|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:1-11 This year of release typified the grace of the gospel, in which is proclaimed the acceptable year of the Lord; and by which we obtain the release of our debts, that is, the pardon of our sins. The law is spiritual, and lays restraints upon the thoughts of the heart. We mistake, if we think thoughts are free from God's knowledge and check. That is a wicked heart indeed, which raises evil thoughts from the good law of God, as theirs did, who, because God had obliged them to the charity of forgiving, denied the charity of giving. Those who would keep from the act of sin, must keep out of their minds the very thought of sin. It is a dreadful thing to have the cry of the poor justly against us. Grudge not a kindness to thy brother; distrust not the providence of God. What thou doest, do freely, for God loves a cheerful giver, 2Co 9:7.
Verse 1. - Release. The word thus rendered (שְׁמִטָּה, from שָׁמַט, to leave, to let lie fallow) occurs only here and in ver. 2; in Exodus 33:11 the cognate verb is used, and from this the word is best explained. The debt was to be left in the hands of the debtor, as the land was to be let lie or left untilled for that year.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. Not of servants, for they were not to be dismissed from their service until they had served six years, as is directed to in a following law; for if they were to be set free whenever a sabbatical year came, they might be discharged when they had not served more than a year, or than half a year, or than a month or two. Indeed when the year of jubilee intervened, they were released be it at what time it would; but not in a sabbatical year, which was a year of release of debts, as the following verses show, as well as there was, then a rest of the land from tillage, Leviticus 25:2. Now this was done at the end or extremity of every seventh year; not at the latter end or extremity of it, for if the debt of a poor man might be exacted of him in the year, and until the end of it, it would not in this respect have been a sabbatical year, or a year of rest and quiet; but this was done at the first extremity of it, at the beginning of it, as Aben Ezra and Ben Melech observe; though Maimonides (b) asserts it to be after the seven years were ended; for he says,"the seventh year releaseth not monies but at the end of it,''according to Deuteronomy 15:1 that as in Deuteronomy 31:10 after seven years is meant, so the release of monies is after seven years.
(b) Hilchot Shemittah & Yobel, c. 9. sect. 4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
De 15:1-11. The Seventh Year, a Year of Release for the Poor.
1. At the end of every seven years—during the last of the seven, that is, the sabbatical year (Ex 21:2; 23:11; Le 25:4; Jer 34:14).
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