End-time prophecy is a hot topic among those of the Jewish and Christian faiths. Fire and brimstone preachers are constantly telling people that each year is the final year, that they need to get their affairs in order and that they need to be ready. It is believed that this year is different. According to the Jewish and Christian faiths, certain happenings are aligning in a way that leans toward confirmation that the end times may truly be near. Followers believe that signs, such as the four blood moons; lunar eclipses, which all occurred on Jewish holidays; the fact that 2016 is the 50th year of Jubilee; and the sevens, which are tied together in the Bible, indicate the fulfillment of end-time prophecy for both religions.
Jews and Christians believe the number seven is the bedrock of the Word of God. It represents perfection and completion, and coincides with the creation of everything. The Sabbath is observed on the seventh day of the week and is a day of rest, because after God had created all things in six days, he rested on the seventh, according to Genesis 2:2. Even the land is to have a Sabbath every seven years, says Leviticus 25:2-4. This seven-year pattern has been honored by Jews for 3,000 years. After seven land sabbaticals, the Israelites celebrated a year of Jubilee. The Year of Jubilee was celebrated on the 50th year.
During the Year of Jubilee, the earth is given rest, debts are forgiven, and land is returned to the original owner, as laid out in Leviticus 25:8-11. The Earth will also have a thousand-year Sabbath after 6,000 years. This time of rest for the Earth begins after all people have left the Earth. The Bible, as interpreted by both religions, states that the 7,000 started once Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. The 70th Year of Jubilee started with the Sept. 27, 2015, total lunar eclipse and will end in September 2016. This shall be the final Year of Jubilee, indicating the end times are near, if following current events and lining them up in the Bible, as believed by the two religious groups.
The number 70 is significant in the Bible. Seven coincides with perfection and 10 represents God’s law, as well as completion. Therefore, 70 is a symbol of perfection in spiritual order that is executed with all-encompassing power. However, at times, it symbolizes judgment. The number 70 has a special connection with Jerusalem. When Judah was under Babylonian confinement, Jerusalem continued to honor the 70 years of Sabbaths, as revealed in Jeremiah 25:11. It was the “50th year after seven years of seven cycles” when the Israelites were freed. This is the Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:10).
The Year of Jubilee began on the Day of Atonement and was announced with a blow from a ram’s horn. This year of freedom required three things from the Israelites to be sanctified:
- The people and the land will have a period of rest. The crops that grew during this time were for the poor to eat and the animals to feed on.
- All the land was to be returned to the original owner intact. Those who were forced to sell were also to regain their land.
- All Israelites who sold themselves – either to men in their village or to a foreigner due to poverty, were to be freed, along with their children.
According to the Jewish faith, these three requirements during the year of Jubilee were to prevent the Israelites from persecuting each other. This also hindered anyone from gathering permanent wealth and leaving others in poverty. Permanent slavery was no longer allowed or needed, which was seen as a reminder to those of faith that God has regard for economic freedom.
Believers in Christ say the key that indicates the end times are near is found in Daniel 9:24, in which it is mandated that it will take 490 years for Jerusalem to be redeemed for its sins. It reads, “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city—to bring the rebellion to an end, to put a stop to sin, to wipe away iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the holiest place.” The 70 weeks equal 490 years, which many believe proves that this is the final Jubilee year.
This prophecy given to Daniel has two unique and critical accomplishments:
1. There will be 70 sabbatical cycles, or 490 years, to atone for sin. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for the redemption of sin.
2. The second fulfillment would be for people to stop violating God’s law of “everlasting righteousness,” and predicts the second coming of the Savior will occur along with the 70 Jubilees.
Tetrads are four total lunar eclipses spaced six months apart. The most recent tetrad began on April 14, 2014, and the last one was Sept. 27, 2015, kicking off the final Year of Jubilee. Each of the four lunar eclipses occurred on Jewish holidays, which has not happened before and is not predicted to happen again in this century, according to the 19-year cycle the tetrads seem to have followed from 1909, and which was broken in 2014.
The next Jewish leap year will come to pass in 2016. There are seven Jewish leap years in a 19-year cycle. The blood moon and lunar eclipse are referenced in the Bible as indicating end time prophecy in Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:17-21 and Revelation 6:12-13.
Hebrews 4:1-11 speaks to a different kind of rest than the Sabbath. It talks about resting in Jesus. This may be referring to the tribulation; the end of the 6,000 years. Especially when adding 2 Peter 3:8, in which Peter says that one day is a thousand years to God. If this were accurate, Jesus was born 5,000 years after the Earth was created – on the fifth day, which would make 2015 near the end of the sixth day.
Hosea 6:1-2 says, “Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, and He will heal us; He has wounded us, and He will bind up our wounds. He will revive us after two days, and on the third day He will raise us up so we can live in His presence.” Following the same formula, these verses translate to a revival 2,000 years after the birth of Christ, making present day the beginning of the third day, which mathematically ties into the final Year of Jubilee, once Genesis 6:3 is added. The verses referred to in Genesis say that man’s days are numbered at 120 years.
If a Jubilee year occurs every 50 years, and 120 years meant 120 Jubilee years, then 120 x 50 = 6,000 years. Translating things this way would mean Christ is on his way. Acts 3:20-21 also mentions a renewal of everything; a Jubilee year.
Jerusalem has been returned to the Jewish people. The Jewish calendar is different from the Gregorian calendar in that the Jewish use days of creation to configure the calendar, agreeing that it is off by about 220 years. In the year 2016, it will be the 5,776th Jewish year. The year 2016 will be that of the final Jubilee for the Jewish nation. When taking all into account, tetrads, the blood moon and feast holidays indicate to many believers that end times are near.
By Jeanette Smith
Mark Beast: What are the Dates of the 70 Jubilees?
Rapture Watch: Blood Moons – Tetrad
Bible Study: The Meaning of Numbers
Holman Christian Standard Bible
Top Image Courtesy of Nathaniel’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Featured Image Courtesy of Maarten ter Keurs’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of 2bNate’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License