Sabbatical Year

There were periods of holiday in every year, to say nothing of the famous Sabbatical Year - every seventh year the fields were not sown, the vineyards not pruned, no fruit or produce was to be gathered. All this as a way of acknowledging that the land belonged to God. It would mean that John began his mission in the year 26, and there is reason to believe that that was a Sabbatical year. The land must rest fallow each seventh year. The owners laid up corn in the previous years for it. Began in the seventh month, and the whole law was then read during the feast of tabernacles; so that holy occupation, not apathetic rest, characterized it. At the completion of the week of sabbatical years (50) the jubilee year crowned the whole. These years were observed in the New Testament and the Judaizers even sought to enforce their observance on Gentile Christians.

The jubilee secured rest and restoration for the body politic, to recover that general equality which Joshua's original settlement contemplated; hence no religious observances were prescribed, simply the trumpets sounded the glad note of restoration. The leisure of the Jubilee year was, perhaps, devoted to school and instruction of the people, the reading of the Law and such services.

The septennial rest for the land from all tillage and cultivation as enjoined by Moses. "Sabbath of Rest," to afford true spiritual rest and quickening, with their attendant life and blessing. The enjoyment of the fruits of the earth, free from care, which the Lord their God gave and ever would give them if they strove to keep his covenant and take quickening from his law.
[318, 377, BD, 402]

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