Biblical Feast Day Scriptures

by Norman Scott Edwards

November 1, 2010

Introduction

This article contains all of the Bible references to the annual biblical Feasts, both obvious references and uncertain references. Its primary purpose is that of a reference tool for those studying the Biblical Feast Days. (The author will gladly add any verses that he has missed if you send them to nedwards@portaustin.net )

Explanation of the symbolism and meaning of these days is included—even multiple different explanations. This paper is not intended to be exhaustive or even conclusive in these areas, but to serve as an encouragement to the reader to study and pray for the understanding that our Father wants to give him.

The main Biblical Feasts covered by this paper are found in Leviticus 23. If the reader is not familiar with that chapter, he should read it right away. “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts’” (Lev 23:2). The weekly Sabbath is the first Feast mentioned, and indeed this writer believes it still is a Feast of the Eternal, but it is not the subject of this article. The rest of the Feasts in Leviticus 23 are named in the following table, along with their alternate names:

 

Name Used In This Paper

Biblical Calendar Date

Other Names Used for this Feast

 

Meaning of the Other Names

Passover

1st month,
14th day

Pehsakh (Hebrew)

To skip over or to pass over

(This paper includes the few Bible references to the day of Passover lamb selection, the 10th day of the first month (Ex 12:3) under this column, below.)

Unleavened Bread

1st month,
15th – 21st days

Mats-tsaw (Hebrew)

This word means without yeast. It does not actually contain a word for bread, but it is implied, just like the “matzo” from today, which comes from it.

Feast of Unleavened

This using an adjective for a known is an effort to more accurately translate the Hebrew. Feast of Unleavened Things” might be better grammar..

Days of Unleavened Bread

This is the expression used in Acts 12:3; 20:6. The Old Testament uses “Feast of Unleavened Bread”

Passover (loosely)

“…Feast of Unleavened Bread…which is called Passover” (Luke 22:1).

Wavesheaf

“the day after the Sabbath”

Ha'Omer (Hebrew)

“The Omer” An omer is a unit of dry measure approximately equal to a U.S. liquid gallon. This was the amount of new barley waved on this day

Wave Omer

“Omer” is a better translation than “sheaf”, as a “sheaf” is stalks of grain that have only been cut and tied, but an homer measures grain separated out.

Firstfruits

The Bible uses this name (Lev 23:10) as it is the barley harvest firstfruits.

Pentecost

Fifty days or seven weeks from Wavesheaf

Shavuot (Hebrew)

“Weeks”, referring to the seven weeks used to count to this Feast.

Feast of Weeks

This is the main name used in the Old Testament.

Firstfruits

This name is used at times in the Bible (Lev 23:17; Num 28:26) as the firstfruits of the wheat harvest were offered on this day.

Trumpets

7th month,
1st day

Yom Teruah (Hebrew)

The Day of Blaring—an alarm, signal, shout, trumpet blast.

Rosh Hashana (Hebr.)

“Head of the Year” This is the popular Jewish name for the beginning of their new civil year, but it is not used in the Bible.

Alarm, Blaring, Loud Sounds, Loudness

“Feast of Alarm” or “Feast of Blaring” are a better translation of the Hebrew and convey the meaning of the day—a warning of events to come.

Atonement

7th month
10th day

Yom Kippur (Hebrew)

Day of Atonement Jews recognize this day as atonement between Israel and the Eternal, but do not recognize Christ’s role in this process.

The Fast

This name is used in Acts 27:9. People are taught to “afflict their soul” (Lev 23:27) or fast (not eat) on this day.

Tabernacles

7th month,
15th – 21st days

Sukkot (Hebrew)

Tabernacles or booths—emergency shelters, usually man made.

Feast of Booths

“Booth” is simply a synonym for “tabernacle”. Refers to temporary structures Israel used when traveling from Egypt and our temporary bodies on earth.

Feast of Ingathering

This shows the harvest theme of this Feast—used in Ex 23:16, 34:22.

Eighth Day

7th month,
22nd day

Shemini Atzeret (Hebr.)

Assembly on the eighth day. The Bible calls it the “eighth day”.

Last Great Day

This is taken from John 7:37, but that verse is probably referring to the last day of the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles.

Table of All Annual Biblical Feast Days

P
A
S
S
O
V
E
R

U
N
L
E
A
V
E
N
B
R
E
A
D

W
A
V
E
S
H
E
A
F

P
E
N
T
E
C
O
S
T

T
R
U
M
P
E
T
S

A
T
O
N
E
M
E
N
T

T
A
B
E
R
N
A
C
L
E
S

E
I
G
H
T
H

D
A
Y

Codes used for Feast Days:

C: Command to keep day, D: Direct Reference to the Day, I: Indirect reference to Day

N: Not a reference to Feast Day, S: Supporting evidence, U: Uncertain reference

Bible Verses

Importance of Verses

i

i

i

i

i

i

i

i

Gen 1:14

God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of heaven to divide day from night, and let them indicate festivals [Hebrew mow’ed], days and years”, NJB. The Hebrew mow’ed is used for the Sabbath and other Feast days in Leviticus 23

U

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gen 14:17-24

Melchizedek brings bread and wine to Abraham, Jewish tradition says that this was on Passover and it seems to be an event that occurs immediately before the events of chapter 15. (see below for link to Feast Days.)

