Saturday, March 19, 2011

Year of Jubilee

Recently I’ve started thinking about the concept of the Year of Jubilee. This came up recently in our Bible study as we read through the Law as part of our Daily Bible Reading schedule. Also, one of my favorite songs to lead in worship is “Days of Elijah” which references the celebration. At each of these occasions, I made mention of the fact that we don’t have any indication of the Israelites ever adhering to the celebration of the Year of Jubilee. A wise old (older than me) man came up to me to ask why I was pointing the lack of celebration out. It started me thinking about whether what I was saying was accurate. As we discussed it, I thought back to some time in my youth sitting in a Bible class somewhere and the teacher saying that the Israelites never celebrated Jubilee in full because it was too difficult.

So I went home and started doing some research. I struggled greatly with not using my phone to do research during the sermon immediately after our conversation.

The following are links to some of the pages I read with a little commentary but not much.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jubilee_(biblical)
Jubilee years appear to have been used for counting even if not actually celebrated

In my brief searching I couldn’t find any direct evidence of Jubilee being celebrated in full by the entire nation of Israel.

Info on the Sabbath years
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shmita

Sabbath years do appear to have been celebrated at times
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Sabbatical_Years

2 Kings 19:29-30

The conversation between Isaiah and Hezekiah seems to be an indication of a Sabbath year followed by a Jubilee year with regards to the agricultural aspects but there is no mention of the slave, land and debt aspects.

This article has a really good tie in of Jubilee from Moses to Jesus
http://www.yearofjubilee.org/2008/07/a-time-for-jubilee/

I especially liked that it tied in Jesus’ reading in the synagogue to the year of jubilee:Luke 20 4:14-21 “He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

I’ll have to read through that some more as I think it has important implications to our lives today.

Of course people try to base everything including predictions on the coming of Christ on Jubilee year counting

http://www.growthingod.org.uk/jubilee.htm

Not too much useful info there unless you like reading rationalizations for millennial theology

So that’s about all the research I did and intend to do for now. No resolution to my initial inquiry but I certainly got some background information that I think will be useful.
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