Jubilee and Ezekiel the Priest
Ezekiel the Priest
Preserved the Jubilee Calendar
Ezekiel the prophet was first a priest of Yahweh Most High. Ezekiel 1:3, “the word of Yahweh came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans (Babylon) by the River Chebar; and the hand of Yahweh was upon him there.” Apparently, Ezekiel was a righteous, faithful priest, for Yahweh gave him marvelous visions of the Kingdom and its future. Amazingly, Yahweh did not call Ezekiel to the office of prophet, until five years AFTER he had been taken captive by the Babylonians, during the Second Deportation of Jews, after King Jehoiakim died in his 11th year. For Ezekiel to be captured, and count his captivity by the same year count as young King Jehoiachin, Ezekiel may have been working with his priestly division in Jerusalem on the very day that King Jehoiachin was taken captive. That day was Adar 2, 598 BCE, according to Babylonian records. Because young King Jehoiachin began his short 3 month, 10 day reign (2 Kings 24:8; 2 Chronicles 36:9) after King Jehoiakim died, in the fall of 599 BCE, Ezekiel reckoned his and King Jehoiachin’s captivity years from Tishri 1, 599 BCE, notated as 599t for Tishri reckoning. Thanks to Rodger C. Young for giving the Bible student and scholar a good notation system for reckoning Israel’s and Judah’s king reigns. n=Nisan, t=Tishri reckoning. 2 Kings 24:12, “Then Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his servants, his princes, and his officers went out to the king of Babylon; and the king of Babylon, in the eighth year (per Hebrew reckoning, 599n) of his reign, took him prisoner.” 2 Chron. 36:10, “At the turn of the year (could easily mean exactly on Nisan 1 or 2, 598 BCE) King Nebuchadnezzar summoned him (Jehoiachin) and took him to Babylon, with the costly articles from the house (Temple) of Yahweh, and made Zedekiah, Jehoiakim’s brother, king over Judah and Jerusalem.” Babylonian records show Adar 2 as the date Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin, but the Scriptures say “at the turn of the year”. The point is, King Jehoiachin, Ezekiel, Mordecai and orphaned very young Esther (See Esther 2:5-6), and probably Nehemiah also (See Nehemiah 7:6-7), were taken captive in this SECOND DEPORTATION of Jews in the winter/spring of 599/598 BCE. Scribes recorded this second deportation in Jeremiah 52:28, “These are the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year (Babylonian reckoning, still 599n), three thousand and twenty-three Jews;” The division of priests working on Adar 2, 598 BCE, was the order of Abijah; it’s possible that Ezekiel was a member of this priestly division. The division of priests working on Nisan 1, 598 BCE was the order of Jakim; maybe Ezekiel was a member of this priestly division. We’ll have to wait and ask him.
Please try to get a picture in your mind of Ezekiel, working in the Temple as a priest in early 598 BCE. From many chronological scripture references in the Book of Ezekiel, it is known that Ezekiel was quite familiar with Yahweh’s calendar system. It’s even possible that Ezekiel was one of the priests that actually kept track of the calendar for his Hebrew nation. That is my personal belief, and I believe the word brought forth in this article will bear this out. It is very possible that Ezekiel was the priest ordered to report the new month/new year to King Jehoiachin, either on Adar 2, 598 BCE, or on Nisan 1, 598 BCE. It’s possible that they were actually sitting down together for a royal dinner, celebrating the new moon (Rosh Chodesh) festival, when King Nebuchadnezzar’s commander came in and arrested them. I believe this is exactly what the Babylonian and Scriptural records reveal. 2 Chronicles 36:10 above seems to indicate that King Jehoiachin and his attendants may have been held in chains in Jerusalem until after the turn of the regnal year for King Nebuchadnezzar. Why? Vanity perhaps, or pressing year-end kingdom matters, but we know it would take some weeks or months to collect all the prominent people in Jerusalem and valuable items from the Temple and prepare a caravan of captives for the trek to Babylon.
