Can the Sabbath years be found?


#1

It is often supposed the records of the 7-year cycle of Sabbath years (Leviticus 25:1-7, Deuteronomy 15:1) were lost. Commentaries suggest records were lost when the temple was destroyed. Is that true? Probably, but let us say that all of them were lost except one. :idea: All we would have to do is count backwards from that date and we would pick up every Sabbath year as far back as Moses. Yes? And all we would have to do is count forward from that date and we would pick up every Sabbath year as far forward as Christ. What do you think?

OK. There is such an example found during the war of the Maccabees during the inter-testament period:

They came forth out of the city, because they had no victuals, being shut up there, for it was the year of rest to the land. And the king took Bethsura: and he placed there a garrison to keep it. And he turned his army against the sanctuary for many days: and he set up there battering slings, and engines and instruments to cast fire, and engines to cast stones and javelins, and pieces to shoot arrows, and slings. And they also made engines against their engines, and they fought for many days. But there were no victuals in the city, because it was the seventh year: and such as had stayed in Judea of them that came from among the nations, had eaten the residue of all that which had been stored up.
(Maccabees 6:49-53)

Bethsura surrendered to the Greek army in 164 BC because their supplies had run out, with no crops in the ground because it was fallow. The story has a better ending fortunately with the death of the tyrant Anticochus and victory over his forces of evil.

So, 164 BC is a solid date for finding the Sabbath years. Multiply groups of ‘seven’ backwards as well as forward from this date. See how many more Sabbath years can be found? :popcorn:

Cyberseeker


#2

I am not sure what your question is.

In any case, Scripture records that Israel/Judah were not faithful to keep the sabbath years, and missed as many as seventy such. That is why the people were sent to Babylon for seventy years: "until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths....all the days of its desolation it kept sabbath."

ICXC NIKA


#3

We observe the Sabbatical year today in Israel:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shmita


#4

37 B.C. was a Sabbath year.
From Josephus, it seems like it started after the Passover.


#5

37/38 was a Sabbath year by my reckoning too but I have no reference to it apart from my count. Do you have any more information on that date?


#6

[quote="YKohen, post:3, topic:314476"]
We observe the Sabbatical year today in Israel:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shmita

[/quote]

Thanks. Does the modern Shmita follow Zuckermanns count? Or, can you give me some date examples from the 1st - 5th century era?


#7

Evidently, it’s Zuckermann:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Sabbatical_Years

I’m not familiar with what was back then in terms of the count. The next Shmita year starts on Rosh HaShanah of next year (2014).


#8

Ive just jumped backwards seven years at a time. Yep, Rosh HaShanah 2014 fits like a glove.

It also makes AD 26/27 a Sabbath - the year John declared Jesus to be Son of God. Does that make you a good Christian or me a good Jew? ;)


#9

[quote="Cyberseeker, post:5, topic:314476"]
37/38 was a Sabbath year by my reckoning too but I have no reference to it apart from my count. Do you have any more information on that date?

[/quote]

Your data is good.

Herod the Great conquered Jerusalem in the fall of A.D. 37, and is said that the defenders were famished and weak because it was a Sabbath year.

It is in Antiquities- the 15th book, I think.

The Jewish year began with Nisan, corresponding to late March in the Julian Calendar.


#10

[quote="steve53, post:9, topic:314476"]
Your data is good.

Herod the Great conquered Jerusalem in the fall of A.D. 37, and is said that the defenders were famished and weak because it was a Sabbath year.

It is in Antiquities- the 15th book, I think.

The Jewish year began with Nisan, corresponding to late March in the Julian Calendar.

[/quote]

I think that should probably be BC not AD. Herod died around 6-2 BC.


#11

Yes. My mistake.

Herod died in the fall of 4 B.C…


#12

Not being up on any of this (but throwing out something anyway :D ) I see dates like 27 ad and 37 bc, do these take into account the loss of years? For example, it is said that Jesus was not actually born in the year 1 AD but more like 4 BC because of the error I am talking about. (So then 2014 might actually be 2010 or something?)

God bless you.


#13

[quote="steve53, post:9, topic:314476"]
Your data is good.

Herod the Great conquered Jerusalem in the fall of A.D. 37, and is said that the defenders were famished and weak because it was a Sabbath year.

It is in Antiquities- the 15th book, I think.

The Jewish year began with Nisan, corresponding to late March in the Julian Calendar.

[/quote]

Thanks for that. :) Ive just been looking it up. It was from 38-37 BC on the same year that Herod conquered Jerusalem.

