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Debts Canceled Every Seven Years(A)

15 “At the end of (B)every seven years you shall grant a [a]release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall [b]release it; he shall not [c]require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release. Of a foreigner you may require it; but you shall give up your claim to what is owed by your brother, except when there may be no poor among you; for the Lord will greatly (C)bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance— only if you carefully obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe with care all these commandments which I command you today. For the Lord your God will bless you just as He promised you; (D)you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; you shall reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over you.

Generosity to the Poor

“If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the [d]gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, (E)you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but (F)you shall [e]open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,’ and your (G)eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and (H)he cry out to the Lord against you, and (I)it become sin among you. 10 You shall surely give to him, and (J)your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because (K)for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. 11 For (L)the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall [f]open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’

The Law Concerning Bondservants

12 (M)“If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is (N)sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13 And when you [g]send him away free from you, you shall not let him go away empty-handed; 14 you shall supply him liberally from your flock, from your threshing floor, and from your winepress. From what the Lord your God has (O)blessed you with, you shall give to him. 15 (P)You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this thing today. 16 And (Q)if it happens that he says to you, ‘I will not go away from you,’ because he loves you and your house, since he prospers with you, 17 then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise. 18 It shall not seem hard to you when you send him away free from you; for he has been worth (R)a double hired servant in serving you six years. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all that you do.

The Law Concerning Firstborn Animals

19 (S)“All the firstborn males that come from your herd and your flock you shall [h]sanctify to the Lord your God; you shall do no work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 (T)You and your household shall eat it before the Lord your God year by year in the place which the Lord chooses. 21 (U)But if there is a defect in it, if it is lame or blind or has any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. 22 You may eat it within your gates; (V)the unclean and the clean person alike may eat it, as if it were a gazelle or a deer. 23 Only you shall not eat its blood; you shall pour it on the ground like water.

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 15:1 remission
  2. Deuteronomy 15:2 cancel the debt
  3. Deuteronomy 15:2 exact it
  4. Deuteronomy 15:7 towns
  5. Deuteronomy 15:8 freely open
  6. Deuteronomy 15:11 freely open
  7. Deuteronomy 15:13 set him free
  8. Deuteronomy 15:19 set apart or consecrate

The Year for Canceling Debts(A)

15 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.(B) This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. You may require payment from a foreigner,(C) but you must cancel any debt your fellow Israelite owes you. However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless(D) you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow(E) all these commands I am giving you today. For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.(F)

If anyone is poor(G) among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted(H) toward them. Rather, be openhanded(I) and freely lend them whatever they need. Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts,(J) is near,” so that you do not show ill will(K) toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin.(L) 10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart;(M) then because of this the Lord your God will bless(N) you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people(O) in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.(P)

Freeing Servants(Q)(R)

12 If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free.(S) 13 And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. 14 Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor(T) and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were slaves(U) in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you.(V) That is why I give you this command today.

16 But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, 17 then take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant.

18 Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free, because their service to you these six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand. And the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.

The Firstborn Animals

19 Set apart for the Lord(W) your God every firstborn male(X) of your herds and flocks.(Y) Do not put the firstborn of your cows to work, and do not shear the firstborn of your sheep.(Z) 20 Each year you and your family are to eat them in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose.(AA) 21 If an animal has a defect,(AB) is lame or blind, or has any serious flaw, you must not sacrifice it to the Lord your God.(AC) 22 You are to eat it in your own towns. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it, as if it were gazelle or deer.(AD) 23 But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.(AE)

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