The Mystery of the Shemitah by Rabbi Jonathon Cahn, an overview
The prophet Jeremiah delivered God’s earning to Israel to repent of her evil ways and return to God. She did not. Jerusalem was destroyed, and the people were taken captive to Babylon. He walked the ruins in grief and recorded his sorrow in the Book of Lamentations.
He also delivered God’s prophecy that their captivity would last seventy years.
Why seventy? They were to remain captive in a foreign land “…until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept the Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.” This from 2 Chronicles 36:21.
Israel had not kept the Shemitah for seventy cycles. They and the land owed God seventy Shemitah years, which He would have one way or the other; either voluntarily or not.
The Shemitah was part of their covenant with God. Keep the covenant, and God will allow them to keep His blessings. Break the covenant, and God will retract His blessings.
The Israelites broke the Shemitah in extreme fashion. Not only did they not keep those Sabbath years, but they forsook God overall, following false gods and even sacrificing their children, burning them alive on those false alters. It was for this final transgression of killing their own children that judgement was executed.
It begs the question of what God thinks of the millions of unborn children killed in the United States, sacrificed to the god of self and convenience.
So judgment came in 586 BC. Since Israel had not transformed its financial and economic realms as required by the Shemitah, they were transformed by force:
“As long as it (the land) lies desolate it shall rest – for the time it did not rest on your Sabbaths when you dwelt in it.” Leviticus 26:35
The Shemitah held the secret of the nation’s fall and the length of that judgement. This was a pivotal moment in world history, as it marked the scattering of Jewish people across the world. When Israel was released from its bondage by King Cyrus of Persia, not everyone went home to Jerusalem. Although a remnant returned to their homeland, many stayed away, where they in most cases had been born and raised.
Next: Is the Shemitah still at work in world events?