XXIII. (116) These are the commandments which are given with respect to the divisions of the land and the inheritances so portioned out. There are others also enacted with respect to houses. And since of houses some are in cities, being within walls; while others are open abodes in the country, and not within any walls; the law has directed that those in the country shall always be redeemed with money, and that those which are not redeemed before the fiftieth year shall be restored without any payment to their original owners, just as their other possessions; {13}{#le 25:31.} for the houses are a portion of the man’s possessions. (117) But those which are within walls shall be liable to be redeemed by those who have sold them for a full year; {14}{#le 25:19.} but if they be not redeemed within that year, then after that year they shall be confirmed to those who had bought them, the jubilee of the fiftieth year not injuring the claim of the purchasers. (118) And the reason of these enactments is that God wills to give even to strangers an opportunity of becoming firmly established in the land. For since they have no participation in the land, inasmuch as they are not numbered among those to whom the inheritances have been apportioned, the law has allotted to them a property in houses, being desirous that they who have come as suppliants to the laws, and who have taken refuge under their protection, should not be homeless wanderers in the land. (119) For the cities, when the land was originally portioned out in inheritances, were not divided among the tribes, nor indeed were they originally built together in streets, but the inhabitants of the land preferred to make their abode in their open houses in the fields. But afterwards they quitted these houses and came together, the feeling of a love of fellowship and communication, as was natural, becoming stronger after a lapse of time, and so they built houses in the same place, and cities, of which they allowed a share also to the strangers, that they might not be destitute of every thing both in the country and in the cities.