Latifundism and the Jubilee Year

​From John Dominic Crossan’s “The Birth of Christianity: Discovering What Happened in the Years Immediately After the Execution of Jesus.”

Note especially the wonderful quotation from Isaiah included.

Or, as Isaiah 5: 8 said, it was intended to defeat “you who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is room for no one but you, and you are left to live alone in the midst of the land!”

First, what was the purpose of the Jubilee Year? And notice, by the way, that it started on the Day of Atonement. Here, at least, the answer is quite clear. From Léon Epsztein: “…in order to restrict the creation of latifundia, [that is,] to prevent the concentration of rural properties”(133). From Norman Habel: “The policy provided a mechanism for deferring in the short term and preventing in the long term land monopolies of latifundialization, the process of land accumulation in the hands of a few landowners to the detriment of peasant farmers”(105). From Jeffrey Fager: “It attempted to restrict the latifundism which was prevalent in the ancient Near East in order to keep the means of production evenly distributed among independent families”(88).

Or, as Isaiah 5: 8 said, it was intended to defeat “you who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is room for no one but you, and you are left to live alone in the midst of the land!”

It wanted to stop the transformation of multiple peasant smallholdings into single large landownerships, to deter the eradication of the family farm and the creation and extension of latifundism or agribusiness. That, of course, put divine tradition on a collision course with rural commercialization.

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About Ghoh

My name is Joe, but username Joe was already taken. I am interested in politics, religion and ideas that are off the beaten path, whatever the subject.
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4 Responses to Latifundism and the Jubilee Year

  1. Nice article? Did you see the time lapse pictures from Google earth on that ALK3 guys site? Looking at the holy land, I used to wonder why so many people lived there, where there were no trees. Now, I think there used to be plenty of trees. There are prophesies about the greening of the desert in the end times.

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    • Ghoh says:

      I think perhaps that I did not make clear that all of this was from Crossan’s book.

      I looked for the Google earth, but found a fun to watch time lapse on mushrooms. What a wonderful site! Am following! Would appreciate a link if not hard to find.

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  2. I think I put a ? instead of a !- I’m like half blind. I don’t know how to do links, I don’t think. He had a time lapse of Dubai, then some of the Amazon that show graphically what you are saying. T he time lapse was just a few blogs before the red haired girls with foxes. The Sabbath too helps to keep work and money from taking over everything.

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