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The Year of Jubilee Leviticus 25
The year of Jubilee
Leviticus 25

This morning for our last look at Leviticus we are going to take a look at two very interesting commands that are found in Leviticus 25

#1 The Sabbath Year command-- Leviticus 25:1-7

Every 7 years the land to be rested for 1 year (no tilling of the soil, no pruning of the vineyards

#2 The Year of Jubilee command --Leviticus 25:8ff

Every 50th year there was to be a special year of rest and freedom called the Year of Jubilee.

In this year of Jubilee (starting on the the highest religious holiday of the year "The Day of Atonement" which was about the national forgiveness of sins by God) trumpets were to be blown and liberty was to be proclaimed for all the people.

Net effect: All land returned to original owner. Everyone who had sold himself into slavery released. All debts cancelled. Land to be rested for this year too.


A. SOME THOUGHTS ON THE SABBATH YEAR COMMAND read Leviticus 25:1-7

1. It was based on the Sabbath Command of Exodus 20:8 which it turn is based on God's creating the world in 6 literal days and then resting on the 7th day (Genesis 1-2)

Interesting: Literal 6 days affirmed

Question: Are we/you observing the Sabbath principle (a day for rest and the worship of God)

2. The Sabbath year command - before the age of Potash and other fertilizer companies- was exceptionally practical--- for farmland needs more than just crop rotation, it needs rest.

-Farming depletes the soil of its nutrients. The land needs time to soak in the rains absorb dead plant material undisturbed. The land needs time to recover

Interesting: Creation groans, longing for the day of redemption. Romans 8:18-22

3. God's command to not toil the land every 7th year and then for 2 years when the Year of Jubilee came, was a call to TRUST God to provide

Being an agricultural society, to not till the land for a year- would require a great amount of faith and trust in God and His word that he would provide more than they needed in the 6th year-- so much in fact that they would have enough to get them into harvest time in the 8th year. And yet, that was exactly God's promise to them. READ Leviticus 25:18-22

I have a high level of admiration for Chick fil A. In 1946, when Truett Cathy opened this restaurant he made a decision to close on Sundays. On the company website it tells us why "He believes that all franchised Chick fil A operators and their employees should have an opportunity to rest, spend time with family and friends, and worship if they choose to do so".

Because of Truett's Cathy's desire to honor God, there are over 1600 Chick fill A restaurants.

Application: Following God takes trust and faith in God. God's call is test Him when it comes to his promises. He is always faithful (even when obeying Him is hard and we are opposed for righteousness sake)


Further application: Faith in God and obedience to Him results in Blessings

Trust God. Believe that He is more than able to supply what you need

Great verse: Philippians 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

Question: Do you believe that God will provide and supply all that you need. Do you have faith?


B. SOME THOUGHTS ON THE YEAR OF JUBILEE COMMAND Read Leviticus 25:8-24

FYI: All land belonged to God. On loan to the people that they would be found as good stewards and faithful to God

FYI: Among the Jews of old, the transfer of property was not the sale of the land but of its produce. The price was fixed according to the number of years which intervened between the year of the sale and that of the next Jubilee

FYI: The Liberty Bell- cast in 1752 and currently located in Philadelphia, is an iconic symbol of American independence. Inscribed on the bell are these words "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." These words are taken from Leviticus 25:10

FYI: The 50 year economic cycle underlying the Jubilee command is not a form of Communism

Communism is based on the idea that God doesn't exist. Communism oppresses people. Communism creates fear. Communism punishes those who excel. Communism redistributes wealth by force.

FYI: It's not known how many times the Israelites kept the year of Jubilee command

In Leviticus 26 God spells out the blessings that will accompany obedience to His commands and the judgments that will accompany disobedience to His commands

In Leviticus 26:43 God, in regards to them not observing the Sabbath Year commands, says; "For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees."

We are told in 2 Chronicles 36:21 that the Israelites spent 70 years in Babylon for spending 490 years not obeying God's Sabbath Year command. That is why there time in Babylon was 70 years.


1. The spiritual significance of the Year of Jubilee starting on the Day of Atonement cannot be understated

Day of Atonement: 2 goats. One sacrificed as a substitute for the forgiveness of the sins of the nation, the other released into the wilderness (symbolically bearing the sin and guilt of the people) (see Leviticus 16)

Fulfillment in Christ: Jesus died as a sacrifice and substitute for our sins (taking the punishment we deserve and shedding his blood for us). In bearing our sin and shame and guilt, Jesus has taken such away from us.

FURTHER On the basis of God forgiving the nation of her sins--the command of Jubilee was to go and forgive other people their debts. Release the captives. Restore people to their land.

Interesting: Such is the expectation of us: On the basis of God forgiving our great sin debt: we are to forgive others the sins they commit against us. See parable of the unforgiving servant Matthew 18:21-35

2. The Jubilee command was designed to protect the Jews from poverty, slavery, and oppression- revealing God's concern for the poor and justice

When they entered the land as the 12 tribes. Every tribe was allotted a place in the land and every family was given a plot of land in their respective tribes. God's intent was that they enjoy the use of that land in perpetuity.

By crafting the year of Jubilee command, God was seeking to ensure that people would not lose their place in the land, God was seeking to ensure that His people (because of hard times) would not be reduced to the savage slavery they endured in Egypt.

The net effect of the command was that every person in Israel had an "equal shot" at prospering and making a comfortable life for themselves.

The net effect of the command would be that those who had come into hardship would - at least once in their lives-- have a chance to start over and start afresh.

What it was: A perfect regulatory system designed to benefit all the inhabitants of the land while allowing for prosperity, education, freedom. Hence no 99% or 1% wealth inequality.

Interesting: Many Anti poverty groups today. All sorts of ideas for ending poverty. POINT: In the Jubilee command (and in the provision of the concept of Kinsmen redeemers) God designed a system 3000 years ago to end poverty!!!!


3. The joy and anticipation regarding the Year of Jubilee would have been incredible!

-people in slavery (having sold themselves into it)
-people who had become destitute
-people relocated because of hardship

All holding in common this thought: The year of favor approaches when I will be free, when my debts will be cancelled, when I will have a shot at starting over, when I will have a chance to better myself


4. In Jesus all the prophetic and anticipatory elements of the Year of Jubilee command are and will be fulfilled

In Luke 4:15-21 it says of Jesus "He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."


Jesus came to set captives free-- Free from slavery to sin. Free from the power of Sin. Free from the fear of death and the judgment to come.

Jesus came to wipe away every tear. Revelation 21:4 says; "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Jesus came to forgive people of their debts (their sin debts)

Jesus came to restore, grant freedom, give rest-- lasting and eternal rest. The REST OF HEAVEN (See Hebrews 4 and these words "Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to fallen short of it." Later in v.10-11 it says; "for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, ..."


A COMMENT ON THE BLOWING OF TRUMPETS: As trumpets blown to herald liberation and year of Jubilee, so trumpets will herald the return of Christ (Matthew 24:31, 1 Thessalonians 4:16)


5. The coming of Jesus as the ultimate fulfillment of the year of Jubilee command ought to stoke our sense of anticipation for his return, the new Heaven and New Earth, our liberation

Let us be found keeping our eyes fixed upon Christ and with this though in mind "Come Lord Jesus" Revelation 22:20


Also: Philippians 3:20-21 "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."

Closing song: Let your Kingdom Come