This is the final article in our series. Many of you have come along this journey with us for almost two-and-a-half years.
Today we reveal what we think God has in mind regarding the Jubilee! But first, we will briefly summarize the mystery of the lost Jubilee one final time.
In the past twenty-nine articles and our book Jubilee Now, we have looked at the Jubilee year from both Jewish and Christian perspectives to examine whether God might be restoring the Jubilee cycle to the world. After looking back at the amazing and pivotal events of 1967, in Fall 2015 we invited readers to come along with us and agree to watch world events during 2015, 2016 and 2017 for signs of the Jubilee. We promised to look at the events in an unbiased manner, as detectives, and let God reveal the answer based on what happens. Click here for all the past articles.
On the Hebrew calendar, the civil new year begins in fall at Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the month of Tishri, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. We reasoned that if God’s Jubilee is on the Jewish/Hebrew calendar, it MUST occur in a year following the land’s Sabbatical year, the Shemitah, just as it happened in 1967. Thus, on the Hebrew calendar, the next Jubilee would be Jewish year 5776, that began in Fall 2015 and concluded Fall 2016.
But, there was also strong evidence that suggested Jubilee-like events were happening for centuries on years that ended in 17 and 67: for instance 1867, 1917, 1967, etc. This cycle was not the same as the Hebrew cycle, but it converged with the Hebrew calendar cycle perfectly in 1967! So we also agreed to watch the full calendar year 2017 very closely as well, and then decide which Jubilee cycle was the right one. This would solve the Mystery of the Lost Jubilee.
The results are all in, and the solution we will propose is definitely not what we ever expected!
All this time, we have been watching to figure out which cycle is correct — the one embraced by Jews or the one embraced by Gentiles, to see which one is the better fit for the evidence. Instead, God has shown us that what he is doing is bigger and more amazing than we thought. This article will reveal three surprises that we now see.
The first surprise is that 1967 was not just the year of convergence of the Jewish and Gentile Jubilee cycles, but is The Great Switching Point of Modern History:
Surprise #1. In 1967 the great Jubilee Train shifted tracks from the pattern of a Gentile Jubilee on the Gregorian calendar to the pattern of an Israel Jubilee on the Hebrew Calendar.
This is illustrated in the figure below.
The Great Switching Point of World History
For centuries, God has been continually working through the Gentile Jubilee pattern, even regarding events that were specifically relevant to the Jews and the Holy Land. Let us review some of the major ones.
The capture of Jerusalem by the Suleiman the Magnificent in 1517 was an early example. Suleiman was friendly and respectful to the Jews and later rebuilt the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem as they still stand today. Yet, his actions kicked off a 400-year timer that would eventually end Turkish rule of Jerusalem in December 1917, when British General Edmund Allenby would take Jerusalem.
British involvement in the Holy Land actually began fifty years earlier, in 1867 when Queen Victoria asked Charles Warren to begin archaeological excavations of the Old City of Jerusalem. That October, Warren inaugurated the modern age of archaeological exploration of the Holy Land, when he happened to discover the ancient tunnel system near the Gihon Spring in the oldest part of Jerusalem, the City of David.
But the British were not alone in touching the Holy Land in 1867. American Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, visited Jerusalem and the Holy Land that year, turning his notes into what would quickly become the most popular travel book ever written, capturing the hearts and imaginations of people worldwide for a desolate, barren, forsaken land once called Israel.
The British Balfour declaration came 50 years later, signed in the Prime Minister’s cabinet room on October 31, 1917 in London, 400 years to the very year after Suleiman the Magnificent captured Jerusalem. When Jerusalem surrendered to Allenby in December, the British made clear they were not out to form a new British colony but to re-establish a homeland for the Jewish people.
Interestingly, the Balfour Declaration was signed 400 years to the very day after the birth of the Protestant Reformation on October 31, 1517. While the founder of that reformation was inexcusably anti-semitic, the primary change brought forth by that Protestant Reformation was that Christians began to read the Scriptures for themselves. This began awakening Christians all over Europe to the idea that God was not finished with the Jews, and would ultimately restore the Jews to their ancestral homeland. Thus it laid the theological groundwork for Christian support of the Jewish return.
So the Protestant Reformation laid the groundwork in 1517, then 350 years later came the declarations from Charles Warren and Mark Twain about the past glories of Jerusalem, and then in fifty more years came the British Declaration to begin the work of creating a homeland for the Jews. But the British would falter in their resolve soon afterward, and it would take the grotesque horrors of the Holocaust in 1945, combined with American world leadership in the UN in November 1947, to help propel Israel to become a nation in May 1948.
Until the establishment of Israel, the Jubilee cycle was primarily a Gentile Jubilee. This is not to say God was only interested in the actions of Gentiles. Far from it. But, when significant military or political advancements were made, even if they were beneficial for the Jewish peoples’ return, those advancements were usually advised by Jews, but led by Gentiles.
But, 1967 changed everything.
