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Leviticus 25:8-22 (The Year of Jubilee, Part I)

Feb 25, 2018   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Leviticus, Leviticus (written), Old Testament, Sermons, Torah, Torah (written)  //  No Comments

Leviticus 25:8-22
The Year of Jubilee, Part I

The Year of Jubilee as detailed in this chapter is filled with enough exciting details, and enough references pointing to a fulfillment of its precepts in Christ, that one would think what is detailed here would be sufficient to be a valid and remarkable passage all by itself. For the most part, everything about the year is recorded right in this chapter. There are a few references to it elsewhere, but there is little else about the year than what is found here in Chapter 25.

Unfortunately, like other passages which people manipulate in order to sell books or tickle the ears, the same is true with this passage as well. One of the popular teachings on this is the cycle of Jubilees going back to creation itself. This is based on a book known as The Book of Jubilees, otherwise known as “Little Genesis.” It is a pseudepigraphal book, written about the 2nd century BC, and which claims to follow sets of Jubilees, or periods of 49 years, from creation and which continue throughout history.

From this, modern writers have developed an entire theology on the years of Jubilee in order to predict when things will happen in the future. In other words, they are practicing divination and calling it Christianity. There are a few problems with this. First, among them is that the year of Jubilee was initiated by the Lord, through Moses for when the people entered the land of Israel. The Book of Jubilees has nothing to do with the truth of the Bible.

Secondly, nobody knows when the first Year of Jubilee was observed, or if it actually was ever observed. The Bible says nothing about its observance all through the rest of its pages. Third, as this Year of Jubilee cycle only pertains to the land of Israel, the question is, “Do years of Jubilee continue on during periods of exile?” No. It cannot be. The purpose of the Jubilees is restoration. That can’t occur during exile. For these reasons, it is absurd to try to attempt to guess what year a Year of Jubilee would be. We have no starting year, we have gaps in Israel’s time in the land due to exile, and Israel isn’t observing these cycles now that they are back in the land. If you’re curious about whether the books out there on this subject have even a hint of truth in them, I will tell you – they don’t. Save your money and try reading your Bible.

Forth, the year of Jubilee points to Christ and His work. It is fulfilled in what He has done. Therefore, the prophetic picture of what this year looked forward to is over. There is no expected future fulfillment of it scheduled, just expected results because of His completed work.

Text Verse: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1

Paul says that the law is a yoke of bondage. Its principle sign was that of circumcision. The one thing, above all, that made a person show that he was an adherent to the law was that of circumcision. But in Galatians, Paul eviscerates the argument that we somehow need to be circumcised in order to be pleasing to God. In fact, he argues vehemently against it. In the very next verse he says that for those who get themselves circumcised in order to show off their religiosity, to them Christ profits nothing.

Instead of drawing nearer to God, they fall from grace, become a debtor to the entire law, and stand condemned before the law. In order to avoid that legalistic trap, he tells us to stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free. He has freed us from all bonds and chains. The captives have been set free. Let us trust in this, and learn what it means to observe the Year of Jubilee in Christ, who is our freedom.

These are the things we will hope to accomplish in the next few sermons which comprise the rest of Leviticus 25. It is a great passage waiting to be unwrapped, and that is because it points to a great, great Savior. It’s all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. Restoration – As It Was, So Shall It Be (verses 8-17)

‘And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself,

With these words, a new development is introduced, but it is still following the same overall theme which was initiated in verse 1. There, the Lord spoke to Moses. With no new introductory statement, what will be presented continues the same theme.

Here we have the same type of synecdoche which was found in verse 23:15. The term, shabetot shanim, or “sabbaths of years,” signifies “weeks of years.” The single Sabbath stands for the whole. And so the people are being instructed to build upon what was described concerning the Sabbath years in verses 1-7. There was to be a remembrance of the Sabbath years, because they were to lead to a greater event after the observance of seven of them.


