WASHINGTON – As Sept. 13, 2015, approached, so did the anxiety on Wall Street.

A New York Times bestselling book called “The Mystery of the Shemitah” had documented, with uncanny precision and overwhelming data, how the biblical Sabbath year correlated with economic cycles, political upheaval and the fall of empires throughout history.

Having suffered record setbacks in the two previous seven-year Shemitah years – 2008 and 2001 – economists and traders were murmuring about what might happen in the fall.

But Sept. 13, the day the Shemitah year ended without obvious economic cataclysm, there were sighs of relief among market watchers.

As 2015 ended, however, analysts can now see the forest for the trees. The year was the worst for the market since 2008, a year of economic disaster for America and much of the industrialized world.

Nearly 70 percent of investors lost money, according to Openfolio, an app that allows people to track their investment performance and compare their portfolios with others;

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.

A long-awaited Fed rate hike resulted in the Dow sinking 367 points;

China’s economy slowed, oil prices fell, the Greek debt crisis continued;

The U.S. 30-year Treasury note returned negative 2 percent, the 3-month Treasury bill returned 0.11 percent and the CRB commodities index fell more than 23 percent according to Societe Generale.

One report says 2015 was the worst financial system for funds – in 78 years — meaning the Great Depression;

Larry McDonald, head of U.S. macro strategy at Societe Generale, said the all-encompassing lag in performance is one reason why major money managers have done so badly this year. The year was most troublesome for hedge funds, the average of which is down about 4 percent, according to Hedge Fund Research.

“It’s been an absolute meat grinder of a year,” McDonald said. “Hall-of-fame legends, [Warren] Buffett, David Einhorn, Carlos Slim, those are my favorite investors of all time and they all had bad years.”

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.

“God can’t be put in a box,” the messianic rabbi said repeatedly. He wrote the book for the express purpose of bringing people back to God.

“The phenomenon may manifest in one cycle and not in another and then again in the next,” he wrote. “And the focus of the message is not date-setting but the call of God to repentance and return. At the same time, something of significance could take place, and it is wise to note the times.”

Ancient Israel was instructed in the Bible to sow the land and reap its produce for six consecutive years. Then, on the seventh year, they’re commanded to let the land lie fallow.

His book documents what appears to be a striking connection between financial downturns in the United States following the end of the Shemitah year.

“[In] 1980 you have recession and then the stock market collapses; you have ’87 stock market collapses and the Shemitah of that, and you have ‘Black Monday’ the worst point percentage crash in history,” Cahn explained. “Shemitah of 1994, the bond market collapses, called the bond market massacre — greatest in history; 2001 you have the stock market collapsing, recession. You have the greatest point crash in world history and you have 9/11, which is the shaking. Shemitah also means shaking.”

For many decades, Wall Street analysts have pondered the mystery of what appears to be seven-year economic cycles. They’ve also wondered why crashes seem to come so often in September.

In “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” he revealed the shocking discovery that the five great economic crashes of the last 40 years – 1973, 1980, 1987, 2001 and 2008 – have all occurred in Shemitah years – those God set apart as Sabbath years.

As he pointed out in his earlier book, “The Harbinger,” in 2001 and 2008 they coincided precisely with the exact end of the Shemitah year on the Hebrew calendar day of Elul 29.

Cahn summed up his message by saying, “America is progressing toward God’s judgment.”

Get the new movie about Jonathan Cahn’s life story – “The Harbinger Man”

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. That’s exactly what happened, Cahn says in 586 B.C., a Shemitah year, when the Temple fell and Judah went into captivity in Babylon for 70 years.

Cahn explains the Shemitah can have several meanings. It can mean a “release” – and in ancient Israel debts were canceled and land returned to its original owners. But it can also mean “to fall, to collapse, to shake,” he says.

But the Shemitah seems to be affecting the U.S. economy throughout much of the nation’s history.

The eight greatest postwar economic crashes are all mysteriously connected to a biblical Sabbath year pattern known in Hebrew as “the Shemitah,” reveals the book – evidence certain to rock the world of financial speculators, stock market traders and economists.

Among the stunning findings of the author who found jaw-dropping links between the 9/11 terrorist attack and an otherwise obscure biblical passage, Isaiah 9:10, is that 100 percent of the worst U.S. economic calamities since World War II are all lined to the “Shemitah,” the biblical Sabbath year, its wake or the biblical month of Tishri in which the “Shemitah” falls.

But more than that – all of the great economic crashes in U.S. history, including the Great Depression, line up with Shemitah years.

“It has been affecting everything in our lives,” says Cahn. “There’s no end to it. It’s amazing. It’s precise. It’s down to the days, the hours, the minutes, even the seconds.”

“Something very much more than natural is indeed going on,” concludes the understated Cahn. “And the signs of the phenomenon all point to the same ancient biblical mystery. If the collapse of the world’s stock markets were an act of crime, the Shemitah would have long ago been indicted for the evidence left at the crime scene. In its numbers, its connections, its convergences, its percentages, its magnitude and its consistency, the amount of fingerprints covering the financial cataclysms of modern times is overwhelming.”

What does Cahn think God is trying to tell America? What’s his prescription?

“To avert judgement, we must return one last time to the burning ruins of Jerusalem in 586 BC,” he says. “The prophet Jeremiah had warned his nation unceasingly that the day of its calamity was coming.”

That judgment could have been averted, Cahn says, if the people had turned back to God. Today, he says, America is heading down the same path. But there’s still hope, he explains.

“Where there is repentance, there is revival,” says Cahn.

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