“SHEMITAH” – WHAT IS IT?
SHEMITAH is a Hebrew word referring to a command of the Lord. It is a command that when Israel failed to carry it out, they were sent into exile for seventy years in the land of Babylon. Jeremiah prophesied that it would happen: Jeremiah 25:1-3 & 8-12: “The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon…saying, From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the LORD hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; BUT YE HAVE NOT HEARKENED… Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words, Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations. Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle. And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; AND THESE NATIONS SHALL SERVE THE KING OF BABYLON SEVENTY YEARS. AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, WHEN SEVENTY YEARS ARE ACCOMPLISHED, THAT I WILL PUNISH THE KING OF BABYLON, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.”
Daniel read these words of Jeremiah while in exile in Babylon. At this point in time, (539 B.C. ) Daniel was an old man and Babylon had been defeated by the Medes (King Darius) and the Persians (King Cyrus) just as Jeremiah prophesied, so Daniel knew that release was near and he began to intercede for Israel, Daniel 9:1-3: “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.” I would encourage you to read Daniel’s prayer in verses 4-19.
In this same year (539 B.C. ) God moved on The King of Persia to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, Ezra 1:1-2: “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.” Is not God amazing? He had Cyrus provide all the materials to build the temple and Cyrus also released all of the golden artifacts that had been taken from the temple (verses 7-11) and he also released the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem (Ezra 2:1-70).
WHAT IS THIS “SHEMITAH” THAT ISRAEL VIOLATED?
What was the command that when Israel ignored it, brought about the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem and a seventy year captivity of Israel in Babylon? The command is found in Exodus 23: 10-11: “And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: But the seventh year thou shalt let it REST (H8058) and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.” In Leviticus 25:1-7 God describes this seventh year as “…a Sabbath of rest unto the land.” In verses 8-24 God establishes the “YEAR OF JUBILEE” as the year following seven Sabbath years or once every fifty years. During the “YEAR OF JUBILEE” all land is returned to its original owner. “SHEMITAH” is further explained in Deuteronomy 15:1-2: “At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a RELEASE (H8059). And this is the manner of the RELEASE (H8059): Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall RELEASE (H8058) it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD’S RELEASE (H8059).” Notice it is “…the LORD’S RELEASE.” What God intended to be a blessing when obeyed, became a curse when disobeyed!
Here are the Strong’s Concordance definitions noted above:
H8058 – שׁמט- shâmaṭ – shaw-mat’
A primitive root; to fling down; incipiently to jostle; figuratively to let alone, desist, remit: – discontinue, overthrow, release, let rest, shake, stumble, throw down.
H8059 – שׁמטּה- shemittah – shem-it-taw’
From H8058; remission (of debt) or suspension (of labor): – release.
From these definitions, we can see that God intended for “SHEMITAH” to be a time of rest and release from debt, a blessing. When violated the negative side is manifested, a shaking, a throwing down, an overthrow, a curse. God also further commanded in Leviticus
THE CAUSE: A VIOLATION OF “SHEMITAH”
How do we know that it was a violation of this “SHEMITAH” command that caused so much trouble for Israel? II Chronicles 36:15-20: “And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: TO FULFIL THE WORD OF THE LORD BY THE MOUTH OF JEREMIAH, UNTIL THE LAND HAD ENJOYED HER SABBATHS: FOR AS LONG AS SHE LAY DESOLATE SHE KEPT SABBATH, TO FULFIL THREESCORE AND TEN YEARS.”
“SHEMITAH” IN THE NEWS TODAY!
“WASHINGTON – Why are so many Christians in the U.S. and elsewhere standing up and taking notice of an Israeli government action to set aside $29 million to encourage local farmers to observe an ancient biblical commandment to let their fields lay fallow every seventh year? Modern Israel hasn’t paid much attention to this ancient commandment – until recently.
More and more farmers and consumers are expressing concern about fruits and vegetable[s] intentionally grown and harvested in the seventh year – also known as the Shemitah year, or Sabbath year. Now the Israeli government and Jewish religious leaders are hoping to work together to reinstate the practice.
The next Shemitah year on the biblical calendar begins Sept. 25, 2014 – Rosh Hashanah, the civil new year.”  (For an explanation of the Jewish calendar go to:
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, while studying the “SHEMITAH” has documented some very interesting discoveries connected with “SHEMITAH” years and “YEARS OF JUBILEE.” 
