The Prophetic Significance of the Jubilee

by | May 24, 2022 | Prophetic Insight

Over the past few years there has been a plethora of books written about special times according to the biblical or Jewish calendar. These books have stoked the fires of those who are prophecy-minded. Some have written books about the Shmita year while others focused upon the Yovel or Jubilee years.

Each of these books looked at the relationship between these biblical concepts and current events. Some of these authors proclaim deep meaningful insights into future events by connecting the Shmita and Jubilee with the words of the prophets from both Tanakh (Old Testament) and Brit Chadasha (New Testament).

To comment about my personal thoughts about each of these books would take more space than this article would allow. But I will say that if you are reading books concerning the Shmita and Jubilee to find out what is going to happen in the future, you are looking in the wrong direction.

In order to understand the Shmita and, by extension, Jubilee, as well as their relationship to current and future events, we must understand that the Shmita and Jubilee are connected to each other—because we count the Shmita in order to arrive at the Jubilee. In order to understand the prophetic significance of the Jubilee we have to start by looking in Torah at the words of the commandment concerning Jubilee. Here is what we read in Leviticus 25:10 (TLV):

“You are to make the fiftieth year holy, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It is to be a Jubilee to you, when each of you is to return to his own property and each of you is to return to his family.”

As we read these words from Leviticus we notice several key things. First, we see that the Jubilee was to be holy or separate. Second, it was to be proclaimed throughout the land. Third, liberty was to be proclaimed to everyone.

Almost everyone who knows anything about the Year of Jubilee is familiar with the first two of these. I would like to focus on the last provision, which most people read but do not fully pay attention to because we tend to focus on the provisions of the Jubilee rather than the “who” of Jubilee.

Let me clarify: Most people understand that at the proclamation of the Jubilee servants were released, debts were released and property was returned. What we don’t often pay attention to is that the proclamation of liberty was not just to those who were servants or to those who owed money or even to those who would reclaim property they had sold. The proclamation was to all the inhabitants of the land—not just to servants but also to those who were served, not just to the debtors but also to those who held the debt, and not just to those who had sold their property but also to those who had purchased the property.

The Jubilee liberty affected both sides of the equation. It set free both the servant and the served. The debtor and the lender. The ones who sold their property and the ones who bought the property. Because the truth is that both the servant and the served were in bondage. Both the lender and the debtor were in bondage, and both the seller and the purchaser were in bondage.

Earlier I mentioned that if you were reading books concerning the Shmita and Jubilee to find out what is going to happen in the future, you are looking in the wrong direction. This is because the most significant prophetic fulfillment concerning the Shmita and Jubilee took place in Capernaum nearly 2,000 years ago, when Yeshua stood up and read the words from Isaiah 61:1-3 (TLV):

The Ruach of Adonai Elohim is on me, because Adonai has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of Adonai’s favor and the day of our God’s vengeance, to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of Adonai, that He may be glorified.

As we read in Luke 4:17-21 (TLV):

When the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him, He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Ruach Adonai is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of Adonai’s favor.”

He closed the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue were focused on Him. Then He began to tell them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your ears.”

As Yeshua read these words from Isaiah He sat down and stated that the words of the prophecy in Isaiah 61 had been fulfilled that day. So if you want to understand the prophetic significance of the Year of Jubilee, you won’t find it in books concerning 21st-century America or Russia, or for that matter even 21st-century Israel. You have to look back to that day in Capernaum when Yeshua proclaimed not that all will be set free but that all have been set free.

It doesn’t matter if you are the servant or the one being served, the borrower or the lender, the one who sold his land or the one who bought it. That day, Yeshua proclaimed liberty to all and gave sight to the blind so that we could see just how oppressed by the bondage of this world we had become. This liberty goes beyond the financial and physical aspects of the Jubilee and opens our eyes to the spiritual aspects and bondage we have allowed to consume us.

As you read these words today, it doesn’t matter if you are a debtor or a lender, whether you work for someone or others work for you. Please allow the Ruach to search your heart and show you if your thoughts and actions are being controlled by your circumstances, and if they are, please allow Yeshua’s words proclaiming liberty that day to become real to you today. {eoa}

Rabbi Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise; Transient Singularity; OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry; #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer; Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians; and Galatians in Context.

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