Apparently, a bunch of them made it to Babylon alive, for we see in Ezekiel 1:1-2, that 5 years later, Ezekiel is called as a prophet of Yahweh Most High. 1:1-2, “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year (during the 30th year of the JUBILEE CYCLE!!), in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month (Tamuz 5, 594 BCE), as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of Yahweh. 2On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity.” See the embedded spreadsheet sample for a breakdown of these years, but we know that Ezekiel and King Jehoiachin were captured in year 599t. Therefore, we know that Jehoiachin’s 5th year is year 595t (get your brain to think inclusively). Notice that Ezekiel did not record his calling until the following summer, on Tamuz 5, 594 BCE, which was still Jehoiachin’s 5th year, 595t. King Jehoiachin’s 5th year was therefore from Tishri 1, 595 BCE, to Elul 29/30, 594 BCE, 12 months known as 595t. Notice that Ezekiel DID NOT write the word “Jubilee” when he wrote of the 30th year. Remember, Ezekiel was a captive in the pagan hostile nation of Babylon, which was in the process of destroying the Kingdom and nation of Judah and its religion, Judaism. Personally, I believe Ezekiel was purposefully writing a historical record, tracking the Jubilee cycle for his Hebrew nation and religion, but coded his message enough so the Chaldeans would not execute him for treason or sedition against Babylon.
It was exactly three years ago (around Nisan 1, 2009 CE) this week (Nisan 1, 2012 CE) that Yahweh first gave me the revelation of Ezekiel 1:1-3. Happy New Year by the way!! I’ve been digging into the book of Ezekiel for these last 3 years and into Yahweh’s calendar for the last 6 ½ years. My wife thinks I’m nuts and a bit introverted at times, but this is the most exciting study of my life!! Ezekiel divulges, defines, describes, declares, and demonstrates the JUBILEE CYCLE OF YAHWEH, all in language tied to his king’s captivity, so he won’t get killed, and yet Yahweh’s word and Jubilee calendar will be preserved for all humanity for eternity!!! Ezekiel was elegantly brilliant in his masterful recording of real history and the real Jubilee Cycle.
Now, we will jump forward 20 years in Ezekiel’s and King Jehoiachin’s captivity, to Ezekiel 40:1. Thanks again to Rodger C. Young for pointing me to the Hebrew of Ezekiel 40:1. What is revealed in this one tiny obscure verse of the Scriptures blew my mind away, again. 40:1, “In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year (the Hebrew literally reads: at Rosh Hashanah, at the beginning of the JUBILEE Year!), on the tenth day of the month (Yom Kippur!), in the fourteenth year after the city was captured, on the very same day (Ezekiel specifically notes a special day, Yom Kippur, begin JUBILEE!) the hand of Yahweh was upon me; and He took me there.” From my personal research of hundreds of scripture references, including 2 Chronicles 36:10 above, Ezekiel 40:1 is the ONLY VERSE IN THE SCRIPTURES WHERE THE PHRASE “AT ROSH HASHANAH” IS USED!!! Every Jew and most Messianic believers know what Rosh Hashanah means; it’s the turn of the Jewish civil year in the seventh month of Tishri. A normal Rosh Hashanah occurs on Tishri 1, with the Feast of Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets, NOT on Tishri 10, which is Yom Kippur, as Ezekiel used here. When Rosh Hashanah is declared on Tishri 10, Yom Kippur, it is the announcement of the JUBILEE YEAR!!! Here’s Yahweh’s Law through Moses on the matter, Leviticus 25:8-13, “‘And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. 9Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month (Tishri); on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. 10And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. 11That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. 12For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field. 13‘In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession.’’”
Look at the spreadsheet again, but by the time Ezekiel recorded 40:1 in his 25th year of captivity, it was Tishri 10, Yom Kippur, in the year 575 BCE, 575t. Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem had been destroyed 14 years before in the summer of 588 BCE. Ezekiel could not blow a trumpet; he may not have had a trumpet available anyway. The Jews could not celebrate the Jubilee; they could no longer offer the sacrifices for the Day of Atonement, the Temple was demolished, as was most of Jerusalem. They were in captivity in a hostile foreign nation. The Kingdom of Judah was no more, but the nation of Judah was alive and prospering in Babylon. The Jews of Ezekiel’s captivity days could not observe the Feasts of Yahweh, nor celebrate the Jubilee Year, nor could they return to their own possession, their real estate in the Holy Land, BUT EZEKIEL SUBTLY RECORDED THE FACT OF THE JUBILEE YEAR, again in coded language so the Babylonians would not recognize what he was doing, again preserving his life and the life of his people, as well as the Jubilee Calendar of Yahweh, and the Word of Yahweh! Wise, very wise, thank you, Ezekiel!! The Sacred Chronology synchronism found between Ezekiel 1:1-3 and Ezekiel 40:1 is one of the most profound, beautiful, mysterious, revelatory codes found in the Scriptures!! I’m still speechless and humbled.
