Leviticus 25:47

47 And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich[a] by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's family:

Leviticus 25:47 Meaning and Commentary

Leviticus 25:47

And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee
An uncircumcised one, as the Targums, a proselyte of the gate, who by living among and trading with the Israelites, might grow rich and wealthy in money, at least so as to be able to purchase an Hebrew servant, though not his lands, which he might not buy: and thy brother [that dwelleth] by him wax poor;
comes into low circumstances, and is reduced to great poverty, even extreme poverty; for only in such a case might he sell himself to an Israelite, and much less to a stranger, if this was not the case. Jarchi suggests, as in the phrase, "by thee", points at the cause or occasion of the sojourner or stranger becoming rich, his nearness unto, or cleaving to all Israelite; and so here the phrase, "by him", directs to the cause or occasion of the Israelite's becoming poor, his being near and cleaving to the sojourner or stranger: but they seem rather to be used, to show the reason of the poor Israelite falling into the hands of a rich sojourner; they being near neighbours to one another, and having a familiarity, the following bargain is struck between them: and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner thee;
the uncircumcised sojourner, as the Targum of Jonathan: or to the stock of a stranger's family;
or "root" F1, one that sprung from a family, originally proselytes; which some understand of one, who though he be descended from such a family, was now rooted among the people of God, and incorporated into the commonwealth of Israel; and yet such an one could not detain an Hebrew servant longer than the year of jubilee: but the Jewish writers generally interpret it of an idolater F2.


FOOTNOTES:

F1 (rqel) "radici", Vatablus, Piscator.
F2 Targum Onk. Jon. Jarchi & Ben Melech, in loc. Kimchi in Sepher Shorash, rad. (rqe) .

Leviticus 25:47 In-Context

45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
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.
47 And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's family:
48 After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him:
49 Either his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. wax rich...: Heb. his hand obtain, etc