|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
25:8-22 The word jubilee signifies a peculiarly animated sound of the silver trumpets. This sound was to be made on the evening of the great day of atonement; for the proclamation of gospel liberty and salvation results from the sacrifice of the Redeemer. It was provided that the lands should not be sold away from their families. They could only be disposed of, as it were, by leases till the year of jubilee, and then returned to the owner or his heir. This tended to preserve their tribes and families distinct, till the coming of the Messiah. The liberty every man was born to, if sold or forfeited, should return at the year of jubilee. This was typical of redemption by Christ from the slavery of sin and Satan, and of being brought again to the liberty of the children of God. All bargains ought to be made by this rule, Ye shall not oppress one another, not take advantage of one another's ignorance or necessity, but thou shalt fear thy God. The fear of God reigning in the heart, would restrain from doing wrong to our neighbour in word or deed. Assurance was given that they should be great gainers, by observing these years of rest. If we are careful to do our duty, we may trust God with our comfort. This was a miracle for an encouragement to all neither sowed or reaped. This was a miracle for an encouragement to all God's people, in all ages, to trust him in the way of duty. There is nothing lost by faith and self-denial in obedience. Some asked, What shall we eat the seventh year? Thus many Christians anticipate evils, questioning what they shall do, and fearing to proceed in the way of duty. But we have no right to anticipate evils, so as to distress ourselves about them. To carnal minds we may appear to act absurdly, but the path of duty is ever the path of safety.
Verses 13-17. - The Israelites were only tenants of God. They might regard themselves as owners for fifty years, but at the end of every fifty years the land was to come back to him to whom the Lord had assigned it, or to his representative. It might be bought and sold on that understanding, the value of the purchase being four. d by reckoning the price of the harvests up to the next jubilee day; but in this period only "the years of the fruits" were to be counted, that is, the sabbatical years, in which there would be no harvests, were to be deducted. Ye shall not therefore oppress (or overreach) one another by demanding more for the hind than would be its just value under the limitation of the jubilee law.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
In the year of this jubilee,.... In the beginning of it, as Aben Ezra, though not on the first day of Tisri, but the tenth day, the day of atonement, when the trumpet was blown:
ye shall return every man unto his possession; which is repeated from Leviticus 25:10; the reason of which, the Jews say, is to include gifts, and which, according to them, are like sales, and returned in the year of "jubilee"; that is, if a man gave his estate in possession to another, he returned to it, in the year of jubilee, equally as if he had sold it; and therefore they observe the same phrase is twice used by Moses, to include gifts (y): but perhaps the truer reason is, because this was a special business done at this time, and of great importance; the word "return" being so often used, may serve to confirm the sense of the word "jubilee", given previously; see Gill on Leviticus 25:9.
(y) Misn. Becorot, c. 8. sect. 10. & Bartenora in ib.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. ye shall return every man unto his possession, &c.—Inheritances, from whatever cause, and how frequently soever they had been alienated, came back into the hands of the original proprietors. This law of entail, by which the right heir could never be excluded, was a provision of great wisdom for preserving families and tribes perfectly distinct, and their genealogies faithfully recorded, in order that all might have evidence to establish their right to the ancestral property. Hence the tribe and family of Christ were readily discovered at his birth.
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