The Missing Manna Moment
This post has been in the works for over six months; as a result, this article holds some of the most significant ideas published on this site. Everything written here is meant as a supplement to my book, Know the Time, Change Your World.
My intention was to publish this at Shavuot/Pentecost but decided to post now as we begin the count of fifty days. As strange as it may seem at the moment, I continue to think there is a good chance we will see some positive economic news in the near future. Regardless of the emotional pulls or pushes, please be circumspect as a new seven-year cycle begins.
Here is the question I have been asking myself: Can the rhymes of the past 150 years explain the events of 1973-74 and guide us as we enter the next set of seven years? In addition to my regular ongoing reading materials, I have read at least five books with this question in mind; each book is mentioned and linked for your convenience in the relevant section of the post.
In addition, I have reviewed this post with various friends who use the seven and fifty rhymes in their business lives. I am thankful for their input which has improved the content.
A book that covers most of the overall 150 year time frame I am reviewing is The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The US Standard of Living since the Civil War, by Robert Gordon. Mr. Gordon does a great job of explaining the modern world which resulted from the advent of modern water, sewer, electric and natural gas utilities as well as the huge transportation changes that happened as a result of trains, automobiles, trucks, ships and airplanes since the late 1800’s.
I am purposefully writing this now because over the next few years I expect the information below to have a significant impact. For thirty years I have worked to teach and explain the 7-year cycle. I have repeatedly pointed to Deuteronomy 15:1,
“At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.”
As I have often suggested, simply observing the instructions of Deuteronomy 15:1 will yield untold benefits. However, at this juncture I must add a further consideration in order to guide us through the next cycle.
Specifically, the distinct significance of the 7th or final seven-year sequence within the 50-year Jubilee cycle.
In this article, I will be exploring the eras of fifty years ago, one hundred years ago, and one hundred fifty years ago in order to demonstrate a rhyme I’ve observed. It is also important to notice that our actions and the actions of groups in society may create positive and negative influences. Moreover, I’ve noted the patterns of rhymes are often visible as exact opposites. (See the example of 1940s vs. 1990s in the footnotes.*)
Please recognize that moments of disaster in the past can become moments of great accomplishments at the rhyming moment of the current cycle if we learn from past mistakes and mend our ways with the Creator and our fellowman.
In the fall of 2022, we will indeed reach the end of year 7 in the 6th sequence of seven-year sets since 1980, the moment when having a stable balance sheet should have been our goal as per Deuteronomy 15:1. The fall of 2022 begins the 7th AND FINAL set of seven years of the 50-year Jubilee cycle. I project the 50-year cycle to end in the fall of 2030. In other words, the 7th set of seven years will be present from the fall of 2022 to the fall of 2029, directly followed by the 50th Jubilee year.
What has me concerned now? Why focus on 50 years now? The events of 1973-74 have puzzled me for years in regard to the Shemitah cycle, but when I put those events together with the words from Exodus 16:27, “On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none”, suddenly things made more sense.
To better understand the events of the late 1960’s and the early 1970’s, we need to apply the 7- and 50-year pattern; 1972 was the end of the 7th year just like 2022 will be the end of the 7th year. The economic turmoil of the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the following Arab oil embargo caused much havoc in the world’s economy. The Shemitah cycle alone does little to explain 1973-74, but adding in the aspect of the 50-year Jubilee pattern helped.
The fall of 1972 was a fine time to stabilize one’s balance sheet, reduce one’s debt etc., but in retrospect it clearly was not a time to sound the “all-clear” for “risk-on” activity. The world’s energy supply would be drastically disrupted just 18 months later. What can we learn?
I suggest we consider Exodus 16:27, “On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none.” Here we have an example of people who were used to a certain consistent economic reality. For six days manna had been there every morning when they went out looking for it. Following their own instincts and based on their own experience, a habit had developed, and even though Moses had warned them to gather a double portion on the sixth day and not to expect manna on day seven, this group opted to trust their own experience rather than the pattern Moses was trying to teach them. Therefore, we can assume they did not gather double on day six and went out on day seven expecting manna on the ground where they had always found it previously, but instead, found none.
So, what about 1973?
If 1973-74 was the second year of the final set of 7 years cycles before the Jubilee, then in a Jubilee pattern context it would have symbolized the “early morning” of the 7th day. In other words, in keeping with the biblical narrative, this is a very likely moment for something that is expected to be there (manna) to fail to show up as it had for the previous six days.
In 1974, cheap energy ran the world’s industrialized economy. In the USA, 25 cent gasoline was thought of as a birthright. No one even considered what the disruption of the energy supply chain would do to our lifestyle. Yet in 1974, gasoline suddenly increased in cost to 50 cents, if you could find it. (Not only was it expensive, but long lines and shortages became common in the early years of the 7th cycle 50 years ago.)
