The Year of Jubilee: What is it?

Over the next few posts, we will be looking at the year of Jubilee. This celebration where every 50th year, there was a year of freedom, rejoicing, celebration and rest. The purpose of this is to look at the reasons for the year, why was it set up, what was its significance and how does it apply to the modern believer today. We will start with a short introduction and build upon this the next few days.

the year of Jubilee: its significance and application for today:

Let the trumpet sound! Let the people rejoice! Hear the sound of joy and gladness for Yahweh is the God of peace. Liberty has been proclaimed. This is the year of the extraordinary. The year of faith and trust in the provisions of God. A year of restoration, redemption, and rest for the people and land of God. In Leviticus 25, the Lord spoke to Moses to institute the observance and instructions for the Sabbath year (Lev 25:1-7). In the fiftieth year, God introduced a special year that followed the Sabbath year, called the Year of Jubilee. The Year of Jubilee “was a kind of imposing memorial of the sacred rest, to see slaves emancipated and become suddenly free; houses and lands returning to their former possessors who had sold them; and in fine all things assuming a new face.”[1] The Year of Jubilee was a means of regulating the value of property, reminding the Israelites that God is the true owner of the land, preserving the inheritance from God, releasing the Hebrew slaves and is the year of the Lord’s favor.[2] This extraordinary year displays the provisions and faithfulness of God in addition to His forgiveness and redemption for His chosen people.

This discussion will examine the instructions and meaning for the Year of Jubilee, why it was significant for the people of Israel and how it applies to modern day Christian. Jubilee presents the perfect picture for God’s faithfulness, His call to believer’s obedience, and the freedom and redemption He provides in Jesus Christ.

[1] John Calvin and C.W. Bingham, Commentaries on the Four Last Books of Moses Arranged in the Form of a Harmony, vol. 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 451.

[2] Martin H. Manser, “Year of Jubilee,” in Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies, (London: Martin Manser, 2009), under sec. 7482, “The Year of Jubilee,” Logos Bible Software.

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