Archive for Shemitah

Teshuvah 2015

Posted in Fall Feasts, Prophecy, Teshuvah/Repent, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2015 by paulthepoke

The month of Elul initiates a 40 day period called Teshuvah. The point of the season is to prepare for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah and the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. It is a time to turn toward God. People are called to turn away from their sin, repent, and change course. It is a time of inward reflection and sincere self-assessment. The goal is a change in lifestyle away from sin to obedience in God’s word. The 40 day period of Teshuvah ends on Tishri 10, Yom Kippur.

Elul 1 marks the beginning of Teshuvah. In a Gregorian calendar in the year 2015, this would be August 15 or 16 depending on when the new moon is confirmed. It is Jewish custom to blow a shofar (ram’s horn) one time every day during the season of Teshuvah. The trumpet is blown every day after the morning service except Shabbat or the Sabbath (Saturday for us in western culture) and the last day of month of Elul.

shofar-web

Elul is the last month of the civic calendar in Judaism. Elul is the sixth month of the religious calendar. Jewish tradition points to the name of the month to be an acronym of “Ani l’dodi v’dodi li” a quote from Song of Songs 6:3 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine… In Aramaic, the vernacular of the Jewish people at the time that the month names were adopted), the word Elul means “search”. Per Strong’s Concordance, Elul means “nothingness” in the Hebrew. The month is mentioned one time in the Bible. Nehemiah 6:15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. Cultural customs per http://www.jewfaq.org, http://www.myjewishlearning.com .

This year, 2015, the season of Teshuvah is unique and exceptional.

The end of the month of Elul marks the end of a sabbatical or shemitah year. On a western Gregorian calendar, that is Sunday, September 13, 2015. Historically, God releases debt on the last year of a seven year cycle. 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. Historically, this is not a good omen for economic markets.

A solar eclipse is also scheduled on Sunday, September 13, 2015. As God sees it, the solar eclipse is a time marker (Genesis 1:14, day four of the creation week). The Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah or Yom Teruah (take your pick of names) takes place when the new moon is observed. This begins a new civic year.

A lunar eclipse or a blood red moon is scheduled for Monday, September 28, 2015 on “The Feast” or Tabernacles (aka as Succot). The lunar eclipse will be a Super Moon and appear larger because it is closer to the Earth. The best view of the eclipse will take place in Jerusalem, Israel.

Per Jewish tradition, these celestial events take on additional significance when they occur on God’s Appointed Holidays.

https://paulthepoke.com/2014/09/01/elul-blow-the-horn/

https://paulthepoke.com/2014/08/24/elul-40-days-and-40-nights-teshuva/

If history is any indicator, fasten your seat belts. The land completes its rest on September 13, 2015. God is going back into action. Planet Earth is likely to get interesting.

Time will tell…

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Sabbatical Year/Shemitah, Part 5

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2014 by paulthepoke

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.

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.

So there is the law. Read it for yourself. What does modern day Israel think of this? What is going on today? Do farmers comply? 21st century responses are interesting. There are approximately 6,700 farms in Israel today (November, 2014). According to the Israeli government, about 50 farms did not comply with the statute. Roughly 450 farmers left their land for the year.

Last month the government sold the fields to a non-Jewish Israeli, a 25-year-old Russian immigrant named George. Because the fields are not Jewish owned, farmers can continue to work the land during the Sabbatical year. The farms will be returned to the original landowners after the Sabbatical year is over next fall. Technically, a farmer can continue to market their produce to Orthodox Jewish customers. Just a little bit of legal manipulation…

It is the spirit of the law that matters.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/arts_life/spiritual_life/israeli-farmers-observe-seventh-year-sabbatical-with-a-wink/article_388f2ac0-25d6-539b-bea0-cd674ee1f2d8.html

One particular farmer employs the practice of hydroponics. He grows plants in water instead of the soil. Technically, he is not working the ground. The vegetables are grown on platforms separate and apart from the land. Therefore, he is not breaking the law of God…so goes the thinking. Gilad Fine states, “We observe the Shemitah every year.”

http://jewishbusinessnews.com/2014/10/28/new-shmittah-app-helps-jews-avoid-sin-during-sabbatical-year/

Even your smart phone can help navigate the observance of the Sabbatical year. An app has been developed and can be downloaded. The app answers questions about the Shemitah year. The app has a list and map of land exclusions and exceptions to the Sabbitical land rest. The app comes with a list of Shemitah terms and definitions, a list of produce with explanations as to what rules of Shemitah apply, and two e books (one four pages long and the other 80 pages). The app is free and is only available for Android devices at this time.

http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-10-28/how-keep-farming-when-god-says-stop

Seems to be some skirting of the law…

Sabbatical Year/Shemitah, Part 4

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2014 by paulthepoke

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.

