Rabbi Judah ben Samuel’s Jubilee Prophecy – Messiah in 2017?

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.

Article continues below...

The End In 2026? It's Now Possible

Since learning in 2001 that Yeshua must return in a Sabbath year, I've had to rule out three Sabbath year cycle windows for the final 7 years (2003-2009, 2010-2016, 2017-2023). With the next window (2024-2030) less than 7 years away, I'm ready to share why I believe, based on the real end time sign of Mt 24:14, that this can be the one. If it is, the "birth pains" (WW3 + Wormwood, Lk 21:10-11) would hit near its middle in 2026 with Yeshua returning in 2030. Find out what's changed to convince me about 2026 and what you can do about it...

That's a big problem for its credibility.

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 and when 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.

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Jay - April 29, 2020

So accordingly, in regards to Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel’s prophecy, which seems valid, the Messianic age begins no later than 2067, as the tenth jubilee is from 2017 to 2067.
If this is true, then juxtaposing this with Christian biblical prophecy and the events in the book of Revelation, the end of the world (this world) which happens before Christ’s thousand year reign, must come before 2067.
Not giving a year here or a date (as no one can know the date or the hour). Just saying it’s before 2067.

On another subject, the whore of Babylon depicted in the book of Revelation is very clearly a nation or empire, not an economic or religious system. In fact, it seems to be a spot on description of America, minus one very important action: the persecution of Christians. For now, at least, America is not doing that, but who knows what’s coming.

ROBERT HARRISON - March 7, 2020

I understand the prophecy.

Jeremy - March 17, 2019

@Tim McHyde If you’re going to quote honestly then please include the full quotation:

“When the Ottomans (Turks) – who were already a power to be reckoned with on the Bosporus in the time of Judah Ben Samuel – 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.”

It is clear that not all of the words in this summary from Ludwig Schneider represents the words of Judah ben Samuel but, is a mix of Rabbi Judah’s words and the commentary of Ludwig Schneider’s. Therefore separating their words from one another we get the following:

“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.”
-Judah ben Samuel

“(Turks) – who were already a power to be reckoned with on the Bosporus in the time of Judah Ben Samuel – – which would signify the beginning of the Messianic end time.”
-Ludwig Schneider

It is clear that Rabbi Judah ben Samuel never said the beginning of the Messianic end time would begin once Israel took back possession of Jerusalem. The Messianic end time comment is from the mouth of Ludwig Schneider.

Les S - November 22, 2018

First, the 9th jubilee was “no mans land”. The last jubilee is the 70 weeks of Daniel 9:24-27, which starts with the end of jubilee year 1967/68 which should be a whole year 1968/69 then start 49 yr sabbath cycle.

Daniel has a vision which was told to him 3 times by Gabriel that it was for the end of time in chapter 8. In chapter 9 Daniel was praying and Gabriel came again to make him understand the vision of the 70 years of desolations of Jerusalem. Chapters 10,11 and 12 are a continuation of the explanation of events that will happen from the timeline in chapter 9.

Gabriel told him:
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 (the return of Christ, the end of time).
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, (this is the retaking of Jerusalem during the 6 day war) unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks ( of years=49 years), and threescore and two weeks (weeks of days=62 weeks=1 year and 10 weeks): the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times(this has been done since 1967 and is only place for Jews to pray because they cannot pray onthe mount).
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself (no more prayers at the wall when the city falls): and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary (all Jewish and Christain houses of faith); and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (the only covenant is Gods covenant with Jews and he will extend it for the 70th week): and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease (the sacrifice for sins is the blood and body of Christ, the sacrifice, in communion in houses of faith), and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

This could be Gods timeline for the end which is given in detail in Chapter 11. Starts 1967 and covers a jubilee cycle, where the final week, 70th week, begins 4/6/2019, Nisan 1 and 10 weeks later Jerusalem falls, 6/15/2019.

Time will tell, we are right around the corner to see if this is Gods timeline.

Zachary Miller - May 7, 2018

I’m not aware of the Jews taking Israel by “force”–This land was given to them after the fall of the Ottoman empire. In fact, Jordan was created in much the same way. Israel acquired additional land only AFTER being attacked four times–This, by the way, is a precedent in war: If someone attacks you and you win you get to keep their land. If you go back in history you’ll find that ALL land has been taken by force in some shape or form. It’s kind of difficult to claim that God doesn’t want the Jews to have Israel when they already have it–I would assume that is His will, right? Clearly Israel’s reformed existence has everything to do with the lead up to the end so it kind of makes sense that it would be there now (with Jews in it). Without that Revelation’s prophecies would not be possible (in this life time anyway). Events at the end of time are dependent on those that precede them–and that’s exactly what Israel’s existence today signifies.

