Chapter 15: Yah’s Release: Debts Canceled Every Seven Years
1 “At the end of every seven years, you shall grant a release of debts. 2 And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it. He shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother because it is called Yah’s release. 3 Of a foreigner you may require it but you shall give up your claim to what is owed by your brother. 4 Except when there may be no poor among you, for Yah will greatly bless you in the land which Yah your Almighty is giving you to possess as an inheritance. 5 Only if you carefully obey the voice of Yah your Almighty, to observe with care all these commandments which I command you today. 6 For Yah your Almighty will bless you just as He promised you. You shall lend to many nations but you shall not borrow. You shall reign over many nations but they shall not reign over you.
Generosity to the Poor: Open Your Heart and Hand to the Poor
7 “If there is among you a poor man of your brothers, within any of the gates in your land which Yah your Almighty is giving you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother. 8 But you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. 9 Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart saying, ‘the seventh year, the year of release, is at hand’ and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing and he cry out to Yah against you and it become sin among you. 10 You shall surely give to him and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him because for this thing Yah your Father will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. 11 For the poor will never cease from the land. Therefore, I command you saying: ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land’.”
The Law Concerning Bondservants (Slaves)
12 “If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13 And when you send him away free from you, you shall not let him go away empty-handed. 14 You shall supply him liberally from your flock, from your threshing floor and from your winepress. From what Yah your Almighty has bless you with, you shall give to him. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and Yah your Father redeemed you. Therefore, I command you this thing today. 16 And if it happens that he says to you, ‘I will not go away from you’ because he loves you and your house, since he prospers with you. 17 Then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his ear to the door and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise. 18 It shall not seem hard to you when you send him away free from you. For he has been worth a double hired servant in serving you six years. Then Yah your Almighty will bless you in all that you do”.
The Law Concerning Firstborn Animals
19 “All the firstborn males that come from your herd and your flock you shall sanctify to Yah your Almighty. You shall do no work with the firstborn of your herd nor shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 You and your household shall eat it before Yah your Almighty year by year in the place which Yah chooses. 21 But if there is a defect in it, if it is lame or blind or has any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to Yah your Almighty. 22 You may eat it within your gates. The unclean and the clean person alike may eat it, as if it were a gazelle or a deer. 23 Only you shall not eat its blood. You shall pour it on the ground like water”.
Chapter 16: The Passover Reviewed
1 “Observe the month of Abib and keep the Passover to Yah your Almighty, for in the month of Abib, Yah your Almighty brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 Therefore, you shall sacrifice the Passover to Yah your Almighty, from the flock and the herd, in the place where Yah chooses to put His name. 3 You shall eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste) that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life. 4 And no leaven shall be seen among you in all your territory for seven days nor shall any of the meat which you sacrifice the first day at twilight remain overnight until morning. 5 You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates which Yah your Almighty gives you. 6 But at the place where Yah your Almighty chooses to make His name abide, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at twilight, at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt. 7 And you shall roast and eat it in the place which Yah your Almighty chooses and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. 8 Six days you shall eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day there shall be a qodesh assembly to Yah your Almighty. You shall do no work on it”.
The Feast of Weeks Reviewed
9 “You shall count seven weeks for yourself. Begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain. 10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to Yah your Almighty with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as Yah your Almighty blesses you. 11 You shall rejoice before Yah your Almighty, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your gates, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are among you, at the place where Yah your Almighty chooses to make His name abide. 12 And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt and you shall be careful to observe these statutes”.
The Feast of Tabernacle (Booths) Reviewed
13 “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacle seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. 14 And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. 15 Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to Yah your Almighty in the place which Yah chooses because Yah your Almighty will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice”.
Three Festivals at the Place of Worship
16 Three times a year all your males shall appear before Yah your Almighty in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Tabernacles and they shall not appear before Yah empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of Yah your Almighty which He has given you”. (Compare to 2 Chronicles 6:6 and 2 Chronicles 7:16).
Justice Must Be Administered: Treat Everyone with Justice
18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates which Yah your Almighty gives you, according to your tribes and they shall judge the people with just judgment. 19 You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. 20 You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which Yah your Almighty is giving you”.
Don’t Set Up Wooden Images Nor Sacred Pillars (Stones)
21 “You shall not plant for yourself any tree, as a wooden image, near the altar which you build for yourself to Yah your Almighty. 22 You shall not set up a sacred pillar which Yah your Almighty hates”.