What Is the Biblical Jubilee

The Biblical Jubilee

The Debt Jubilee Project is named after and often-forgotten requirement in Leviticus -- that every fiftieth year, there would be a religious Year of Jubilee, where all debts would be forgiven and all slaves freed.  Check out Leviticus 25, which ordains a sabbath year, one in every seven (Lev. 25:1-7), and a jubilee year, one in every fifty (Lev. 25:8-17), to sanctify Israel’s internal economy and care for the weakest part of society. In the sabbath year, each field was to lie fallow, which appears to be a sound agricultural practice. The year of jubilee was much more radical. Every fiftieth year, all leased or mortgaged lands were to be returned to their original owners, and all slaves and bonded laborers were to be freed (Lev. 25:10).

Many Americans today are enslaved by medical debts they cannot realistically pay.  Most of the families we help are very low income, often on fixed income, and in some cases have chronic health issues that pile up bills constantly.  Through the Debt Jubilee Project, we can manifest God's grace in their lives by forgiving the debts.

For us, this is much like the grace that Christ has brought into our lives: gracious forgiveness that we desperately need even though we don't deserve it.  It is the least we can do for our neighbors.