So, just how and when did the notion of a Sabbath year beginning with Tishri, the seventh month, get considered and implemented by the Jewish religious leaders? Needless to say, with Part 2 we’re going to find out.
The Transition to the Tishri Year The New Year date of Tishri 1 for the Sabbath year is an offshoot of late Talmudic interpretation. As has been previously noted inPart 1, Scriptures never claim that the seventh month began a regular Sabbath year.
The deduction that Tishri began a Jubilee year was itself a misreading ofLeviticus 25:8-13. The rabbis of the post-Bar Kochba period, in an effort to “build a fence around the Law,”21merely extended their misreading of Leviticus 25:8-13, which dealt only with the year of Jubilee, to the regular Sabbath year.
For those who are interested in observing the Sabbath years it would be very beneficial, at least from Yahweh’s perspective, to know what month actually begins the Sabbath year, Abib or Tishri.
There are many who actually believe that the Sabbath year begins with the seventh month of Tishri and not with the first month of Abib (Nisan).
It has also been extrapolated by many that not only should Sabbath years commence according to a Tishri reckoning but that every year should begin with the seventh month of Tishri.
If one believes that such a notion is found in Scriptures, then it is suggested that one take a closer look at the relevant facts of the matter.
In order to addess this issue we must contend with the concept that the Jews, from the time of their return to Judaea from Babylon in 538 B.C.E. until the end of the Bar Kochba revolt (135 C.E.), officially began their Sabbath years with Tishri 1 (Sep./Oct.) of the sixth year of the Sabbath cycle, as had become their custom sometime after the Bar Kochba war.