There Shall Be Seven Weeks: The Shemitah

Daniel 9:25b …there shall be seven weeks…

The context of this series of posts is the course of the Jewish people for the initial 49 years of the 483 year period communicated from the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel. The city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt post exile. These events are covered in Nehemiah 8-13. Israel is returning to God’s Law. After the Sabbath, the focus is the Shemitah.

Nehemiah 10:31b …And we will forego the crops of the seventh year and the exaction of every debt.

The violation of this statute is the reason Israel is under God’s judgment, 70 sets of 7’s. It would stand to reason, Israel would be reminded sooner. Keep the Shemitah.

But that is not the case. There were more important issues such as returning to God first. As the Lord sees it, relationships and matters of the heart are more important than economics.

Here is the law as conveyed by God to Moses.

Leviticus 25:1-5 Then the LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you enter the land that I am giving you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to the LORD. For six years you may sow your field and prune your vineyard and gather its crops. But in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of complete rest for the land, a Sabbath to the LORD. You are not to sow your field or prune your vineyard. You are not to reap the aftergrowth of your harvest or gather the grapes of your untended vines. The land must have a year of complete rest.

Rest“… The word is “shamat” in the Hebrew. It is defined by Strong’s Concordance as: to release, let drop or loose or rest or fall.

The Jewish people also refer to this as “shemitah”. It literally means to release.

Deuteronomy 15:1-2 At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission of debts. This is the manner of remission: every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because the LORD’S remission has been proclaimed.

“remission of debts…” In the original Hebrew text “of debts” is not present. “of debts” was added by the translators. Shemitah is the Hebrew word for remission. Shemitah as defined by Strong’s Concordance means: cancellation of debts, letting drop of exactions, (temporary) remitting, release (from debt).

Shemitah comes from the root word shamat.

For multiple posts regarding teachings on the Shemitah, click on the link below.

Under the leadership of Nehemiah, Israel has recommitted to keeping the Mosaic Law.


Something to think about…

Fast forward to Rosh Hashanah or the Feast of Trumpets for the Hebrew year 5782 or the Fall of 2021. This will arguably be the start of a Sabbatical or Shemitah year. The land is supposed to rest for one year. The remission of debt will occur on the last day of the year in the fall of 2022 or the Hebrew New Year 5783. Historically, challenging economic circumstances arise.

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