The Queen’s Jubilee.

Bible Study #14

Bible History #2

 

On June 2, 2022, many countries of the British Commonwealth will begin to celebrate 70 years of The Queen's reign.

Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne of England on February 6, 1952 and her coronation took place on June 2, 1953. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee (25 years) in 1977 and her Golden Jubilee (50 years) in 2002. June 2022 will be her Platinum (70 years) Jubilee. Her life in photos can be seen here.

 

What is a Jubilee?

 

Let’s start with some synonyms for Jubilee: (each word is linked to its dictionary meaning) carnival, celebration, fest, festivity, fete (or fête), fiesta, gala, festival.

If you checked the links to the synonyms, you’ll get the idea. A Jubilee is a celebration of something special. In the case of the queen, it’s a celebration to show how many years she has been reigning as Queen. But, what’s the origin of the word jubilee? This link shows the Hebrew origin of the word. (Quite a lot of technical reading!)

In order to simplify things, here are some of the basic facts:The Bible in its first book of Genesis, states that God created the world and everything in it in 6 days. Then on the seventh day God rested. (Genesis 1:31, 2:2) So, the seventh day became a day of rest for the people of Israel. In Hebrew the same word for the number ‘7’ (שׁבעה shib‛âh, shib-aw') is used not only for the day, but other sevens as well, such as years. God meant for every 7th year to be a Sabbath (rest) year. In which no crops were planted to give the people and the land rest.

 

A History of Jubilees

 

Taking this number seven as having the special meaning of rest, every 7x7 years or 49 years (or 50 depending on how it’s counted), was a very special year called a ‘Jubilee’.

In Jubilee year, all properties were returned to their original owners, which also meant that slaves, who were sadly regarded as property, also returned to their original owners, in other words, to themselves meaning they were freed. (People often became slaves to pay off debts they or their family owed, but could not pay).

In Jubilee year everything was reset, old debts were finished and it was a new beginning, hence a great celebration. You can read the details in Leviticus 25:8-13.

 

A summary:

What we have covered so far? Every 7th year was a ‘rest year’, no crops were planted, and fruits in the field were left for the poor people to take. Then, every 49 (7x7) years, there was a special rest year, called a Jubilee year. It started at the end of the regular seventh year rest, so it was actually the 50th year.

In jubilee year again, no crops were planted, and what grew was to be left for the poor people, all Hebrew slaves were set free, all debts were forgiven and all land that was sold, returned to its original owners. It was a great celebration of freedom.

Jubilee a Token of the Future

It was to be a picture of God’s final gift of freedom, ‘salvation’ that was to come through Jesus. (Jesus announced this when he started His ministry, recorded in Luke 4:17-21. Jesus read a prophecy written by the prophet Isaiah 700 years earlier, Isaiah 61:1-4, read it below)

Isaiah’s Prophecy

Isaiah 61:1-4 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

 

Luke 4:17-21 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And unrolling the book, He found the place where it was written,

18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on Me; because of this He has anointed Me to proclaim the Gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and new sight to the blind, to set at liberty those having been crushed,

19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." 20 And rolling up the book, returning it to the attendant, He sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your ears.

Jubilee after its beginnings

It is an unfortunate part of Hebrew history that the genuine celebration of Jubilee didn’t last very long. Since then, many kings and queens have celebrated a ‘Jubilee’, hopefully to remember God’s commands, but all too often it seems, to show their own ‘goodness’ to the people. So, for a long time, the original freedoms granted through the enactment of Jubilee have not been put into practice. Had it been, world history could look very different from what the way it is now.

A Symbol of Things to Come

All of the past or present Jubilee’s were symbols that were meant to represent the greatest Jubilee of all, when Jesus returns! The next time, Jesus will not return as a meek and helpless baby, but as the conquering king (Revelations 6:2). And what or who will he;did He conquer? The Bible book of 1 Corinthians 15:26 tells us the following: The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Jesus will finally free the world from the grip of sin and the Devil’s hold over the hearts of men by conquering death. And as he has already conquered death (See Acts 2:20-24), we can anticipate the glorious day when Jesus will bring the full transformation of the entire world from the old to the new, when it will be an eternal rest, the greatest jubilee of all time!

(See: Revelations 21:1,4-7 , 1 Corinthians 15:50-57)

You may also be interest in this further explanation of Jesus conquering death: https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-Christ-conquered-death.html)

 

Back to the Present Day

As for the Queen’s 70th Jubilee, there will be a four-day holiday and many special events to celebrate the occasion. See the link below for more information:

https://platinumjubilee.gov.uk/

 

Whenever Jesus returns, we have a great future to look forward to! Trust Jesus for your salvation and I’ll see you there!