Deuteronomy 15 Modern English Version (MEV)
The Sabbatical Year
15 At the end of every seven years you shall grant a relinquishing of debts. 2 This is the manner of the relinquishing: Every creditor that has loaned anything to his neighbor shall relinquish it. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, or of his brother, because it is called the Lord’s relinquishment. 3 You may collect it from a foreigner, but that which your brother has that is yours your hand shall release. 4 However, there will be no poor among you, for the Lord will greatly bless you in the land which the Lord your God has given you for an inheritance to possess, 5 if only you carefully obey the voice of the Lord your God, by carefully observing all these commandments which I command you today. 6 For the Lord your God will bless you, just as He promised you, and you will lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. You will reign over many nations, but they will not reign over you.
7 If there be among you a poor man, one of your brothers within any of your gates in your land which the Lord your God has given you, you must not harden your heart or shut your hand from your poor brother. 8 But you shall open your hand wide to him and must surely lend him what is sufficient for his need, in that which he lacks. 9 Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, “The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,” and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the Lord against you, and it become sin in you. 10 You must surely give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because in this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works, and in all that you put your hand to do. 11 For the poor will never cease from being in the land. Therefore, I command you, saying, “You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and needy in your land.”
12 If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you must let him go free from you. 13 When you send him out free from you, you must not let him go away empty-handed. 14 You shall supply him liberally out of your flock, out of your floor, and out of your winepress. From that with which the Lord your God has blessed you, you shall give to him. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. Therefore, I command this to you today.
16 It shall be, if he says to you, “I will not go away from you,” because he loves you and your house, because he is well off with you, 17 then you must take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant forever. And you shall also do likewise to your female servant.
18 It will not seem difficult for you when you send him away free from you, for he has been worth a double hired servant[a] in serving you six years. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all that you do.
The Firstborn Animals
19 You must sanctify all the firstborn males that come out of your herd and flock to the Lord your God. You must do no work with the firstborn of your bulls or shear the firstborn of your sheep. 20 You shall eat it before the Lord your God year by year in the place where the Lord shall choose, you and your household. 21 If there is any defect in it, if it is lame or blind or has a serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. 22 You shall eat it within your gates. The unclean and the clean person alike shall eat it, as if it were a gazelle or a deer. 23 Only you must not eat its blood. You shall pour it on the ground like water.
Deuteronomy 15 New International Version (NIV)
The Year for Canceling Debts
15 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. 2 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. 3 You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your fellow Israelite owes you. 4 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, 5 if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. 6 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.
7 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. 8 Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need. 9 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.
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.