Chapter 24-The Mystery of the Shemitah by Jonathan Cahn: The 3,000-Year-Old Mystery
THAT WHICH LIES AHEAD
The Eyes of the Prophet
THE PROPHET GAZED into the smoldering ruins of the holy city. He had been given warning by God and had, in turn, given warning to his nation. But they didn’t listen. They cast him into prison and continued on their course of defiance until the judgment finally came.
The year 586 BC was one of history’s turning points. Jeremiah was there to see it firsthand just as he was there to foretell it. As he now beheld the desolation of the holy city, he could not escape grappling with a mystery begun many centuries earlier in the wilderness of Sinai. The Law of Moses had foretold the day of destruction. According to the ancient words, the people would be sent into exile and the land would rest. And the time of that rest and desolation would be determined by the number of Sabbath years, the Shemitahs, the nation had broken.
As he surveyed the city of God now lying still and silent—desolate and devoid of its ”
“inhabitants—the prophet wept and pondered the mystery of the covenant. He knew that the word shemitah meant “the release.” And now the land had been released. He knew also that it signified “the letting fall.” And now God had allowed the holy city to fall and the kingdom of Judah itself to collapse. The prophet could now only wonder how the ancient mystery of the Shemitah could have so determined the fate of his nation.
The Mystery of the Shemitah
We now stand two and a half thousand years later, pondering the same mystery as pondered by the prophet in the ruins. We also may wonder how such an ancient mystery has so determined the course of nations, world markets, empires, and history. And as the prophet saw the mystery become flesh- and-blood reality in his own life and time when the cataclysm fell upon the land, it is now for us as well to bring the mystery home to our day and age, to see what it may hold and reveal concerning the future of America and the world.
We have seen an ancient ordinance of Scripture concerning a seventh year of rest and a “Day of Remission transform into a mystery. We have observed the mystery growing larger in scope and dimensions to the point of involving the destruction of an ancient city and the exile of its people to a foreign land. We have moved forward in time to find the same mystery spanning thousands of years and operating in the modern world. We have witnessed its dynamics at work in the financial and economic realms, determining the rising and crashing of world markets, the economies of modern nations, and the greatest collapses in financial history. We have seen it coalesce with a mystery of towers, again joined to the dynamics of rising and falling. And we have watched it move on the stage of world history, determining the rise and fall of nations, the ascendancy of world powers and the collapse of empires.
What about the future? And why might the mystery of the Shemitah be especially relevant to our day and the days to come?
In the last two of the Shemitah’s cycles, those ending in 2001 and 2008, we have noticed a number of significant developments. First, the timing has become amazingly precise. Both of the last two greatest stock market point crashes in history have occurred on the exact same Hebrew day and the Shemitah’s exact same climactic Day of Remission and Nullification. The phenomenon appears, in its last manifestations, to have grown increasingly precise and dramatic.
Second, the phenomenon of the last two cycles was begun and triggered by one of the most dramatic events of modern times: 9/11. If it were not for 9/11, the ancient mystery would not have manifested. If it were not for the exact timing of 9/11, the timing of the stock market crash of 2001 would not have happened when it did at the time and in the exact hours of the Shemitah’s climactic conclusion.
Third, the amazing precision of the Shemitah’s last two occurrences are connected to the manifestation of harbingers, prophetic signs concerning the judgment of a nation—namely, America. Combine this with the fact that the Shemitah, in Scripture, manifests as a sign of national judgment—and we have a convergence of alarms.
Since we are dealing with the issue of judgment, our first question must be this: What has happened to America in the time of these last two cycles in which the phenomenon has intensified?
Though in the wake of 9/11 Americans gathered in houses of worship across the land and it appeared as if there would be a national return to God—it never came. In place of the revival was a spiritual and moral apostasy that was unprecedented in its scope and accelerating pace. There was now increasing talk concerning the end of “Christian America.” Polls noticed a growing departure from biblical ethics and values. The turn was most pronounced among the younger generation, portending a future of even greater moral and spiritual departure.
In the fall of ancient Israel the nation decided it could rewrite morality and change what was good and evil, sin and righteousness—so too in America. What had once been recognized as right was now attacked as evil, and what had once been recognized as sin was now celebrated as a virtue. Morals, standards, and values that had undergirded not only the nation’s foundation, but also the foundation of Western civilization and civilization itself, were increasingly overturned, overruled, and discarded. And those who would not go along with the change—who merely continued to uphold that which had once been universally upheld—were now increasingly marginalized, vilified, condemned by the culture and the state, and persecuted.
And not only did the blood of unborn children continue to flow, as it did in ancient Israel, but the number of those killed was now well over fifty million, a population of many Israels. The nation’s moral descent had now reached the point where the government was seeking to force those who held to God’s Word to go against that Word, punishing resistance with fines, damages, and condemnation. Any deviation from the new ethics of apostasy was swiftly punished. At the same time, the name of God increasingly became the object of attack, mockery, and blasphemy.
The Dark City on the Hill
It seemed as if every day a new threshold of apostasy and moral descent had been crossed. America was in moral and spiritual collapse and rapidly transforming into the dark opposite of the “city on a hill,” the “holy commonwealth” it had been founded to be. It had been founded to be. It had now entered the territory of ancient Israel’s apostasy—a nation to which the prophets cried out:
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness.
And that was the point. America, having been formed after the pattern of ancient Israel, was now following in the course of Israel’s apostasy. Thus it could be no accident that the same harbingers that appeared in the last days of ancient Israel were now reappearing in America. And each of those harbingers was warning of a coming judgment. Worse than that, America was responding to those warnings with the same defiance as had ancient Israel before judgment fell.”
Epilogue, Part 2
ONE LAST MYSTERY: The SEVENTH SHEMITAH
ONE LAST MYSTERY—and one that reveals not only the Shemitah’s prophetic nature but also its dynamic of redemption.
In the Bible every seventh day is a Sabbath day. Every seventh year is a Shemitah or Sabbath year. And every seventh Shemitah leads into the year called “Jubilee.” The Jubilee always follows the Year of the Shemitah.
And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month . . .
The word jubilee has come to mean a time of celebration or anniversary. But in Hebrew, the word is yobel. Yobel means “trumpet blast.” The Jubilee was heralded with sounding of the trumpet throughout the land. (Pay Attention…)
The Year of Setting Free
As the crowning of the seventh Shemitah, or the seventh cycle of seven years, the Jubilee was something of a super Shemitah. It was the Shemitah taken to a new level. In the Year of the Shemitah the land rested—so too in the Year of Jubilee:
That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine.
In the Year of the Shemitah came release. But in the Year of Jubilee the release took on new meaning. It was not simply the letting go of land or debt. In the Jubilee, slaves and prisoners were set free. It was thus the year of liberty:
And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants.
The Year of Restoration and Coming Home
For those in debt the Shemitah brought restoration as all debts were wiped away. But in the Jubilee the restoration involved even more:
It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. . . . In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession.
—LEVITICUS 25:10, 13
If one had lost one’s inheritance or the inheritance of one’s family, in the Year of Jubilee it would be restored. The Jubilee was the year of restoration, the year of reconciliation, and the year of return. In the Jubilee, if others had taken possession of one’s land, they had to relinquish it. The Jubilee saw individuals returning to their families, families returning to their ancestral homes and lands, possessions returning to their owners, and the dispossessed returning to their inheritances.
No one today knows for sure when the Year of Jubilee falls….-…
Excerpt From: Jonathan Cahn. “The Mystery of the Shemitah.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/vgEE1.l