Jonathan Cahn Claims Stock Market Figures Confirm “Shemitah” Theory

From WND:

U.S. markets finished 2015 in the red. The Dow was down 2.2 percent. The S&P 500 ended the year down 0.7 percent. It was the worst year for those two indexes since markets collapsed in 2008.

…So what does Jonathan Cahn, the author of “The Mystery of the Shemitah” and his previous New York Times bestseller, “The Harbinger,” have to say?

“In other words, this Shemitah was the worst year in 7 years – since the last Shemitah,” he told WND.

Cahn who was widely criticized by people claiming he had made predictions of economic collapse in 2015 when he hadn’t. In his book and in every interview he gave throughout the year he made a point of saying that nothing might happen.

In recent years, Jonathan Cahn has become perhaps the most popular “End Times” theorist in American evangelicalism, and his claim to have discovered from the Bible how God manipulates the economy via a seven-year cycle has been heavily promoted by WND, the Charisma media empire, and Jim Bakker. During 2015, his “Shemitah” theory was also presented as being complementary to the prediction that the “Blood Moon” tetrad would hail disaster during September.

It is true that Cahn’s theory allows himself a certain amount of leeway. His evidence of the “cycle” is selective: thus the Wall Street Crash of 1929 doesn’t feature in his schema, because 1929 wasn’t a Shemitah year, but the UK leaving the gold standard in 1931 is supposedly responsible for “the greatest monthlong stock market percentage crash in Wall Street history” and as such is confirmation of the Shemitah’s cosmic power.

However, Cahn certainly hinted very heavily that a disaster would come in September 2015. As he said to Sid Roth some months prior:

The first shaking is 9/11. Second shaking is the economic collapse. When does it happen? It happens in 2008… The greatest day happened at the end of September 2008. It was the greatest stock market crash in the history of America.

It’s pretty clear that this infers something similar for September 2015, and Bakker (who has previously accompanied Cahn and WND editor Joseph Farah on a tour of the Holy Land) was inspired warn of earthquakes, typhoons, bombings and a stock market crash for 13 September. Shortly after the date passed, Cahn pointed to a stock market selloff in August as being close enough to the date to confirm his prediction.

However, as regards the end-of-year stock market figures, careful readers will note that there is some sleight of hand in the observation that “it was the worst year… since markets collapsed in 2008”. “Worst year since” does not mean “as bad as”. As the WSJ reported:

U.S. stocks had their worst annual performance since 2008, closing out a rocky year that tempered investors’ expectations for gains in 2016.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, a basket of 30 stocks, lost 2.2% in 2015, while the broader S&P 500 fell 0.7%.

The S&P’s loss ended three years of double-digit gains for the index, but was far from the nearly 40% dive it took in 2008, a year of financial crisis.

…The last time the Dow posted an annual decline was 2008, when it fell 34%.

It is clear that 2008 and 2015 are in no way comparable, despite the God arranging the “Blood Moon” display for extra effect. Although the WSJ is now talking in terms of “weaker estimates of economic growth for the fourth quarter”, this is a far cry from the “economic collapse” that is always looming just around the corner.

WND also gives some background:

According to the Bible, the Shemitah year was set aside as a blessing for the nation of Israel.

Like the weekly Sabbath, the Shemitah year would be a time of rest for the land and for the agricultural society. There would be no sowing and reaping. Instead, God would provide food miraculously for the people, as He did during the Exodus from Egypt.

Leviticus 25:4 says: “But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.”

However, Cahn points out, if the Shemitah was not observed by the people, it would become a curse, as described later in Leviticus chapter 25.

Leviticus promises that enough produce will be provided in the year prior to the “sabbatical year” to allow subsistence for the subsequent three years, which is a bit different from the Bible’s story of food appearing from out of nowhere in the desert during the Exodus. Deuteronomy adds a requirement to cancel debts. The “sabbatical year” does not appear to have been widely observed in ancient Israel, probably because it was an impractical “Priestly” imposition of a late date.

Of course, Cahn is not interested in advising US farmers on agriculture, and the debt cancellation element appears to be “social justice” limitation on wealth inequality that the US Christian Right would reject as being socialistic. Thus Cahn transforms the Shemitah into something that God does to the economy, and the moral requirements are transferred onto issues such as the need to respect “the biblical definition of marriage”.

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