Skip to comments.The Jubilee Laws
Posted on 01/26/2011 8:47:05 AM PST by GarthVader
Proclaim liberty throughout all the land and unto all the inhabitants thereof. These are the words inscribed on the Liberty Bell. Today they ring like feel good fluff to commemorate a nation liberated from a far away king, but that was not their original purpose, nor was it the reason they were inscribed on the bell. The words come from Chapter 25 of Leviticus. It behooves all who love liberty to read this chapter carefully, for it contains the keys to make liberty work for centuries at a time, to prevent the descent into oligarchy or the converse evils of socialism or a bureaucratic welfare state.
(Excerpt) Read more at holisticpolitics.org ...
What I recall of the Jubilee laws was that every 50 years all your debts were wiped clean and servants were released from conscription. Simply put, society would get reset twice a century. I always wondered if folks took advantage of it.
Not saying it isn't a good thing, or needed, but just that human nature is such that it won't happen.
The big issue of releasing debt and slaves was to end slavery among the population every 2 generations (or less). This prevented a slave class from arising or a caste system from forming.
I don’t think the Israelites kept it sufficiently. 2 Chronicles says that the exile was to make up for Sabbath years not kept.
I doubt the Pharisees of Jesus’ time were keeping it either. That could be why Jesus accused them of being vipers, etc.
I think the lack of keeping of the Sabbath and Jubilee years is why the Bible appears to move leftward as you progress through it. The prophets and the New Testament seem to put a great deal more emphasis on helping out the poor and widows. But this is illusion. The welfare provisions go back to Exodus. But they are very different from a modern welfare state.
...The Jubilee year is exactly like the sabbatical year as regards cultivation [as it says “A Jubilee the fiftieth year shall be for you; you shall not sow and not harvest what grows by itself and not gather what is untended; for it is a Jubilee, it shall be holy for you, you shall eat its produce from the field”]; but it does not require release of loans. The commandments involving the Jubilee year, including the laws of Jewish slaves, houses in walled cities, and land consecrated to the Temple or “devoted” to the priests, apply only when all of Israel dwells in the land of Israel...
Did you perchance read the article I linked to? It looks at the economics of the ancient system. It did not claim a religious mandate to implement it as was today. Times are indeed different.
But it behooves Christians to study the particular law to determine the spirit thereof, which we can apply today.