Exchange of property (Lev 25:23-25:34)

“The land shall not be sold in perpetuity.  For the land is mine.  With me you are but aliens and tenants. Throughout the land that you hold, you shall provide for the redemption of the land.”

There are rules about how property changes hands.  All the land belongs to Yahweh.  You are just aliens and tenants on the land that you hold.

“If anyone of your kin falls into difficulty and sells a piece of property, then the next of kin shall come and redeem what the relative has sold.  If a man has no one to redeem it, but then prospers and finds sufficient means to do so, the years since its sale shall be computed and the difference shall be refunded to the person to whom it was sold.  The property shall be returned. But if there are not sufficient means to recover it, what was sold shall remain with the purchaser until the year of jubilee.  In the jubilee it shall be released.  The property shall be returned.”

If someone has a difficulty and sells a piece of property, then the next of kin should buy it back.  If there is no near relative, but the person later prospers, he can get his property back if he pays for what happened in the meantime.  Otherwise, he could wait for the Jubilee year when he gets his property back.  It seems to be me that there might be a lot of strange transactions in the years leading up to the Jubilee year.

“If anyone sells a dwelling house in a walled city, it may be redeemed  until a year has elapsed since its sale.  The right of redemption shall be one year.  If it is not redeemed before a full year has elapsed, a house that is in the walled city shall pass in perpetuity to the purchaser, throughout the generations.  It shall not be released in the jubilee.  But houses in villages that have no walls around them shall be classified as open country.  They may be redeemed.  They shall be released in the jubilee.” 

 There are different rules for those living in walled cities.  A dwelling house in a walled city can be redeemed within a year.  After that, this house is then exempt from the Jubilee redemption.  After one year the house goes in perpetuity to the purchaser.  On the other hand, houses in villages that have no walls around them are classified as open country.  They are released in the Jubilee year.   A house in a city is yours forever when you own it for over a year, but in the country area, the purchase can be reversed in the Jubilee year.

“As for the cities of the Levites, the Levites shall forever have the right of redemption of the houses in the cities belonging to them.  Such property as may be redeemed from the Levites, houses sold in a city belonging to them, shall be released in the jubilee.  The houses in the cities of the Levites are their possession among the people of Israel.  But the open land around their cities may not be sold.  That is their possession for all time.”

The Levite houses in their cities can be redeemed at any time, as well as during the Jubilee year.   However, the open land around their cities may not be sold for that is a perpetual possession.