The Year of Jubilee – What is it?

The Year of Jubilee was instituted by God for the nation of Israel in Leviticus 25. It occurred every fifty years as a special sabbatical year after seven cycles of seven years. On the tenth day of the seventh month, a ram's horn was blown to begin the celebration. The Hebrew word for "jubilee" literally means "ram's horn."

During this Year of Jubilee, the land was to rest (no sowing or reaping). Slaves, servants, and even captives were to be released. Property was to be returned to original owners. Outstanding debts were to be canceled. It was a year of rest for land and people.

The Year of Jubilee foreshadowed the salvation offered by Jesus. He sets us free from our slavery to sin (Romans 8:2; Galatians 3:22; 5:1; Luke 4:17–21). He forgives, or cancels, the debt we owe to God because of our sin (Colossians 2:13–14). He gives us rest from our labors (Matthew 11:28–30). It is impossible to attain righteousness by our own efforts. Rather, we find salvation and rest in Jesus Christ based on His work on the cross (Hebrews 4:9–10; Ephesians 2:8–10).

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