Friday, December 28, 2012

Jubilee Years in History

A Jubilee is celebrated on the 50th year according to Leviticus 25:8-13 which is announced on Yom Kippur (10th of Tishri) with the blowing of the silver trumpets to release the land and its people from all indebtedness. The 48th year must have been an abundant crop so as to sustain the people through the next two years of not sowing the land and again through to the harvest of the year after the jubilee. After the seventh sabbath (49th) year, the Hebrews were commanded to celebrate another special sabbath year called the year of jubilee. Any lands that had been sold were returned to the original owner or the ownership of their tribesmen. Those who had sold themselves into slavery were freed. All debts were canceled. All farmers took another 'sabbatical' from working the fields.
And you shall number seven sabbaths of years to you, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty and nine years. Then shall you cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall you make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee to you; and you shall return every man to his possession, and you shall return every man to his family. A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be to you: you shall not sow, neither reap that which grows of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of your vine undressed.
(Leviticus 25:8-11)
There was no sowing during the jubilee year so it can not be counted as the first of the next set of seven years. The year after the jubilee year was the first year in the next set of seven.

Starting Year for Counting Jubilees

After years of research, I agree with Ussher's dating of Adam and Eve's creation on Tishri 1 of 4004 BC. The ages in which sons were born in Genesis 5 provide the year of the flood (2348 BC), and in Genesis 11 provide a chronology to Abram's birth year (1996 BC). Based on other Scriptures, the year of the exodus can be determined (1491 BC) which began on the first Passover (Nisan 15) with the crossing of the Red Sea seven days later on what would be called the Feast of First Fruits (Nisan 21).

The Israelites had a combined lunar-solar calendar which maintained the patterns of the seven-day week with a sabbath, and the forty-year generation. A 13th month of thirty days every six years until reaching the 36th year when the extra month was added to the 40th year. Thus it is likely Moses died on the first day of the thirteenth month of a leap year, and they mourned him for thirty days. Every forty years this ancient Hebrew 360-day calendar (360 calendar) reset to the original start day of the week, and it was in sync with the modern 365.25-day calendar. Their religious calendar began in the Spring with the first month of Nisan, and their civil calendar began in the seventh month of Tishri.

The day the children of Israel crossed the Jordan river and were circumcised was the tenth day of the first month (Nisan); the day they were to select a lamb for the Passover to be eaten on the fifteenth, a full moon. Miraculously all of the men were healed by then (as it usually takes a week to heal), and none of their enemies came upon them for fear of God (Joshua 5:1, 8-10). Seven days later Jericho's walls fell on the Feast of First Fruits, forty years to the day of the crossing of the Red Sea when YHWH destroyed Israel's slave-owners, the Egyptian army. So the Hebrews entered the Promised Land in Nisan of 1451 BC, a spiritual victory; but the civil year and counting of jubilees would be counted from the fall of 1452 BC of the Hebrew year 1452/1451 BC.  That Moses and the Israelites were already considering the jubilee count in Fall of 1452 BC could be construed from the dialogue between Moses and the daughters of Zelophehad:
  "And when the jubilee of the children of Israel shall be, then will their inheritance be added unto the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they shall belong: so will their inheritance be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers. And Moses commanded the children of Israel according to the word of Jehovah, saying, The tribe of the sons of Joseph speaketh right. This is the thing which Jehovah doth command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, Let them be married to whom they think best; only into the family of the tribe of their father shall they be married. . . . These are the commandments and the ordinances which Jehovah commanded by Moses unto the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho."  (Numbers 36:4-6, 13)

Joshua Warred a "Long Time," and Caleb's Age  at Wars' End

"Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.  . . . So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said to Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war."  (Joshua 11:18+23)
"And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spoke this word to Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, see, I am this day fourscore and five years old. . . And the land had rest from war. " (Joshua 14:10+15)
Two years and two months after the exodus (Num 10:11-12) and another five weeks to get to Paran after burying the dead (Num. 11) comes to July of 1449 BC, when Caleb was forty years old and sent from Kadesh-barnea by Moses to search out the land of Canaan.  At the end of Joshua's wars in Canaan, Caleb was eighty-five years old (compare Jos. 14:10 with Num. 13:3-16, and Deut. 1:36); consequently the war ended by July or August of 1944 BC.  Joshua's wars began with the destruction of Jericho on (April) Nisan 21 in 1451 BC, so April to the end of August is five months plus the six Tishri years of 1451/1450 to 1454/1444 possibly ending in August comes to six years and six months of war.  Therefore, the land of Israel's first year of sabbath rest was (September) Tishri 1444/1443 BC; it was there seventh year in the land promised to them by their Deliverer. 

