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The one year every seven during which the Jews were to observe a "sabbath," corresponding to the day of rest every week (Exodus 21:2-6; Deuteronomy 15:1-3). They were required to allow the land to remain fallow and have all debtors and slaves freed. The religious purpose of the sabbatical year was to teach the Israelites that God alone was the real owner of everything.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.