 

U

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gen 15 (all)

Melchizedek told Abraham that his descendants would be strangers in a country not their own, and come back in the forth generation (v 13-16). The Israelites came out on he same day of the year that the 430 years began (Ex 12:41). If the 430 years start here, this must be the First Day of Unleavened Bread.

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

Ex 5:1; 10:9

God told Moses to ask Pharaoh to let them go into the wilderness to observe a Feast to the Eternal. The Hebrew for Feast is chag, used for biblical Feasts in Leviticus 23 and many other verses.

C

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ex 12

Passover and Days of Unleavened bread described and commanded to keep. The came out “at the end of the 430 years, to the very day” (v 41, NIV). The Hebrew ’e-tsem (“self-same” in KJV) seems to mean the same day of the year.

Ex 12:3 notes the selection of the Passover Lamb on the 10th day of the first month—not called a Feast day, but a significant day on the Biblical calendar.

 

c

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ex 13:4-10

Days of Unleavened Bread an “appointed time” to be kept in the month of Abib—which means “green ears”—referring to the ears of barley..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U

Ex 22:29-30

Offspring of people and animals kept with parents for 7 days, dedicated to God on the eighth day.

 

c

 

i

 

 

C

 

Ex 23:14-17

Festivals three times during the year (Tabernacles called “ingathering”).

 

 

 

 

 

C

 

 

Ex 30:10

Once a year Aaron must make an atonement.

C

C

 

C

 

 

C

 

Ex 34:18-25

All three Feast seasons mentioned (Tabernacles called “ingathering”). Verse 24 says “neither will any man covet your land when you go up to appear before the LORD your God.” Pentecost is the beginning of the wheat harvest.

s

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

Lev 2:4-5; 6:14-17

Instructions for how to make grain offerings, as done at the temple on each of the Feast days according to Num 28 & 29.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U

Lev 9:1-4

After Seven days of cleansing the high priest, God appears to him.

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

Lev 12:1-8

Animal sacrifices are required for every child born. If it is now possible for believers to have children without animal sacrifices, it is also possible for them to keep the Feast Days without animal sacrifices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U

Lev 12:3

Male babies to be circumcised on the eight day. Apparently, they were named on that day (Luke 1:59), symbolic of the name given at Messiah’s return (Rev 2:17; 3:12; 14:1; 22:4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U

Lev 14:10-11, 23

The person cleansed of leprosy is allowed back in the camp on the eight day—after seven days of being out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U

Lev 15:14,29

Men and women cleansed from their “discharges” on the eighth day.

 

 

 

 

 

C

 

 

Lev 16:1-34

Goats on the Day of Atonement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U

Lev 22:27

A young animal cannot be used as an offering until the eighth day.

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

Lev 23:1-3

The Sabbath is a Feast, an appointed time (Heb. mo-ed) of the Eternal. (This is helpful to people who keep the Sabbath, but do not think they can keep Feasts.)

c

c

c

c

c

c

c

c

Lev 23:4

All Feast Days are “holy convocations” (KJV) or “sacred assemblies” (NIV) which the people are commanded to proclaim. There is no command about how to calculate the calendar nor a punishment for calculating it incorrectly.

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lev 23:5

Passover to be kept on the 14th of the first month, “between the evenings” (Heb. ben-ha-arbayim).

 

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lev 23:6-9

Holy convocations with no customary work on the First and Last Days of Unleavened Bread, the 15th through the 21st of the first month.

 

 

C

 

 

 

 

 

Lev 23:10-14

The Feast of the First Fruits, or Wave Sheaf to be kept on the day after the Sabbath. Some say Sabbath is first of U.B., others weekly Sabbath in U.B., others first Sabbath when barley is ready. New grain was not to be eaten before this day. The scripture does not say this is the “barley” harvest, but that is the grain that is ripe at that time and the month name is “Abib” which means “green ears”.

 

 

 

C

 

 

 

 

Lev 23:15-22

Count seven Sabbaths from the Feast of the First Fruits, or 50 days to the day after that seventh Sabbath which is the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. Two wave loaves, baked with leaven, were offered.

 

 

 

 

C

 

 

 

Lev 23:23-25

The first day of the seventh month is the “Feast of Trumpets”, more accurately the “Feast of Blaring” or “Loud Sounds”, a holy convocation.

 

 

 

 

 

C

 

 

Lev 23:26-32

The 10th day of the seventh month is the Day of Atonement. People are to afflict their souls (widely understood to fast—Isa 58:5). No work is to be done at all. This Sabbath is celebrated from “evening unto evening”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

C

 

Lev 23:33-36

The Feast of Tabernacles was to be kept from the 15th to the 21st day of the seventh month with a holy convocation on the first day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C

Lev 23:36

A holy convocation to be held on the eighth day of the Feast.

C

C

C

C

C

c

c

c

Lev 23:37-38

The above were the Eternal’s Feasts which were to be proclaimed, kept in addition to vows, gifts and freewill offerings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

C

 

Lev 23:39-43

The 15th day of the seventh month is a Sabbath rest beginning the seven day Feast. Rejoice with branches—four kinds of trees mentioned—and dwell in tabernacles as Israel did when they came out of Egypt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C

Lev 23:39

There is a Sabbath-rest on the Eighth Day

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

Lev 23:44

Feasts of the Eternal were declared to the children of Israel

 

 

 

 

 

D

 

 

Lev 25:8-55

Jubilee year to begin when trumpet is blown on the Day of Atonement. Land goes back to people, slaves are freed? (How is this different than the freeing of slaves in the year of release?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U

Num 6:10

A Nazarite is clean after seven days when accidentally defiled.

