Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, July 14th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 25

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying,

And the Lord spake unto Moses in Mount Sinai. — Posthuman, returning from the eastern parts, is, by Sulpitius, Sulp., Dial i., cap. 2. brought in thus speaking: I saw the Red Sea, I went up Mount Sinai, the very top whereof, reaching up almost to heaven, cannot be come at.

Verse 2

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD.

Then shall the land keep a Sabbath. — By their weekly Sabbath they professed that themselves belonged to God, though Seneca jeers them for it, as those that cast away the seventh part of their time. By this seventh year Sabbath, they professed that their land belonged to God, and that they were only his hinds, his tenants, and tithemen. Hence it is called the Lord’s land, Hosea 9:3 and Immanuel’s. Isaiah 8:8

Verse 3

Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof;

Six years. — Beginning at September, according to the Jews’ civil account.

Verse 4

But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.

A Sabbath of rest unto the land. — This and the jubilee year shadowed our eternal rest. Colossians 2:16-17 Hebrews 4:9 (l.) Every seventh day they rested from their labours. (2.) Every seventh year the ground rested. (3.) Every seventh seventh (as some reckon it) was the jubilean Sabbath: at which time all debts were remitted, prisoners released, mortgages restored to the right inheritors. The great and eternal Sabbath comprehends all these. How then should we breathe after it, and even go forth to meet it, as the Jews do their weekly Sabbath, beginning it an hour sooner than the law required? and this they called their Sabbatulum, or little Sabbath.

Verse 5

That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: [for] it is a year of rest unto the land.

Thou shalt not reap,sc., All at once, as other years: but now some, and then some, for thy necessary food. Maimon., in Jobel.

Verse 6

And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee,

Shall be meat for you. — Thus God taught and inured them to depend upon his providence, and to feed on faith, as some read that text. Psalms 37:3 For though the owner of the field might gather, even on that year, for the maintenance of himself and family, yet he was neither to sow his field, thereby to increase his harvest, nor to hedge his field, or lock up his vineyard, …

Verse 8

And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.

Seven Sabbaths of years. — See on Leviticus 25:4 .

Verse 9

Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth [day] of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.

In the day of atonement. — Here began the jubilee: this feast was founded in a fast. "They that sow in tears, shall reap in joy": neither is there any such comfort as theirs that have soundly soaked themselves in godly sorrow. Pardon of sin is the only foundation of all jubilees: and when God hath pardoned us, our hearts are in fittest frame to pardon others.

Verse 10

And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout [all] the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.

And proclaim liberty. — See this expounded by the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah 61:1-2 Luke 4:21 A most joyful jubilee indeed. In the year of Christ, 1617, the Pope proclaimed a jubilee for the peace of Italy and Austria. The Protestants also of Germany did the like, in honour of God, and for joy of the Reformation begun by Luther in Germany, a just [Exactly a hundred years before.] hundred of years before.

Verse 11

jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather [the grapes] in it of thy vine undressed.

A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be. — Or, That jubilee shall be unto you the year of fifty years. This first Mosaical jubilee was in 1396 BC.

Verse 12

For it [is] the jubile; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field.

Out of the field.See Trapp on " Leviticus 25:6 "

Verse 13

In the year of this jubile ye shall return every man unto his possession.

Ye shall return every man unto his possession. — So shall all saints to the paradise of God, at the sound of the last trumpet.

Verse 14

And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest [ought] of thy neighbour’s hand, ye shall not oppress one another:

Ye shall not oppress. — But proceed by that golden rule, "Whatever ye would that men should do to you, even so do ye to them."

Verse 15

According to the number of years after the jubile thou shalt buy of thy neighbour, [and] according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee:

Years of the fruits. — The land was not properly sold, but the fruits and revenues thereof.

Verse 17

Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I [am] the LORD your God.

But thou shalt fear thy God. — And so depart from this evil also. Genesis 42:18 Joseph said to his brethren, who feared he would roll himself upon them, "This do and live, for I fear God," q.d., I dare do you no hurt, though ye be fallen into my danger. So his grandfather Isaac, seeing that he had done unwilling justice, durst not reverse the blessing, though he had some mind to it, for God had overawed him. Genesis 27:33 And "ought ye not to have walked in the fear of the Lord?" said good Nehemiah to those merciless griping usurers. Nehemiah 5:10

Verse 18

Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety.