This then finds a parallel in the Feast of Weeks of Leviticus 23. There was a particular Sabbath, after which came the Feast of Firstfruits. From the day after that Sabbath there was a counting of “seven Sabbaths” which would bring the people to another particular day, thus commencing the Feast of Weeks. The same pattern, but in “sabbaths of years,” is to be seen here.

(con’t) seven times seven years;

This explains the meaning of the previous words. A “sabbath of years” is a period of seven years. That amount is then to be multiplied by seven of these periods.

(con’t) and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years.

The pattern here follows directly along with that of the Feast of Weeks. But instead of days leading to weeks of days, it is years leading to weeks of years. There was to be a counting of seven sets of sabbatical years, totaling forty-nine. At the end of this period of time, the Lord next directs Moses concerning what is expected…

Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee

The “trumpet” referred to here is the shophar. It signifies a cornet or a curved horn that gives out a clear sound. The word comes from shaphar, which signifies beautiful, as in fair or comely. It was first seen in the sounding of it in Exodus 19 & 20 at the giving of the law, and it has not been seen since. Further, this is the last time it will be seen in the Pentateuch. Curiously then, the shophar ushered in what began the law, and the shophar is used to signify that which reveals the ending of the law as well.

The word translated here as Jubilee is teruah. It was first seen in Leviticus 23:24, and it signifies a shout or blast of war, or of alarm, or of joy. In the case of this sounding, it is to be one of great joy. This in turn is from rua, which gives the idea of splitting the ears with sound, such as in a great shout or sounding. The note was to resound throughout the land. The Hebrew words are literally translated then, “Cause to resound the shophar of loud sound.”

(con’t) to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month;

This time is one-half way through the year of the redemptive calendar which started each year in the springtime. However, it is the first month of the creation, or civil, calendar. It is on the tenth day of the seventh month, which is the same day as…

(con’t) on the Day of Atonement

b’yom ha’kippurim – “in day the atonements.” It is plural. On the most sacred day of the annual calendar, the day which the people’s sins were atoned for, and full restoration with the Lord was granted for their many sins, they were to observe this special sounding of shophars. This rather clearly shows that the true liberty, which this year of liberty looks forward to, could only take place after the atoning sacrifice of the Lord.

(con’t) you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.

The blast of the shophar was to be heard everywhere, meaning that it was a directive for every locality to be prepared to sound. It may even be that every man would be asked to blow his own shophar if he possessed one. The reason for this will become obvious, but in short, the day would affect everyone, and so everyone should be reminded by hearing it.

10 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants.

One of the most difficult aspects of this observance to pin down is the meaning of “the fiftieth year.” Scholars note that it is the forty-ninth year, and therefore some say the cycle is actually only forty-nine years, and is simply rounded up to the number fifty. But that doesn’t square at all with the intent of the passage.

But the fiftieth year, if using the redemption calendar, doesn’t begin until the spring. So how could the freedoms mentioned be proclaimed here, and yet not take effect until the next spring? If the Sabbath year cycle was based on the creation/civil calendar, meaning beginning in this seventh month, then it would make more sense. But why then call it the seventh month? In short, it would be to maintain consistency of what each month was for the standard, redemptive calendar. If you’re confused, don’t worry. For 3500 years, this has confused the reader, and it remains a complicated part of the law.

Regardless, the fiftieth year was to be considered as one consecrated, or set apart, as one of liberty. The word deror is used here. It has only been seen once, in Exodus 30, to describe the liquid myrrh of the holy anointing oil. It means, “free flowing.” The myrrh flowed freely from the plant, rather than it being cut to induce flow. Such is the idea here – spontaneity of outflow, and thus liberty. The word won’t be used again in the books of Moses, but it will be referred to in Isaiah 61, Jeremiah 34, and Ezekiel 46 – all in relation to this chapter’s instructions.

