. ing,
5 That which groweth of 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say its own accord of thy harvest, thou shalt not unto them, When ye come into the land reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine which I give you, then shall the land a keep undressed : for it is a year of rest unto the ba Sabbath unto the Lord.
land. 3 Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and 6 And the Sabbath of the land shall be meat six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for gather in the fruit thereof:
thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for 4 But in the seventh year shall be a Sabbath thy stranger that sojourneth with thee, of rest unto the land, a Sabbath for the LORD: 7 And for thy cattle, and for the beast that Heb. rest.
Exod. xxii. 10; see ch. xxvi. 34, 35; 2 Chron. xxxvi. 21. - 2 kings xix. 29. Heb. of thy separation. NOTES ON CHAP. XXV.
sibly be any deception here? NO! The miracle Verse 2. The land keep à Sabbath] See this ordi- speaks for itself, proves the Divine authenticity of the nance explained in the note on Exod. xxiii. 11. It law, and takes every prop and stay from the system may be asked here :: If it required all the annual pro- that wishes to convict the Mosaic ordinances of imduee of the field to support the inhabitants, how could posture. See Exod. xxiii. 11. It is evident from the people be nourished the seventh year, when no this that the Mosaic law must have had a Divine produce was received from the fields ? To this it may origin, as man in his senses, without God's be answered, that God sent his blessing in an especial authority, could have made such an ordinance as manner on the sixth year, (see verses 21, 22,) and it this ; for the sixth year, from its promulgation, brought forth fruit for three years. How astonishing would have amply refuted his pretensions to a Divine and convincing was this miracle! Could there pos- I mission.
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Abib or Nisan
years; and the
that which Sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes
space of the seven Sabbaths of in it of thy vine undressed.
9 Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of unto you: kye shall eat the increase thereof
14. And if thou sell aught, unto thy neigh10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and bour, or buyest aught of thy neighbour's hand, 6 proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto mye shall not oppress one another :
a 15 According to the number of years after lee unto you; hand ye shall return every man the jubilee, thou shalt buy of thiy neighbour ; unto his possession, and ye shall return every and according unto the number of years
of the man unto his family.
fruits, he shall sell unto thee :
. Heb. loud of sound.- Chap. xxiii. 24, 27. - Isa. Ixi. 2; lxiii. 4; Jer. xxxiv. 8, 15, 17; Luke iv. 19:-h Ver. 13; Nụm. xxxvi. 4. -i Ver. 5.
k Ver. 6, 7. Ver. 10; chap. xxvii. 24, Num. XXXVI. 4. m Ver. 17; chap. xix. 13; 1 Sam. xii. 3, 4; Mic. ii. 2; I Cor. vi. 8. Lo Chap. xxvii. 18, 23.
Verse 8. Thou shalt number seven Sabbaths of years] regarded by the Jews after the Babylonish captivity. This seems to state that the.jubilee was to be cele- Indeed, it is not mentioned under the second temple, brated on the forty-ninth year; but in ver. 10 and 11 and the observance must have ceased among the Jews it is said, Ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and, A1 when they were brought under a foreign.yoke. jubilee shall this fiftieth year be. Probably in this The jubilee seems to have been typical, T: Of the verse Moses either includes the preceding jubilee, and great time of release, the Gospel dispensation, when thus with the forty-ninth makes up the number fifty; all who believe in Christ Jesus are redeemed from the or he speaks of proclaiming the jubilee on the forly- bondage of sin—repossess the favour and image of ninth, and celebrating it on the fiftieth year current. God, the only inheritance of the human soul, having Some think it was celebrated on the forty-ninth year, all debts cancelled, and the right of inheritance reas is stated in ver. 8; and this prevented the Sabbati- stored. - To this the prophet Isaiah seems to allude, cal year, or, seventh year of rest, from being confound-chapxxvi. 13, and particularly lxi. 1-3. 2. Of the ed with the jubilee, which it must otherwise have been, general resurrection. “It is,” says Mr. Parkhurst, had the celebration of this great solemnity taken place a lively prefiguration of the grand consummation of on the fiftieth year; but it is most likely that the time, which will be introduced in like manner by the fiftieth was the real jubilee.
