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Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel
A DIVISION OF THOMAS NELSON
Copyright © 2013 Velda Stearns. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. WestBow Press books may be ordered through booksellers or by contacting: WestBow Press A Division of Thomas Nelson 1663 Liberty Drive Bloomington, IN 47403 www.westbowpress.com 1-(866) 928-1240 Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them. Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only. Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ISBN: 978-1-4497-8647-2 (sc) ISBN: 978-1-4497-8648-9 (hc) ISBN: 978-1-4497-8646-5 (e) Library of Congress Control Number: 2013903353 Printed in the United States of America WestBow Press rev. date: 3/26/2013 You can reach Velda Stearns at JewishFeasts@Yahoo.com
Table of Contents Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel
Acknowledgements. .........................................................................vii Introduction. ..................................................................................xiii Chapter 1. Feast of Passover (Pesach). ...............................................1 Chapter 2. Jesus Christ (Yeshua) the Passover Lamb........................11 Chapter 3. Feast of Unleavened Bread (Hag haMatzah)..................19 Chapter 4. Feast of Firstfruits (Yom Ha Bikkurim). ........................29 Chapter 5. Feast of Weeks (Shavuot)...............................................37 Chapter 6. Celebrating Pentecost....................................................47 Chapter 7. Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah)..............................57 Chapter 8. Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)..................................65 Chapter 9. Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot or Booths). .......................77 Chapter 10. Feast of Purim (Lots)...................................................87 Chapter 11. Feast of Hanukkah......................................................97 Chapter 12. Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel. .....................................105 Glossary of Jewish Terms...............................................................121 Sabbath Day Celebrations.............................................................123 Endnotes.......................................................................................135
Robert and our four children. who supported my research. I want to give credit to Tara Kieschnick-editor and Nancy Evans-artist. but no book can compare with God’s Holy Word. Keith. Michelle and Angela. vii . David. I hope that Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel will help you understand that Christ fulfilled the spring feasts and will fulfill the fall feasts at His Second Coming. I also want to thank Lena Dooley for editorial support and encouragement. This book is also dedicated to the Ladies Life Group at Gateway Church.Acknowledgements Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel is dedicated to my husband. who supported me as I taught the significance of the Jewish Feasts. This book is the result of thousands of hours of research and writing.
“Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel” is informative. Velda is a researcher and teacher who goes to great length to be both Biblical. Ph. The message of the Bible is timeless.. A foundational knowledge of the Feasts of Israel is critical to gaining an understanding of Israel and what Israel should do. She has a gift to concisely explain a mountain of complex and meaty information and make it applicable to the believer in Yeshua today. resurrection and His long-awaited return as Yeshua Ha Mashiach. Each generation should understand Israel and the Jewish roots of our faith. who are hungry for a deeper understanding of the feasts of Israel. but each generation has the responsibility to apply its truths to the unique circumstances of its day. We especially like that Velda brought out how ancient Israel celebrated each feast and that Jesus brought fulfillment. – International Director of Messianic Jewish Bible Institute A grain of sand falls–a clock ticks–that bit of time will not come again. The challenges for Israel in David’s time were different from those in Daniel’s time. our times and our faith. The feasts also provide a rich theological encouragement for believers in Jesus.D.Endorsements In 1 Chron. Jews and Christians. Wayne Wilks Jr. the sons of Issachar were commended because they understood the times and knew what Israel should do. clear. We are honored to be her friends. to delve into Velda Stearns’ Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel. the Jewish Messiah! Jan Poindexter – Former Executive Secretary ix . will benefit from Velda’s book. In each of God’s Old Testament festivals the reader will gain insight into the life and times of Christ: His death. and well-written. historical. 12:32. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you as you begin this study to better understand Israel. and devotional. There is not a better or timelier season. I was privileged to sit under her teaching on the Feasts and was in awe of the prophetic relevance in these Godappointed holy days. We have known Velda Stearns for years and closely observed her love for the Bible and the Jewish people.
Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel .
you and your son and your daughter. which God Himself refers to in Leviticus as “My feasts. But these holidays have become a mere reflection of their true meaning. a contemporary mixture of watered down facts (the birth and resurrection of Jesus) and fiction (Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny). these special dates include events based on scripture. the Jewish Messiah (or “Yeshua Ha Mashiach ”). certain to bring deeper scriptural revelation to you as a believer. These include the plan of salvation for all humanity. 16:14). ‘Tell the Israelites: You will announce the Lord’s chosen festivals as holy meetings. These are my special festivals’”. All of us are familiar with the concept of holidays–days designated to commemorate important events. For it is through these seven portals. who are within your gates” (Deut. So have you ever wondered: WHY do we have holidays in the first place? WHERE did these celebrations originate? If based on scripture. the stranger and the fatherless and the widow. In our culture. Lev. 23:1-2 ESV W elcome to this comprehensive study about the seven appointed feasts. known to us as Christmas and Easter. These specific xiii . the first and second coming of Jesus Christ. your male servant and your female servant and the Levite. the origins of the Church. Why Do We Celebrate? “And you shall rejoice in your feast. and God’s ultimate providential plan for mankind. then WHAT were God’s true intentions for these special days? Few believers are aware just how closely connected these current celebrations are with ancient biblical commands.” that we can glimpse His divine plan for the ages. as well as gain understanding about the prophetic events of the New Testament.Introduction “The Lord said to Moses.
God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said.seasons are rooted directly in the seven feasts God mandated the Children of Israel to commemorate forever. male and female in Christ’s family. Believers Trace Their Roots to Abraham It is unfortunate that Christians rarely celebrate the feasts. But you must not brag about being grafted in to replace the branches that were broken off. not the root” (Rom. sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree. who were branches from a wild olive tree. We all share equally in a common relation with Jesus Christ.”1 There is no division between Jews and Gentiles. slave and free.) The Jews have kept these holidays in one form or another for over 3500 years. and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. ”But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree–some of the people of Israel–have been broken off. And you Gentiles. you are the true children of Abraham. for the Feasts of Israel also give us a greater understanding about the Jewish roots of Christianity. (These were not feasts or banquets as we think of them. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children. So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith. But as they continue to celebrate. or much less understand their significance. Now that you belong to Christ. What’s more. “All nations will be blessed through you. You are his heirs. You are just a branch. most are totally unaware that these feasts point to their Messiah. xiv . 11:17–18 NLT). helping to guide and sustain them throughout history. We are all heirs to the promise that God gave Abraham. the scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. but were structured around the sacrificial altar used to worship God. have been grafted in. The twenty-third chapter of Leviticus outlines the complete instructions Moses received on Mount Sinai on how Israel was to properly observe these annual holidays.
• Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) reminded Israel to spend a day in prayer and fasting in order to obtain atonement. Pentecost and Tabernacles. • Feasts of Tabernacles (Booths) reminded Israel of their wilderness walk. Their coming together aided in promoting commercial bartering. the feasts also served social and commercial purposes. All must give as they are able. • Firstfruits (Yom Ha Bikkurim) reminded Israel of the day they were rescued from the Egyptians and crossed over the Red Sea on dry land. fellowship. 16:16-17 NLT). and rest which helped unite the Jewish people. Thousands of Israelites thronged Jerusalem during these feasts since the men were required to go to Jerusalem to worship on at least three different occasions: Passover. • Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) reminded Israel to repent of their sins before Yom Kippur. The seasonal significance was shown with each feast celebrated at the same time each year. and the Festival of Shelters.Purpose of the Seven Feasts of Israel • Passover reminded Israel of the day the death angel passed over. It also helped to unite the Jewish tribes. all men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he chooses. In time pasts. according to the blessings given to them by the Lord your God” (Deut. but they must not appear before the Lord without a gift for him. • Unleavened Bread (Hag haMatzah) reminded Israel of the day they left Egypt. the Festival of Harvest. On each of these occasions. They brought together the twelve tribes of Israel in worship. xv . Seasonal Celebrations “Each year every man in Israel must celebrate these three festivals: the Festival of Unleavened Bread. • Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) reminded Israel of the giving of the law at Mount Sinai. trade and the exchange of merchandise.