10 (con’t) It shall be a Jubilee for you;

The word translated here as Jubilee is not the same as verse 9. It is yobel. It signifies the ram’s horn as an instrument, and thus the festival which the ram’s horn introduces. Literally, the verse reads, “It shall be a ram’s horn for you.” The horn stands in place of what it accomplishes. Yobel comes from yabal, meaning to bear along, or lead. As the ram’s horn is given a long continuous blast, carrying along its message, so the Jubilee is introduced.

10 (con’t) and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.

Two separate aspects of freedom are given in these words. The first is freedom of land, and the second is freedom of person. This is to demonstrate to the people two fundamental truths: 1) It is the Lord who was the true owner of the land, and 2) that it is the Lord who is the true owner and possessor of their souls. Notwithstanding their temporary ownership of either land or person, in the end, the Lord is ultimately who all were accountable to – from the poorest inhabitant, to the king in Jerusalem.

In a greater regard then, it is a year of restoration. On the Day of Atonement, the people’s sins and uncleanness were covered over, thus restoring them to a right relationship with Him. Likewise, this fiftieth year was intended to undue all of the entanglements of life which come through human interactions. By granting this year, things were brought back to the original state at the beginning of their time in the land. The verses from 11-34 deal with the first half of the equation, the land as the Lord’s possession. From 35-55, the subject of people as the Lord’s possession is then explained.

11 That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you;

It is again clear that this is not a number simply rounded up from forty-nine, but rather it is speaking of the fiftieth year. The forty-ninth year was a sabbatical year without sowing or reaping. That was made explicit in verses 1-7. Now that is to be repeated…

11 (con’t) in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine.

As in verse 5, the two commands are again given. The admonition to not reap what grows of its own accord means to reap for the sake of a harvest, including storage. Rather, they could reap it for individual consumption only. And further, anyone could do so. The land was totally freed up for any and all. Likewise, the grapes of the Nazirite, meaning the untrimmed vines were not to be gathered. Again, this means “gathered as a harvest.” They were to be left as common food for any and for all. Here again we see the truth that Yehovah is the Lord of the land. Its soil, its growth, its harvests, the dwellings, the seasons it enjoys, the roads where people walked – everything ultimately belongs to Him. He has the final say, because He is the ultimate Authority to be deferred to.

12 For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.

This is also a repeat thought as for that of the Sabbath year. As a yobel, or Jubilee, the produce of the ground was consecrated as holy. Therefore, people could go out to the fields and remove what was needed for the day, but they were not to store up the produce as one would in a year of harvest. The Lord had promised to provide, and the people were to trust in His provision, and to confidently gather that which they needed. It is almost a year long reminder of the times when the manna was given. The people were to gather and trust, and on the seventh day, to rest.

If we just stop here for a moment and contemplate what is going on, we can then see why this is so important. There is an amazing and intricate cycle of life which is being presented in these days and years of remembrance. They begin with the Sabbath day which is consistently held as the great reminder of God’s creative and redemptive hand among the people. Each time the Sabbath has been presented since Exodus 16, it has given us one insight after another into the accomplished work of the Lord, and in the coming work of Christ.

From the Sabbath day, came the Sabbath-month, the seventh month, which detailed the three fall feasts. Christ’s birth into humanity, His atoning death, and His dwelling among and in His people were highlighted in these feasts. And then from there came the Sabbath year. It looks forward to a time when the Lord would tend to the people’s needs apart from any work. They could rest in Him and find that He will provide for them apart from their effort.

And those Sabbath years were to accumulate into the great year of Jubilee where debts would be released, properties would be restored, the land would produce on its own, and captives would be set free. A total restoration of all things was prefigured in this great year of Jubilee. It is reflective of the words of Paul concerning our position in Christ now –

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

But our position in Christ now is only an anticipatory taste of what will be realized in its fullness at the restoration of all things. Christ Jesus’ words found in Revelation 21:5 reflect this –

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” 

If we look at the Sabbath year as picturing the Millennium where man rests from his striving with God, we can look at the Year of Jubilee as a step beyond that, where total restoration of all things is realized. Each step of the Sabbath cycle is intended to elevate the people of Israel to an understanding that the Lord has something better awaiting His redeemed. The process must go through to its completion, but when it is accomplished, it will be glorious.

