View Deuteronomy 15 in the note window.
Orders concerning the release of debts every seventh year, ver. 1 - 6.
Concerning lending, ver. 7 - 11.
Concerning the release of servants, ver. 12 - 18.
Concerning the firstlings, ver. 19 - 23.
1: At the end - That is, in the last year of the seven, as is, most
evident from (De 15:9).
And this year of release, as it is, called below, (De 15:9), is the
same with the sabbatical year, (Ex 23:11).
2: Every creditor - Here is, a law for poor, insolvent debtors.
Every seventh year was a year of release, when among other acts of grace,
this was one, that every Israelite, who had borrowed money, and had not
been able to pay it before, should this year be released from it. And tho'
if he was able, he was bound in conscience to pay it afterwards, yet it
could not be recovered by law. His brother - This is added to limit the
word neighbour, which is more general, unto a brother, in nation
and religion, an Israelite. The Lord's release - Or, a release
for the Lord, in obedience to his command, for his honour, and as an
acknowledgment of his right in your estates, and of his kindness in giving
and continuing them to you.
4: Save when there shall be no poor - The words may be rendered thus,
as in the margin of our Bibles, To the end that there be no poor among
you. And so they contain a reason of this law, namely, that none be
impoverished and ruined by a rigid exaction of debts.
8: Open thine hand wide - That is, deal bountifully and liberally
9: Beware - Suppress the first risings of such uncharitableness.
It be sin - That is, it be charged upon thee as a sin.
10: Thine heart shall not be grieved - That is, thou shalt give, not
only with an open hand, but with a willing and chearful mind, without which
thy very charity is uncharitable, and not accepted by God.
11: The poor shall never cease - God by his providence will so order
it, partly for the punishment of your disobedience, and partly for the
trial and exercise of your obedience to him and charity to your brother.
12: If thy brother be sold - Either by himself, or his parents, or
as a criminal. Six years - To be computed from the beginning of his
servitude, which is every where limited to the space of six years.
15: The Lord redeemed thee - And brought thee out with riches, which
because they would not, God gave thee as a just recompense for thy service;
and therefore thou shalt follow his example, and send out thy servant
furnished with all convenient provisions.
17: For ever - All the time of his life, or, at least, 'till the year
of jubilee. Likewise - That is, either dismiss her with plenty, or engage
her to perpetual servitude, in the same manner and by the same rites.
19: All the firstling males thou shalt sanctify - Giving them to
God on the eighth day. And thou shalt do no work with the female
firstlings of the cow, nor shear those of the sheep. Even these
must be offered to God as peace - offerings, or used in a religious feast.
20: Year by year - Namely, in the solemn feasts which returned upon
them every year.