Book Review: The Mystery of the Shemitah

“The Mystery of the Shemitah” – Jonathan Cahn

The 3,000-Year-Old Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future, The World’s Future…And Your Future!

The dramatic sequel to The Harbinger does not disappoint with its thrilling historical findings and futuristic predictions. Reminiscent of David Wilkerson’s “The Vision,”  yet not as unflinching in its theme, the Mystery of the Shemitah is an important read for every Christian interested in “end time watchfulness.” Cahn is careful to not make claims or manufacture future dates of reckoning, but he does awaken the reader to an ancient system of ‘remission’ that is amply backed up with evidence in the form of figures and statistics!

Just like its predecessor, The Mystery of the Shemitah contains the type of content that makes it impossible to put down. Anyone with a heart for their country and the discernment to realize the season would find it invaluable. In this book Cahn ably clarifies the latent Hebraic secret that just could be the key to the years that lie immediately ahead for humankind.

Grade – B+

The Year of Remission

In Israeli tradition it was customary, and also decreed, to work diligently for six years yet rest completely on the seventh. In other words, every seventh year the fields would lay fallow, the workshops inactive and the stores bare, according to God’s direction. This command was symbolic of the sabbatical week and reflected the remission of all debt among the people and the forgiveness of things due. As seven is often regarded as the biblical number for completion, the seventh year, or the Shemitah year, acted as a culmination of each periodic cycle for the Jewish people. It also called on its people to obey this command, even when it meant financial loss or the loss of a product surplus. The striking thing about the Shemitah edict was that remission came, no matter if the people observed it or ignored it. It’s actually what Jeremiah was sent, in part, to warn against; coming judgment and the repayment of unobserved Shemitah cycles (this was a symptom of the broader problem of defiance and independence against God). [see Jeremiah 25] He was calling on his people to repent from their disobedience, lest their land be laid waste for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:4-11). How is 70 years significant? According to Cahn, it totals the number of Shemitah years that were ignored by Israel in trade for pride, arrogance and personal gain. Remission occurred in this context even when Israel disobeyed. They remitted their livelihood (and their country) to the Babylonians in 586 BC (a Shemitah year itself) and remained in captivity for seven decades. Cahn brings the mystery of the Shemitah to life in great detail in this book with the support of meticulous research and prudent application of the old testament prophetic texts, thus unveiling a very compelling trend.

An Unmistakable Trend

The meat of Cahn’s book is actually devoted to pretty cold, hard facts and statistics. He maps out the most consequential stock market losses in American history and makes one remarkable connection. Almost every crash, and especially those of greater magnitude to the American economy, have fallen within or immediately after (in its wake) a Shemitah year. The evidence that Cahn presents makes it quite difficult to label the ‘Shemitah year effect’ as coincidence and leads the reader to believe there may be something of deeper consequence at play. I was certainly left making the latter conclusion as I looked at the numbers in just the past few decades. Each of the following years/dates fell within a Shemitah year and carried significant financial recompense. Coincidence? Possibly, but what if these were warnings in the financial realm consistent with an ancient system of remission aimed at calling our country specifically to repentance and reconciliation with God?

1987Largest single day crash in American history – Occurred at the Shemitah year climax

The 2008 Shemitah Year Stock Market Plunge

2001The post 9/11 Recession – Occurred within a Shemitah year

2008The “Great Recession” – Occurred within a Shemitah year and began precisely within the Tishri month (you’ll have to read the book to understand this interesting caveat)

There are many more parallels in American financial history that Cahn aptly points out, including the fact that the Great Depression, the #1 most substantial loss in market history, has, just like the 2008 recession (#2) a very focused correlation with the Shemitah period reckoning. I simply point out these more recent phenomena because, just like end time bible prophecy, things seem to be increasing in intensity, similar to that of birth pangs…

The Link to Wall Street

Since the dawn of the industrial age, it can be said that the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) serves as the epicenter of world finance & trade. The World Trade Center was erected in Manhattan in the 1960’s to solidify this global stature. We know of course that those towers came crashing down in 2001, eerily coinciding with both the Shemitah year and the corresponding recession, which in many ways was caused by this calamity (much more on this in Cahn’s ‘The Harbinger’). It stands as no surprise then that at a moment of prophetic fiscal recompense, the financial district at Wall Street would be the first to feel the quake and the tremors would be felt across all sectors. Like in 2008 or recessions and market failures before it, trouble on Wall Street spells a host of things, namely lower economic output/productivity, “bearish” stocks, and lower consumer spending and confidence. In Cahn’s view, and something that’s very evident through his research, the effects of these warning judgments begin and end on Wall Street.

*The obvious question that you may be mulling is “what does an edict for the Israel of biblical times have to do with present day American finances?” This mystery is unveiled in The Harbinger

September 2014 – September 2015 – The Present Day Shemitah

In Part Seven of his book, titled “The Mystery of the Shemitah and that which lies ahead,” Cahn looks ahead to the next Shemitah period, which happens to be a present reality. As of September 24th, 2014 through September 13th, 2015, the Shemitah year period is in effect. So, what can we expect? Remission in the form of another stock market crash, or perhaps through food goods – i.e a national famine? Or, maybe nothing… you’ll have to read the book to know what the author thinks.

I finished this book in about two or three days partly because I’m intrigued with this topic but also because it’s credible, which is saying something in the realm of end time prophetic works. I greatly respect Jonathan Cahn and appreciate his application and interpretation of the prophetic texts of the Bible. I also think for those of us who are analytical, the numbers and figures as they are presented in this book bring new life to the discussion about Christ’s return, presumably one of Cahn’s goals in writing this best-seller.

Joe D’Orsie – Communications & Spiritual Life Counsel