Think it through now with these sevens. The seventh day Sabbath acknowledges the Lord’s Creation and Redemption. The seventh month is an acknowledgment of His incarnation, atoning death, and dwelling in His people. The seventh year Sabbath anticipates His millennial reign. And the year of Jubilee anticipates total restoration of what was lost at the beginning. All of it, every detail looks to the Lord and His work in the grand plan of redemption. From the creation and fall,  each step is fulfilled in Jesus, until we are again in the presence of God.

13 ‘In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession.

Though seemingly a verse about reacquisition of land, the words here point directly to Christ. How so? It is because of this law of entailment that the people’s rights could never be taken away from them. The government or king had no authority to do so, the banks had no authority to do so, and the priests themselves had no authority to do so. The land belonged to the one, or his representative, to whom it originally landed.

The wisdom of the law led to meticulous preservation of the family registers as evidence to establish ancestral lines, and thus rights. And so, both the tribe and family of Christ were readily discernible at His coming. Pick up the scroll, look for the name, check the inheritance… wahlah! A potential for messiah can be confirmed –

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:1-7

The ancestral scrolls would be used for many things, but they were maintained most especially because of the exacting and ingenious provisions of Leviticus 25. With these records destroyed along with the temple in AD70, a truth must readily be discerned from that fact… Messiah has come. No other biblical conclusion is possible.

14 And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor’s hand, you shall not oppress one another.

Four times in this chapter, the amith, or “neighbor” will be seen. The term doesn’t literally mean a neighbor, but a fellow of Israel in general. It is used only thirteen times total, and this is the last time it will be used until the book of Zechariah where its final use will be found in a prophecy about the Shepherd Savior, Christ. It is a word which is always used concerning dealings between two people which should be kept fair, and honorable.

To oppress one another would be to over-value the property by the seller, or to undervalue it by the buyer. There was to be only straight dealing between the parties as they agreed to a fair sale of the land. To avoid such a thing as much as possible, the Lord gives clear guidance for such sales…

15 According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor,

When Israel finally gets back to the Land of Promise, they will divide it up by lot, and within territories set apart for each tribe. No land was to pass permanently from one tribe to the next. It was to forever remain a part of the tribe to which it was granted. However, if Al from Asher bought a plot belonging to Ned from Naphtali, unless it went back to its owner at the Jubilee, there would be mixture, and thus confusion in the land.

The possession of each family then was an inalienable right. But it could be sold temporarily. Therefore, the value would begin to be set based on the number of years since the last Jubilee. Thus Al would say, “The Jubilee was 21 years ago, and so I am buying the next 29 years of owner’s rights.

15 (con’t) and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you.

In turn, Ned would say, “Ok Al, my new friend and pal. There are 29 years left, and so I am going to sell you the land based on that.” But Al, knowing the law says, “Yes, Ned, but I can’t sow and reap on a Sabbath year. You need to first deduct those, I fear.”

The word for “crops” in this verse is tebuah. It signifies the produce of the land. As no produce was harvested on a Sabbath year, it was not to be counted in the reckoning of the sale. That was seen in Exodus 23, where tebuah was used to explain this –

Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove.” Exodus 23:10, 11

The amount of expected produce, and the years when produce could be gathered were a part of dealing fairly and not oppressing a neighbor. Ned was looking like he might be taking advantage of things, but Al was not one to be easily misled. Unless Al can overestimate the size of the expected crop each year, the land will go for exactly what it is worth. Al refrains from any such fish stories, and a fair deal is transacted.

