“If someone sells a dwelling in a walled city, he has one year after the date of sale in which to redeem it. For a full year he will have the right of redemption; but if he has not redeemed the dwelling in the walled city within the year, then title in perpetuity passes to the buyer through all his generations; it will not revert in the Jubilee.”-Leviticus 25:29-30
At this point in our studies of Leviticus chapter 25, we have learned that all activity that involved the buying and selling of land ALWAYS included the RIGHT OF REDEMPTION.
The RIGHT OF REDEMPTION was the right of a land holder to buy back a piece of land he may have lost due to unfortunate circumstances such as debt.
And the RIGHT OF REDEMPTION was a transaction that always involved money.
Now the next question that arises is what if we have a situation of somebody losing his property and he doesn’t have the money nor any close relatives to step in and redeem the land for him?
The answer is simple.
He has to wait until the Jubilee year to get it back.
Once the Jubilee year swings around the current non-original holder of the land must RELEASE it back to the original holder of the land FOR FREE!
That’s what the Jubilee accomplished when the property was returned back to its original holder.
We’re talking about a full and complete release that involved zero money.
This is the difference between RELEASE and REDEMPTION!
Although the results were the same (the original holder got the land he lost back), one transaction involved money, the other didn’t.
Now from verse 29, we are presented with a different example concerning a man who doesn’t have a piece of land, but instead owns a house inside of a walled city.
In this case, the man who owns a house inside a city is obviously not a farmer or a shepherd, he was probably a merchant or a craftsman.
In this case, interestingly, the law is different.
If a home owner transfers ownership of his house to another party whether by selling it for profit or losing it due to debt, he only has one year to redeem it (remember “redeem” means to “buy back”).
After a one year period, if the original holder of a house does nothing to get his house back, it’s gone out of his life forever.
And even when the Jubilee year comes around, it doesn’t matter.
If a house inside a walled city is not redeemed within one year, it stays with the current owner until he decides to sell it.
Hence, we see here quite a big difference between how a house is treated versus how land is treated when it comes to release and redemption.
However, take a look at verse 31.
“However, houses in villages not surrounded by walls are to be dealt with like the fields in the countryside — they may be redeemed [before the Jubilee], and they revert in the Jubilee.”
Houses located OUTSIDE of walled cities are treated exactly as land when it comes to release and redemption.
In other words, the period to redeem it never expires and of course when the Jubilee year comes around it is RELEASED to its original owner.
I wonder why this is.
Probably because if a person owned a house in a village outside of the city, there was most likely a piece of land that went with it.
Even if that person was not a farmer but instead let’s say for example he was a craftsman, chances are high he probably grew food on the land.
Now at this stage in our studies of the Jubilee, I wanted to pause here and ask you if you are catching the ultimate spiritual lesson being imparted to us via the laws and regulations concerning land ownership and Jubilee?
I find this quite fascinating because it flies in the face of everything we’re taught to desire and be like in our society.
Think about it.
In our society, we’re taught to be greedy and taught to always be acquiring more.
We’re taught to do everything we can to get more wealth, more money, and more real estate at the expense of others.
And when we do succeed in getting more, our sick little hearts love to lord it overs, if not openly, we do it secretly.
We become prideful and look down on others because we have more.
And if we’re on the other side of the haves and have-nots equation, we feel inferior and feel like our value as a human being is diminished and not as high as the person who has acquired lots material property.
However, if we were living according to God’s laws, what would happen when the Jubilee year came around?
All the property acquired by the wealthy would go back to their original holders, and all the property lost by the poor would be returned to them.
Everything would be equalized.
And then it would be clear that we really don’t “own” anything.
It all belongs to God.
Everything you have, your money, your house, your car, your job, and your health and so on, everything belongs to God.
And isn’t it interesting how the most influential man in the world, in fact he was so influential that he split history in two, was a man who owned practically nothing!
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO NEW TESTAMENT
“Foxes have dens and birds have nests,
but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”