Jubilee Cycle: 49 or 50?

The Bible Prophecy Timeline - Revelation 12


Year Cycles

49 or 50?

Prophetic Timeline

723 BC

2520 Prophecy (Israel)


677 BC

2520 Prophecy (Judah)


607 BC

Jubilee of Jubilees
Prophecy (Land)


146 BC


70 Weeks

Daniel 9

158 BC


League Between
Jews & Romans?

Daniel 11

508 AD

Daily Taken Away

Daniel 8 Daniel 11

538 AD

Rome Middle Ages

1260 Years

Daniel 7 Daniel 11 Revelation 12 Revelation 13

1844 AD

Investigative Judgment

2300 Days

Daniel 8

2027 AD

End of 6000 Years?


202? AD

When is the end?

Daniel 12 Daniel 12 - Debated

This study was for me to try and understand reasons for both cycles.
If you just go by the text I would think 50 year cycles.

Lev 25­:11 "A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed.

But there is evidence for 49 year cycles.

Daniel 9­:24 "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

What does the 490 year prophecy have to do with Jubilee you ask?
As I understand it in Lev 25:1-4 Israel was told to let the land rest every seventh year.
After Saul became King the land had no rest. (Not sure where I heard that)
From the time Saul became King in 1097BC until 607BC (1097-607=490) was 490 years. (The time the land sabbath was broken)
607 BC was when the seventy years of captivity began under Jehoichim. (This starts the 70 years the land gets to rest)
Taking 70 years from 607 (607-70=537) we get 537 BC.
It was in 537 BC the Jews were released and sent back to their own land.

As seen above the land was able to rest for 70 years during the time of Babylon.
This again shows how many land sabbaths they broke by how long they were in captivity and away from their own land.
But their penalty did not end there.
What did God say?

Lev 26:­14-18 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.

Even after they were captive in Babylon for 70 years to let the land rest Israel was still under control of other nations.
They were given the full length of their punishment which was seven times more.
Seven times more than 70 years would be 490 years which is the prophecy we see in Daniel 9:24.
During this time of punishment was also a time of probation to see if they would repent or not.
If Israel was to repent I believe they would of gotten their land back.
This comment of Jesus reflects how many chances he would give Israel to repent.

Mat 18:­21-22 "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

This is what Ellen White said shortly after quoting Lev 26:18:

This is the result of disobedience and transgression. Let all read carefully the twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy, realizing that it makes every difference to a people whether they are obedient or disobedient to the law of Jehovah. The prophecies regarding Israel were fulfilled to the letter. God permitted His chosen people to be scattered as captives in strange lands. When they repented, God took them to Himself again, and established them in His own land. But their continual disobedience resulted in their complete overthrow, and in the overthrow of Jerusalem. {Ms40-1898.}

So now back to the question at hand.
Why would the Jubilee be using a 49 year cycle and not a 50 year cycle?
Because if you keep adding up all Jubilee's up until 490 years you can only divide this by 49 and not 50.

But the question has to be asked, do the Jubilee's have anything to do with the calculation?
Or is this only a time period given for the land not resting on the seventh year?
I'd imagine if they were not letting the land reset they were probably not keeping the Jubilee's either.
So this could be a penalty for both.

If you wanted to know the reason for the Jubilee here is a quote from Ellen White.

Great evils result from the continued accumulation of wealth by one class, and the poverty of another. The sense of this oppression would arouse the passions of the poorer class. There would be a feeling of despair and desperation which would tend to demoralize society and open the door to crimes of every description. The regulations that God established were to promote social equality. The sabbatical year and the jubilee would in a great measure set right that which had gone wrong in the social and political economy of the nation. These regulations, designed to bless the rich no less than the poor, would restrain avarice and cultivate a noble spirit of benevolence. By fostering goodwill between all classes, they would promote stability of government. We are all woven together in the great web of humanity. Whatever we can do to benefit others will reflect in blessing on ourselves. The law of mutual dependence runs through all classes of society. The poor are not more dependent upon the rich than are the rich upon the poor. While the one class ask a share in the blessings God has bestowed upon their wealthier neighbors, the other need the faithful service, the strength of brain and bone and muscle, that are the capital of the poor.

There is also evidence from the book of Jubilee's for a 49 year cycle.

But can we trust the Book of Jubilee's?
Reasons against the 49 Jubilee and for the 50 year Jubilee would be the passage below.

Lev 25:­20-22
And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years. And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat yet of old fruit until the ninth year; until her fruits come in ye shall eat of the old store.

Every 7th year the land would need to rest.
But on the 49th year not only does the land need to rest for it's seven year cycle, it needs to rest for the 50th year of Jubilee.
Meaning you would need three years of crops instead of two for the Jubilee year.
Here is how Wiki says it:

With the biblical promise that there would be three years worth of fruit in the sixth year, implies that the jubilee year was the 50th year. (Wiki)

Wiki also shows a 49 year Jubilee cycle (6X49=294) by a Dead Sea Scroll document...

Calendrical document 4Q319 from the Dead Sea Scrolls "represents a calendrical system based on the weekly rotation of the twenty-four priestly courses during a six-year period and constructed into six consecutive Jubilees, i.e. 294 years.". (Wiki)

From this study I still can't say if I'm more partial to one side or the other.
And if you are like me you want to add up dates to see where it all ends.
Maybe not so easy with the Jubilee's.
This one will require more study.