Deuteronomy 15:1-6
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מִקֵּץ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים תַּעֲשֶׂה שְׁמִטָּה: וְזֶה דְּבַר הַשְּׁמִטָּה שָׁמוֹט כָּל בַּעַל מַשֵּׁה יָדוֹ אֲשֶׁר יַשֶּׁה בְּרֵעֵהוּ לֹא יִגֹּשׂ אֶת רֵעֵהוּ וְאֶת אָחִיו כִּי קָרָא שְׁמִטָּה לַה': אֶת הַנָּכְרִי תִּגֹּשׂ וַאֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֶת אָחִיךָ תַּשְׁמֵט יָדֶךָ: אֶפֶס כִּי לֹא יִהְיֶה בְּךָ אֶבְיוֹן כִּי בָרֵךְ יְבָרֶכְךָ ה' בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ: רַק אִם שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ לִשְׁמֹר לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת כָּל הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם: כִּי ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ בֵּרַכְךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לָךְ וְהַעֲבַטְתָּ גּוֹיִם רַבִּים וְאַתָּה לֹא תַעֲבֹט וּמָשַׁלְתָּ בְּגוֹיִם רַבִּים וּבְךָ לֹא יִמְשֹׁלוּ:

Every seventh year you shall practice remission of debts. This shall be the nature of the remission: every creditor shall remit the due that he/she claims from his/her fellow; s/he shall not dun his/her fellow or kinsman, for the remission proclaimed is of Adonai. You may dun the foreigner; but you must remit whatever is due you from your kinsmen. There shall be no needy among you -- since Adonai will bless you in the land that Adonai your God is giving you as a hereditary portion -- if only you heed Adonai your God and take care to keep all this Instruction that I enjoin upon you this day. For your God will bless you as God has promised you: you will extend loans to many nations, but require none yourself; you will dominate many nations, but they will not dominate you. [JPS translation edited for gender-neutrality]
3 ג

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What attitude do we find in this text regarding financial success?

2. Why is it important to have a remission of debts? How does this shape a society?

3. What are the reasons debt relief has been such an important topic in global issues? What lessons does this text offer governments could use when writing policy on lending and debt?

4 ד
Time Period: Biblical (early ancestors to 165 BCE)