The Sabbatical year of release, 1. The manner in which this release shall take place, 2-5. Of lending to the poor, and the disposition in which it should be done, 6-11. Of the Hebrew servant who has served six years, and who shall be dismissed well furnished, 12-15. The ceremony of boring the ear, when the servant wishes to continue with his master, 16-18. Of the firstlings of the flock and herd, 19,20. Nothing shall be offered that has any blemish, 21. The sacrifice to be eaten both by the clean and unclean, except the blood, which is never to be eaten, but poured out upon the ground, 22,23.
Notes on Chapter 15
At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release
For an explanation of many things in this chapter, see the notes on Exod. xxi. and xxiii., and Lev. xxv.
There shall be no poor
That is, comparatively; see Deuteronomy 15:11.
Thou shalt open thine hand wide
Thy benevolence shall be in proportion to his distress and poverty, and thy ability. Thou shalt have no other rule to regulate thy charity by.
Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart
lebabecha beliyaal, thy belial heart, that is, thy good-for-nothing or unprofitable heart; See Clarke on Deuteronomy 13:13.
And thine eye be evil
An evil eye signifies a covetous disposition. See the same form of expression used by our Lord in the same sense. Matthew 6:23. If thine eye be evil-If thou be a covetous person. Evil eye is by our Lord opposed to single eye, i. e., a person of a liberal, benevolent mind. Covetousness darkens the soul; liberality and benevolence enlighten it.
And he cry unto the Lord against thee
What a consolation to the poor and the oppressed, that they have a sure friend in God, who will hear their cry and redress their grievances!
For the poor shall never cease out of the land
To this passage our Lord appears to allude Mark 14:7: For ye have the poor with you always. God leaves these in mercy among men to exercise the feelings of compassion, tenderness, mercy, would soon become a Stoic or a brute.
Thou shalt not let him go away empty
Because during the time he served thee, he made no property for himself, having been always honest towards thee; and now when he leaves thee, he has nothing to begin the world with.
Thou shalt furnish him-out of thy flock
Thou shalt give him some cattle to breed with; out of thy floor-some corn for seed and for bread; and out of thy wine press-an adequate provision of wine for present necessity.
Thou shalt take an awl
See Clarke on Exodus 21:6.
Thou shalt eat it-in the place which the Lord shall choose
Thus God in his mercy made their duty and interest go hand in hand. And in every case God acts thus with his creatures; well, therefore, might Satan ask, Doth Job serve God for naught? No! nor does God design that any man should.
If there be any blemish
See Clarke on Leviticus 22:20. God will have both a perfect priest and a perfect offering.