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People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Jubilee. Leviticus 25:1-55. A festal year prescribed by the Hebrew law. It recurred every fiftieth year, after seven Sabbaths of years—not being, as some have supposed, the seventh sabbatical year—marking off a great cycle of time, so that at each half century the Israelitish polity began, as it were, afresh; a new morning of holy gratulation and recovered strength dawning on the land. All Hebrew servants were set free, pledges of lands, personal property rights alienated for any reason, were restored, there being only one exception—that of houses built in walled towns. Leviticus 25:29-31. All were to be put back, as far as possible, into the position in which they began the 50 years. The account of this institution, which had its type in the weekly Sabbath, is carefully given in the law. Leviticus 25:8-16; Leviticus 25:23-55. The jubilee commenced on the tenth day of the seventh month, and was proclaimed through the whole country. It was to be a year when, as in the sabbatical year, the land lay untitled; nor was there any formal gathering of its spontaneous produce, which was to be absolutely free to all comers. It has been disputed whether the law of the jubilee ever came into full operation. Little is directly recorded: but there are several allusions to it. Numbers 36:4; Isaiah 61:1-2; Ezekiel 7:12-13; Ezekiel 46:16-18. No doubt, like other commandments of the law, it was neglected in days of declension and apostasy. It must have pointed forward also to that future state of glorious spiritual freedom, where the inheritance of each redeemed one is his forever, no forfeiture of his high privileges to be dreaded in God's eternal kingdom.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Jubilee'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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Thursday, December 12th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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