“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. 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 25:9-10


  1. We often sing two songs that refer to “jubilee,” but most who sing them do not understand the word.
    1. “Hark! The Jubilee Is Sounding” written by Newton’s friend, William Cowper (1731-1800).
    2. “Blow Ye the Trumpet, Blow” written by Charles Wesley, the Methodist songwriter (1707-1788).
  2. The Lord loves goodness, mercy, generosity … drama, excitement, and celebration. Consider it here!
  3. Do you really appreciate how good our Father in heaven actually is? Even the “harsh” O.T. was kind!
  4. We get excited about weekends and vacations, but consider well what we are about to learn. Rejoice!

What is a Sabbath?

  1. It is a time of rest required by God for His O.T. people from six days of creation and one of rest, though He could have created in six seconds, weeks, or months. Love the 7-day week.
  2. God required Israel to rest every seventh day from work as a gift (Ex 31:12-17; De 5:12-15).
  3. God loves vacations … for you, and He wants you to take rest and sleep (Ps 127:2; Pr 11:17).
  4. Their three seven-day annual feasts began and ended with a special Sabbath day as well.
  5. Moses also taught them to observe sabbatical, or seventh, years, which were very special.

What is a Sabbatical Year, or Year of Release?

  1. Every seventh year was a Sabbath, when ordinary agriculture was stopped (Ex 23:10-11).
  2. Do you know that this practice, called summer fallowing, is still practiced by wise farmers?
  3. Every Sabbatic year forgave debts and freed Hebrew slaves (Deut 18:1-5,12-14; Neh 10:31).

How important were all the Sabbaths?

  1. The weekly Sabbath was one of the Ten Commandments and repeatedly required by God.
  2. Because Israel neglected the Sabbaths, God gave a Sabbath of 70 yrs (II Chr 36:21; Dan 9:2).
  3. There were great benefits attached to keeping this kind and merciful law (Is 58:13-14; etc.).

What is a Jubilee?

  1. It was a Sabbath of Sabbaths, a 50-year Sabbath, observed by the Jews under the O.T.
  2. It is described in Lev 25 and referenced in Lev 27; Num 36:4; Neh 5:1-13; and Ezek 46:17.
  3. Every 50 years, God gave Israel another year’s vacation and lifted all bondage and burdens.
  4. Property rights of land were returned to those who for various reasons had lost their homes.
  5. Everyone got to go back home, no matter the circumstances that moved them (Lev 25:13).

What does the word Jubilee mean?

  1. It is related linguistically to ram’s horns (trumpets) and joyful celebration (jubilation).
  2. Jubilee. 1. a. Jewish History. (More fully year of jubilee). A year of emancipation and restoration, which according to the institution in Lev. XXV was to be kept every fifty years, and to be proclaimed by the blast of trumpets throughout the land; during it the fields were to be left uncultivated, Hebrew slaves were to be set free, and lands and houses in the open country or unwalled towns that had been sold were to revert to their former owners or their heirs. [OED].

How long was a Jubilee?

A whole year (Leviticus 25:8-12).

When did Jubilee begin?

On the tenth day of the seventh month, the Day of Atonement, about our October 1 (Lev 25:9).

How was Jubilee announced?

A trumpet was sounded and repeated throughout the whole land to declare a jubilee (Lev 25:9).

What does the Jubilee law teach?

  1. It teaches a merciful form of civil justice for private contracts and lending on two counts – the Lord releasing debtors by His release, and the warning not to worry about it (De 15:1-18).
  2. No one could remain very poor for long, and the rich were not punished, but rather blessed!
  3. Our God is God of starting over, and every 7 years and 50 years, every man got to start over!

What else does the Jubilee law teach?

  1. The Lord never overlooks details, and neither should we; there are several details covered.
  2. Those unemployed slaves released from servitude would have free access to fields, orchards, and vineyards for at least a full year, during which time they could lay plans for a profession!
  3. The Lord remembers and values family, freedom, and home, all of which were protected.

What else does the Jubilee law teach?

You can have safety and success by trusting God and keeping His word – He will providentially provide the safety and make up the difference you fear, even triple (Lev 25:18-22; De 15:10,18)!

What else does the Jubilee law teach?

You can truly go to bed on time and get up on time and not worry, for God will bless (Ps 127:2).

What else does the Jubilee law teach?

We cannot use God’s word for personal benefit and/or to oppress another, but for righteousness and mercy toward others and then us (Lev 25:14-17; Deut 15:9-10,14-15,18).

What else does the Jubilee law teach?

God never wants us to be hopeless by confusion or oppression, even when slavery was allowed among brethren, there was always the release of seven years and fifty years. Love hope! Glory!

What else does the Jubilee law teach?

Forgiving and forgetting is God’s way of dealing with growing problems, and He will protect the one forgiving and apparently losing with greater blessing than retaining his rights in a matter.

What else does the Jubilee law teach?

When you do not know what to do in a relationship or situation, consider calling for a jubilee, where both parties can say by the modern idiom, “Let bygones be bygones.” Let’s start over!

What else does the Jubilee law teach?

All freedom and joy are based on repentance and atonement, for the year of jubilee began hours after the repentance of the nation and all the ceremonies of the Day of Atonement (Lev 25:9).

Did Jesus partially fulfill the Jubilee?

  1. Indeed, He brought the good tidings of liberty, freedom, and joy (Is 61:1-3; Luke 4:16-21).
  2. Remember what celebration occurred at our Lord’s ascension (Revelation 5:8-14; 12:10).

Will the Jubilee be ultimately fulfilled?

  1. The trumpet of the Lord will sound, and we will have liberty from death (I Cor 15:51-57)!
  2. We have our own Jubilee with which we can comfort one another (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
  3. No more tears, death, sorrow, crying, or pain, for they will have passed away (Rev 21:4)!
  4. The Jubilee allowed every man to return to his home, and Jesus will soon take us home!


  1. Would you get excited about a jubilee from your mortgage, credit card debt, car loan, job, etc.? The Lord has done better! He has declared and will declare a jubilee that will free you from all bondage!
  2. Let us sing the two songs in the Introduction above with full understanding and great enthusiasm.
  3. We can add, “Jesus Saves!” by Priscilla J. Owens (1868), noting the last line of the second verse.
  4. We can add, “Wake the Song of Jubilee,” by Leonard Bacon (1823), noting the song’s opening line.
  5. We can add, “Hark! The Song of Jubilee,” by James Montgomery (1818), noting the opening line.
  6. We can add, “O Brothers, Lift Your Voices,” by Edward H. Bickersteth, Jr., noting the first verse.
  7. We can add, “The Lord Is Coming,” with anonymous words (1849), noting the first verse and refrain.
  8. We can add, “Wake the Song,” by William F. Sherwin (1826-1888), noting the refrain.
  9. We can add, “Sing to the Great Jehovah’s Praise,” by Charles Wesley (1750), noting the last line.
  10. There are many more songs referring to the jubilee, which is eventually our total joy in heaven above.

For Further Study:

  1. Sermon Outline: Starting Over.
  2. Sermon Outline: Abundant Pardon.