Bleke - May 1, 2018

One very important thing you’re missing here Tim… The Jews don’t accept Christ as their messiah. They’re still actively looking for the FIRST coming and that is likely what this prophecy is referring to. (Unless of course he was a messianic Jew which I doubt given the time it was penned). That being the case with the added concern that many think Revelation’s antichrist will be welcomed and ushered in via the Jews who are hungry to construct the 3rd temple and have criminally TAKEN by force the land of Israel rather than waited for God to restore them by his mighty hand due to their return to obedience (which they have yet to do…) – The Jews were driven away from the Promised Land and scattered throughout the world as punishment for disobedience to God and rejection of Christ (Ezekiel 5:10) Have they (collectively) accepted him as their savior yet? Nup!
‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then (!!!!) you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,” says the LORD.” – Ezekiel 37:11-14. Has that happened yet? Nup! If he’s not a messianic Jew… then his prophecy ain’t referring to Jesus!

    JohnW - May 13, 2018

    The Jews did not criminally take the land.

    It was taken by right of conquest from the Ottomans by the British, who then left the people to reach thereir own settlement.

    The Ottomans, not the Palestinians had owned the land for the previous 4 centuries.

    The Jewish people then took control of the land left without an owner. Or as the bible says, God literally gave the land to the Jews, as he always gives, free of charge.

    God is not seeking to prove the Jews to be unworthy of the land (salvation), he is showing that he (God) is the one who gives salvation before they were worthy, because of his love.

    The question is, will the Jews recognise the one who forgives the unworthy?

    Jesus Christ.

JohnW - April 30, 2018

The rebuttal offered misses the critical point. The Bible predicts the remnant will return, by ship and by air (Isaiah 60).

The return also is clearly predicted in Revelation as a fulfilment of the divine intervention of God, similarly the restoration of Jerusalem to the Jews.

The above argument tries to make the test about the rapture, or judgement day, but the JBS prediction does not talk about that.

So the argument is not addressing the prediction.

The prediction was known before 1917, 1967 and indeed 2017. And Each of these dates fulfilled the predicted events, the no man’s land, the return of Jerusalem.

If we are to believe in God then we must believe prophesies that God vindicated. The God who tells us before hand!

Without believing the prophets there can be no faith, or fulfilment.

If you wish to debunk this prophecy then the burden of proving the prophecy erroneous lies with the person seeking to debunk it!

    Zachary Miller - May 7, 2018

    So you’re saying that the person, or persons, who makes a claim doesn’t have to prove their claim? Instead, the burden of proof rests on those who question that claim? I have an interesting claim to make: All the cash in your possession is actually mine—now it’s up to you to prove to me that you actually own all of it (with actual receipts along with all bank debits, etc..). If you fail to produce those records then you must hand over your cash to me! Thank goodness the world doesn’t function like this, am I right?? All kidding aside it would be helpful to describe where, in the Bible, this “prophecy” exists–

Alaris - April 18, 2018

The two goats in Leviticus 16 one for YHWH and one for AZAZEL. The latter name means mighty and strong per Isaiah 28. The Jews are expecting a temporal messiah who will not acknowledge Jesus. The Christians expect Jesus but no other messiah. They are both right and are both wrong. Humility and asking, seeking, knocking is the only way to see per Isaiah 6 and Matthew 13.

The Holy Ghost is a separate person who is coming to purify the sons of Levi, return Israel to Glory, and to testify of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Both Jews and Christians will have to be open to being wrong to embrace the full truth. Hebrews 9 teaches the Holy Ghost is the one who will manifest the way into the holiest of all. He will do so in the flesh. The many prophesies in Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Revelation will be fulfilled in a way a select few will see clearly ahead of time. Just like last time.

ruth moore - August 10, 2017

Personally, because I have an intimate relationship with Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I would rather rely on what Jesus has shown me through dreams/visions which have guided my life for decades and have always proved accurate. Interesting reading, though.

Rev. Janice Foster - March 11, 2017

Good Morning:
Our Church just studied this past Wednesday night the reason the Paletines do not and never will take over Israel….they were shut off by God Our Father from
ever being in control of the Land since Abraham obeyed Sarah and Not God and
Ishmel came into being and then Isaac was born like Father God said would happen and He gave him the Land of Israel to never fall into the hands of the Ishmel’s Heirs! In Genesis it tells all about it and is the Truth! Would a Person of Jewish faith please get a Meeting with President Trump and clean up this mess
who is and owns Israel…..

Davia - March 6, 2017

Very interesting reading. HE did say to “watch” about 25 times, so we have to do as instructed. HE also told us thru Daniel that another book would be open at the end of time. That shows us the road map from HIM, not us. Identify the North and the South and follow from about Dan 11:22 on and one can see we’re very close to the abomination. So, the question becomes, does HE take HIS people away at that time right before the bowl plagues? Type in Daniel 11 in a search for some interesting reading too. D.

    Tim McHyde - March 7, 2017

    Davia, “watch” in Old King James English means “be alert” not “look at.” It’s not about looking for signs or at calendar dates but staying ready at any moment for when he comes (or Elijah arrives to tell us to leave), as opposed to falling asleep, beating the maidservants and menservants so that the master comes and finds you wicked (Lk 12:45). We only need to be righteous and faithful to be ready for God’s escape plan when it comes.

