XXII. (110) Having laid down these principles as a kind of foundation of gentleness and humanity, he then puts together seven sevens of years, and so makes the fiftieth year an entirely sacred year, enacting with reference to it some ordinances of especial honour beyond those which relate to the ordinary years of communication of property. (111) In the first place he gives this commandment. He thinks it fitting that all property that has been alienated should now be restored to its original masters in order that the inheritances originally apportioned to the different tribes may be preserved, and that no one who originally received an allotment may be wholly deprived of his possessions. (112) Since it often happens that unforeseen circumstances come upon men by which they are compelled to sell what belongs to them. And so he provided in a suitable manner for their necessities, and prevented those who purchased the lands from being deceived, allowing the one to sell their lands, and teaching the others very plainly the conditions on which they are going to purchase. (113) For the law says Do not give a price as if for an everlasting possession, but only for a definite number of years, which must be less than fifty; for the sale effected ought not to be a sale of the lands owned, but a sale of the crops, for two most weighty reasons; one, that the whole country is called the possession of God, and it is impious for any one else to be recorded as the masters of the possessions of God; and secondly, because a separate allotment has been assigned to each land-owner, of which the law does not choose the man who originally received the allotment to be deprived. (114) Therefore, the law invites the man who is able to recover his original property within the period of fifty years, or any one of his nearest relations, to use every exertion to repay the price which he received, and not to be the cause of loss to the man who purchased it, and who served him at a time when he was in need of assistance. (115) And at the same time it sympathises with the man who is in too great a state of indigence to do so, and bestows its compassion on him, giving him back his former property with the exception of any fields which have been consecrated by a vow, and are so placed in the class of offerings to God. And it is contrary to divine law that any thing which has been offered to God should ever by lapse of time become profane. On which account it is commanded that the accurate value of those fields shall be fully exacted, without showing any favour to the man who dedicated the offering.