Shemitah

As I’ve mentioned before, Jonathan Cahn is an exceptional speaker and author. I highly recommend his teachings and his books. “The Mystery of the Shemitah” should be on everyone’s reading list, in my opinion. On page 29 he gives a great summary of the topic:

           The word shemitah is most often translated as “the release” or “the remission.” The English word remission is defined as “the cancellation or reduction of a debt or penalty.” The Shemitah of ancient Israel refers not only to the releasing of the land but also to the nullification of debt and credit ordained by God and performed on a massive nationwide scale.

               Shemitah became the name of the last day of the Sabbath year, Elul 29, the Day of Remission. But it also became the name of the Sabbath year in its entirety. The seventh year would become known as the Year of the Shemitah, or simply, the Shemitah. The Year of the Shemitah would begin with the releasing of the land and end with the Day of Remission, when the people would themselves be released.

               So the word shemitah covers both the seventh year and the last day of that year. There’s a reason for that. That last day of Elul 29 is the year’s crescendo, its peak and culmination – the remission of the Year of Remission. In a sense, everything about the Shemitah year builds up to that final day, when everything is released, remitted, and wiped away in one day – or, more specifically, to the eve of that day, to the final sunset.

Some pertinent Scriptures are:

Adonai spoke to Moshe (Moses) on Mount Sinai; he said, “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘When you enter the land I am giving you, the land itself is to observe a Shabbat rest for Adonai. Six years you will sow your field; six years you will prune your grapevines and gather their produce. But in the seventh year is to be a Shabbat of complete rest for the land, a Shabbat for Adonai; you will neither sow your field nor prune your grapevines.’” ~~ Leviticus 25:1-4

For six years, you are to sow your land with seed and gather in its harvest. But the seventh year, you are to let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor among your people can eat; and what they leave, the wild animals in the countryside can eat. Do the same with your vineyard and olive grove.  ~~ Exodus 23: 10-11

At the end of every seven years you are to have a sh’mittah. Here is how the sh’mittah is to be done: every creditor is to give up what he has loaned to his fellow member of the community – he is not to force his neighbor or relative to repay it, because Adonai’s time of remission has been proclaimed. ~~ Deuteronomy 15: 1-2

What was given as a blessing for both the land of Israel and the people, becomes a curse when the Shemitah is not followed. So, the release or wiping away can become financial collapse. Be sure to read this book!

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