Year of the Shofar-Blast



Leviticus 25:8

And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.  

Verses 8, 9. – The word jubilee (as it is always spelt in the Authorized Version) is taken from the Hebrew word yovel, and it came to mean a year of liberty (Ezekiel 46:17; Josephus, ‘Ant.,’ 3:12, 3), because it freed men and lands from the obligations to which they would otherwise have been liable; but originally it signified no more than a shofar-blast, and thence the year of the shofar-blast. 

The way to find the jubilee year was to number seven sabbaths of years, that is, seven weeks of years (chapter 22:15), seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years: then by a blast of the shofar (the word is inexactly rendered rams horn) on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement, the approach of the jubilee in the following year was announced.


Aramaic שׁיפורא


Verses 8-11. thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years—This most extraordinary of all civil institutions, which received the name of “Jubilee” from a Hebrew word signifying a musical instrument, a horn or trumpet, began on the tenth day of the seventh month, or the great day of atonement, when, by order of the public authorities, the sound of trumpets proclaimed the beginning of the universal redemption. All prisoners and captives obtained their liberties, slaves were declared free, and debtors were absolved. The land, as on the sabbatic year, was neither sowed nor reaped, but allowed to enjoy with its inhabitants a sabbath of repose; and its natural produce was the common property of all. Moreover, every inheritance throughout the land of Judea was restored to its original owner.