Leviticus 25:23

23 “ ‘The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers.

Read Leviticus 25:23 Using Other Translations

The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.
"The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me.
“The land must never be sold on a permanent basis, for the land belongs to me. You are only foreigners and tenant farmers working for me.

What does Leviticus 25:23 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Leviticus 25:23

The land shall not be sold for ever
That is, the land of Israel; the meaning is, any part of it, for that the whole might be sold or disposed of at once is not to be supposed, but anyone part of it, which was the property of a single man, or belonged to a family; though it might be sold in case of necessity, yet not for ever, so as never to return to the owner, or his heirs; for if it was sold for ever it returned in the year of the jubilee: the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan render the word "absolutely", simply, properly; a proper absolute sale was not to be made, but a conditional one, or for so many years, or with a view to its reversion in the year of jubilee, and so the agreement to be made according to the number of years, as before directed: the word, as Aben Ezra observes, signifies "cutting off", and the sense is, that no land should be sold entirely, so as that the proprietor or his heirs should be wholly cut off from it, or that the entail of it upon the family should be cut off:

for the land [is] mine;
as indeed the whole earth is, but the land of Canaan was peculiarly his, which he had chosen above all other lands for the inheritance of his people; out of which he drove the old inhabitants of it for their sins, and put in his own people to possess it under him; where he himself had his dwelling place, and where he was served and worshipped, and where the Messiah was to be born, and was born, and therefore called Immanuel's land; and which was a figure of the better country, or the heavenly glory and happiness, which is of God's preparing and giving, and will never be alienated from those whose right it is:

for ye [are] strangers and sojourners with me;
as the Gentiles that lived among them were strangers and sojourners with them, so they were with the Lord; he was the original proprietor, they were but tenants at will; though it was both an honour and happiness to be with him, under any character, to board, and lodge, and dwell with him; and they might well be content to be reckoned not proprietors but strangers and sojourners, and especially such as had faith and hope in a better inheritance, of which this was only a figure; however, this being their present case, it was a reason good, why they could not for ever dispose of their lands and possessions, any more than a sojourner or inmate can of a house of which he has only a part.

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