Now, I want you to get a handle on HOW Ezekiel interpreted Leviticus 25, regarding the Jubilee Year. Was it a 49th year Jubilee year, or a 50th year Jubilee year? My spreadsheet shows clearly how Ezekiel understood Leviticus 25 to be interpreted. Ezekiel understood the Jubilee Cycle and Year to be a larger picture of the mini-cycle demonstrated in the Feast of Weeks, or Feast of Shavuot, Pentecost. During the 7-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, a Sabbath day occurs. The day after this Sabbath is the Feast of First Fruits and the beginning of the 50-day omer count to the Feast of Shavuot, Pentecost. You always begin the count on the Sunday after the Sabbath that occurs during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and then Shavuot, or Pentecost, is ALWAYS on a Sunday, 50 days later, after an interval of 7 Sabbaths have passed. Yahweh said seven Sabbaths of years, well seven Sabbaths of days or years equal 49 years, or days. Shavuot is always a separate day from the preceding Sabbath day, Jubilee Year is always a separate year from the preceding 7th Sabbatical year. The 49th year is a Sabbatical year, and the Jubilee is ALWAYS the NEXT YEAR, the 50th year, which is also the 1st year of the next Jubilee Cycle. That’s the way Ezekiel described it, that’s the way I believe it, you know . . . that settles it for me.
Beginning at Ezekiel’s and Jehoiachin’s 5th captivity year 5 in 595 BCE, we add 20 years and come to their 25th year of captivity in 575 BCE, 5 + 20 = 25. Well, their 5th year of captivity was equated to the 30th year of the Jubilee in Ezekiel 1:1-2, so 30 + 20 years = 50th year, NOT the 49th year. 575 BCE, the 50th year, was therefore the Jubilee year, not the previous year of 576 BCE, the 49th, or 7th Sabbatical year. Look at Leviticus 25 above again. In verse 8 Yahweh says 7 sabbaths of years will be 49 years. In verse 10, Yahweh says you will consecrate the 50th year as the Jubilee Year. Verse 9 tells us to blow the trumpet of the Jubilee on Tishri 10, Yom Kippur, BUT IN WHICH YEAR? the 49th or the 50th year? I believe Ezekiel’s and Jehoiachin’s life in captivity, which is ancient Judah’s real true history, and Scripture, reveal that he understood the trumpet was to be blown on Tishri 10, Yom Kippur, of the 50th year, AFTER counting seven Sabbaths of years, or 49 years. The Scriptures clearly reveal this, and my embedded spreadsheet upholds Ezekiel’s interpretation of Leviticus 25, the 50th year is the Year of Jubilee!! Yahweh is just so wise and cool, he embeds a 50th year Jubilee in a 49-year cycle, just by making the 50th year Jubilee the 1st year, or starting year, of the next Jubilee cycle!! He is awesome! You can refute my spreadsheet if you want to, it’s not Scripture, but you will have a hard time refuting Ezekiel and Yahweh.
Just for icing on the revelation, turn to Isaiah 37:30 and his words of promise to Judah’s King Hezekiah, during Israel’s (the northern 10 tribes) last days as a nation, “This shall be a sign to you: You shall eat this year (the 7th, or Sabbatical year, the 49th year) such as grows of itself (can’t harvest because of the Sabbatical year), and the second year (the 8th, or Jubilee Year, the 50th year) what springs from the same (glean what grows of itself again); also in the third year (the 9th, or 2nd year of the new Sabbatical and Jubilee Cycle, the year AFTER the 50th year) sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them.” This Scripture makes no sense on a 49th-year Jubilee calendar, but ONLY makes sense on a 50th-year Jubilee calendar. Notice how Isaiah 37:30 meshes with Leviticus 25:20-22, “And if you say, “What shall we eat in the seventh year, since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?” 21Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years (either years 6, 7, & 8, the 48th, 49th, and 50th years, or years 7, 8, & 9, the 49th, 50th and 51st years!!). 22And you shall sow in the eighth year (AFTER the Jubilee ends in the fall), and eat old produce until the ninth year (year 9, the 2nd year of the next Jubilee Cycle, the 51st year); until its produce comes in, you shall eat of the old harvest (from the 6th year).” Any way you look at Lev. 25:20-22, Yahweh was going to provide enough produce to last 3 years, which would always include 1 Sabbatical and 1 Jubilee year!!! Isn’t that beautiful? Yahweh, Moses, Isaiah, and Ezekiel are all in agreement. This revelation of Ezekiel’s Jubilee in 575 BCE has interesting ramifications for the chronology of WHEN, in WHAT YEAR, did Isaiah give his prophecy to King Hezekiah? I have not seen a solid answer from any scholar to date, none based on Ezekiel’s Jubilee anyway. Ezekiel’s Sacred Chronology of his Jubilee Year settles the issue for all eternity, but Isaiah will have to wait for another post.
