At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release.
And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD'S release.
creditor that lendeth
Heb. master of the lending of his hand. exact it.
Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release;
Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it:
or, To the end that there be no poor among you. Houbigant follows this marginal reading, to which he joins the end of the third verse, considering it as explanatory of the law; as if he had said, "Thou shalt not exact the debt that is due from thy brother, but thy hand shall release him, for this reason, that there may be no poor among you through your severity." He justly contends that the phrase ephes kee, can here only mean, "to the end that," being equivalent to the French afin que.
Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day.
For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.
thou shalt lend
thou shalt reign
If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:
Lest the preceding law might render the Israelites cautious in lending to the poor, Moses here warns them against being led by so mean a principle; but to lend liberally, and God would reward them.
Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.
Heb. word with thine heart of Belial. thine eye.
sin unto thee
Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.
For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
Although Moses, by the statutes relative to the division of the land, and inheritance, and the inalienable nature of it, had studied to prevent any Israelite from being born poor, yet he exhorts them to the exercise of the tenderest compassion and most benevolent actions; and not to refuse assistance to the decayed Israelite, though the sabbatical year drew nigh.
And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.
And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty:
Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him.
And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day.
And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee;
Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise.
It shall not seem hard unto thee, when thou sendest him away free from thee; for he hath been worth a double hired servant to thee, in serving thee six years: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all that thou doest.
All the firstling males that come of thy herd and of thy flock thou shalt sanctify unto the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work with the firstling of thy bullock, nor shear the firstling of thy sheep.
thou shalt do
Thou shalt eat it before the LORD thy God year by year in the place which the LORD shall choose, thou and thy household.
And if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any ill blemish, thou shalt not sacrifice it unto the LORD thy God.
Thou shalt eat it within thy gates: the unclean and the clean person shall eat it alike, as the roebuck, and as the hart.
Tzevee, in Arabic zaby, Chaldee and Syriac tavya, denotes the gazelle or antelope, so called from its stately beauty, as the word imports. In size it is smaller than the roe, of an elegant form, and it motions are light and graceful. It bounds seemingly without effort, and runs with such swiftness that few creatures can exceed it. (2 Sa 2:18.) Its fine eyes are so much celebrated as even to become a proverb; and its flesh is much esteemed for food among eastern nations, having a sweet, musky taste, which is highly agreeable to their palates. (1 Ki 4:23.) If to these circumstances we add, that they are gregarious, and common all over the East, whereas the roe is either not known at all, or else very rare in these countries, little doubt can remain that the gazelle and not the roe is intended by the original word.
Only thou shalt not eat the blood thereof; thou shalt pour it upon the ground as water.