Parallels of Solomon's Temple and the Temple of Jesus' Body

Solomon's Temple construction began in the second month Zif in 1011 BC of his fourth regnal year 1012/1011 (1 Kings 6:1), and it ended in the seventh month Tishri in 1003 BC of Sabbath year 1003/1002.

Fall, 1004 Temple completed in the eighth month; furnishings 
(I Kings 7:40-50)
Fall, 1003 Temple dedicated in the seventh month during
Feast of Tabernacles
Fall, 1002 Ninth Jubilee began in the fall
 1452 - (9 X 50) = 1002

Hanukkah, 4 BC Jesus conceived (see video)
Tishri 1, 3 BC Jesus born 1000 years after Temple's dedication (hanukkah)
            Christ “tabernacled with us” (John 1:14), and referred to His body as a temple (John 2:19).  
      Hanukkah, 2 BC Wise men gave gifts to King Jesus on 29th Jubilee year.

   The Jubilee year of 2 BC was followed by the first year of the next seven of Sabbath years. Because there is no year zero, the next Sabbath year was 6 AD, so the 30th Jubilee year was 49 AD.

     BC 3   2  1  1  2  3  4  5  6 AD
count 49 50  1  2  3  4  5  6  7

   Therefore 1999 – 2000 AD was the 69th Jubilee year. From 1996-2000 AD the sign of "Virgo birthing the moon" (Rev. 12:1-2) occurred each fall like it did on Tishri 1, 3 BC; and many sought the Lord's return in 2000 AD. I don't recall any Scriptures which state Messiah will return during a jubilee year. By my calculations the 70th jubilee will be 2049-2050 AD, which I hope will be during Christ's millennial reign.

History of Intertestamental Sabbath Years

Herod the Great Captured Jerusalem 37 BC

Herod's brother Joseph was killed in his attempt to capture Jericho and its summer harvest in 38 BC. Herod heard the news and began attacking through Gallilean cities in his attempt to bring vengeance upon those in Jericho, but he was stopped by a “great storm” (Antiquities of the Jews XIV:15:11) according to Josephus “for a few days' time” (Wars of the Jews I:17:1-3); the storm was likely the kind of mini-hurricane often associated with the Sea of Galilee. As soon as his army could travel, Herod made haste to take Jericho. They captured Jericho, and burnt five little cities to the ground. “. . . upon the confidence of which victory, Herod had marched immediately to Jerusalem, unless he tad been hindered by the depth of winter's [coming on].” (Wars of the Jews I:17:6) Then they laid siege to Jerusalem for five months, and during this time Herod went to Samaria and married Mariamne (Antiquities of the Jews XIV:15:14). Herod rejoined his men in Spring, and by Summer his men broke through Jerusalem's wall and slaughtered many of the people (Wars of the Jews I:18:1-2). Herod stopped their slaughter and raiding, and gave his soldiers rewards from his own purse. Herod's capture of Jerusalem was in the Tishri-Tishri year 38/37 BC, which was the second sabbath year (14th year) from the jubilee year of Tishri 52/51 BC.

They also erected new works when the former were ruined, and making mines underground, they met each other, and fought there; and making use of brutish courage rather than of prudent valor, they persisted in this war to the very last; and this they did while a mighty army lay round about them, and while they were distressed by famine and the want of necessaries, for this happened to be a Sabbatic year. The first that scaled the walls were twenty chosen men, the next were Sosius's centurions; for the first wall was taken in forty days, and the second in fifteen more, when some of the cloisters that were about the temple were burnt, which Herod gave out to have been burnt by Antigonus, in order to expose him to the hatred of the Jews. And when the outer court of the temple and the lower city were taken, the Jews fled into the inner court of the temple, and into the upper city; but now fearing lest the Romans should hinder them from offering their daily sacrifices to God, they sent an embassage, and desired that they would only permit them to bring in beasts for sacrifices, which Herod granted, hoping they were going to yield; but when he saw that they did nothing of what he supposed, but bitterly opposed him, in order to preserve the kingdom to Antigonus, he made an assault upon the city, and took it by storm;” (Antiquities of the Jews XIV:16:2)