16 According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops.

The sales price is not based on the land, but on what the land produces. Therefore, the number of, and expected size of, crops is what the sale is to be based on. In the end, the land belongs to the Lord. He has given it to a tribe and a family. Therefore, they only have the right to sell it for what it produces, and the buyer may only purchase those years of produce. If each year was worth 10 units, and there were 20 years left after deducting Sabbath years, then the price would be 200 units. If there were 30 left, the price would be 300 units, and so on.

What must be considered then, is that in buying the crops, there is the truth that if the Lord blesses the land, there will be an abundance of crops; a great deal for the buyer. If there is a famine, there will be minimal crops; a loss to the buyer. As it is the Lord who ultimately directs these, then one is actually placing his faith in the provision of the Lord. What is this picturing? Think it through – crops are a harvest. What are you willing to sew into the harvest which the Lord has set before you? How many will come to Christ because of your efforts?

17 Therefore you shall not oppress one another,

A completely different word is used than in verse 14. Rather than “oppress,” it should say “mistreat.” This then shows the gravity of the Lord’s words. In essence, “You have oppressed, and you have mistreated, and Me you did not fear.” The varying of the verb is its own type of warning that there will be consequences for violating a precept which should be held as sacred. And the reason for this is…

17 (con’t) but you shall fear your God; for I am the Lord your God.

Despite the rather long chapter, it being 55 verses long, the name of the Lord is used rather sparingly, only six times. And only three of them are in this declaratory form. Therefore, when He declares it, the words He speaks are to be taken to heart and carefully acted upon. This is especially true here where He begins with stating their God was to be feared, and that He is Yehovah their God.

Everything about the sale of the property is based upon the year of release. And the year of release is based upon the sounding of the trumpet on the Day of Atonement. The Lord’s forgiveness and covering is the key to initiate the entire process. Hence, to mistreat one another is to fail to recognize the Lord’s goodness over one’s own wrongdoing.

And yet, we as Christians have the full realization and the complete forgiveness of every debt in our lives in Christ, but we still mistreat one another, and we are unwilling to overlook being mistreated. If there is one truth seen time and time again, it is that Christians do a much better job of oppressing and mistreating one another than the world at large could ever hope to attain.

The Year of Jubilee, when all is restored
A time when things past are brought back again
Come and see, look to the workings of the Lord
What He has done for the sons of men

What was lost is now open for His redeemed
The marvel of Paradise stands before us
We were shut out forever, so it seemed
But then God sent… yes, God sent – His Son Jesus

And in His life and work all is made new
Heaven’s access for us is safely secured
Marvelous things for us God did do
In the sending of His Son, Jesus our Lord

II. Providing for the Sabbath Year (verses 18-22)

18 ‘So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them;

Although these words are certainly inclusive of all of the Lord’s statutes and judgments, they are more specifically intended to refer to everything in this chapter since verse 2. The people have been given specific commands, and the Lord expects them to be adhered to. Having said that, like the Sabbath year observance, there is nothing in Scripture to show that the people ever observed a Year of Jubilee. Like the failure to give the land its Sabbath rest, failing to observe the fifty year Jubilee was probably another of the multitude of reasons for the people’s punishment and exile. This can almost be inferred from the next words…

18 (con’t) and you will dwell in the land in safety.

This is something that rarely occurred. Times of peace are noted, but times of being hemmed in by enemies are as frequent as the next turn of the page. The people failed to heed the Lord, and the land was a very unsafe place. As a major land bridge between great nations, Israel’s only hope of not being entered and crushed was to act in accord with God who carefully placed them there.

When Israel danced, it was always on the edge of a very sharp sword, and this was intentional. There is a price for obedience, and there is a price for disobedience. The Lord need do nothing but withdraw His hand of restraint, and the enemies would come flooding in. And He withdrew His hand frequently over years and generations as a means of bringing them back to their senses, or as a way of punishing them for their failures. But when they were sensible and obedient, the Lord was faithful to perform His end of the bargain…

19 Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety.

