Leviticus 25:39-41

39 “ ‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves.
40 They are to be treated as hired workers or temporary residents among you; they are to work for you until the Year of Jubilee.
41 Then they and their children are to be released, and they will go back to their own clans and to the property of their ancestors.

Leviticus 25:39 in Other Translations

KJV
39 And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant:
ESV
39 "If your brother becomes poor beside you and sells himself to you, you shall not make him serve as a slave:
NLT
39 “If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and is forced to sell himself to you, do not treat him as a slave.
MSG
39 "If one of your brothers becomes indigent and has to sell himself to you, don't make him work as a slave.
CSB
39 "If your brother among you becomes destitute and sells himself to you, you must not force him to do slave labor.

Leviticus 25:39-41 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO LEVITICUS 25

In this chapter the Israelites are directed, when come into the land of Canaan, to observe every seventh year as a sabbatical year, in which there was to be no tillage of the land, and yet there would be a sufficiency for man and beast, Le 25:1-7; and every fiftieth year as a year of jubilee, in which also there was to be no tillage of the land, and every man was to return to his possession or estate, which had been sold to another any time before this, Le 25:8-17; and a promise of safety and plenty in the seventh year is made to encourage the observance of it, Le 25:18-22; and several laws and rules are delivered out concerning the sale of lands, the redemption of them, and their return to their original owner in the year of jubilee, Le 25:23-28; and the sale of houses, and the redemption of them, and the difference between those in walled cities and those in villages, with respect thereunto, Le 25:29-31; and also concerning the houses of the cities of the Levites, and the fields of the suburbs of them, Le 25:32-34; to which are added some instructions about relieving decayed, persons, and lending and giving to them, without taking usury of them, Le 25:34-38; and other laws concerning the release of such Israelites as had sold themselves for servants to the Israelites, in the year of jubilee, since none but Heathens were to be bondmen and bondmaids for ever, Le 25:39-46; and of such who were sold to proselytes, Le 25:47-55.

Leviticus 25:39-41 In-Context

37 You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit.
38 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.
39 “ ‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves.
40 They are to be treated as hired workers or temporary residents among you; they are to work for you until the Year of Jubilee.
41 Then they and their children are to be released, and they will go back to their own clans and to the property of their ancestors.
42 Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves.
43 Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God.

Cross References 4

  • 1. 1 Kings 5:13; 1 Kings 9:22; Jeremiah 34:14; Exodus 21:2; Deuteronomy 15:12; 1Ki 1 Kings 9:22
  • 2. ver 53
  • 3. ver 28
  • 4. Jeremiah 34:8
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