But the seventh year thou shall let it rest, and lie still,
&c.] From tillage, and make its fruits common, as the Targum of Jonathan; the note of Jarchi is, "let it rest", from perfect tillage, as ploughing and sowing; "and lie still", from dunging and harrowing, or weeding: this law was intended to show that God was the original proprietor and owner of this land, and that the Israelites held it under him; and to teach them to depend upon and trust in his providence; as well as that there might be both rest for the land, and so it became more fruitful afterwards, having by this rest renewed its vigour, and also for servants and cattle; and that the poor might have an equal share in the fruits of the earth, and appear to be joint lords of it with others under God, as it follows:
that the poor of thy people may eat:
that which grows up of itself, of which there were great quantities; for the sixth year bringing forth for three years, a great deal of seed fell, which grew up again; and especially, as through plenty they were not so careful to gather it all up; and besides this, there were the fruits of trees, of vines, olives, &c. which brought forth their fruit in course as usual, and which were all this year common to poor and rich; so that the former had an equal propriety and share with the latter:
and what they leave, the beasts of the field shall eat;
signifying that there should be such plenty that there would be enough for all, and to spare; that there would be much left, and which should be the portion of the beasts of the field, and who would also be sufficiently provided for by the produce the earth brought forth of itself, as herbage and the fruits the poor left:
in like manner thou shall deal with thy vineyard, and with thy
that is, these were not to be pruned, nor the grapes and olives gathered, but were to be in common with all: a larger account is given of this law in ( Leviticus 25:2-7 ) .