The word “liberty” (deror) is rarely used in the Hebrew Bible, and the terms for its use are set by Leviticus 25, the laws of Jubilee. There, liberty includes the freeing of slaves, as whenZedekiah proclaims liberty to slaves (Jeremiah 34:8-16). But the specific liberty that is proclaimed at Jubilee is that the people are allowed to return to their ancestral inheritance in the land (Leviticus 25:10).
Isaiah’s Servant is anointed by the Spirit to proclaim the same liberty, this time to exiles: They are set free from Babylon, and, more, they are restored to the land Yahweh gave to their fathers (61:1). In Ezekiel too, the “year of liberty” includes a promise of inheritance (46:17). This mimics Yahweh’s own liberation of Israel: When He delivered them from slavery, He brought them into a land.
To liberate is to lead someone to a place of fruitful work.Liberty is the gift of space for productive action.