Leviticus 25:13, The Jubilee Year

In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to his own property.

//Maybe you’ve heard of the Jubilee, which comes every 50 years. After seven times seven years, the next year is a Jubilee year, where the land is to rest. No sowing and no reaping, just eat directly from the vines.

Moreover, on the Jubilee year, any land you once owned which was purchased by another returns to your possession. This seems like a strange law, preventing any type of permanent change in land ownership. It also seems unfair to the buyer, for who would invest in land which would eventually revert back to the original owner?

If you’ve ever wondered about a potential buyer’s motivation, the answer is plainly spelled out in scripture; it’s just hidden in a book that’s hardly read. The Law actually encourages setting the purchase price on a pro rata basis, given what you are actually purchasing:

If you sell land to one of your countrymen or buy any from him, do not take advantage of each other. You are to buy from your countryman on the basis of the number of years since the Jubilee. And he is to sell to you on the basis of the number of years left for harvesting crops. When the years are many, you are to increase the price, and when the years are few, you are to decrease the price, because what he is really selling you is the number of crops. –Leviticus 25:14-16

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