THE JUBILEE PERIOD
Although there is no place in the scriptures which clearly states that there will be a fifty year Jubilee
period between the return of Christ and the inauguration of the Millennium, there is ample evidence
by inference that the resurrection and judgement, and subsequent events up to the completion of the
Temple and the return of scattered Israel under Elijah, will cover a period of fifty years.
The clearest indication is to be found in the prophecy of Ezekiel. Ezekiel was a man of sign to the
house of Israel - Ezek. 12:6; 24:24. However, because the greater proportion of his prophecy has
relationship to the development of Yahweh's glory in the household of Christ, spiritual Israel, the
prophecy and its setting from the very beginning has relevance to things yet future in the purpose of
Time periods play an important part in Ezekiel's prophetic work as a man of sign - Ezek. 4:3-8. It
might be expected therefore that in relation to future events a pattern will be discernable in Ezekiel's
prophecy concerning time periods surrounding those events.
The last nine chapters of Ezekiel are devoted entirely to a detailed description of the House of Prayer
for all nations to be constructed by Christ as a habitation for His Father's glory and to the services
pertaining to that Temple along with details concerning the division of the Land.
It is noteworthy that at the commencement of this section of his prophecy and immediately following
the section dealing with the destruction of Gog and the cleansing of the Land Ezekiel provides a
precise date upon which he saw the vision of the Temple - Ezek. 40:1.
The prophecy of Ezekiel flows smoothly in chronological order from the end of chapter 36 which
summarises the prophecies of the re-establishment of Israel in the Land (Ezek. 36-39).
Ezekiel 37 – The vision of the valley of dry bones – Israel is to be restored to the land of their
Ezekiel 38&39 – The advance of the Gogian host – Russia's destruction at Armageddon —
The land of Israel cleansed.
Ezekiel 40-48 – The Temple built – A House of Prayer for all nations – The Land divided and
It is vital to note that the things Ezekiel saw in chaps. 40 to 48 are represented as being actually
existent at the time the vision was given – note the offerings in position as though the Temple was in
operation (Ezek. 40:43).
"In the five and twentieth year of our captivity" – i.e. the 25th year of Jehoiachin's captivity (Ezek.
1:2). This year was the 14th after the destruction of Jerusalem which occurred in the 11th year of
Zedekiah the successor of Jehoiachin upon the throne of Judah.
The significance of the 25th year of Jehoiachin's captivity is that it was apparently a Jubilee year.
Ezekiel commenced his prophecy by dating it from the 18th year of Josiah's reign (Ezek. 1:1). This
was the year of Josiah's great passover and according to tradition was a Jubilee year. This would
account in part for Josiah's zeal towards the Temple and people despite the absence of a copy of the
Law, during this year of his reign.
The 25th year of Jehoiachin's captivity was exactly 50 years after the 18th year of Josiah and
therefore a Jubilee year. In this year Ezekiel saw the Temple completed and in use. There must be a
reason for this arrangement. It is evident that we are intended to see a pattern to be unfolded in the
divine purpose foreshadowed in Ezekiel's experiences.
The Temple will be opened for use by all nations and the Millennial reign of Christ will begin in the
fiftieth year after his stealthy and thief-like return to resurrect and judge the household. This Jubilee
period will be filled with numerous dramatic and world-shaking events which will completely change
the world and its civilisation in preparation for a Millennium of righteousness and peace (2 Pet. 3:13).
The following summary of the dates referred to above reveals that from the 18th of Josiah to the 25th
of Jehoiachin's captivity was a period of 50 years.
Josiah kept a Jubilee Passover in his 18th year
Josiah reigned after the Jubilee
Zedekiah reigned (to the smiting of the city)
Ezekiel received the vision 14 years later
Total period since last Jubilee
49 years 6 months
"in the beginning of the year" – i.e. in the first month, Abib.
"the tenth day of the month" – The 10th of Abib; the day the Passover lamb was selected. Ezekiel's
vision occurs 50 years to the day after Josiah's Jubilee Passover.
"in the fourteenth year after the city was smitten" – i.e. the 25th year of Jehoiachin's captivity.
"in the selfsame day" - Often where these words occur in the scriptures, stress is being laid upon the
importance of a time period – cp. Gen. 7:13; Ex. 12:41. It was exactly 50 years to the day since