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Leviticus 27:22 reads:

And if a man dedicates to the Lord a field which he has bought, which is not the field of his possession...

How can a field which a person bought not be their possession, as they did purchase it.

Would appreciate any help clarifying this part of Scripture.

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    This passage is differentiating between the land he inherited and the land that he purchased. Leviticus 27:22 And if he consecrates to the Lord a field that he had acquired, that is not part of his inherited property,
    – Yeddu
    Nov 17, 2021 at 3:45
  • Hi Yeddu that's a great answer! Could you please turn your comment into an answer so I can upvote and accept it as the correct one?
    – Philip
    Nov 17, 2021 at 9:06

2 Answers 2

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This relates to the shmita and Jubilees - these were explained earlier in Leviticus 25.

LEV 25:14 “If you sell land to any of your own people or buy land from them, do not take advantage of each other. 15 You are to buy from your own people on the basis of the number of years since the Jubilee. And they are to sell to you on the basis of the number of years left for harvesting crops

In Leviticus 27:22, the verse you quoted, explains a person buying land that was not his own. In the promised land (Canaan), each Israelite was to be allocated his own land - (except those who were descended from Levi) - They (all others) could then either ‘use’ their land, sell it, or add to it by purchasing more. BUT … when the year of Jubilee came around, (once every 49 years, in the next year (the 50th)), all land reverts back to the original owner.

So, in the verse following the one quoted, it reflects this connection…

LEV 27:23 the priest will determine its value up to the Year of Jubilee, and the owner must pay its value on that day as something holy to the Lord.

So, an outline, a person buys some land - that is not his allocated land, once the sale price is determined (depends on how many years are remaining in the 50yr cycle.), then the person ‘pays’ that to the owner - and then that land can be used [only] by the priests (specifically the Levites) - up until the year of Jubilee.

The point being, that in the promised land, all tribes had land allocated - except the Levites. So this is how the descendants of Aaron ‘lived’ (and could receive land to use). The Lord (was seen to) provided for them.

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These passages are detailing how an acquired[purchased] field that is in addition to the land this person inherited from his ancestors needs to be treated...

a. When he consecrates to the lord the purchased land.

b. What happens when the year of Jubilee comes [end of every 49th year].

When he consecrates to the lord the purchased land.

  1. The Kohen[Priest] determines the tithes that need to be offered to G-d [treasury] based on the valuation for the years that are left till the next jubilee.
  2. These valuations were based on guidelines that were setup by the Kohen and judges.

Leviticus 27:23 the kohen shall calculate for him the amount of the valuation until the Jubilee year, and he shall give the valuation on that day, holy to the Lord.

What happens when the year of Jubilee comes [end of every 49th year].

  1. Year of Jubilee was setup by G-d so that the ancestral land sold by a person returns to him or his descendants so they have the land allotted to them within the family.
  2. When the jubilee comes, this purchased land returns to the ancestral land owner if wants to redeem it.
  3. The redeemer must redeem it with that same fixed rate of valuation for a field that was part of an inherited property.

Leviticus 27:24 In the Jubilee year, the field shall return to the one from whom he bought it namely, the one whose inherited land it was.

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