So, Tzilah and I were discussing this yesterday, in relation to the previous week’s parasha, and out of our discussion bubbles the realization that the math is off a bit. Yeshua would have ‘started’ His ministry in 27 AD, at 30 years old, having been born in 3 BC. This would put the 40 years of khesed and khen, time for Yisra’el to do Teshuvah, from 27AD to 67AD, which is when Rome’s attack on Yerushalayim began. I’ve fixed the article below to reflect this. I had written this in haste one morning, and the math played tricks on me. The Yovel in 27AD would make the next Yovel in our time be 2027, a mere seven years away. Are we possibly in the last sh’mitah cycle of mankind, the last opportunity to ‘forgive’, to learn compassion?
A new chapter has begun in the life of our family. The old one closed pretty much just before Khanukah, just before we lit lights to celebrate the conception of Yeshua in this darkest time of year. “Perek” means chapter, and is a representation of my surname. And this year, our family is praying for ‘newness’ of life, and for ‘liberty’. We are starting a new ‘chapter’ in our lives, and we are welcoming it joyfully.
Since my memories go back so far, all the way to just before my fourth birthday, and I began learning scriptures at that early age in the historic Penfield church in Georgia, this year is looking to be a ‘yovel’ for us.
A Yovel is the fiftieth year of a cycle of years called “Sh’mita” years. Yovel is a ram’s horn, from which they make the shofar, which is blasted on Yom Kippur of the Yovel year. We are told a Yovel blew at Har Sinai [Shemot 19]. There is a 49 year cycle where every seventh year, the land lies dormant, giving the land itself a ‘sabbath’ [7th] rest for a year, a year of ‘release’. In the fiftieth year, after the seventh ‘sh’mita’ cycle, there is another year, called a year of ‘liberty’, making a back to back sabbath year for two years. “Yovel” is known to most as Jubilee. In this year, a Shofar is blown, and there is a proclamation throughout all the land: דְּרוֹר . There is a linguistic link in this word, ‘d’ror’, ‘liberty,’ to one of my favorite scriptures:
“[The] Ru’akh of Adonai יהוה is upon me; because יהוה has anointed me to bring good tidings unto the humble; He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the eyes that are bound; to proclaim the year of the good pleasure of יהוה ….”
One of the reasons that this scripture is so special to me is because Yeshua read this passage in the Beit K’nesset in Natzrat, His home town, before his family and the friends with whom he had grown up. I was contemplating all of this just this previous first day of the week, and began writing this blog. And then, by mid morning, I began to read the parasha for the week, and realized this passage of Yeshua’s visit to His home town synagogue was our Brit Khadashah portion for the week. In the Yesha-Yahu 61:1-2a portion, which Yeshua read from at the Bimah in Natzrat, the word there for ‘liberty’ is also ‘dror’, as in the Yovel passage, where a year of ‘liberty’ is declared, since Yeshua was reading this very passage. Yeshua declared this ‘liberty’ in His synagogue in Natzrat. Prophetically, I have been looking for the ‘benchmark’ of the biblical Yovel cycle for about twelve years now. Scholars differ on when the last Yovel cycle of the land of Yisra’el would have been. Some have said 67AD, some have said 70AD, and there are other ideas, but those are the two I’ve been waffling between a bit, but leaning toward the latter. The reason that I have searched for it for so long, is that years ago, while studying the Hitgalut [Revelation], I was praying and asking Abba to show me just a bit as to how close we might be to Messiah’s return and the restoration of all things. I determined that there must be a prophecy timepiece, a ‘key’. And then I read VaYikra 25-26. I ‘saw’ the Hitgalut in there! The Yovel cycle leaped out at me. “Time” in the scriptures had already come to mean a lot. I had already concluded that there are 6,000 years reserved for mankind, and a 7th “Shabbat” Millennium when Yeshua would rule on earth. I was wondering if we could get closer to knowing when the Shabbat Rest of Messiah Yeshua, the last Millennium, would start. I started doing basic math, and realized these facts:
A Yovel is a 50 year cycle
In a 6000 year period, there would be 120 Yovel cycles
Abba told No’akh “I have numbered man’s days to 120 years”
A Yovel is a figurative timeframe; there is an unfolding of time. There are ‘weeks of years’, etc.
From 70 AD to 2020 AD there would be 39 Yovel cycles, so 2020 would mark the beginning of a 40th Yovel from the destruction of the Temple.
40 is the number of judgment: the rains lasted for 40 days and 40 nights, Yisra’el wandered in the desert for 40 years, Torah’s limit of 40 lashes with the whip for punishment, 40 years of Philistine control, Yeshua fasted for 40 days, etc etc.
To me, this pointed to 2020 as a ‘possible’ yovel year, given that the Yovel not kept comes with a promise of judgment, and given that there are 39 cycles from 70AD to 2020. The 40th would be 2070, but I can’t see how our current state of mankind and prophecy could last that long. It could, but I just struggle believing it will. So, 2020 is still a possible demarcation of the Yovel cycle, IF 70 AD was indeed the last one. Which is how I leaned for years. These days, I am not so certain, even though 2020 is upon us, and the ‘signs of the times’ do seem to be quickening these days. It could all turn so fast. But, there still seems to be ‘too much’ to be fulfilled before the fall of 2020. And, there is no real biblical reason to believe that 70 AD was a Yovel year, other than the destruction of the Temple. Yeshua did predict that. But, He predicted the destruction of the Temple in the last year of His ministry, just before His execution. He said that the generation of that day would see its destruction. That was a warning. That would be only 40 years before 70 AD. There should have been a forty year cycle, a generation! A biblical ‘generation’ is 40 years. It would seem that Yeshua would have given Yisra’el forty years to repent from the time He first stood and declared, “Repent!”. A whole ‘generation’. If He started His ministry and declaration for ‘teshuvah’ in 27AD, then it was forty years before Rome sacked Yerushalayim in 67AD.
