The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Deuteronomy
As each seventh year comes round, there shall be a cancelling of debts,
and thus it shall be ordered; now that the Lord has granted discharge, no one shall demand repayment of money lent to his fellow-citizen, his fellow-Israelite.
From an alien that has come to dwell in the land thou mayst exact it, but thy own fellow-countryman must be granted discharge.
No one among you must be destitute, begging his bread, if the Lord is to grant thee his blessing in the land he means to give thee for thy own.✻
Bless thee he will, as he has promised, if only thou wilt listen to his voice and observe all the commandments I enjoin upon thee this day;
so that many nations shall be thy debtors, and none thy creditor, many thy servants, and none thy master.
It may be that one of thy brethren, thy fellow-citizen in the land the Lord thy God means to give thee, will fall on evil days. Do not steel thy heart and shut thy purse against him:
be generous to his poverty, and lend him what thou seest he stands in need of.
And here a base thought may come into thy mind, which thou must put away from thee; that the seventh year, the year of discharge, is too close at hand. Do not, at such a time, turn thy back on this brother of thine, and refuse to lend him what he would fain borrow; his plea will come before the Lord, and thou wilt be held guilty.
Lend freely, and use no craft in relieving his necessities; so at all times, to whatever employment thou dost turn thy hand, the blessing of the Lord thy God will be with thee.
For indeed there will be no lack of poor men in the land that is to be thy home;✻ I must needs warn thee, then, to be open-handed towards thy brother, thy fellow-countryman, when he is poor and in want.
When any of thy own race, Hebrew men and women, are sold to thee as slaves and have worked for thee six years, in the seventh year thou shalt set them at liberty.
And the freed slave must not be allowed to go away empty-handed;
make provision for him out of flock and threshing-floor and wine-press the Lord has blessed for thee.
Do not forget that thou too wast a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God ransomed thee; there is good cause for the command I now lay upon thee.
But it may be he will refuse to leave thee, for the love he bears to thee and to thy household, and for the happiness he finds in thy service.
Take an awl, then, and bore through his ear with it into the door of thy house, in token that he is thy slave in perpetuity; and for a maid-servant do the like.
But if thou dost let them go free, do not turn thy back on them; for six years they have been earning a workman’s hire. So the Lord thy God shall bless all thy enterprises.
Thou shalt set apart for the Lord thy God all the first-born of thy cattle and sheep; the calf must never feel the yoke, the lamb never be shorn;
year by year thou wilt come to the place the Lord has chosen, with all thy household, and feast upon such offerings in the presence of the Lord thy God.
But if any beast has a blemish, or is lame or blind or misshapen or maimed in any way, it cannot be offered to the Lord thy God;
eat it, then, within thy own city gates, and bid whom thou wilt, defiled or undefiled, to share it with thee, as if it were the flesh of red deer or roe,
being careful only not to eat the blood with it; that must be poured out like water on the ground.
The Holy Bible