Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. — Nehemiah 8:8

July 14, 2005

Volume 4 Number 14

The Great Jubilee: Part 2

The day of atonement in the year of jubilee was a day to be anticipated by God’s people. It was celebrated on the 10th day of the 7th month after seven sabbaths of years, which was on the fiftieth year. On this day the people of Israel were freed from the bondage of debt and slavery. They were set free!

8 And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.

9 Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.

10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. -Leviticus 25

The jubilee, as with many other feast days and celebrations, was used by Yahweh (the LORD) to show the people a pattern of something much greater that He had in store for them.

The prophet Daniel had been among the early captives that were taken from Judah into Babylon. During the process of three major sieges against Jerusalem, the Babylonians had captured the best people for their own use. They finally destroyed the temple and left the city in ruins in 586 B. C. (see 2 Kings 24-25).

During the first year of the reign of King Darius over Babylon, Daniel remembered Jeremiah’s prophecy:

1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;

2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. -Daniel 9

Since Darius assumed power in 522 B. C., it had been 64 years since the final assault on Jerusalem and on the temple of Yahweh. As Daniel prayed a humble prayer of sincere repentance on behalf of himself and the people of Judah, Yahweh sent the angel Gabriel with a major revelation concerning the restoration of righteousness among Yahweh’s people. He revealed to Daniel the timing of the major event in the course of the history of the world:

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. -Daniel 9

In "seventy weeks" sins and iniquities would be forgiven and reconciled. A time of "everlasting righteousness" would be established. The "most Holy" would be anointed. (The "most Holy" who is the "anointed" is called "the Messiah," which is translated through the Greek language into English as "the Christ.") The vision and the prophecy were sure. They were sealed and, therefore, would not change or be altered.

The "seventy weeks," or seventy sabbaths, can be interpreted as seventy sabbaths of years, which would be 490 years, according to the pattern of the jubilee. The duration of time, however, would be ten times that of a jubilee. This time might, therefore, be called the Great Jubilee!

From when would Yahweh begin counting the "seventy weeks" toward the Great Jubilee? Gabriel explained the timing in great detail. He said there would be sixty nine weeks, or 483 years, from the time of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem unto the Messiah:

25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. -Daniel 9

Three kings, Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes, had given commands to rebuild the temple (see Ezra 6:14). The temple was finally rebuilt in the sixth year of the reign of Darius (about 516 B. C.), fulfilling the seventy year prophecy:

15 And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. -Ezra 6

However, the duration of time for the "seventy week" prophecy begins from the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. In about 457 B. C., King Artaxerxes decreed that Ezra and the people of Israel, along with priests and Levites, could freely go to Jerusalem:

12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time.

13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee. -Ezra 7

Even though the physical temple had been rebuilt and the people were going through the motions of worship, something very important was lacking. Ezra learned that they were still in transgression against the Word of God:

1 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.

2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. -Ezra 8

They had not separated themselves from the people of the land, as Yahweh had commanded them to do. Ezra led the congregation in repentance:

15 O LORD God of Israel, thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.

1 Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore. -Ezra 8 and 9

Nehemiah also came to Jerusalem to help with its restoration. He led the people in rebuilding the physical city and restoring its walls. However, there was still something missing. The people did not have a clear knowledge and understanding of the Word of God. Therefore, Ezra brought it to them and helped them to understand it:

2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.

3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.

8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. -Nehemiah 8

Efforts to restore Jerusalem continued from the time of Artaxerxes’ decree in 457 B. C. However, even through the efforts of Ezra, Nehemiah, and others, the transgression would not end until seventy sabbaths (490) of years were accomplished. The anointed Messiah would be expected after the first sixty nine sabbaths (483) years, which by calculation (457 B. C. plus 483 years) would be in the year 26 A. D. We know from the Scriptures and history that Yahshua (Jesus) was born before 4 A. D. (even though accepted calendars lead one to think otherwise). That is because King Herod, who died in 4 B. C., was alive when Yahshua was born:

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, -Matthew 2

We also know that Yahshua was anointed as the Messiah by the Holy Ghost by the time He was thirty years old, which was by at least 26 A. D.

22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, -Luke 3

Thus, according to the schedule revealed to Daniel, the pattern of the jubilee was completed through the Messiah. By faith in Him, we now have forgiveness of sins and, through the promise of everlasting righteousness, we now live in the Great Jubilee!


Come to Understanding is sent out twice per month free of charge. To add someone to our growing list of readers, please contact us at:

Institute for Biblical and Historical Studies

Kerby F. Fannin, Ph.D., Director

P.O. Box 260, 114 East Main Street
Addison, Michigan 49220 U.S.A.



You may view this and past editions online at:


Ó2005 Institute for Biblical and Historical Studies. All rights reserved. You may freely copy this publication, provided you acknowledge its source and inform us of your use.