The Year of Jubilee
The Year of Jubilee is mentioned in Leviticus 25:9. Moses wrote, “Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.”
The word “jubilee”—literally, “ram’s horn” in Hebrew—is the sabbatical year which takes place after seven cycles of seven years – 49 years. The fiftieth year was a season of great rejoicing for the Israelites when the ram’s horn was blown on the tenth day of the seventh month to begin the time of redemption and release.
Release From Debt
The Year of the Jubilee was a year of release from debt (Leviticus 25:23-38). All property would automatically revert to the original owner. However, the debt could be redeemed at any time by the owner, or by one of his kinsmen, upon payment of that which was due.
The amount due was to be computed by the number of harvests between the time of redemption and the year of jubilee. The one, who had bought the land, paid for it according to the number of harvests until the year of jubilee—omitting the sabbatical years, when there was no harvest. This law enabled a person to regain his land at any time and made sure that family properties will not be lost.
Release From Slavery
The Year of Jubilee was also a year of release from slavery (Leviticus 25:39-55). An Israelite who had become poor and sold himself into servitude was to be released in the Year of Jubilee. He was not to be treated as a slave but as a hired servant. He was not to be treated harshly.
It was not necessary for a servant to await the Year of Jubilee to be redeemed. The law provided for his release after any six years of service, if he so desired (Exodus 21:1–6). The Israelite could redeem himself, if he could, or be redeemed, even from a non-Israelite.
The price paid varied according to the years remaining until the year of release. Thus, the price paid for a servant and the price paid for his redemption were both calculated in terms of the length of service before the year of liberty.
Christ Releases Men From Sin
The year of Jubilee points to Christ’s redemption of man from the penalty of sin, bondage and death. Paul declared this great truth, “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14 also Hebrews 4).
Through Christ’s redemption, the believers gained liberty from death (Romans 8:2; Galatians 3:22). This liberty is obtained by faith in His atonement (Galatians 3:25; 4:5, 31). Therefore, Paul admonished the believers to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” of sin (Galatians 5:1). The believers are to hold on to the truth as set forth in the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) and examine themselves continually lest they fall (2 Corinthians 13:5).
In the Year of Jubilee, all property was returned to its original owner and all debts were canceled. Also, all prisoners and slaves were set free. And all labor was to cease for one year, and those bound by labor contracts were released from them that all may have rest. In the New Testament, Christians receives the liberty of salvation by faith in Christ (Galatians 4:5, 31) and walking in His path (1 John 2:5-6).
In His service,
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