So what is the big deal? Does God really care if this law is followed? After all, farmers have to make money. We all have to eat. How can we survive during the seventh year if food is not grown? Is God being unreasonable? Is this practical? Does God know what He is doing?

Are there consequences for Israel not keeping the Sabbatical or Shemitah year? God’s response is straight forward. He told Moses and nation Israel at Mount Sinai. If you do not keep the commandments, I will kick you out of the land and disperse you. There will be pain and suffering. See Leviticus 26:14-39 for Israel’s complete consequences of disobedience. Specifically, these are the issues related to the disobedience of the Sabbatical or Shemitah year.

Leviticus 26:34-35 Then the land will enjoy its Sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies’ land; then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your Sabbaths, while you were living on it.

Leviticus 26:43 For the land will be abandoned by them, and will make up for its Sabbaths while it is made desolate without them. They, meanwhile, will be making amends for their iniquity, because they rejected My ordinances and their soul abhorred My statutes.

Eventually, Israel disobeyed God and His commandments. God counted 70 Sabbatical or Shemitah years Israel had not kept. Judgment came via the Babylonians. Jews of all ages were slaughtered. The temple was raided. The articles for worship and service were stolen and taken to Babylon. The temple was burned. The walls of the city were destroyed. Buildings and resources were plundered. Those who survived were taken into captivity in Babylon. And why did these events take place? 2 Chronicles 36:21 to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept Sabbath until seventy years were complete. And when 70 years were completed, a decree went from Cyrus. Israel went back to their land (2 Chronicles 36:22-23).

This is what happened to Israel historically. The Jews were kicked out of the land again in 70 AD and scattered throughout the globe…Israel became a nation again in 1948. For whatever reason, there is an element of the Jewish people who are interested in giving the land its rest this Sabbatical year. The Shemitah started in the Fall of 2014 and ends September 15, 2015 on the Gregorian calendar.

Sabbatical Year/Shemitah, Part 3

Posted in Gospel, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2014 by paulthepoke

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.

In today’s world, the verses above are radical financial and economic concepts. All debt, regardless of size, is forgiven at the end of every seventh year. Imagine, a clean financial slate.

Think about how these verses would influence lending and borrowing practices. Larger loans would occur early in the seven year cycle. Debt structure would not look like it does today. The 30 year mortgage would be toast. Loans would likely be much smaller. Personal savings would be promoted. People would be more inclined to live within their means.

Think of all the debt practices: home mortgages, car loans, student loans, and credit cards just to mention a few. Debt is oppressive and restrictive to freedom. Consider how each of the above would be financed or paid if debt was forgiven at the end of every seven years. Consider the change in personal spending habits.

Creditors would be more careful how they loaned their money. There would be less loaning of money. Creditors would likely make less irresponsible loans to customers who do not have the means to pay. If implemented today, debt bubbles would be a thing of the past. At the end of every seven years, everyone would be debt free. If debt payments remained at the end of the cycle, it would be forgiven. Poverty would likely be diminished significantly.

Responsibility would be increased on both the lender and the borrower. These practices would significantly cut into corporate banking profits and affect their stock prices.

Deuteronomy 23:19-20 You shall not charge interest to your countrymen: interest on money, food, or anything that may be loaned at interest. You may charge interest to a foreigner, but to your countrymen you shall not charge interest, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land which you are about to enter to possess.

Interest free lending would promote national unity and good will toward your fellow countryman. It is a matter of looking after your neighbor and brother. Financial collaboration would be an outcome. People would be more interested in the success of others.

God does not want us to take financial advantage of our fellow man. These loaning practices were built into society by God. He understands the capacity of greed demonstrated by humanity. Don’t shaft your neighbor.

These financial concepts are nowhere to be seen in today’s economic world. Most people are not aware these statutes exist. Would our lives be economically easier if this were in place today? What a concept, it is a universal blessing from God if one loans interest free to their countryman.

The ultimate example of God’s release or remission is in His Son. Jesus forgives us of our debt, sin. John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Our transgressions are forgiven as a matter of grace and mercy. Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. He has paid our debt without charging us. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. It is His payment that allows us to possess eternity in New Jerusalem (Revelation 21).

Sabbatical Year/Shemitah, Part 2

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2014 by paulthepoke

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.

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.

