We return to where we began: an understanding of the Jubilee cycle.
To lay the groundwork, we first turn to the book of Daniel, chapter 9 (NIV).
24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him."
The Anointed One is Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Christ, who was crucified as the ultimate and final sacrifice to save all those who would believe in Him from the consequences of sin, which are death and hell. The precise historical fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy has been described by others (https://christinprophecy.org/articles/daniels-70-weeks-of-years/).
An alternative interpretation was put forth by Sir Isaac Newton. Newton said there was no linguistic basis for adding the separate seven and sixty-two weeks of years (or 49 and 434 years, respectively). Rather, he concluded these two separate time periods referred to the second and first advents of the Messiah. Newton believed the 62 weeks (or 434-year part) was fulfilled at the First Coming, and the seven weeks (or 49-year part) would apply to the Second Coming.
The final week of years is commonly referred to as Daniel's 70th week. Daniel provides more information about this final week in chapter 12 (NIV).
11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days."
Newton's assertion would mean the final sequence of "weeks" would be 7 + 1, or 49 years + 7 years. So why was this prophecy delivered in such terms? The most likely answer can be found in the book of Leviticus, chapter 25 (NIV):
8 “Count off seven sabbath years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years. 9 Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. 10 Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. 11 The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. 12 For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields. 13 In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to their own property."
When applied to Daniel's prophecy, these verses imply that Daniel's 70th week is in fact a jubilee. In particular it is the Final Jubilee prior to the Second Coming of Christ. So why should the Final Jubilee last seven years, when a typical jubilee observance only lasts one?
Returning to Leviticus, chapter 26 (NIV):
27 “‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me,28 then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over. 29 You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters. 30 I will destroy your high places,cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you. 31 I will turn your cities into ruins and lay waste your sanctuaries,and I will take no delight in the pleasing aroma of your offerings. 32 I myself will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live there will be appalled.33 I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste,and your cities will lie in ruins.34 Then the land will enjoy its sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths.35 All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the sabbaths you lived in it."
An example of fulfillment of this was the Babylonian captivity, during which Daniel lived and was given his prophecy. The captivity lasted 70 years, and the land saw its sabbath rests (or Shemitah years) during the captivity.
What YHWH intends as a blessing, if not properly observed, becomes a curse. The Jubilee year is then multiplied seven times, and becomes a curse: Daniel's 70th week, the Great Tribulation, the Time of Jacob's (Israel's) Trouble. John's Revelation further details the events of the Great Tribulation.
It is my assertion that the jubilee observance was unique. During the jubilee regular work was not done. Slaves were released. Land was returned to the original owners. This implies that the regular temple activities were also suspended. Could Daniel's phrase "from the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished" be a veiled reference to the jubilee observance? If so, it would establish a specific time frame of 1290 days from onset of the Final Jubilee until the midpoint of the 70th week, an event described as the Abomination of Desolation.
Jesus' reference to this event was given in Matthew 24 (NIV).
15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time."
So how did a jubilee observance begin? For information on this we return to Leviticus 25 (NIV).
8 “‘Count off seven sabbath years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years.9 Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month;on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land."
The jubilee observance began on the Day of Atonement with a trumpet blast. We must then understand when the Day of Atonement was observed. We turn to Leviticus 23 (NIV).
23 The Lord said to Moses, 24 “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. 25 Do no regular work, but present a food offering to the Lord.’”
26 The Lord said to Moses, 27 “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present a food offering to the Lord. 28 Do not do any work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the Lord your God. 29 Those who do not deny themselves on that day must be cut off from their people. 30 I will destroy from among their people anyone who does any work on that day. 31 You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. 32 It is a day of sabbath rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.”
During a normal year, a trumpet blast did not accompany the Day of Atonement observance. Only during a jubilee observance did this occur. The Jews referred to the 10 days from the Festival of Trumpets through the Day of Atonement as the "10 days of awe". During a jubilee observance, it would seem that the Trumpets observance was extended through the days of awe, and concluded on what was usually the Atonement observance. In other words, the Atonement observance was temporarily suspended until the end of the jubilee. In fact, all temple activities and sacrifices were suspended during the jubilee year. By the end of the jubilee, all slaves had been freed, all property returned to the original owner, and the normal cycle of annual festivals resumed. Atonement was then observed, followed by Tabernacles, and so on.
Psalm 24 states "the earth is the Lord’s,and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it". In the book of Ruth, Boaz (the kinsman redeemer) is a picture of Christ, Naomi is a picture of Israel, and Ruth is a picture of the Church. In Revelation 5, only the Lamb is worthy to open the scroll. The scroll is in fact the title deed to the entire Earth. Jesus takes back what has been stolen by the usurper. This implies that the Great Tribulation (Daniel's 70th week) is the Final Jubilee, as it was during the jubilee observance that property returned to its rightful owner.
