Front Page

Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Deuteronomy

(Return to Old Testament Contents)



Part 3: Ch.12-20 Moses reminds them of Stipulations for a Holy Nation

Ch.12 – The One Place of Worship

Ch.13 – Beware Deception

Ch.14 – Food & Tithing

Ch.15 – Year Seven Changes & Firstborn Animal Offerings

Ch. 16 – Festivals, Justice & Worship

Ch. 17 – Worship, Justice & any Future King

Ch. 18 – Maintain Right Spiritual Practices   

Ch. 19 – Rules for Cities of Refuge

Ch. 20 – Rules for Going to War



FRAMEWORKS: Deuteronomy 15: Year Seven Changes & Firstborn Animal Offerings


v.1-11 The Year for Canceling Debts

v.12-18 Freeing Servants

v.19-23 The Firstborn Animal Offerings



v.1-11 The Year for Canceling Debts


v.1-3 Every seven years cancel all debts

v.1 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.

v.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.

v.3 You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your fellow Israelite owes you.


v.4,5 There should be no poor

v.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,

v.5 if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today.


v.6 You will loan to the world

v.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.


v.7,8 Look after the poor

v.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.

v.8 Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.


v.9-11 Don't be begrudging towards the needy

v.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.

v.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.

v.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.


[Notes: An open-hearted bless-one-another policy. Cancel all debts every seventh year, look after your poor. There really needn't be any poor because of God's good provision but because in the Fallen World people are less than perfect, there will be, so be openhearted towards them.]



v.12-18 Freeing Servants


v.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.

v.13 And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed.

v.14 Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you.

v.15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.

v.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,

v.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.

v.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.


[Notes: Paid servitude must end every seven years and when it does, bless and provide for those who had been your servants. Provision is made for those who want to stay on.]



v.19-23 The Firstborn Animal Offerings


v.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.

v.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.

v.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.

v.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.

v.23 But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.


[Notes: Offerings come from the first-born animals so set aside all the first-born but present to the Lord and eat them at the Tabernacle but eat at home first-born that are defective - without blood.]