Rabbi Judah ben Samuel and his 10 Jubilee Prophecy

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Rabbi Judah ben Samuel supposedly made an amazing prophecy concerning the future of Jerusalem that already has three accurate fulfillments from 1517-1967. The prophecy further predicts the start of the “Messianic end time” by 2017. But is the prophecy trustworthy and can Jesus even return in 2017? Read on to learn why how people interpret and use this prophecy is flawed. Also, what did Jesus himself reveal as the signs of his coming to watch for…instead of date watching?

The Ten Jubilee Prophecy

Rabbi Judah ben Samuel’s prophecy, like many date-fixing prophecies, has generated a lot of interest among prophecy fans. It seems we can thank Joseph Farrah and WorldNetDaily for this.WorldNetDaily promoted this prophecy in 2012, (twice).

In response to several requests to hear my thoughts on it, I’m happy to indulge. Of course, long time readers will not be surprised at my answer on whether to put any stock in it. What I have to say when it comes to any date setting schemes applies here as well. Nevertheless, we can still learn some new things and improve our discernment further by analyzing yet another Second Coming date setting theory.

If you are unfamiliar with what the good rabbi supposedly predicted, here’s his prophecy translated and summarized from the original German by Ludwig Schneider (March, 2008 in Israel Today on page 18):

“When the Ottomans conquer Jerusalem they will rule over Jerusalem for eight jubilees. Afterwards Jerusalem will become no-man’s land for one jubilee, and then in the ninth jubilee it will once again come back into the possession of the Jewish nation – which would signify the beginning of the Messianic end time.”

The jubilee year cycle given to ancient Israel is described in Leviticus 25. It is commonly thought to be 50 years long. The fact that some (including myself) believe the jubilee cycle it is actually 49 years long (following every seventh Sabbath year) is immaterial as the word jubilee is mostly used as a shorthand for 50 years in the prophecy.

Here are the fulfillments of this prophecy so far:

  1. “When the Ottomans conquer Jerusalem they will rule over Jerusalem for eight jubilees.” (This happened 300 years after Ben Samuel’s death in 1517 when the Turks conquered Jerusalem.)
  2. “Afterwards Jerusalem will become no-man’s land for one jubilee” (1917-1967) (The British conquered the Turks and the League of Nations took the Mandate for Holy Land to the British, making Jerusalem no-man’s land under international law.)
  3. “then in the ninth jubilee it will once again come back into the possession of the Jewish nation – which would signify the beginning of the Messianic end time.” (1967-2017) (In 1967’s Six Day War, Israel retook Jerusalem.)

Impressive, no? A prophecy like this with a long successful track record is rare and sure to get attention. But for several reasons, it probably will not help anyone to know when the Messiah comes back.

Problem #1 – “Messianic end time” is not the Second Coming

The most pressing problem with this prophecy is that it may already be finished. Completely fulfilled.

That’s right. Did you notice the underlined part above about the “beginning of the Messianic end time” coming in the ninth jubilee?

What exactly does that mean? Many have taken that phrase to mean the “Second Coming.” The year 2017 has naturally been chosen as the year of the Second Advent as it is the last year of the jubilee prophecy and also supposedly a jubilee year, to boot. (Many think Jesus will come in a jubilee year. I think only a Sabbath year fits as my book argues.)

However, the prophecy does not say the Messiah would come in that ninth jubilee. It says the “end time” would begin. End time is a term from Daniel 12, a prophecy the rabbi would be familiar with:

Daniel 12:4, 9-10 (HCSB) — 4 “But you, Daniel, keep these words secret and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will roam about, and knowledge will increase.” 9 He said, “Go on your way, Daniel, for the words are secret and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many will be purified, cleansed, and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; none of the wicked will understand, but the wise will understand.

Thus, the end time is not about Jesus’ coming, at least not immediately. Daniel 12 says is is about the unsealing of Bible prophecy, prophecy that even Daniel did not understand. It is a period marked by many people searching and gaining much knowledge, kind of like what we all do daily using the Internet. This fits with why prophecy finally becomes understandable in the end time.

Personally I think this has already happened. For details, see my video on this fascinating topic of the Internet explosion being predicted in Daniel 12.

In other words, this prophecy looks like it is already fulfilled. The beginning of the end time probably commenced early on after the new millennium began.

Problem #2 – Only One, Translated Source

The main appeal of this prophecy is that it appears to have been amazingly accurate over the course of hundreds of years after it was given. Over the years I’ve encountered several promising prophecies with a good track record like this. Yet always, just when they were about to conclude with their fantastic second or third and final accurate fulfillment, they failed. Why?

I think many times the “accurate” prophecy had the benefit of hindsight. It was either tampered with years later, or even originally written later than claimed.

In the case of Judah ben Samuel’s prophecy, there is no original source given in any of the articles on it. They all seem to copy from the same Israel Today article which also has no original German source given, either. Without that, you cannot verify the translation is accurate and that the translator did not read his own ideas into it (with the benefit of hindsight). In other words, this German “prophecy” has spread in English with everyone copying and taking in faith one man’s translation of it.

Problem #3 – Jesus Warned That Nobody Knows the Time

If someone wants to trust Ludwig’s report of the prophecy’s accuracy and also ignore the plain words of the prophecy and turn it into a prophecy of the Second Coming, they still have a major issue. Jesus already warned against believing date setting or looking at the calendar for his Second Coming. He plainly said that no man knows the day or hour (time) of his coming, at least not far in advance.

