sanctify the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty in the land to all its inhabitants. It will become a Jubilee for you, and you must return each one to his possession and you should return each man to his family.”—Lev. 25:10.
As to the Jubilee year, seven of the seven-year periods (7 X 7 = 49) were to be counted, and the following year, the fiftieth, was a Jubilee year. The land again had complete rest. (Lev. 25:11, 12) The Jubilee was in a sense an entire year of festival, a year of liberty. The keeping of it would demonstrate Israel’s faith in their God Jehovah and would be a time of thanksgiving and happiness in his provisions.—Lev. 25:20-22.
The Jubilee horn announced that all hereditary land possessions that had been sold (usually because of financial reverses) were to be returned; and each man returned to his family and his ancestral possession. No family was to sink into the depths of perpetual poverty. Every family was to have its honor and respect. Even one who squandered his substance could not forever lose his inheritance for his posterity. After all, the land was really Jehovah’s and the Israelites themselves were temporary residents from Jehovah’s standpoint.—Lev. 25:9, 23, 24.
By reason of the Jubilee law none of the land could be sold in perpetuity. God provided that, if a man sold any land of his hereditary possession, the sale price was to be gauged according to the number of years left until the Jubilee. The same rate was in effect when hereditary land was repurchased by its owner. In effect a sale of land, therefore, was actually only the sale of the use of the land and its produce for the number of years left until Jubilee year. (Lev. 25:15, 16) This applied to houses in unwalled villages, which were counted as the open country, but houses in walled cities were not included in property returned at Jubilee. An exception to this was the property of the Levites in Levite cities, whose only possessions were the houses and the pasture grounds around the Levite cities; these had their property returned at Jubilee.—Lev. 25:29-34.
The seventh-year sabbath brought about a rest or a releasing from being pressed for debts and rest for the land, but the Jubilee year brought much more—complete liberty from indebtedness and from servitude to any fellow citizens and the return of hereditary possessions, as well as another year of rest for the land.
A WISE CHOICE IN READING
In spite of the growing popularity of “picture” magazines and newspapers and the demands of television on leisure time, there is still a mass of reading material vying for attention. All this highlights the great need for reading material that is healthful food for the mind. As never before all persons need to know what is the truth concerning God’s purpose for mankind. The book “Things in Which It Is Impossible for God to Lie” meets that need. Send today and receive free a timely booklet on a Bible subject. Send only 50c.
The Holy Bible emphasizes the need for keeping useful habits. (1 Cor. 15:33) To help others cultivate and keep the good habits that God approves, Jehovah’s witnesses carry on their ministry from door to door. In their field ministry they offer Bible literature that promotes fine habits such as prayer, the putting of God’s kingdom first in one’s life and the regular study of the Holy Scriptures. Such literature also stresses the right kind of association that is needed to keep these good habits. To help all interested persons find the happiness that comes from keeping divinely approved habits, Jehovah’s witnesses are offering during the month of August the Bible-study aid Life Everlasting—in Freedom of the Son’s of God and a booklet, for just 50c.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
August 27: Keeping Free from the Spirit of Complaint. Page 457. Songs to Be Used: 41, 45.
September 3: Finding Contentment with Jehovah’s Organization. Page 463. Songs to Be Used: 54, 60.