Moreover you may buy the children of the towshab who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your abad. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor.
‘Now if a ger and towshab close to you becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the ger and towshab close to you, or to a member of the ger's family, after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him; or his uncle or his uncle’s son may redeem him; or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family may redeem him; or if he is able he may redeem himself. Thus he shall reckon with him who bought him: The price of his release shall be according to the number of years, from the year that he was sold to him until the Year of Jubilee; it shall be according to the time of a sakiyr for him. If there are still many years remaining, according to them he shall repay the price of his redemption from the money with which he was bought. And if there remain but a few years until the Year of Jubilee, then he shall reckon with him, and according to his years he shall repay him the price of his redemption. He shall be with him as a yearly hired servant, and he shall not rule with rigor over him in your sight. And if he is not redeemed in these years, then he shall be released in the Year of Jubilee—he and his children with him. For the children of Israel are ebed to Me; they are My ebed whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.What Does It Say?
This section of chapter 25 deals with the ownership of human beings. Now, if you recall, towshab are foreigners who have not been circumcised and thus are not subject to the protections of the law to the same extent as ger. Therefore, towshab can be owned as property (abad) and worked hard. They are closer to the modern definition of slaves since they are not freed on the Year of Jubilee.
Israelite can sell themselves as servants, whether to other Israelites or to ger and towshab. However, they cannot be held as property permanently; they must be freed on the Year of Jubilee. Further, they can be freed from their servitude by paying the remainder of the price they were sold for at any time.
The reason given that Israelites cannot be sold as abad is because they are the ebed (servants) of God. In other words, they belong to God. So just as the other parts of chapter 25 deal with the restitution of property, so does this section. In dealing with Israelites, you are dealing with God's property. His claim overrules the claim of the ger and towshab that they are sold to.
We do see some interesting possibilities in this passage. It seems to indicate that it is not just ger, or towshab living as servants that might exist in Israel. It seems that towshab (who are ger in the sense of being ethnically different, hence "ger and towshab") could also live in the land and become wealthy without being circumcised. In that case, one would not have to worship the One True God in order to live in Israel.
Would these towshab also be allowed to practice their foreign religions? That's still somewhat ambiguous in our study. They certainly would not be allowed to sacrifice their children to Moloch, as we have seen in earlier passages. The most we can say so far is that there would be some restrictions on their religious practice.
And with that, we leave the book of Leviticus and move on to Numbers.
Next: Numbers 9