On Wednesday, September 24, 2014, a phenomenon that has been happening every 7 years for over 3,000 years will begin again at sundown. It’s called the Sabbath Year or “Shemitah.”
Deuteronomy 15:1-2 says: “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release [the “sabbath year” or “shemitah”].
The word shemitah is translated “the release” or “the remission.” In English, remission is defined as “the cancellation or reduction of a debt or penalty.” The entire seventh year is known as the Year of the Shemitah and ends on Elul 29 — the Day of Remission — the day when all debt is released and wiped away. A time appointed by God for refreshing revival. The Shemitah was intended to be a blessing for the nation of Israel.
Breaking the Shemitah
However, when God’s chosen nation collectively ignored this particular command, the Lord sent messengers, called prophets, to remind them. But the people scoffed at the prophets and despised their words. Breaking the covenant with God was equivalent to rejection of God’s sovereignty, and that action set in motion far-reaching consequences. Their God sent them away from His presence into Babylon for 70 years to stress the fact that the land belongs to Him, and He WILL enforce His laws pertaining to it.
When God’s sovereignty goes unrecognized, the people and their land become cut off from the Creator. The Creator assigns purpose, and without Him people can do whatever they want. The people of Israel began sacrificing their children to foreign gods. That sin brought about the nation’s destruction. What the people refused to do would be brought on them by force. So in 586 B.C., the southern nation of Judah (the northern kingdom had already been captured by the Assyrians) was exiled, the Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed, and the prophetic words spoken by God’s messengers were fulfilled. The land rested for 70 years — the number of Shemitah years the nation had refused to observe.
At the end of 70 years, many of the “Jews” chose to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple, which would be destroyed again in 70 A.D., after which the Jews would be dispersed throughout the world. However, God foretold through his prophet Ezekiel that He would bring His chosen people back into their land. That prophecy was fulfilled in 1948, when Israel was once again declared a nation.
Financial and Economic Falls
The word shemitah is linked to the Hebrew verbs for “to shake,” “to let fall,” “to cast down,” and “to collapse.” It’s interesting to note some significant economic crashes that have happened in conjunction with the Shemitah Years:
- The Crash of 1901-1903 (“the depression’) was brought on by the struggles of E.H. Harriman, Jacob Schiff, and J.P. Morgan over financial control of Northern Pacific Railroad. A Shemitah occurred over 1902 and 1903. By its end, 46% of the market was wiped out.
- The “Crisis of 1916-1917” took place during World War I. One Shemitah happened over the course of the war — between 1916 and 1917. The stock market lost 40% of its value.
- The Crash of 1930-1932 (The Great Depression) constituted the worst economic and financial crisis in modern history involving the collapse of global trade. The Shemitah took place between 1930 and 1931. In April of 1931, the stock market began a long-term crash that would bring Wall Street to its lowest levels of the twentieth century. By the end of July 1932, 86% of the market had been wiped out.
- The Crash of 1937-1938 (“the Recession of the Great Depression”) came just as the American stock market and economy were coming back from the depths of the Great Depression. The Shemitah began on September 6, 1937. The next day Wall Street collapsed, and by June of 1937, four million workers had lost their jobs.
- The Crash of 2000-2001 (the “Dot-Com Crash” and 9/11) happened during the first Shemitah of the new millennium. By its end, 37% of the stock market had been wiped out.
- The Crash of 2007-2008 (“the Global Financial Crisis”) was the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The crash reached its greatest intensity in September 2008 — the final month of the seventh-year Shemitah.
The Mystery of Cycles
There have been five major turning points and collapses in the stock market over the past 40 years:
- The first took place in 1973. The second took place in 1980. A cycle of seven years.
- The third took place in 1987. A cycle of seven years from 1980 to 1987.
- The fourth took place in 2000. The fifth took place in 2008. A cycle of seven years from 200 to 2008.
The Shemitah began tonight at sundown and will finish in September of 2015.
Keep watching …