Biblical Nuggets: Sabbatical Year

Sabbatical Year refers to  the resting from work. According to the Deuteronomical Law, fields and vineyards in Israel were to be uncultivated in every seventh year. The same year, they should share the products from the field and vineyards with the poor, the strangers, and the beast of the field. “Debts of Israelites to Israelites were to be remitted. Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar freed the Jews from taxes on the sabbatical years. After seven times seven sabbatical years there was appointed a Year of Jubilee, in which all lands that had been sold or forfeited returned to their original owners, and all slaves were set free. Though there no record of the actual observance of the Jubilee Year, it is frequently referred to in Scripture.” [1] The foundation for the Sabbatical Year is found in the biblical passage in Genesis 2:2-3, the day God rested from his work after creating the universe. The concept of the Sabbatical Year is reaffirmed in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11) and Deuteronomy 5:12-15.



[1] Nelson’s Pocket Reference Series: Bible Dictionary, p. 230.


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