|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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then shall thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound,.... At the end of forty nine years, or at the beginning of the fiftieth; or "the trumpet of a loud sound"; for here the word "jubilee" is not, which, according to some, was so called from the peculiar sound of the trumpet on this day, different from all others; though others, as Ben Melech, think, and the Jews commonly, that it had its name from the trumpet itself, which they suppose was made of a ram's horn, "jobel", in the Arabic language, signifying a ram; but the former reason is best; though perhaps it is best of all to derive it from "to bring back, restore, return", because at this time men were returned to their liberty, estates, and families, as hereafter expressed:
on the tenth day of the seventh month; the month Tisri or September, the first day of which was the beginning of the year for "jubilees" (s); for the computation of the jubilee year was made from the first day of the month, though the trumpet was not blown, and the rights of the year did not begin till the tenth, as Maimonides (t) observes:
in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land; which day of atonement was on the tenth day of the said month, and a very proper time it was to sound the trumpet, that after they had been afflicting themselves, then to have joy and comfort; and when atonement was made for all their sins, then to hear the joyful sound; and when it might be presumed they were in a good disposition to release their servants, and restore the poor to their possessions, when they themselves were favoured with the forgiveness of all their sins. This sounding was made throughout all the land of Israel; throughout all the highways, as Aben Ezra, that all might know the year of jubilee was come; and this was done by the order of the sanhedrim, as Maimonides (u) says, and who, also observes, that from the beginning of the year, to the day of atonement, servants were not released to their own houses, but did not serve their masters, nor were fields returned to their owners; but servants ate, and drank, and rejoiced, and wore garlands on their heads; and when the day of atonement came, the sanhedrim blew the trumpet, and the servants were dismissed to their houses, and fields returned to their owners.
(s) Misn. Roshhashanah, c. 1. sect. 1.((t) In Misn. ib. (u) Hilchot Shemitah Vejobel, c. 10. sect. 10, 14.
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