I admit, I’m a skeptical person by nature and I started this book wondering how the author would deal with the subject of the Shemitah. For those who might be a little hesitant as well, I hope to offer you some reassurances regarding the Biblical basis for the Shemitah, but first a brief summary of the book.
The Mystery of the Shemitah is basically a book about the Biblical Sabbath and Jubilee cycles and how they relate to socio-economic cycles in the context of a Biblical message of repentance. The author, Jonathan Cahn makes a pretty detailed case for his theory that financial and economic events of today may be influenced by these two ancient Biblical cycles. Like ripples in a pond or echoes in a canyon, one can’t help but wonder if the 7 year Sabbath cycle and the 50 year Jubilee cycle still effect history today. Another way of looking at it is the famous quote by Mark Twain: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme”.
Admittedly the author sticks to a more secular aspect of the Biblical cycles as they relate to America and world financial markets, but let me tell you why I think his underlying premise has some merit. Using 7 year Sabbath cycles as Mr. Cahn describes, and going back in Biblical time the Sabbath cycles do indeed mark important events:
*Yeshua (Jesus) was born on a Sabbath year
*Nehemiah and Ezra read the law in a Sabbath year
*Ezra when up to Jerusalem in a Sabbath year
*The 2nd Temple foundation was laid in a Sabbath year
*The 70 years captivity spoken about by Jeremiah ended in a Sabbath year
*The 1st Temple was destroyed in a Sabbath year
*Kind David died in a Sabbath year
*The Exodus took place in a Sabbath year
If you extend the same Sabbath cycles even further back in time (to Adam) using a reasonable rendering of the Old Testament chronology you find that:
*Joseph’s 7 years of plenty & 7 years of famine fell during the Sabbath cycles
*Yahweh’s covenant with Abram fell on a Sabbath year
*Enoch’s birth and the year he was taken to “heaven” both fell on a Sabbath year
In my opinion the facts above show that Mr. Cahn’s underlying premise has merit. Now, since this is intended to be a balanced book review I would like to give a few points where I find myself in respectful disagreement or in some way felt the book was lacking.
1. Mr. Cahn did not provide a Scriptural basis for his Sabbath and Jubilee cycles calculations. I think a premise so central to the book should be explained so that the reader can come to a reasonable understanding of the author’s perspective. For instance his Sabbath year is one year different than my understanding of the chronology. It would be helpful to see how he arrived at his chronological basis so I could correct my own understanding if the facts make that necessary.
2. In my opinion Mr. Cahn misses a great opportunity to connect the Sabbath and Jubilee cycles to Yeshua, the true “spirit of prophecy”.
On a more positive note I really appreciated Mr. Cahn explaining how the Jubilee and Sabbath cycles are synchronized. Using his explanation of a synchronized Jubilee and Sabbath cycle brings new understanding to the chronology of the Scripture.
Matthew 1 shows that Yeshua was the 41st generation from Abraham. Using Mr. Cahn’s premise regarding the cycles being synchronized we find there are 41 Jubilee cycles between Abraham and Yeshua. Going even further back in time we find there were 41 Jubilee cycles from Adam to Abraham. Those of us alive today just happen to be living in the 41st Jubilee cycle from Yeshua. (41+41+41)
Mr. Cahn talked about the 70 years the land of Israel enjoyed it’s Sabbath’s during the 2nd temple captivity period. Amazingly those 70 years began in the 70th Jubilee.
As a final example of the beautiful symbolism inherent in such a premise we find a comparison in the Bible about the Messiah’s return and “birth pangs”. The typical human pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. Yeshua was seen of his disciples for 40 days before his ascension. Jerusalem was destroyed 40 years later. Today we are living in the 40th Jubilee cycle from the destruction of Jerusalem. (40 days > 40 yrs. > 40 Jubilees)
In summary, I think Mr. Cahn’s book brings much needed attention to the wonderful subject of the Biblical Sabbath and Jubilee cycles. Even though I don’t agree with all of his conclusions, I wholeheartedly agree with his message of repentance.
The Ninevites were given 40 days to repent and they repented from the king on down. Israel, during Yeshua’s day, was given the “sign of Jonah” as a warning to repent. When they did not Jerusalem was destroyed 40 years later. Since that destruction it has been 40 Jubilees. Which example will todays generation follow?
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Author: Jonathan Cahn
Book Title: The Myster of the Shemitah: The 3,000 Year Old Mystery that Holds the Secret of America’s Future, the World’s Future, and Your Future!
Author Website: hopeoftheworld.org
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn
Book Reviewed by: William Struse