trump of God, 1 Cor. xv. 52, when the children and Verse 11. A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be] The heirs of God shall be delivered from all ther forfeitures, literal meaning of the word jubilee, or yobel in He- and restored to the eternal inheritance allotted to them brew, and boar yobil in the Samaritan, has not been by, their Father ; and thenceforth rest from their lawell ascertained. Josephus and the rabbins have bours, and be supported in life and happiness by what caused many to err; the former says the word signi- the field of God shall supply:"", fies liberty ; Elevdeplav de onualvel tovvopa, Antiq., 1. It is worthy of remark that the jubilee was not pro3, cap. 12, edit. Haverc., vol. i., p. 184 ; but the claimed till the tenth day of the seventh month, on the word liberty signifies rather the intention of the insti- very day when the great annual atonement was made tution, than the meaning of the Hebrew term. The for the sins of the people ; and does not this prove rabbins say it signifies a ram's horn, because the that the great liberty or redemption from thraldom, trumpets which were used in proclaiming this solem- published under the Gospel, could not take place till nity were made out of ram's horns. This meaning is the great Atonement, the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, adopted in a few places in our translation, but none of had been offered-up?. See ver. 9. the ancient versions acknowledge this sense of the Verse 14. Ye shall not oppress one another] Ye term, the Chaldee excepted, Some derive it from shall take no advantage of each other's ignorance 5ayabal; to bring, carry away, because the Israelites either in buying or selling; for he that buys an article at this time carried away the right of repossessing at less than it is worth, or sells one for more than it is their inheritances .which had been forfeited or alien-worth, taking advantage in both cases of the ignorance ated. The most natural derivation is from soain ho- of the vender or buyer, is no better than a thief, as bil, to cause to bring back, or recall, because estates, he aotually robs his neighbour of as much property as &c, which had been alienated, were then brought he has bought the article at below or sold it above its back to their primitive owners. This was a wise and current yalue. excellent institution, but appears to have been Jittle Verse 15. According to the number of years) The
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B. C. 1490.
A. M. 2514.
Concerning the redemption of CHAP. XXV.
persons, lands, houses, foc 16 According to the multitude for a the land is mine; for 'ye
years, thou shalt increase the are strangers and · sojourners An. Exod. Isr. 2. price thereof; and according to with me.
Adib or Nisan. the fewness of years, thou shalt diminish the 24 And in all the land of your possession price of it: for according to the number of the ye shall grant a redemption for the land. years of the fruits, doth he sell unto thee. 25 If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath 17 • Ye shall
not therefore oppress one sold away some of his possession, and if d any another; p but thou shalt fear thy God : for I of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he am the LORD your God.
redeem that which his brother sold. 18 4 Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and 26 And if the man have none to redeem it, keep my judgments, and do them ; ' and ye and himself be able to redeem it; shall dwell in the land in safety.
27 Then ' let him count the years of the sale 19 And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety. to whom he sold it; that he may return unto
20 And if ye shall say, * What shall we eat his possession.
then that which is sold shall remain in the 21 Then I will command my blessing upon hand of him that hath bought il, until the year you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth of jubilee : 6 and in the jubilee it shall go out, fruit for three years.
and he shall return unto his possession. 22 w And
shall sow the eighth year, and 29 And if a man sell a dwelling house in a eat yet of old fruit until the ninth year; until walled city, then he may redeem it within a her fruits come in ye shall eat of the old store. whole year after it is sold ; within a full year
23. The land shall not be sold y for z ever: may he redeem it.
• Ver. 14. P Ver. 43; chap. xix: 14, 32. Chap. xix. 37.
