Deuteronomy 15:1-23

  • Debt canceled every seventh year (1-6)

  • Assisting the poor (7-11)

  • Release of slaves every seventh year (12-18)

    • An awl through a slave’s ear (16, 17)

  • Firstborn animals sanctified (19-23)

15  “At the end of every seven years, you should grant a release.+  This is the nature of the release: Every creditor will release his neighbor from the debt he incurred. He should not demand payment from his neighbor or his brother, for it will be proclaimed a release to Jehovah.+  You may demand payment from the foreigner,+ but you should release your claim on whatever your brother owes you.  However, no one among you should become poor, for Jehovah will surely bless you+ in the land that Jehovah your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance,  but only if you strictly obey the voice of Jehovah your God and carefully observe all this commandment that I am giving you today.+  For Jehovah your God will bless you just as he has promised you, and you will lend* to many nations, but you will not need to borrow;+ and you will dominate many nations, but they will not dominate you.+  “If one of your brothers becomes poor among you in one of your cities of the land that Jehovah your God is giving you, do not harden your heart or be tightfisted toward your poor brother.+  For you should generously open your hand to him+ and by all means lend* whatever he needs or is lacking.  Be careful not to harbor this evil idea in your heart, ‘The seventh year, the year of the release, has approached,’+ and hold back your generosity toward your poor brother and give him nothing. If he calls out to Jehovah against you, it will be a sin on your part.+ 10  You should generously give to him,+ and you* should not give to him grudgingly, for this is why Jehovah your God will bless your every deed and undertaking.+ 11  For there will always be poor people in the land.+ That is why I am commanding you, ‘You should generously open up your hand to your afflicted and poor brother in your land.’+ 12  “If one of your brothers, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you and has served you for six years, then in the seventh year you should set him free.+ 13  And if you should set him free, do not send him away empty-handed. 14  You should supply him generously with something from your flock, your threshing floor, and your press for oil and wine. Just as Jehovah your God has blessed you, you should give to him. 15  Remember that you became a slave in the land of Egypt and that Jehovah your God redeemed you. That is why I am commanding you to do this today. 16  “But if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from your company!’ because he loves you and your household, since he has been happy while with you,+ 17  you should then take an awl and put it through his ear into the door, and he will become your slave for life. You should do the same with your slave girl. 18  Do not consider it a hardship when you set him free and he leaves you, because his service to you for six years was worth twice as much as that of a hired worker, and Jehovah your God has blessed you in everything that was done. 19  “You should sanctify every firstborn male of your herd and your flock to Jehovah your God.+ You must not do any work with the firstborn of your herd* nor shear the firstborn of your flock. 20  You and your household should eat it before Jehovah your God year by year in the place that Jehovah will choose.+ 21  But if it has a defect—lameness, blindness, or any other serious defect—you must not sacrifice it to Jehovah your God.+ 22  You should eat it inside your cities,* the unclean and clean person together, as though it were a gazelle or a deer.+ 23  But you must not eat its blood;+ you should pour it out on the ground like water.+


Or “lend on pledge.”
Or “lend on pledge.”
Lit., “your heart.”
Lit., “bull.”
Lit., “gates.”