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Deuteronomy Chapter 15
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The Remission Year
15:1 At the end of every seven years, you shall celebrate the remission year.
15:2 The idea of the remission year is that every creditor shall remit any debt owed by his neighbor and brother when God's remission year comes around.
15:3 You may collect from the alien, but if you have any claim against your brother for a debt, you must relinquish it.
15:4 God will then bless you in the land that God your Lord is giving you to occupy as a heritage, and there will not be any more poor among you.
15:5 This, however, will be true only if you obey the word of God your Lord, carefully keeping this entire mandate that I am prescribing to you today.
15:6 God your Lord will then bless you as He promised you, so that you will extend credit to many nations, but you will not need any credit for yourselves. You will thus dominate many nation, but none will dominate you.

Lending Money
15:7 When, in a settlement in the land that God your Lord is giving you, any of your brothers is poor, do not harden your heart or shut your hand against your needy brother.
15:8 Open your hand generously, and extend to him any credit he needs to take care of his wants.
15:9 Be very careful that you not have an irresponsible idea and say to yourself, 'The seventh year is approaching, and it will be the remission year.' You may then look unkindly at your impoverished brother, and not give him anything. If he then complains to God about you, you will have a sin.
15:10 Therefore, make every effort to give him, and do not feel bad about giving it, since God your Lord will then bless you in all your endeavors, no matter what you do.
15:11 The poor will never cease to exist in the land, so I am commanding you to open your hand generously to your poor and destitute brother in your land.

The Israelite Slave
15:12 When your fellow Hebrew man or woman is sold to you, he may serve as much as six years, but in the seventh year you must send him away free.
15:13 When you send him away free, do not send him empty-handed.
15:14 Give him a severance gift from your flocks, from your threshing floor, and from your wine vat, so that he will have a share of all the things through which God your Lord has blessed you.
15:15 You will thus remember that you were a slave in Egypt and God your Lord liberated you. It is for this reason that I am commanding you today to do this.
15:16 If [the slave] likes you and your family, and has it so good with you that he says, 'I do not want to leave you,'
15:17 then you must take an awl, and place it through his ear and the door. He will then become your permanent slave.

You must also [grant a severance gift] to your female slave.

15:18 Do not think it difficult to send [your slave] away free. He has done double the work of a hired hand during the six years, and God your Lord will bless you in all you do.

First-Born Animals
15:19 You must consecrate to God every male firstling born among your cattle and flocks. Do not work with your first-born ox, and do not shear your first-born sheep.
15:20 You and your family must eat them before God your Lord each year in the place that God shall choose.
15:21 If [the animal] has a blemish, such as when it is crippled or blind, or afflicted with any other serious blemish, you may not sacrifice it to God your Lord.
15:22 The clean and unclean may then eat it in your settlements, just like the deer and gazelle.
15:23 Do not eat its blood, but spill it on the ground like water.



Commentary:

remission year
  Shemitah in Hebrew. See Exodus 23:10, Leviticus 25:2.

and there will not be...
  (Ibn Ezra; Bachya).

extend credit
  Abat in Hebrew. Or, 'exact a pledge for a loan,' see Deuteronomy 24:10. (cf. Bachya).

irresponsible
  See note on Deuteronomy 13:14.

but in the seventh year...
  See Exodus 21:2.

severance gift
  Of 30 shekels (Kiddushin 17a).

family
  (Targum). Or, literally, 'house' (Septuagint).

awl
  See Exodus 21:6.

grant a severance gift
  (Kiddushin 17b; Rashi; Yad, Avadim 3:13).

double the work...
  (Rashi; cf. Targum). Or, 'He has worked for you at the yearly wage of a hired hand' (Septuagint).

serious blemish
  See Leviticus 22:22-24.

The clean and unclean...
  See Deuteronomy 12:15.

spill it on the ground...
  See Deuteronomy 12:16.





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