Leviticus 25:6
And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee,
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(6) And the sabbath of the land.—That is, the growth or produce during this sabbath of the land. For the figure of speech see Lev. 18:38.

Shall be meat for you.—That is, it shall serve as your food, but you must not trade with it, or store it up. Hence, during the second Temple the produce of the sabbatical year could only be used for direct consumption, and was not allowed to be converted first into other articles and then used. Thus, for instance, though wood of that year could be used as firewood, yet it was illegal to convert it first into coal and then use the coal thus obtained from the wood, nor was it legal to convert vegetables into medicines, or to give human food to animals.

For thee, and for thy servant . . . —The produce is to be left in the field for the free use of the poor, the servant, &c. (See also Exodus 23:11.) Hence it was enacted during the second Temple that “whoso locks up his vineyard, or hedges in his field, or gathers all the fruit into his house in the sabbatical year breaks this law.” Everything is to be left common, and every man has a right to every thing in every place. Every man could only bring into his house a little at a time according to the manner of things that are in common.”

Leviticus 25:6. The sabbath of the land — That is, the accidental crop that grew in the sabbatical year. Shall be meat for you — For all promiscuously, to take food from thence as you need. It is true the land would produce little corn without being tilled and sown, but the vines and other fruit-trees which abounded in the country, even without pruning, would yield a considerable increase, so that the poorer sort might thus enjoy many comforts, together with rest, of which they were destitute on other years.

25:1-7 All labour was to cease in the seventh year, as much as daily labour on the seventh day. These statues tell us to beware of covetousness, for a man's life consists not in the abundance of his possessions. We are to exercise willing dependence on God's providence for our support; to consider ourselves the Lord's tenants or stewards, and to use our possessions accordingly. This year of rest typified the spiritual rest which all believers enter into through Christ. Through Him we are eased of the burden of wordly care and labour, both being sanctified and sweetened to us; and we are enabled and encouraged to live by faith.The sabbath of the land shall be meat for you - That is, the produce of the untilled land (its "increase," Leviticus 25:7) shall be food for the whole of you in common, rich and poor without distinction Exodus 23:11. 2-4. When ye come into the land which I give you—It has been questioned on what year, after the occupation of Canaan, the sabbatic year began to be observed. Some think it was the seventh year after their entrance. But others, considering that as the first six years were spent in the conquest and division of the land (Jos 5:12), and that the sabbatical year was to be observed after six years of agriculture, maintain that the observance did not commence till the fourteenth year.

the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord—This was a very peculiar arrangement. Not only all agricultural processes were to be intermitted every seventh year, but the cultivators had no right to the soil. It lay entirely fallow, and its spontaneous produce was the common property of the poor and the stranger, the cattle and game. This year of rest was to invigorate the productive powers of the land, as the weekly Sabbath was a refreshment to men and cattle. It commenced immediately after the feast of ingathering, and it was calculated to teach the people, in a remarkable manner, the reality of the presence and providential power of God.

The sabbath, i.e. the growth of the sabbath, or that fruit which groweth in the sabbatical year. See on Leviticus 23:38, where the word sabbath is taken in the like sense.

For thee, and for thy servant; for all promiscuously, to take food from thence as they need it.

And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you,...., That is, that which grew up of itself but of the land, or on trees, vines, olives, &c. undressed, should be the meat or food on which they should live that year: and this comprehends everything that is fit for food, and also for drink, and for anointing, and even for the lighting of lamps, as in the Misnah (q):

for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid; the owner of the fields and vineyards, he and his family, wife, children, and servants, might eat of the fruits of them in common with others; for whereas it is elsewhere said, Exodus 23:11, "that the poor of thy people may eat", this is observed here, lest anyone should think the rich are forbid eating them, as Jarchi remarks:

and for thy hired servant, and for the stranger that sojourneth with thee: which the same writer interprets of Gentiles; the food of this year was common to masters and servants, to rich and poor, to Israelites and Gentiles; all had an equal right unto, and share therein; which might be an emblem of the first times of the Gospel, in which all things were had in common, Acts 4:32, and typical of the communion of saints in things spiritual; in salvation by Jesus Christ, common to Jews and Gentiles, high and low, bond and free; in the free and full forgiveness of sins by his blood; and in justification by his righteousness, which is unto all, and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference; in the participation of faith, and other graces, which are alike precious, and in the enjoyment of promises, privileges, and ordinances, and even of eternal life itself.

(q) Sheviith, c. 8. sect. 2.

And the {d} sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee,

(d) That which the land brings forth in her rest.

6. the sabbath] i.e. the produce during the year of rest. Instead of storing it as in each of the six years, they were only to gather it from time to time when needed for food. Much of the grain in Palestine to-day sows itself, as it falls from the ripe ears.

Leviticus 25:6"And the Sabbath of the land (i.e., the produce of the sabbatical year or year of rest, whatever grew that year without cultivation) shall be to you for food, for thee and thy servant,...and for the beasts that are in thy land shall all its produce be for food." The meaning is, that what grew of itself was not to be reaped by the owner of the land, but that masters and servants, labourers and visitors, cattle and game, were to eat thereof away from the field (cf. Leviticus 25:12). The produce arising without tilling or sowing was to be a common good for man and beast. According to Exodus 23:11, it was to belong to the poor and needy; but the owner was not forbidden to partake of it also, so that there can be no discrepancy discovered between this passage and the verse before us. The produce referred to would be by no means inconsiderable, particularly if there had not been a careful gleaning after the harvest, or the corn had become over-ripe. In the fertile portions of Palestine, especially in the plain of Jezreel and on the table-land of Galilee, as well as in other parts, large quantities of wheat and other cereals are still self-sown from the ripe ears, the over-flowing of which is not gathered by any of the inhabitants of the land. Strabo gives a similar account of Albania, viz., that in many parts a field once sown will bear fruit twice and even three times, the first yield being as much as fifty-fold. The intention of his law was not so much to secure the physical recreation of both the land and people, however useful and necessary this might be for men, animals, and land in this sublunary world; but the land was to keep Sabbath to the Lord in the seventh year. In the sabbatical year the land, which the Lord had given to His people, was to observe a period of holy rest and refreshment to its Lord and God, just as the congregation did on the Sabbath-day; and the hand of man was to be withheld from the fields and fruit-gardens from working them, that they might yield their produce for his use. The earth was to be saved from the hand of man exhausting its power for earthly purposes as his own property, and to enjoy the holy rest with which God had blessed the earth and all its productions after the creation. From this, Israel, as the nation of God, was to learn, on the one hand, that although the earth was created for man, it was not merely created for him to draw out its powers for his own use, but also to be holy to the Lord, and participate in His blessed rest; and on the other hand, that the great purpose for which the congregation of the Lord existed, did not consist in the uninterrupted tilling of the earth, connected with bitter labour in the sweat of his brow (Genesis 3:17, Genesis 3:19), but in the peaceful enjoyment of the fruits of the earth, which the Lord their God had given them, and would give them still without the labour of their hands, if they strove to keep His covenant and satisfy themselves with His grace. This intention of the sabbatical year comes out still more plainly in the year of jubilee, in which the idea of the sanctification of the whole land as the Lord's property is still more strongly expressed, and whose inward connection with the sabbatical year is indicated by the fact that the time for observing it was regulated by the sabbatical years (Leviticus 25:8).
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