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Times Appointed Part 3

20th August 2009, hej

 

3) The Release and the Jubilee

After the seventh 7th year, or 'week', the next year (the 50th) is a jubilee.

You shall count for yourself seven sabbatical (Shmita) years, seven years, seven times and it shall be for you, the days of the seven sabbatical years, forty-nine years. You shall make a proclamation with the shofor on the tenth day of the seventh month. On Yom Kippur shall this shofor-proclamation be made throughout all your land. You shall sanctify the year of the fiftieth year and proclaim freedom in the land for all of its inhabitants; it shall be for you a jubilee. (Leviticus Vayikra 25: 8)

This is thought a highly significant time, and a likely season for the return of Messiah, as it is about liberty. At the end of the 7th year there is a release of debt and bondservice. At the beginning of the very next year the 50th all return to their inheritance, and rest.

And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: .. and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and.. unto his family. .. ye shall not sow, neither reap that which grows of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. For it is the jubile; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. (Leviticus 25:9-12)

To cover a Jubilee year there was always a three year excess in a 6th year (Leviticus 25:21). Despite this law there seems no record of a Jubilee kept in the scripture. There are only two events recorded like it. In Nehemiah 5, dated at the 32 of Artaxerexes, there is a 7th year release of debtors and bondservants. After this, in Chapter 7, there is a list of inheritances that ends with this,

So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities. (Nehemiah 7:73)

That they were “in their cities” indicates they had claimed their inheritances as they would in a 50th year (the 7th month is also the first). The very next event they are gathered in Jerusalem in the first month,

And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. (Nehemiah 8:1-2)

The whole congregation then keep the feast of Tabernacles (Neh 8:14). If the 32nd of Artaxerxes is a seventh 7th year and the year after is a Jubile, then going back (though the dates are more uncertain), a jubilee falls between Cyrus' decree and Darius' 18 years later. Then another occurs 4 years before Ezekiel's vision of the temple. This is 50 years after the great passover of Josiah which was also close to a jubilee year (due to the prosperity the feast may have been the year after a jubile, as in a Jubile they are eating store of two years old). Going back further, the great passover feast of Hezekiah in his second year (2 Chronicles 30) may have been a jubile year. Further still the dedication of the temple by Solomon may have been around a jubile year.

The pattern from Nehemiah/Ezra has Yeshua's birth a year or two after a Jubilee (It was a tax year so they would have grown crops that year. It wasn't a Sabbath year or a Jubile). However, if they kept a Jubile in the time of Nehemiah and Hezekiah then Yeshua did not come in a jubilee year. That Yeshua quoted, “he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives” (Isaiah 61:1-2), shows he came at the end of a 7th year. This was Yeshua's role at that time. However, it will not be completed and fulfilled until his second coming, when he will give people their inheritance, which is the Jubile.

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This may be one of the most misunderstood passages of the Bible. Paul is notorious for long sentences of connected thoughts, and this is part of a complex wide ranging thought which lasts 2 chapters, and includes what seems opposite advice:

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. (1 Cor. 5:11-13)

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