Jubilee and Sabbath Years in the Bible: Leviticus 25:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying: [:4] But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath unto the LORD;Resting the Land every 7 years, Ancient Israelite Religious and Agricultural Practices: Israel Timeline charts: Citations and References for students from over 100 Academic publications:
What can you tell me about Jubilee and Sabbath Years in the Bible?
I received an email from a member of King's Calendar community, asking me about the practice of celebrating Sabbath and Jubilee years in the Bible, and I had to tell him that as far as I have been able to discover (limited as I am in China to internet research), there is no evidence that these procedures were actually followed.
These two terms are recorded in the Torah/Pentateuch (Leviticus Chapter 25) as instructions for the nation of Israel.
However, whilst there is mention in the Seder Olam Rabbah of Jubilee years, in relation to Ezekiel, there appears to be no actual evidence that they were in fact followed.
Since replying to that members request I have done another quick search, which seems to verify my previous findings.
The King's Jubilee The Jews never truly observed the Sabbath years or the Jubilee. That is why they went into captivity. They were in captivity for a year for every Sabbath year they had neglected.
The Year of Jubilee Since Israel did not observe the years of Sabbath rest required by the law, and because the nation had drifted into idolatry, divine judgment came by way of Babylonian invasion in 588 to 586 B.C.
However one site, The Sabbath and Jubilee Cycle takes the position that they were practiced, but seems to justify this based upon later writings.
The ancient book of Jubilees, for instance, notes that the sabbath and Jubilee cycle would continue "until the sanctuary of the sovereign (Yahweh) is created in Jerusalem upon Mount Zion." The text of 11Q Melchizedek, found in the caves at Qumran, explains the Jubilee statutes of Leviticus, 25, by stating:
1. [saying to Zion] `your eloahim reigns.' . . .
2. [ ] . . . and where it says, `In [this] year of Jubilee you shall return, each man to his possession.
3. [and where it says, `Let] every holder of a debt [let drop] what he loans [to his neighbor. Let him not exact payment from his neighbor nor from his brother, for there is proclaimed a] remission
4. [of el.' Its interpretation concerns the e]nd of days as regards `those taken captive' who [. . . etc.].
When I was doing the Seder Olam Rabbah Series Topic 7. : 850 year /17 Jubilee Period, Joshua to Ezekiel's Vision in 14th year Exile I searched for authentic references that would indicate that the periods of Jubilee (and associated years) were practiced, but found nothing.
There are those that would argue that much of what we have in the old testament is later redactorial insertion, so maybe there never were jubilee years, or maybe as 2 Chronicles 36:21 suggests, they simply did not practice them. Who knows?
It is certain however that they must have practiced some form of agriculatural 'sabbath year' for the LAND because if you don't do that, the land turns to waste.
The Original Command was given to Moses at Sinai:
Leviticus 25:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying: [:4] But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath unto the LORD; thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard [:8] And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and there shall be unto thee the days of seven sabbaths of years, even forty and nine years. [:10] And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land [:11] A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you; ye shall not sow...
The Chronicles Redactors indicate that it was practiced
2 Chronicles 36:20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia; [:21] to fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had been paid her sabbaths; for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.
One of the hypotheses of the King's Calendar is that the reference in Second Chronicles 36:21 implies that the Babylonian Exile was necessitated by the failure to observe the land's 'Sabbath Year' rests, and that this had been an ongoing problem for 490 years [The Seventy years of Exile reflects a belief that there had been prior to the Destruction of the Temple, an artificial Monarchal history of 490 years].
If 70 years of punishment are due for 70 times 7 Sabbath Years, then for 490 years the land was not rested. If you check Biblical Chronology, you see that from the Babylonian Exile to the Beginning of King David's reign, 473.5 years elapse. So 2 Chronicles 36:21 seems to indicate reference to the Monarchal period, which includes Saul.
There are some questions that need to be considered about the Jubilee and Sabbath years, for the only other place you find reference to them, is in the works of the Essenes and Proto-Essenes, and this is the same group that is responsible for the introduction of the artificial calendar, so it may well be that the Sabbath and Jubilee instruction of Leviticus are an insertion, but if not, then we must ask why it is that no mention is made elsewhere in the History of Israel of God's anger at the nation's failure to obey this commandment. Heady Stuff!