Israel isn’t just dependent on border security. As a land bridge, this is surely true, but it was, and remains to this day, wholly dependent on the favor of the winds and rains as well. Unlike Egypt which received water all year long, and which can be drawn into canals for use during the low flow season, Israel is a mountainous land. When the rains come, they quickly flow down the hills and towards the lowest elevations, eventually heading out to the seas.

For crops to grow, rains would need to be on time and consistent. The obedience of the people implied conditions would be favorable for the land to yield its fruit, even to abundance. The people would eat their fill, and they would be content and safe as they did. In fact, this is one of the promised blessings found in the next chapter for obedience, the very first one in fact. The Lord promises by Himself that this will be true. But when a contrary attitude and a stiff neck was seen, correction came in fields which lay barren and unproductive.

Reading the Bible only from an agricultural aspect, at times one can almost tell when the people were obedient, and when they weren’t. But they could never say they weren’t warned. The law was received, the books were written, and Moses’ writings stood as a witness to them, and against them, that the Lord had spoken through him. What the Lord sought from them was faith leading to faithful obedience…

20 ‘And if you say, “What shall we eat in the seventh year, since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?”

Here the Lord, through Moses, anticipates the most obvious question one could imagine. Though it is a question of very little faith, it is a valid one nonetheless for someone who simply had no comprehension of who the Lord really is. Thus, they are surely bound to ask, “What shall we eat in the seventh year?”

If there is no plowing and sowing because the Lord had forbidden these things, then where will the food for all the people come from? And even more, what about the animals, and the eighth year when seed would be so desperately needed for sowing that crop? If the people were restrained from sowing and gathering, how would these needs be met?

21 Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years.

This verse shows either the utterly ridiculous nature of the writings of Moses… or they show that what he wrote was relayed from a Divine source. No other option is even credible to consider. The people were to enter Canaan in just a few week’s time. It would be a short time after that for the first Sabbath-year cycle to begin. In due time, the proverbial proof would be in the pudding.

Really, only a lunatic or a democrat would promise a triple portion of something they had absolutely no control over at all. If this were not true, the result would be selecting a new leader while Moses lay at the bottom of a cliff, and there would not even be one Sabbath year observed. And so to make this claim, the Lord puts His own stamp of credibility on the leader he has selected. The fact that it would actually be forty years before they entered, and without Moses at that, makes no difference at all at this point in time.

The Lord has spoken, He has made the claim, and it was Moses who would have had to face the consequences if things did not progress as was originally assumed that they would. The promise then is actually a step greater than that of the giving of the manna to the people. In that, the people were told they would receive a double portion each Friday. They were further told that it would not fill with worms and stink like that of the other five days.

The miracle of the manna proved reliable, but this would require not just an extra portion. It would require one above that. It would have to be enough to carry the people through the Sabbath year, and into the next as well. To show the exemplary nature of the promise, the Lord says He wouldn’t just provide enough to get them started in the eighth, but it would carry them all the way through the eighth, a true and full triple portion…

*22 And you shall sow in the eighth year, and eat old produce until the ninth year; until its produce comes in, you shall eat of the old harvest.

Throughout the entire eighth year, there would be no need to eat what was harvested during the season. Instead, they would still be eating the grain of year six as the entire harvest of year eight was fully and finally being finished and gathered in. Here in this verse is a new word to close us out, yashan, or old. So, even though it’s a new word, it’s an old one at the same time. It indicates “old things” and it is rather rare, being seen a total of just six times, two of them being in this verse.

