> I was under the impression that the Jubilee year is the 50th year
> (i.e., the
> year after the seventh sabbatical year), and hence occurs every
> 49 years.
I don't understand this statement. It is the 50th year. The counting begins
the year after the Jubilee year. That is year one. Seven periods of seven
make 49 years after the last Jubilee year. The next year is the 50th year
after the last Jubilee year. The 50th year is not counted in the cycle.
There are 49 years between every jubilee year.
> are stating that it is every 50th. Wouldn't the Jubilee years begin to
> separate farther and farther from the seventh sabbatical year if
> it was true
> that they actually occur 50 years from one another? But you have
> assumed that
> the Jubilee year immediately follows the seventh sabbatical year.
> Then you
> said "[f]ifty years later, exactly, Isaiah announces the return of Jews to
> their homeland in language of the deror" as if that means 50 years after
> Zedekiah's time. Yet this appears to refer to Isa 37:30 (= 2
> Kings 19:29), but
> this refers to Sennacherib's siege of Hezekiah sometime between
> 701 and 681
> BCE. Then you say "100 years prior to Zedekiah's tenth year,
> 688-687, would
> also have been a Jubilee year, and the year before that a
> sabbatical year" and
> relate that date to the prophesy of Isaiah (and I will even agree
> that 688 BCE
> may very well be the correct year for it). I am afraid that I am getting a
> case of vertigo!
If you think this is bad, try counting into Jesus' time! Then you have to
remember there was no year zero, and to figure out whether you add or
subtract to account for the missing zero. That's what gave me vertigo!
> You also stated that during the 10th yr of Zedekiah (588 BCE),
> "there was a
> general manumission of (Hebrew) slaves (albeit rescinded)." I
> wonder if this
> has been compressed a bit. If, based on the datings from Josephus, a
> sabbatical year occurred in 591/590 BCE, a Jubilee could then
> have occurred in
> 590/589 BCE. Then ...
Hmmm. What is the reference please?
> RSV Jeremiah 34:15 "You recently [i.e., in 590-589 BCE] repented
> and did what
> was right in my eyes by proclaiming liberty, each to his neighbor, and you
> made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my
> name; 16 but then
> you turned around and profaned my name when each of you took back
> his male and
> female slaves, whom you had set free according to their desire, and you
> brought them into subjection to be your slaves. 17 Therefore,
> thus says the
> LORD: You have not obeyed me by proclaiming liberty, every one to
> his brother
> and to his neighbor; behold, I proclaim to you liberty to the sword, to
> pestilence, and to famine, says the LORD. I will make you a
> horror to all the
> kingdoms of the earth."
According to my calculations, the manumission was in the tenth year of
Zedekiah, and this year I determined from the dates of Nebuchadnezzar's
> The latter prediction, it seems to me, was meant to explain the famine in
> Jerusalem in 588 BCE as punishment for the people reversing their
> promise to
> release their slaves, made the year before.
I think the famine resulted from it being a fallow year.
However, while the
> term "liberty"
> is properly that of a jubilee, it only relates to *land*, not
> slaves! Nothing
> about "liberty" or "release" is associated with Hebrew slaves (although I
> suppose it is possible to consider these slaves to have been
> reduced to that
> state due to debts, although neither Exodus or Leviticus
> specifically link the
Slaves are released during the jubilee year, not the sabbatical year.
Lev. 25:10 states that everyone shall return to his own inherited property
and to his family. Slaves are not released during the sabbatical year.
In Lev. 25: 6 it says "you may eat what the land yields during its
sabbath -- you, your male and female slaves, your hired and bound laborers
who live with you." Thus the writer assumes there will be slaves during the
sabbatical years. It is only during the jubilee that these are released to
their own land. Deut. 15:1 states that every 7th year there shall be
release from debts. Scholars have assumed that most slaves are enslaved
because of debt, and that therefore a release of debt means a release of the
slave. I don't agree that this is the assumption of the writer of Lev.
Further, more confusing, is Deut. 15:12. There it states that a Hebrew slave
shall only work for you for 6 years, in the 7th year he shall go out free.
This does not prescribe a general manumission of slaves. This means that
after 6 compelte years of working for you, you have to let him go. Slaves
will be released at different times, depending upon when they went into
> As a result, Jer 34 may only refer to a sabbatical year,
No, I don't think so. Jer. 34 refers to a general manumission.
This is only prescribed, according to the biblical texts, for a Jubilee
> the year of
> release 591/590 BCE, or two years before the siege of 588 BCE.
According to my reasoning and calculations, no. But I haven't seen the
Josephus text you refer to.
> However, Isa
> 37=2 Kgs 19 does indeed seem to refer to a period consisting of a
> and a jubilee year,
I'm glad you think so! that's exciting!
but why not 703-701 BCE just prior to Sennacherib's
> "first" invasion?
Perhaps, but I'm hoping it was exactly 100 years prior to Zedekiah's ninth
and tenth regnal years.
If so, then 33-35 is a sabbatical-jubilee year
We don't need to count Sabbatical years in Jesus' time from the jubilees of
the monarchal period. We have the sabbatical years of Maccabees. We need to
count from then.
> relatively close to the usual period for placing Jesus' public
> activity. This
> is, incidentally, an alternative date (34-35) for the death of John the
How is this date arrived at? It seems awfully late to me.
It's nice having people interested in this topic. Where were you all when I
was writing the paper???
Lisbeth S. Fried
Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies
New York University
51 Washington Sq. S.
New York, NY 10012
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