And for your cattle, and for the beast that are in your land, shall all the increase thereof be meat.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And for thy cattle.—In accordance with the benign legislation which obtained during the second Temple, the administrators of the law inferred from this verse, and hence enacted, that the fruit of the seventh year may only be eaten by man at home, as long as the kind is found in the field. “As long as the animals eat the same kind in the field thou mayest eat what there is of it in the house, but if the animal has consumed it all in the field thou art bound to remove this kind from the house into the field.” (For the enactment which enjoins the remission of debts in the sabbatical year, see Deuteronomy 15:1-3.) During the second Temple the sabbatical year began on the first day of the month of Tishri, which was the beginning of the civil year. The tillage, however, and the cultivation of certain fields and gardens, were left off in the sixth year. The cultivation of corn-fields ceased from the Feast of Passover, and orchards from Pentecost of the sixth year. The reading of portions of the Law which is enjoined in Deuteronomy 31:10-13, was assigned during the second Temple to the king. At the termination of the seventh fallow year, which coincided with the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles of the eighth year, a wooden platform was erected in the outer court of the Temple, on which the king was seated. The chief of the synagogue took the Book of the Law, and gave it to the head of the synagogue, who gave it to the head of the priests. He gave it to the high priest, and the latter handed it to the king, who stood up to receive it. He then sat down again, and read the following seven sections :—(1) Deuteronomy 1:1 to Deuteronomy 6:3; (2) Deuteronomy 6:4-8; (3) Deuteronomy 11:13-22; (4) Deuteronomy 14:22 to Deuteronomy 15:23; (5) Deuteronomy 16:12-19; (6) Deuteronomy 17:14-20; (7) Deuteronomy 27:1 to Deuteronomy 28:68. The king concluded with the same benedictions, which the high priest pronounced (see Leviticus 16:27), only that he substituted the blessing for the festival for the absolution of sins.Leviticus 25:7) shall be food for the whole of you in common, rich and poor without distinction Exodus 23:11.
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.
shall all the increase thereof be meat; for the one, and for the other; Jarchi remarks, that all the time a wild beast eats of the increase of the field, the cattle may be fed at home; but when it ceaseth to the wild beast of the field, then it ceaseth to the cattle at home; nay, the Jews are so strict in this matter, that they say that when there is no food for the beasts in the field, men are obliged to bring out what they have in their houses (r), see Isaiah 11:6.And for thy cattle, and for the beast that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Leviticus 25:1), which point back to Exodus 34:32, and bind together into an inward unity the whole round of laws that Moses received from God upon the mountain, and then gradually announced to the people. The same words are repeated, not only in Leviticus 7:38 at the close of the laws of sacrifice, but also at Leviticus 26:46, at the close of the promises and threats which follow the law for the sabbatical and jubilee years, and lastly, at Leviticus 27:34, after the supplementary law concerning vows. The institution of the jubilee years corresponds to the institution of the day of atonement (ch. 16). Just as all the sins and uncleannesses of the whole congregation, which had remained unatoned for and uncleansed in the course of the year, were to be wiped away by the all-embracing expiation of the yearly recurring day of atonement, and an undisturbed relation to be restored between Jehovah and His people; so, by the appointment of the year of jubilee, the disturbance and confusion of the divinely appointed relations, which had been introduced in the course of time through the inconstancy of all human or earthly things, were to be removed by the appointment of the year of jubilee, and the kingdom of Israel to be brought back to its original condition. The next chapter (ch. 26) bears the same relation to the giving of the law upon Sinai as Exodus 23:20-33 to the covenant rights in Exodus 20:22-23:19.
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