JUBILEE in Hebrew is YOVEL (יובל).
In biblical times, the special shofar used by shepherds to call the sheep together before they returned home to their sheep-pen also was called a yovel. It was made from a gazelle horn and, unlike the curved shofars used for ritual purposes, it is straighter and dark in color.
A Dorcas gazelle, Israel – Wikipedia
The concept of ‘return’ blends well with a central commandment of God concerning a jubilee year. We see in the book of Leviticus: “It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan” (25:10) “In this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his property.” (25:13)
The reason God gives as to why no one could make a permanent claim to the land of Israel is: “The Land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the Land is Mine.” (25:23) In a Jubilee year things are restored to their original, God-intended place!
This is what we celebrate this year on Jerusalem Day 5777 / 2017. It is the Jubilee of the restoration of the reunified City of God to its rightful place. In 1967, during the Six Day War, when Israel was attacked by the armies of the surrounding Arab nations, a brigade of the Israel Defense Forces broke through the Lion’s Gate of the Old City, which had been held by Jordan since the War of Independence in 1948. Against impossible odds they were victorious and the city – including the holiest place for the Jewish people, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall – was restored to Israel’s sovereignty.
Jerusalem is a place to which one returns – a place of connection and meeting. Here, in this city, heaven meets earth; the past and the present meet with the future. This Holy City of God is where we will meet our soon-coming Messiah; a day when this fleeting life will meet eternity. Then God’s purpose for the city, the one envisioned from before the very Beginning, will be fulfilled in radiance —the establishing forever of the eternal Dwelling Place of the Holy One of Israel.
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for lo I come and will dwell in the midst of you,” says the Lord.
The Lord’s Sanctuary will be established with powerful praise and unshakable strength in His city, which is the heart of the universe—the City of the Great King. Therein, His throne will be set and the light of Zion will shine forth to the nations, bearing the vision of eternity in the spirit of kindness and truth.
A new song will flow forth, a pure haunting melody carrying luminous words of redemption and hope; and this Holy Place will finally become a House of Prayer for all nations. King Solomon knew God’s purpose for His Dwelling Place on earth and the vision of promise it contained. When he dedicated the first beautiful Temple in Jerusalem – built as designed by his father King David in accord with God’s specific instructions and plan, Solomon proclaimed:
“… that all the peoples of the earth may know Your Name and fear Thee, as do Thy people Israel, and that they may know that this House which I have built is called by Thy Name” (I Kings 8:41– 43).
Also, as foretold by the prophet Isaiah, the Great Shepherd’s yovel is sounding and he is gathering his flock from the nations and leading them home where they belong, to be one flock with the family of God.
“And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast My covenant—
these I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer;
…for My House shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.” (56:6-9)
May we soon all rejoice together in grateful praise, thanksgiving and joy in the City of the Great King – the eternal, filled-with-His-glory, Jerusalem ~ YERUSHALAIM SHEL ZAHAV.
- Baruch Nachshon, Israel – www.nachshonart.com
- Alex Levin, Jerusalem – https://artlevin.com