Deuteronomy 15:1

1 At the end of every seventh year, cancel all debts.

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 seventh year, cancel all debts.
2 This is the procedure: Everyone who has lent money to a neighbor writes it off. You must not press your neighbor or his brother for payment: All-Debts-Are-Canceled - God says so.
3 You may collect payment from foreigners, but whatever you have lent to your fellow Israelite you must write off.
4 There must be no poor people among you because God is going to bless you lavishly in this land that God, your God, is giving you as an inheritance, your very own land.
5 But only if you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, diligently observing every commandment that I command you today.