Leviticus 25:30
And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year, 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 jubilee.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(30) if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year.—That is, either by the vendor or his son. According to the interpretation which obtained during the second Temple, the phrase “full year” is here used for the benefit of the seller, inasmuch as it gives him the advantage of an intercalary year, when he has an additional month, up to the last day of which he could still effect the redemption. Moreover, as the purchaser sometimes concealed himself towards the end of the year, in order to prevent the seller from redeeming his house, it was enacted that the original proprietor should hand over the redemption money to the public authorities when the purchaser could not be found, break open the doors, and take possession of the house; and if the purchaser died during the year, the vendor could redeem it from his heir.

It shall not go out in the jubile.—If the vendor, however, failed to redeem the house within the prescribed period, it was not to be subject to the laws of jubile like the land, but is to remain for ever the property of the purchaser.

25:23-34 If the land were not redeemed before the year of jubilee, it then returned to him that sold or mortgaged it. This was a figure of the free grace of God in Christ; by which, and not by any price or merit of our own, we are restored to the favour of God. Houses in walled cities were more the fruits of their own industry than land in the country, which was the direct gift of God's bounty; therefore if a man sold a house in a city, he might redeem it only within a year after the sale. This encouraged strangers and proselytes to come and settle among them.Not go out - Because most of the houses in cities were occupied by artificers and traders whose wealth did not consist in lands. 29-31. if a man sell a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold—All sales of houses were subject to the same condition. But there was a difference between the houses of villages (which, being connected with agriculture, were treated as parts of the land) and houses possessed by trading people or foreigners in walled towns, which could only be redeemed within the year after the sale; if not then redeemed, these did not revert to the former owner at the Jubilee. The reason is from the great difference between such houses and lands. The reasons before alleged for lands do not hold in such houses; there was no danger of confusion in tribes or families by the alienation of houses. The seller also had a greater propriety in houses than in lands, as not coming to him by God’s mere gift, but being commonly built by the owner’s cost and diligence, and therefore had a fuller power to dispose of them. Besides, God would hereby encourage persons to buy and possess houses in such places, which frequency and fulness of inhabitants in cities was a great strength, honour, and advantage to the whole land. And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year,.... Either by the seller or any man of kin to him:

then the house that is in the walled city shall be established for ever to him that bought it, throughout his generation; after twelve months were elapsed it was not redeemable by any, but to be held by the purchaser and his heirs for ever:

it shall not go out in the jubilee; from the purchaser or his heirs, to the seller or his heirs; for houses were not like lands, the gift of God, and held under him, but were built by men, and were their absolute property, and therefore they could dispose of them, and they that bought them could hold them after the above mentioned time; nor was there any danger of confounding tribes and families by retaining them: this law was made to encourage persons to settle in walled towns, to make and keep them populous, and to make owners of them careful not to sell them: the Jewish canon is this; when the day of the twelfth month is come, and it (the house) is not redeemed, it is absolutely his, whether he bought it or whether it was given him, as it is said, Leviticus 25:30; and if in the beginning of the day of the twelfth month he (the purchaser) hides himself, that it may be confirmed to him or be his absolutely; Hillel, the elder, ordered that he (the seller) should put his money in the chamber (belonging to the sanhedrim) and break open the door, and go in; and when he would, he (the purchaser) might come, and take his money (i); but otherwise, if he suffers this time to pass it is irredeemable, nor will the year of jubilee help him: the Jews except the city of Jerusalem from this law, because, they say, that does not belong to any tribe (k).

(i) Misn. Eracin, c. 9. sect. 4. (k) T. Bab. Bava Kama, fol. 82. 2.

And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be established {p} for ever to him that bought it throughout his generations: it shall not go out in the jubile.

(p) That is, for ever, read Le 25:23.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
What was already implied in the laws relating to the purchase and sale of the year's produce (Leviticus 25:15, Leviticus 25:16), namely, that the land could not be alienated, is here clearly expressed; and at the same time the rule is laid down, showing how a man, who had been compelled by poverty to sell his patrimony, was to recover possession of it by redemption. In the first place, Leviticus 25:23 contains the general rule, "the land shall not be sold לצמיתת" (lit., to annihilation), i.e., so as to vanish away from, or be for ever lost to, the seller. For "the land belongs to Jehovah:" the Israelites, to whom He would give it (Leviticus 25:2), were not actual owners or full possessors, so that they could do what they pleased with it, but "strangers and sojourners with Jehovah" in His land. Consequently (Leviticus 25:24) throughout the whole of the land of their possession they were to grant גּאלּה release, redemption to the land. There were three ways in which this could be done. The first case (Leviticus 25:25) was this: if a brother became poor and sold his property, his nearest redeemer was to come and release what his brother had sold, i.e., buy it back from the purchaser and restore it to its former possessor. The nearest redeemer was the relative upon whom this obligation rested according to the series mentioned in Leviticus 25:48, Leviticus 25:49. - The second case (Leviticus 25:26, Leviticus 25:27) was this: if any one had no redeemer, either because there were no relatives upon whom the obligation rested, or because they were all too poor, and he had earned and acquired sufficient to redeem it, he was to calculate the years of purchase, and return the surplus to the man who had bought it, i.e., as much as he had paid for the years that still remained up to the next year of jubilee, that so he might come into possession of it again. As the purchaser had only paid the amount of the annual harvests till the next year of jubilee, all that he could demand back was as much as he had paid for the years that still remained.
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