ISAIAH AND HEZEKIAH’S JUBILEE YEAR
There is only one place in Scripture where a Jubilee is prophesied, described, and apparently lived out in Hebrew history. The story can be found in Isaiah 36-37, 2 Kings 18-19, and 2 Chronicles 32. It happened in the 14th year of Hezekiah, King of Judah. We know from Sacred Chronology that the 14th year of Hezekiah was 715 BCE. How do we know it was in 715 BCE? Glad you asked. 2 Kings 18:10-11, “And at the end of three years they took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11Then the king of Assyria carried Israel away captive to Assyria, and put them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.” The northern 10 tribes of Israel were taken captive to Assyria in 723 BCE, according to biblical and Assyrian records. 723 BCE was Hezekiah’s 6th year as King of Judah. Count forward 8 years from 723 BCE and you arrive at 715 BCE as Hezekiah’s 14th year. Isaiah 36:1, “Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah (715 BCE) that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.” Read the story, but during this attack, Isaiah gave Hezekiah the following prophecy:
Isaiah 37:30, “This shall be a sign to you:
You shall eat this year (7th year, 49th year, Sabbatical year) such as grows of itself,
And the second year (8th year, 50th year, Jubilee Year) what springs from the same;
Also in the third year (9th year, 1st year of next Sabbatical cycle) sow and reap,
Plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them.”
The prophecy is duplicated in 2 Kings 19:29, “This shall be a sign to you:
You shall eat this year such as grows of itself,
And in the second year what springs from the same;
Also in the third year sow and reap,
Plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them.”
This prophecy is not replicated in the same story as related in 2 Chronicles 32.
When you lay this prophecy out on a spreadsheet, the 50-year Jubilee calendar stands out as the simple, logical winner. The Jubilee Year is then made to be a year zero (0) in the Sabbatical Cycles. This only causes a problem for those who wish to see a never-ending cycle of 7-year Sabbaticals. But Yahweh deliberately commands a 50th year to be celebrated as a Jubilee in Leviticus 25. Yahweh’s command breaks the eternal cycle of 7-year Sabbaticals and causes the Jubilee Year to stand apart as a very special holy year of redemption and release for His people. If the world operated under this command today, we would not be in the financial mess we are in.
Under the 49-year Jubilee scenario, Isaiah would have spoken the prophecy on or after Nisan 1, 715 BCE, which would be Hezekiah’s 14th year. Under this 49-year Jubilee calendar, the Jubilee Year would have started with Yom Kippur in 716 BCE and ended with Yom Kippur in 715 BCE. This Jubilee Cycle and calendar works fine and all Sabbatical years, and the known events that happened during those years throughout Hebrew history, are perfectly synchronized. Under this 49-year scenario, the 7th Sabbatical year and the Jubilee Year are one and the same, therefore, a seeming 50-year Jubilee Cycle is completed in only 49 solar years, leaving no breaks between any Sabbatical Cycles.
Under the 50-year Jubilee scenario, Isaiah would have spoken the prophecy on or after Tishri 10, Yom Kippur, 715 BCE, which would still be Hezekiah’s 14th regnal year. Under this 50-year Jubilee calendar, the Sabbatical year would have been from Yom Kippur, 715 BCE to Yom Kippur of 714 BCE. Then following the Sabbatical year, under this 50-year Jubilee calendar, the Jubilee Year would have started with Yom Kippur in 714 BCE and ended with Yom Kippur in 713 BCE. Under this scenario, the Jubilee Year follows after the Sabbatical Year ends and the Jubilee Cycle takes up exactly 50 solar years to complete. And as an added bonus, under the 50-year Jubilee Cycle, year 1 of the first Sabbatical cycle is year 1 of solar human history. That fact adds weight to the 50-year Jubilee Cycle.
Under either scenario, Isaiah speaks the prophecy in the 7th Sabbatical Year, or 49th year, of the respective Jubilee Cycle, in Hezekiah’s 14th regnal year as King of Judah. As amazing as it may seem, these two Jubilee scenarios are in perfect harmony with each other. Look at Leviticus 25:9, “Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.” On the tenth day of the seventh month of WHICH YEAR, THE 49TH OR THE 50TH? Verse 8 speaks of the 49th year and verse 10 speaks of the 50th year. Is it possible that Yahweh left verse 9 purposely ambiguous so He could use both a 49-year and a 50-year Jubilee Cycle on His Divine Calendar system? My Sacred Chronology spreadsheet would answer yes.
Gene Benjamin II
August 14, 2011 CE