Leviticus 25–27: Jubilee & God’s Covenant

Read the Bible in 2011Week 32: Monday

You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.
Leviticus 25:10

Monday’s Bible reading of Leviticus 25–27 finishes the book of Leviticus. Chapter 25 contains the laws for the sabbath year and the jubilee year. As you read look at how these laws teach who God is and who Israel is. The jubilee year gives a hopeful future to the poor, and keeps in check avarice and greed.The word jubilee is not a translation of the Hebrew word, but a transliteration.1

Ralph Alexander writes:

“…the derivation of “jubilee” is probably from yābal “to bring (forth).” The produce is “brought forth” to provide for the fallow jubilee year, and property is “brought” or “returned” to the original owners.”2

Chapter 26 contrasts obedience and the consequent great blessings through which God will confirm His covenant, with disobedience and the severe consequences of breaking God’s covenant. It closes by saying:

“These are the statutes and ordinances and laws which the LORD established between Himself and the sons of Israel through Moses at Mount Sinai.”
Leviticus 26:46

Chapter 27 gives the laws regarding votive offerings and tithes. Oswald Allis has this to say about 27:34:

“The closing statement is briefer and less definite than that of 26:46. It may be regarded, therefore, as referring primarily to ch. 27 and not to the entire book.”1

This is the last verse of Leviticus:

“These are the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the sons of Israel at Mount Sinai.”
Leviticus 27:34

I’ve spent some time writing on Leviticus because I wanted you to see the significance of this Old Testament book for us as Christians.  From it we learn God’s moral law, and we see His holiness and righteousness reflected. We see His compassion in Leviticus. We also learn about our sinful nature and the necessity of atonement for sin. Leviticus teaches us about God’s love and grace in making a way for sinful man to approach and worship the living God.

Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
1, 2Ralph H. Alexander, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., Bruce K. Waltke, eds., 1980, vol. I, p. 359.
3Oswald T. Allis, “Leviticus,” The New Bible Commentary: Revised, D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds., A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds., p. 167.

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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