Deuteronomy 15:1

Debts Canceled

1 "At the end of [every] seven years you must cancel debts.[a]

Deuteronomy 15:1 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 15:1

At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release.
] Not of servants, for they were not to be dismissed from their service until they had served six years, as is directed to in a following law; for if they were to be set free whenever a sabbatical year came, they might be discharged when they had not served more than a year, or than half a year, or than a month or two. Indeed when the year of jubilee intervened, they were released be it at what time it would; but not in a sabbatical year, which was a year of release of debts, as the following verses show, as well as there was, then a rest of the land from tillage, ( Leviticus 25:2-4 ) . Now this was done at the end or extremity of every seventh year; not at the latter end or extremity of it, for if the debt of a poor man might be exacted of him in the year, and until the end of it, it would not in this respect have been a sabbatical year, or a year of rest and quiet; but this was done at the first extremity of it, at the beginning of it, as Aben Ezra and Ben Melech observe; though Maimonides F2 asserts it to be after the seven years were ended; for he says,

``the seventh year releaseth not monies but at the end of it,''

according to ( Deuteronomy 15:1 ) that as in ( Deuteronomy 31:10 ) after seven years is meant, so the release of monies is after seven years.


F2 Hilchot Shemittah & Yobel, c. 9. sect. 4.

Deuteronomy 15:1 In-Context

1 "At the end of [every] seven years you must cancel debts.
2 This is how to cancel debt: Every creditor is to cancel what he has lent his neighbor. He is not to collect [anything] from his neighbor or brother, because the Lord's release of debts has been proclaimed.
3 You may collect [something] from a foreigner, but you must forgive whatever your brother owes you.
4 "There will be no poor among you, however, because the Lord is certain to bless you in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance-
5 if only you obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow every one of these commands I am giving you today.

Footnotes 1

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