Black Christians : Jubilee

Discussion in 'Christian Study Group' started by cherryblossom, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19,252
    Likes Received:
    5,505
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +5,560
    1. The sabbatical year and the year of Jubilee

    This section deals with the Mosaic legislation of Leviticus chapter 25 and is intended to give the reader a broad overview of the subject without projecting it in anyway into the NT and the fulfilment in Christ. However, I’ve discussed an ‘aside’ at one point and related it through to a fulfilment in Christ as there’s no opportunity in the notes to conclude what is being hinted at later in the text.

    It’s quite possible that this section will get just a little bit like trying to wade through treacle as it’s pretty much dealing with commandments and procedures rather than trying to draw spiritual truth from it.

    But do try and persevere as the conclusions drawn are important to sections 3 and 4.

    a. The sabbatical year
    Lev 25:1-7, Deut 15:1-11, Ex 23:10-11

    God ordained that every seventh year was to be a year of rest for the land of Israel. To be able to understand the context of this command, we need first to determine which period of time was considered to be the ‘year’ in this context.

    As the ‘sabbath’ was tied in with allowing the land rest from cultivation, then it should logically be also tied in to the Israelite agricultural year.

    The agricultural year was considered to begin immediately after the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles with the sowing of the fields so that, as detailed in Lev 25:9 with regard to when the year of Jubilee began, the agricultural year would have been counted from around this time, when the harvesting had been fully completed and next year’s crop needed soon to be sown with the advent of the ‘former rains’ which should have begun at the latest by November.

    It may even be that Rosh-ha-shanah, the beginning of the civil new year (occurring on the first day of the seventh month along with the festival known as ‘Trumpets’) was chosen as the point from which the agricultural new year was taken to begin (see Rosh-ha-shanah 1:1 in the Mishnah where the four ‘New Year’ days are listed).

    However, from an inscription found during the excavations at Gezer, it’s usually thought that we can determine the agricultural cycle that was in existence in Biblical times. AEHL (in the article ‘Inscriptions’) records concerning this that

    ‘In the excavations at Gezer a seven-line inscription, written on a plaque of soft limestone measuring 3in by 4in, was discovered. This, known as the Gezer Calendar, is considered to be the most ancient Hebrew Inscription. It dates from about 950-900 BC, that is, the days of Solomon’

    and Zondervan (under ‘Agriculture’) records for us the actual translated text which reads

    ‘His two months are (olive) harvest;
    ‘His two months are planting (grain);
    ‘His two months are late planting;
    ‘His month is hoeing up of flax;
    ‘His month is harvest of barley;
    ‘His month is harvest and festivity;
    ‘His two months are vine tending;
    ‘His month is summer fruit’

    These twelve months represent a chronological order of the farming year, beginning with the period mid-September to mid-November and ending where it begins, and may therefore have been a memory aid in use for remembering the agricultural year.

    Other interpretations have been proposed but the fact that the agricultural procedures of the inscription tie in with the cycle as demonstrated in the seven annual festivals of Leviticus chapter 23 are indicative that the farming year began on or around Rosh-ha-shanah or even after the Feast of Tabernacles (that is, either the 1st or 23rd of the seventh month - corresponding roughly to our September/October). I’ve detailed this more fully below underneath the first chart.

    In the period from the Israelites’ entry into Canaan until the exile of the people to Babylon, nothing much is recorded that indicates to us whether the sabbatical year was observed in the land, though II Chr 36:21 points us to the belief that, on the whole, it was ignored.

    In NT times, the seventh year was probably observed amongst most religious Jews, the tractate Shebiith being devoted exclusively to the legislation concerning it. Just how widespread it was amongst the nation is difficult to determine, however, as it can’t be imagined that the Roman authorities would have been pleased to accept a year in which no produce was being cultivated.

