Sabbatical Year/Shemitah, Part 1

The following is the first installment of a five part series. This was originally posted seven years ago, arguably during the last Sabbatical or Shemitah year.

IF correct, the end of this Sabbatical year (Fall 2022) will mark the tenth complete set of seven for Israel since they became a nation again in 1948. As Jews mark time, this Shemitah year began on the Feast of Trumpets or Teruah on the sighting of the new moon, September 8th, 2021 on a solar based Gregorian calendar. This would be the first of Tishri on a Hebrew calendar. The land is supposed to rest.

The violation of this statute is the reason Israel was under God’s judgment as detailed by Daniel 9, 70 sets of 7’s.

Below is the Law as given to Moses by the Lord Himself.

Leviticus 25:1-7 The Lord then spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I shall give you, then the land shall have a sabbath to the Lord. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. Your harvest’s aftergrowth you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a sabbatical year. All of you shall have the sabbath products of the land for food; yourself, and your male and female slaves, and your hired man and your foreign resident, those who live as aliens with you. Even your cattle and the animals that are in your land shall have all its crops to eat.

These were words were given to Moses approximately 3,500 years ago from today. This is part of the ceremonial law, yet it has practical applications for Jews today. God wants His people to be holy or separate. God’s people should separate themselves from others by their behavior.

The word “Sabbath” in the Hebrew is transliterated. It is also “Sabbath” in English. The term is equated with rest. It is to be set apart, sacred, and holy.

Exodus 23:10-11 You shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

“you shall let it 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.

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 geo-political and economic circumstances arise. Get ready…

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