Exodus 23:11

Hebrew Bible

10 “For six years you are to sow your land and gather in its produce. 11 But in the seventh year you must let it lie fallow and leave it alone so that the poor of your people may eat, and what they leave any animal in the field may eat; you must do likewise with your vineyard and your olive grove. 12 For six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you must cease, in order that your ox and your donkey may rest and that your female servant’s son and the resident foreigner may refresh themselves.

Jubilees 7:37


36 For three years the fruit of everything that is eaten will not be gathered: and in the fourth year its fruit will be accounted holy [and they will offer the first-fruits], acceptable before the Most High God, who created heaven and earth and all things. Let them offer in abundance the first of the wine and oil (as) first-fruits on the altar of the Lord, who receives it, and what is left let the servants of the house of the Lord eat before the altar which receives (it). 37 And in the fifth year make ye the release so that ye release it in righteousness and uprightness, and ye shall be righteous, and all that you plant shall prosper. 38 For thus did Enoch, the father of your father command Methuselah, his son, and Methuselah his son Lamech, and Lamech commanded me all the things which his fathers commanded him.

 Notes and References

"... Others have suggested that instead of reading “fifth year,” the text originally read “seventh year” because Jubilees was now turning to a different subject, the matter of the sabbatical year ... Jubilees 7:37-39 would thus return us to the writing of the original author, and this seems all the more likely because these verses are altogether characteristic of his thinking: Observe the seventh-year agricultural rest, he has Noah tell his descendants, because this is how Enoch, your father’s father, commanded his son Methuselah; then Methuselah his son Lamech; and Lamech commanded me everything that his fathers had commanded him. In other words, once again a human being initiates a practice that was later to become a divine law, the law of the seventh fallow year (Exodus 23:11, Leviticus 25:2-7) and then passes the practice on to his descendants ..."

Kugel, James L. A Walk through Jubilees: Studies in the Book of Jubilees and the World of Its Creation (p. 74) Brill, 2012

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