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Num 9:2-14

Command to celebrate Passover—second month Passover if necessary, same rules for a foreigner as Israelite.

i

i

i

i

i

i

i

i

Num 10:9-10

Blow silver trumpets (Heb. chatsotserah) at war and on the Feast days.

C

c

c

c

c

c

c

c

Num 28:1-31; 29:1-40

Animal offerings given daily, on the Sabbath, new moons & all Feast Days. Seventy bulls were offered during Tabernacles, but only 1 bull was offered on the Eighth Day—it was a symbol of unity.

I

i

 

i

i

i

i

i

Deut 12:5-28

Command to take tithes offerings to “the place the LORD your God will choose” and rejoice there—probably refers to all Feasts. Verse 21 indicates that the Feasts may be observed at home if “the place” is too far away.

 

 

 

 

 

U

 

 

Deut 15:1-18

Let servants go in the “year of release”—every seven years. (Does not mention atonement/tabernacles, but this is the day of restoration in the Jubilee (Lev 25).

C

C

 

C

 

 

C

 

Deut 16:1-17

Three Feast seasons explained.

 

 

 

 

 

U

c

 

Deut 31:9-13

Law to be read at the Feast of Tabernacles, “year of release” mentioned.

I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josh 4

Israel crossed the Jordan river and camped (v 19) on the 10th day of the first month, the day of the Passover lamb selection (Ex 12:3). They set up 12 stones and God exalted Joshua (same name as Jesus) in the sight of the people (v 14).

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josh 5:10

The Passover was kept on the plains of Jericho before the attack.

D

I

U

 

 

 

 

 

Josh 5:11

Israel ate unleavened bread after the Passover, which would be the Days of Unleavened Bread. There are disagreements, both in manuscripts and interpretation as to whether they were eating new or old grain and as to exactly which days of the week the Feasts fell on that year.

 

U

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josh 6:2-5

Israel marched around Jericho seven days and the walls fell down on the seventh day. While the Bible does not say that this military victory corresponded to the Days of Unleavened Bread, the Passover was observed in the previous chapter. Jewish tradition says this was the Feast. The victory on the last day appears to be victory over sin, symbolized by leaven. Would God have Israel march around the city on a holy day? If they marched seven consecutive days, at least one was a Sabbath!

 

U

 

 

 

 

U

 

Jdgs 14:10-12

Bridegrooms typically made a Feast for seven days. Do the Biblical seven-day Feasts relate to Christ being a bridegroom (Matt 25:1-13; Mark 2:19-20; John 3:29) and His bride the Church? (Rev 21:2, 9; 2Cor 11:2; Eph 5:31-32.)

 

 

 

U

 

 

 

 

Ruth

The book of Ruth, by Jewish tradition, is read every Pentecost. Ruth symbolizes both the “Church in the Wilderness”, which began when the law was given at Sinai and the New Testament Church, which began on Pentecost (Acts 2:1).

U

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruth 1:17

Ruth was willing to die for her mother, symbolizing Christ’s Passover sacrifice. This conversation could have occurred on Passover, as the Feast of the Firstfruits was just a few days later (Ruth 1:22).

 

 

I

 

 

 

 

 

Ruth 1:22

Ruth came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest—which was the Wavesheaf. (Christ, born in Bethlehem, was the firstfruit 1Cor 15:20).

 

 

 

I

 

 

 

 

Ruth 2:23

Ruth gleaned grain “until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest”. It is clearly the end of the barley harvest, but some translations, like the NLT, indicate it was the beginning of the wheat harvest. This is likely as Ruth 3:2, 15, 17 mention winnowing barley and paying in barley, but nothing about any harvested wheat. Ruth is redeemed on or very near Pentecost in that year.

 

 

 

U

 

 

 

 

1Sam 6:13-15

When Israel was reaping their “wheat harvest” (Pentecost begins the wheat harvest—Ex 34:22) the ark returned and they made many sacrifices.

 

 

 

I

 

 

 

 

1Sam 12:17

Israel repents of asking for a King when the “wheat harvest” was “today”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U

1Sam 17:12-14

David was the eighth son of Jesse—a completely new kind of person who became king.

 

 

 

 

D

 

D

 

1Kngs 8:2

Solomon’s great dedication of the Temple and prayer. “Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with King Solomon at the feast in the month [yerach—month] of Ethanim, which is the seventh month [chodesh—new moon]. If this literally reads “seventh new moon” this is probably the “Feast of Trumpets”. Only other places where Bibleworks finds this exact form are Ezra 3:1 and Nehemiah 7:73 where a specific date seems to be referenced.

 

 

 

 

 

I

D

D

1Kngs 8:65-66

Feast kept for 14 days—seven for the temple dedication plus seven for tabernacles, then Solomon sent the people away on the 8th day—probably after the assembly. Note it is still called the Eighth Day even though it was literally the fifteenth day that they were there and the 22nd of the month. Some people did not leave until the 23rd (See 2Chr 7:8-10). Notice also that the day of atonement appears to be eclipsed by the first 7-day feast.

 

i

 

i

 

 

i

 

1Kngs 9:25

Solomon offered sacrifices three times per year—probably the Feast times.

