Thursday, October 9, 2014

Shemitah: year of judgment

Image here. Link to page about Shemitah.
The past few months I have been learning a lot about holy calendars. Read this article by LDS astronomer John Pratt to learn more about ten of the sacred calendars that testify of Jesus Christ. God has appointed the sun, moon, and celestial lights to be calendars for His appointments with His people--i.e., us. It is good to be aware of them.

In the book of Leviticus, Israel is commanded to sow the fields for six years, and on the seventh, let the land lie fallow. This Sabbath for the land is called the Shemitah. Leviticus 25:1-4:

 And the Lord spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying,
 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord.
 Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof;
 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.
See also Exodus 23:10-11

Implications of a Land's Sabbath

The image is link. If you buy it from this
link, I'll get paid. So if you want the
book, buy it from this link, please! :o)
We know nowadays that leaving the land fallow every once in a while is really good for farming. But when we do it in modernity, we tend to rotate which field is resting, so something is always being cultivated.

Not so for the Jews. ALL of them were supposed to take a year off from farming, from growing anything in the land.

In other words: for that one year, literally no Jews were supposed to grow food. They were supposed to essentially live on food storage, and spend the year reading the Torah and growing closer to God instead of working. All of them. The Shemitah year is uniform for everyone--it's not like you can stagger it out. So for that one year, essentially all economic activity would come to a halt. What does it look like when all economic activity comes to a halt? Some might call that a recession or even a depression. 

The Jews obviously noticed that this practice was economically intense for them, so they came up with all these "ingenious" strategies to get around it all: selling the land for 1 year to their non-Jewish neighbors for cultivation was, I believe, the prime example. Their punishment for this was outlined in 2 Chronicles 36:20-21:

 20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:
 21 To fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.
Lehi left Jerusalem shortly before the invasion,
after spending his life warning the people to
repent or else. Image here.
In other words, the Jews ignored the land's Sabbaths for 70 years. So when they were invaded (shortly after Lehi left Jerusalem, right, directly after he warned the people--he left ~600 BC and Jerusalem was invaded ~587 BC), the land had to rest for the 70 years it missed.

The land needs a Sabbath whether it is given one or not. When it doesn't get its Sabbath the easy way, the Lord makes sure it gets its Sabbath the hard way. It all comes down to obedience.

Release of debts

 At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release.
 And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord’s release.
- Deuteronomy 15:1-2
On 29 Elul of the Shemitah year, the final day (the Hebrew equivalent of New Year's Eve) all the credits and debts were to be released. That final Shemitah day is a biggie, the culmination or peak of the Year of Remission (which is what the Shemitah is). So if you owed a bunch of money on your, I don't know, wagon or something, all of a sudden you didn't anymore, and it was just yours. But if someone owed you money, suddenly they didn't owe that money anymore. So pros and cons. 

The past two Shemitahs

The past two Shemitah years spanned from Sept 2000 - Sept 2001, and Sept 2007 - Sept 2008.

America experienced an industrial peak in September 2000, which obviously means that afterwards there was a decline. It culminated in the terrorist attacks of 9/11--an event that was both physically and economically destructive. 

Ram's horn shofar. Image here.
In September 2007, global financial collapses began with British mortgage lender Northern Rock, on September 13--Day 1 Tishri, the New Year's Day of the Shemitah year. The greatest one-day crash in world history took place on 29 Elul, New Year's Eve, of that Biblical year--September 29, 2008. As Jonathan Cahn writes in his book The Mystery of the Shemitah, "The crash was sealed with the sound of ram's horns that evening as the Feast of Trumpets began." Biblically, the Feast of Trumpets is a symbol of Judgment Day. 

Current Shemitah status

We currently just began our next Shemitah on September 25, 2014. The day that Thomas Duncan Liberian Ebola victim guy checked himself into the hospital in Dallas and was sent home. That was Rosh Hashana, New Year's Day. As New Year's Day goes, so the rest of the year goes! 

The culmination date of this cycle's Shemitah is September 13, 2015. So now we know to be prepared and aware. 

Jubilee status

 ¶And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.
 Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.
 10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.
The scriptures explain that every 7 Shemitahs will culminate in a so-called Jubilee year, which is actually the first year of the next set of 7 Shemitah years. (So the cycle is of 49 years, not 50, technically speaking. If the Shemitah is Sunday, the Jubilee is not another Sunday, it's Monday). 

Money black hole. Economic collapse sounds funner
than it is. Image here.
The Jubilee in Hebrew is the word yobel, which means "trumpet blast." Again, this is a reference to the Feast of Trumpets and Judgment Day. Jubilee = Judgment. Like the Shemitah, the Jubilee year is supposed to be marked with no one farming, and all the lands lying fallow. So it's like the Shemitah, but kind of worse/more intense, because instead of just one year of living off food storage, it's supposed to be two consecutive years (one of Shemitah, and then one of Jubilee, in a row). I bet by the end of the second year things would get pretty tight.

The Jubilee year is all about "proclaiming liberty" to the people. It sounds like a good thing but... let's put it this way. Theoretically being set free sounds good, especially set free from debts, but also being set free from all credit, and everything else...

You don't owe anyone, but no one owes you anything. Economic collapse. If you're set free from your tyrannical government, that means societal collapse. All this freedom can sound good because freedom is just a nice word and we like it because we're Americans and so on. I personally am a giant fan of freedom and I super hate tyranny. I am a Gadsden flag person. However, being set free from our behemoth government at this point would be a giant overhaul that would not really be comfortable. The implications of this involve a lot of violence and struggling to survive. Getting set free from, say, modern infrastructure will not be as fun as it sounds. 

I'm not saying that anything major will happen, but I am saying that we should be prepared for something major if it does happen, and we should not necessarily be surprised.


We are just starting out a Shemitah (Judgment Year) that is building up to a Jubilee (super Judgment Year). Past Shemitahs have ended in economic collapse. It is worth it to note the pattern and its Biblical basis and listen to the Holy Spirit in case there are any special preparations the Lord wants you to make.

Read the Book of Mormon here

1 comment:

  1. Last night I watched a you tube
    About the Jewish calendar but I didn't understand much about it because I don't have much of a base. This post helped me figure things out better. Thanks.