Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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sabbatical year Summary and Overview

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sabbatical year in Easton's Bible Dictionary

every seventh year, during which the land, according to the law of Moses, had to remain uncultivated (Lev. 25:2-7; compare Ex. 23:10, 11, 12; Lev. 26:34, 35). Whatever grew of itself during that year was not for the owner of the land, but for the poor and the stranger and the beasts of the field. All debts, except those of foreigners, were to be remitted (Deut. 15:1-11). There is little notice of the observance of this year in Biblical history. It appears to have been much neglected (2 Chr. 36:20, 21).

sabbatical year in Smith's Bible Dictionary

Each seventh year, by the Mosaic code, was to be kept holy. #Ex 23:10,11| The commandment is to sow and reap for six years, and to let the land rest on the seventh, "that the poor of thy people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the held shall eat. It is added in #De 15:1| ... that the seventh Year should also be one of release to debtors. #De 15:1-11| Neither tillage nor cultivation of any sort was to be practiced. The sabbatical year opened in the sabbatical month, and the whole law was to be read every such year, during the feast of Tabernacles, to the assembled people. At the completion of a week of sabbatical years, the sabbatical scale received its completion in the year of jubilee. [JUBILEE] The constant neglect of this law from the very first was one of the national sins that were punished by the Babylonian captivity. Of the observance of the sabbatical year after the captivity we have a proof in 1 Macc. 6:49.

sabbatical year in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

SABBATICAL YEAR . Ex 23:11. See Year, Sabbatical.

sabbatical year in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

(See JUBILEE.) Exodus 23:10-11. Part of the same general law as the Sabbath day. The land must rest fallow each seventh year. In Leviticus 25:2-7 and Deuteronomy 15 God ordains also the release of debtors every seventh year. The parts of the harvest crop ungathered and ungleaned in some degree sowed themselves for a spontaneous growth in the idle seventh year (Leviticus 19:9; Leviticus 23:22). The owners laid up grain in the previous years for it Leviticus 25:20-22). As the Sabbath is God's assertion of His claim on time, so the sabbatical year on the land. The sabbatical year began in the seventh month, and the whole law was then read during the feast of tabernacles; so that holy occupation, not apathetic rest, characterized it, as in the case of the Sabbath day. At the completion of the week of sabbatical years, the Jubilee crowned the whole. Canaan's conquest took seven years, the allotment of land seven more; then began the law of the sabbatical year. These "years" were observed under the New Testament; and Judaizers even sought to force their observance on Gentile Christians (Galatians 4:10). In Luke 6:1 explain "the first Sabbath of a year that stood second in a sabbatical cycle." Josephus (Ant. 14:10, section 6) implies that at that time years were reckoned by their place in a sabbatical cycle. frontEllicott, Life of Christ, p. 173-174, and note.)