Leviticus 25:15
According to the number of years after the jubile thou shalt buy of thy neighbour, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee:
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(15) According to the number of years . . . thou shalt buy.—The promised land, according to the Law, was to be divided by lot in equal parts among the Israelites. The plot which should thus come into the possession of each family is to be absolutely inalienable, and for ever continue to be the property of the descendants of the original possessor. Hence it is here enacted that where a proprietor being pressed by poverty is compelled to sell a field, it could not be bought of him for a longer period than up to the time of the next jubile, when it reverted to the original possessor, or to his family. In purchasing a plot of and the purchaser is to reckon how many years had elapsed since the last jubile, since this would show him the exact period during which he would be entitled to hold it. It thus corresponds to what with us is buying the unexpired term of a lease.

Of thy neighbour.—From this it was deduced that the Israelite who was reduced to poverty could only sell his land to a fellow-Israelite, but not to a Gentile.

The number of years of the fruit he shall sell.—Whilst the purchaser is to take into consideration the number of years which the lease has still to run, the vendor has to consider how many sabbatical years there will be from the time of the sale till next jubile, since the sale was not so much of the land as of the produce of so many years. Hence the fallow sabbatical years are not to be included. As the plural “number of years “is here used, the authorities during the second Temple concluded that the vendor could not sell it for less than two productive years, exclusive of a sabbatical year, a year of barrenness, and of the first harvest if the purchase was effected shortly before the seventh month, with the ripe produce in the field.

Leviticus 25:15. According to the number of years — thou shalt buy — The purchase of all lands, houses, or estates, was to be at a price proportionable to the greater or less number of years that remained from the time of the purchase to the next jubilee. Years of fruits — Years in which, having sowed, they reaped the fruits of the land, in opposition to those years in which they were neither allowed to sow nor reap.

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.The number of years of the fruits - i. e. according to the number of harvests. The average value of a yearly crop might of course be estimated, and the sabbatical years were to be deducted from the series. 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. Or,

of years of fruits, or, of fruitful years; for there were some unfruitful years, to wit, such wherein they were not allowed to sow or reap, &c.

According to the number of years after the jubilee thou shalt buy of thy neighbour,.... That is, reckoning how many years had past since the last jubilee, and how many there were to come to the next, and so give as many years' purchase as were yet to come:

and according to the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee; only care was to be taken, that as many years as were sabbatical ones, which were not years of fruit, should be deducted out of the account by the seller; since these were years the buyer could have no profit by the estate, and therefore it was not reasonable that such years should be reckoned into the purchase; and hence the Jewish writers gather, that when a man had sold his field, he could not redeem it in less than two years, because a number of years cannot be less than two, and that if even the buyer agreed to it, it might not be done (b).

(b) Misn. Eracin, c. 9. sect. 1. Maimon. & Bartenora in. ib.

According to the number of {i} years after the jubile thou shalt buy of thy neighbour, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee:

(i) If the Jubile to come is near, you would be better to sell cheaply. If it is far off, sell at a higher price.

15, 16. The purchase is in fact not of the soil, but of the expectation of a greater or less number of years’ fruits.

Leviticus 25:15The purchase and sale were to be regulated by the number of years that had elapsed since the year of jubilee, so that they were only to sell the produce of the yearly revenues up to the next jubilee year, and made the price higher or lower according to the larger or smaller number of the years.
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