 

 

 

 

U

U

 

 

2Kngs 11:4, 5, 7, 14

Silver trumpets were to be blown at Feasts and for war (Num 10:9-10). This was either a weekly Sabbath, annual Sabbath or both—certainly more people would have been present at an annual Feast, and both the Feast of Trumpets (1st of the seventh month) and Day of Atonement (Lev 25:9) were beginnings of years (v 4).

 

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

1Kngs 12:32-33

Jeroboam invents false Feast in the eight month.

 

 

 

 

U

 

D

 

2Chr 5-7

Solomon’s great dedication of the Temple and prayer at the Feast in the seventh month. 2Chr 5:3 says (NAU/NAB) “All the men of Israel assembled themselves to the king at the feast, that is in the seventh month [chodesh].” Note that word “in” is in italics. To me, the Hebrew seems to say, “at the feast, that seventh new moon” which would be the Feast of Trumpets. Bibleworks finds no other place where the exact form of these two words appears.

 

 

 

 

 

I

D

D

2Chr 7:8-10

Dedication of the temple for 7 days. Two feasts of 7 days, but they still call the assembly at the end, the Eight Day! That is its name! The people do not go home until the 23rd.  Apparently the dedication Feast eclipsed Atonement.

 

D

 

D

 

 

D

 

2Chr 8:12-16

Solomon made provisions for offerings at the Sabbaths, New Moons and three annual Feasts.

D

D

U

 

 

 

 

 

2Chr 30

Hezekiah’s Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread observed for 14 days (v 23).

D

D

U

 

 

 

 

 

2Chr 35

Josiah’s Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread.

 

 

 

 

D

 

D

 

Ezra 3

Sacrifices began on the Feast of Trumpets (3:1) with only an altar during time of Zerubbabel. Second temple dedicated during Tabernacles.

D

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ezra 6:19-22

Passover & Feast of Unleavened Bread.

 

 

 

 

I

 

 

 

Neh 7:73

People in their towns “when the seventh month (chodesh—new moon) came”.

 

 

 

 

C

 

 

 

Neh 8:1-12

Book of the Law found on Feast of Trumpets, read from daybreak until noon. The people stood to listen and wept, but they were commanded to rejoice, feast and send portions to those who did not have anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

D

D

Neh 8:13-9:3

People keep the Feast of Tabernacles, building Tabernacles from branches. They read the book of the law each day. They kept the Eighth Day (22nd) then fasted on the 24th, reading the law and confessing their sin.

I

I

I

 

 

 

 

 

Esth 3:12-13; 4:16; 5:1,8; 7:2; 8:7-9

The royal secretaries are summoned to write a law against the Jews on the 13th day of the fist month, the day before Passover. The account does not say how many days it took for Esther and Mordecai to find out and for Esther to decide to approach the king. Esther asked everyone to fast for three days. It is quite possible that all of this took place during Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread, possibly with deliverance coming on the Feast of Firstfruits. However, the story indicates no big breaks in time, but by Esth 8:7-9, it is the 23rd day of the third month, so it is hard to know. The final deliverance was not accomplished until the 13th day of the twelfth month, possibly a type of the final judgment at the end time.

 

I

 

 

U

 

I

 

Psalm 81:3

“Blow in the month a trumpet, In the new moon, at the day of our festival” —YLT. Most translations say the trumpet should be blown on the “new moon” and the “full moon” (usually the 15th of a lunar month), which would best fit the Feasts of Trumpets and Tabernacles. However, the psalm is about coming out of Egypt, which was done on the first day of unleavened bread (Ex 12).

n

n

n

n

n

n

n

n

Lam 2:6

Sabbaths and Feasts forgotten when God is unhappy with people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U

Isa 65:17

New heavens and new earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U

Isa 66:22-24

New heavens and new earth—Sabbath and new moons still kept, no eighth day Sabbath here.

i

 

 

 

 

U

 

 

Ezk 40:1

Ezekiel has his final 8-chapter vision of the Kingdom of God on the 10th day at the beginning of the year—probably the Passover lamb selection day—a symbol that God will choose Jerusalem for sacrifices again. (NIV Study Bible says this is spring, Ezekiel is consistent—if not, it would be the day of Atonement).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U

Ezk 43:26-27

Priests cleans altar for 7 days, they are accepted on the 8th day.

C

c

c

c

c

c

c

c

Ezk 44:24

Future priests commanded to keep Feasts (most modern trans.) Hebrew mo-ed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U

Ezk 44:26-27

Priests cleansed after 7 days if defiled.

C

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ezk 45:17-25

Provision of sacrifices on the Feast days. Passover called a “feast of seven days”.

i

i

i

i

i

i

i

i

Ezk 46:11

Grain offerings at Feasts.

i

i

i

i

i

i

i

i

Hos 9:5

Passing reference to the Feast of the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

D

 

Hos 12:8-9

People made to dwell in tents (tabernacles), like the days of the appointed Feasts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hag 2:1-9

Message given on Tishri 21 about a temple greater than 1st or 2nd coming. Talks about shaking heaven and earth and dry land.

