The seventh year
1 Yahweh said to Moses/me on Sinai Mountain, 2 “Tell this to the Israelis: ‘When you enter the land that I am about to give you, you must honor me by allowing the land to rest every seventh year. 3 For six years you may plant seeds in your fields and prune your grapevines and harvest the crops. 4 But the seventh/next year you mustdedicate to Yahweh, and allow the land to rest. Do not plant seeds in your fields or prune your grapevines during that year. 5 Do not reap the grain that grows by itself or harvest the grapes that grow; you must allow the land to rest for one year. 6 Whatever crops grow by themselves during that year will be food for you and for your male and female servants, and for workers whom you have hired, and for people who are living among you for temporarily. 7 It will also be food for your livestock and for the wild animals in you land. You may eat whatever food grows by itself on your land during that year.’ ”
The fiftieth year
8 “Also, count off forty-nine years. 9 Then on ◄on the tenth day of the seventh month/at the end of September►blow trumpets throughout the country, to declare it will be a day on which you request that I will forgive you for the sins that you have committed. 10 Set apart that year, and proclaim that throughout the country, it will be a year of setting land and people free: all the people will receive back the property they previously owned, and slaves must be ◄freed/allowed to return to their property and their families►. 11 That year will be a Year of Celebration; during that year do not plant anything and do not harvest the grain that grows by itself or the grapes that grow without the vines being pruned. 12 It will be a Year of Sacred Celebration, so eat only what grows in the fields ◄by itself/without any work being done to produce anything►.
13 In that Year of Celebration, everyone must return to their own property.
14 If you sell some of your land to a fellow Israeli or if you buy some land from one of them, you must treat that person fairly: 15 if you buy land, you must pay a price that is determined by the number of years that have passed since the last Year of Celebration. If he sells land to you, he must charge a price that is determined by the number of years until the next Year of Celebration. 16 If there will be many years before the next Year of Celebration, the price can be higher; if there will be only a few years until the next Year of Celebration, the price can be lower. You could say that what he is really selling you is the number of years in which you can plant crops before the next Year of Celebration. 17 Do not cheat each other; instead, revere God; and I am Yahweh your God who is commanding this.
18 Obey all my laws [DOU] carefully. If you do that, you will continue to live safely in the land [DOU]. 19 And crops will grow well on the land, and you will have plenty to eat. 20 But you may ask, ‘If we do not plant anything during the seventh year, what will we have to eat?' 21 My answer is that I will bless you very much during the sixth year, with the result that during that year there will be enough crops to provide food for you for three years! 22 Then, after you plant seed during the eighth/next year and wait for the crops to grow, you will eat the food grown in the sixth year, and continue to eat it until more food is harvested in the ninth year!
23 You must not sell any of your land permanently, because the land is really mine, and you are only living on it temporarily and farming it for me. 24 Throughout the country that you will possess, you must remember that if someone sells some of his land to you, he has the right to buy it back.
25 So, if one of your fellow Israelis becomes poor and sells some of his property to obtain some money, the person whom is most closely related to him may come and buy that land back. 26 However, if a man has no one to buy the land back for him, and he himself prospers again and saves enough money to buy that land back, 27 he must calculate how many years there will be until the next Year of Celebration. Then he must pay to the man who bought the land the money that he would have gotten by continuing to raise crops on that land for those years. 28 But if the original owner does not have any way to buy back the land, the land that he sold will continue to belong to the man who bought it, until the next Year of Celebration. In that year it will belong to its original owner again, and he can live on it again.
29 If someone who lives in a city that has a wall around it sells a house there, he may buy it back any time during the next year. 30 If he does not buy it during that year, it will belong permanently to the man who bought it and to his descendants. It is not to be returned to the original owner in the Year of Celebration. 31 But houses that are in villages that do not have walls around them are considered to be as though they are in a field. So if someone sells one of those houses, he may buy it back at any time. And if he does not buy it back, it will be returned to him in the Year of Celebration.
32 If descendants of Levi sell houses in the towns in which they live, they may buy them back at any time. 33 So any house or property which is owned by a descendant of Levi may be bought back at any time. And because the houses in their towns are on land that was given to them by the other Israelis, that land will become theirs again in the Year of Celebration if they do not buy it back before then. 34 But the pastureland near their towns must not be sold. It must belong to the original owners permanently.
35 If one of your fellow Israelis becomes poor and is unable to buy what he needs [IDI], you others must help him like you would help a foreigner or someone who is living among you temporarily, in order that he can continue to live among you. 36 If you lend money to him, do not charge any kind of interest. Instead, show by what you do that you revere your God, in order that he will be able to continue to live among you. 37 If you lend him money, do not charge interest; and if you sell him food, do not get a profit from it. 38 Do not forget that I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God and to give you the land of Canaan, at no charge.
39 If one of your fellow Israelis becomes poor and sells himself to you, do not force him to work like a slave. 40 Treat him like you treat workers that you hire or like someone who is living on your land temporarily. But he must work for you until the Year of Celebration. 41 During that year, you must release him, and he will go back to his family and to the property that his ancestors owned. 42 It is as though the Israelis are my slaves/servants, whom I freed from being slaves in Egypt. So they must not be sold to become slaves. 43 And do not act in brutal ways toward Israelis whom you buy; instead, revere your God.
44 If you want slaves, you must buy them in other nearby countries. 45 You may also buy some of the people who are living among you temporarily, and members of their clans that were born in your country. Then they will belong to you. 46 You may arrange for them to belong to your children after you die, and so they will be your slaves for the remaining years of your life, but you must not act in brutal ways toward your fellow Israelis.
47 If a foreigner or someone else who is living among you temporarily becomes rich, and if one of your fellow Israelis becomes poor and sells himself to that foreigner or to a member of his clan, 48 he continues to have the right to pay for his own release. And one of his relatives may pay for him to be released. 49 An uncle or a cousin or another relative in his clan may pay for him to be released. Or, if he prospers and gets enough money, he may pay for his own release. 50 The man whom wants to pay for his own release must count the number of years from when he sold himself until the next Year of Celebration. The price he pays to the man who bought him must be based on the pay that would be given to a hired worker for that number of years. 51 If there are a lot of years that remain, he must pay for his release a larger amount of the money that was originally paid for him. 52 If there are only a few years that remain until the Year of Celebration, he must pay a smaller amount to be released. 53 During those years, he man who bought him must treat him like he would treat a hired worker, and all of you must make sure that his owner does not act in brutal ways toward him.
54 And even if someone who has sold himself to a rich man is not able to pay for himself to be released by any of these ways, he and his children must be released in the Year of Celebration, 55 because it is as though the Israelis are my slaves/servants, whom I, Yahweh your God, freed from being slaves in Egypt.”