Leviticus 25:48

48 After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him:

Leviticus 25:48 Meaning and Commentary

Leviticus 25:48

After that he is sold he may be redeemed again
Though an Heathen, sold to an Israelite, was to be a bondman for ever, and could not be released by the year of jubilee, yet an Israelite sold to an Heathen might be redeemed before, and if not, he was freed then. The Jewish writers understand this of an obligation upon the man, or his friends, or the congregation, to redeem him, and that immediately, as the Targum of Jonathan, and Jarchi, because of the danger he was in by being in the family of an idolater, lest he be polluted F3, that is, with idolatry; or be swallowed up among the Heathens, as Maimonides {d}; but it is plain from ( Leviticus 25:54 ) , that there was no obligation for an immediate redemption; nor was the person sold in such danger as suggested, since the sojourner, to whom he is supposed to be sold, was no idolater, whether a proselyte either of righteousness, or of the gate one of his brethren may redeem him;
which may be taken in a strict and proper sense, for any of his brethren who were in circumstances sufficient to redeem him, or for any near akin to him, as the following words seem to explain it. No mention is made of his father: the reason of which Abarbinel F5 says, because it cannot be thought that a father would suffer his son to be sold, if it was in his power to redeem him, since a father is pitiful to his son.


F3 Pesikta apud Drusium in loc.
F4 Hilchot Abadim, c. 2. sect. 7.
F5 Apud Muis. Varia Sacra, p. 373.

Leviticus 25:48 In-Context

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.
50 And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubile: and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years, according to the time of an hired servant shall it be with him.
The King James Version is in the public domain.