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Easton's Bible Dictionary

 

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Jubilee
        a joyful shout or clangour of trumpets, the name of the great
        semi-centennial festival of the Hebrews. It lasted for a year.
        During this year the land was to be fallow, and the Israelites
        were only permitted to gather the spontaneous produce of the
        fields (Lev. 25:11, 12). All landed property during that year
        reverted to its original owner (13-34; 27:16-24), and all who
        were slaves were set free (25:39-54), and all debts were
        remitted.
        The return of the jubilee year was proclaimed by a blast of
        trumpets which sounded throughout the land. There is no record
        in Scripture of the actual observance of this festival, but
        there are numerous allusions (Isa. 5:7, 8, 9, 10; 61:1, 2; Ezek.
        7:12, 13; Neh. 5:1-19; 2 Chr. 36:21) which place it beyond a
        doubt that it was observed.
        The advantages of this institution were manifold. "1. It would
        prevent the accumulation of land on the part of a few to the
        detriment of the community at large. 2. It would render it
        impossible for any one to be born to absolute poverty, since
        every one had his hereditary land. 3. It would preclude those
        inequalities which are produced by extremes of riches and
        poverty, and which make one man domineer over another. 4. It
        would utterly do away with slavery. 5. It would afford a fresh
        opportunity to those who were reduced by adverse circumstances
        to begin again their career of industry in the patrimony which
        they had temporarily forfeited. 6. It would periodically rectify
        the disorders which crept into the state in the course of time,
        preclude the division of the people into nobles and plebeians,
        and preserve the theocracy inviolate."

Bibliography Information
Easton, Matthew George. M.A., D.D., "Biblical Meaning for 'Jubilee' Eastons Bible Dictionary".
bible-history.com - Eastons; 1897.

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