Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you come into the land which I give you…
I. MAN'S NEED OF OCCASIONAL BEST FROM TOIL. The Hebrew system was remarkable for the number and variety of its provisions for this. By the emphasis thus given to rest, God hallowed it as being both a duty and privilege. It is needful in this age of excessive labour, when the struggle for wealth consumes men's energies so fast, and makes them so weary and prematurely old and broken. We can think of many who ought to take a sabbatic year of rest, and then add to it a year of jubilee.
II. ALL MEN ARE ENTITLED TO A SHARE OF GOD'S BOUNTY. Men were not allowed in the jubilee year to store up aught of what grew in the fields. God was manifestly the sole author of it. It was to be distributed, therefore, like the other pure bounties of His hand, like the rain and the sunshine, to all alike. This happened every sabbatic year, as well as in the jubilee. Christian faith endorses this. The fact of holding a title to a piece of land does not warrant one in engrossing to himself all that it yields. Christian charity says, "Distribute the benefit of it."
III. THE WELFARE OF SOCIETY IS IMPERILLED BY THE ACQUISITION OF GREAT LANDED ESTATES. The operation of the jubilee was to prevent the accumulation of land in the hands of a few. If in the course of fifty years such an accumulation occurred, the jubilee redistributed it. The public good demanded its general division among the people. Great Britain suffers greatly from excessive concentration in the ownership of land. The principle of charity, if given full operation, would restrain excessive accumulation.
IV. THE DIGNITY OF MAN VIEWED AS A RANSOMED CHILD OF GOD IS ANOTHER IDEA EMBODIED IN THE JUBILEE (ver. 42).
(A. H. Currier.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD.
WEB: "Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, 'When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a Sabbath to Yahweh.