And if a man sell a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year may he redeem it.
A very proper difference is here made between houses in a city and houses in the country. The former might be redeemed any time in the course of a year; but after that time could not be redeemed, or go out with the Jubilee: the latter might be redeemed at any time; and if not redeemed must go out at the jubilee. The reason in both cases is sufficiently evident; the house in the city might be built merely for the purposes of trade or traffic--the house in the country was builded on, or attached to, the inheritance which God had divided to the respective families. It was therefore necessary that the same law should apply to the house as to the inheritance; which necessity did not exist with regard to the house in the city. And, as the house in the city might be purchased for the purpose of trade, it would be very inconvenient for the purchaser, when his business was established, to be obliged to remove.