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

 

Zech 8:16-23

When people follow God, the fasts of the 4th, 5th, 7th and 10th month will be cheerful feasts. These are probably fasts for the breaching of Jerusalem’s walls (17th of Tammuz), the burning of the temple (9th of Ab), the Fast of Gediliah (3rd of Tishri) and Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem (10th of Tebbeth). This is not about the Day of Atonement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

C

 

Zech 14:3-4,16-21

When Christ returns, he will fight with the nations. He will send no rain to all of the nations that refuse to come to the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem.

New Testament References

 

 

 

 

 

S

 

 

Matt 6:16-18

Christ gives instructions on how to fast.

 

 

 

 

 

S

 

 

Matt 9:14-15 (Mark 2:18-20, Luke 5:33-35)

Jesus said his disciples would fast after he left. While He probably did not mean that they would adopt the twice-a-week fast of some Pharisees (Luke 18:11-12), special purpose fasts (Acts 10:30: 13:2-3; 14:23) and regular fasting on the Day of Atonement certainly came to pass (Acts 27:9).

 

 

 

I

 

 

 

 

Matt 13:24-30

The parable of the wheat and tares mixed together—good and bad, just as the two Pentecost loaves had leavening in them.. Pentecost is the wheat harvest.

 

 

 

 

 

I

 

 

Matt 17:4 (Mark 9:5-6; Luke 9:33)

Upon seeing the vision of the Transfiguration, Peter wanted to make three tabernacles for Christ, Moses and Elijah. Mark and Luke say Peter did not know why he said that. Since the Feast of Tabernacles represents the fall harvest, the Millennial rule of Christ, Peter was probably inspired to think of Tabernacles.

 

 

 

 

 

s

 

 

Matt 17:19-21 (Mark 9:28-29)

Some demons require prayer and fasting to cast out.

I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt 21:1-17 (Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19)

Jesus road into Jerusalem amid great shouts of praise from the crowds. Even though the leaders try to stop the praise, Christ tells them that the stones would cry out if the people do not. He cleaned the money changers out of the temple and performed great miracles in the temple. The comparison of the selection of the Passover lamb (Ex 12:3) and the exaltation of Joshua (Josh 4:14,19) is hard to escape. The Scriptures does not clearly state this is the 10th day of the first month, but it is obviously only a few days until the Passover on the 14th of that month.

D

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt 26

(Mentions Passover, UB.)

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Mark 14:1

After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Luke 1:59

1st of 3 “eighth day” references in New Testament. John the Baptist circumcised—does not have a name till the eighth day. Zechariah can then talk.

 

 

 

 

 

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Luke 2:36-38

Anna, the prophetess (who saw the baby Jesus in her old age), fasted frequently.

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Luke 2:39-42

It was customary for Jesus and his parents to go to the Passover each year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Luke 9:28

Jesus explains that life is living for Him; on the 8th day, the transfiguration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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John 1:14

“And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us” (YLT). Jesus was probably born at the Feast of Tabernacles based upon the six-month conception spacing of Jesus and John the Baptist and the time when Zacharias, John’s father, was serving in the priestly course of Abijah.

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John 1:29

Christ pictured as a lamb, a sacrifice for the world’s sin.

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John 2:23

Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name.

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John 4:45

“So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they also had gone to the feast” (NKJV).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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John 6:39-40, 44, 54

The first 4 of 7 references to the “last day” in John 6, 7, 11 & 12, apparently the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:1) symbolizing the resurrection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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John 7:1-52

Jesus keeping the Feast of Tabernacles and discourse there. Attempt to take Him and put him to death fails in the “latter harvest”, he is put to death in the spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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John 7:37

5th “last day” reference, called “Great Day of the Feast”. The 7th day of the Feast of Tabernacles by Jewish tradition included a water pouring ceremony to which Jesus apparently refers. There is no reason to assume that this was the “eighth day” festival, though some do. The scripture says it is the “last day”—must be the last of 7, not the eighth. John has 7 references to the “last day”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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John 11:24

6th “last day” reference, probably the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles symbolizing the resurrection.

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John 11:55

Jewish leaders planned to seize Jesus at Passover

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John 12:12

Crowd gathered for Feast. This may have been the 10th, lamb selection day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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John 12:48

7th “last day” reference, probably the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles symbolizing the resurrection.

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John 13:29

Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor.

 

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John 19:31

For that Sabbath was an “high day”—after Passover, must be first of unleavened bread.

 

 

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John 20:27

Christ ascends to the Father during Unleavened Bread—symbolized by the wavesheaf that was waved to the Father during Unleavened Bread.

 

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John 20:26-31

KJV and similar translations say "after 8 days" in v 26, but the NIV, NRSV, NAB and other modern translations say "a week later". "Within 8 days" appears to be a possible translation. Passover and the Feast of U.B. are an eight day period. If John was referring to this, then this lesson of "doubting Thomas" is a "Last Day of U.B. lesson", showing victory over sin—Thomas was finally convinced.

 

 

 

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Acts 2:1-8

The disciples were all gathered in one place on Pentecost and the Holy Spirit came upon them in great power. They were all observing the Feasts after Christ died! How could Christ have taught them to stop keeping the Feast Days, then used that very time to pour out his Spirit?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Acts 7:8

2nd of 3 “eighth day” references in New Testament. Isaac circumcised.

 

 

 

 

 

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Acts 10:30

Cornelius fasted and prayed and was the first of the Gentile converts.

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Acts 12:1-4

Herod killed James, and planned to kill more disciples after Passover (KJV says “Easter”, but the Greek is “Passover”.)

