The biblical year runs from Nisan to Adar. It begins roughly in the month of April and ends in March. In order to identify what year is the Jubilee we would naturally look for significant events in history within that Spring to Spring timeframe. The Jubilee signals release from bondage and a return to lands and possessions. According to the Torah the Jubilee is the fiftieth year (Lev. 25:10-11) following a sevenfold sabbatical year cycle (7 x 7 years). The Jubilee is declared or consecrated on the tenth day of the seventh month by blowing a trumpet throughout all the land, which is the Day of Atonement (Lev. 25:9). So let’s see if 2017-2018 might actually be the Jubilee and remember that we are only looking for events that fall roughly between the April to April range:
2017-2018: 50 years since the Jews recaptured their biblical capital. Back in May Israel celebrated this anniversary by declaring the “Jubilee of Jerusalem” and even lighting up the Jerusalem sky with “50”. You can read more about this here and here.
1967-1968: The Jews recapture Jerusalem in June 1967 along with other large swaths of the Holy Land (Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, Gaza, and the Sinai Peninsula). This definitely fits the Jubilee theme of receiving back lands and possessions.
1917-1918: The Ottoman Empire, which had controlled the Holy Land for centuries, was defeated by the British and Jerusalem fell to General Allenby in December 1917. The land of Israel was transferred from anti-Semitic enemies to those friendly to the Zionist cause. The Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 was a pledge by the British government to eventually establish a Jewish homeland in the Holy Land. Again we see the Jubilee themes of returning lands and possessions – the Jews were promised they would get their land back. This declaration was also of monumental prophetic significance in that it was effectively a statement that the Gentiles who had controlled Israel and Jerusalem for over 2,000 years were relinquishing control.
1867-1868: Jews in Europe had been subject to harassment, stolen lands and property, and the relinquishment of civil rights for centuries, but in the early 19th century that began to change. Just a few months after Franz Joseph was coronated Emperor of Austria-Hungary, the Jews were emancipated across the empire on December 22, 1867 (again in the Spring to Spring range). Interestingly, the Austro-Hungarian Empire lasted for exactly one Jubilee (1867-68 to 1917-18).
1817-1818: Emperor Alexander I of Russia established the Ministry of Religious Affairs with the intention of offering Jews who would convert to Christianity full civil rights, free land, and no taxation. He placed the head of the Russian Bible Society in charge of the new ministry and both were inclined towards the physical and spiritual well-being of the Jewish people who were being persecuted elsewhere in Europe.
Also, an extraordinarily rare astronomical event occurred on January 3, 1818 when Venus occulted Jupiter. Planetary occultations are so rare that sometimes they only happen once every few hundred years. This was the only planetary occultation to occur until 2065. While its connection to the Jubilee isn’t readily apparent, Venus and Jupiter seem to be the two “stars” that represent Christ – Venus represents the glorified Christ (His divine nature; see Rev. 22:16) and Jupiter represents Christ’s human nature along with the Church, His body (see here).
1517-1518: The Protest Reformation was kicked off on October 31, 1517 when Martin Luther nailed a copy of his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg. The Reformation was a release from the spiritual bondage of the Roman Catholic Church. It allowed for most of the religious and Christian freedoms we now use and cherish today and most importantly, it began a revitalization in the Christian faith and return to many of the early Church’s beliefs and practices. The Reformation set the stage for massive worldwide evangelization in the following centuries. By most counts, greater than 40% of Christians are now Protestants (about one billion people). Next month will witness the 500th anniversary of this momentous event.
1267-1268: The chief Jewish leader Nachmanides, commonly called “Ramban”, made aliyah to Jerusalem in 1267 and established the Ramban Synagogue on Mt. Zion that same year. At the time there was no other active synagogue in the city and the Jewish community had dwindled to perhaps no more than 10 people. Because Nachmanides moved to the city, many other Jews followed suit, which resulted in nearly 700 consecutive years of Jewish presence in Jerusalem until the 1948 Arab-Israeli war when the Jews were forced out of the Old City. (Click to Site)