There is no Scriptural evidence that any Jubilee has ever been observed or celebrated by the nation of Israel, northern or southern kingdom. Some say we can’t celebrate it, because we have no Temple in Jerusalem. Some say we don’t celebrate it, because we’re in the gap period AFTER Daniel’s 69th week (which ended at Yeshua’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Nisan 10), but BEFORE Daniel’s 70th week, which will be the tribulation seven years. Any way you look at it, WE WILL OBSERVE AND CELEBRATE THE NEXT JUBILEE YEAR ON EARTH! And remember, the 7th year, or Sabbatical year of Daniel’s 70th week is a 49th year (490th actually) of a long, though interrupted, 490-year, 10-Jubilee Cycle. THE NEXT JUBILEE WILL BE THE YEAR AFTER DANIEL’S 70TH WEEK, BEGINNING ON TISHRI 10, YOM KIPPUR, IN THE 50TH YEAR, THE BEGINNING OF A NEW JUBILEE CYCLE (THE 8TH YEAR), UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT OF OUR LORD, MASTER, HIGH PRIEST AND KING, YESHUA!!! Don’t miss it; it will be a Jubilee Year to remember.
Oh yeah, the next Jubilee Year, based on Ezekiel’s Jubilee in 575 BCE, IF Daniel’s GAP ends soon, will begin on Tishri 10, Yom Kippur, in 2023 CE!! This of course, means that the 7-year tribulation must kick off in the fall of 2016 CE!! Oh my, time is short!!EZEKIEL DIVULGES, DEFINES, DESCRIBES, DECLARES, AND DEMONSTRATES THE 50 YEAR JUBILEE!!
JUBILEE CYCLE YEAR NUMBER
KING JEHOIACHIN AND EZEKIEL’S CAPTIVITY YEAR
YEAR BCE TISHRI RECKONING
JERUSALEM CAPTURED YEAR COUNT
INCLUSIVE CONTROL YEAR COUNTEzekiel 1:1-2, “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year (began on Tishri 1, 595 BCE), in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month (Tamuz 5, 594 BCE, ), as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of Yahweh. 2On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity (began on Tishri 1, 595 BCE),”
1Ezekiel received 1:1-2 on Tamuz 5, 594 BCE, but the 30th year of the Jubilee Cycle began last fall on Tishri 1, 595 BCE and King Jehoiachin’s 5th year of captivity is reckoned from Tishri 1, 595 BCE! End year 30 & 5 on Elul 29/30.
2End year 31 & 6 on Elul 29/30.
3Eny year 32 & 7 on Elul 29/30.
4End year 33 & 8 on Elul 29/30.
5End year 34 & 9 on Elul 29/30.
6End year 35 & 10 on Elul 29/30.
7JERUSALEM FELL SUMMER 588 BCE. End year 36 & 11 on Elul 29/30.
8End year 37 & 12 on Elul 29/30.
9End year 38 & 13 on Elul 29/30.
10End year 39 & 14 on Elul 29/30.
11End year 40 & 15 on Elul 29/30.
12End year 41 & 16 on Elul 29/30.
13End year 42 & 17 on Elul 29/30.
14End year 43 & 18 on Elul 29/30.
15End year 44 & 19 on Elul 29/30.
16End year 45 & 20 on Elul 29/30.
17End year 46 & 21 on Elul 29/30.
18End year 47 & 22 on Elul 29/30.
19End year 48 & 23 on Elul 29/30. NOTICE: EZEKIEL DID NOT DECLARE THE JUBILEE ON YOM KIPPUR, TISHRI 10, WHEN THE 49TH YEAR BEGAN THIS FALL!! 30 + 20 = 50 (NOT 49TH YEAR!), 5 + 20 = 25 (NOT 24TH YEAR!). BUT THIS YEAR IS A SABBATICAL YEAR!
20End year 49 & 24 on Elul 29/30. Ezekiel 40:1, “In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity (began on Tishri 1, 575 BCE), at the beginning of the year (Hebrew literally reads at Rosh Hashanah), on the tenth day of the month (Yom Kippur, Tishri 10), in the fourteenth year after the city (Jerusalem) was captured, on the very same day the hand of Yahweh was upon me; and He took me there.” NOTICE: 595 TO 575 BCE IS 21 YEARS INCLUSIVE, NOT 20!! THIS JUBILEE YEAR IS ALSO THE 1ST YEAR OF THE NEXT 49-YEAR JUBILEE CYCLE!!
21The Jubilee Year ended on Elul 29/30, 574 BCE.
Until He comes, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Gene Benjamin II
March 23, 2012 CE
Nisan 1, 6012
Nisan 1, 5772 Jewish