Tishri or Nissan

The calendar placing of the Sabbatic and Jubilee Years, known also as the Shemittah and Yobel, differs in the chronology of Van Lennep from that of Adam Rutherford, shown as VL and AR. A variant of the Tishri view places the Shemittah one year later than AR. All three concepts hold AD 27 to be a sabbatic year; but did It begin or end in that year ?  Leviticus chapter 25 will tell us.

Since the Yobel is called a 50th year, some assume it must follow a completed 49th year, as AR has 1ndicated. If so. why does the question of v.20 not treat of the 49th and 50th years instead of the 7th year? The response In v.21 promises an extra yield of produce for three years only, i.e. the 6th, 7th and 8th but not the 9th years. A question also arises from v.3: How could they sow in the 1st year if it coincided with the Yobel ?  [Note that AR provides only eight days for ploughing and sowing in the eighth year, the 1st. and 10th of Tishri not being working days !]  

The Yobel was to start on "the tenth day of the seventh month":  the 7th month of what, if not of that 49th year?   This clearly implies that the Shemittah began at Nisan, as VL has shown it. In fact the VL concept makes 1t plain that no extra prohibitions or provisions were needed to cater for the Yobel.  After it was over they could plough and sow that Autumn, as it was the 1st and 8th year in which they were instructed to sow by vvs.3 & 22..  The normal produce was to follow in the 9th year. 

With the AR scheme they would be unable to "sow the eighth year" as instructed, if it was also the Yobel; nor would they have a need to sow in the six other 8th years. So AR fails to fit the stated facts of Scripture. The AR scheme has sowing and reaping in the same year: the VL scheme has sowing the year before the reaping, which v.22 implies. All these features demonstrate that the Shemittah began at Nisan; and this tallies with the arrival of the Israelites in the promised land in Nisan. The future pattern of the Shemittah was anticipated when "they did eat of the produce of the land". Josh.5.10-12, just as they later did in the 8th year. AR conforms to Jewish belief, as per Edersheim and Schonfield. The chronology in the Variorum Bible is as VL, and so also is Conder's "Handbook to the Bible".  

C.C.OgiIvy Van Lennep published his work, "The Measured Times of the Bible", in 1928. 

The elaborate chronology of Adam Rutherford appears in his "Anglo-Saxon Israel" of 1939. It is not unduly affected by his main subject. He claims it was "Checked by the unerring test of the Calendar of Sabbatic and Jubilee Cycles". But it fails that test ! 

M.S.Lloyd. GLASGOW. December 1994

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