Also note, this was the era the dollar was no longer guaranteed to buy gold for $35 per ounce. President Nixon had announced a temporary pause of dollar convertibility to gold in August of 1971; of course, it was permanent and everyone knew it by 1973. As we will see in historical patterns, monetary shifts also seem to happen around this moment in the 50-year cycle.
Let’s look an additional 100 years back, to the early 1870s. Another 7-year cycle ended in 1872, making it a fine time to stabilize the balance sheet. But again, it was too soon to go “risk-on” as a market swoon was waiting in 1873. In the years since the American Civil War, the railroads had been built at a frenzied pace. The American transcontinental railroad had been completed in May, 1869,** and now almost every corner of this most fertile continent was providing the world’s market with her bounty of grain, gold and especially silver, from our western lands. No one considered a saturation point was approaching. Europe was the market for much of this product.
Starting in 1873, a number of events took place that changed the way money worked around the world. A rather technical legislative bill moved through the United States Congress concerning the production of US dollars. This bill quietly removed most of silver’s monetary value leading to a shrinking, gold-only monetary system which caused contraction in the economy over the next decades. For details see: (The Crime of 1873 by Robert R. VanRyzin). The rest of the world followed suit with a desire for gold over silver. It seems what was really at stake was the exploding silver production worldwide, especially in the American west, which was threatening the financial centers of the world, New York, London, etc. As a result of these changes, Europe and especially Germany, stopped buying American silver, and very soon afterward, a classic deflation set in as other products found buyers at only substantially lower prices. This story is told well in The Story of Silver by William L. Silber.
The expected “manna” which had been there for years, was suddenly missing early on in the Jubilee cycle’s final set of seven years, 150 years ago. Furthermore, this was a very turbulent time in America due to the aftermath of the Civil War and the resulting discontent surrounding the justice and injustice of post-war reconstruction. Now almost a century and a half later, it would be easy to forget these former rancorous times. Many stories from the 1870s are very sad and still negatively impact our culture to this day.
Fifty years later another rhyming pattern emerged, this time across the sea. The decade of the 1920s is mostly a European story. For generations, Europe had been the world’s most prosperous continent. The royalty of Europe was largely biologically related to each other; nonetheless, they also battled with each other from time to time. Regardless, once these wars ended, the wealth would be rebuilt and the continent would thrive again.
One of these wars had just ceased in 1918 and was known as the Great War during the 1920s. To later generations, this would become known as World War I simply because another even greater war was on the horizon two decades later. Many believed, surely Europe would be rebuilt as it always had and retain its global role as an economic leader and colonizer. Again, fall of 1922, the end of the 7th year, would have been a good time to stabilize a balance sheet but as the pattern is set, what had always been, especially in Europe, was again not going to take place as expected.
A couple of things happened that caught most of the financial powers of the time off guard. One was the strength of America which was now on its way to becoming not only a world power but soon enough–the world power. The other surprise was the weakness of Germany. Germany had consistently been a strong economy with a great workforce and innovative business minds; now however, Germany was forced into a draconian reparation payment system as a result of losing the recent war. Germany simply could not pay what France and Britain demanded but they pretended to pay using printed currency until the whole German economy was destroyed and all of Europe’s economy suffered great damage. Once again, these things came to a head in 1923-1924, the early years of the Jubilee cycle’s 7th set of seven years. A great book on the era is When Money Dies, by Adam Fergusson.
Can you now understand why I am concerned about the next few years?
What expectations do we have that are suddenly going to go unfulfilled in the early years of the next cycle?
What are the norms that have always been there when we needed them that suddenly will be disrupted?
What is no one expecting because we are not listening to the voice of the Creator?
I’m not trying to predict doom and gloom. I am simply presenting a cautious warning regarding the pattern as demonstrated above during the start of the Jubilee cycle’s 7th set of seven years.
While most economic collapses come from an exhausted euphoria such as what we saw in the 2000 tech bubble, and the 2007 housing bubble, if we see an economic setback in the next few years, it is likely to result from disruption of the expected, even though we are observing it in a time thought to be a rebuilding time. A “Missing Manna Moment” if you will. I have no more insight than anyone else about what form this might take. It is simply important to me that my readers know of this particular historical pattern potentially playing out at this time.
As we finish up the sixth Shemitah cycle since 1980, we may still have some time to put our balance sheet in order over the next few months even though it is a 7th year. There may even be a period of good news that turns everyone optimistic later this year. If optimism returns in the next year, then this warning is even more important and fits the pattern just described.