Now the Jews that were enclosed within the walls of the city fought against Herod with great alacrity and zeal (for the whole nation was gathered together… Now the three bulwarks were easily erected, because so many hands were continually at work upon it; for it was summer time, and there was nothing to hinder them in raising their works. . . they were distressed by famine and the want of necessaries, for this happened to be a Sabbatic year. ... This destruction befell the city of Jerusalem when Marcus Agrippa and Caninius Gallus were consuls of Rome on the hundred eighty and fifth olympiad. (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 14, Chapter 16, Sections 2-4)

Would it help if we counted 'sevens' between the two examples given and see if they match up? Here goes:
[INDENT]
164 BC
157
150
143
136
129
122
115
108
101
94
87
80
73
66
59
52
45
38 BC
[/INDENT]

Wow, not bad eh? Two confirmed Sabbaths and every Sabbath year in-between! :cool:


#14

[quote="beehumble, post:12, topic:314476"]
Not being up on any of this (but throwing out something anyway :D ) I see dates like 27 ad and 37 bc, do these take into account the loss of years? For example, it is said that Jesus was not actually born in the year 1 AD but more like 4 BC because of the error I am talking about. (So then 2014 might actually be 2010 or something?)

God bless you.

[/quote]

Hi Bee,

Yes, they take it into account. Is generally realized now that our Gregorian calendar had a small mistake in the start. King Herod died in 4 BC so Jesus would have been born about BC 5.


#15

[quote="Cyberseeker, post:14, topic:314476"]
Hi Bee,

Yes, they take it into account. Is generally realized now that our Gregorian calendar had a small mistake in the start. King Herod died in 4 BC so Jesus would have been born about BC 5.

[/quote]

The year I hear a lot, and personally believe, is 6BC, because Herod sent to kill male 2-year olds and under in Bethlehem. As Herod died in 4BC, this would place the Nativity in 6BC.

The general calendar does not account for this, but uses the ancient count that misdated Herod's death by six years. So we would really be in 2019.

Blessed Lent and ICXC NIKA


#16

[quote="GEddie, post:15, topic:314476"]
The year I hear a lot, and personally believe, is 6BC, because Herod sent to kill male 2-year olds and under in Bethlehem. As Herod died in 4BC, this would place the Nativity in 6BC.

The general calendar does not account for this, but uses the ancient count that misdated Herod's death by six years. So we would really be in 2019.

Blessed Lent and ICXC NIKA

[/quote]

Herod officially started his reign in 37 B.C.

Could have been anytime.

I like 12 B.C. myself.

Coincides with Halley's Comet. Plus it makes the passage that Jesus was "not yet forty" close to his crucifixion make sense.


#17

[quote="steve53, post:16, topic:314476"]
Herod officially started his reign in 37 B.C.

Could have been anytime.

I like 12 B.C. myself.

Coincides with Halley's Comet. Plus it makes the passage that Jesus was "not yet forty" close to his crucifixion make sense.

[/quote]

If He were born in 12BC, then He would have been 41 or 44 at death (AD30 - 33).

As comforting as the image of a middle-aged LORD would be to millions of us, that image is absent from historical Christology.

I'm not sure what the beginning of Herod's reign had to do with HIM, as He was clearly born near the end.

I also doubt there is any real connection between Halley's comet and the Magi star.

Blessed Lent, ICXC NIKA


#18

[quote="GEddie, post:17, topic:314476"]
If He were born in 12BC, then He would have been 41 or 44 at death (AD30 - 33).

As comforting as the image of a middle-aged LORD would be to millions of us, that image is absent from historical Christology.

I'm not sure what the beginning of Herod's reign had to do with HIM, as He was clearly born near the end.

I also doubt there is any real connection between Halley's comet and the Magi star.

Blessed Lent, ICXC NIKA

[/quote]

I'm getting the feeling that people associate the Star of Bethlehem with any astronomical phenomenon of the period they could lay their hands on because of its depiction in Christmas cards and Nativity scenes as this huge, bright, pointy ball of gas. Why couldn't the Star have been just something that only the Magi - who would have been astrologers anyway - could have noted (you know, kind of like how only astronomers and star-gazers could note things in the sky that most of the public don't know of or care about). Or better yet, why can't one take it as a supernatural sign. We could argue why should there be a need to rationalize the star's existence when Matthew says that the star did not so much blaze across the sky but "stopped over the place where the child was."


#19

Note that Luke 3:1-2 dates the beginning of John's ministry

1* In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberi-us Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysani-as tetrarch of Abilene, 2* in the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness; ...

Jesus ministry began soon after this and Luke 3:23 says

3* * Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age,...

As I recall the scholar who set up the AD/BC designations took this to mean Jesus was 30 at the start of John's ministry, but Luke says "about 30" ; He was probably a few years older than 30.

I recall reading someplace that that scholar was working during the reign of Charlemagne and preferred this interpretation because it put Charlemagne's coronation on January 1, 800 AD. Not sure of the accuracy of that, but it sounds reasonable.


#20

Actually, John's quote was "not yet fifty".

And the crucifixion was probably A.D. 36 for many reasons.

People were really "in" to astrology in those days, far more so than today.

Hard to discount Matthew on the star.

Is EVERYONE here discounting Luke's birth year of A.D. 6, during the time of the census?


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