Deuteronomy 15:1
At the end of every seven years you shall make a release.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XV.

(1) At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release.—The Law in this place is an extension of that which we find in Exodus 21:2, &c, and Leviticus 25:3, &c., There was not only to be a manumission of Hebrew slaves and a Sabbath for the land in the seventh year, but also a release of debts, of which all the Israelites must have the benefit.

Deuteronomy 15:1. At the end of every seven years — When the seventh year comes, which is the end or last of the seven, Deuteronomy 15:9; Deuteronomy 15:12. This termed here the year of release, was the sabbatical year spoken of Exodus 23:11;

Leviticus 25:4. The wisdom of the Hebrew constitution provided for a release of all debts and servitudes every seventh year, that the Jewish nation might not moulder away from so great a number of free subjects into the condition of slaves: see on Leviticus 25.15:1-11 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.The year of release is no doubt identical with the sabbatical year of the earlier legislation (Exodus 23:10 ff, and Leviticus 25:2 ff), the command of the older legislation being here amplified. The release was probably for the year, not total and final, and had reference only to loans lent because of poverty (compare Deuteronomy 15:4, Deuteronomy 15:7). Yet even so the law was found to be too stringent for the avarice of the people, because it was one of those which the rabbis "made of none effect by their traditions."CHAPTER 15

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).The seventh year a year of release, Deu 15:1, to their brethren only, Deu 15:2,3. God promiseth to bless them in the land of Canaan, Deu 15:4-6; and commandeth them to lend freely to the poor, Deu 15:7-18. The firstlings to be sanctified and eaten before the Lord, Deu 15:19-23.

i.e. In the last year of the seven, as is most evident from Deu 15:9 Exodus 21:2 Jeremiah 34:14. So the like phrase is oft used, as Deu 14:28 Joshua 3:2 Jeremiah 25:12 Luke 2:21 Acts 2:1. And this year of release, as it is called below, Deu 15:9, is the same with the sabbatical year, Exodus 23:11 Leviticus 25:4.

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.

At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1. At the end of seven years] So Heb. That is, in the seventh year, as is clearly put in Deuteronomy 15:12 (cp. Jeremiah 34:14): see also Deuteronomy 14:28.

a release] or remission, Heb. shemiṭṭah from shamaṭ, to let drop (2 Kings 9:33; let her drop) or lapse: Exodus 23:11, thou shalt let it (the land or its crop) lapse, i.e. lie fallow; Deuteronomy 15:3 of a debt.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. In the land of Canaan, however, where the people would be scattered over a great extent of country, there would be many for whom the fulfilment of this command would be very difficult-would, in fact, appear almost impossible. To meet this difficulty, permission was given for those who lived at a great distance from the sanctuary to sell the tithes at home, provided they could not convey them in kind, and then to spend the money so obtained in the purchase of the things required for the sacrificial meals at the place of the sanctuary. ממּך ירבּה כּי, "if the way be too great (too far) for thee," etc., sc., for the delivery of the tithe. The parenthetical clause, "if Jehovah thy God shall bless thee," hardly means "if He shall extend thy territory" (Knobel), but if He shall bless thee by plentiful produce from the field and the cattle.
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