15 1 The year of [releasing] of debts. 5 God blesseth them that keep his commandments. 7 To help the poor. 12 The freedom of servants. 19 The firstborn of the cattle must be offered to the Lord.

At the term of seven years thou shalt make a freedom,

And this is the manner of the freedom: every [a]creditor shall quit the loan of his hand which he hath lent to his neighbor: he shall not ask it again of his neighbor, nor of his brother: for the year of the Lord’s freedom is proclaimed.

Of a stranger thou mayest require it: but that which thou hast with thy brother, thine hand shall remit:

[b]Save when there shall be no poor with thee: for the Lord shall bless thee in the land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, for an inheritance to possess it.

So that thou hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and do all these commandments, which I command thee this day.

For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee, as he hath promised thee: and (A)thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou thyself shalt not borrow, and thou shalt reign over many nations, and they shall not reign over thee.

¶ If one of thy brethren with thee be poor [c]within any of thy gates in thy land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:

(B)But thou shalt open thine hand unto him, and shalt lend him sufficient for his need which he hath.

Beware that there be not a wicked thought in thine heart, to say, The seventh year, the year of freedom is at hand: therefore [d]it grieveth thee to look on thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought, and he cry unto the Lord against thee, so that sin be in thee:

10 Thou shalt give him, and [e]let it not grieve thine heart to give unto him: for because of this the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand to.

11 [f]Because there shall be ever some poor in the land, therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt [g]open thine hand unto thy brother, to thy needy, and to thy poor in thy land.

12 (C)If thy brother an Hebrew sell himself to thee, or an Hebrewess, and serve thee six years, even in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee:

13 And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty,

14 But shalt [h]give him a liberal reward of thy sheep, and of thy corn, and of thy wine: thou shalt give him of that wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee.

15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God delivered thee: therefore I command thee this thing today.

16 And if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee, because he loveth thee and thine house, and because he is well with thee,

17 (D)Then shalt thou take an awl, and pierce his ear through against the door, and he shall be thy servant [i]forever: and unto thy maid servant thou shall do likewise.

18 Let it not grieve thee, when thou lettest him go out free from thee: for he hath served thee six years, which is the double worth of [j]an hired servant: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all that thou doest.

19 (E)All the firstborn males that come of thy cattle, and of thy sheep, thou shalt sanctify unto the Lord thy God. [k]Thou shalt do no work with thy firstborn bullock, nor shear thy firstborn sheep.

20 Thou shalt eat it before the Lord thy God year by year, in the place which the Lord shall choose, both thou, and thine household.

21 (F)But if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any evil fault, thou shalt not offer it unto the Lord thy God,

22 But shalt eat it within thy gates: the unclean, and the clean shall eat it alike, [l]as the roebuck, and as the hart.

23 Only thou shalt not eat the blood thereof, but pour it upon the ground as water.

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 15:2 He shall only release his debtors, which are not able to pay for that year.
  2. Deuteronomy 15:4 For if thy debtor be rich, he may be constrained to pay.
  3. Deuteronomy 15:7 Or, any of thy cities.
  4. Deuteronomy 15:9 Hebrew, thine eye is evil.
  5. Deuteronomy 15:10 Hebrew, let not thine heart be evil.
  6. Deuteronomy 15:11 To try your charity, Matt. 26:11.
  7. Deuteronomy 15:11 Thou shalt be liberal.
  8. Deuteronomy 15:14 In token that thou dost acknowledge the benefit which God hath given thee by his labors.
  9. Deuteronomy 15:17 To the year of Jubilee, Lev. 25:40.
  10. Deuteronomy 15:18 For the hired servant served but three years, and he six.
  11. Deuteronomy 15:19 For they are the Lord’s.
  12. Deuteronomy 15:22 Thou shalt as well eat them, as the roe buck, and other wild beasts.