Daniel could not see the Church age, or Age of Grace. It was hidden from his view. In Romans 12, Paul urges all believers to "offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship." After Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit indwelt the believers at Pentecost. The physical Temple was then destroyed in 70 A.D.. The Church then became the living Temple. The Church became "living sacrifices". This is yet another aspect of Daniel's prophecy. The question then becomes, when could the Final Jubilee coincide with the cessation of "living sacrifice(s)"?
In Zechariah chapter 14, an interesting prophecy appears regarding the millennial reign of Christ (NIV):
16 "Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King,the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.17 If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain.18 If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The Lord will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.19 This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles."
The order of annual festivals is:
It is interesting that only Tabernacles is specifically mentioned as being observed during the millennial reign. This would imply that all of the other festivals have had their ultimate fulfillment. Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits were fulfilled by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Pentecost was at least partially fulfilled by the arrival of the Holy Spirit, indwelling the Church.
If Daniel's 70th week is the Final Jubilee, then it would begin with Trumpets, and end on Atonement. In other words, an extended 10-day Trumpets would conclude on the usual day for the Atonement observance, and begin the jubilee observance. The Final Jubilee would then conclude with the Second Coming on the final Day of Atonement. Tabernacles would then be celebrated annually during the millennial reign of Christ. This would permit sequential precise fulfillment of the final three festivals.
Daniel gives us precise numbers regarding the 70th week in Chapter 12:
9 "He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.
11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days."
Adding 1290 days to 1335 days yields 2625 days. To divide this further:
10 Days of Awe
Final Jubilee begins
30 days until Two Witnesses ministry begins
1260 days until Abomination of Desolation
1250 days until final Day of Atonement and the Second Coming
75 days until rededication of Temple and the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ
Adding 10 + 30 + 1260 + 1250 + 75 = 2625.
Returning to Matthew 24, Jesus said “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened." Could this refer to the shortening of the final "time, times and half a time" by 10 days? This is the Time of Jacob's Trouble, during which YHWH will protect the remnant of Israel.
The beginning of this sequence depends upon the timing of the Festival of Trumpets? So when is Trumpets?
The Hebrew Biblical calendar proceeds as follows:
In Leviticus 23, the timing of the Festival of Trumpets is described:
23 "The Lord said to Moses, 24 “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. 25 Do no regular work, but present a food offering to the Lord.’”
Specifically, on the first day of the month of Tishrei, the Festival of Trumpets was to be observed with trumpet blasts. This is the only annual festival described in Leviticus for which the trumpet was blown. The only exception occurs in Levitucus 25 (NIV):
8 “Count off seven sabbath years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years. 9 Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. 10 Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. 11 The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. 12 For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields.13 In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to their own property."
The jubilee observance is the only other time mentioned in Leviticus during which the trumpet was blown. The Day of Atonement did not usually involve trumpet blasts.
So when does the month of Tishrei begin? The Hebrew calendar is primarily lunar. In Psalms 81, we read:
"Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! 2 Begin the music, strike the timbrel, play the melodious harp and lyre.
3 Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full, on the day of our festival; 4 this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob. 5 When God went out against Egypt, he established it as a statute for Joseph."
The first of Tishrei was to coincide with the New Moon at the appropriate time of year. This is the fall season in the northern latitudes. In any given year there will be several possible candidates for the first of Tishrei based on the lunar cycle. Now we can begin assembling a possible picture of the Final Jubilee.
Looking at the predicted New Moons for the fall season in Jerusalem for the year 2021 A.D., potential candidates are August 8, September 7, and October 6. Returning to Daniel's prophecy, we previously determined that the day count sequence for the Final Jubilee (beginning on the Festival of Trumpets and ending on the Day of Atonement) would be: 10 days + 1290 days + 1250 days = 2550 days. This sequence stops short of the initiation of the millennial reign of Christ, and ends with the Second Coming. It includes a shortened Time of Jacob's Trouble (or final 1250 days) due to the initial ten days of awe incorporated into a prolonged Trumpets observance.
Adding 2550 days to October 6-7, 2021 (after the fall equinox) arrives at September 29-30, 2028. This is a predicted date for the Day of Atonement, which can be verified here:
Therefore, we expect Trumpets to begin on October 6-7, 2021 and to be extended 10 days and end at the beginning of the Final Jubilee on October 15-16, 2021. We expect the Two Witnesses' ministry to begin on November 14-15, 2021 and end 1260 days later at the midpoint of the Great Tribulation (coinciding with the Abomination of Desolation) on April 27-28, 2025. A "shortened" three and one half year period (1250 days) then takes us to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (army of saints in tow) on Atonement (September 29-30, 2028).
The final fulfillment of Shavuot/Pentecost may still be pending, as we expect the rescue of the Bride of Christ between now and the beginning of the Great Tribulation.
As always, we watch and we wait ...