Clean slates also canceled certain obligations owed to the king—such as the obligation to bring tribute.
According to author Hudson, clean slates and the Jubilee law were essential policies for strong government in the ancient Near East. At the typical rate of interest in the ancient world—20 percent per year—it took only five years for a debt to double. Natural disasters or bad harvests could force much of the population into economic hardship or servitude. Without clean slates or the Jubilee law, a few wealthy creditors would have monopolized the land, and kings would have been deprived of a draftable fighting force (compare with wall relief from the palace of the Persian king Darius).