In part 14 of this series, we showed how the proposed Jubilee years of 1917/18 and 1868/69 overlapped with some turning points in Christian missions activity, and we asked for any other interesting examples notice by readers.
Reader Hal Brooks then wrote us the following:
“I have enjoyed your series of articles on Jubilee. It is important news that the Sanhedrin has started the Yovel count from this year! I agree that 1966/67 was a Jubilee “event” for Israel with the restoration of Judea, Samaria and most importantly Jerusalem to full Israeli control. Before that 1917/18 brought the Balfour Declaration and British defeat of the Ottoman Empire.
I would like to point out the following strong support that 1868/69 also involved a Jubilee “event” that you have not yet discussed. In Deuteronomy 29:22 there is a reference to a “foreigner” who will come from afar, confirm the desolation of the Land, and proclaim it to the nations.
That indeed happened exactly as prophesied when Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) published his best selling work The Innocents Abroad in…. 1869!”
Indeed, Mark Twain has become a commonly quoted source for Zionists and Jewish educators. The series of articles he wrote for a San Francisco newspaper were published as a subscription book on July 20, 1869 within that “Jubilee year.” That book, also called “The New Pilgrim’s Progress,” became one of the best selling travel books of all time.
Hal continues by quoting book passages he finds remarkable:
“There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent- not for 30 miles in either direction. There are two or three small clusters of Bedouin tents, but not a single permanent habitation. One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. To this region one of the prophecies is applied: ‘I will bring the Land into desolation; and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and I will draw out a sword after you; and your Land shall be desolate and your cities waste.’ No man can stand here by deserted Ain Mellahah and say the prophecy has not been fulfilled.” Page 349.
“There is one thing he (Wandering Jew) cannot avoid; go where he will about the world, he must never fail to report in Jerusalem every fiftieth year.” Page 418.
I find these passages to be remarkable fulfillments of Bible prophecy. They directly affect the Land and the restoration of Israel! It is marvelous to witness these events within a Jubilee context.
Thank you Hal for that insight into the timing, as well as the suggestion that Mark Twain’s trip was not only a verification of Biblical prophecy, but a fulfilling of Biblical prophecy!
This important book from Mark Twain fits within the repeating pattern of the Jubilee, coming on the 50th year of the counting, yet repeating every 49 years.
Fifty and One-Hundred Year Patterns
However, we are aware that many of our readers are of the persuasion to only look for Jubilee patterns 50 and 100 years apart. For those who enjoy seeing interesting correlations to the Gregorian calendar, 50 and 100 years apart, we note that while Mark Twain’s work was published in 1969, his actual visit to the Holy Land was in 1867. This was 50 years before the Balfour Declaration and 100 years before the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967.
Speaking of 50 year cycles, Dennis McLeod reminded us in the article comments that we have not mentioned in this series the famous diary entry by Jewish Zionist William Herzl who declared on September 1, 1897 just one day following the conclusion of the First Zionist World Congress in Basel Switzerland:
At Basel I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today l would be greeted by universal laughter. In five years perhaps, and certainly in fifty years, everyone will recognize it.
Herzl was correct. United Nations resolution 181, passed fifty years later on November 29, 1947, created legal grounds for the formation of a Jewish State, putting an end to the laughter. The Sanhedrin Rabbi we talked to told us that they considered the reunification of Jerusalem more important from a Jubilee counting perspective than the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948; however, the establishment is clearly an event of momentous proportions in its own right.
The fact that the reunification of Jerusalem and the re-establishment of the state of Israel, could not possibly be considered to BOTH be on the same Jubilee cycle (because they are only 19 apart) shows that God is not limited to do His work on only Jubilee years.
This is an important point.
Jubilee and Messiah
No reader of this column will ever hear us make a suggestion that the Jubilee years under discussion are forecasting the coming of the Messiah. We know that God can and will do whatever He wants, and that ultimately God’s timing will be perfect in its own right, even if His actions have nothing whatever to do with the timing of earth’s Jubilee years.
For readers to hope that the Messiah’s coming will be in an imminent Jubilee year is a good thing, because hoping for the Messiah is ALWAYS a good thing. It is also JUST as important not to lose hope if we complete a Jubilee year and nothing significant happens regarding the Messiah’s arrival. Our hope and the expecting honors God much more, we would suggest, than the predictions of any certain year in which it might happen. Our hope and expecting should not be diminished by the year in which we are living. It should only increase more and more over time.
It is good and right for this series to attempt to discover the true nature of the Jubilee, because God invented it, and because it is the glory of kings to search out a matter which God has hidden (see Proverbs 25:2). Any additional connection to the Messiah is terribly exciting for sure, but that is a deeper mystery than might ever be revealed on this earth, let alone in this column series. So in the meantime, let us simply work to solve the mystery right before us, a mystery that seems to be very close to being revealed by the hand of God, and let us simply see what we might find.
Connect with Others
Please let us know if you have other thoughts about key events we should be studying!
If you are reading this series but never wrote “Count me in!” in the comments, please do that, so that we know you are coming along for the ride! At some point, if this article series turns into its own book, this ensures your name will be included in the book’s count-me-in list!
Also, we will include in a book, if we write it, additional and selected reader comments as well, so please do make comments that might be of help! We appreciate everyone who has taken time to respond.
Join us next time, as we continue to watch current events and examine all clues to the meaning and the Mystery of the Lost Jubilee.