Jubilee and sabbath years backwards from magi's Hanukkah

Joshua entered into Canaan in the Spring of 1451 BC which was part of the Tishri year 1452-1451 BC, so I count jubilee years every 50 years from Tishri year 1452/1451 BC.
2 BC was the 29th jubilee from Joshua's entrance into Canaan.
3 BC was the 7th sabbath year from the 28th jubilee of the Tishri year 52-51 BC.
10 BC was the 6th sabbath year from the 28th jubilee of the Tishri year 52-51 BC.
17 BC was the 5th sabbath year from the 28th jubilee of the Tishri year 52-51 BC.
24 BC was the 4th sabbath year from the 28th jubilee of the Tishri year 52-51 BC.
31 BC was the 3rd sabbath year from the 28th jubilee of the Tishri year 52-51 BC.
38 BC was the 2nd sabbath year from the 28th jubilee of the Tishri year 52-51 BC.
45 BC was the 1st sabbath year from the 28th jubilee of the Tishri year 52-51 BC.
52-51 BC was the 28th jubilee from the Tishri year 52-51 BC.
53 BC seventh sabbath
60 BC sixth sabbath
67 BC fifth sabbath
74 BC fourth sabbath
81 BC third sabbath
88 BC second sabbath
95 BC first sabbath
102-101 BC was 27th jubilee from the Tishri year 52-51 BC.
103 BC seventh sabbath
110 BC sixth sabbath
117 BC fifth sabbath
124 BC fourth sabbath
131 BC third sabbath
138 BC second sabbath
145 BC first sabbath
152-151 BC was 26th jubilee from the Tishri year 52-51 BC.
153 BC seventh sabbath
160 BC sixth sabbath
167 BC fifth sabbath
174 BC fourth sabbath
181 BC third sabbath
188 BC second sabbath
195 BC first sabbath
202-201 BC was 25th jubilee from the Tishri year 52-51 BC.


The Maccabees fought against Syria and their mercenary troops from 167-160 BC. A list of dates for the battles is at wikipedia. The Maccabees had retaken Beth Zur and Jerusalem in 164 BC when Antiochus IV died, but his generals fought back to retake the cities again.
I Maccabees 6:44-63 "And Eleazar the son of Saura saw one of the beasts harnessed with the king's harness: and it was higher than the other beasts: and it seemed to him that the king was on it: And he exposed himself to deliver his people and to get himself an everlasting name. And he ran up to it boldly in the midst of the legion, killing on the right hand, and on the left, and they fell by him on this side and that side. And he went between the feet of the elephant, and put himself under it: and slew it, and it fell to the ground upon him, and he died there. Then they seeing the strength of the king and the fierceness of his army, turned away from them. But the king's army went up against them to Jerusalem: and the king's army pitched their tents against Judea and mount Sion. And he made peace with them that were in Bethsura: and they came forth out of the city, because they had no victuals, being shut up there, for it was the year of rest to the land. And the king took Bethsura: and he placed there a garrison to keep it. And he turned his army against the sanctuary for many days: and he set up there battering slings, and engines and instruments to cast fire, and engines to cast stones and javelins, and pieces to shoot arrows, and slings. And they also made engines against their engines, and they fought for many days. But there were no victuals in the city, because it was the seventh year: and such as had stayed in Judea of them that came from among the nations, had eaten the residue of all that which had been stored up. And there remained in the holy places but a few, for the famine had prevailed over them: and they were dispersed every man to his own place. Now Lysias heard that Philip, whom king Antiochus while he lived had appointed to bring up his son Antiochus, and to reign, to be king, Was returned from Persia, and Media, with the army that went with him, and that he sought to take upon him the affairs of the kingdom: Wherefore he made haste to go, and say to the king and to the captains of the army: We decay daily, and our provision of victuals is small, and the place that we lay siege to is strong, and it lieth upon us to take order for the affairs of the kingdom. Now therefore let us come to an agreement with these men, and make peace with them and with all their nation. And let us covenant with them, that they may live according to their own laws as before. For because of our despising their laws, they have been provoked, and have done all these things. And the proposal was acceptable in the sight of the king, and of the princes: and he sent to them to make peace: and they accepted of it. And the king and the princes swore to them: and they came out of the stronghold. Then the king entered into mount Sion, and saw the strength of the place: and he quickly broke the oath that he had taken, and gave commandment to throw down the wall round about. And he departed in haste, and returned to Antioch, where he found Philip master of the city: and he fought against him, and took the city."

Eleazar died in the Battle of Beth Zechariah in 163/162 BC, so the sabbath year when Lysias could find no food in Jerusalem was most likely 160/159 BC.