|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
25:23-34 If the land were not redeemed before the year of jubilee, it then returned to him that sold or mortgaged it. This was a figure of the free grace of God in Christ; by which, and not by any price or merit of our own, we are restored to the favour of God. Houses in walled cities were more the fruits of their own industry than land in the country, which was the direct gift of God's bounty; therefore if a man sold a house in a city, he might redeem it only within a year after the sale. This encouraged strangers and proselytes to come and settle among them.
Verses 32-34. - The houses of the Levites are, by an exception, subject to the law of jubilee. They constituted the share of the national property which was assigned to the tribe of Levi, and so far stood in the same relation to them as the land did to the other tribes. They therefore returned to the original possessor or his representative in the year of jubilee, and might at any earlier time be redeemed. The words, Notwithstanding the cities of the Levites, should rather be rendered, But in respect to the cities of the Levites. There is a difficulty also as to the translation of the clause, And if a man purchase of the Levites, for the word rendered purchase menus elsewhere redeem; but here the Authorized Version would seem to be correct. The sense that it gives is that if any one bought a house of the Levites, he had to render it back in the year of jubilee, just as though it had been land. On the other hand, the land belonging to the Levites, in the suburbs of the Levitical cities, which was used for the pasturage of the flocks of the Levites, could not be sold except to a Levite, and therefore no question between the Levites and members of the other tribes could arise regarding it. The phrase, the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, must be understood, by a hendiadys, to mean, the house that was sold in the city of his possession (see Gesenius, 'Lex.,' s.v. לְ i.b.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Notwithstanding, the cities of the Levites,.... The six cities of refuge, and forty two others; these and the houses in them are excepted from the above law, and only they; not such as they might purchase elsewhere; wherefore it follows:
and the houses of the cities of their possession; which were in cities possessed by them, and which was their possession, and given them as such:
may the Levites redeem at any time; they were not restrained to a year, as houses in walled towns, but they might redeem them as they pleased or could; and if they did not redeem them within the year, they might redeem them afterwards, even years after, and any time before the year of jubilee; so it is said in the Misnah (l) the priests and the Levites sell always, and they redeem always, as it is said, Leviticus 25:32; on which one of the commentators says (m) "they sell always", not as the Israelites, who cannot sell less than two years before the jubilee; but the Levites can sell near the jubilee: "and they redeem always"; if they sell houses in walled cities, they are not confirmed at the end of the year, as the houses of Israelites; and if they sell fields, it is not necessary they should remain in the hands of the buyer two years, but they may redeem them immediately if they will: this redemption was peculiar to the Levites; for if an Israelite has an inheritance from his father's mother, a Levite, he might not redeem according to the manner Levites did, but according to Israelites; and so a Levite that inherited from his father's mother, an Israelite, was obliged to redeem as an Israelite and not as a Levite (n); for this perpetual redemption respected only houses that were in the cities of the Levites.
(l) Eracin, c. 9. sect. 8. (m) Bartenora in ib. (n) Misn. Eracin, c. 9. sect. 8.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
32-34. Notwithstanding the cities of the Levites, &c.—The Levites, having no possessions but their towns and their houses, the law conferred on them the same privileges that were granted to the lands of the other Israelites. A certain portion of the lands surrounding the Levitical cities was appropriated to them for the pasturage of their cattle and flocks (Nu 35:4, 5). This was a permanent endowment for the support of the ministry and could not be alienated for any time. The Levites, however, were at liberty to make exchanges among themselves; and a priest might sell his house, garden, and right of pasture to another priest, but not to an Israelite of another tribe (Jer 41:7-9).
Leviticus 25:32 Parallel Commentaries
Leviticus 25:32 NIV
Leviticus 25:32 NLT
Leviticus 25:32 ESV
Leviticus 25:32 NASB
Leviticus 25:32 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible