THE YEAR OF JUBILEE

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    [Leviticus:25:1-46].

    Lesson No.: 
    89
    Class: 
    Senior
    Memory Verse: 

    “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound” (Isaiah 61:1).

    Cross References: 

    I Instructions from Mount Sinai
    1. The Lord speaks to Moses from Mount Sinai to keep a Sabbatical year when they come into the land He is to give them, [Leviticus:25:1-2].
    2. Six years they are to sow and reap, [Leviticus:25:3]; [Exodus:23:10].
    3. The seventh year is to be a year of rest, a Sabbath for the Lord, [Leviticus:25:4]; [Hebrews:4:9].
    4. They and the strangers in the land are to eat that which grows of itself, [Leviticus:25:5-7]; [2 Kings:19:29].

    II The Fiftieth Year
    1. They are to number seven Sabbatical years, or 49 years, [Leviticus:25:8].
    2. The jubilee trumpet is to sound on the Day of Atonement throughout all the land, [Leviticus:25:9]; [Leviticus:23:24].
    3. The fiftieth year is to be a year of Jubilee or freedom. Every man’s possessions that have been sold revert to him, [Leviticus:25:10-13]; [Isaiah:61:1-2]; [Isaiah:63:4]; [Luke:4:19].
    4. If they have bought or sold their possessions they are to regulate the price according to the years from the current Jubilee, [Leviticus:25:14-16]; [Leviticus:27:18-25].
    5. They are not to oppress one another, but are to fear God, [Leviticus:25:17-19].

    III Abundant Crops
    1. Should they ask what they should eat the seventh year, the Lord tells them He will bless their crops the sixty year and they will bear enough for three years, [Leviticus:25:20-21].
    2. They are to sow the eighth year and yet eat of the old store until the ninth year, [Leviticus:25:22]; [Joshua:5:11-12].

    IV Redemption of the Land
    1. The land is not to be sold forever, since it belongs to God, [Leviticus:25:23-24].
    2. If sold through necessity, a kinsman may redeem it before the year of Jubilee; but if not able to redeem it, it is to return to its owner in the year of Jubilee, [Leviticus:25:25-28].
    3. Laws are given regulating the sale of houses in walled and unwalled cities and those owned by the Levites, [Leviticus:25:29-34].
    4. They may take no usury from a brother nor make him a bondsman, [Leviticus:25:35-42]; [1 Corinthians:7:23].
    5. They are not to rule over him with rigour, [Leviticus:25:43-46]; [Ephesians:6:9]; [Colossians:4:1].

    Notes: 

    Year of Jubilee -- A Type
    The Year of Jubilee seems to be a type of the Gospel dispensation, when all who believe in Christ are redeemed from the bondage of sin and are given a right to an inheritance among those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus. It was year of general release of debts and obligations, of bondmen and bondwomen, and of lands and possessions, which had been sold from the families and tribes to which they belonged.

    For six years they were to sow their seed and reap their fields, but in the seventh year they were not to plant or reap. The Lord would send His blessing on their crops the sixth year and their fields would produce enough for three years. That alone would be a wonderful miracle and only God could promise such a thing as that.
    The seventh year was to be a year of rest, a Sabbath unto the Lord. They, and their land, and their cattle were to have a year of rest. When they had celebrated seven of those Sabbatical years, 49 years altogether, they were to have an extra Sabbath. The fiftieth year was to be a year of Jubilee, having all debts cancelled and the right of inheritance restored.

    Laws of Equality
    This is the grandest set of laws ever given to regulate both capital and labour. There was no chance for the rich to oppress the poor, and no chance for the poor to sit idly by. They were to be equal, as brethren. These laws, if properly kept, would almost surely maintain an equality of conditions among the people.
    No doubt the motive of these laws was to prevent the rich from oppressing the poor and making slaves out of them, and to keep a few from getting possession of all the lands.

    Zedekiah
    In Jeremiah’s time, when the king of Babylon was fighting against Zedekiah, king of Judah, Zedekiah made a covenant with all the people at Jerusalem to proclaim liberty unto them; and that every man should let his servants go free ([Jeremiah:34:8-9]). The people responded and let their servants go. But afterward they turned and caused their servants to be brought back into subjection to them. It displeased the Lord that they had broken the covenant; and through Jeremiah, the Lord said, “Behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth” (Jeremiah:34:17).

    The Lord had told them in the beginning that if they did not obey His statutes He would scatter them among the heathen and bring their land into desolation. “Then shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her Sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your Sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it” (Leviticus:26:34, 35).

    Redemption Through Christ
    We were slaves of the devil; we had sold ourselves for nought; we had forfeited our right to Heaven and its eternal glories. But “when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died” for us – the ungodly – redeemed us through His own precious Blood, and has given us an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away.

    Saint Luke records one of Christ’s early sermons: “When he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke:4:17-21). The real year of Jubilee had come. Every sin-bound soul could now go free. The inheritance lost through Adam was restored through Jesus Christ. Truly the acceptable year of the Lord had come!

    Day of Atonement
    The Day of Atonement preceded the year of Jubilee. Jesus must needs die for the sins of the people before they could be set free. The great liberty or redemption from the thraldom of sin, published under the Gospel, should not take place till the great Atonement, the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, had been offered up.
    The year of Jubilee was ushered in by blowing of the trumpets; at the consummation of all things, Paul says, “The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (I Corinthians:15:52).

    Then will come God’s great Sabbath of rest, the grand Jubilee of a thousand years of peace. The writer of the Book of Hebrews tells us, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God,” and warns us lest there be in any of us an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.

    Questions: 

    1. What does the year of Jubilee represent?
    2. Explain why God’s laws are equal?
    3. Why did the Lord bless their crops the sixty year?
    4. Were the Israelites allowed to use their brethren as bondsmen?
    5. If a possession had been sold when could it be redeemed?
    6. Could a stranger redeem one’s possession?
    7. By whom are we redeemed?
    8. When is the acceptable year of the Lord?
    9. When do you think the grand year of Jubilee will be?