The Fifth Book of Moses, Called Deuteronomy

Chapter 15

The seventh year shall be a year of release for the poor, 1-6. It must be no lease of lending or giving, 7-11. A Hebrew servant, unless he does not want to depart, must in the seventh year be let go free and well furnished, 12-18. All first-born males of the cattle are to be sanctified to the Lord, 19-23.

1 "At the end of every seven years you shall make a release. 2 And this is the manner of the release: every creditor who lends anything to his neighbor shall release it. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, or of his brother, because it is called the LORD'S release. 3 Of a foreigner you may exact it again, but that which is yours with your brother your hand shall release. 4 However, there shall be no poor among you, for the LORD shall greatly bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance to possess it, 5 If only you carefully listen to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command you this day. 6 For the LORD your God shall bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over you.

7 "If there is among you a poor man of one of your brothers within any of your gates in your land which the LORD your God gives you, 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 shall surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he lacks. 9 Beware that there is not a thought in your wicked heart, saying, 'The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,' and your eye is evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cries to the LORD against you, and it shall be sin to you. 10 You shall surely give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the LORD your God shall bless you in all your works and in all that you put your hand to. 11 For the poor shall never cease from the land. Therefore, I command you, saying, 'You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor, and to your needy in your land.'

12 "And 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 out free from you, you shall not let him depart empty. 14 You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your floor, and out of your wine-press. Of that with which the LORD your God has blessed you, you shall give to him. 15 And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you. Therefore, I command you this thing this day. 16 And it shall be, if he says to you, 'I will not leave you,' because he loves you and your house, because he is well with you, 17 Then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant forever. And also to your woman-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 of double the worth of a hired servant to you in serving you six years. And the LORD your God shall bless you in all that you do.

19 "All the first-born males that come of your herd and of your flock you shall sanctify to the LORD your God. You shall do no work with the first-born of your bull, nor shear the first-born of your sheep. 20 You shall eat it before the LORD your God year by year in the place which the LORD chooses—you and your household. 21 And if there is any blemish in it, as if it is lame, blind, or has any ill blemish, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God. 22 You shall eat it within your gates. The unclean and the clean person shall eat it alike, as the gazelle and as the deer. 23 Only you shall not eat its blood. You shall pour it upon the ground as water."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Deuteronomy, Chapter 15[➚]


[v.7-11] - God desires that His people are very generous. Paul states in 2nd Corinthians 9:7 that, "God loves a cheerful giver." Also note the outcome of the ones participating in the charitable acts in Matthew 25:34-40. There, Christ refers to such people as, "blessed of my Father."

[v.8] - Reference, Psalm 37:23-26; Proverbs 19:17; Matthew 5:42; Luke 6:34-36, 38; Galatians 2:10.