Significance Of Jubilee Year In Our Lives As Christians

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Published by Kenneth Garcia


Co-Founder of Biblekeeper, Author & Theologian

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The Hebrew term “jobel,” which translates to “ram’s horn,” is the root of the English word “Jubilee,” as this horn was used as a trumpet on the tenth day to announce the start of the Jubilee year[1] to all. The source that explains the significance of the Jubilee year—a year of emancipation “par excellence” that occurs after seven weeks of years, the fiftieth year—is the book of Leviticus, included in the code of holiness.

Every seventh month of the Sabbatical year, after seven cycles of the seventh year, or every 50 years, is a Jubilee year. It is a time of economic, cultural, environmental, and communal reset when the land and people rest and all enslaved people are set free to return to their communities. The main goals of the Jubilee laws are stability, economic security, and social interactions within society.

Key Takeaways

  • The Jubilee, rooted in Hebrew tradition, signifies emancipation and reset every 50 years. It embodies principles of forgiveness, salvation, and rest, reflecting God’s desire for justice and restoration.
  • Jubilee laws promote stability, economic security, and social cohesion. They emphasize fair resource distribution, restoration of identity, and addressing economic disparities.
  • The Jubilee urges combating injustice, fostering just relationships, and practicing generosity. It serves as a prophetic model for communities to flourish through alignment with God’s will and embodying principles of love and hope.

What Was The Year Of Jubilee?

The Year of the Jubilee was a year of freedom from debt and servitude. All enslaved people were freed, all convicts were released, all debts were canceled, and all property was given back to the original owners and all its inhabitants.

Additionally, all work was to stop for a year, and those who were subject to labor agreements were released from them. The ability to let the land rest and let all the inhabitants have some rest were some of the advantages of the Jubilee.

The Jubilee beautifully illustrates the Old Testament principles of forgiveness and salvation. The Savior, Jesus Christ, came to free people who were enslaved and imprisoned by sin. As Jesus died on the cross for us, the debt of sin we owe to God was paid, and we are now forgiven the debt forever. Given that Christ has set us free from slavery to sin, we can finally enter the rest that God offers as we stop trying to earn God’s favor through our efforts.

an illustration inspired by Mary Blair's whimsical style, a jubilee year celebration unfolds with charming detail, showcasing a lively parade of characters

What Is The Jubilee Year Bible Meaning?

Jubilee serves as a reminder that God expects the church to combat injustice in the world through relationships with one another, the pursuit of justice, and individual action and engagement, including generosity and sacrifice. Our participation in God’s goal to reset all facets of life, bring relief, and bring restoration is made possible by the gift of the Spirit.

Proclaim Liberty

One observes with delight and admiration how Israel’s culture likewise embodies confidence in God, giving it precedence in time, work, and relationships. There are some realities that cannot be exposed to uncontrolled egoism and the hungry careerism of some people since they involve people, tools, and means of subsistence.

Even though other people practiced slavery, the believer might not be able to accept its duration or its various forms. Due to the fact that land is a gift from God and a source of prosperity for people, it is intolerable for a family or a parent to be permanently deprived of it due to debt or poverty.

The intricate divine laws that idealistically intervene to advance justice and hope follow from this. The utopia is defined by the time between one Jubilee and the next and the difficulties of putting it into effect. Still, its focus is clear: it challenges people to accept the gift and encourages the development of a liberating culture.


Rest is vital to the Jubilee year’s expression and proposal of experiences. In our daily Bible verse, it is consistently mentioned that resting is God’s gift. The “Saturday” culture alters one’s quality of life, takes one back to one’s origins and the reasons for their being, and can open the door to the most incredible bliss ever experienced in human history.

“The fiftieth year will be a Jubilee for you; you are not permitted to sow, harvest, or pluck grapes from vines that are not dressed. You are to observe it as a holy day because it is a Jubilee, and you are to consume everything the field produces” (Leviticus 25:11–12).

A watercolor depiction of a jubilee year festival

Why Did God Enact The Year Of Jubilee?