 

 

 

 

 

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Acts 13:2-3

Saul (Paul) and Barnabas were set apart after prayer and fasting.

 

 

 

 

 

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Acts 14:23

Elders were appointed after prayer and fasting.

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Acts 15:7-21

God put his spirit on Gentiles just like Jews, even though they did not know or do all of the law of Moses, but the apostles in Jerusalem said that was not necessary for salvation, but that they should follow some of the law and learn more: "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath" (v19-21). Believers would have learned the Holy Days here.

 

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Acts 18:21

but took leave of them, saying, "I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing." And he sailed from Ephesus.—Feast is probably a Passover, some say Tabernacles. Some manuscripts do not have this part of the verse—much more likely it was left out than added.

 

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Acts 20:6

But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days.

 

 

 

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Acts 20:16

For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.

 

 

 

 

 

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Acts 27:9

“Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them.” The Day of Atonement was referred to as "the Fast", and Luke's Gentile readers were expected to understand what it meant. Today, most non-Jews who do not keep this day would not know what "the fast" means (try it out on some average Protestant Christians). My conclusion is that during Luke's time, the Gentile believers must have been fasting regularly for Luke to be sure that they would all know what he means.

 

 

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Rom 8:23

Believers have the “firstfruits of the spirit”. This is a different analogy comparing the amount of the Holy Spirit given now to firstfruits, with a greater harvest later.

 

 

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Rom 11:16

If the firstfruits are holy, so is the rest of the crop. Symbolizing that Christ was holy, so therefore the rest of mankind can be made holy—see context.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Phil 3:5

3rd of 3 “eighth day” references in New Testament. Paul’s circumcision.

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1Cor5:6-8

Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth

 

 

 

 

 

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1Cor 7:5

Paul speaks of devoting oneself for a time of fasting and prayer.

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1Cor 10:1-14

Israel was baptized in the Red Sea almost certainly during the Days of Unleavened bread—probably the Last Day, which symbolizes victory over sin elsewhere. Christ was their rock, just like He is ours. This early Unleavened Bread harvest is small; most of Israel died in the wilderness for their sin, only Joshua and Caleb clearly had the Holy Spirit (Num 14:24; 27:18).

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1Cor 10:16-27

The cup of blessing and the bread are the communion of the body of Christ, when we "partake at the Lord's table". Some see this as the Passover, but "Passover" is not mentioned here and the rest of the passage is about godly/demonic sacrifices and eating at someone else's house—all much more frequent events than an annual Feast Day. This appears to be the continued Jewish practice of frequently partaking of bread and wine. See also 1Cor 11:17-34.

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1Cor 11:17-34

Many writers claim that this is a reference to the Passover, but the word never appears here. Verses 17, 18, 20, 33, 34 all mention “when you come together” or some similar phrase. Verse 23 uses the term “on the night he was betrayed”, it would have been much simpler to say Passover if that were the case. This appears to be the continued Jewish practice of frequently partaking of bread and wine.

 

 

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1Cor 15:20-23

Christ is the firstfruits. He is the very first of the barley harvest and the first to be raised from the dead. In Adam all die, in Christ, all are made alive.

 

 

 

 

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1Cor 15:52

Resurrection at the last trumpet? Is this the trumpet of the Feast of Trumpets or the Day of Atonement?

 

 

 

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1Cor 16:7-9

I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.

 

 

 

 

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1Thes 4:16

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” The “loud command” and the “trumpet call” certainly sound like the Feast of trumpets.

 

 

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James 1:18

Believers are “a kind of firstfruits of his creatures”. Pentecost (firstfruits) represents the church age.

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1Pet 1:17-23

Christ was our "lamb without blemish" (Passover), and we, His followers, are to purify ourselves from sin (Days of Unleavened Bread).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2Pet 2:5

Noah listed as the “eighth person”: 1 of 8 on the ark, or 8th in some sequence?

 

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2Pet 3:8

“…with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”. The seven days of Feasts represent 7000 year plan of God.

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Jude 1:12

Reference to “love feasts” kept by believers are probably the biblical feast days.

 

 

 

 

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Rev 8:2; 10:7

Is the “seventh trumpet” the same as the resurrection in 1Cor 15:52? If so, who is it that must prophecy again and measure the temple, etc? Is it possible that this is a Feast of Trumpets messages and 1Cor 15:52 is for Atonement?

 

 

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Rev 14:1-14

The 144,000 are firstfruits to God. This may represent the church or those in the church or who overcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rev 20:1-15

The “great white throne judgment”. The last day of the Feast of Tabernacles seems to represent this judgment, though some believe it is the “eight day”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rev 21:1-27

Christ’s kingdom, new heavens & earth—“the tabernacle of God is with men” (v. 3). An angel that had 7 last plagues introduces them (v 9)—an “eighth thing” representing the Eighth Day?

 


 

Symbolism of the Feasts in the Believer’s Life.

The 10th day of the First Month, thought not a Feast day, is an integral part of the Passover and has important symbolism. It was the selection date for the Passover lamb (Ex 12:3), later fulfilled with the exaltation of Joshua before Israel began to take the promised land (Joshua 4:14, 19). In the first century, either on or very close to this date, Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt 21:1-17; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19). We as individuals must make our own personal decision to choose the Lamb of God for ourselves before we can begin His plan of salvation for our lives.

