Sabbath 24/06/32/120

Dear friends,

An important conclusion was given in the Sabbath message of the 25th of the 5th month, by the Committee of Elders, regarding the double harvest during the normal Sabbath years. From this information we can also have a better understanding regarding the land cycles versus the calendar cycles.

In the diagram supplied with the above message, we can see that sowing is allowed during the 7th year. This is where we need to better understand the time cycles regarding the land, in contrast to the time cycle regarding God’s calendar.

Leviticus 25:3  Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; 4  But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.

This verse 4 was the source of the question raised to the Elders since it says that sowing and reaping are both forbidden in the 7th year. This is where an important distinction must be made in regard to the yearly cycles. When that distinction is made, the apparent contradiction is resolved. We usually exclusively reckon the years as the calendar year from 1 Abib to 1 Abib but, as we will see, there is another cycle regarding the land which differs.

We know very well from Leviticus 25:13 that the Jubilee year must be kept from the 10th day of the 7th month of one year to the 10th day of the 7th month the following year, i.e. from Atonement one year to Atonement the following year.

Leviticus 25:9 Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. 10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.

We also read that this corresponding period, the Jubilee year, is called the 50th year. Again, we may have considered this with the common understanding that years were only defined as calendar years, i.e. from 1 Abib to 1 Abib. However, we are being shown a distinct land cycle, as mentioned in verse 4 above. We see here that there is another yearly cycle definition from Atonement one year to Atonement the following year. This 50th year is also called the 8th year in the Sabbatical-year cycle.

Leviticus 25:22 And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat yet of old fruit until the ninth year; until her fruits come in ye shall eat of the old store.

This 8th year is an additional year to the 7-year cycles, added after 49 years or 7 Sabbath-year cycles to establish the Jubilee cycle as 50 years. From this definition, we can then understand that the land cycles have to cease sowing from the Seventh Month of the Sixth year in order to rest the land for the full twelve months and to prevent a harvest at Abib of the Sabbath year, as would be the case in a normal year. Thus the 7th year mentioned in verse 4 requires the land to rest from the Seventh Month to the Seventh Month to ensure no harvests occur at all in the Sabbath Year. The sowing commences from the Eight Month of the Sabbath year to ensure that there is a normal harvest in the First month of the First year of the New Sabbath cycle.

We could thus recognize a source of confusion in reading the Bible texts without this distinction. But in fact, the Committee’s message eliminated this source of confusion by clarifying the land cycle of rest to ensure that the law is kept regarding the Sabbath Years of rest.

We can then clearly see from the diagram in the above message that there is indeed no sowing or harvesting from the Seventh Month to the Seventh Month to ensure the observance of the Scriptures (verse 4) and to ensure that Scripture cannot be broken.

The Sabbath Years were given for the lands to rest and for man to be released from the burden of debt.  This Sabbath Year allows man to survive and the people to be re-educated in the Laws of God.

We know well the Sabbaths given to man are the weekly Sabbaths, the New Moons and the Feasts. The Sabbath Year is to release both man and the land from onerous misuse. Thus they give freedom to both man and his lands and productivity is ensured.

Any farmer knows that sowing and harvesting are not all of his work. Even during the Sabbath year he will have to work from morning to evening to care for his animals, milk cows, process the milk into a variety of dairy products, ensure the health of his animals, calving, clean the stables and barns, gather eggs and feed all his animals.
During the land Sabbath year, people do not suddenly become vegetarians. They eat meat. They must "prepare" it, which requires work (slay, butcher, etc.).

As for the farmer’s wife, she usually is her husband’s co-worker. She takes over a share of his work.  And if she has children, her work is doubled whether in land-sabbatical year or not. So if these people are converted, they do not sow or reap, but all the rest of their work still needs to be done.

Then, these converted farmers will put more time into studying. But their year, although being studious, will also involve labour in spite of laying up their tithes in preparation for this year. Their life is the life that we should all have if we were not slaves of this modern world.
Christ could not stand the hypocritical Pharisees, who added absurd rules to the observance of the
Sabbath. He said to them, "Which of you on the Sabbath, does not loose their animals from their nursery to lead them to drink, and immediately when he sees his ox fall into a well, he immediately pulls it out!"

We, who are people without land during the Sabbath rest of the land, are not concerned in our personal activities to observe this yearly Sabbath, but rather the forgiveness of debts, etc. From the beginning of the year to its end, anything that does involve not sowing and harvesting is our "business".
If we were people who "walk on gold," we will have "THE RIGHT" that year, to take a year of rest from certain activities, to change activities, without being accused of laziness.

This is a RIGHT, not a DUTY. It is up to an individual as to how they observe the Sabbath Year. The duty of all men is to observe the Sabbath Years from Abib to Abib and to study the Laws of God. The removal of the harvest structure from the Sabbath and Jubilee years allows the undertaking of studies elsewhere. To ensure that there are no harvests in the Seventh year, from Abib to Abib, it is necessary to restrict sowing in the Sixth year of the Sabbath Cycle and in the Seventh year of the last cycle of the Jubilee year. In the Jubilee year, after the restoration of lands, the lands are then cultivated from the Eighth Month so that the Barley Harvest from Abib and the Wheat Harvest of Pentecost may be undertaken in due time.  

Even on the weekly Sabbaths, the New Moons and the Feasts, the farmer is required to ensure a minimum maintenance of the animals.

We thank Father Eloah for instructing His people through the Elders of His church.

Jacques Guérard, Coordinator in the French work (ed. Wade Cox)