In Biblical times, the farmer would scatter and sow seed first. This occurred during the fall after the holidays and God’s appointed feasts. A team of two oxen would be yoked together to drag a plough and till under the seed. It was customary to use two of the same animals per the law. Deuteronomy 22:10 You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. Farming was a year around job. The land was constantly being worked. It was necessary to keep the ground free of weeds by hoeing from December until February. With the harvesting of grain in late spring and summer, stalks were cut near the top and bundled. The remainder of the plant was left for animals to eat. (New Manners and Customs of Bible Times). This cycle occurred for six consecutive years.

In the seventh year, the land is to rest. There is to be no physical labor or working of the land. Seed is not to be planted. The soil is not to be tilled or turned over. Weeds are left to grow unchecked. Olive trees are not to be trimmed or pruned. Grape vines are left unattended to grow wildly. Whatever grows will grow. The farmers are not to harvest or gather crops that do grow during the Sabbatical year. The food that grows is for the farmer, servants, workers, foreigners, and the poor. Of the food that is not eaten by people, the remainder is for the animals.

Imagine that, an economy with a built in one year vacation every seventh year. No need for a worker or union to negotiate time off.

Trust in the Lord to provide.

Sabbatical Year/Shemitah, Part 1

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2014 by paulthepoke

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 commands in Leviticus were delivered personally to Moses by God. These were words were given to Moses approximately 3,500 years ago from today (October 2014). This is part of the ceremonial law, yet it has practical applications 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…

Trend Update: Sabbatical/Shemitah Year/Record Harvest, October 2014

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , on October 1, 2014 by paulthepoke

Leviticus 25:20-22 ‘But if you say, “What are we going to eat on the seventh year if we do not sow or gather in our crops?” then I will so order My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the crop for three years. ‘When you are sowing the eighth year, you can still eat old things from the crop, eating the old until the ninth year when its crop comes in.

The context of these verses is the discussion of consecutive Sabbath years of rest for the land, a seventh year Sabbath and year of Jubilee following. The question is being asked of God. If we cannot work the fields, how are we expected to eat and survive? God says He will abundantly provide with bumper crops in the year before the land’s Sabbatical rest, three times the usual amount.

This past year ending Elul 29 on a Hebrew calendar (September 23, 2014 on a Gregorian calendar) was the greatest year of global harvest and agricultural production ever. Look at the examples below.

There were record crops in North America and South America.

http://cornandsoybeandigest.com/blog/usda-projects-record-2014-crop-production

http://online.wsj.com/articles/grain-soybean-futures-fall-as-usda-ramps-up-crop-projections-1410454858

http://www.agweb.com/blog/Farmland_Forecast_148/

Ukraine is known as the bread basket of Europe. There were record crops in Europe, specifically Ukraine. Any coincidence Russia is interested in controlling and annexing this country? Ukraine also has a sea port that allows their grains to be easily exported.

http://agronomyukraine.blogspot.com/2014/08/ukraine-set-to-harvest-record-winter.html

There were record crops in Australia in the Spring of 2014.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-11/record-winter-crop-for-wa/5251438

The last year’s global harvest was the largest on record.

The issue is this. Is this current Jewish year starting Tishri 1 a Sabbatical/Shemitah year on God’s calendar? God is still marking time. The Israeli government and Temple Mount Institute believe so and have made economic provision accordingly for farmers to allow the land to rest.

http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/24661/Default.aspx?archive=article_title

http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/israel-rediscovers-shemitah-in-time-for-blood-moons/

Are we on God’s calendar and schedule when it comes to a Sabbatical/Shemitah year? If the current year beginning Tishri 1 (September 25, 2014, Gregorian Calendar) is a Sabbatical year of rest for the land, then the previous year should be a bumper crop per Leviticus 25:20-22. Global agricultural data from last year is supportive of this current Jewish year being a Sabbatical/Shemitah year.

Is this past year’s record crop an isolated or random incident of global agricultural production? If God is in control, we should be able to subtract by seven year increments and identify a pattern. Big crops should be expected in 2007, 2000, 1993, 1986, etc. The following data is provided primarily by the United Nations (UN). Other sources include USDA, US Bureau of Census, and New York Times. These sources are hardly God or Bible friendly. The previous largest record for agricultural production was in 2007! Another peak year of grain production and harvest was 1986! http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5539

If the pattern holds as expected, agricultural production has peaked in the short term. Food supplies are going to tighten. The population of the planet continues to increase. Governments are printing money to solve economic problems. This does not account for any “Black Swan” event(s). The cost of food is going up.

 

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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