Verse 50. "The price of his sale shall be, &c." - This was a very equitable law, both for the sojourner to whom the man was sold, and to the Israelite who had been thus sold. The Israelite might redeem himself, or one of his kindred might redeem him; but this must not be done to the prejudice of his master, the sojourner. They were therefore to reckon the years he must have served from that time till the jubilee; and then, taking the current wages of a servant per year at that time, multiply the remaining years by that sum, and the aggregate was the sum to be given to his master for his redemption. The Jews hold that the kindred of such a person were bound, if in their power, to redeem him, lest he should be swallowed up among the heathen; and we find, from Nehemiah v. 8, that this was done by the Jews on their return from the Babylonish captivity: We, after our ability, have redeemed our brethren the Jews, who were sold unto the heathen.
Verse 55. "For unto me the children of Israel are servants" - The reason of this law we have already seen, (See on "Leviticus xxv. 42",) but we must look farther to see the great end of it. The Israelites were a typical people; they represented those under the Gospel dispensation who are children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. But these last have a peculiarity of blessing: they are not merely servants, but they are SONS; though they also serve God, yet it is in the newness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. And to this difference of state the apostle seems evidently to allude, Gal. iv. 6, &c.: And because ye are SONS, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a SERVANT, but a SON; and if a SON, then an HEIR of God through Christ; genuine believers in Christ not being heirs of an earthly inheritance, nor merely of a heavenly one, for they are heirs of God. God himself therefore is their portion, without whom even heaven itself would not be a state of consummate blessedness to an immortal spirit. THE jubilee was a wonderful institution, and was of very great service to the religion, freedom, and independence of the Jewish people. "The motive of this law," says Calmet, "was to prevent the rich from oppressing the poor, and reducing them to perpetual slavery; and that they should not get possession of all the lands by way of purchase, mortgage, or, lastly, usurpation. That debts should not be multiplied too much, lest thereby the poor should be entirely ruined; and that slaves should not continue always, they, their wives and children, in servitude. Besides, Moses intended to preserve, as much as possible, personal liberty, an equality of property, and the regular order of families, among the Hebrews. Lastly, he designed that the people should be strongly attached to their country, lands, and inheritances; that they should have an affection for them, and consider them as estates which descended to them from their ancestors which they were to leave to their posterity, without any fear of their going ultimately out of their families." But this institution especially pointed out the redemption of man by Christ Jesus: 1. Through him, he who was in debt to God's justice had his debt discharged, and his sin forgiven. 2. He who sold himself for naught, who was a bondslave of sin and Satan, regains his liberty and becomes a son of God through faith in his blood. 3. He who by transgression had forfeited all right and title to the kingdom of God, becomes an heir of God, and a joint heir with Christ. Heaven, his forfeited inheritance, is restored, for the kingdom of heaven is open to all believers; and thus, redeemed from his debt, restored to his liberty, united to the heavenly family, and re-entitled to his inheritance, he goes on his way rejoicing, till he enters the paradise of his Maker, and is for ever with the Lord. Reader, hast thou applied for this redemption? Does not the trumpet of the jubilee, the glad tidings of salvation by Christ Jesus, sound in the land? Surely it does. Why then continue a bond-slave