The Kingdom of God; A Conceptual Sketch - III

English Section / 31 decembrie 2023

Domenico Tintoretto (1560-1635) - "The Penitent Magdalene", (1598-1602)

Domenico Tintoretto (1560-1635) - "The Penitent Magdalene", (1598-1602)

The Concept of the Kingdom of God (VII)

Versiunea în limba română


A.6. Jubilee (Yowel)

Applying Tzedakah in the Year of Jubilee:

[N.A.] - The intersection of Yowel's Commandments with similar ones from Shmita has been eliminated; considering Yowel as an extension of Shmita in the fiftieth year, only the additional, Jubilee-specific Commandments not found in Shmita are presented here.

a. Prohibition of Agricultural Labor:

"11. The fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee for you; do not sow, nor reap what grows on its own, nor gather its untended vines. For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce."

(Leviticus 25)

[N.A.] The prohibition of agricultural labor in Jubilee immediately follows that of the Shmita year, leaving agriculture on hiatus for two consecutive years.

b. Buying and Selling of Land:

"15. According to the number of years after the Jubilee, you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops, he shall sell to you. If there are many years, you shall increase the price, and if there are few years, you shall diminish the price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops."

(Leviticus 25)

c. Restitution of Alienated Lands:

"10. You shall consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim freedom throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his family property."

(Leviticus 25)

d. Right of Redemption:

"25. If your brother, who is with you, becomes poor and sells from his inheritance, let his close relative come and buy what his brother is selling.

26. But if someone does not have a relative, but will give him his hand and find what he needs for redemption,

27. Then let him count the years of his sale, and return what passes to the one to whom he sold it, and he will return to his estate.

28. And if he does not find his hand as much as he needs to return to that one, then the land sold by him will remain in the hands of the buyer until the jubilee year, and in the jubilee year the buyer will leave and the seller will enter his possession."


B. Rights of Workers

a. Prompt Payment of Wages:

"14. You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brethren or one of the aliens who is in your land within your gates. Each day you shall give him his wages, and do not let the sun go down on it, for he is poor, and his soul is set on it; lest he cry out against you to the Lord, and it be sin to you."

(Deuteronomy 24)

b. Right to Rest:

"12. Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day, you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed."

(Exodus 23)

c. Protecting Workers' Rights and Prohibiting Exploitation:

"13. You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man shall not remain with you all night until morning."

(Leviticus 19)

C. Protecting Widows, Orphans, and Strangers

a. Ensuring Rights and Protection

"22. You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child."

(Exodus 22)

b. Avoiding Injustice and Oppression

"9. Also, you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt."

(Exodus 23)

c. Obligation to Treat Strangers with Kindness and Empathy

"34. But the stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God."

(Leviticus 19)

D. Regulation Against Abuse

a. Moderation

"24. When you come into your neighbor's vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes at your pleasure, but you shall not put any in your container. When you come into your neighbor's standing grain, you may pluck the heads with your hand, but you shall not use a sickle on your neighbor's standing grain."

(Deuteronomy 23)

[N.A.] Commanding moderation in the call for tolerance and assistance in two different cases - harvesting grapes and harvesting grain - although the principle is the same in both cases, the verses do not limit themselves to them but establish an inductive, generalizing line.

b. Diligence

"12. Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day, you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed."

(Exodus 23)

[N.A.] The same Command is found under B. Workers' Rights/b. Right to Rest, as it is bivalent: on the one hand, it expresses the worker's right to rest, on the other hand, it obliges diligence, so that work is completed in six days. In this way, the Command prevents abuse in seeking help from others.

c. Proportional Aid

"8. But you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs."

(Deuteronomy 15)

[N.A.] The same Command is found under A.5.2. Debt Cancellation/c. Obligation to Help, as it is bivalent: on the one hand, it establishes the obligation to help, on the other hand, it establishes that the aid should not exceed the needs.

E. Justice

a. Prohibition of False Testimony

"16. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."

(Exodus 20)

b. Impartiality of Justice

"15. You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but in righteousness, you shall judge your neighbor."

(Leviticus 19)

c. Protection of the Innocent

"7. Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked."

(Exodus 23)

d. Avoiding Corruption

"8. And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous."

(Exodus 23)

e. Protection Against Slavery

"7. If a man is found kidnapping any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and mistreats him or sells him, then that kidnapper shall die, and you shall put away the evil from among you."

(Deuteronomy 24)

(To be continued)