23:11 seventh year. Like the weekly Sabbath, on which it was patterned, the sabbatical year was intended for the good of man and of creation (20:8–11 and notes). It reminded Israel that God, the true owner of the land, had entrusted it to them (Lev. 25:2). The land was to lie fallow, and what grew of itself was reserved for the poor, who would not have been able to save sufficient food resources. Leviticus 26:34–35 suggests that the sabbatical year was not always observed, but it is clearly in place at Neh. 10:31.