Deuteronomy 15 (Complete Jewish Bible)

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1 "At the end of every seven years you are to have a sh'mittah. 2 Here is how the sh'mittah is to be done: every creditor is to give up what he has loaned to his fellow member of the community -he is not to force his neighbor or relative to repay it, because ADONAI's time of remission has been proclaimed. 3 You may demand that a foreigner repay his debt, but you are to release your claim on whatever your brother owes you. 4 In spite of this, there will be no one needy among you; because ADONAI will certainly bless you in the land which ADONAI your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess - 5 if only you will listen carefully to what ADONAI your God says and take care to obey all these mitzvot I am giving you today. 6 Yes, ADONAI your God will bless you, as he promised you - you will lend money to many nations without having to borrow, and you will rule over many nations without their ruling over you. 7 "If someone among you is needy, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which ADONAI your God is giving you, you are not to harden your heart or shut your hand from giving to your needy brother. 8 No, you must open your hand to him and lend him enough to meet his need and enable him to obtain what he wants. 9 Guard yourself against allowing your heart to entertain the mean-spirited thought that because the seventh year, the year of sh'mittah is at hand, you would be stingy toward your needy brother and not give him anything; for then he may cry out to ADONAI against you, and it will be your sin. 10 Rather, you must give to him; and you are not to be grudging when you give to him. If you do this, ADONAI your God will bless you in all your work, in everything you undertake - 11 for there will always be poor people in the land. That is why I am giving you this order, 'You must open your hand to your poor and needy brother in your land.' 12 "If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, he is to serve you for six years; but in the seventh year, you are to set him free. 13 Moreover, when you set him free, don't let him leave empty-handed; 14 but supply him generously from your flock, threshing-floor and winepress; from what ADONAI your God has blessed you with, you are to give to him. 15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and ADONAI your God redeemed you; that is why I am giving you this order today. 16 But if he says to you, 'I don't want to leave you,' because he loves you and your household, and because his life with you is a good one; 17 then take an awl, and pierce his ear through, right into the door; and he will be your slave forever. Do the same with your female slave. 18 Don't resent it when you set him free, since during his six years of service he has been worth twice as much as a hired employee. Then ADONAI your God will bless you in everything you do. 19 "All the firstborn males in your herd of cattle and in your flock you are to set aside for ADONAI your God; you are not to do any work with a firstborn from your herd or shear a firstborn sheep. 20 Each year you and your household are to eat it in the presence of ADONAI your God in the place which ADONAI will choose. 21 But if it has a defect, is lame or blind, or has some other kind of fault, you are not to sacrifice it to ADONAI your God; 22 rather, eat it on your own property; the unclean and the clean alike may eat it, like the gazelle or the deer. 23 Just don't eat its blood, but pour it out on the ground like water.
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