I am generally very critical of books like these. In this case, however, it seems Cahn may have actually proven the significance of the Shemitah.
Cahn had mentioned the Shemitah in The Harbinger and expands on it here. The word's significance comes from the Hebrew in Deuteronomy 15:1-2. It appears four times in that passage and means “grant a release.” It is from the Hebrew shamat, “to release” or “to remit.” The land was to lie fallow during the year and on the last day of that year, Elul 29, all debts were to be released. Cahn shows how Israel's failure to keep that cycle of Shemitah years resulted in their 70 year captivity.
So what does that have to do with America? Cahn says it is a prophetic sign. He applies it to America because, like Israel, it is “a civilization established on the Word of God, dedicated to His purposes, and consecrated to His glory from its very inception.” (56) While this principle could be manifested in any country, Cahn notes that America does have the largest national economy and it is going through the same kind of apostasy that Israel did.
Cahn presents quit a case, going through the Shemitah years of the last century and comparing those years to American and international events. Economic events like the top four stock market crashes happened in Shemitah years. He presents statistics and it does seem major economic events are statistically related to the Shemitah year.
Cahn reminds readers that in the last two Shemitah cycles, ending in 2001 and 2008, there were significant events with great economic ramifications. So, the next year to watch is September 24, 2015 to September 13, 2015 (Jewish religious year). The Shemitah year, year 5775, begins at sundown on September 24. That sundown is also the beginning of the Feast of Trumpets and a blood moon will occur that evening. One must pay attention to the entire year, however, as economic events in the past were often at the end of the Shemitah year. The last day of the Shemitah year is the day when debts are to be released and has, in the past, been significant.
He makes more of the two solar eclipses during that year than the “blood moons.” He notes that the first one is on March 20. Sunset of that day marks the beginning of the Jewish civil year and the exact midpoint of the Shemitah year. The second eclipse is September 13, the last day of the Shemitah year, frequently with great significance.
Cahn is quick to point out that he is not about date setting. His is a call to repentance and return to God. He argues that God warns before He judges. The warnings have been made. (Those warnings were in The Harbinger, which Cahn reviews in this book.) The nation has been shaken. Judgment is next. It will involve some form of collapse, will humble America, and will call the nation back to God. Whether we see judgment as a nation or not, Cahn also reminds us that each of us will have to stand before God and be judged. Now is the time of salvation.
So does Cahn make his point? I was impressed with his statistical correlation of major economic events to the Shemitah year. I am not convinced America is like Israel in its founding and consecration to God. But America is certainly the greatest economic power right now (until China supersedes it in a year or two). I personally don't like all the hype and buildup in the book. It could have been fifty pages shorter without it. Time will certainly tell if there is something to Cahn's ideas.
Cahn does not say a major event has to happen during this Shemitah year. A cycle has been passed over in the past and that may happen again. Regardless of when it comes, Cahn believes a great shaking is coming to America involving financial and economic collapse, leading to repentance.
You can find out more about the book at www.HopeOfTheWorld.org.
Jonathan Cahn is the leader of the Jerusalem Center/Beth Israel, a worship center made up of Jews and Gentiles located in Wayne, New Jersey. He also leads Hope of the World ministries. He caused a stir with his first book, The Harbinger. Find out more at www.jonathancahn.com.
Frontline (an imprint of Charisma Media), 288 pages.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.