Q. How do we know which year is the Sabbatical year land rest?
A. Every seventh year was to be a Sabbatical for Israel, when the land was to rest and no crops would be planted. The seventh part was always holy to Yahweh, just as the seventh day of the week is a holy Sabbath and the last 1,000 years of the 7,000- year “week” of human history is also a grand Sabbath known as the Millennium, when the earth will rest from Satan’s way.
Indications are that 2001 was indeed a Sabbatical year (starting in the fall on the Day of Atonement) when the land should lie idle. For various reasons after the beginning of the Sabbatical year in the fall of 1994 the land was unable to bring forth a bountiful harvest across the country. We believe the primary cause was that this was a Sabbatical when the land was supposed to lie at rest.
News reports from the Midwest breadbasket during the summer of 1995 lamented the constant rainfall which kept farmers from working their fields, and delayed in planting cash crops such as corn, milo, and soybeans. All wheat was down 100 million bushels. The fruit crop also suffered.
It takes about 90 days to produce corn for harvest. Late plantings invite the danger of frost before the corn ripens. Many farmers switched to planting soybeans as an alternative because of their shorter maturing time. But these suffered from little rain later in the year, as did the parched crops in the entire northeast United States.
In marked contrast, the year before, the summer of 1994, was a phenomenal bumper crop across the country, and one of the best producing years on record. That bears out Yahweh’s promise that the sixth year will produce abundantly,
“And if you shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? Behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: Then will I command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years,” Lev. 25:20-21. Granted, few farmers observe the Sabbatical today. Yet, we believe that the principle of blessing the sixth year is still operating, albeit to a lesser degree than it could be, as witness to this important law of Yahweh. This is also a testimony to those who do keep the Sabbatical land rest.
Because man generally ignores the Sabbatical year, he is under a longterm curse in these final days. One report noted, “Worldwide grain reserves are being eaten away due to the growing population, with consumption exceeding production for the third straight year.”
In the eyes of the world, not tilling, planting, and not harvesting every seventh year does not make sense when the world is seeking more and more foodstuffs for the burgeoning population. Not knowing the promises of Yahweh and His omnipotent power, the world cannot understand how He can increase productivity of the land on the sixth year to provide food enough for the seventh year as well as for a Jubilee year (Lev. 25:21; Isa. 37:30).
We have but to look at Israel in the wilderness to see that they were provided an extra day’s manna on the sixth day so they would not have to gather any on the weekly Sabbath.
In a prophetic vein, the Sabbatical year is understood by many to have occurred in 69-70 of our Common era, according to the second century Jewish work call Seder Olam. Projected forward to our day, this means that 2001-2002 was a Sabbatical year as well as 2008-2009 and so forth.
Yahshua quoted Isa. 61:1-2, leaving off the reference to “the day of vengeance,” which apparently refers to the “great and terrible day of Yahweh,” when Yahshua returns, Luke 4:18-19. Yahshua may well come on the Sabbatical year.