Today we begin Leviticus Chapter 25.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James Version, click here.
We now come to that place in the Torah where we’re given instructions on the often misunderstood and mysterious “Year of Jubilee”.
If there is one singular word that nicely sums up the context of Leviticus chapter 23, it would be “Jubilee” or YOVEL in Hebrew.
We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so the first couple of articles are going to be introductory articles of sorts.
I think most of us are aware that “Jubilee” is the formal name for that special one-year period that arrives once every 50 years.
However, while the word “Jubilee” might have a joyous ring to it, this one-year period was not about celebration and festivity.
It was more of a somber than joyous occasion.
Here’s the thing.
When the year of Jubilee came around, for some folks it was a most welcomed time but for others it was a very irritating and severe interruption to their lives because it resulted in the loss of much personal property.
This chapter contains many rulings dealing with basically two forms of property: LAND and SLAVES.
Let’s not fall asleep here folks.
The information we’re about to study is very important for us to understand for three mains reasons.
First, it gives us an understanding of the societal background of the times.
Second, it gives us Godly principles and patterns that we can apply to our own thinking and behavior as it concerns property today.
Third, it enlightens us on certain functions and purposes of the work Messiah would do.
Ultimately, Jubilee is about restoration and mercy.
The Jubilee is a supreme demonstration of God’s grace towards His People that is carried out by His People.
In other words, this law of Jubilee which reflects YHWH’s attributes of PERFECT justice, fairness, mercy, and redemption was not something the Israelites just sat around, contemplated and felt all maple syrupy about.
This law was to be OBSERVED!
It was to be lived out AND carried out BY HIS PEOPLE FOR HIS PEOPLE!
Undoubtedly, observing the law of Jubilee was one of the best ways to fulfill the commandment to “love YHWH your God with all your mind, soul, and strength, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself”.
So, through Jubilee, one of the main ways restoration and mercy were carried out was by obeying the regulations and rulings set down right here in Leviticus chapter 25.
The commands governing property rights encompass two perspectives: what is best for the clan or family unit, and what is best for the individual.
Another one of the main reasons for the Jubilee was to give an honest, hardworking man who for whatever unfortunate circumstances beyond his control found himself in poverty.
The Jubilee gave him (and his family) a fresh start.
To use a legal property term, the Jubilee gave him a new lease on life.
I’m sure there are some of you out there who would be thrilled at the chance to have a fresh start with all of your previous debts cancelled!
I know I’d like that.