The Enormous Significance of the Jubilee
Read Leviticus, Chapter 25
Lorraine Day, M.D.
When God brought the Israelites into the Promised Land, the land of Canaan, Joshua, divided the land among all the families of Israel. This was their inheritance and it was never to be sold permanently. If a man became poor, he could sell his land temporarily, but it would always be returned to him in the year of the Jubilee.
The Law of the Jubilee is recorded in Leviticus 25:8-13:
Count off seven sabbaths of years -- seven times seven years -- so that the
seven sabbaths of years amount to a period of forty-nine years.
Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh
month on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land.
Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to ALL its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own family.
“The fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what
grows of itself or harvest the untended vines.
For it is a Jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from
In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to his own property. (NIV)
Because all the land belongs to God, no Israelite was allowed to sell his land permanently. All land sales were temporary. Today, the “sale” would be called a lease.If the land was sold, the Israelite ALWAYS got it back in the Jubilee. No one could take it from him permanently. Lev. 25:23-28 (NIV) says,
The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is Mine and you are
only aliens and my tenants,
Throughout the country that you hold as property, you must provide for the redemption of the land.
If one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells some of his property, his nearest relative is to come and redeem what his countryman has sold.
If, however, a man has no one to redeem it for him but he himself prospers and acquires sufficient means to redeem it, he is to determine the value for the years since he sold it and refund the balance to the man to whom he sold it; he can then go back to his own property.
But if he does not acquire the means to repay him, what he sold will remain in the possession of the buyer until the Year of Jubilee. It will be returned in the Jubilee, and he can then go back to his property.
At the Jubilee, the land would revert back to the original Israelite owner, and any remaining debts were to be cancelled.
Who was allowed to redeem the land?
Notice that the property could only be redeemed either by the Israelite himself, or by a relative, never by a friend.
The same was true if a man became poor and had to sell himself into slavery.
If a stranger or a temporary resident among you becomes rich and one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells himself to the stranger living among you or to a member (descendant) of the stranger’s family, he retains the right of redemption after he has sold himself.
One of his relatives may redeem him; an uncle or a cousin or any blood relative in his family may redeem him. Or if he prospers, he may redeem himself.
He and his buyer are to count the time from the year he sold himself up to the Year of Jubilee. The price for his release is to be based on the rate paid to a hired man for that number of years.
If many years remain, he must pay for his redemption a larger share of the price paid for him. If only a few years remain until the Year of Jubilee, he is to compute that and pay for his redemption accordingly.
He is to be treated as a man hired from year to year; you must see to it that his owner does not rule over him ruthlessly.
Even if he is not redeemed in any of these ways, he and his children are to be released in the Year of Jubilee, for the Israelites belong to ME as servants. They are MY servants, whom I brought out of Egypt.
I am the Lord your God.
This Law of Jubilee is the law that Jesus came to perform perfectly. Jesus had to come as a “man” in order to be our “relative” which gave Him the right to redeem us according to the Law of Jubilee! We are His brethren!
Everything that was sold to Satan when Adam sinned, Jesus bought back.
In order to have the right of redemption for ALL mankind, Jesus had to be more than a heavenly friend, He had to be born of Mary, born of flesh and blood, as we read in Hebrews 2:11-17:
Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says,
“I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.”
Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death -- that is, the devil -- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
For surely it is not angels He helps, but Abraham’s descendants (those who believe). For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people.
We can see that Jesus had to be born of flesh and blood in order to have the lawful right of redemption of the whole world. He became our brother in order to redeem every man and his family, to give them their rightful inheritance (eternal life in the “Promised Land”), an inheritance that could NEVER be taken away from ANYONE permanently!
Jesus was born of flesh and blood in order to have the lawful right to redeem EVERY person from the bondage of Satan, the bondage of sin, to buy them back with His own blood. In addition, EVERY slave was delivered from the bondage of servitude (to Satan, the alien - stranger - owner) during the Year of Jubilee.
By the same law, Jesus also will redeem ALL from the final and ultimate enemy - death - for death does not hold the right of redemption and has no choice but to turn every captive loose at Jesus Christ’s demand.
Serving a NEW Master
However, the servant who was redeemed, did not have the right to rule himself. He had a NEW Master. Leviticus 25:53:
He is to be treated as a man hired from year to year; you must see to it that his owner does not rule over him ruthlessly.
The relative who redeems the bondservant is his new owner, but must treat him with kindness and consideration. The bondservant merely changes masters, he is not free to rule himself. Paul discusses this in Romans 6:1,2,17-22:
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
By no means! We died to sin (the Second Death); how can we live in it any longer? . . .