In spring and summer 1967, Israel was transformed before the eyes of all nations: tripling its land holdings, re-claiming the Old City of Jerusalem under its sovereignty, and declaring Jerusalem as its Eternal Capital. The monumental victory was not a gentile victory, but a Jewish one. The world marveled, and then the very nations who supported Israel in the past began to turn against her. The UN security council including the Americans and the British stood unanimously against Israel’s gains. Embassies around the world began departing Jerusalem. Israel stood alone.
God looked down and decided it was time for the Jubilee Train to switch tracks.
While the British Balfour Declaration and British military conquest happened at the end of the year 1917, those same events fell on the Hebrew Calendar Year 5678, which was the first year following the Sabbatical year when the land gets its rest! The Gentile and Jewish Jubilee were therefore synchronized perfectly in 1917. They have perfectly synchronized again in June 1967.
But, what happened without anyone realizing was that the Jubilee train was switching tracks from the Gentile track of the past to the Jewish track of the future. The switch occurred in 1967 because this was the first Jubilee Year in which the Jews were back in the land, holding Jerusalem.
The Jews Have Started the Count!
In the Bible, God gave the Jews the right to decide when had have entered the Land (Leviticus 25:2), He gave them the responsibility to count the forty-nine years one-by-one, (v.8), and He gave them the honor to declare the 50th year as a Jubilee by blowing the shofar (v.9).
“You shall then sound a ram’s horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land.” Leviticus 25:9. (NASB)
So in hindsight, 1967 would have been the perfect time for the Jews to begin counting off the years of the Jubilee. But, understandably, nobody was thinking about preparing for a Jubilee 50 years into the future at that wild moment. But now they have!
After exactly seven Sabbatical cycles had been completed since the Six Day War, the Jews counted Year One in 5776. How did it happen? In a small gathering of a few rabbis in Jerusalem between the dates of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Rabbi Avraham Dov Ben-Shor of the nascent Sanhedrin declared that 5776 was Year One before Almighty God and prayed:
“Blessed are you Lord our God, who commands us in the counting of the Sabbaticals and the Jubilees.”
Even though we writers would not hear of this event for several months into the writing these articles, we saw that their choice to declare 5776 as Year One was in perfect keeping with the Jewish Jubilee pattern of the Exile we had identified! The same group has also declared Year Two in 5777, and Year Three in 5778, which is the Jewish year at this moment.
We believe that over the next 47 years, their act of counting the years will eventually be accepted by the entire nation of Israel, formally establishing the date of the first official Jubilee of Israel to be in Year 5826, or Fall 2065. Mark your calendars!
The other Jubilee track, the one we have called the Gentile Jubilee, would be better described going forward as the Jubilee of the Nations, so we will use that term for the rest of this article.
What is going to happen to the Jubilee of the Nations?
Surprise #2. The Jubilee of the Nations may fade away.
Strong Statement. Why?
Because we believe God does not have the intention of maintaining two Jubilee tracks over the long term. The Jubilee is first and foremost about the Land of Israel and the overflowing blessing that flows out into the world from Israel. God’s wants Israel and the Nations to come into alignment together, not to walk separately. The fact that the two Jubilee tracks which had been separated for centuries converged perfectly in 1917 and 1967 establishes God’s plan for convergence.
We predict that Israel will declare the first “dry-run Jubilee of Israel” in 5826, in the fall of 2065. By “dry-run” we mean that it will be more of a celebration than that of implementing all the Jubilee’s powerful economic features, such as the clearing of debts and the restoring of land to original owners. Some of the bigger economic features could be agreed upon in the next 47 years, but they could not be realistically implemented until a second Jubilee occurred almost 100 years from now. However, even if Jews declare just a celebratory Jubilee in 47 years, this could cause the unsynchronized Jubilee of the Nations to simply fade into history.
REMINDER: As we already noted in Article 25, any predictions we make about future Jubilees assume the Messiah tarries that long because when the Messiah arrives, he has the authority to declare a year of Jubilee immediately.
And now for the next surprise, possibly the most surprising of all.
Surprise #3. The UK is going to align itself with Israel very closely in the future, even more closely than the USA.
To explain how we came to this, please look at the various Jubilee-related events we have recorded in the last two-and-a-half years.
The two most dramatic Jubilee-like events occurring in 5776 are colored in blue. First, Israel declared that the Golan Heights would be forever part of Israel. Netanyahu convened the first-ever official cabinet meeting on the east side of the Jordan river and stated the Golan was forever being taken off the table for any future peace negotiations. Thus, Israel was officially expanding to the other side of the Jordan river, claiming those lands would be part of Israel forever.
Second, the UK Brexit vote shocked the world by their deciding to leave the European Union. The UK Brexit is a Jubilee-like event because it is a giant national restart, a fresh start that allows the people of Britain to be set free from the economic and regulatory bondage of the EU, and begins to live out their own destiny. The EU leadership sneered at this decision, but we believe that the UK will be hugely blessed by its independence, both economically and spiritually.
