In part five of our series, we concluded the introduction to the Jubilee. After our invitation to jump into a mystery detective story, we have now looked at the Jubilee from the following perspectives:
– Israeli (1967 and the Six-Day War)
Thank you to everyone who has publicly declared “count me in” on this fascinating journey!
We are now ready to talk about the Hebrew Calendar, and why the year 1917 reveals a divine dilemma regarding the Jubilee.
Many people see the year 1967’s Six-Day War and reunification of Jerusalem as events so important, that it might be a signal from God that a Jubilee occurred that year. When we count 49 or 50 years from 1967 we get to either 2016 or 2017, which means that these years could be critical as well.
In the comments, two questions have been asked multiple times.
– Why are you talking about 2016 and 2017 instead of the Hebrew calendar years?
– Aren’t you going to talk about the Balfour Declaration in 1917, etc.
We had every intention of discussing these items, but first we wanted to establish the foundation of the Jubilee. With that accomplished, let us look into each of these excellent and appropriate questions in turn, to reveal a divine dilemma!
The Hebrew (Jewish) calendar begins on Rosh HaShanah (literally “head of the year”) and is the first day of the month of Tishri, noted in the Bible as the Feast of Trumpets. The most recent Jewish Year, 5776 (that is, 5,776 years since the Creation), began sundown September 13th, 2015, and will last until sundown October 2nd, 2016. This Jewish calendar has been kept faithfully by Jews for over 2000 years, at least back to the period of the Second Temple. Included in the continuous tracking were the identification of the Sabbath Rest Years, or Shemitah years, even while the Jews were exiled after AD 70.
In AD 325, at the council of Nicea, Constantine forcefully separated the Christian calendar (including Easter) from direct alignment with the Jewish calendar. The Shemitah years were ignored and the Jews were able to continue to track their own seven year Shemitah cycles without interference from Christians. Today, although there are exceptions, most Christians look to the Jewish tracking of the Shemitah years for their identification. That is what Jonathan Cahn did in his book The Mystery of the Shemitah. In fact, he went beyond simply accepting the Jewish tracking of seven year cycles; he showed how the Jewish tracking actually correlated with the economic cycles of the United States. The message is that the Shemitah year is alive and well, and is still used by God as a clock to govern the world’s financial systems.
However, as faithful as the Jewish tracking of the seven year cycles has been over the last 2000 years or more, Jews have not agreed upon historical identification of when Jubilee years might have occurred. There is even Jewish debate about whether they occur every 49 years or every 50 years!
This lack of a defined Jewish Jubilee calendar is for our purposes a huge opportunity! If Jews and Christians come together in the examination of the facts around this mystery, we might be able to solve this mystery together. What an opportunity we have to do some interesting work together! The Shemitah is already decided. Not only have the Jews been tracking it for centuries, but God seems to have weighed in and confirmed those cycles through the financial cycles of the USA and the Western world. For more information, refer to the Shemitah section of our book, Israel FIRST!
The big question before us in this series, therefore, is whether God will also weigh in on the Jubilee cycles, by orchestrating real-world events that would give us clues about when this amazing year might occur.
This brings us to the pivotal year of 1917, because God did allow two things to happen in 1917 that still have people talking 98 years later.
First, on November 2, 1917, the British Cabinet issued the Balfour Declaration promising the best endeavors of the British government towards the establishment of a homeland for the Jews. In other words, it was a promise to help the Jews return to their property and to their families!
Second, just five weeks later, on December 11, 1917, the British Army under General Allenby succeeded in capturing Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks, who had held it for four hundred years. General Allenby dismounted from horseback and humbly entered the Jerusalem through the Jaffa gate. With the capture of not only Jerusalem but all of Palestine, the British Army now had the means by which to fulfill the very promise it had made five weeks earlier!
So the year 1917 is considered almost as important a year in Jewish history as 1967, which beheld the reunification of Jerusalem.
The years 1917 and 1967 years are 50 years apart! Therefore we must be open to look for what God might do in 2017.
But wait! This simple math misses something! What happens if we look at those two dates from the standpoint of the Jewish Calendar?
1917 and 1967 are 50 years apart, but when looking at the dates from the perspective of the Jewish calendar, they are only 49 Jewish years apart. In 1917, the key events occurred late, in the Jewish year 5678; whereas in 1967 they occurred earlier, in the Jewish year 5727.
This is a divine dilemma! Our current situation allows those who hold the 50 year Gregorian year theory and the 49 Jewish year theory to be equally satisfied! It is almost like God wants both camps of thought to be equally drawn into this search for the Jubilee!
However, it is hard to imagine how both camps can be satisfied this time. A 49 year pattern and a 50 year pattern must diverge from each other in the coming Jubilee. We would expect a clear winner to emerge!
If the 49 Jewish year theory is correct, and God confirms the Jubilee Year pattern through world events, then WE WILL SEE SOMETHING IMPORTANT BETWEEN NOW AND OCTOBER 2, 2016.
If the 50 Calendar Year theory is correct, and God confirms the Jubilee pattern through world events, then WE WILL SEE SOMETHING IMPORTANT BETWEEN JANUARY 1, 2017 AND DECEMBER 31, 2017.
Connect with Others
What do you say? Do you already have a strongly-held opinion on which is correct: the 49 year theory or the 50 year theory? Why or why not?
Put your comments below! And if you are joining this series for the first time, also add “count me in.”
In the next article, we will speak about a Jew who held to the 50 year theory and his amazingly accurate prediction that is still relevant today.