Does God make any promises in this passage?
- God said that He would bless the crops in the year prior to a sabbath year so that there would be enough bounty to last until the crops were harvested in the year following a sabbath year.
- God promised that if they would treat each other fairly and observe the Jubilee they would live safely in their land.
Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?
- This passage contains the first mention of a kinsman-redeemer, this time for the land. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 Satan is called the "god of this age" which means he exerts influence over people and their possessions. This can truly be seen when it comes to how the nation of Israel has been treated through the ages! The land needed a kinsman-redeemer and that was Jesus. God never gave up possession of the land but has allowed Satan to "roam to and fro like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour" (paraphrase of 1 Peter 5:8) since the introduction of sin onto the earth. Not only did the death and resurrection of Jesus provide for the redemption of people, but also of the land. This will be proven when the earth itself will be restored (or resurrected). It is now groaning and travailing as one in pain as a laboring woman ready to give birth (paraphrase of Romans 8:22) but will be resurrected into a New Earth totally redeemed by Jesus (see Revelation 21:1). Then the New Jerusalem (Jesus' Capitol in Israel) will come down as a bride adorned (also Revelation chapter 21).
- The Year of Jubilee is a picture of grace received through Jesus. All who believe on Jesus as their redemption will become part of God's people. Then mankind will return to the world that God originally meant for them to inhabit, one free of sin and death. This can happen because all debts will be forgiven.
Does this passage teach anything about future events?
- God said He owned the land of Israel and so does He own the land that He has promised to share with all His children. This would include the heavenly dwelling and the coming New Earth.
- The redemption, resurrection, and restoration of all things will result in the eternal reign of Jesus, the son of David, assuming His throne. The "god of this age" will be deposed and Jesus will rule and reign forever. (see above)
- The humanitarian laws concerning masters and employees were based upon loving a neighbor as oneself recognizing that people belong to God. If we work together in eternity on the New Earth it is obvious that there will be no labor disputes due to mistreatment on either side. There is no need to be worried about verses that say there are those who rule and reign in the eternal kingdom since sin will not hinder working relationships.
Does God issue any commands?
- Every 50th year was to be proclaimed as a Year of Jubilee beginning on the Day of Atonement. Every man was to return to his family lands, and servants were to be returned to their family. The land was to be left fallow that year just as it would have been the year before (a sabbath year).
- The people were not to oppress each other in matters of money and servanthood when they knew a Jubilee year was approaching but were to be generous.
- God commanded that the land never be sold. It was His land and He allowed them to live on it with Him.
- God commanded that a rich relative who wished to redeem the land for a poor relative may do so in order to restore the land to the family. (This would particularly be important if there were many years before the next Jubilee year when the land would revert to the previous owner automatically.)
- God commanded that a man selling a house within a walled village could have a full year to redeem it. If he did not, then the new owner would possess it. It would not go back in the time of Jubilee.
- The exception to the above rule concerning the sale of houses within walled villages was the houses of the Levites. The Levites could redeem their possessions at any time. Everything within the cities designated for the use of the Levites would revert to them at the time of Jubilee. Their fields were NEVER to be sold!
- God commanded that they lend to their fellow-Hebrews without interest. They were to be compassionate to the poor. They also were not to enslave other Hebrews or treat them with cruelty but could hire them as paid servants until the Year of Jubilee when all debts were to be forgiven because they were God's servants and only loaned to each other for temporary service. The laws of release in the time of Jubilee did not extend to foreign slaves. If a Hebrew was sold unto a rich foreigner living within the Hebrew nation the Hebrew man or woman could be redeemed by another family member. The kinsman-redeemer would pay the master a price based upon how many years remained until the time of the Jubilee. If there was no kinsman-redeemer the slave would be released from the foreign master (who was living among the Israelites) at the time of the Jubilee. In other words, foreigners living among the Hebrews were required to follow the laws of the land,which were God's laws.