Scriptural Sources

Judges will expect you to incorporate at least one of these elements into your sermon. Feel free to supplement them with reference to other passages. The passages below are taken from the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION.

The Hebrew Bible speaks extensively about economic systems and their consequences. You are expected to locate and incorporate into your sermon at least one relevant passage. While you are not required to reference them, we recommend these two Biblical narratives as worthy of your attention:

  • Genesis 41:1-55 & 47:13-26 Exodus 1:8-22 & 5:1-19

  • Leviticus 25:1-55 & 27:14-25 & Numbers 18:20 & 27:1-11 & 36:1-9

To illustrate some of the thematic possibilities, here are additional (optional) Biblical quotes:

Famine, politics, economic organization, food, power, consequences

Genesis  41:34 ... prepare the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.

Genesis  41:57 All the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy provisions, for the famine had become severe in all the earth.

Genesis  47:19 ... Acquire us and our land for bread; ...

Genesis  47:26 ... only the priests' land alone did not become Pharaoh's.

Exodus  1:14 ... all their labors that they performed with them were with crushing harshness.

Exodus  5:17 [Pharaoh] said, "You are lazy, lazy! ... Now go to work. ..."

Land management, jubilee, inheritance

Leviticus  25:15 ... according to the number of crop-years shall he sell to you.

Leviticus  25:23 The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, ...

Numbers  18:20  In their Land [the priests] shall have no heritage ...

Numbers  27:8 ... you shall cause his inheritance to pass over to his daughter.

Numbers  36:7 An inheritance of the Children of Israel shall not make rounds from tribe to tribe; ...

Deuteronomy  18:1 There shall not be for the Kohanim, the Levites - the entire tribe of Levi - a portion and an inheritance with Israel ...

Impoverishment, jubilee

Leviticus  25:35 If your brother becomes impoverished ... you shall strengthen him ... so that he can live with you.

Leviticus  39-41 If your brother ... is sold to you; you shall not work him with slave labor.  Like a laborer ... shall he be with you; until the Jubilee year ... Then he shall leave you ...

Leviticus  25:54 If he has not been redeemed ... then he shall go out in the Jubilee Year, ...

Other boundaries on economic activity

Deuteronomy  5:13-14 Six days shall you labor and accomplish all your work; but the seventh day is Sabbath to Hashem your God; you shall not do any work - you, your son, your daughter, your slave, your maidservant, your ox, your donkey, and your every animal, and your convert within your gates, ...

Deuteronomy  14:22-29 You shall tithe ... year by year ... You shall not forsake the Levite ... the proselyte, the orphan and the widow ...

Deuteronomy  15:1-11  At the end of seven years you shall institute a remission. ... You shall surely open your hand to your brother, to your poor, and to your destitute in your Land.

Deuteronomy  15:12-15 If [s/he] will be sold to you, he shall server you for six years, and in the seventh year you shall send him away from you free.  ... you shall not send him away empty handed.  Adorn him generously ...

Deuteronomy  16:14 You shall rejoice on your festival - you, your son, your daughter, your slave, your maidservant, the Levite, the proselyte, the orphan, and the widow who are in you cities.

Deuteronomy  23:25-26 When you come into the vineyard of your fellow, you may eat grapes as is your desire, to your fill, but you may not put into your vessel.  When you come into the standing grain of your fellow, you may pluck ears with your hand, but you may not lift a sickle against the standing grain of your fellow.

Deuteronomy  24:14-15 You shall not cheat a poor or destitute hired person ... On that day shall you pay his hire; ...

Deuteronomy  24:19-22 When you reap your harvest in your field, and you forget a bundle in the field, you shall not turn back to take it; it shall be for the proselyte, the orphan, and the widow, so that Hashem, your God, will bless you in all your handiwork.  When you beat your olive tree, do not remove all the splendor behind you; it shall be for the proselyte, the orphan, and the widow. When you harvest your vineyard, you shall not glean behind you;  It shall be for the proselyte, the orphan, and the widow. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, therefore I command you to do this thing.