I welcome the input of any reader who wishes to contribute, either in the comments section below (for which you must become a member to contribute), or via email, which I will subsequently post.
I would like to look further into jubilees using the King's Calendar. Someone once sent me a request for information on Jubilees and I could not find much at all as far as evidence is concerned.
Can you provide me with a definite scriptural reference that synchronises any particular Jubilee to a chronologically recorded event. While I do find your material interesting, I have not been able to find anything definite that fixes a Jubilee to any other event. I know you have provided four definite dates, (which depend on your calculations) but I need a listed "event" in the scripture that is "defined" as a Jubilee (Excluding New Testament and Jesus). Is there one?
Thanks for your help.
There are no Jubilees declared by that name anywhere in the Scriptures. God did command the Israelites to keep the Sabbath and Jubilee years in Lev 25.
The Sabbath and Jubilee years can be recognized by what was commanded to happen on the Sabbath year or Jubilee year. The Passover was not being properly kept if one evening could not be celebrated, how would a year long event be kept.
On the Sabbath years
1. all debts were to be remitted 2. there was to be no planting or reaping. 3. The law was to be read to the people at the feast of Tabernacles.
On the Jubilee year
1. No planting or reaping 2. Everyone was to be freed. 3. All properly was to be returned to the original owner.
There are instances of all of these events occurring that I have documented in the Jubilee Timetable.
Joshua--read the law in the year they entered the promised land - so Sabbath year
Hezekiah--no sowing or reaping for two years - so Sabbath and Jubilee pair.
Jeremiah--Command to free the slaves, which they did, but then took them back--70 years the land was to rest for the rest years it had missed.
Ezra--read the law to at the feast of Tabernacles.
It was God and not the people who were tracking the Sabbath and Jubilee years.
Again, to see how the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Essenes in particular did their solar years, I highly recommend you read the out of print book Annie Jaubert, The Date of the Last Supper, 1965. I got my copy used from Amazon.com
You are confused about you years, in Gen 1:14 the Sun, moon and stars control signs, seasons, days and years. There is no mention of a month. The length of the year is not a particular number of months, but rather determined by the shadow of sun. This means that your scheme to have the years length as anything that at least on average approximates the time for the earth to circle the sun is not a year according to the Bible.
I believe the length of the year in days and the length of the month has changed at the time the sun went back ten steps on the sundial of Ahaz [2 Kin 20:9-11, Isa 38:8 ].
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About the KingsCalendar Publisher
R.P.BenDedek is the owner and Editor of KingsCalendar.com which was originally set up to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran'.
Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah.
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R.P. BenDedek also writes social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both at KingsCalendar, and as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News in Maine USA.
He currently (2013) teaches Conversational English in SuZhou City Jiangsu Province in China.
Topic 1. What is the Seder Olam Rabbah Topic 2. Seder Olam Chronological Chart : Adam to Abraham: Topic 3. Seder Olam & The 430 year Covenant with Abraham: Topic 4. Joseph in Seder Olam Rabbah: Topic 5. Seder Olam & The Pharaoh who knew not Joseph: Topic 6. Seder Olam & Israel Wandering in the Wilderness: Topic 7. 850 year/17 Jubilee Period, Joshua to Ezekiel's Vision in 14th year Exile: Topic 8. Comparative Chronologies:Seder Olam Rabbah, Josephus, Book of Judges: Topic 9. Ehud & 80 years of Peace - Judges 3:30 and Erroneous Biblical Chronology: Topic 10. Seder Olam:How Long was the Ark of the Covenant at Kiriath Jearim?: Topic 11. Seder Olam Rabbah's Confusing Chronology : Samuel, Saul and David: Topic 12: Seder Olam Chronological Discrepancies regarding Samuel, Saul & David. Topic 13: Apportioning the 63 years left for Samuel & Saul Topic 14: Seder Olam Rabbah : How many days in a Biblical year? Topic 15: Chronologies of Samuel,Saul, David & Solomon