Passover symbolizes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the lamb without spot or blemish (Ex 12:5; 1Pet 1:17-23). “…For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” (1Cor 5:7). This teaching is accepted by nearly all Christianity, even though most observe “Good Friday” rather than Passover each year. Each one of us must choose Christ, just like each individual had to be involved in killing and eating of his own lamb in the Old Testament. We must realize that he suffered and died for our sins personally. We are saved through faith in Christ (Eph 2:8).

Unleavened Bread teaches us to put out leaven—evil—and take the good of Christ. “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1Cor 5:8). This is a more sober Feast, putting out the leaven (evil) that seems desirable and taking in the unleavened bread that seems undesirable. The final day of the Feast (commemorated by the defeat of Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea and Israel at the battle of Jericho) symbolizes victory over sin—that we will someday be completely free of it.

Wavesheaf Day pictures the resurrection of Christ. His death pays for our sin, but his life is what actually saves us (Rom 5:10).

Pentecost by Jewish tradition and some biblical studies is the day that the law was given on Mt. Sinai. Even though this law was good, it was insufficient to make a sinful people righteous. Many years later, the Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost (Acts 2). This was the beginning of the church. The two leavened loaves of the Pentecost offering represent the two thousand years of the New Testament church. (Some say the two represent the Old Testament Congregation in the Wilderness and the New Testament Church.) Both had truth and revelation from God, but both also had sin—symbolized by leaven. Every believer needs the pouring out of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

The Feast of Trumpets is the first of four fall Feast days in rapid succession. As noted at the beginning of this article, the Hebrew teruah means alarm, warning or any loud sound. Some teach that Christ will return on this day, but the Bible teaches He will return at “the last trumpet” (1Cor 15:52). There are trumpets blown on all of the Feast days, but this is the first of the Feast season. The Jewish understanding is that the preceding month, the twelfth month Elul, is a time of introspection and repentance. God pronounces a judgment on the Feast of Trumpets, and if repentance does not occur by the Day of Atonement, the judgment is sealed on that day. This represents the warnings that God sends to believers, such as the letters to the Churches in Revelation 2 & 3, for them to repent and change before their judgment comes.

Atonement pictures reconciliation (at-one-ment) between the Eternal and His people. The two goats of Exodus 16 symbolize the sacrifice of Christ for the penalty for our sin, as well as Christ’s active work of taking our sins away. Only two goats were sacrificed for the whole nation—representing the salvation of mankind as a whole. Some people teach that Christ will return on this day. Others teach that some of the judgments of nations and people in Revelation and the prophets will be carried out on this day. For the individual believer, this certainly represents hearing God’s warnings to confess, repent and obtain forgiveness for ongoing sin (1Jo 1:8-9).

Tabernacles represents God’s protection of believers (Lev 23:41-43) throughout the ages. This is a joyful feast representing the enjoyment of the good that God has made (Deut 14:23-26), as opposed to the more ascetic Days of Unleavened Bread. Some take the approach that the entire Feast of Tabernacles pictures the millennium (Rev 20:2-7), but this writer favors it picturing God’s protection on believers for 7000 years (from “righteous Abel” to the end), with the last day of the Feast (the Great Day—John 7:37) representing the millennium. There are 70 bulls sacrificed during the Feast of Tabernacles (Num 29:12-32). Ancient Jewish teaching is that these represent the 70 nations outlined in Genesis 10—thus representing the whole world.

The Eighth Day is always a time to begin using something that has been cleansed or purified for seven days—such as the cleansing of a priest or unclean person—and the naming of a child at circumcision. The eighth day is not the entire event, but a new beginning of a very long event. It seems to represent the time after the first 7000 years of mankind when many believers will be cleansed and serving as priests, and when much of sinning mankind that was formerly unclean will be clean. Revelation 2:17 and 3:12 also speak of believers receiving a new name. The Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20) and the New Heavens and the New Earth (Isa 65:17; Is 66:22; 2Pet 3:13; Rev 21 & 22) may fit into this time.

Symbolism of the Feasts in God’s Harvest—the resurrections.

Passover represents the death of Christ; without Him there would be no resurrections.

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

1Cor 15:21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.

Wavesheaf (FirstFruits) Day commemorates the very first resurrection to eternal life by Christ. (The other people who were previously raised from the dead in the Old and New Testaments eventually died again.)

1Cor 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Unleavened Bread, which includes the Wavesheaf, is the barley harvest. This is the Harvest of Christ and those who overcome—who sacrifice their lives for God. They are described in Hebrew 11, Rev 2 & 3, Luke 12:42-44, and other places—both Old and New Testaments. When barley is harvested, it largely needs to be winnowed—given wind to blow the chaff away. The Hebrew and Greek words for “wind” are the same as “spirit”. The Holy Spirit now cleanses believers in preparation for their eternal life. There is an assembly on the seventh day of this Feast (Lev 23:8) which represents this harvest rising during the 7th day or seventh thousand years. These believers who overcome reign with Christ during the millennium, the seven thousand years.

Pentecost is wheat harvest. Wheat needs to be beaten with a stick in order to be harvested. Luke 12:47-48 mentions believers who did not do what they were supposed to do. They do not appear to reign with Christ right away at his return, but receive stripes (correction)—many if they knew what to do and didn’t do it and few if they didn’t know what to do. Since this is not a seven day feast, we do not have a final assembly day to know when they will be raised from the dead. They may well be raised at various times, depending upon how long their correction takes, both in the 7th thousand years (millennium) and the eighth thousand years.