But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
I am speaking in human terms, because you are weak in your natural selves.
For just as you offered your members (parts of your body) in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you derive at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death.
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
According to the Law of Jubilee, the redeemed slave is bound by the divine law to serve his Redeemer. Jesus is the Redeemer who bought us with His blood. That is why Paul says we have now “become slaves of God.” Sin is no longer our master, instead God is now our Master.
If a man merely professes to be a believer but is not really a Christian at all, as only God knows his heart, he will not lose his salvation ultimately, but will be thrown into “the lake of fire” for purification with all the other unbelievers and will be finally set free at the great Jubilee at the end of the eons, as stated in Lev 25:54:
Even if he is not redeemed by these means, he shall still go out in the year of Jubilee, he and his sons (family) with him.
What glorious Good News! Jesus did it ALL at the Cross. He truly is the Savior of ALL mankind, and WILL accomplish what He has set out to do! All creation is waiting for that day as described in Romans 8:19-25:
The Creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the (entire) Creation was subjected to futility (sin), not of its own will, but by Him (God) who subjected it, in hope
That the (entire) Creation itself WILL be liberated from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
For we know that the whole Creation has been groaning, as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do NOT see, with patience we wait eagerly for it.
The Law of Jubilee mandates the setting free of ALL Creation. All Creation waits in eager anticipation for its emancipation from sin.
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does Sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense -- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for OUR sins, and NOT ONLY for OURS, but also for the sins of the WHOLE world. 1 John 2:1,2
Now THAT is Good News!
The Fall of Jericho and its “Jubilee” Significance
Many believe that the story of the fall of Jericho is a prophecy of the future fall of Babylon, which will be a time of “Jubilee” when God’s people will be delivered. The seven priests blowing the Seven Trumpets look forward to the Seven Trumpets of Revelation 8 & 9 which introduce the Seven Last Plagues and the Second Coming of Christ to deliver His people.
Hidden five times within the text of Joshua, Chapter 6, is the “Jubilee.” Yet this Good News is rarely understood by Christians because the translators deliberately mistranslated the Hebrew word, yobel, as “rams’ horn” instead of the proper word “Jubilee,” #3104 in Strong’s Concordance.
#3104 (Jubilee) is also arbitrarily mistranslated “blast” or “blasting.” (See Joshua 6:4,8,13)
As you can see from the excerpts from Strong’s Concordance shown below, the word yobel ALWAYS means Jubilee, EXCEPT (of course) when the translators purposely DECIDED on their own, to translate it arbitrarily as another word!
The word “ram” or “rams” in the Hebrew is #352 in Strong’s Concordance, the Hebrew word ayil, meaning strength, a political chief, a ram (from its strength) or an oak or other strong tree. It is a TOTALLY different word from yobel.
The word “horn” in the Hebrew is #7161 in Strong’s Concordance
The word #7782 is “trumpet” and is translated that way virtually everywhere in the Old Testament, EXCEPT here in Joshua, Chapter 6, where the story reveals the “Jubilee” message in the episode at Jericho.
4: Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of Jubilee (rams’ horns) before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.
5: And it shall be that when they make a long blast with the Jubilee horn (rams’ horn) and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead. . .
6: So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests carry seven trumpets of Jubilee (rams’ horns) before the ark of the Lord.”
7: Then he said to the people, “Go forward, and march around the city, and let the armed men go on before the ark of the Lord.”
8: And it was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of Jubilee (rams’ horns) before the Lord went forward and blew the trumpets; and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. . .
13: And the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of Jubilee (rams’ horns) before the ark of the Lord went on continually, and blew the trumpets; and the armed men went before them, and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while they continued to blow the trumpets.
The Jubilee trumpet was supposed to be sounded on the Day of Atonement, but the Jubilee itself was merely the preparation day for the Feast of Tabernacles, which was a seven-day feast.
In Joshua 6:19 God instructed the Israelites regarding the plunder from the conquest of Jericho:
19: But all the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.
God said that the gold, silver, bronze (brass) and iron were ALL His and should go into the Lord’s treasury. These are the same metals of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2, and represent ALL the nations of the world. Joshua is here prophesying that all the kingdoms of this world will come into God’s “treasury.”
This is yet another confirmation of Universal Restoration.
This law of gold and silver and its significance is repeated in Haggai 2:8,9:
8: The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,” declares the Lord of hosts. 9 “The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,” says the Lord of hosts, “and in this place I shall give peace,” declares the Lord of hosts.
These metals will be “refined” in the “fire” of God’s judgment with the goal of correction, “returning to righteousness” (Ps 94:15).
© Lorraine Day, M.D. 2006. All Rights Reserved.
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