Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, June 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 25

Gaebelein's Annotated BibleGaebelein's Annotated

Verses 1-55

4. The Sabbatic Year and the Year of Jubilee


1. The Sabbatic year (Leviticus 25:1-7 )

2. The jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-12 )

3. The jubilee and the land (Leviticus 25:13-28 )

4. The jubilee and the dwelling houses (Leviticus 25:29-34 )

5. The jubilee, the poor and the bondmen (Leviticus 25:35-55 )

This is the great restoration chapter in Leviticus. All is connected preeminently with Israel’s land. The application, which has been made, that this chapter foreshadows a universal restitution of all things, including the wicked dead and Satan as well, is unscriptural. If such a restitution were true the Bible would contradict itself. The Sabbatic year could only be kept after Israel came into the land. “When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a Sabbath unto the Lord.” And Jehovah uttered these words from Mount Sinai and not from the tabernacle (Leviticus 1:1 ). Every seventh year, the land which belongs to Jehovah, and which was not to be sold, had to enjoy complete rest. See what gracious promises Jehovah had given in connection with the Sabbatic year (Leviticus 25:20-22 ). Jehovah was the Lord of the land, the owner of the land, and Israel received the land as a gift; they were the tenants. Beautifully the Lord said: “Ye are strangers and sojourners with Me.” When Israel sinned and broke the laws of Jehovah, when they did not give the land its rest, the Lord drove the people out of the land. Read here 26:32-35. “And I will bring the land into desolation and your enemies which dwelt therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the nations, and will draw out a sword after you, and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her Sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your Sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.” This prediction has been fulfilled. Israel is scattered among the nations of the earth and the land is desolate, a witness for the Word of God. Jehovah in giving the law concerning the Sabbatic year, gave to His people a picture of that coming rest, and the assurance of joy and blessing. But they failed.

The year of jubilee shows clearly the restoration which is in store for Israel and Israel’s land. It points once more to the millennial times of blessing and glory. How blessedly is that coming age of restoration and of glory seen in the year of jubilee! Without entering into details we give a few of the divine statements. What did the jubilee year mean to Israel? Liberty was proclaimed; every man returned to his possession; every man to his family; all wrongs were righted and the redemption of the bondmen took place. Seven times the word “return” is used; and oftener the word “redeem.” It was the time of returning, the blessed time of restoration and redemption.

And how was this year of jubilee ushered in? By the sound of the trumpet of the jubilee on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement. This great year of returning and redemption began with the day of atonement. Most likely after the high priest had returned from his holy office work and sprinkling of blood; after he had put the sins of the people upon the scapegoat and that sacrificial animal bearing upon its head Israel’s sin had vanished in the wilderness, the trumpet sounded. What all this means we have seen in the annotations of the “day of atonement” chapter. The year of jubilee begins, when our Lord comes back from the Holiest and appears in the midst of His people. And this time of restoration, blessing and glory is not confined to Israel’s land. It means more than the promised blessings for that land. We have the year of jubilee in Romans 8:19-23 .

We must not forget the significance of the time, the fiftieth year. The day of Pentecost came fifty days after the resurrection of Christ from among the dead. And the fiftieth day brought, as the result of the death and resurrection of Christ, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the formation of the church began. It came on the eighth day, the first day of the week. The year of jubilee may well be termed another Pentecost. On that day a great outpouring of the Spirit of God will take place (Joel 2:28 ). The kingdom with all its glories and blessings will be established upon the earth. And how much more might be added to these blessed foreshadowings of the good things to come!

Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Leviticus 25". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/leviticus-25.html. 1913-1922.
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