What does this expression mean? It certainly conveys the idea that the land owed a debt. How could the passage of sabbaths pay off a debt?
Every 7 years was a sabbath year. At the end of the 49th year (seven sabbath years), a horn was sounded and the fiftieth year began by a liberation of the people. ( Leviticus 25:8-55)50 years was a jubilee year. In year fifty, all land sold or held as surety for debt reverted back to its original owners, those previously dispossessed were returned to their land.
After the fiftieth year (the jubilee year), the counting of the years began anew. Given this reality, year 70 would have no special sabbath significance at all. Year 71 would be a sabbath year, not even a special sabbath year.
If we start the clock at 587 BC and end the clock at 537 BC, how many years have we (just for sake of argument)? 50. A jubilee of years. A liberation of the people at the beginning of the fiftieth year.
It is a fact that under the Jewish system only one sort of sabbath paid off a debt. The jubilee.
Looking for help fleshing out this line of reasoning, so please jump right in.