      JohnW - April 30, 2018

      Alert…but alert for what?

      Focus has to be directed, we can’t focus on all things equally.

      Biblical prophecy is there for an important reason, so that as we see it come to pass we will know our redemption is near.

      Clearly events that are predicted for the end days are coming to pass in our time. The bible even tells us that in the end days he we pour out his spirit and many will prophecy. But that there will also be many false prophets.

      He tells us that we will know who the true prophets are because what they prophesy will indeed come to pass.

      As you point out, all that JBS prophesied has already come to pass.

      It’s not enough to say that accurate prophesies must necessarily be modern contrivances. We know the JBS prophesies predate 1917, and there is no evidence that it’s provenace before that is not exactly as claimed.

      A prophesy of unknowable events that correctly predicts the future events Beforehand, as this one does, cannot be dismissed as being the creation of the human mind. This is precisely the test that God offers us in order that we should know such prophesies are from him.

        Tim McHyde - May 2, 2018

        John, “stay alert” as Jesus used it in his parables means not backsliding into sin. No, prophecy is not tell us “what to watch for.” That’s misunderstanding. God must send a prophet to do that job as if you hadn’t noticed, there are unlimited interpretations of what was said to come that Christians invent and spread leading to no one knowing what to “watch” for and getting tired of “watching.” Except the “watch” to do is the “stay right” and not sin, something you should do anyway and is the same thing that saves you in the end.

          JohnW - May 6, 2018

          The bible tells us many times that Jesus will return like a thief in the night, and that few will expect his return.

          There is a qualitative difference between such warnings and prophesies that give information about the times leading up to Jesus,s return.

          Because of this we have to ask our selves why we have been given clues about the end times, over and above that that the end will come like a thief in the night.

          I would offer that at least one reason is so that we will be able, retrospectively, to appreciate the movements of God in the past and in the present, and that these will reinforce our faith.

          God even says we should remember that he foretold all that would come to pass beforehand, and that this shows that he is indeed God.

          If we accept this explanation for prophesy, then we need to be very wary of not only false prophesy, but attempts to debunk prophesies that meet Gods test. The Jews failed to recognise Jesus was the true messaiah, as we can see, if we reject the truth, we are lost.

    Dave G - August 19, 2017

    He does not take His people away, Rev. 16 & Rev. 20 portray the church in the thick of it all the way thru.

ivan rodriguez - December 28, 2016

What is God saying about 2017????
whats are the events that are going to take place in 2017???

    ROBERT HARRISON - March 7, 2020

    2017/2018 same as 2047 Lunar. do you understand now.?

S. Shuvah - November 11, 2016

Element perhaps of truth, Dan 8 the Goat {Alexander the Great} smote the Ram {Media/Persia} at Granicus in the year 334BC add 2300 {+1 to account for 0 crossing BC to AD} makes 1967 when the remaining part of the 2nd Temple was cleansed/sanctified . As for Daniel 12 strange that there is no answer on the internet ! nobody wise yet.I suggest it may be 2001{9/11} GWBush + freemasons knew, hence all the masonic symbols on Dollar Bill {mark of the Beast Gk} It unlocks this though Rev13v11-18 {2Th2v7-12} False Prophet or False Elijah! Mans No is 6 as he was created on the 6th day if A=6 B=12 etc Z=156 then N=84 E=30 W=138 Y=150 O=90 R=108 K=66 makes 666 When you consider that the destruction of the Mid East and the death of some 400,000 people displacement of 3,000,000 the Christians all but wiped out {save for Syria thx to Assad}The US or more accurate a No of characters based in NY {Soros NWO Goldman Sachs etc i.e.Jewish}not to forget the invasion of Europe by the Antichrist {1John1v22-23 definition} Muslims or Rev13v1-10 NY is the largest Jewish city in the World “New Jerusalem” and the reason why the False Prophet invaded Iraq Jeremiah50/51 Thankyou.

    Shlomo - April 4, 2017

    8 of15 YOUTUBE videos that tell of the great 2017 Israeli victory over Arabs neighbors.

    https://youtu.be/C3WLS0I6UkQ #6

      Tim McHyde - April 5, 2017

      Shlomo, yes, Israel has had help in wars to this day. Like my article says, the one continuing cursing/blessing of Israel is protection from extermination as prophecy promises this. This translates to (sometimes supernatural) help with the defeat of anyone trying to exterminate Israel. This would include Hitler and the Arabs so far.

        gibbon - February 19, 2018

        but if they continue their barbaric behaviour and not treat others as they would like to be treated themselves, i would not expect their protection to last.
        as long as they see differences from themselves and others, their cyclonic egos having moved far from centre, will bring them undone.

    gibbon - February 19, 2018

    not only assad but putin too.

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