2 Heb. for cutting off
a Deut. xxxii. 43; 2 Chron. vi. 20; Chap. xxvi. 5; Deut. xii. 10; Psa. iv. 8; Proy. i. 33; Jer. Psa. Ixxxv. 1 ; Joel ii. 13; ii. 2.- L.Chron. xxix. 15; Psa. xxii. 6. — Chap. xxvi. 5; Ezek. xxxiv. 25, 27, 28.- - Matt. xxxix. 12; cxix. 19; 1 Peter ii. 11. - Ruth ii. 20; iv. 4, 6. vi. 25, 31. _u Ver. 4, 5. - Deut. xxviii. 8; see Exod. xvi. 4 See Ruth iii. 2, 9, 12; Jer. xxxii. 7, 8. Heb. his hand 29, -W 2 Kings xix. 29. -* Josh. v. 11, 12.- y Or, to be hath attained, and found sufficiency; chap. v: 7.--Ver. 50, 51, quite cut off."
52. -8 Ver. 13.
purchases that were to be made of lands were to be between jubilee and jubilee, by the former owner or regulated by the number of years unelapsed of the by one of his kinsmen or relatives... This kinsman is current jubilee. This was something like buying the called in the text Sxa goel or redeemer; and was not unexpired term of a lease among us; the purchase is this a lively emblem of the redemption of man by always regulated by the number of years between the Christ Jesus? That he might have a right to redeem time of purchase and the expiration of the term. man, he took upon him human nature, and thus became
Verse 20. What shall we eat the seventh year ?] A a kinsman of the great family of the human race, and very natural question, which could only be laid at rest thereby possessed the right of redeeming that fallen by the sovereign promise in the next verse : I will nature of which he took part, and of buying back to COMMAND MY BLESSING upon you in the sixth year, and man that inheritance which had been forfeited by it shall bring forth fruit for THREE YEARS. See on transgression. : verse 2.
Verse 29. Sell a dwelling house in a walled city] A Verse 23. The land shall not be sold for ever—the very proper difference is put between houses in a city land is mine] As God in a miraculous manner gave and houses in the country. If a man sold his house them possession of this land, they were therefore, to in the city, he might redeem it any time in the course consider themselves merely as tenants to him; and on of a year; but if it were not redeemed within that this.ground he, as the great landholder or lord of the time, it could no more be redeemed, nor did it go out soil, prescribes to them all the conditions on which even in the jubilee. It was not so with a house in they shall hold it. This one circumstance was pecu- the country; such a house might be redeemed during liarly favourable to their advancement in religion, in any part of the interim; and if not redeemed, must go righteousness, and true holiness; for feeling that they out at the jubilee. The reason in both cases is suffihad nothing which they could call their own upon ciently evident; the house in the city might be built earth, they must frequently, by this, be put in mind of for purposes of trade or traffic merely, the house in the necessity of having a permanent dwelling in the the country was built on or attached to the inheritance heavenly inheritance, and of that preparation without which God had divided to the respective families, and which it could not be possessed.
it was therefore absolutely necessary that the same law Verse 25. Any of his kin come to redeem il] The should apply to the house as to the inheritance. But land that was sold might be redeemed, in the interim the same necessity did not hold good with respect to
B. C. 1490.
The houses of the
Levites not to be sold. A. M. 2514. 30 And if it be not redeemed for a sojourner ; that he may live A. M. 2514.
B. C. 1490. An. Exod. Isr. 2. within the space of a full year, with thee.
An. Exod. Isr. 2. Abib or Nisan. then the house that is in the 36 9 Take thou no usury of him, Abib or Nisan. walled city shall be established for ever to or increase: but "fear thy God; that thy brohim that bought it, throughout his generations : ther may live with thee. it shall not go out in the jubilee.
37 Thou shalt not give him thy money 31 But the houses of the villages, which have upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for no walls round about them, shall be counted as increase. the fields of the country : b they may be re- 38 I am the Lord your God, which brought deemed, and they shall go out in the jubilee. you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you
32 Notwithstanding the cities of the Le- the land of Canaan, and to be your God. vites, and the houses of the cities of their
pos- 39 And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee session, may the Levites redeem at any time. be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou
33 And if ka man purchase of the Levites, shalt not "compel him to serve as a bond-
41 And then shall he depart from thee, both 34 But m the field of the suburbs of their he and his children with him, and shall recities may not be sold; for it is their per- turn unto his own family, and unto the pospetual possession.
session of his fathers shall he return. 35 And if thy brother be waxen poor, and 42 For they are my servants, which I - fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they o relieve him :P yjea, though he be a stranger, shall not be sold's as bondmen.
