To secure the permanence and independence of every separate tribe, a law was enacted by the authority of Heaven, providing that the landed property of every Israelite should be unalienable. Whatever encumbrances might befall the owner of a field, and whatever might be the obligations under which he placed himself to his creditor, he was released from all claims at the year of jubilee. "Ye shall hallow," said the inspired legislator, "the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof. It shall be a jubilee unto you, and ye shall return every man to his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. And the land shall not be sold for ever; for the land is mine, saith the Lord; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me."
The attentive reader of the Mosaical law will observe, that though a Hebrew could not divest himself of his land in perpetuity, he could dispose of it so far as to put another person in possession of it during a certain number of years; reserving to