New American Bible (Revised Edition)
39 [a]When your kindred with you, having been so reduced to poverty, sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves.(A) 40 Rather, let them be like laborers or like your tenants, working with you until the jubilee year, 41 when, together with any children, they shall be released from your service and return to their family and to their ancestral property. 42 Since they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt, they shall not sell themselves as slaves are sold. 43 Do not lord it over them harshly, but stand in fear of your God.
44 [b]The male and female slaves that you possess—these you shall acquire from the nations round about you.(B) 45 You may also acquire them from among the resident aliens who reside with you, and from their families who are with you, those whom they bore in your land. These you may possess, 46 and bequeath to your children as their hereditary possession forever. You may treat them as slaves. But none of you shall lord it harshly over any of your fellow Israelites.(C)
47 When your kindred, having been so reduced to poverty, sell themselves to a resident alien who has become wealthy or to descendants of a resident alien’s family, 48 even after having sold themselves, they still may be redeemed by one of their kindred, 49 by an uncle or cousin, or by some other relative from their family; or, having acquired the means, they may pay the redemption price themselves. 50 With the purchaser they shall compute the years from the sale to the jubilee, distributing the sale price over these years as though they had been hired as laborers. 51 The more years there are, the more of the sale price they shall pay back as the redemption price; 52 the fewer years there are before the jubilee year, the more they have as credit; in proportion to the years of service they shall pay the redemption price. 53 The tenant alien shall treat those who sold themselves as laborers hired on an annual basis, and the alien shall not lord it over them harshly before your very eyes. 54 And if they are not redeemed by these means, they shall nevertheless be released, together with any children, in the jubilee year. 55 For the Israelites belong to me as servants; they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt, I, the Lord, your God.Read full chapter
- 25:39–43 Here the individual Israelite has no assets and must become indentured to another Israelite for economic survival. No provision is given for redemption before the jubilee year, though such is probably allowed.
- 25:44–46 While Israelites may not be held as permanent slaves (vv. 39–43, 47–55), foreigners may be. They are not released in the jubilee, but may be bequeathed to one’s children. They may be treated as “slaves,” i.e., harshly (cf. Ex 21:20–21).
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Hebrew Slaves. 12 (A)If your kin, a Hebrew man or woman, sells himself or herself to you, he or she is to serve you for six years, but in the seventh year you shall release him or her as a free person. 13 (B)When you release a male from your service, as a free person, you shall not send him away empty-handed, 14 but shall weigh him down with gifts from your flock and threshing floor and wine press; as the Lord, your God, has blessed you, so you shall give to him. 15 For remember that you too were slaves in the land of Egypt, and the Lord, your God, redeemed you. That is why I am giving you this command today.(C) 16 (D)But if he says to you, “I do not wish to leave you,” because he loves you and your household, since he is well off with you, 17 you shall take an awl and put it through his ear[a] into the door, and he shall be your slave forever. Your female slave, also, you shall treat in the same way. 18 Do not be reluctant when you let them go free, since the service they have given you for six years was worth twice a hired laborer’s salary; and the Lord, your God, will bless you in everything you do.Read full chapter