The first mention of Jubilee as a portion of the commandment that Yahweh gave to the Israelites can be found in Leviticus 25. These lines outline God’s intention for the establishment of a Sabbath year every seven years in order to guarantee the Israelites’ freedom from slavery for all time.

The main goals of the Jubilee laws are stability, economic security, and social interactions within society. They work to make sure that people live in ways that show respect for God, other people, and creation.

Jubilee marked a return to identity, particularly for the underprivileged. In addition to caring for the poor, which is also essential, it is also about restoring identity, which is crucial to them since it is a part of their history. People were stingy and cold-hearted, but Jubilee served as a corrective. People are reluctant to discuss Jubilee because it is a problem of the heart rather than one of economics.

oil painting of a bustling town square during a jubilee year

Why Does The Year Of Jubilee Matter?

The purpose of the year of Jubilee was to safeguard the clan’s unalienable right to labor on their ancestral land, which they believed to be held by God and that they were entitled to as a reward for their relationship with him. This was accomplished within the framework of Israel’s kinship system.

From a biblical perspective, God no longer administers salvation through a single political entity, and these social and economic conditions are no longer present. Therefore, we must consider the Jubilee from where we stand right now.

The Jubilee asserts the Lord’s sovereignty over all of time and nature, proving that He is not merely the God who owns Israel’s country. When He brought His people out of Egypt, He committed to caring for them on every level because they were His own.

Israel observed the Sabbath day and year of Jubilee due to their obedience and faith. In reality, the Jubilee year represents the faith that every Israelite may have that God will meet their present and their families’ future needs. The wealthy are also urged to believe that kindly treating creditors would still result in a sufficient return.

The household, which would have encompassed three to four generations, was the lowest unit in Israel’s kinship system when seen from a sociological perspective. Even in the face of economic disaster, the Jubilee offered a socioeconomic way to maintain the family’s unity.

Family debt was a problem in ancient times, just as it is today, and it has an alarming number of negative social implications. By putting a time limit on these harmful social effects, the Jubilee hoped to prevent current generations from having to pay for the sins of their illustrious forebears.

The two concepts that apply now are shown from an economic perspective. God first wants the resources of the earth to be distributed fairly. God spread the country of Canaan among the people in accordance with His plan.

The focus of the Jubilee was restoration rather than redistribution. The Jubilee thus serves as a critique of large-scale forms of collectivism or nationalization that obliterate any meaningful sense of personal or family ownership, in addition to the vast private acquisition of land and related wealth.

A digital illustration of a jubilee year carnival


The church is called to declare and live out the sure hope of our future salvation as a new community that witnesses the coming of God’s kingdom in the world. Jubilee is an expression of God’s wish for all creation to prosper within the reality of living in a world of strained relationships and for us to have a bountiful harvest.

Both then and now, it is radical, countercultural, and prophetic. It serves as an example of how a community can flourish individually and collectively by living wisely according to God’s will and illuminating the rest of the world in the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Benefits Of Jubilee Year?

Jubilee years offer multifaceted benefits, including debt forgiveness, economic equity, and social cohesion. They encourage reflection, reconciliation, and renewal, fostering gratitude, solidarity, and interconnectedness within communities.

Beyond material considerations, jubilee years hold spiritual significance, promoting rest, restoration, and celebration. Overall, they serve as pivotal moments for fostering justice, compassion, and holistic well-being, nurturing deeper bonds of human flourishing and flourishing.

What Are The Seven Blessings Of Jubilee?

The seven blessings of jubilee encompass debt forgiveness, land redistribution, rest, reconciliation, justice, celebration, and spiritual growth. Together, they symbolize economic equity, communal harmony, and spiritual renewal, underscoring the transformative impact of the jubilee tradition on individuals and societies alike.

How Does The Year Of Jubilee Apply Today?

The Year of Jubilee remains relevant today, guiding discussions on economic justice, mental health, social cohesion, and fair resource distribution. Its principles inspire efforts towards equity, compassion, and holistic well-being, offering timeless guidance for addressing contemporary societal challenges.

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