Saturday, August 1, 2015
Leviticus, Chapter 25, Verse 17
Do not deal unfairly with one another, then; but stand in fear of your God. I, the LORD, am your God.
Our loving God wants us free and He demands that we out of love treat each other with love and fairness. In the Jewish calendar God specified that we are to rest one out of seven days but it goes further with a rest after seven weeks ending in a year of Jubilee after the 49th year called a Shemitah.
The Shemitah Year is the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah for the Land of Israel and still observed in contemporary Judaism. When Moses received the Levitical law, God gave the commandment to rest on the seventh day… the Sabbath. Moses also applied the cycles of "seven" to weeks and years. A cycle of seven weeks points to the 50th day, called Pentecost. And a cycle of seven sets of seven years points to the 50th year, the year of Jubilee. The year of Jubilee is based on letting the land rest every seventh year as follows; "For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to the Lord." (Leviticus 25:3-4)
Before the Exodus, the Israelites had been slaves in the land of Egypt, without freedom and without possessions. When they reached the land of Canaan, Joshua divided the land among their tribes and their families… so that each had his own inheritance. Every adult male among them became a land owner. This land was a permanent possession that could never depart from his family. If a man became poor he could sell part or all of his land… but only temporarily. It would always revert to him or his descendants at the “Year of Jubilee.” If he became even poorer and was unable to pay his debts, he could sell himself into slavery, and work to pay off his debts. Again that slavery could only ever be temporary. When the great “Day of Atonement” in the “Year of Jubilee” came he became a free man once again and repossessed his inheritance. The most unusual observance that God commanded the Israelites through Moses was… the keeping of the Year of Jubilee. For most people this celebration occurred only once in their life time and for many not even that, as it occurred …only once every 50 years. At this year of jubilee all Israelites who had sold themselves into slavery were set free… and all land that had been sold reverted to its original owner. This meant that the Israelites could not ever be in permanent slavery; nor could any Israelite permanently lose his inheritance!
Post a Comment