The Song of the Shmittah Year:
Behar "On the Mountain"
The year of release each seventh year leads to a Yovel, or Jubilee. It is a return, "each man to his family." We usually read about the Yovel as a physical return to the physical Land of Israel according to tribal affiliation. The Word, however, is both physical and spiritual (Romans 7:14). If there is a natural goal of return each 50 years, then there is a spiritual goal in returning to the physical Land.
In past studies, we've established Israel as the Resurrection Land, for the Garden of Eden hovers hidden just above it. The Yovel then becomes another way of illustrating how a person is "gathered to his people." Instead of being gathered to the bones of an ancestral grave, the person is gathered to a living, producing, Land in a year when the produce is not humanly grown. Its residents eat spiritual-natural food, returning the tribes to Eden, a spiritual-natural place that must be worked and guarded for a period of six years, then rested. When the 7 shmittah years have been counted, then the Yovel of free return can occur.
Apart from this process, Eden disappears from sight because humans "sell out" their faith in return and resurrection. You sell out, you move out. This is what happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden.
Even a "slave," whether pierced or not, must return to his ancestral property. This is not a slave in our Western understanding of a human as property. This type of "slave" either sold himself to work for unpaid debts (better), or the court sold him to work for unpaid debts or thefts for which he could not pay restitution (not as better). These Hebrew indentured servants had to be treated respectfully and on a level with the "master's" privileges in terms of comfort.
On the cross, a thief was paying his debt the Roman way. The Hebrew way would have been to indenture him to work for someone until he repaid restitution for his thefts.
Yeshua forgave the thief of a much greater debt, and he assured the thief that he would return to his homeland "this day."
The LORD then spoke to Moses
Mount Sinai, saying, "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When you come into the land which I shall give you, then the land shall have a
to the LORD. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, but during the seventh year the land shall have a
to the LORD; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. Your harvest's
you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a sabbatical year. All of you shall have the
products of the land for food; yourself, and your male and female slaves, and your hired man and your foreign resident, those who live as aliens with you. Even your cattle and the animals that are in your land shall have all its crops to eat
'You are also to count off seven
of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven
of years, namely, forty-nine years. You shall then sound a ram's horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land. You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim
release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you,
each of you shall return to his own property,
each of you shall return to his family. You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its
, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field. On this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his own property.
Notice the equivalency. Do not:
Sow your field = prune your vineyard
Here is an example of a
in the Hebrew word for "prune." A contranym is its own opposite, such as "cleave" in English. The Hebrew contranym in the verse is from the root zamar:
a vine: prune, to be pruned. #559
Lo tizmor= you will not prune
something, often something to be burned, like a thorn, or burned by fire, cut off, removed.
It also means
in a vineyard as one sows a field.
points out the slightly different contexts in verses 3 and 4:
Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall
prune [actively propagate]
vineyard and gather in its
during the seventh year the land shall have a
to the LORD; you shall not
your field nor
here is a linguistic connection made by the root
, one of the Words that holds Creation together. It links pruning, selectively choosing that which will yield to the gathering and removing that which will not for burning, to playing and singing psalms of praise to the Holy One of Israel.
In Jewish tradition, David was taught certain psalms when he hung up his harp at night. The wind would move through the strings and teach him the song. Psalms link two realms, supernatural and natural. Inspired combinations from the many waters Above and the natural strings and voices from below, freely passing back and forth. Sincerely played and prayed Psalms are unrestricted access to the
, returning a person to his/her ancestral land, the Lower Garden of Israel.
a primitive root (perhaps identical with
through the idea of striking with the fingers); properly, to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument, i.e. play upon it; to make music, accompanied by the voice; hence to celebrate in song and music:-give praise, sing forth praises, psalms
. To pluck over and over.
Like a vineyard worker who repetitively prunes a vine according to his vision of what he wants the vine to produce, a musician "prunes" a song from the many possibilities offered by the instrument's strings.
This waterfall of four springs is the headwaters supplying the Galilee, or properly, the Kinneret. Kinneret is from kinnor, a harp. It is a voice of many waters that will run through the harp of the Kinneret and through the length of Israel all the way to the Salt Sea.
Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.
a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder
, and the voice which I heard was
like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb
John's vision pairs the
who were purchased from among men with the sound of the chaste ones plucking and singing with their harps.
Their song is "new," not one that has been gone over through repetition, a pruning action prohibited on the year of release.
The sound of thunder and lightning accompanied the giving of the Torah "on the mountain" at Sinai through the sound of the
. (Ex 19:13)
In the years of release, the Master of the Vineyard will not "prune" the Land. It is released to grow of its own accord. It is a "free" growth of spiritual and natural. It responds to the spiritual Word of creation,
It sings a song of its own accord, inspired by Words of Spirit, not natural pruning. It rests in the
(plantings and removals) worked in them in the previous six years.