    In present day Israel (and I’m here speaking about the year 1986 when I visited the land on one of the most mind-numbing tours I’ve ever been on - we seemed to drive past the really important sites and stop at the contrived or uninteresting ones - like crusader fortresses and even, I remember, stopping to look over Jerusalem at the top of one of the hills that was the place of Jerusalem’s rubbish dump!), I overheard a conversation that was being held between a friend of mine and the owner of a vineyard that produced wine that was ‘kosher’.

    This necessarily required him to leave the land fallow on the seventh year but, upon further questioning, he admitted that, although they allowed the land ‘rest’ in the sense that they didn’t tend the vines, the grapes that were produced were still picked and fermented into wine that was sold as ‘non-kosher’ - something that the Law didn’t permit (the produce of the land during the seventh year is supposed to be for the poor - Ex 23:10-11).

    As with Jubilee, the sabbatical year brought in release and rest, and was a time when the poor benefited, though what actually took place was different on these two occasions. These twin aspects of release and rest are outlined for us in the Mosaic legislation.


    http://www.arlev.co.uk/jubilee.htm
     
  2. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19,252
    Likes Received:
    5,505
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +5,560
    i. Rest
    Ex 23:10-11, Lev 25:5-7
    The land was to rest and be uncultivated for one year thus providing all labourers also with ‘rest’. What grew of itself (with no tending, pruning or reaping) was primarily intended for the use of the poor of the land (Ex 23:10-11) though it could also serve as food for households (Lev 25:6), for cattle (Lev 25:7a), and for the wild beasts of the land (Lev 25:7b, Ex 23:11).

    ii. Release
    Deut 15:1-6
    The Sabbatical year was also to be a time of release (Deut 15:1) but only in one specific aspect - that all debts between the children of Israel were to be cancelled (Deut 15:2), though a foreigner’s debt was not annulled (Deut 15:3). That the Scriptures teach a cancelling of outstanding debt and not just an annulment of the interest on the debt is clear from Deut 15:7-11.

    This legislation sought to remove the yoke of bondage to labour from the children of Israel. Instead of the Israelites relying upon the activity of work to produce ever greater harvests, to become richer by the extent of their hard labour, they had to desist from activity for a full year and use up what provision they might have had.

    By the eighth year, most families should have begun the next six year period on the same terms as they had at the beginning of the previous six years of work. If what you had was to be used up, then there was more likely to have been a desire to look after the interests of others and so a collective concern rather than a selfish one would have been cultivated (excuse the pun, please!).

    b. The year of release for slaves
    Ex 21:1-6, Deut 15:12-18

    It’s very easy for us to always see in the mention of a six year period followed by a year of release, a reference to the sabbatical year but, in the following legislation, this isn’t the case. The Law relating to the release of a Hebrew slave after six years’ work didn’t relate to this cycle but to any six consecutive years that the slave served a master.

    The Law makes it clear that after six years of service (regardless of when they should fall) the Hebrew slave is to be set free with no charge being incurred (Deut 15:12, Ex 21:2) - he doesn’t find release on the national sabbatical year but only after a period of six consecutive years’ service. Notice also that in the Jubilee year, the slave left with his family (Lev 25:41,54) but not necessarily so here (Ex 21:4) and in Jubilee the slave went out to receive a possession (Lev 25:41) whereas here he went out armed with some financial help (Deut 15:13-14).

    The year of Jubilee (discussed below) also released Hebrew slaves (Lev 25:40-41) but so that they would return to possess their inheritance, and no provision was given for a slave to remain a part of his master’s house as it was in the seventh year.

    When the year of Jubilee came and a slave had already committed himself to remain ‘forever’ in his master’s house (Ex 21:6, Deut 15:17), it would appear that the year of Jubilee took precedence and the slave left the master’s house to obtain possession of his tribal inheritance.



    http://www.arlev.co.uk/jubilee.htm
     
Loading...
Similar Threads - Jubilee
  1. 1poetsought
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    660
  2. alyce
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    715