Leviticus 25:39
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
“If your brother becomes poor beside you and sells himself to you, you shall not make him serve as a slave:

King James Bible
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:

American Standard Version
And if thy brother be waxed poor with thee, and sell himself unto thee; thou shalt not make him to serve as a bond-servant.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If thy brother constrained by poverty, sell himself to thee, thou shalt not oppress him with the service of bondservants:

English Revised Version
And if thy brother be waxen poor with thee, and sell himself unto thee; thou shalt not make him to serve as a bondservant:

Webster's Bible Translation
And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee shall have become poor, and be sold to thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bond servant:

Leviticus 25:39 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"And whoever (if any one) redeems, i.e., buys, of the Levites, the house that is sold and (indeed in) the town of his possession is to go out free in the year of jubilee; for the houses of the Levitical towns are their (the Levites') possession among the children of Israel." The meaning is this: If any one bought a Levite's house in one of the Levitical towns, the house he had bought was to revert to the Levite without compensation in the year of jubilee. The difficulty connected with the first clause is removed, if we understand the word גּאל (to redeem, i.e., to buy back), as the Rabbins do, in the sense of קנה to buy, acquire. The use of גּאל for קנה may be explained from the fact, that when the land was divided, the Levites did not receive either an inheritance in the land, or even the towns appointed for them to dwell in as their own property. The Levitical towns were allotted to the different tribes in which they were situated, with the simple obligation to set apart a certain number of dwelling-houses for the Levites, together with pasture-ground for their cattle in the precincts of the towns (cf. Numbers 35:1. and my Commentary on Joshua, p. 453 translation). If a non-Levite, therefore, bought a Levite's house, it was in reality a repurchase of property belonging to his tribe, or the redemption of what the tribe had relinquished to the Levites as their dwelling and for their necessities.

(Note: This is the way in which it is correctly explained by Hiskuni: Utitur scriptura verbo redimendi non emendi, quia quidquid Levitae vendunt ex Israelitarum haereditate est, non ex ipsorum haerediatate. Nam ecce non habent partes in terra, unde omnis qui accipit aut emit ab illis est acsi redimeret, quoniam ecce initio ipsius possessio fuit. On the other hand, the proposal made by Ewald, Knobel, etc., after the example of the Vulgate, to supply לא before גּאל is not only an unnecessary conjecture, but is utterly unsuitable, inasmuch as the words "if one of the Levites does not redeem it" would restrict the right to the Levites without any perceptible reason; just as if a blood-relation on the female side, belonging to any other tribe, might not have done this.)

The words אח ועיר are an explanatory apposition - "and that in the town of his possession," - and do not mean "whatever he had sold of his house-property or anything else in his town," for the Levites had no other property in the town besides the houses, but "the house which he had sold, namely, in the town of his possession." This implies that the right of reversion was only to apply to the houses ceded to the Levites in their own towns, and not to houses which they had acquired in other towns either by purchase or inheritance. The singular היא is used after a subject in the plural, because the copula agrees with the object (see Ewald, 319c). As the Levites were to have no hereditary property in the land except the houses in the towns appointed for them, it was necessary that the possession of their houses should be secured to them for all time, if they were not to fall behind the other tribes.

Leviticus 25:39 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

be sold

Exodus 21:2 If you buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.

Exodus 22:3 If the sun be risen on him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing...

Deuteronomy 15:12 And if your brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold to you, and serve you six years...

1 Kings 9:22 But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no slaves: but they were men of war, and his servants, and his princes, and his captains...

2 Kings 4:1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets to Elisha, saying, Your servant my husband is dead...

Nehemiah 5:5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children as their children: and, see...

Jeremiah 34:14 At the end of seven years let you go every man his brother an Hebrew, which has been sold to you; and when he has served you six years...

compel him to serve as [heb] serve thyself with him with the service of, etc.

Leviticus 25:46 And you shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession...

Exodus 1:14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field...

Jeremiah 25:14 For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds...

Jeremiah 27:7 And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the very time of his land come...

Jeremiah 30:8 For it shall come to pass in that day, said the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and will burst your bonds...

Cross References
Matthew 18:25
And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.

Exodus 21:2
When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing.

Deuteronomy 15:12
"If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you.

1 Kings 9:22
But of the people of Israel Solomon made no slaves. They were the soldiers, they were his officials, his commanders, his captains, his chariot commanders and his horsemen.

2 Kings 4:1
Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves."

2 Chronicles 28:10
And now you intend to subjugate the people of Judah and Jerusalem, male and female, as your slaves. Have you not sins of your own against the LORD your God?

Nehemiah 5:5
Now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children are as their children. Yet we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but it is not in our power to help it, for other men have our fields and our vineyards."

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