Sung Psalm 45:1-6
The freewill offering of land to the priests became cash to the value of the seed required to sow that land. If a man wanted to buy it back he had to add 20% of the cash value but at the jubilee it reverted to the priests. If a man devoted land to the priests that was bought from another man then a cash value was calculated to be given the priesthood and the land reverted to the original owner at jubilee.
Related passages: Numbers 36:1-7. To prevent land leaving Manasseh the daughters of Zelophehad married within their tribe. Jer.32:7. II Chron.36:21. Neh.10:31. Ezek.46:16-18 (c.f. I Sam.8:14)
Another aspect of Jubilee: Deut.15:1-16. The non-exaction of debt among the Jews (but not foreigners).
In Isaiah 61:1, Jubilee was fulfilled partly when the Jews returned from Babylon but ultimately in the coming of Christ who himself said this Scripture was fulfilled as he read it in the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:16-21). Note it included kindness to Gentiles (widow of Zarephath and Naaman the Syrian).
So the real jubilee came by preaching, by faith and by freeing from slavery to sin and the forgiveness of the debt of sin in the New Testament age, the “now” of II Cor.6:2, in which we no more keep days, months or years (Gal.4:9-10) but resort wholly to the person who brought in real jubilee namely Jesus.
” The benefits of Jubilee were squarely based on the atonement, on the shedding of blood in the stead of Israel. Israel did nothing to atone for itself, did nothing to pay. The benefits were simply bestowed upon Israel by sheer divine grace: slaves were released; debtors were freed;land and people had rest. No one did anything to earn liberation. All simply received it as a pure gift.” Prof David J Engelsma in pamphlet entitled “AD 2000: Year of Jubilee by Papal Indulgence or Reformation Gospel.”
Jubilee ppt (click on view slideshow)
Sung Psalm 72:1-8 (Messianic Kingdom)
Reading Lev. 25:35-55
A Jew come to poverty could be lent money but at no interest. The medieval church adopted this law and so Christians were not allowed to lend and the Jews took it over.
N.T. believers are to give sensibly to those in need especially brothers (job of church diaconate).
Slavery is not, of itself, morally wrong because we have slaves (servants) here in O.T. Israel. The slavery of blacks in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries which involved kidnapping, torture and ill-treatment was manifestly evil and even today in many lands, east and west, men ,women and children are enslaved by unscrupulous, greedy, uncaring people. In O.T Israel, strangers (foreigners) could be slaves and along with property, inherited with land (v46).These slaves were not released at year of Jubilee.
If a Jew sold himself to a stranger he was to work as a hired servant (vv47-55). If a Jew sold himself to another Jew he was to be released on the seventh year (Ex.21:1-6) but his wife and children did not go free under this older law. Under Jubilee law they were all freed and according to Deut. 15:12-18 they were to be treated liberally with gifts when set free, one reason being their land would lie fallow for another two years! The reason for these laws God says is that all the Jews are God’s servants (v55) i.e. he is to govern their disposal.
Jeremiah 34:8-22 is noteworthy because firstly it shows that the Israelites probably for centuries ignored these laws and here, with impending defeat and captivity they make a “token gesture” to set slaves free but then renege on it and as a result go into captivity for 70 years to allow the land to have the rest it had missed.
Typology-JK (of which more next week)
- We are God’s willing slaves and freemen (Phil.1:1 bought by the blood of Jesus Christ), cared for by a loving Lord.
- Our redemption was costly (Ps.49:7-8, 15, I Peter 1:18-19).
- The worst slavery is slavery to sin which ends in eternal death (Rom.6:20-23, John 8:34).
- Christ came to bring in this real Jubilee of freeing men (Isaiah 61:1-2, John 8:36).
Sung Psalm 66:1-7
Reading Leviticus 25:23-55
Concerning the LAND (rest), the HOUSES/LAND OWNERSHIP (return) and SLAVES (release).
- The land, which in essence is leased, can be redeemed anytime but the price will vary (25:15), depending on how many years remain till the Jubilee. To enable this law to be enacted careful records would have to be kept. Ruth and Naomi returning to Israel whose land was redeemed by Boaz were an example of this being worked out.
- A house bought in a city could be returned within a year.
- A house in the country reverts to seller in year of jubilee.
- Levitical houses could be redeemed at any time and were returned in year of jubilee.
- Levitical land was theirs in perpetuity.
- These statutes were unique in Israel, prevented greed and encouraged equality. (Isaiah 5:8-10, Micah 2:1-5, II Cor.8:14-15).
Significance and typology of all this?
- All God’s people have a heavenly eternal inheritance kept for us (I Peter 1:4).
- When Christ was born, it was in a certain fixed place (Bethlehem) in Judah in the city of David’s inheritance because both Mary and Jesus’ adoptive father were of the tribe of Judah.
Psalm 100 (Rejoice evermore)
In order in Scripture we read of rest for God and rest for man (the weekly sabbath) and now we come to rest for the land.
Name jubile or jubilee comes from YOBEL (Hebrew for ram’s horn) which was to be sounded all over Israel.
We celebrate jubilees in relation to our monarchy (e.g.Queen’s diamond jubilee 2013), also silver (25) and golden jubilees (50) and also wedding anniversaries.
The word jubilant comes from this root and means rejoicing.
The components of this jubilee, every seventh year and then the 49th and 50th years are:
- Agriculture (rest for land, people and animals)
- Land ownership (it reverts to original owner)
- Release of slaves
- Solemn worship assembly (Deut.31:10-13)
Did the Jews keep these laws? Generally, no! (II Chron. 36:21).
Principle to bear in mind:
Time, people and land all belong to God (25:23).
Typology: Christ is our rest and so is eternity future (Matthew 11:28, Heb. 4:3, II Thess.1:7).