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.


  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.

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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