Part 1 THE SOLEMNITY OF THE SABBATHS OF YHWH

BY: Dr. Grepor " Butch" Belgica

YHWH the Creator of the universe distinguished the seventh day as “holy” or sanctified after He created the heavens and the earth. He worked six days and rested the seventh. God called the seventh day the Sabbath. Every week since creation, the weekly clock has followed the same pattern of six days for work followed by one day for rest (Sabbath).

God applied the same pattern to a week (7) of years. He told the children of Israel to plant and to harvest their land for six years and then let the land rest the seventh year. Leviticus 25:3-4 For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits, 4 but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the LORD. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. He called the seventh year a Sabbath too, the second time scale in the cycles of seven. It is also called a sabbatical year or Shemitah.

The week (7) of seven years (7 x 7years) is called a sabbatical cycle which precedes the year of Jubilee. Seven sabbaticals (Shemitahs) is the third time scale for the weekly pattern). YHWH God ushers His people to the year of Jubilee to bring restoration to His people, and families to their land: a time for economic equilibrium, which in current jargon is “leveling the playing field” and thus remove the disparity  or “bridge the gap” between the rich and the poor. The Jubilee is also known as a new beginning, not only because it is the year of liberty for all but also the beginning of the next (or new) sabbatical cycle.

2Peter 3:8  But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. . For almost 6,000 years the earth has been corrupted by sin. Then  on the seventh millennial (7,000 years) the earth will have a Sabbath rest for 1,000 years in the millennial reign of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).

Sabbath

Man

7 days

6 days work 7th day rest in the Lord

Shemitah

Land

7 years

6 years sowing & reaping 7th year rest

Jubilee

Nation

7x7years

6x7 years trading, lending and borrowing 50th year release

Millenial Reign

Earth

7x 1000yrs

6 mil Man reigns & struggles for survival 7th mil Messiah reigns Shalom

 

God’s Sabbath Years are Important

The children of Israel were not faithful to God.  For 490+ years they refused to allow their land to rest during the Sabbaticals.  For 70 Land-Sabbath years, the land was not allowed its Sabbath rest. Because of their disobedience, God allowed the children of Israel to be taken captive to Babylon for 70 years. While they were in Babylon, the land back in Jerusalem enjoyed its 70 Sabbath years of rest.

Leviticus 26 provides the sanctions that God would impose upon His nation for the years that Israel did not obey the specifications of a sabbatical year.

Then the land will enjoy its Sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies’ land; then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths.  All the days of its desolation it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your Sabbaths, while you were living on it (Lev. 26:34-35).

For the land shall be abandoned by them, and shall l make up for its Sabbaths while it is made desolate without them. They, meanwhile, shall be making amends for their iniquity, because they rejected My ordinances and their soul abhorred My statutes (Lev. 26:43).

The Hebrew Bible according to the Jewish canon ends with the book of Chronicles. The Judeans were exiled was to allow the land to enjoy its Sabbath rest – “until seventy years have gone by, it will keep Sabbath throughout the days of its desolation.” (2 Chr 36:21).

The verse implies that during the reign of the Israelite kings from David onwards (1,050 BC to 587 BC) the land of Israel had never enjoyed its sabbatical year as commanded by Moses in the book of Leviticus .

For about 490 years from David’s reign to the exile, the land was farmed continually until it was long overdue for a Sabbath rest, in fact up to 70 years.

Why did the Israelite kings refuse to obey the law of Sabbath rest for the land which is enjoined upon them every seven years?

It is purely economics. It is just not economical to let the land lie fallow for a period of one year when harvests can be gathered year in and year out. In short, they would suffer financially and materially.  They did not keep the land Sabbaths so God arranged for the land to rest,  while they were in Babylon.

So in 606 BC Babylon invades the land and takes captives and installs a vassal king in Jerusalem. Nineteen years (19 years) go past and Jeremiah tells the king and people that Babylon is God’s tool for judgment and they are to repent.

Jer 37:1 And Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, became king in place of Coniah, whom Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, made king in the land of Judah.

Jer 37:1  Then the word of the Lord came to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, The Lord, the God of Israel, has said: This is what you are to say to the king of Judah who sent you to get directions from me:…. 8 And the Chaldeans will come back again and make war against this town and they will take it and put it on fire.

The king of Judah did not keep the agreement and rebelled against the king of Babylon.  Babylon burned the city and the temple to the ground on the 9th of Av 587 BC.  The people are carried off to Babylon including Daniel and his friends.

1 Chronicles 36 v 20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon, where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:  21 To fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill the Seventy years. 2 Chronicles 36: 20-21

see also Jeremiah 25:11  12 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 

Jer 25:12  And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. 

Daniel 9:1  In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; 

Dan 9:2  In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. 

The land has a Sabbath rest as the people are taken into slavery. The Lord Himself enforces the Sabbath law.

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