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Leviticus 25:14 & meaning...

If 

you sell anything to your neighbor, or buy from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another.

Leviticus 25:14

Context

Leviticus 25 [13.] “‘In this Year of Jubilee each of you shall return to his property.

Leviticus 25 [14.] “‘If you sell anything to your neighbor, or buy from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another. According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor. According to the number of years of the crops he shall sell to you. According to the length of the years you shall increase its price, and according to the shortness of the years you shall diminish its price; for he is selling the number of the crops to you. You shall not wrong one another; but you shall fear your God: for I am Yahweh your God.


Meaning:

  • Principles of Fairness:

This verse encapsulates a foundational principle within the Israelite community—fair and just dealings between neighbors. Whether engaged in buying or selling, the injunction is clear: "you shall not wrong one another." The emphasis is on the avoidance of injustice, exploitation, or any form of mistreatment in economic transactions.

  • Neighborly Relations:

The term "neighbor" in this context extends beyond a mere geographical proximity. It embodies a communal relationship where individuals are bound together by a shared covenant and social responsibility. In transacting with a neighbor, the Israelites were called to uphold a standard of integrity and ethical conduct.

  • Economic Equity:

The directive in Leviticus 25:14 contributes to the broader theme of economic equity embedded in the Year of Jubilee. In the Jubilee year, every 50th year, ancestral lands were to be returned, and individuals who had sold themselves into servitude due to economic hardship were to be set free. This system aimed at preventing the accumulation of wealth by a few at the expense of others and ensuring a measure of economic reset.


Significance:

Covenantal Ethics: Leviticus 25:14 reflects the covenantal ethics that underpinned Israelite society. The covenant between God and Israel included not only religious and moral obligations but extended to economic and social dimensions, emphasizing the holistic nature of ethical living.

Restorative Justice: The verse aligns with the broader theme of restorative justice in the Year of Jubilee. It seeks to rectify imbalances and prevent the entrenchment of economic disparities within the community. By promoting fair transactions, it contributes to the well-being of the entire society.

Community Harmony: The injunction against wronging one another fosters a sense of community harmony and cohesion. In a society where individuals are mindful of the well-being of their neighbors, there is a foundation for communal welfare and shared prosperity.

  • Practical Application:

Business Ethics: Leviticus 25:14 carries practical implications for contemporary business ethics. It encourages individuals to conduct their economic transactions with integrity, avoiding practices that exploit or harm others. The principle of not wronging one another remains relevant in various economic contexts.

Social Responsibility: The verse prompts reflection on the broader concept of social responsibility. In a globalized world, where economic transactions transcend local boundaries, the principle of fair dealings extends to a global context, challenging individuals and businesses to uphold ethical standards in all transactions.


Cross References:

Exodus 22:21: "You shall not wrong an alien, neither shall you oppress him, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt." This parallel principle emphasizes the ethical treatment not only of neighbors but also of aliens or strangers, reinforcing the broader ethic of justice.

Micah 6:8: "He has shown you, O man, what is good. What does Yahweh require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" This broader ethical principle resonates with the call for just dealings in Leviticus 25:14, emphasizing the alignment of economic transactions with God's requirements.


In Conclusion:

Leviticus 25:14, nestled within the regulations of the Year of Jubilee, stands as a beacon of ethical guidance for economic transactions. It underscores the principles of fairness, justice, and community well-being, contributing to a holistic vision of societal harmony and equity. It invites personal reflection on individual economic practices and interactions within broader societal structures. It prompts us to consider the impact of our economic decisions on others and challenges us to uphold principles of fairness and justice in our dealings.


PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible