ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Flipbook - Page 206
a house may be bought back at any time, and it must be returned to the
original owner in the Year of Jubilee.
“The Levites always have the right to buy back a house they have sold
within the towns allotted to them. And any property that is sold by the
Levites—all houses within the Levitical towns—must be returned in the
Year of Jubilee. After all, the houses in the towns reserved for the Levites
are the only property they own in all Israel. The open pastureland around
the Levitical towns may never be sold. It is their permanent possession.
“If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and cannot support himself, support him as you would a foreigner or a temporary resident and
allow him to live with you. Do not charge interest or make a profit at his
expense. Instead, show your fear of God by letting him live with you as
your relative. Remember, do not charge interest on money you lend him
or make a profit on food you sell him. I am the Lord your God, who
brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and
to be your God.
“If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and is forced to sell
himself to you, do not treat him as a slave. Treat him instead as a hired
worker or as a temporary resident who lives with you, and he will serve
you only until the Year of Jubilee. At that time he and his children will no
longer be obligated to you, and they will return to their clans and go back
to the land originally allotted to their ancestors. The people of Israel are
my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt, so they must never
be sold as slaves. Show your fear of God by not treating them harshly.
“However, you may purchase male and female slaves from among the
nations around you. You may also purchase the children of temporary
residents who live among you, including those who have been born in
your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your
children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat them as slaves, but you
must never treat your fellow Israelites this way.
“Suppose a foreigner or temporary resident becomes rich while living
among you. If any of your fellow Israelites fall into poverty and are forced
to sell themselves to such a foreigner or to a member of his family, they
still retain the right to be bought back, even after they have been purchased. They may be bought back by a brother, an uncle, or a cousin. In
fact, anyone from the extended family may buy them back. They may also
redeem themselves if they have prospered. They will negotiate the price
of their freedom with the person who bought them. The price will be
based on the number of years from the time they were sold until the next
Year of J ubilee—whatever it would cost to hire a worker for that period of
time. If many years still remain until the jubilee, they will repay the proper