Ye shall do my statutes. — Ye shall do them, and do them: that is, ye shall do them diligently, as Psalms 119:4 and then ye shall dwell in the land in safety; yea, ye shall dwell there in safety: that is, ye shall assuredly; take my word for it.

Verse 20

And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase:

And if ye shall say. — A clear answer to a carnal objection. Usually God conceals the objection in Scripture, and meets it with an answer, which is an act of grace.

Verse 21

Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years.

Command my blessing. — Now if God send his mandamus, who shall gainstand it?

Verse 22

And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat [yet] of old fruit until the ninth year; until her fruits come in ye shall eat [of] the old [store].

Ye shall eat of the old store. — Leave that care to me, who will cause you to have "all sufficiency in all things, that ye may abound to every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8 ; 2 Corinthians 9:10

Verse 23

The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land [is] mine; for ye [are] strangers and sojourners with me.

The land is mine. — See Leviticus 25:2 .

Verse 24

And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land.

Ye shall grant a redemption,i.e., Yield to it.

Verse 25

If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away [some] of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold.

And if any of his kin. — Christ is our near kinsman, and so by propinquity, as man, had the right of redemption. Ruth 2:20 ; Ruth 3:9 ; Ruth 3:11 ; Ruth 3:13

Verse 28

But if he be not able to restore [it] to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubile: and in the jubile it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession.

And he shall return unto his possession. — So do all God’s Israel to their heavenly inheritance. Colossians 1:12-14 Ephesians 1:10-11 ; Ephesians 1:18 1 Peter 1:4

Verse 30

And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that [is] in the walled city shall be established for ever to him that bought it throughout his generations: it shall not go out in the jubile.

And if it be not redeemed. — This would make the owners the better husbands, and keep the houses in better repair.

Verse 31

But the houses of the villages which have no wall round about them shall be counted as the fields of the country: they may be redeemed, and they shall go out in the jubile.

They may be redeemed. — Lands and homestall had need go together.

Verse 32

Notwithstanding the cities of the Levites, [and] the houses of the cities of their possession, may the Levites redeem at any time.

May the Levites redeem at any time. — They were ever counted privileged persons: and it was but reason. See Leviticus 25:33-34 .

Verse 33

And if a man purchase of the Levites, then the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, shall go out in [the year of] jubile: for the houses of the cities of the Levites [are] their possession among the children of Israel.

See previous verse.

Verse 34

But the field of the suburbs of their cities may not be sold; for it [is] their perpetual possession.

May not be sold. — This law lasted but during the paedagogy: for Joses, a Levite, sold his land, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. Acts 4:36-37

Verse 35

And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: [yea, though he be] a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.

That he may live with thee,i.e., Live in good fashion; for a necessitous life is a lifeless life. Thus shall ye say to him that liveth. 1 Samuel 25:6 So John 4:50 , "Thy son liveth."

Verse 36

Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.

Take thou no usury. — God dispenseth with no usury, but condemns both Neshec the biting, and Tarbith the toothless. In Rome at this day, all usurers are excommunicated monthly. The Jews indeed are permitted to strain up their usury to 18 per cent upon the Christian, for among themselves they nowhere use it, which causeth many of the unconscionable Christians to use these Jews underhandly in improving their unlawful rents to the utmost proportion.

Verse 38

I [am] the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, [and] to be your God.

I am the Lord your God. — Freely you have received, freely lend. You have had me your benefactor, you shall have me your debtor.

Verse 39

And if thy brother [that dwelleth] by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant:

Thou shalt not compel him. — To serve for ever, nor use him basely and hardly meanwhiles.

Verse 41

And [then] shall he depart from thee, [both] he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return.

And then shall he depart from thee. — Yea, and though he had been bored through the ear, in token of perpetual servitude. Exodus 21:2 ; Exodus 21:6

Verse 43

Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God.

Rule over him with rigour. — As the Egyptians did over the Israelites. Exodus 1:13 Thy servant is made of the same earth with thee, and hath right to the same heaven with thee. See Galatians 3:28 . The servant paid the half shekel as well as the master. Stand not therefore on terms of inequality, but know that yourselves also have a Master in heaven. Do therefore to them "that which is right and equal." Colossians 4:1

Verse 44

Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, [shall be] of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.

Both thy bondmen. — Reprobates might be hereby figured.

Verse 46

And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit [them for] a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

But over your brethren the children of Israel. — Tacitus observed of the Jews in his time, that to their own countrymen they were very kind: but toward all others, cursed and cruel.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Leviticus 25". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/leviticus-25.html. 1865-1868.
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