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Jubilee, Year of

A name given to every 50th year. It got its name from the fact that the beginning of the year was announced by the blowing of a trumpet on the Day of Atonement. In it land that had changed hands, except in non-Levitical walled cities, reverted to the family to which it had belonged at the original settlement, and all bondmen of Israelite birth were set free (Lev. 25:8–16, 23–55; 27:16–25). We have no record in the Old Testament of the observance of any year of jubilee, but the prophets allude to it in various passages. See Sabbatical Year.