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When is the Jubilee year?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Quasar92, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. Quasar92

    Quasar92 Well-Known Member Supporter

    According to William Whiston's footnotes to Josephus, 24 B.C. was a Sabbatical year, and 23 B.C. was a Jubilee year. This would mean that A.D. 27 was a Sabbatical year, and A.D. 28 was a Jubilee year. If this is true, then 1977 was a Sabbatical year and 1978 a Jubilee year. Sabbatical years would occur in 1985, 1992, 1999, 2006, 2013, 2020 and 2027, with the next Jubilee in 2028.

    The Jews today are in confusion as to Sabbatical years and Jubilee years. True fifty-year Jubilee years were only counted during Temple times. Some Jews believe that every 15th and 65th years of the world era are Jubilee years. Thus, 1955 and 2005 would be Jubilee years. And 1976 and 1983 would have been Sabbatical years. The year A.D. 1979 equals 5739 A.M. (anno mundi, year of the world, Jewish year computation) or 3,760 years difference. However, Sabbatical years are counted from 3829 A.M. on, the year of the destruction of the Second Temple which was a Sabbatical year (A.D. 69). Whiston's schedule would have A.D. 70 as a Sabbatical year. This means that the Jewish shemittah is every seventh year, without a separate 50th year. The year 1980 would be a seventh year (5740 divides evenly by 7).

    Why are the Jews confused? Because they did not obey God. They admit that when the First Temple stood, full fifty-year cycles were used. The next year after the Jubilee was the first year of the next fifty-year cycle of seven seven-year cycles. Because the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh were exiled, tradition says, the Jubilee was no longer in effect, because it was for " . . . all the inhabitants thereof," Leviticus 25:10. The Jubilees were not properly calculated, and a 49-year cycle was instituted where the "Jubilee" year was also the beginning year of the next seven year cycle. Jubilee is counted by the Jews exactly as they count Pentecost. Hence, Jews observe Sivan 6 as Pentecost (see Encyclopedia Judaica, article "Sabbatical Year and Jubilee," pages 579-580).

    Around 153-105 B.C., an apocryphal book, the Book of Jubilees, was written. It divides the history of the world into "Jubilees" of 49-year periods, seven weeks of years. The biblical idea of the Jubilee year, the 50th year following the seven weeks of years (Leviticus 25:8-12) is ignored. Thus, the Jews accepted this erroneous idea and are confused as to the true Jubilee. As the Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible (Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1962), article "Jubilee, Year of," admits, the so-called Book of Jubilees completely disregards the original and true Jubilee Year:

    . . . in the official count of Sabbatical Years in the Maccabean and post-Maccabean periods the Jubilee Year was omitted entirely and the Sabbatical Years followed each other in uninterrupted succession every seven years. Moreover, certain later, rabbinic authorities likewise reckoned a Jubilee period as of only forty-nine years, although a majority adhered, quite naturally, to the biblical reckoning of the period as of fifty years.

    Jews began to believe that the Law of Jubilee did not apply to them, because the land of Israel was not fully occupied by them. Today, Rabbis have relaxed the Sabbatical year because of "economic hardship." Land is "sold" to Moslems, and leased back. It is observed only ceremonially, not in reality, in order to perpetuate the memory of the Sabbatical year.

    Yet Jews believe the Son of David will come on the last Jubilee. "The precept of the Jubilee is often regarded as one of the basic precepts of the Torah! There are seven basic precepts: offerings, tithes, shemittot, Jubilees, circumcision, honor of father and mother, and study of the Torah (Judaica, page 582)."

    An article written by an unknown author in the 1950's agrees with the Jewish concept, that Jubilee years cannot be kept, because upon the Jews' return from captivity, there was no divinely appointed inheritance. Jews were living on land of other tribes which never returned from captivity. The article states that Jeremiah 34:1, 8-16, shows that October 586 B.C. to October 585 was a Sabbatical year. The author states that the seven-year cycles were observed after the return, with no intervening 50th Jubilee year. The year A.D. 69 was said to be a seventh year. And 1952, 1959, 1966, 1973, 1980, 1987, 1994 and 2001 were thought to be Sabbatical years. You can examine various sources, and see that there are different ideas of when the Sabbatical and Jubilee years occur.

    The third tithe year depends upon the seven year cycle, Deuteronomy 14:28-29. The Church's administration, or more properly, adaptation, of the third tithe law is pragmatic, not Biblical. They said that since we cannot determine when the Biblical Sabbatical year occurs, then each member was to figure his seven-year cycles from the Feast of Tabernacles (or Feast of Unleavened Bread) nearest his baptism. The third and sixth years in each seven-year cycle would be third tithe years. I was baptized in March of 1969, and figure my seven-year cycles from the Feast of Tabernacles of 1968. For me, then, the years (beginning at the Feast of Tabernacles) of 1974, 1981, 1988, 1995, and 2002 would be Sabbatical years. A person baptized at some other time would have a different seven-year cycle.

    When is the Jubilee year? When is the Sabbatical year? The issue is of major importance. Israel went into captivity for not obeying this law. If God will send modern Israel into captivity for the same reason as ancient Israel, knowledge must be increased, and Israel must be warned, Amos 3:7, Daniel 12:4, John 7:17. We look forward to the time when we will understand, and witness the fulfillment, of the Land Sabbath and Jubilee year.

    From the Bible Study Organization

    Written by: Richard Nickels

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