Heb. redemption belongeth unto it. - See Num. xxxv. 2; 12.- - Ver. 17; Neh. v. 9. - Chap. xxii. 32, 33.—Exod. Josh. xxi. 2, &c.- * Or, one of the Levites redeem them. xxi. 2; Deut. xv. 12; 1 Kings ix. 22; 2 Kings iv. 1; Neh. I Ver. 28.-m See Acts iv. 36, 37. -n Heb. his hand faileth. v. 5; Jer. xxxiv. 14. -u Heb. serve thyself with him with o Heb. strengthen. Deut. xv. 7, 8; Psa. xxxvi. 26 ; xli. 1; the service, &c.;. ver. 46; Exod. i. 14; Jer. xxv. 14 ; xxvii. cxii. 5, 9; Prov. xiv, 31; Luke. vi. 35; Acts xi. 29; Rom. xii. 7;
- Exod. xxi. 3.- Ver. 28 - Ver. 55; -9 Exod. xxii. 25; Deut. xxiii. 19; Neh. Rom. vi. 22; I Cor. vii. 23. — Heb. with the sale of a v. 7; Psa. xv.5; Prov. xxvi. 8; Ezek. xvii. 8, 13, 17; xxij. bondman. the house in the city : and as we may presume the one. A Levile could not ultimately sell his house : house in the city was merely for the purpose of trade, if sold. he could redeem it at any time in the interim when a man bought such a house, and got his business between the two jubilees; but if not redeemed, it must established there, it would have been very inconvenient go out at the following jubileė. And why? for him to have removed ; but-as it was possible that cause Moses framed his laws so much in favour of the the former owner might have sold the house rashly, priesthood, that they had peculiar privileges ?" &c. or through the pressure of some very urgent necessity, Just the reverse : they were so far from being pecua year was allowed him, that during that time he liarly favoured that they had no inheritance in Israel, might have leisure to reconsider his rash act, or so to only their cities, to dwell in : and because their houses get through his pressing necessity as to be able to get in these cities were the whole that they could call back his dwelling. This time was sufficiently long their own, therefore these houses could not be ultiin either of the above cases; and as such occurrences mately alienated. All that they had to live on besides might have been the cause of his selling his house, it was from that most precarious source of support, the was necessary that he might have the opportunity of freewill-offerings of the people, which depended on redeeming his pledge. Again, as the purchaser, hav- the prevalence of pure religion in the land. ing bought the house merely for the purpose of trade, Verse 36. Take thou no usury of him] Usury, at manufacture, &c., must have been at great-pains and present, signifies unlawful interest for money. Proexpense to fit the place for his work, and establish his perly, it means the reward or compensation given for business, in which himself, his children, and his chil- the use of a thing, but is principally spoken of money. dren's children, were to labour and get their bread; See the definition of the original term in the note ok hence it was necessary that he should have some Exod. xxii. 25. certainty of permanent possession, without which, we Verse 42. For they are my servants) As God remay naturally conjecture, no such purchases ever would deemed every Israelite out of Egyptian bondage, they be made: This seems to be the simple reason of the were therefore to consider themselves as his property, law in both cases.
and that consequently they should not alienate themVerse 32. The cities of the Levites] The law in selves from him.' It was in being his servants, and this and the following verses was also a very wiše | devoted to his work, that both their religious and po
1 John iii. 17.
slaves and servants. A. M. 2514 43 - Thou shalt not rule over him, of his family, may redeem A. M. 2514. B. C. 1490.
B. C. 1490. An. Exod. Isr. 2. him a with rigour;' but shalt him; or if & he be able, he may An. Exod. Isr. 2. Abib or Nisan. fear thy God.