The miracle of this promise is so great, that the Lord will use the same precept again in the time of Hezekiah, king of Judah. When Sennacherib, king of Assyria came against Jerusalem, threatening to destroy it, the Lord gave a long and beautiful reply to Hezekiah’s prayers for deliverance. In that reply, He promised to handle the situation, and to give a sign to prove that His word was what accomplished the task. A portion of that reply said –

This shall be a sign to you:
You shall eat this year such as grows of itself,
And in the second year what springs from the same;
Also in the third year sow and reap,
Plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them.
30 And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah
Shall again take root downward,
And bear fruit upward.
31 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant,
And those who escape from Mount Zion.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.’
2 Kings 19:29-31

Like the crops which had taken root downward, and which would bear fruit upwards for two full years, the people of Israel would likewise not be cut off. They would take root and bear fruit, all for the sake of the Lord’s glory, which Hezekiah had sought in his time of great distress.

And this is the point of the entire body of Scripture – the glory of God. Everything He did in creation and since creation is to proclaim His glory to His creatures, and to invite them to share in that glory as observers of His magnificence. The Year of Jubilee was given to Israel to demonstrate this glory to them, but it was also given to anticipate the coming of Christ who would take the shadow and make it substance.

Christ Jesus did just that. He gave release of the land, and He gave release to those held in captivity. The only bondage that remains is that of time. The redeemed of the Lord are, in fact, set free. But we must still await the time when that is realized. The sounding of that trumpet isn’t far off, and it is the blessed hope of those who eagerly await His appearing. May that day be soon.

The one thing about that Day though, is that there will be some who aren’t going. There is a dividing line in who will hear the sound of the shophar and go, and who will be ignorant of it and be stuck behind. The dividing line is what each individual has done about Jesus. It is, after all, all about Him.

Closing Verse:“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn, Isaiah 61:1, 2

Next Week: Leviticus 25:23-32 More great things about the Jubilee to sort through… (The Year of Jubilee, Part II) (47th Leviticus Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if you have a lifetime of sin heaped up behind you, He can wash it away and purify you completely and wholly. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

The Year of Jubilee

And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself
Seven times seven years
———-just think of all the good times and tears!
And the time of the seven sabbaths of years
Shall be to you forty-nine years

Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee
To sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, let it resound!
On the Day of Atonement you shall make
The trumpet throughout all your land to sound

And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year
And proclaim liberty
Throughout all the land to all its inhabitants
It shall be for you a Jubilee

And each of you shall return to his possession, so shall it be
And each of you shall return to his family

That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you
In it you shall neither sow nor reap
What grows of its own accord
Nor gather the grapes of your untended vine
———-Whether just a few, or a whole whopping heap

For it is the Jubilee
It shall be holy to you
You shall eat its produce from the field
This is what you are to do

In this Year of Jubilee, please do heed and learn
Each of you shall to his possession return

And if you sell anything to your neighbor
Or buy from your neighbor’s hand
You shall not oppress one another
Rather in peace with him you shall stand

According to the number of years
After the Jubilee you shall from your neighbor buy
And according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you
By the number of crops you shall classify

According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price
And according to the fewer number of years
———-you shall its price diminish
For he sells to you according to the number
Of the years of the crops, until they finish 

Therefore you shall not oppress one another
But you shall fear your God
For I am the Lord your God
Walk circumspectly therefore on this land that you trod

So you shall observe My statutes
And keep My judgments, so you are to understand
And perform them
And you will dwell in safety in the land 

Then the land will yield its fruit, so to you I tell
And you will eat your fill, and there in safety dwell

And if you say
What shall we eat in the seventh year…
Since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?
Pshaw, I am the Lord, so have no fear

Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year
———-despite your fears
And it will bring forth produce enough for three years

And you shall sow in the eighth year
And eat old produce until the ninth year, so I attest
Until its produce comes in
You shall eat of the old harvest

Lord God, we look ahead as yet
To the day when Christ comes for those already released
The moment is ahead, the hour is set
And we wait until the ticking clock has ceased

Until then, we thank You for our Lord Jesus
Who has restored the land and opened heaven’s door
Great things through Him, O God, You have done for us
And we shall exalt and praise You forevermore

Hallelujah and Amen…

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