Jubilee

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(blast of trumpets). Year of, celebrated every fiftieth year; ushered in by blowing of trumpets; land rested; alienated lands reverted; slaves freed; outer circle of seventh or sabbatical system, year, month, and day (Lev. 25:8-558And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. 9Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. 10And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. 11A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. 12For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. 13In the year of this jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession. 14And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbor, or buyest ought of thy neighbor's hand, ye shall not oppress one another: 15According to the number of years after the jubilee thou shalt buy of thy neighbor, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee: 16According to the multitude of years thou shalt increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of years thou shalt diminish the price of it: for according to the number of the years of the fruits doth he sell unto thee. 17Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the Lord your God. 18Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. 19And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety. 20And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: 21Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years. 22And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat yet of old fruit until the ninth year; until her fruits come in ye shall eat of the old store. 23The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. 24And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land. 25If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold. 26And if the man have none to redeem it, and himself be able to redeem it; 27Then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; that he may return unto his possession. 28But if he be not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubilee: and in the jubilee it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession. 29And if a man sell a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year may he redeem it. 30And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be established for ever to him that bought it throughout his generations: it shall not go out in the jubilee. 31But the houses of the villages which have no wall round about them shall be counted as the fields of the country: they may be redeemed, and they shall go out in the jubilee. 32Notwithstanding the cities of the Levites, and the houses of the cities of their possession, may the Levites redeem at any time. 33And if a man purchase of the Levites, then the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, shall go out in the year of jubilee: for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel. 34But the field of the suburbs of their cities may not be sold; for it is their perpetual possession. 35And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. 36Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. 37Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. 38I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God. 39And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: 40But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubilee: 41And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return. 42For they are my servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondmen. 43Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor; but shalt fear thy God. 44Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. 45Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. 46And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigor. 47And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's family: 48After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: 49Either his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself. 50And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubilee: and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years, according to the time of an hired servant shall it be with him. 51If there be yet many years behind, according unto them he shall give again the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for. 52And if there remain but few years unto the year of jubilee, then he shall count with him, and according unto his years shall he give him again the price of his redemption. 53And as a yearly hired servant shall he be with him: and the other shall not rule with rigor over him in thy sight. 54And if he be not redeemed in these years, then he shall go out in the year of jubilee, both he, and his children with him. 55For unto me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 25:8‑55)).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This was the fiftieth year, coming at the end of every seventh Sabbatical year. The land was held as belonging to Jehovah, and if sold, or redeemed, the price must be reckoned according to the number of years to the next Jubilee, when all possessions returned to their former owners. Hebrew bond-servants also were set free in the year of Jubilee. If land was consecrated to Jehovah, it might be redeemed before the Jubilee, but if not redeemed by that time it became perpetually consecrated. The trumpet of the Jubilee was sounded in the tenth day of the seventh month, on the great day of atonement. It was to be a year of rest for the land, there being no sowing or reaping.
The Jubilee is clearly a type of the millennium. It follows Leviticus 24 wherein Israel is seen
1. according to the mind of God as in the place of His light and administration—but all sustained by Aaron, that is, Christ; for
3. are ultimately rescued and blessed according to God’s purposes, and on the ground of the day of atonement. Israel have sold themselves and their land to strangers; but when that glad period arrives all the promised land will return to Israel; and the bond-servants will be restored, no matter how powerful those may be who hold them.
It is a very disputed point as to what is the signification of the word Jubilee, or from what root it is derived. Except in Leviticus 25:99Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. (Leviticus 25:9) (where the Hebrew word is teruah, “loud of sound,” as in the margin) the word is yobel, translated “trumpet” in Exodus 19:1313There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. (Exodus 19:13); “rams’ horn” in Joshua 6: 4-6, 8, 13; and “Jubilee” in Leviticus 25:10-15, 28-5410And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. 11A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. 12For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. 13In the year of this jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession. 14And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbor, or buyest ought of thy neighbor's hand, ye shall not oppress one another: 15According to the number of years after the jubilee thou shalt buy of thy neighbor, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee: (Leviticus 25:10‑15)
