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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary


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This was the fiftieth year, coming at the end of every seventh Sabbatical year. The land was held as belonging to Jehovah, and if sold, or redeemed, the price must be reckoned according to the number of years to the next Jubilee, when all possessions returned to their former owners. Hebrew bond-servants also were set free in the year of Jubilee. If land was consecrated to Jehovah, it might be redeemed before the Jubilee, but if not redeemed by that time it became perpetually consecrated. The trumpet of the Jubilee was sounded in the tenth day of the seventh month, on the great day of atonement. It was to be a year of rest for the land, there being no sowing or reaping.

The Jubilee is clearly a type of the millennium. It follows Leviticus 24 wherein Israel is seen

1, according to the mind of God as in the place of His light and administration — but all sustained by Aaron, that is, Christ; for

2, in its conduct, Israel actually fell under governmental judgement (Leviticus 24:13-23 ); but

3, are ultimately rescued and blessed according to God's purposes, and on the ground of the day of atonement. Israel have sold themselves and their land to strangers; but when that glad period arrives all the promised land will return to Israel; and the bond-servants will be restored, no matter how powerful those may be who hold them.

It is a very disputed point as to what is the signification of the word Jubilee, or from what root it is derived. Except in Leviticus 25:9 (where the Hebrew word is teruah, 'loud of sound,' as in the margin) the word is yobel, translated 'trumpet' in Exodus 19:13; 'rams' horn' in Joshua 6:4-6,8,13; and 'Jubilee' in Leviticus 25:10-15,28-54; Leviticus 27:17-24; Numbers 36:4 . Fürst traces the word from yabal, 'strong': hence 'a he-goat, ram,' and then 'a ram's horn,' and hence 'a cry of joy, a joyful noise,' a designation of the great Jubilee feast.

There is difference of judgement as to when the year of Jubilee commenced. With this must be considered the SABBATICAL YEAR, which occurred every seven years. "Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; but in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for Jehovah: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard." Leviticus 25:3,4 . These tables represent the last seven years before the Jubilee.

A |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| No harvest. B |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| No harvest.

| 1st year | Ingathering. | 1st year | Ingathering.

| | Sowing. | | Sowing.

|¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| Harvest. |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| Harvest.

| 2nd year | Ingathering. | 2nd year | Ingathering.

| | Sowing. | | Sowing.

|¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| Harvest. |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| Harvest.

| 3rd year | Ingathering. | 3rd year | Ingathering.

| | Sowing. | | Sowing.

|¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| Harvest. |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| Harvest.

| 4th year | Ingathering. | 4th year | Ingathering.

| | Sowing. | | Sowing.

|¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| Harvest. |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| Harvest.

| 5th year | Ingathering. | 5th year | Ingathering.

| | Sowing. | | Sowing.

|¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| Harvest. |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| Harvest.

| 6th year | Ingathering. | 6th year | Ingathering.

| | Sowing. | | Sowing.

|¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| No harvest. |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| No harvest.

| Sabbatical | No ingathering. | Sabbatical |

| | No sowing. | ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ | } Jubilee.

|¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| No harvest. |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| }

| Jubilee | No ingathering. | ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ | Ingathering.

| | No sowing. | 1st year | Sowing.

|¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| No harvest. |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| Harvest.

| 1st year | Ingathering. | 2nd year | Ingathering.

| | Sowing. | | Sowing.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

The above passage speaks of six years of sowing, and six years of pruning the vineyard and gathering in the fruit thereof, but does not speak of six years of harvest. In the above tables it will be seen there would have been but five harvests in the seven years. Then the question arises, Did the Jubilee commence at the end of the seventh Sabbatical year, as in table A ? If so there would be then three years without any harvest. If this was what God intended, He would have provided for His obedient people. Some however judge that the Jubilee year was really half of the seventh Sabbatical year, and half of the first year of the following seven, as in table B. This seems confirmed by the trumpet being sounded on the 10th day of the seventh month. Still it is called the fiftieth year. Leviticus 25:8-11 .

There is no record of the Sabbatical year and the year of Jubilee ever being kept. Leviticus 26:34,35 predicts what would happen if the Israelites did not let the land keep the sabbaths. It reads almost like a prophecy: the land should lie desolate "because it did not rest in your sabbaths." In Jeremiah 25:11,12; Jeremiah 29:10; Daniel 9:2 the actual desolation is said to be seventy years. And as the land was to have rested one year in every seven, it follows that the 70 answering to 70 × 7 = 490 years. Now the kingdom began B.C. 1095, and Jerusalem was taken in 606, which is just 490 years, and seems to confirm the silence in the history of Israel as to their giving the land the prescribed sabbaths. Apparently in this, as in everything else, they failed to obey; but the Jubilee will be made good to them in grace when they own their Messiah.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Jubilee'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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