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Deuteronomy 15 Good News Translation (GNT)

The Seventh Year

15 “At the end of every seventh year you are to cancel the debts of those who owe you money. This is how it is to be done. Each of you who has lent money to any Israelite is to cancel the debt; you must not try to collect the money; the Lord himself has declared the debt canceled. You may collect what a foreigner owes you, but you must not collect what any of your own people owe you.

“The Lord your God will bless you in the land that he is giving you. Not one of your people will be poor if you obey him and carefully observe everything that I command you today. The Lord will bless you, as he has promised. You will lend money to many nations, but you will not have to borrow from any; you will have control over many nations, but no nation will have control over you.

“If in any of the towns in the land that the Lord your God is giving you there are Israelites in need, then do not be selfish and refuse to help them. Instead, be generous and lend them as much as they need. Do not refuse to lend them something, just because the year when debts are canceled is near. Do not let such an evil thought enter your mind. If you refuse to make the loan, they will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will be held guilty. 10 Give to them freely and unselfishly, and the Lord will bless you in everything you do. 11 There will always be some Israelites who are poor and in need, and so I command you to be generous to them.

The Treatment of Slaves

12 “If any Israelites, male or female, sell themselves[a] to you as slaves, you are to release them after they have served you for six years. When the seventh year comes, you must let them go free. 13 When you set them free, do not send them away empty-handed. 14 Give to them generously from what the Lord has blessed you with—sheep, grain, and wine. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God set you free; that is why I am now giving you this command.

16 “But your slave may not want to leave; he may love you and your family and be content to stay. 17 Then take him to the door of your house and there pierce his ear; he will then be your slave for life. Treat your female slave in the same way. 18 Do not be resentful when you set slaves free; after all, they have served you for six years at half the cost of hired servants.[b] Do this, and the Lord your God will bless you in all that you do.

The First-Born Cattle and Sheep

19 “Set aside for the Lord your God all the first-born males of your cattle and sheep; don't use any of these cattle for work and don't shear any of these sheep. 20 Each year you and your family are to eat them in the Lord's presence at the one place of worship. 21 But if there is anything wrong with the animals, if they are crippled or blind or have any other serious defect, you must not sacrifice them to the Lord your God. 22 You may eat such animals at home. All of you, whether ritually clean or unclean, may eat them, just as you eat deer or antelope. 23 But do not use their blood for food; instead, you must pour it out on the ground like water.

Footnotes:

  1. Deuteronomy 15:12 sell themselves; or are sold.
  2. Deuteronomy 15:18 at half … servants; or and have worked twice as hard as hired servants.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Deuteronomy 15 New International Version (NIV)

The Year for Canceling Debts

15 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your fellow Israelite owes you. However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.

If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need. Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.

Freeing Servants

12 If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. 13 And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. 14 Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.

16 But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, 17 then take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant.

18 Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free, because their service to you these six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand. And the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.

The Firstborn Animals

19 Set apart for the Lord your God every firstborn male of your herds and flocks. Do not put the firstborn of your cows to work, and do not shear the firstborn of your sheep. 20 Each year you and your family are to eat them in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose. 21 If an animal has a defect, is lame or blind, or has any serious flaw, you must not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. 22 You are to eat it in your own towns. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it, as if it were gazelle or deer. 23 But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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