Now, this is not to say there won’t come a time when we finally will know. For example, when the Abomination of Desolation happens, it will start a countdown of 1290 days until the end of the Tribulation and the Rapture. However, so far, Jesus’ words have proven very accurate about no one knowing the timing further out. =) History shows that everyone so far who has set a date has not succeeded, whether they used the Bible, Christian prophecy, Mayan calendars, or Jewish prophecy, like Rabbi Ben Samuel’s.

Even if we doubt the meaning of Jesus “no man knows” words, this historical track record of date setting alone ought to kill the appeal of prophecy’s like Ben Samuel’s. Yet this fact escapes seemingly most Christian prophecy fans. (The general Christian audience who is not interested in prophecy often cite the failed date setting and Jesus’ warning about it as their major objection to the study of Bible prophecy.)

How To Have a Better Idea of When Jesus May or May Not Come

In case you are wondering, Jesus did not just tell us what approach to avoid with Bible prophecy (looking for dates in it). He also shared a strategy for getting some idea of when he was coming andwhen he was not. It’s right there in the Olivet Discourse. See this article on the Parable of the Fig Tree for what he said to watch instead of the calendar.

10 Comments

  • Reply January 16, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Ricky Grimsley Tom Steele We’ve put the words of this rabbi under the test and found him…

  • Reply January 16, 2018

    Tom Steele

    OK, so I read this article and I don’t see where anyone could legitimately claim that this Rabbi was prophesying the return of Messiah in 2017. First of all, why would a Jewish Rabbi who does not believe in Yeshua make such a prophecy? I suppose it’s possible he would refer to the Hebrew Messiah, because Jews still put their faith in Messiah, just that many of them do not believe Yeshua/Jesus was or is Him. That said, the main thing it seems he was saying in the third major point was that it would be in that ninth jubilee cycle that the Messianic Age or Messianic End Time would begin by 2017. modern Messianic Judaism traces back, so far as I can find, to the late 60’s or early 70’s, which is right in line with the timing of that ninth jubilee cycle mentioned in the prophecy. In addition, what many are calling the Hebrew Roots Movement appears to trace back to a prophecy given in the 1980’s by a guy named Dean Cozzens. Sure, there are a lot of flaws in what is coming out of this movement, but there are also a lot of solid teachers coming up out of it too. Interestingly enough, it seems a lot of the more grounded teachers are starting to shun the name “Hebrew Roots” because of a lot of the goofiness many in that movement are gravitating toward, such as sacred name theology, ancient alien beliefs, flat earth, and serpent seed. Some have just went and started incorporating the blanket term “Messianic”, others “Torah Movement”. Then we jump to probably around 2004-2006 where I saw a movement begin on a larger scale within major Pentecostal ministries such as Larry Huch, Rod Parsley, Sid Roth, Perry Stone, and others where teachings began to focus first on dietary laws then on the Feasts and the Sabbath. This took on even more momentum after 2010, and it has been said by some that a lot of things would begin to happen starting in 2010 to 2020. Then we come to 2014-2015 with the blood moon thing (which, for the record, I stand with the notion that the blood moon stuff was overrated, but not necessarily insignificant). After that we have the whole thing with the solar eclipse over the United States (though I’m still not sure why that’s significant… if it were in Israel, I think I’d see more significance in it, but the United States is kinda insignificant anyway as far as Bible Prophecy is concerned, at least so it seems). And then there was that whole thing with the constellation Virgo and people saying that Yeshua/Jesus was born on September 11, 3 B.C., which has some pretty weak arguments to it if you ask me. I covered that in detail in an article I did a couple months ago on when Yeshua/Jesus was born. So, it is very possible that this prophecy by this Rabbi was completely accurate in that the modern Messianic Movements in both Christianity and Judaism began exactly in line with the Rabbi’s statements. Many have already been pointing to 2020 as something significant. I guess we’ll see. But I don’t see how anyone would get a date for Messiah’s return out of this prophecy or anything else they have used to make such ridiculous claims that both go against what we are told in Scripture and, as stated, have a 100% track record of coming up short. I’ll share the Dean Cozzens prophecy and the article that addresses the September 11, 3 B.C. issue in separate comments below for whoever may be interested in the information.

  • Reply January 16, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Tom Steele How do the links you posted relate to the question? The research pretty much puts the rabbi out of business. What you is your take on that

  • Reply January 16, 2018

    Tom Steele

    The links are cited in my initial response, which is why I posted them. My initial response addresses the article you posted on the Rabbi. So it is all connected to my thoughts on this, that you asked me for by tagging me in the first place.

  • Reply January 16, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    I read your initial posts that had some copy paste too. You asked valid questions and I was wondering what is your answer to them?

  • Reply January 16, 2018

    Tom Steele

    Copy/Paste? I typed that whole thing out without referring to any other materials, except to mention the two articles I posted. Didn’t copy and paste anything.

  • Reply January 16, 2018

    Tom Steele

    And why should I be the one answering my own questions? Isn’t the purpose of asking a question for others in the discussion to answer them?

  • Reply January 16, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    why would a Jewish Rabbi who does not believe in Yeshua make such a prophecy? – on early 20th century hebrew roots you may want to start with John Al. Dowey and Clarence Larkin (1919)

  • Reply January 16, 2018

    Tom Steele

    And that was kinda rhetorical too… Christians apparently used this prophecy to claim the date of the return of Yeshua/Jesus. Doesn’t seem a Jewish Rabbi who I assume rejected Yeshua/Jesus would have been making such a prophecy.

  • Reply January 16, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    No it doesnt seem. But claiming it for 6-7 centuries?

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