Book Report by Paul Jablonowski


"The Mystery of the Shemitah"

by Jonathan Cahn


January 12, 2015

Last week, I finished reading Jonathan Cahn's 280 page book “The Mystery of the Shemitah" and wanted to write a summary.  I hope to condense the important points.

Mr. Cahn is a Messianic Jewish believer who also wrote the New York Times best selling book, "The Harbinger" which showed the prophetic relevance of the 9-11-2001 events and how this "breach" was a warning (harbinger) of things to come if America doesn't repent.  The conclusion of this first book was that instead of repentance America's leaders were in defiance.  Tom Daschle (Senate Majority leader at that time) even quoted on national television Isaiah 9:10 which says:

"The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars." (Isa 9:10)

Ironically, there was a particular sycamore tree that was "cut down" by the falling twin towers on 9/11 in New York, and this tree was literally replaced in 2003 with a "cedar" tree with pomp and circumstance by many national leaders calling it the "Tree of Hope."  This tree was on the very plot of ground at St. Paul's Chapel where America's founding father's dedicated this nation to the LORD on April 30th 1789 on the day of George Washington's inauguration.  On this day, the first Capital of America was established in New York at Ground Zero where the entire nation's leadership prayed for 2 hours at this chapel.  George Washington's pew at this St. Paul's chapel still reads this quote today, "Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that you will keep the United States in Holy protection."  On 9/11/2001, this little chapel was miraculously saved amidst all the buildings destroyed around it, many calling it the "Miracle of Ground Zero."

But protection comes from the LORD and our nation's leaders no longer pray together or seek God publically.  Ironically again, this "Tree of Hope" planted in 2003 on the same plot of land died in 2014 and was taken down quietly and without any fanfare in the spring of 2014.

The verses just before the one Daschle quoted in Isa 9:10, say this:

"The LORD sent a word against Jacob... who say in pride and arrogance of heart: The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild..." (Isa. 9:8,9,10)

So, our nation's leaders unknowingly were quoting the scriptures that pertain to judgment due to the "pride and arrogance of heart" yet they thought they were being righteous in quoting it.  This is how pride blinds those who walk in it.  Such is the current state of our nation.

So that brings us to Cahn's second book on the Shemitah which is even more profound in its implications of judgment upon an unrepentant nation.  The LORD disciplines those He loves, so the fact that America is being spanked is a good thing in the long run if our nation's leadership turns and remembers the Christian heritage of our beginnings.

The Shemitah is simply the 7th year of rest that God gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai.  Every seventh year, the land was not to be plowed or planted, but given rest so that the poor may eat freely.  So the land became somewhat public property every 7 years as a reminder that it was really the LORD's land and we are just caretakers of what He gives to us.  It is a lesson in trusting in the LORD instead of relying on our own strength.  It is also a reminder not to oppress one another especially "the stranger" and even the beasts of the field. (Lev. 25:1-4, Ex. 23:10-11)

Also, and probably more importantly, there was to be a release of debts every 7 years:

"At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts.  And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the LORD's release (Shemitah!)"   Deut. 15:1-2

Shemitah is the Hebrew word for "the release" or "the remission" and deals with land but mostly with the cancellation of financial debt.  The Shemitah year starts in the Hebrew month Tishri (around September) and lasts until the beginning of the next Tishri (around September).

Has God been keeping the Shemitah year in spite of man's disobedience?  In 586 BC the nation of Israel was taken into captivity for 70 years in order to keep the 70 Shemitah years that Israel ignored!  See Jer. 25:4-11 and Daniel 9:2

So there IS a connection between the Shemitah and national judgment.  But what would this look like today?  And how would we know what is the correct year for the Shemitah?

Cahn believes this current year starting Sept 25th 2014 through Sept 13th 2015 is the Shemitah year of release, and that it will manifest somehow in the form of a major national financial "turning point" or “remission” or market collapse.

He bases this on previous financial crashes that have happened in recent history during Shemitah years.  For example, seven years ago in 2008 on the very last day of the Shemitah (Feast of Trumpets on 9-29-2008) the DOW Jones fell exactly -777 points which to date is still the largest single daily point drop in history and equaled 7% of the DOW at that time.

Seven years previous to that, again on the very last day of the Shemitah on the Feast of Trumpets, the Stock Market opened up for the first time after the 9-11-2001 attacks and it fell 7%.  What are the odds of this happening exactly 7 years apart to the exact last day of the Shemitah?  The next final-day of a Shemitah year will be September 13/14, 2015.

