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Leviticus 25:15 Commentary - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

(15) According to the number of years . . . thou shalt buy.—The promised land, according to the Law, was to be divided by lot in equal parts among the Israelites. The plot which should thus come into the possession of each family is to be absolutely inalienable, and for ever continue to be the property of the descendants of the original possessor. Hence it is here enacted that where a proprietor being pressed by poverty is compelled to sell a field, it could not be bought of him for a longer period than up to the time of the next jubile, when it reverted to the original possessor, or to his family. In purchasing a plot of and the purchaser is to reckon how many years had elapsed since the last jubile, since this would show him the exact period during which he would be entitled to hold it. It thus corresponds to what with us is buying the unexpired term of a lease.

Of thy neighbour.—From this it was deduced that the Israelite who was reduced to poverty could only sell his land to a fellow-Israelite, but not to a Gentile.

The number of years of the fruit he shall sell.—Whilst the purchaser is to take into consideration the number of years which the lease has still to run, the vendor has to consider how many sabbatical years there will be from the time of the sale till next jubile, since the sale was not so much of the land as of the produce of so many years. Hence the fallow sabbatical years are not to be included. As the plural “number of years “is here used, the authorities during the second Temple concluded that the vendor could not sell it for less than two productive years, exclusive of a sabbatical year, a year of barrenness, and of the first harvest if the purchase was effected shortly before the seventh month, with the ripe produce in the field.

Consult other comments:

Leviticus 25:15 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Leviticus 25:15 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Leviticus 25:15 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Leviticus 25:15 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Leviticus 25:15 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Leviticus 25:15 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 25:15 - Geneva Bible Notes

Leviticus 25:15 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Leviticus 25:15 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Leviticus 25:15 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 25:15 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Leviticus 25:15 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)