There is a hiddenness and mystery associated with sabbatical years that is often only revealed by the light of Yom Echad (Day One) i.e., Year One. We have the divine light to look forward to this fall. The haze will likely also be true of the seventh set of 7 years of the Jubilee cycle. If so, we are entering a substantially long hidden time in the cycle, the fullness of what is to be revealed is likely decades away; however, the next 3-4 year period has a pattern that the wise will not ignore.
A few additional data points to consider:
Tight and Loose Money
Fiscal policy since the founding of the United States seems to rotate from “tight money” to “loose money” and back again about every 50 years. Allow me to explain, the Constitution gives the government the right to create money and to establish what is money. Money in the US since its founding has variably been gold, silver, and paper with important men’s faces on it. Money makes business transactions much smoother than barter. However too much money causes inflation (prices to rise) and this is known as loose money. Conversely not enough money causes prices to go down (deflation) which is known as tight money. The government is always trying to find the correct balance between tight and loose money. History shows that approximately every 50 years a correction of one sort or another is made, usually resulting in an over shift leading to an imbalance opposite of the direction of the previous 50 years. Here is a quick review of the monetary situations since the founding of the USA.
1780s Tight / Hamilton and founding of America’s National bank pay the war debts. Silver and gold set at 16/1 for monetary value.
1830s Loose / Andrew Jackson kills the National bank. Frees states to create their own money
1880s Tight / “Crime of 1873” gold standard, drop silver as a currency
1930s Loose / Bring back silver, move gold standard from $20 to $35, outlaw private ownership of gold
1980s Tight, Gold standard gone but self-imposed High interest rates by very hawkish Federal Reserve Chair, Paul Volker.
2030s Loose/ “loose-money???” Have you read about MMT? If not, look it up.
If we continue to follow the same pattern historically demonstrated, we should expect and have already seen) a move to a loose fiscal policy. Interestingly this round of loose money will be completed with fiat currency (no gold or silver backing). This will be a first and it is hard to see how the discipline required for a stable financial system will be enforced in this environment. We may find ourselves with a system that looks nothing like free enterprise. I hope I am wrong!
Uncharted waters for sure!
It is said that demographics are destiny. One theory about demographics is that people between the ages of 35 to 45 years old are at their peak spending years. Notice these “coincidences” and consider the projections for the next decade.
1960 peak of baby boom + 35/45 year = 1995-2005 peak of speculative internet stock and housing market run.
1973 bottom of baby bust + 35/45 = 2008-2018 housing bust and the waning of the Great Recession which resulted from the housing bust of 2008/09.
1990 echo boom peak + 35/45 = 2025-2035 this could be signaling that demand for almost everything will be intense just after our “Missing Manna Moment.
In conclusion, be awake. I don’t think we can declare a “risk on” before early to mid-2025, year three of the Jubilee cycle’s 7th set of seven years. By then some of the hiddenness will have lifted, and the world may be a very different place by then. At that point believing what we see will be valid, but until then, follow the pattern. I am still convinced we should stabilize our balance sheets by the fall of 2022. However, I also recommend a careful and “looking” stance until at least mid-2024. There will be winners and losers. Some will think the unfulfilled expectations are the end of the world, but the “Missing Manna Moment” is just a sign that a new reality is on its way.
Always remember Habakkuk 2:4b, “the just shall live by faith.” The prophet’s meaning is clear, neither armies, weapons, fortresses, gold, silver or wealth of any kind can truly protect us. In Hosea 4:6a, it is written “My people are destroyed for a lack of Knowledge: because they have rejected knowledge.”
Using the knowledge, we have acquired and finding ways to lift burdens off of others may be the most practical way to properly use the “7 and 50 rhyming” tools we have been given. If success comes your way in all of this, look for ways to set people free. Freedom for others is always the biblical purpose of sabbaticals, be they days or years or the seventh set of seven years.
I encourage you to look carefully at the past eras I suggested above for the upcoming years. History is a rising spiral; the cycles do not repeat themselves exactly. Current events become history, and history is only a rhyming guide for future happenings. A new and better future is possible. In fact, it is completely possible that if enough of us do this properly we can make the next five years, even the next decade, a turning point leading to better times rather than bitter times. I love Pamela Braun Cohen’s book Hidden Heroes . It offers the opportunity to flip the 50 year narrative from evil to good. May it be so in our times!
*It is also about 50 years ago when Jews in the USA started advocating for the freedom of Jews in the USSR. It took over 20 years for the Iron Curtain to collapse. Read Hidden Heroes by Pamela Braun Cohen. Consider how this work of the 1970’s and 80’s created the opposite effect in the 1990’s compared to Europe 50 years previously in the 1940’s.
** May, 1869 completion of the USA transcontinental rail line; 100 years later in July, 1969 Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Two transportation technology marvels exactly 100 years apart