Leviticus 25

* The sabbath of rest for the land in the seventh year. (1-7)

The jubilee of the fiftieth year, Oppression forbidden. (8-22)

Redemption of the land and houses. (23-34) Compassion towards

the poor. (35-38) Laws respecting bondmen, Oppression forbidden.

(39-55)

1-7 All labour was to cease in the seventh year, as much as

daily labour on the seventh day. These statues tell us to beware

of covetousness, for a man's life consists not in the abundance

of his possessions. We are to exercise willing dependence on

God's providence for our support; to consider ourselves the

Lord's tenants or stewards, and to use our possessions

accordingly. This year of rest typified the spiritual rest which

all believers enter into through Christ. Through Him we are

eased of the burden of wordly care and labour, both being

sanctified and sweetened to us; and we are enabled and

encouraged to live by faith.
8-22 The word "jubilee" signifies a peculiarly animated sound

of the silver trumpets. This sound was to be made on the evening

of the great day of atonement; for the proclamation of gospel

liberty and salvation results from the sacrifice of the

Redeemer. It was provided that the lands should not be sold away

from their families. They could only be disposed of, as it were,

by leases till the year of jubilee, and then returned to the

owner or his heir. This tended to preserve their tribes and

families distinct, till the coming of the Messiah. The liberty

every man was born to, if sold or forfeited, should return at

the year of jubilee. This was typical of redemption by Christ

from the slavery of sin and Satan, and of being brought again to

the liberty of the children of God. All bargains ought to be

made by this rule, "Ye shall not oppress one another," not take

advantage of one another's ignorance or necessity, "but thou

shalt fear thy God." The fear of God reigning in the heart,

would restrain from doing wrong to our neighbour in word or

deed. Assurance was given that they should be great gainers, by

observing these years of rest. If we are careful to do our duty,

we may trust God with our comfort. This was a miracle for an

encouragement to all neither sowed or reaped. This was a miracle

for an encouragement to all God's people, in all ages, to trust

him in the way of duty. There is nothing lost by faith and

self-denial in obedience. Some asked, What shall we eat the

seventh year? Thus many Christians anticipate evils, questioning

what they shall do, and fearing to proceed in the way of duty.

But we have no right to anticipate evils, so as to distress

ourselves about them. To carnal minds we may appear to act

absurdly, but the path of duty is ever the path of safety.
23-34 If the land were not redeemed before the year of jubilee,

it then returned to him that sold or mortgaged it. This was a

figure of the free grace of God in Christ; by which, and not by

any price or merit of our own, we are restored to the favour of

God. Houses in walled cities were more the fruits of their own

industry than land in the country, which was the direct gift of

God's bounty; therefore if a man sold a house in a city, he

might redeem it only within a year after the sale. This

encouraged strangers and proselytes to come and settle among

them.
35-38 Poverty and decay are great grievances, and very common;

the poor ye have always with you. Thou shalt relieve him; by

sympathy, pitying the poor; by service, doing for them; and by

supply, giving to them according to their necessity, and thine

ability. Poor debtors must not be oppressed. Observe the

arguments here used against extortion: "Fear thy God." Relieve

the poor, "that they may live with thee;" for they may be

serviceable to thee. The rich can as ill spare the poor, as the

poor can the rich. It becomes those that have received mercy to

show mercy.
39-55 A native Israelite, if sold for debt, or for a crime, was

to serve but six years, and to go out the seventh. If he sold

himself, through poverty, both his work and his usage must be

such as were fitting for a son of Abraham. Masters are required

to give to their servants that which is just and equal, #Col

4:1|. At the year of jubilee the servant should go out free, he

and his children, and should return to his own family. This

typified redemption from the service of sin and Satan, by the

grace of God in Christ, whose truth makes us free, #Joh 8:32|.

We cannot ransom our fellow-sinners, but we may point out Christ

to them; while by his grace our lives may adorn his gospel,

express our love, show our gratitude, and glorify his holy name.
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