Leviticus 25:23-55

Note: the first half of Lev 25 previously posted shows clear chiasms. This section after verse 24  is divided into four main scenarios of increasing poverty. There are some micro patterns set out for comment and correction.

A. 23  The land shall not be sold for ever:

B. for the land is mine;

C. for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.

B’. 24 And in all the land of your possession

A’. ye shall grant a redemption for the land.

Scenario 1 – sold some of possession

Sold some possessions
a. 25 If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold.

b. 26 And if the man have none to redeem it, and himself be able to redeem it;

c. 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.

b’. 28 But if he be not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubile:

a’. and in the jubile it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession.

The case of a town dwelling
a. 29 And if a man sell a dwelling house in a walled city,

b. then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold;

c. within a full year may he redeem it.

b’. 30 And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year,

a’. then the house that is in the walled city shall be established for ever to him that bought it throughout his generations: it shall not go out in the jubile.

The case of a village dwelling
31 But the houses of the villages which have no wall round about them shall be counted as the fields of the country: they may be redeemed, and they shall go out in the jubile.

Property of Levites
a. 32 Notwithstanding the cities of the Levites, and the houses of the cities of their possession, may the Levites redeem at any time.

b. 33 And if a man purchase of the Levites, then the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, shall go out in the year of jubile:

a. for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel.

b. 34 But the field of the suburbs of their cities may not be sold; for it is their perpetual possession.

Scenario 2 – borrowing money but no interest rates

a. 35 And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.

b. 36 Take thou no usury of him, or increase:

c. but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.

b’. 37 Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase.

a’. 38 I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.

Scenario 3 – sold as a hired servant

a. 39 And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant:

b. 40 But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile:

c. 41 And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return.

b’. 42 For they are my servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt:

a’. they shall not be sold as bondmen. 43 Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God.

a. 44 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.

b. 45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.

b’. 46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession;

a’. they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

Scenario 4 – sold  to a Gentile

a. 47 And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger’s family: 48 After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: 49 Either his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself.

b. 50 And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubile: and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years, according to the time of an hired servant shall it be with him.

a’. 51 If there be yet many years behind, according unto them he shall give again the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for. 52 And if there remain but few years unto the year of jubile, then he shall count with him, and according unto his years shall he give him again the price of his redemption.

a. 53 And as a yearly hired servant shall he be with him:

b. and the other shall not rule with rigour over him in thy sight.

c. 54 And if he be not redeemed in these years, then he shall go out in the year of jubile, both he, and his children with him.

b’. 55 For unto me the children of Israel are servants;

a’. they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

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