So the Torah portion Behar goes on to discuss the 6
HaKippurim as the time of blowing the Yovel. It
seals up the judgments (inclusions and removals of Rosh
HaShanah, which means "
head of the year/change") with the blowing of the
. The authority of the Judge is accepted and the judgments executed.
The nations will be drawn to the song which can only be learned by
who have separated themselves from idolatry.
representative number of 144,000 has been "purchased" from among
men, representing the holiness of the fields and vineyards from which they were cultivated and purchased in the previous six "years," or changes. The
mark the working changes within the various kinds of
within a one-year period: barley, wheat, vegetables, fruits, clean cattle fit for sacrifice. Yom
"seals" these fields of holy first fruits over to Sukkot.
Let's look at what it means to be "purchased" from among men in the Torah. Isaiah 5 establishes that the natural vineyard is a parable of the vineyard of Israel. Adonai planted and cultivated it, yet it brought forth inferior fruit.
When Judah was conquered and deported, it was for idolatry as with Israel in the North, but also because they did not allow the Holy Land its release years and
. Natural enemies' walls, such as the Jericho-
', fall when the Torah is practiced. When the authority of the Torah is not "bound in your hand," it is not practiced, and the enemy, such as the Chaldeans, breach the walls of Zion.
You shall surely tithe all the produce from
what you sow, which comes out of the field every year
shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God,
at the place where He chooses to establish His name
, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the
firstborn of your herd and your flock
, so that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.
is so great for you that you are not able to
, since the place where the LORD your God chooses to set His name is too far away from you when the LORD your God blesses
you shall exchange it for money, and
the money in your hand and go to the place which the LORD your God chooses.
may spend the money for whatever your
: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your
there you shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household
Here is the pattern of holiness in redemption:
Tithe products are Holy
Firstborn of herds and flocks
Grains, fruit of ground, fruit of the tree
Sell for silver money
Bind (compress tightly) safely into your hand because:
Now the money is holy
Purchase commanded products in Jerusalem
The holiness passes from the money to the products
Share and eat the products
All share the holiness of the original tithe that has been redeemed from among men.
The tithe is holy, for it is a thorough representation of the holy deeds in the rest of the field, the farmer's deeds, or fruit. The rest of the field is holy because it has been redeemed by the pruned and plucked "song" of the first fruits. The farmer is in touch with holy things during the entire process, from planting to eating. In the year of release, though, it is a free, new song without ownership. All Israel, including the animals, share and eat of the holiness in the entire Land of Resurrection.
the judgments of
tithes and first fruits which
has "bound and compressed"
said this at
, which is celebrated as a Sukkot Sheni:
sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
I give eternal life to them
, and they will never perish; and
no one will snatch them out of My hand
Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and
no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand
and the Father are
The 144,000 have been redeemed as first fruits to represent the holiness of the fields from which they were redeemed from the world. Their freedom song is a song of the Seventh Year of release. To the degree that the Israelites take hold of the holiness of the feasts through tribulations, they may be confident that
and the Father will forgive them, accept them, and seal them into Sukkot. They will return, every person, to his and her family in the Garden full of free fruit.
This is why we bind the commandments on our hands. It is the same as the thread tied around the first fruits of the field to mark them for holy redemption in Jerusalem. If these first fruits are faithful, then the year of release will be even more abundant! And the song? So many waters flowing through the Harp of Israel! As we bind the commandments on our hands, so Yeshua and the Father bind us into theirs, and their grip is tight!
Wherefore the law
, and the
, and just, and good. (Ro 7:12)
Holy passes to holy. It is redeemed by Yeshua. Its holiness is enjoyed in New Jerusalem with the family and the Great High Priest.
Freedom and release seems to send out, but it gathers in people to a place that they may not even remember if they or their ancestors departed long ago.
(Jubilee) is "freedom of movement" signaled by the
, the ram's horn. We know that before sin, Adam and Eve could freely move between spiritual and natural realms.
After sin, they fell from the wheels of fiery rivers into the natural realm, unable to return to the freedom of movement in their original home.
There was a boundary between them that required a
in order to return to their original homeland. In order to return to the natural Land of Israel, the Israelites had to conquer the first city by crossing the Yarden (Jordan), which means "descending." They had to go back up.
Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel;
no one went out and no one came in
The LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.
You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days.
seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams' horns (
) before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets (shofar)
It shall be that when they make
a long blast with the ram's (
, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet (shofar), all the people shall
shout with a great shout
; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and
the people will go up every man
straight ahead." (
Israel is not just a natural Land. It is a spiritual Land. Yeshua has been faithfully pruning us. The tighter we bind the commandments into our hands, the more it hurts, but the more secure we are in the long journey in Yeshua's holiness. If it feels as if we are being pruned repetitively, we are, but look how much energy the vine above was feeding in a direction that it didn't need to go. Let the Ruach HaKodesh direct our thoughts and intents, every activity that sucks production away from real fruitfulness.
The year of release to go up is just ahead. We will cross over in Yeshua's hand. Come up here. Come back to the Garden.
is the same root translated into "tribulation"
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