Some Notes:

The English language has no gender-neutral pronouns. So when the words man, he, him, etc are used, they mean "Generic human being" unless the context specifically says otherwise. Only women get words devoted just to them.

Thou, Thee, and Thine are singular pronouns. You and Your are plural in the 16th Century English the King James Bible was translated into. This actually makes the message clearer than our habit of using "you" as both a singular and a plural. So I have left them.

I have started with the King James and put each verse into my own words, checking the original meanings to many words in the Strong's Concordance. I do check other translations for wording when my own prose seems inadequate, but only if they say the same thing I believe the KJV says. Spelling and Grammar rules were not yet solidified when the KJV was translated, so most of my differences are actually just using American spelling, and adding in the right state of being verbs. I also switched out archaic words for modern equivalents.

Exodus 23c-Land Sabbath

Exodus 23:10 And six years thou will plant thy land, and will harvest in the fruits of it. 

11 But the seventh year thou will let it rest and lie still, so that the poor of thy people may eat from it. And what they leave the wild animals can eat. Treat thy vineyard and thy olive groves the same way. 

Leviticus 25:1 And the Lord spake to Moses in mount Sinai, saying,

2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When ye move into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath to the Lord.

3 Six years thou will plant thy field, and six years thou will tend thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit of it.

4 But the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest for the land, a sabbath given to the Lord. Thou shall neither plant thy fields, nor tend thy vineyard.

5 That which grows all by itself on thy land thou shall not harvest, neither gather the grapes of thy undressed vines, because it is a year of rest for the land.

6 And the sabbath of the land shall be food for you, for thee, and for thy slave, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy immigrant that lives with thee.

7 And for thy cattle, and for the beast that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat.  


20 And if you will say, 'What will we eat the seventh year, since we won't plant or harvest or gather?'

21 Then I will give My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will produce enough food for three years.

22 And you will plant the eighth year, and eat of the old produce until the ninth year, until the land produces again, you will eat of the old food in storage.  

All farmland is supposed to have its own “Sabbath” every seventh year. During this time, any food that grows by itself is for the poor and wild animals to eat.

This is the provision God made for the poor. Note that the food was not cooked and delivered to the poor’s doorstep. They had to go out and find a fallow field, harvest and prepare their own food.

This was also the provision for the wild animals instead of making entire plots of land unusable by humans as we do in our country.

The land also benefits from an occasional year of rest. Modern farmers get around this by adding chemical fertilizers every year to keep the land producing, but God's way would rejuvenate the land by itself. Those farmers who do it God's way have better land in the long run.


(Verses 12 and 13 are covered in chapter 20 The Ten Commandments)