Abib or Nisan. 44 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, 50 And he shall reckon with him that which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen bought him, from the year that he was sold to that are round about you; of them shall ye him unto the year of jubilee : and the price of buy bondmen and bondmaids.
his sale shall be according unto the number 45 Moreover of the children of the strangers of years, according to the time of a hired that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye servant shall it be with him. buy, and of their families that are with
you, 51 If there be yet many years behind, acwhich they begat in your land : and they shall cording unto them he shall give again the be your possession.
price of his redemption, out of the money that 46 And d ye shall take them as an inherit- he was bought for. ance for your children after you, to inherit 52 And if there remain but few years unto them for a possession ; • they shall be your the year of jubilee, then he shall count with bondmen for ever: but over your brethren him, and according unto his years shall he the children of Israel, *ye shall not rule one give him again the price of his redemption. over another with rigour.
53 And as a yearly hired servant shall he 47 And if a sojourner' or stranger 7 wax rich be with him : and the other shall not rule by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by with rigour over him in thy sight. him wax poor, and sell himself unto the 54 And if he be not redeemed m in these stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stoek years, then he shall go out in the year of of the stranger's family :
jubilee, both he, and his children with him. . 48 After that he is sold he may be redeemed 55 For • unto me the children of Israel are again; one of his brethren may redeem him : servants; they are my servants whom I brought
49 Either his uncle, or his uncle's son, may forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto LORD your God.
Eph. vi. 9; Col. iv. 1.- Ver. 46; Exod. i. 13. — Ver. 17; Ver. 43.—Heb. his hand obtain, &c.; ver. 26.-h Ver. 25, 35. Exod. i. 17, 21; Deut. xxv. 18; Mal. u. 5.- Isa. lvi. 3, 6. Neh. v. 5.- Ver. 26.—Job vii. 1; Isa. xvi. 14 ; xxi. 16. d Isa. xiv. 2: Heb. ye shall serve yourselves with them ; ver 39. m Or, by these means.- - Ver. 41; Exod. xxi. 2, 3. LoVer. 42. litical service consisted. And although their political year at that time, multiply the remaining years by that liberty might be lost, they knew that their spiritual sum, and the aggregate was the sum to be given to his liberty never could be forfeited except by an utter master for his redemption. The Jews hold that the alienation from God. God therefore claims the same kindred of such a person were bound, if in their power, right to their persons which he does to their lands; to redeem him, lest he should be swallowed up among see the note on ver. 23.
the heathen ; and we find, from Neh. v. 8, that this was Verse 43. Thou shall not rule over him with rigour] done by the Jews on their return from the Babylonish What is rigorous service ? * Service which is not captivity : We, after our ability, have redeemed our determined, and service whereof there is no need." brethren the Jews, who were sold unto the heathen. This is the definition given by the Jews ; but much Verse 55. For unto me the children of Israel are more is implied in this command than is expressed servants) The reason of this law we have already here. Labour beyond the person's strength, or labour seen, (see on ver. 42,) but we must look farther to see too long continued, or in unhealthy or uncomfortable the great end of it. The Israelites were typical places and circumstances, or without sufficient food, people; they represented those under the Gospel dis&c., is labour exacted with rigour, and consequently pensation who are children of God by faith in Christ inhuman; and this law is made, not for the Mosaic Jesus. But these last have a peculiarity of blessing : dispensation and the Jewish people, but for every dis- they are not merely servants, but they are sons; though pensation and for every people under heaven. they also serve God, yet it is in the newness of the Verse 50. The price of his sale shall be, &c.] This spirit
, and not in the oldness of the letter. And to was a very equitable law, both for the sojourner to this difference of state the apostle seems evidently to whom the man was sold, and to the Israelite who had allude, Gal. iv. 6, &c.: And because ye are sons, been thus sold. The Israelite might redeem himself, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your or one of his kindred might redeem him ; but this hearts, crying Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no must not be done to the prejudice of his master, the more a SERVANT, but a son; and if a son, then an sojourner. They were therefore to reckon the years heir of God through Chriso; genuine believers in he must have served from that time till the jubilee ; Christ not being heirs of an earthly inheritance, nor and then, taking the current wages of a servant per Imerely of a heavenly one, for they are heirs of God. VOL. I. (39)