“Concerning the cities of the Levites and the houses in the cities they possess, the Levites are to have a permanent right of redemption. If someone purchases a house from one of the Levites, then the house he sold in the city where he owns property will still revert to him in the Jubilee; because the houses in the cities of the Levites are their tribe’s possession among the people of Israel. The fields in the open land around their cities may not be sold, because that is their permanent possession.”-Leviticus 25:32-34
In our discussion of the laws concerning Jubilee and the buying and selling of land, there is one tribe that got special treatment.
That tribe was the Levites.
When the Israelites entered the land of Canaan (which hasn’t yet happened at this point in our studies), each tribe except the tribe of Levi was given a land allotment.
Instead, since the Levites were set apart as God’s special servants, they were to receive a total of 48 cities in each of the territories of the 12 tribes.
And, in addition, a small portion of land was included with the cities that went to the Levites.
Now some of the 48 cities were walled cities and some were not.
Recall from our last post that when your average Israelite lost his home located within a walled city, he only had 1 year to redeem it (buy it back).
However, no such redemption limit was placed on a Levite home.
If a Levite lost his home due to debt or whatever, once he came up with the funds, he could choose to buy it back anytime and the current owner of the home was obligated to sell it back to him.
In addition, once the year of Jubilee came around, the home was still returned to the Levite free-of-charge.
What we’re basically being presented with is the principle of HOMESTEADING.
This is a term I’m sure most homeowners are familiar with.
Basically, it means that as long as you maintain your mortgage payments or own the home outright, your home can NEVER be taken from you due to some other debt or acts of negligence on your part, including filing bankruptcy.
Since a Levite, as one of God’s servants, could NEVER EVER lose his land inheritance, one would be taking a bit of a risk to loan money to a Levite, because per God’s law, you could never foreclose on their home.