These are the two most dramatic examples of market crashes during the Shemitah year.  Cahn goes into greater detail of the other Shemitah years that also saw financial collapses with the exception of 1994 which instead saw a dramatic "turning point" when the market took off higher until the dot com bubble in 2001 popped during the 2001 Shemitah year.

Here is a brief summary of the past six Shemitah years:


The Great Recession or the Global Financial Crisis


9/11 attacks and the dot-com crash


After this Shemitah year the market turned dramatically upward


Largest single day percentage drop in history known as "Black Tuesday" in the Hebrew month of Tishri (October 19) which saw 22% of DOW lost in one day


The 1979 Iranian crisis spiked oil and became the 1980 Worldwide Recession where inflation caused GDP to go from 5% to 1.5% and a significant market drop


Market lost 48 percent during this year from its January peak to its low in October

Cahn says on page 110, "From the forty-year period beginning in 1973, every single one of the five greatest financial and economic peaks and collapses have converged, clustered, and taken place according to the set time of the Shemitah."  Cahn then documents with stock market charts and historical data these collapses and how they overlap the Shemitah year dates.

Cahn also documents other Shemitah years. Counting back in increments of 7 years, he shows how many significant financial events happened during Shemitah years:


The Great Depression which started in 1929 regained all that was lost until April of 1931 when the downturn involved a global collapse of trade during the Shemitah year


The Recession of the Great Depression when wall street collapsed Sept 6, 1937 which was the very day after the start of the Shemitah year and continued downward


Another Depression or "Struggle of the Titans" where J.P. Morgan and Jacob Schiff struggled over the Northern Pacific Railroad causing financial collapse


During the First World War over 40 percent of the market was wiped out during this Shemitah year from Nov 1916 until Dec 1917


End of World War Two with bringing down of Hitler and raising up of the "Bretton Woods" new financial order where world currencies were tied to US dollar

Shemitah years: 1973, 1966, 1959, 1952, 1945, 1938, 1931, 1924, 1917, 1910, 1903, 1896

Cahn explains how the Shemitah is to break man's pride, humble a nation and bring humility.  Towers are symbols of greatness and often pride, which are reminiscent of the tower of Babel.  Cahn shows how the "twin towers" in New York represented American pride:  They were conceived in the Shemitah of 1945, begun in the Shemitah of 1966, built for 7 years and finished/dedicated in the Shemitah of 1973 and destroyed in the 2001 Shemitah.

Shemitah comes from the Hebrew root word shamat which can also mean "to let alone," or "to pull away, to shake, to overthrow and collapse."  God's people are to let go of their claims of ownership and let our debtors free.  But also, when the Shemitah comes as judgment, God will "pull away" His protection upon a nation, which is what has been happening progressively stronger in America with every Shemitah year.

1917 was the beginning of America's rise to global power as a nation after World War 1, and 1945 was the peak after World War 2.  Both were Shemitah years.  Cahn gives many examples of the collapse of powers and nations during Shemitah years including Hitler's rise to power in 1938 and fall in 1945. He shows that the only victory parade ending WW2 that had all four allied armies present was in Berlin (the city where the Third Reich fell) on September 7, 1945 which just happened to be the last day of the Shemitah that year!

Cahn has found that groups of four Shemitah years (28 years) have cycles.  The 1917-1945 cycle just discussed, the 1945-1973 cycle of American dominance, and the 1973-2001 of America's falling from God. 1973 was the watershed year when America's Supreme Court legalized abortion which would ultimately lead to national judgment.  The Stock Market reached its peak eleven days before this Supreme Court decision, and then lost 48 percent of its value in 1973.

Cahn compares the cycles of: 1) Superpower status, 2) Financial status and 3) war, within Shemitah years.  For example, the Bretton Woods financial system was created in 1945 but collapsed in 1973 due to the US dollar being removed from the gold standard and world currencies tied to the dollar were irrevocably severed in 1973.  The twin towers in NY were a symbol of America as a superpower, and in 2001 those symbols came down at the very end of that Shemitah year.  The rising and falling of nations is what marks Shemitah years.

Instead of America humbling itself after the fall of the twin towers, they built another tower in defiance according to the Isaiah 9:10 prophecy.  Both Tom Daschle in 2001 and John Edwards in 2003 quoted this Isaiah 9:10 verse in nationally televised events in their minds I am sure as "encouragement" to rebuild America as a superpower.  But if the LORD is not guarding the house, the watchman watches in vain.  This defiant "vow" was done in "pride and arrogance" in ancient Israel (Isaiah 9:9) and it is also being done in pride and arrogance in our generation too.