Tabernacles is a seven day Feast representing all of the nations. There is no assembly on the seventh day as the general population of the world is not raised then. Luke 12:45-46 explains that believers who begin to smite their fellow servants or eat and drink and be drunk will be treated like unbelievers. They will not be raised up in the first resurrection. The assembly on the first day of Tabernacles (as well as unleavened bread)represents Adam and Eve who lived during the first thousand years and were told that they could eat of the tree of life and live forever.(Gen 3:22). However, God said: “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen 2:17). Indeed, they died during that first thousand years.

The Eighth Day represents the resurrection of all the rest of mankind (Rev 20; Ezk 37). They are raised in the Eighth thousand year period. The fall part of the year is the grape harvest. Grapes have to be crushed in order to be made into juice or wine. The symbol of God harvesting is used several times in the Bible associated with the end (Isa 63:2-8; Rev 14:15-20; 19:15)

May the Eternal continue to give us understanding of His plan through His Feasts.

Other Biblical Feasts

There are other Feast and Fast days not specifically commanded to be observed in the scriptures, but carried on by Jewish tradition and found in the scriptures. A brief summary and the related scriptures follow:

Hanukah or Feast of Dedication

John 10:22 Then came the Feast of Dedication (“Hanukkah”—New Living Translation) at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade. At this time Christ shows that he is the son of God and that the Jewish leaders were not “his sheep”.

 

This Feast Day commemorates the Jewish victory over Antiochus Epiphanies, when the Jews successfully rebelled against his attempt to destroy their religious practices. A lot of tradition about the “festival of lights” and exchanging presents was added later. They unsuccessfully tried to kill Jesus. Christ was the very firstfruits of the Church, he referred to His body as the “temple” (John 2:19-21) and later the Church as the temple (1Cor 3:16; 2Cor 6:16) and he was dedicating His body to follow God, not to follow the leaders of the day. Their inability to kill Jesus represents the evil leaders throughout history who were unsuccessful at destroying the Church through the ages.

This Feast is held for eight days, beginning the on the day of the victory, Kislev 25, which is the ninth month in the Hebrew calendar. It almost always in December on the Gregorian calendar, hence the tradition that “Christians celebrate Christmas and Jews celebrate Hanukah.” This blessing of the physical nation of Israel at this time appears to be prophesied in the book of Haggai:

 

Hag 2:18 'From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the Lord's temple was laid. Give careful thought: 19 Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit. "'From this day on I will bless you.'" 20 The word of the Lord came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month: 21 "Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I will shake the heavens and the earth. 22 I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother. 23 "'On that day,' declares the Lord Almighty, 'I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,' declares the Lord, 'and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,' declares the Lord Almighty."

Purim:

Esther 9:20 Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, 21 to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar 22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor. 23 So the Jews agreed to continue the celebration they had begun, doing what Mordecai had written to them. 24 For Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast the pur (that is, the lot) for their ruin and destruction. 25 But when the plot came to the king's attention, he issued written orders that the evil scheme Haman had devised against the Jews should come back onto his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.

26 (Therefore these days were called Purim, from the word pur.) Because of everything written in this letter and because of what they had seen and what had happened to them, 27 the Jews took it upon themselves to establish the custom that they and their descendants and all who join them should without fail observe these two days every year, in the way prescribed and at the time appointed. 28 These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never cease to be celebrated by the Jews, nor should the memory of them die out among their descendants.

29 So Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter concerning Purim. 30 And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews in the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Xerxes-- words of goodwill and assurance—31 to establish these days of Purim at their designated times, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had decreed for them, and as they had established for themselves and their descendants in regard to their times of fasting and lamentation. 32 Esther's decree confirmed these regulations about Purim, and it was written down in the records.

Ninth of Ab

Jewish history indicates that the Temple was destroyed on this date—twice. Jews typically read lamentations on this day. Ab is the fifth month of the year beginning the Spring in Biblical Calendar. The “fast of the fifth”, below, probably refers to the 9th of Ab.

 

Zech 8:19: "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'The fast of the fourth month, The fast of the fifth, The fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth, Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts For the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.'

Other appointed times of God occurring on a less than annual basis

The Year of Release

This is not an annual Feast Day, but a very important appointed time of the Eternal that occurs every seven years. Debts are released and slaves are free to go. It is found in:

 

Deut 15:1-18

Deut 31:10

Jer 34:13-22

The Jubilee Year

This Jubilee Year, or Year of Liberty is not an annual Feast Day, but a very important appointed time of the Eternal that occurs every forty-nine years. The inheritance of each family is to be returned to the family. This prevents a few powerful families from controlling most of the wealth, leaving the rest of the people without the resources to earn their own living—producing the economic problems that we have seen throughout history. It is found in:

 

Leviticus 25

Lev 27:17-18; 22-24

Ezekiel 45 shows that in the future land will again be divided by lot, the basis for the beginning of a new Jubilee year.

Ezekiel 46:16-18 shows that the Jubilee years will be implemented when God rules the earth.

Text Box: The author would appreciate your additions or corrections to this paper.
By Norman Edwards, Church Bible Teaching Ministry, PO Box 474, Port Austin, Michigan, USA 48467
989-738-7700; nedwards@portaustin.net

 

 

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