In the times of Yirme-Yahu, Yisra’el, which at that time was Yehudah and the return of the remnant of the 10 northern tribes, our Jewish people, was about to be punished for not keeping the Torah. One of the sins that יהוה punished Yisra’el for, that is called out in this Navi’s book, is that of not keeping the Sh’mitah and Yovel cycles. One of the great things about those cycles is the lesson of compassion. It is not just about giving the land rest, nor of relieving debt, but about learning to trust יהוה , and learning to demonstrate compassion to those in bondage. So many people today do not want to learn compassion. Especially among “Messianic” people who are bent on punishing people for ‘their’ infractions, which usually end up not being Torah infractions at all. The Yovel cycle calls to mind the same sins in Yisra’el that Elohim punished them for in sending them into captivity into Bavel. After Yeshua’s day, when they had been visited by Adon HaKavod, they refused to repent, and would not accept Messiah Yeshua as their Moshiah. For those 37 years, they chased, persecuted, and killed the Kadosh ones, the Khasidim, those who trusted in Messiah and obeyed the Torah. At the end of those 37 years, their spirit of “Mashi’akh HaSheker,” their מִתְנַגֵּד הַמָּשִׁיחַ spirit, ‘against Messiah’, was punished, and their Temple was destroyed. And their religious life became a ruin. They were scattered. As predicted by Yeshua. But, that was only 37 years after Yeshua predicted it. However, perhaps the benchmark of the Yovel has been hiding under our noses all the while. Yeshua declares a Yovel in our parashah this week! And this was FORTY years exactly before 67 AD! A ‘generation,’ time enough to warn of impending judgment.
“[The] Ru’akh of Adonai יהוה is upon me; because יהוה has anointed me to bring good tidings unto the humble; He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the eyes that are bound; to proclaim the year of the good pleasure of יהוה ….” The yovel year was indeed the “good pleasure of יהוה …”
Who better to ‘declare’ the Yovel than Yeshua the Messiah? Especially since it came with His anointing, miracles, and His declaration and warning: “The time has come to an end, and Malkhut HaElohim is at hand; repent, and trust in HaB’sorah.” He spoke these words just days before entering the Beit K’nesset at Natzrat and declaring Yesha-Yahu 61:1-2’s declaration of “D’ror”, Liberty! The Yovel? !
In the Hebrew, “likro lishvu’im dror’, gets rendered as ‘declare liberty for the captives’ in many translations. This is not wrong. However, there may be a hint in that middle word: sh’vu’im. The root word is very similar to the root for “seven/shabbat”, which would be what the seventh year of the cycle is called. And the Yesha-Yahu verse finishes with another declaration, the “Year of the Will [good will/favor] of יהוה .” But, more importantly, the idea of ‘dror’ and ‘good will’ being declared by Yeshua Himself in this first year of His ministry, is very telling, considering that the clock of mankind ‘revolves’ around Him. If he was born in 3 or 4 BC, then either 27 or 26 AD could have been the year He stood and read this passage. I tend to believe it was 3 BC, which would make our year of this ‘declaration’ 27AD. Yeshua then says, after reading this ‘good news,’ “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your ears..” If this is the case, then exactly 40 years later Rome sacked Yerushalayim. Forty years is the year of judgment in many scriptures/events of precedent. This forty years would have been an opportunity for Yisra’el to do teshuvah, which we know that only a remnant did, by returning to Elohim, and trusting in Messiah and not in their own Tzedaka. For forty years, starting with Messiah Himself, the B’sorah was declared and the Messianic community grew, and only the Messianic community fled Jerusalem before Rome shut it in in 67AD, forty years after Yeshua’s declaration of Yovel, until its destruction in 70AD. If this is the case, then 2027 may be a very interesting year, as that would be the next biblical Yovel, if my math is right. It may have been a Sabbath just before or after Yom Teru’ah or Yom Kippur when Yeshua stood and read, and ‘declared’ what looks strikingly like a Yovel. Would not it make sense that Messiah start His ministry with the official declaration of Yovel, “D’ror”, and that it coincide with the actual clock of scripture? And would it not then make sense that as soon as His Messianic ministry started, and the opposition of it, that forty years later, the time of judgment, the Temple would be destroyed, and all the punishments for breaking the Yovel would be meted out on Yisra’el? It is certainly something to consider more deeply. And it would be further sensible to see that there would be exactly 40 Yovels of time between Yeshua’s declaration and 2027, which ‘could’ mark the 6,000 year mark of the time appointed for man.
As my family and I enter into this time of ‘release,’ ‘freedom’, great joy, we will certainly be contemplating these things more deeply. Khanukah is a good place to start, too. So, may the approach to both 2020 and 2030 be rife with introspection and preparation of hearts.
Shalom to all, and Khanukah Same’akh!