For example, 1917 was a “YEAR OF JUBILEE” and on November 2nd of that year, Great Britain issued the Balfour Declaration which states: “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”  In other words, God returned the land of Israel to the Jewish people in a “YEAR OF JUBILEE!” As if that wasn’t amazing enough, fifty years later, between June 5th and 10th, 1967 in what has become known as “The Six Day War,” Israel regained control of East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria. More of the original “Promised Land” was returned to Israel in the “YEAR OF JUBILEE.”
DOES “SHEMITAH” ONLY APPLY TO ISRAEL?
Here is where it really gets interesting and a little bit scary. In light of the definition of the negative side of “SHEMITAH,” as “…a shaking, a throwing down, an overthrow, a curse,” Rabbi Kahn discovered that the September 11th, 2001 attacks that resulted in the collapse of the twin World Trade Towers, (literally, “a throwing down”) occurred during a “SHEMITAH” year. 
“In his book and movie works, Cahn, reveals that the two greatest financial calamities in American history occurred on successive Shemitah years following the 9/11 Islamist terror attacks on the U.S.
September 17, 2001, six days after the 9/11 attacks, the stock market re-opened and suffered the greatest point loss in its history, to that date. The market dropped 700 points, or 7 percent in one day. In response, the Federal Reserve slashed the nation’s interest rates, ushering in a period of economic devastation for the U.S. Sept. 17, 2001, was the end of the Shemitah year – Elul 29.
Seven years later, September 29, 2008, would prove to be even worse! The days leading up to that date saw the government bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the two largest mortgage companies in the U.S., in a bid to prevent the collapse of the two. Shortly thereafter, Lehmann Brothers once considered the pinnacle of financial firms, reported losses of 45 percent and filed bankruptcy rather than accept a government bailout. The stock market dropped 777.7 points or 7 percent, wiping out all gains of the past seven years. Thus making it the largest ever one-day drop in the U.S. stock market history. Sept. 29, 2008, fell on Elul 20, marking the end of the Shemitah year in Israel.
What followed was an implosion of the U.S. and world economies.” 
Are these simply coincidences or are they warnings from God because America has been consistently turning its back on God more and more each year since 1973 when Roe vs. Wade was passed, incidentally, also in a “SHEMITAH” year? What does the future hold for America?
As noted earlier, Rosh Hashanah, on September 25, 2014 marks the beginning of the new “SHEMITAH” year. This “SHEMITAH” year will end on September13, 2015. Since this will be the seventh “SHEMITAH” since the last “YEAR OF JUBILEE” that means September 14, 2015 will mark the beginning of the next “YEAR OF JUBILEE!” Couple that with three more “BLOOD MOONS” occurring during this time on the Lord’s Feast days; October 8, 2014, Feast of Tabernacles, April 4, 2015, Feast of Passover, and September 28, 2015, Feast of Tabernacles. Add to that, a total solar eclipse on March 20, 2015 which is Nisan 1 on the Biblical calendar. Nisan 1 begins the religious New Year as opposed to the civil New Year which is Rosh Hashanah.
WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?
I believe it means we are living in the most exciting times that have ever occurred! Jesus is coming soon and He is going to fully establish the Kingdom of God on this earth. Luke 21:25-28: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, THEN LOOK UP, AND LIFT UP YOUR HEADS; FOR YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH.”
Hebrews 12: 26b-29: “Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, LET US HAVE GRACE, WHEREBY WE MAY SERVE GOD ACCEPTABLY WITH REVERENCE AND GODLY FEAR: FOR OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE.”
WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
Repent of any personal sin and repent on behalf of our nation according to II Chronicles 7:14 and ask God to heal our land. Pray for a great awakening in America. Pray for The Kingdom of God to come on earth even as it is in heaven according to Matthew 6:9-15. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, according to Psalms 122:6. THEN LOOK UP, AND LIFT UP YOUR HEADS; FOR YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH.”
Blessings, Tom and Jeanie
 Dates from THE REESE CHRONOLOGICAL BIBLE, Bethany Fellowship, 1980
 Link to article: http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/israel-rediscovers-shemitah-in-time-for-blood-moons/
 Link to video, “America’s Rise and Fall” – Jonathan Cahn http://youtu.be/CmGDJ3kJqU0
 Wikipedia article: “Balfour Declaration”