Then let him count the years of the sale thereof
How many years had passed since it was sold, how many it had been in the hands of the purchaser, and how many were yet to come to the year of the jubilee, by which means the price of redemption might easily be settled; thus, for instance, if the years were alike and there was just half the time gone, then half of the price it was sold at was repaid to the purchaser; and if not alike, then in proportion to what had passed and were to come:
and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it;
for the years that were yet to come; if, as Jarchi says, he has eaten of or enjoyed the fruit of the field three or four years, deduct the price of them from the account, and take the rest; this is the meaning, "and restore the overplus", out of the price of the sale, according to what is eaten, and give it to the buyer: Maimonides F5 explains it thus; that if there were ten years to the year of the jubilee, and the field was sold for an hundred pieces, if he that bought it has eaten of it three years, then the seller that redeems it must give him seventy pieces, and he must restore his field; if he has eaten of it six years, he is to give forty pieces, and the other restores him the field: in the Misnah it is put thus; if he sell it (his field) to the first for an hundred pence, and the first sells it to a second for two hundred, he must not reckon but with the first, as it is said, "unto the man to whom he sold it"; if he sold it to the first for two hundred, and the first sells it to a second for an hundred, he shall not count but with the last, as it is said, "to a man", i.e. to the man which is in the midst of it, or is possessed of it; nor may he sell it for a distant time, that he may redeem it near, nor when in a bad condition, that he may redeem it when in a good one; nor may he borrow to redeem it, nor redeem it by halves F6:
that he may return to his possession;
and enjoy it again.
F5 Hilchot Shemittah Vejobel, ut supra, (c. 11.) sect. 5.
F6 Misn. Eracin, ut supra. (c. 9. 1.)