Cahn gives several examples of how the "One World Trade Center" that replaced the twin towers is eerily reminiscent of the tower of Babel which was done in defiance of God "to make a name for ourselves." The Septuagint even translates Isaiah 9:10 using the word "tower."

"The bricks are fallen down, but come... and let us build for ourselves a tower."

The Shemitah is a reminder to all nations that their blessings come from God.  Those nations that remember God will be blessed, and those nations that forget God will begin to fall during Shemitah years.  So there is both the rising and falling of nations during Shemitah years.

Today is January 12, 2015 in the middle of a Shemitah year.  What has happened so far?  The beginning of the Shemitah year at the end of Sept 2014 saw the DOW Jones go wildly up and down around 300 points per day, which continues to this day where just last week we saw the DOW drop -630 points in three days and go up +535 in two days.  This schizophrenic market is now almost the new normal, so this can hardly be considered a world changing event.

But more importantly during the week of Hanukkah in December of 2014, the nation of China finally surpassed America as the largest economy in the world.  China's GDP is now greater than that of America for the fist time.  The Shemitah years see both the rising and falling of nations.

Cahn ends his book on two final notes: 1) the black suns / red moons, and 2) the Year of Jubilee.

The bible says that the sun, and moon are for times and seasons, but "seasons" is moedim in the Hebrew which means "appointed times."  So when the sun or moon is in eclipse it is worthy of taking notice even though they are somewhat regular.  What is not regular is the four blood moon eclipses that fall on Hebrew Holiday's four times in a row (tetrad) which happens in 2014-2015.

Also of note are the solar eclipses which both happened at the end of Shemitah years in 1931 and 1987.  England left the gold standard in 1931 and within eight days of the darkening of the sun that year, the greatest month long market crash in Wall Street history occurred.  The black sun of 1987 ushered in "Black Monday" on Wall Street within the same month's time period, which is the greatest single day percentage drop in the market to date.

The year 2015 has two solar eclipses: On March 20, 2015 there will be a solar eclipse which occurs during the exact midpoint of the Shemitah year (which is also the beginning of the sacred year on Nisan 1). The other solar eclipse will take place on the very last day of the Shemitah year on Sept 13, 2015.  This Sept 2015 date may be comparable to the Shemitah year endings in Sept of 1931 and 1987 which saw market collapses.

The Year of Jubliee: September 2015 - September/October 2016

Finally, after every seven Shemitah years (49 years) is The Year of Jubilee in the Bible.  The Jubilee is also the first year in the next 7 year cycle, so that the sevens don't get off track chronologically.  So in Jubilee years, there would be 2 years of rest in a row: one for the regular Shemitah year, and one for the Jubilee year.  Cahn gives reasons why the year Sept 2015 through Sept 2016 may very well be a year of Jubilee which only comes once every 49 years and is a release not only of debts but of persons (slaves and prisoners)!!

"It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family... In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession."   Leviticus 25:10,13

So the cycle of redemption is 49 years after which time the land and persons are restored.  Can we find the Jubilee year in modern times?  Jubilee years must come after a Shemitah year, so if Cahn is correct in his assessment of Shemitah years, then we can narrow down the Jubilees to some year after a Shemitah year.  Well, he has found three very compelling dates for possibilities of Jubilee years.  First, is the year AD 70 which is the pivotal year when the Jewish people lost Jerusalem and their land of Israel due to their disobedience and rejection of their Messiah Yahoshua (Jesus) who foretold this. The year 70 AD did indeed come after a Shemitah year.

Then we have the possible Jubilee years of 1917/18 and 1967 in modern times which also come after Shemitah years exactly 49 years apart.  What happened during these years that might be a national restoration of land and people to their homeland?  On December 11, 1917, during the first few months of the Jubilee, General Edmund Allenby entered Jerusalem to take it for England after the Balfour Declaration was issued on November 2, 2017 a month earlier.

The Jubilee is a year of restoration and in 1967 after almost 2,000 years, the city of Jerusalem was restored to Israel during the Six day War.  The last thing to do after connecting these three dots, is to add 49 years to get to the beginning of the next Jubilee: September 13/14, 2015 on the Feast of Trumpets and September 23, 2015 on the Day of Atonement when the Trumpet was sounded to begin the year of Jubilee! (Leviticus 25:9). This Jubilee year ends Oct 2016.

source: http://sonstoglory.com/Jesus/ShemitahJonathanCahn.htm