The Hebrew word Shemitah (or shmita in the orthodox spelling) suddenly entered pop culture in 2014, thanks to the bestselling book The Mystery of the Shemitah, by the Messianic Jewish Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. The definition of shemitah/shmita is explained in The New York Times: “Even in Israel, shmita, pronounced shmee-TA, is an arcane subject. According to the Torah, shmita is the sabbatical year when the land of Israel is supposed to lie fallow. It occurs every seven years, and a new shmita is scheduled to begin at the end of September on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.”
Israel’s oldest daily newspaper, Haaretz, sheds further light on the subject: “The rationale is that the earth needs a rest and that God will give plentiful bounty in the other six years if the rules of shmita are kept. (Leviticus 25:1-7, 18-22). In addition, in this year, debts are supposedly to be abrogated (Deuteronomy 15:1-11), though it is unclear who would give a loan under these circumstances. (Later a way was found around that, though.) It is not clear when shmita as a concept first arose. There is no evidence in the Bible or elsewhere that the practice was observed during the First Temple period, beyond the fact it appears in the Torah’s lists of laws – but it doesn’t come up in any of the narrative stories.”
However, shaking off debt and letting land lie fallow is a mere footnote to Rabbi Cahn’s take on the Shemitah. For him, the Shemitah is like a crystal ball for fortune-telling. And the fortune – or misfortune, if you’re not a Christian – involves the end of the world, beginning in September 2015.
According to end-times prophet Mark S. Hoffmeister, there are three signs that point toward September 2015 being the fuse that ignites the apocalypse: the occurrence of a solar eclipse, the occurrence of a lunar tetrad and the fact that it’s a Shemitah year. It’s allegedly the first time in history that these three things have happened at the same time.
Note to skeptics: If you’re reading this after September 2015, that’s not necessarily a reason to doubt the apocalyptic prophecy. “It may very well be that nothing significant will happen in September of 2015,” admits Hoffmeister in his book Fifteen Days in September That Will Change the World. “If that is the case, then it is because of errors in my conclusions concerning the timing of certain events. The Lord will still accomplish his will, but He will do it in accordance with His perfect knowledge.” As stated in the publisher’s blurb for Hoffmeister’s book, he is a longtime Big Pharma sales rep for Pfizer, and “has applied the same skills and abilities learned in the pharmaceutical industry to make the complex world of the Scriptures become understandable.”
According to astronomers, there will be a solar eclipse on September 13, 2015. According to Hoffmeister, it will be God’s way of putting the world on notice that He’s about to do something big. Details of that big thing will be revealed in Part 2 of this article.
The blood moon tetrads
EarthSky.com, the companion website for the popular astronomy radio show, explains that a lunar tetrad is “four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six lunar months (six full moons).” Ever since the televangelist John Hagee wrote a bestselling book called Four Blood Moons: Something Is About To Change, proponents of Biblical prophesy have been using the term blood moon to refer to the full moons of the ongoing tetrad, though “there’s no obvious reason why Blood Moon should be associated with this term,” notes EarthSky. “We in astronomy had not heard the term Blood Moon to describe a lunar tetrad until a few years ago, but now the term has gained widespread use in the media.”
The most recent lunar tetrad began with an eclipse in April 2014, with subsequent eclipses in October 2014, April 2015 and the one upcoming in September 2015. End-timers “regard the ongoing tetrad as especially significant because it coincides with two important Jewish holidays: Passover and Tabernacles” (in April and October/September, respectively). However, notes EarthSky, “The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar. In any year, it’s inevitable that a full moon should fall on or near the feasts of Passover and Tabernacles.”
But even if the blood moon-holiday connection isn’t so significant, Hoffmeister cites something else that makes lunar tetrads prophetically significant: they always coincide with an expansion of Israel’s territory.
The first tetrad in the 20th century began in 1949, the year Israel won its first war over Arab nations, taking over almost all of former Palestine, which had in 1947 been divided by the United Nations into two new states: Israel and Palestine. Prior to the partition, 94% of Palestine was inhabited by indigenous Arabs, who did not agree with the UN’s plan to give half of it to Jews. When Israel declared independence a year later, the armies of Syria, Egypt and Jordan invaded the disputed land. At war’s end, Israel and the invading Arab nations had together taken over all of Palestine, and the native Arabs of Palestine were left without a country. Political scientist Stephen Shalom summarizes the outcome: “When the armistice agreements were signed in 1949, the Palestinian state had disappeared, its territory taken over by Israel and Jordan, with Egypt in control of the Gaza Strip. Jerusalem, which was to have been internationalized, was divided between Israeli and Jordanian control. Israel now held 78% of Palestine.”
The second tetrad of the century began in 1967, the year of the Six-Day War, in which Israel seized the remainder of Palestine, taking over what Jordan, Egypt and Syria had conquered in the 1948 war.
And now we are in the midst of the century’s third tetrad, which started in 2014 and will end with the final Blood Moon on September 28, 2015.
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In his bestselling book on the topic, Rabbi Cahn gives examples of bad things that have happened in Shemitah years, and that this “Shemitah Judgement” was originally punishment for not properly observing the Shemitah. As explained in the Hoffmeister book, “When the nation of Israel was destroyed in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar, the prophets told the people that this happened because the Jewish people had failed to keep the Sabbath of years—the Shemitah.” And recent Shemitah years have yielded other calamatous events. A few examples:
- 1945. The first and only time (so far) that nuclear weapons have been dropped on humans, when the United States obliterated two of Japan’s biggest cities, incinerating over 100,000 civilians, with lingering radiation killing many more.
- 1973. The year of the third Arab-Israeli War, with Israel narrowly escaping defeat.
- September 11, 1973 (“The first 9-11”). A military coup, backed by the U.S. government, overthrew the only democracy Chile ever had. The presidential palace was bombed, killing the president and leaving behind a military dictatorship that killed and tortured thousands, while establishing “Operation Condor”—the world’s largest international terror network.
- 1994. NAFTA, a so-called “free trade” treaty written and enacted in secret by globalists, quickly became what the Economic Policy Institute called “one of the rare agreements that harmed the majority of the population in all of the participating countries.”
- September 11, 2001. The worst terrorist attack in history, destroying World Trade Center buildings and inflicting severe damage to the Pentagon, killing thousands of Americans and foreign nationals and prompting a violent response from a cabal of neocons which ultimately resulted in the destabilization of the entire Middle East.
- 2008. “The Great Recession.” Even the former head of the Federal Reserve said: “September and October of 2008 was the worst financial crisis in global history, including the Great Depression.”
- 2015. To be revealed in Part 2 of this article.
 Mark S. Hoffmeister, Fifteen Days in September This Will Change the World (Mark S. Hoffmeister, 2015), 226.
 John Dinges, The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents (New York: The New Press, 1994).
 Noam Chomsky, “Power and Globalization in the New World Order,” in New Perspectives on Globalization and Antiglobalization: Prospects for a New World Order? (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2008), 168.
 Nir Rosen, Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America’s Wars in the Muslim World (New York: Nation Books, 2010).