This took place during the year of Jubilee. Every 50th year all land was given back to its original owner. If a man had to sell his land or himself to pay debts, all was returned at the year of Jubilee. Every Israelite would be returned to his ancestral lands which belonged to his forebears. God was the actual owner of all the land, and any Israelite in possession of it was merely a tenant at will. Whose will? God’s will. The occupancy and crops produced by the land in specified years could be sold; but title to the land was not transferable. It always reverted on the Jubilee to their heirs and successors of those persons to whom God had assigned it at the time when Joshua divided the land of Canaan among the Twelve Tribes.
This land was God’s right by creation, and by right of maintenance. The Jubilee discouraged and prevented the endless building of greater and greater estates and effectively prevented the development of a culture in which wealthy owners of most of the land would be able to oppress and defraud the poor.
All things belong to God. We are but stewards of His possessions. This should lead us to be unselfish in our actions toward others and give us a benevolent attitude toward the less fortunate.