Leviticus 25:27
Then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; that he may return unto his possession.
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(27) Count the years of the sale thereof.—To regulate the price of the redemption money the crops were valued which the purchaser had enjoyed since he had acquired the property. This was deducted from what he originally paid for the plot of land, and the difference was returned to him by the vendor, to whom the patrimony reverted. Thus, for instance, if there were thirty years from the time the purchase was effected to the year of jubile, and the vendor or his next of kin redeemed the inheritance either ten or fifteen years after the transaction, he had to return to the purchaser either one-third or half of the purchase money, when the soil was restored to the seller or his next of kin. In the interest of the purchaser, however, it was enacted during the second Temple that the redemption should not take place before he had the benefit of the field for two productive years (see Leviticus 25:15), and that he could claim compensation for outlay on improvements.

Restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it.—That is, an equitable estimate is to be made of what the land is likely to yield from the time of its redemption by the vendor to the jubile, which is to be allowed to the purchaser.

Leviticus 25:27-28. The years of the sale — That is, from the time of the sale to the jubilee. See above, Leviticus 25:15-16. The overplus — That is, a convenient price for the years from the time of this redemption to the jubilee. Go out — That is, out of the buyer’s hand, without any redemption-money.

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.If thy brother be waxen poor - The Israelites never parted with their land except under the pressure of poverty. Compare the answer of Naboth, 1 Kings 21:3. 23-28. The land shall not be sold for ever—or, "be quite cut off," as the Margin better renders it. The land was God's, and, in prosecution of an important design, He gave it to the people of His choice, dividing it among their tribes and families—who, however, held it of Him merely as tenants-at-will and had no right or power of disposing of it to strangers. In necessitous circumstances, individuals might effect a temporary sale. But they possessed the right of redeeming it, at any time, on payment of an adequate compensation to the present holder; and by the enactments of the Jubilee they recovered it free—so that the land was rendered inalienable. (See an exception to this law, Le 27:20). The years of the sale thereof, i.e. from the time of the sale to the jubilee. See Poole "Leviticus 25:15" See Poole "Leviticus 25:16". The overplus, i.e. a convenient price for the years from this redemption to the jubilee.

Then let him count the years of the sale thereof,.... How many years had passed since it was sold, how many it had been in the hands of the purchaser, and how many were yet to come to the year of the jubilee, by which means the price of redemption might easily be settled; thus, for instance, if the years were alike and there was just half the time gone, then half of the price it was sold at was repaid to the purchaser; and if not alike, then in proportion to what had passed and were to come:

and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; for the years that were yet to come; if, as Jarchi says, he has eaten of or enjoyed the fruit of the field three or four years, deduct the price of them from the account, and take the rest; this is the meaning, "and restore the overplus", out of the price of the sale, according to what is eaten, and give it to the buyer: Maimonides (e) explains it thus; that if there were ten years to the year of the jubilee, and the field was sold for an hundred pieces, if he that bought it has eaten of it three years, then the seller that redeems it must give him seventy pieces, and he must restore his field; if he has eaten of it six years, he is to give forty pieces, and the other restores him the field: in the Misnah it is put thus; if he sell it (his field) to the first for an hundred pence, and the first sells it to a second for two hundred, he must not reckon but with the first, as it is said, "unto the man to whom he sold it"; if he sold it to the first for two hundred, and the first sells it to a second for an hundred, he shall not count but with the last, as it is said, "to a man", i.e. to the man which is in the midst of it, or is possessed of it; nor may he sell it for a distant time, that he may redeem it near, nor when in a bad condition, that he may redeem it when in a good one; nor may he borrow to redeem it, nor redeem it by halves (f):

that he may return to his possession; and enjoy it again.

(e) Hilchot Shemittah Vejobel, ut supra, (c. 11.) sect. 5. (f) Misn. Eracin, ut supra. (c. 9. 1.)

Then let him {n} count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; that he may return unto his possession.

(n) Deducting money for the years past, and paying for the rest of the years to come.

27. the overplus] i.e. a proportion of the original price obtained, corresponding to the number of years which were still to intervene between the redemption and the next Jubile year.

Leviticus 25:27What was already implied in the laws relating to the purchase and sale of the year's produce (Leviticus 25:15, Leviticus 25:16), namely, that the land could not be alienated, is here clearly expressed; and at the same time the rule is laid down, showing how a man, who had been compelled by poverty to sell his patrimony, was to recover possession of it by redemption. In the first place, Leviticus 25:23 contains the general rule, "the land shall not be sold לצמיתת" (lit., to annihilation), i.e., so as to vanish away from, or be for ever lost to, the seller. For "the land belongs to Jehovah:" the Israelites, to whom He would give it (Leviticus 25:2), were not actual owners or full possessors, so that they could do what they pleased with it, but "strangers and sojourners with Jehovah" in His land. Consequently (Leviticus 25:24) throughout the whole of the land of their possession they were to grant גּאלּה release, redemption to the land. There were three ways in which this could be done. The first case (Leviticus 25:25) was this: if a brother became poor and sold his property, his nearest redeemer was to come and release what his brother had sold, i.e., buy it back from the purchaser and restore it to its former possessor. The nearest redeemer was the relative upon whom this obligation rested according to the series mentioned in Leviticus 25:48, Leviticus 25:49. - The second case (Leviticus 25:26, Leviticus 25:27) was this: if any one had no redeemer, either because there were no relatives upon whom the obligation rested, or because they were all too poor, and he had earned and acquired sufficient to redeem it, he was to calculate the years of purchase, and return the surplus to the man who had bought it, i.e., as much as he had paid for the years that still remained up to the next year of jubilee, that so he might come into possession of it again. As the purchaser had only paid the amount of the annual harvests till the next year of jubilee, all that he could demand back was as much as he had paid for the years that still remained.
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