Note: This is Part 2 of a four-part series by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn as he continues to analyze recent volatile economic developments worldwide. Read Part 1, “Shemitah impact? See evidence for yourself.”

Jonathan Cahn

Jonathan Cahn

By Jonathan Cahn

Did an ancient biblical mystery over 3,000 years old just decimate world commerce and global trade? And is it still affecting the world and your life to this day? With what is now taking place around the world, it is all the more important to uncover what has taken place and where it now brings us.

Though this last autumn there were some who fixed their focus entirely on what they believed had to happen in September, a much bigger picture and a much more significant phenomenon was taking place before their eyes.

“The Harbinger” and “The Mystery of the Shemitah” both open up an ancient phenomenon and mystery ordained by God and concerning the seventh year. From the days of Mt. Sinai, God ordained that the seventh year would be a year of Sabbath. Economic activity would decline, as would production and commerce. The land would lie fallow.

Could this ancient phenomenon and pattern still be in effect – not as a dogmatic or rigid law that must always manifest every seven years, but a phenomenon that could manifest and, at times, be linked to judgment?

The amazing answer as opened up in the book – is yes. And it has dramatically affected your life.

In the first article, I shared how the Shemitah of 2015 caused stock markets to collapse all over the world, wiping out trillions of dollars from the global economy. But there was even more to the Shemitah’s impact – much more.

The other collapses

In “The Harbinger,” these words appear concerning the Shemitah’s wider impact – its other collapses:

“The effect and repercussions of the Shemitah extend not only into the financial realm but into the realm of production, consumption and trade.”

In the Shemitahs of ancient Israel, the resting of the land would mean that its production would decrease and trade would decline since one was not allowed to buy or sell the fruits of the land.

So according to the ancient mystery, we might expect to see a decline in world trade in the days of the Shemitah. Thus, we must ask the question: In the Shemitah of 2015, did anything of note take place regarding trade?

The answer is, again, an absolute yes.

Though it is one of the most overlooked and significant of stories, the Shemitah of 2015 caused global trade to literally collapse!

As the Shemitah began, industrial export orders in the world’s economic engine, China, began to crash. The collapsed continued throughout the Shemitah, month after month after month.

In “The Harbinger” appears this quote concerning what may take place in the year of the Shemitah:

“The nation’s that rely most heavily on export trade now suffer extensive economic damage.”

In the Shemitah of 2015, this is exactly what happened. One article described what happened this way: “China’s waning demand for commodity imports hammered emerging market economies from Brazil to South Africa.”

In both books, I wrote of the Shemitah causing the collapse of global trade. What happened to world trade in the Shemitah of 2015? See for yourself in the headlines that came out in the secular media:

“Global Trade Crash: Container Freight Rates Plummet 70% in 3 Weeks”

“Global Trade Is Collapsing, the Next Crisis Looms”

“World Trade Sees Biggest Contraction Since 2008 Crisis”

“Global Trade In Freefall …”

Notice the headline that identifies the collapse in world trade of 2015 to be the greatest collapse since that of 2008. One doesn’t have to be a mathematician to see that this is a span of seven years. And 2008 just happens to the be the preceding biblical year of the Shemitah. So the two greatest collapses in world trade each take place in a seven year cycle and on the actual year of the biblical Shemitah – which just happens to be appointed from ancient times to cause a ceasing of trade.

Below is a chart that documents the volume of world trade. The Shemitah begins at the end of 2014 and goes through most of 2015. Notice what happens to global trade in the last quarter of 2014 as the ancient year of cessation begins:

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The volume of world imports drops to nearly half. And as the Shemitah continues, it descends into negative territory.

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The collapse of the stock and indexes

One of the key leading indicators of global trade is the Dow Transportation Stocks. What happened to those stocks in the year of the Shemitah? Shortly after the Shemitah begins, the Dow Transportation Stocks begin to collapse. In fact their continuing collapse throughout the Shemitah constitutes a record, their worst descending streak in history!

Another one of the most important leading indicators of global trade is the Baltic Dry Index. This index measures the activity of shipping throughout the world. Did anything significant happen to the Baltic Dry Index in the Shemitah of 2015? The answer is again a dramatic yes.

The Shemitah 2015 struck the Baltic Dry Index, global shipping, to the point that it collapsed, not only to the levels of the previous Shemitah, but to the worst levels of the 21st century and beyond. In March of the Shemitah, this headline appeared:

“The Baltic Dry Index has hit a 30-year low”

The Shemitah of 2015 collapsed the Baltic Dry Index to the point where it stood at its worst levels ever recorded since the index began! When 2014 began, the index was over 2,000. By the time 2015 had ended, it had descended to the 400s! The Shemitah of 2008 had pulverized world trade. The Shemitah of 2015 had now decimated it.

The abandonment of the fruit

In ancient times, during the year of the Shemitah, the fruit of the land could not be bought or sold. The land’s produce was in large part abandoned. In “The Harbinger,” it is written that during the Shemitah, “The fruits of the land are abandoned. … Merchandise sits untouched.”

In the modern age, such things as the fruit of the land are called commodities. So, did the Shemitah of 2015 have any significant impact on commodities?

The Shemitah of 2015 caused global commodities to collapse. Demand dried up. Prices plummeted. Commodities were, in effect, abandoned. The Shemitah of 2015 caused global commodities to collapse so dramatically that it matched that of the Shemitah of 2008, and then exceeded it. The Commodity Index crashed to its worst levels of the 21st century. Here are some of the headlines that appeared in 2015 sounding the alarm to what was happening:

“Commodities Slump to 16-Year Low on Mining, Oil Stocks”

“The Worst Year on Record for Dry Bulk Companies”

The chart below reveals the impact of the Shemitah on global commodities.

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The Shemitah and the collapse of oil

One of the most important commodities in the modern world is oil. The effect of the Shemitah of 2015 could be seen every time one drove into a gas station. The decline in trade and production caused a collapse in the oil market. What was welcomed by those filling up their cars was bad for the global economy. During the Shemitah of 2015, the price of oil plunged, and the average energy stock collapsed by 52 percent! The chart below reveals the bigger picture concerning the price of oil.

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Notice that there are two major periods of collapse. The first is in the year 2008. The second begins in year 2014 and continues throughout 2015. What do these two collapse have in common? They both take place in the biblical year of the Shemitah, when the fruits of the land, commodities, are abandoned.

Into the future …

The impact and repercussions of the most recent Shemitah have not stopped. They’ve continued to shake world markets and economies into the new year. The chart below shows how the collapse of the Commodity Index did not end with the closing of the Shemitah, but continued unabated into the opening of 2016. The continuing collapse of the oil market was so dramatic that by the early days of 2016 its price had plunged below $30 a barrel. The continuing collapse of commodities would, in turn, help trigger another wave of stock market crashes across the world, making the opening of 2016 the worst beginning of any year in the history of the stock market.

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How far the repercussions of the Shemitah of 2015 would go was the subject of much speculation. But one thing was clear: The ancient mystery had again manifested according to its ancient pattern as outlined in the book – not only in the collapse of global stock markets, but also in the crash of global commodities, the decimation of world trade and several other realms, as we will see.

While analysts differed and argued over explaining what was happening and why, the ancient biblical template spoke more powerfully. The message of the Shemitah, as in ancient times, clearly sounded – all blessings come from God, and He, not man, was in control.


Jonathan Cahn caused a national stir with the release of his books “The Harbinger” and “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” available everywhere. He is president of Hope of the World Ministries. To get in touch, receive prophetic updates, teachings and free gifts, go to HopeOfTheWorld.org or the Jonathan Cahn Facebook.

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