1At the end of every seven years you must forgive people what they owe you.2Have you made a loan to one of your own people? Then forgive what is owed to you. You can't require that person to pay you back. The Lord's time to forgive what is owed has been announced.3You can require someone from another nation to pay you back. But you must forgive your own people what they owe you.4There shouldn't be any poor people among you. The Lord will greatly bless you in the land he is giving you. You will take it over as your own.5The Lord your God will bless you if you obey him completely. Be careful to follow all of the commands I'm giving you today.6The Lord your God will bless you, just as he has promised. You will lend money to many nations. But you won't have to borrow from any of them. You will rule over many nations. But none of them will rule over you.7Suppose there are poor people among you. And suppose they live in one of the towns in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Then don't be mean to them. They are poor. So don't hold back money from them.8Instead, open your hands and lend them what they need. Do it freely.9Be careful not to have an evil thought in your mind. Don't say to yourself, “The seventh year will soon be here. It's the year for forgiving people what they owe.” If you think like that, you might treat your needy people badly. You might not give them anything. Then they might make their appeal to the Lord against you. And he will find you guilty of sin.10So give freely to those who are needy. Open your hearts to them. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all of your work. He will bless you in everything you do.11There will always be poor people in the land. So I'm commanding you to give freely to those who are poor and needy in your land. Open your hands to them.
Set Your Hebrew Servants Free
12Suppose Hebrew men or women sell themselves to you. If they do, they will serve you for six years. Then in the seventh year you must let them go free.13But when you set them free, don't send them away without anything to show for all of their work.14Freely give them some animals from your flock. Also give them some of your grain and wine. The Lord your God has blessed you richly. Give to them as he has given to you.15Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. The Lord your God set you free. That's why I'm giving you this command today.16But suppose your servant says to you, “I don't want to leave you.” He loves you and your family. And you are taking good care of him.17Then take him to the door of your house. Poke a hole through his ear lobe into the doorpost. And he will become your servant for life. Do the same with your female servant.18Don't think you are being cheated when you set your servants free. After all, they have served you for six years. The service of each of them has been worth twice as much as the service of a hired worker. And the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.
Male Animals That Are Born First to Their Mothers
19Set apart to the Lord your God every male animal among your livestock that was born first to its mother. Don't put that kind of ox to work. Don't clip the wool from that kind of sheep.20Each year you and your family must eat them. Do it in the sight of the Lord your God at the place he will choose.21Suppose an animal has something wrong with it. It might not be able to see or walk. Or it might have a bad flaw. Then you must not sacrifice it to the Lord your God.22You must eat it in your own towns. Those who are “clean” and those who are not can eat it. Eat it as if it were antelope or deer meat.23But you must not eat meat that still has blood in it. Pour the blood out on the ground like water.
English Standard Version
The Sabbatical Year
1“At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. (Ex 23:10; Le 25:2; De 15:12; De 31:10; Ne 10:31)2And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the Lord’s release has been proclaimed.3Of a foreigner you may exact it, but whatever of yours is with your brother your hand shall release. (De 23:20)4But there will be no poor among you; for the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess— (De 15:11; De 28:8)5if only you will strictly obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today. (De 28:1)6For the Lord your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you. (Ex 23:25; De 7:13; De 28:12; De 28:13; De 28:44; 1Ki 4:21; 1Ki 4:24; Ezr 4:20; Pr 22:7)7“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, (1Jo 3:17)8but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. (Le 25:35; Mt 5:42; Lu 6:34)9Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. (De 24:15; De 28:54; De 28:56; Pr 23:6; Pr 28:22; Mt 20:15; Mt 25:41)10You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. (De 14:29; Pr 28:27; 2Co 9:7)11For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ (De 15:8; Mt 26:11; Mr 14:7; Joh 12:8)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. (Ex 21:2; Le 25:39; Jer 34:14)13And when you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty-handed.14You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your winepress. As the Lord your God has blessed you, you shall give to him. (De 8:18; De 16:17)15You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today. (De 5:15)16But if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he is well-off with you, (Ex 21:5)17then you shall take an awl, and put it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your slave forever. And to your female slave you shall do the same.18It shall not seem hard to you when you let him go free from you, for at half the cost of a hired worker he has served you six years. So the Lord your God will bless you in all that you do.19“All the firstborn males that are born of your herd and flock you shall dedicate to the Lord your God. You shall do no work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock. (Ex 13:2)20You shall eat it, you and your household, before the Lord your God year by year at the place that the Lord will choose. (De 12:7; De 14:23; De 14:26)21But if it has any blemish, if it is lame or blind or has any serious blemish whatever, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. (Le 22:20)22You shall eat it within your towns. The unclean and the clean alike may eat it, as though it were a gazelle or a deer. (De 12:15)23Only you shall not eat its blood; you shall pour it out on the ground like water. (Le 3:17)