God instructs us to be fair to each other in our economic dealings, to use a pro-rata system of valuation when we are exchanging and redeeming property, and that slavery is an acceptable form of servitude, except that other Israelites were to be treated with more respect and allowed to go free in the Jubilee Year (Yovel) whereas slaves which had been purchased were slaves forever, and property that could be transferred in one’s estate to one’s heirs.
I am not sure what happens if you are a foreigner who is a slave, then you convert, i.e. become a fellow believer, and the Yovel year comes. There isn’t anything I saw that covered that, but I wonder because in all other areas, one who sojourns with the people and worships as they do is to be considered as one of them, and equal in the eyes of the law.
Anyone got an opinion?
This book is all about the everyday relationship between people and God, and between people and people. We are told about cleanliness, personal hygiene, the festivals, the sacrifices, the selling of property and the methodology of evaluation when redeeming that property. We are also told that all property belongs to God and we are just temporary residents. This goes well with the prior statements God made, and ones He will make later in the Torah, regarding how the land vomited out the prior residents because of their sinful ways, and will do the same to this people if they follow that example.
We are reminded about the Shabbats, rest for the people and now, too, rest for the land. And the wonderful law of the Jubilee Year, the Yovel, where all the followers of God are brought back to their land, a year of rest for the land and the people. Since this happens every half-century, given the normal lifespan of a person, everyone would most likely get to enjoy a Yovel, at least once, during their lifetime.
What I see in this parashah is a legal description of what Yeshua brings to us spiritually: redemption. The main difference being that in the physical world, when someone is redeeming their land, there is a pro-rata evaluation of the worth of the land. When Yeshua redeems us spiritually, there is no valuation: we are redeemed, totally, and forever. No matter whether our sins outweighed our righteousness, or vice-versa, this redemption is complete and once-and-for-all.
Just as God told the people (this comes later in the book) that so long as they do as they should their lands will be productive, we who are redeemed by Yeshua’s sacrificial death are to do T’Shuvah, to turn, and live our lives as representatives of God. Our redemption is immediate, and just as the people had to obey God and follow His laws for the land to be productive, we are to do the same with our spiritual lives in order to produce “fruit.” We are to obey God’s commandments, the ones in the Torah (there is nothing ‘New’ in the New Covenant- everything Yeshua taught and said we should do is from Torah. Same for Paul, John, and all the other writers of the B’rit Chadasha) and when we do so, we will be blessed. If we reject God, even after He has redeemed us from our sin, we apostatize and throw away our redemption.
That is what I said: I have said it before and will continue to say it because it is so very, very important to understand: salvation is irrevocable, but that only means God will not take it back. It doesn’t mean we can’t throw it away, and if you want Biblical evidence that what I say is true, go to Hebrews 6:4-6; John 15:6; 1 Corinthians 15:2; 2 Peter 2:20-21. There are many other verses demonstrating clearly that salvation gained can be rejected, how in the End Days many will turn away from and betray Yeshua, and Revelations tells us that most will be turned from the true faith. Believe it- salvation is guaranteed to be given, but it can (and by most, will) be easily lost.
Redemption is the underlying theme of the entire Word of God, and we see here one aspect of it- the one that is in the physical world. Both the redemption of property and of self; God-granted freedom from slavery. Even freedom from work during the seventh year Shabbat for the land (Shmita) and the Yovel.
Redemption of your life and property in this world, and redemption of your soul in the next. This is what the Bible is all about, this is the plan God has for all of us.
Redemption: easy to get and hard to keep.