Of all the books I read in 2014, the latest book by Jonathan Cahn was the most intriguing and if he is correct in his calculations, it is the most significant insight into what is happening in ‘America’ at this time. ‘The Mystery of the Shemitah’ is a follow on to his earlier book ‘The Harbinger.’ Let me start by giving you a brief summary of what he presents and them some more details of what is in the book.
The ‘Shemitah’ is the seventh year, a year of rest. The meaning of the ‘Shemitah’ follows the pattern of the seventh day ‘the sabbath,’ a day of rest. So in turn, every seventh year becoming a sabbath year, a year of rest. Although it was originally intended by God to be a blessing, if unkept it became a judgment on Israel for not following the Lord’s pattern and law. Cahn then sees it being applied to America. He believes that it was intended for English colonies in America to follow the same Law of Moses. Unfortunately, the nation, after becoming the most blessed nation in the world, slowly, slowly but surely turned away from God. Cahn then looks at the greatest long term collapses in the stock market, as all them relate to the seven year cycle of the ‘Shemitah’ Finally, he turns his attention to what all this means for the future, which we will look at in the next Langstaff Letter.
For the nation of Israel, every seventh day was called ‘the sabbath.’ The Israelites were to keep this day holy with no regular work. It was the Lord’s day. (Exodus 20:8-11)
Then every seventh year was a sabbath year, which was to be kept holy and distinct from the previous six. It was a year devoted to the Lord (see Exodus 23:10-11). The Israelites were to let their fields lie fallow as the land observed its own sabbath. “So the world ‘shemitah’ covers both the seventh year and the last day of that year.” The last day of the month of Elud 29 (the last month of the Jewish calendar).
Deuteronomy 15:1-2 declares at the end of the last day of the sabbath year in the month on of Elul, a sweeping transformation was to take place in the nation’s financial realm. Everyone who was in debt was released, and consequently the nation’s financial accounts were wiped clean. The original Hebrew commands even creditors to make a shemitah.
Now, the word ‘shemitah’ is most often translated ‘the release’ or ‘the remission,’ which means the cancellation or reduction of a debtor or penalty. The shemitah is to years what the sabbath is to days, as it takes place every seven years. As such, it’s original intent was to be a blessing to Israel.
SHEMITAH AND JUDGMENT, A PROPHETIC SIGN
Jonathan Cahn then traces the history of Israel and the mystery of the seventy years (Jeremiah 25:4-11) when judgment fell on Israel in 586 BC with the Babylonian Conquest. The holy city became a burning ruin, the land was devastated and the people were taken as captive to a foreign land. Cahn declares that the seventy years of judgment were the unkept Shemitah’s from Israel past where Israel had failed to follow the Lord’s pattern and law.
THE SECRET ISRAEL
Originally, the shemitah was connected to Israel as the only nation commanded to observe it. But then Cahn raises the question of America, as he sees America as “a civilization specifically established after the pattern of Israel.” He writes, “Most would find it surprising to learn that America was consciously, intentionally, and specifically founded and formed after the pattern of ancient Israel. Its founders saw it as a new Israel, the Israel of the New World. It was their exodus from Europe like the Hebrew exodus from Egypt. The New Wold was their new promised land, and the Massachusetts Bay Colony was their New Jerusalem. As for the legal system of the new American commonwealth, the Puritans sought to incorporate the Law of Moses. They instituted a day of rest after the pattern of the Hebrew Sabbath. And the American holiday, Thanksgiving, was formed after the pattern of the Hebrew Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles.”
They even taught Hebrew in their schools and universities. On the seal of Yale University appear the Hebrew words from the breastplate of the high priest. On the seal of Columbia University appears the ancient Hebrew name for God. And on the seal of Dartmouth University appear the Hebrew words translating to ‘the Almighty God.’
Cahn goes on to ask the crucial question about America now- ‘What about America? What happened to the civilization uniquely joined from its foundation to ancient Israel?’
He goes on to declare – ‘”America’s founders prophesied that inasmuch as the new civilization would follow the ways of God, it would be blessed with the blessings given to Israel. And what they foretold came true. America became the most blessed nation on earth. By the twentieth century it had become the most prosperous, the most secure, the most revered, and the most powerful nation on earth.
But at the pinnacle of its power and the height of its prosperity relative to the rest of the world, a metamorphosis began. The ‘Israel of the New World’ would reenact the apostasy and fall of Israel of the ancient world. America now began a progression that would end with the nation’s turning away from the God of its foundation.
The metamorphosis was subtle at first but, in time, would grow more and more blatant and brazen. As did ancient Israel, so now America began removing God from its national life, from its culture, its government, and its public squares. It would ban prayer and the reading of Scripture from the instruction of its children.
The school system that had come into existence for the purpose of teaching the Word of God would now treat that Word as contraband.”
He concludes that the mystery of the Shemitah will touch America, bearing in mind that whatever, at this time, impacts America, effects the whole world. He then goes on to see if there could exist any connection between the occurrences of financial and economic collapses in the modern world “that relate to the specific seven year cycle, of the shemitah, in the Hebrew month of Tishel.”
He looks at the majority of the greatest long term collapses in stock market history. (Listed in order of increasing magnitude) The crash of 2000-2001 (the Dot-Com Crash and 9/11), the Crash of 1916-1917 (the First World War), the Crash of 1973, (the Crash of Multiple Crises), the Crash of 1901-03, (the Struggle of Titans), the Crash of 1937-1938 (the Recession), the Crash of 2007-2008 (the Great Recession) and the Crash of 1930 – 1932 (The Great Depression).
A SECOND OPINION
Since I am not a Hebrew scholar, I decided to seek advice from a trusted friend and one time colleague Dr Lance Wonders who worked with me in ACTS Bible School. Interestingly enough, Lance had been doing his own research prior to the publication of the ‘Mystery of the Shemitah’ and had come to similar conclusions and basically agreeing with Cahn’s dates and details. The one main difference was that Cahn put the emphasis on a warning about coming judgment in America, whilst Lance’s emphasis was on Israel discovering their Messiah.
In our next Langstaff Letter, we will look at what Cahn has to say in this regard. It is fascinating and if it is correct, then it is a warning of things to come. So, look for the next Langstaff Letter as we examine further the mystery of the shemitah.