And we see the eventual impact of the UK Brexit will be to bring the UK and Israel together in a big way. With the UK separated from the EU, it will need to form strong alliances with other partner nations outside of the EU. Israel and the UK are both strongly capable democracies, but they are both EU outsiders. Setting aside the current state of the relationship, which is admittedly bad, we believe the pro-Israel community in the UK needs to cheer up because very good days are ahead. Israel and the UK will be propelled into a strong partnership together, just as those two big Jubilee events came one right after the other.
After the year 5776 ended, Donald Trump was elected US President. While an election is not necessarily a Jubilee, the result of that election was. Once Trump took office in 2017, the year of the Jubilee of the Nations, he visited Jerusalem and the Western Wall in May, and in December declared Jerusalem to be the Capital of Israel, promising to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. In less than three weeks, Guatemala would second the motion. These will be blessed for their courage.
Yes, the US is the leader of the free world, the leader of nations. But we believe its continued support of Israel will require strong pro-Israel presidents to be elected term after term. But the UK’s relationship with Israel will naturally get stronger regardless of the administration. It will transition from a “nice-to-have” relationship to a “must-have” relationship given time.
The 2017 Jubilee of the Nations Blessed Israel
The Jubilee of the Nations in 2017 was not just about the UK, the USA, and Guatemala, it was about all the nations and their relationship to Israel!
Israel’s 2017 tourism broke all-time records, rising an almost unheard of 25% increase year-over-year. In December, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the relationship between Israel and the world had changed:
“The Foreign Ministry carried out a comprehensive survey of 54 countries… The main finding is that in 47 out of 54 countries, a majority of the people there believe that their country would benefit from links with Israel. This is a gigantic change… Israel is a rising global power… Today Israel is a sought-after country. One need only see the 12 hours I was in Africa, or in Latin America on my recent tour there, or on visits to Asia and everywhere else, to see this. Israel is a sought-after, developed and strong country that even the citizens of countries with which we do not have official relations understand the benefit of relations with Israel. We are going from strength to strength and developing even more links.” (Public statement during Dec 3 Cabinet meeting).
This remarkable change in outlook took place during 2017, the Jubilee of the Nations. And behind the scenes, Arab nations like Saudi Arabia and Egypt were coming into closer relationship with Israel as well.
The Mystery of the Lost Jubilee is the search for whether God is in the process of restoring the Jubilee to Israel and to the Nations — in other words, to the entire world.
Not only is the answer to that question an unequivocal YES, but it seems that the best days of the Jubilee — ultimately, God’s Jubilee — are still ahead of us. With this truth in mind may all of us, Jew and Gentile, Israel and the Nations, join together and proclaim with one voice:
Blessed are you Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has created the Sabbaticals and the Jubilees and is in the process of restoring them to the world.
This addendum is written for those who study the Biblical calendar and prefer it over the Jewish civil calendar.
Many people have asked us about whether the Jubilee year should not be based on the Biblical Calendar, the one that God established for the Jews, beginning and ending in Spring on Nissan 1. We looked carefully at this issue and have modified our position slightly at one point. But, first, let us mention what has not changed.
The Jewish Jubilee (the Jubilee of Israel) does not fit on the Biblical Calendar, for three reasons. First, many people overlook the fact that God speaks of the agricultural year ending in Fall as well as the Biblical year ending in Spring. See Article 22. So there is nothing wrong with the Jubilee year following the pattern of the Sabbatical year, which follows the pattern of the agricultural year cited in Scripture. Second, if you keep the 49-year cycle as we have, but move the starting/ending dates of the Jubilee back in time 6 months to the prior Nissan 1, the pivotal events of 1967 fall out of that year, which makes no sense. And if you move the start of the year forward in time 6 months, the key Jubilee events in 1917 fall out of the year. In short, it just doesn’t work. Third, God gave the Jews the right to proclaim the Jubilee, so we believe He will align with their choice. Their choice is Rosh Hashanah to Rosh Hashanah, and we believe God is respecting that choice. The evidence we found clearly supports this.
But, with regard to the Jubilee of the Nations — the one this article series defined as beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31 — we have good news for you. It seems like all the data fit for BOTH calendars. In other words, with respect to the Jubilee of the Nations, it seems that the key events happen during a nine-month period from Nissan 1 to December 31. Look at the earlier table in this article closely and you will see it! Key Jubilee events don’t seem to happen in the first 3 months of the Gregorian year!
Perhaps what is going on here is that God wants as many of His children as possible to see the facts and to come to the same conclusion! This particular finding was so surprising, we were going to include it as the 4th Surprise of the article but then decided against it, due to its technical nature. Nevertheless, we wanted to share it with you in this Addendum.
We will make one final prediction. If God surprises us by allowing the Jubilee of the Nations to survive and thrive in the long-term, we believe it will end up being celebrated on the Biblical calendar rather than the Gregorian one, because the Biblical Calendar creates better alignment between Israel and the Nations.
You are welcome to contact us at root-source.com for further discussion on this and all other Jubilee matters. We plan to offer a revised version of our book Jubilee Now, with all the latest updates in this entire series.