|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 8, 9. - The word jubile (as it is always spelt in the Authorized Version) is taken from the Hebrew word yovel, and it came to mean a year of liberty (Ezekiel 46:17; Josephus, 'Ant.,' 3:12, 3), because it freed men and lands from the obligations to which they would otherwise have been liable; but originally it signified no more than a cornet-blast, and thence the year of the cornet-blast. The way to find the jubilee year was to number seven sabbaths of years, that is, seven weeks of years (chapter 22:15), seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years: then by a blast of the cornet (the word is inexactly rendered trumpet) on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement, the approach of the jubilee in the following year was announced.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee,.... Or weeks of years; and there being seven days in a week, and a day being put for a year, seven weeks of years made forty nine years; the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan, and Jarchi, interpret it seven "shemittas", or sabbatical years; and a sabbatical year being every seventh year, made the same number:
seven times seven years: or forty nine years, as follows:
and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be forty and nine years; just such a space of years there was between each jubilee, which, as afterwards said, was the fiftieth year; so as there were a seventh day sabbath, and a fiftieth day sabbath, the day of Pentecost, so there were a seventh year sabbath, or sabbatical year, and a fiftieth year sabbath.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Le 25:8-23. The Jubilee.
8-11. thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years—This most extraordinary of all civil institutions, which received the name of "Jubilee" from a Hebrew word signifying a musical instrument, a horn or trumpet, began on the tenth day of the seventh month, or the great day of atonement, when, by order of the public authorities, the sound of trumpets proclaimed the beginning of the universal redemption. All prisoners and captives obtained their liberties, slaves were declared free, and debtors were absolved. The land, as on the sabbatic year, was neither sowed nor reaped, but allowed to enjoy with its inhabitants a sabbath of repose; and its natural produce was the common property of all. Moreover, every inheritance throughout the land of Judea was restored to its original owner.
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