28But if he be not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubilee: and in the jubilee it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession. 29And if a man sell a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year may he redeem it. 30And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be established for ever to him that bought it throughout his generations: it shall not go out in the jubilee. 31But the houses of the villages which have no wall round about them shall be counted as the fields of the country: they may be redeemed, and they shall go out in the jubilee. 32Notwithstanding the cities of the Levites, and the houses of the cities of their possession, may the Levites redeem at any time. 33And if a man purchase of the Levites, then the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, shall go out in the year of jubilee: for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel. 34But the field of the suburbs of their cities may not be sold; for it is their perpetual possession. 35And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. 36Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. 37Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. 38I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God. 39And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: 40But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubilee: 41And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return. 42For they are my servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondmen. 43Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor; but shalt fear thy God. 44Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. 45Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. 46And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigor. 47And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's family: 48After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: 49Either his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself. 50And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubilee: and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years, according to the time of an hired servant shall it be with him. 51If there be yet many years behind, according unto them he shall give again the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for. 52And if there remain but few years unto the year of jubilee, then he shall count with him, and according unto his years shall he give him again the price of his redemption. 53And as a yearly hired servant shall he be with him: and the other shall not rule with rigor over him in thy sight. 54And if he be not redeemed in these years, then he shall go out in the year of jubilee, both he, and his children with him. (Leviticus 25:28‑54)
; Leviticus 27:17-2417If he sanctify his field from the year of jubilee, according to thy estimation it shall stand. 18But if he sanctify his field after the jubilee, then the priest shall reckon unto him the money according to the years that remain, even unto the year of the jubilee, and it shall be abated from thy estimation. 19And if he that sanctified the field will in any wise redeem it, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall be assured to him. 20And if he will not redeem the field, or if he have sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed any more. 21But the field, when it goeth out in the jubilee, shall be holy unto the Lord, as a field devoted; the possession thereof shall be the priest's. 22And if a man sanctify unto the Lord a field which he hath bought, which is not of the fields of his possession; 23Then the priest shall reckon unto him the worth of thy estimation, even unto the year of the jubilee: and he shall give thine estimation in that day, as a holy thing unto the Lord. 24In the year of the jubilee the field shall return unto him of whom it was bought, even to him to whom the possession of the land did belong. (Leviticus 27:17‑24) and Numbers 36:44And when the jubilee of the children of Israel shall be, then shall their inheritance be put unto the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received: so shall their inheritance be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers. (Numbers 36:4). Fürst traces the word from yabal, “strong”: hence “a he-goat, ram,” and then “a ram’s horn,” and hence “a cry of joy, a joyful noise,” a designation of the great Jubilee feast.
There is difference of judgment as to when the year of Jubilee commenced. With this must be considered the SABBATICAL YEAR, which occurred every seven years. “Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; but in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for Jehovah: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard” (Lev. 25:3-43Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; 4But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. (Leviticus 25:3‑4)). These tables represent the last seven years before the Jubilee.
A No harvest. B No harvest.
lst year Ingathering. 1st year Ingathering.
Sowing. Sowing.
Harvest. Harvest.
2nd year Ingathering. 2nd year Ingathering.
Sowing, Sowing.
Harvest. Harvest.
3rd year Ingathering. 3rd year Ingathering.
Sowing. Sowing.
Harvest. Harvest.
4th year Ingathering. Sowing. 4th year Ingathering. Sowing.
Harvest. Harvest.
5th year Ingathering. 5th year Ingathering.
Sowing. Sowing
Harvest. Harvest
6th year Ingathering. 6th year Ingathering.
Sowing. Sowing.
Sabbatical No harvest. No ingathering. Sabbatical No harvest.
No sowing. Jubilee.
No harvest
Jubilee No ingathering. 1st year Ingathering.
No sowing. Sowing.
No harvest. Harvest.
1st year Ingathering. 2nd year Ingathering.
Sowing. Sowing.
The above passage speaks of six years of sowing, and six years of pruning the vineyard and gathering in the fruit thereof, but does not speak of six years of harvest. In the above tables it will be seen there would have been but five harvests in the seven years. Then the question arises, Did the Jubilee commence at the end of the seventh Sabbatical year, as in table A? If so there would be then three years without any harvest. If this was what God intended, He would have provided for His obedient people. Some however judge that the Jubilee year was really half of the seventh Sabbatical year, and half of the first year of the following seven, as in table B. This seems confirmed by the trumpet being sounded on the 10th day of the seventh month. Still it is called the fiftieth year (Lev. 25:8-118And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. 9Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. 10And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. 11A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. (Leviticus 25:8‑11)).
There is no record of the Sabbatical year and the year of Jubilee ever being kept. Leviticus 26:34-3534Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. 35As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it. (Leviticus 26:34‑35) predicts what would happen if the Israelites did not let the land keep the sabbaths. It reads almost like a prophecy: the land should lie desolate “because it did not rest in your sabbaths.” In Jeremiah 25:11-1211And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12And 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. (Jeremiah 25:11‑12); Jeremiah 29:1010For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. (Jeremiah 29:10) and Daniel 9:22In 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. (Daniel 9:2) the actual desolation is said to be seventy years. And as the land was to have rested one year in every seven, it follows that the 70 answering to 70x7=490 years. Now the kingdom began B.C. 1095, and Jerusalem was taken in 606, which is just 490 years, and seems to confirm the silence in the history of Israel as to their giving the land the prescribed sabbaths. Apparently in this, as in everything else, they failed to obey; but the Jubilee will be made good to them in grace when they own their Messiah.

From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

The Year of Jubilee was ushered in by the sound of trumpets through the land, every fiftieth year, on the Great Day of Atonement. Like the Sabbatical Year, it was a year of rest to the soil (Lev. 25:1111A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. (Leviticus 25:11)). Thus two idle years came together every fifty years, and God promised by special providence to give such a plentiful harvest during the sixth year that there should be enough until the harvest of the ninth year could be gathered (Lev. 25:20-2220And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: 21Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years. 22And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat yet of old fruit until the ninth year; until her fruits come in ye shall eat of the old store. (Leviticus 25:20‑22)). See also 2 Kings 19:2929And this shall be a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such things as grow of themselves, and in the second year that which springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruits thereof. (2 Kings 19:29); Isaiah 37:3030And this shall be a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such as groweth of itself; and the second year that which springeth of the same: and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof. (Isaiah 37:30). A similar providence no doubt watched over the productions of the season before the Sabbatical Year, in addition to the spontaneous growth of that year. All their transfers of real estate were made in reference to the Year of Jubilee, and the poor and unfortunate were specially favored (Lev. 25).