these are the Lord’s appointed festivals. holy convocations to celebrated at their appointed times each year. They are celebrated on the same day each year. They are reminders of how God dwelt with the Children of Israel in the past and point to the future reign of the Messiah. The Hebrew word convocation is mentioned fifteen times in the Old Testament. the Messiah Each feast showed how God dealt with His people in the past and gave the fathers an opportunity to retell the story each year. They celebrated an event or special happening in the history of Israel. Between Passover and Pentecost are seven weeks. The Year of Jubilee was celebrated at the end of 49 years or seven times seven years. There are seven annual feasts and three feasts celebrated in the seventh month. Every seventh day was a day of rest and every seventh year was a year of rest. Feasts are Divine Appointments “In addition to the Sabbath. Each feast revealed a prophetic picture of the future that pointed to the coming Messiah.Purpose of the Festivals The Jewish Feasts have three purposes that help to better explain God’s reason for requiring their yearly observance. The feasts are more than mere tradition or seasonal remembrance. These feasts have three purposes that help to better explain God’s reason for requiring their yearly observance. The Number Seven The number seven plays an important role in the feasts. They are appointed times of the Lord. • A seasonal celebration the same time each year in Israel • A memorial of events in the history of Israel • A prophetic meaning that points to Yeshua. 23:4 NLT). The Feast of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles covered a seven day period of time. Each feast celebrates a special event in the history of Israel. Wherever the word xvi . the official days for holy assembly that are to be celebrated at their proper times each year” (Lev.
the wedding follows. One of the meanings of this word is “rehearsal. Many Jewish people rehearse these feasts every year. it is preceded by the word holy. the long awaited Messiah. Rehearsals are typically followed by the actual event. hence. The Hebrew word for convocation is miqra (‘mik–raw’). They celebrated the feasts with great joy as they understood that the substance belonged to Him. Each feast is a rehearsal of an event that only the Messiah can fulfill. unaware that they are rehearsing future events.convocation appears in the Bible.” The feasts are rehearsals of events that will occur in the future. For example. when you rehearse a wedding. Believers in the first century understood that the feasts symbolized God’s plan of salvation through Yeshua. xvii . holy convocation.
and after they will come out with great possessions” (Gen. I will claim you as my own people. When God promised Abram a son. NIV). and to Jacob as El-Shaddai— ‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name. Yahweh. He also prophesied: “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own. 15:13–14. And I am well aware of my covenant with them. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt. to them. I promised to give them the land of Canaan. and Jacob. to Isaac. I reaffirmed my covenant with them. I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham. and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. Therefore. also known as Pesach (PAY-sahk) was the first feast that 1 . the official days for holy assembly that are to be celebrated at their proper times each year. Isaac. who are now slaves to the Egyptians. Devotional Reading: Leviticus 23:18 and Deuteronomy 16:1–8 Feast of Passover (Pesach) Chapter 1 “These are the Lord’s appointed festivals. say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the Lord. P assover was prophesied to Abram hundreds of years before the Children of Israel celebrated the feast. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment. I will give it to you as your very own possession. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. The Lord’s Passover begins at sundown on the fourteenth day of the first month” (Lev. You can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel. I am the Lord.’”1 Passover. “I appeared to Abraham. But I will punish the nations they serve as slaves. and I will be your God. Under its terms. where they were living as foreigners. 23:4-5 NLT).
and slaughter the Passover animal. these instructions are a permanent law that you and your descendants must observe forever” (Exodus 12:21-24 NLT). Burn whatever is not eaten before morning” (Exodus 12:3-10 NLT). Do not leave any of it until the next morning. The animal you select must be a one-year-old male. “Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice. He will not permit his death angel to enter your house and strike you down. both human and animal and brought judgment on all the gods of Egypt. pick out a lamb or young goat for each of your families. the first full moon of spring. legs. Then take a bundle of hyssop branches and dip it into the blood. Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel must slaughter their lamb or young goat at twilight. and struck down every firstborn in the land of Egypt. Drain the blood into a basin. Egyptian Passover God told Moses. For the Lord will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. And no one may go out through the door until morning. Do not eat any of the meat raw or boiled in water. It always falls on a full moon. This provided better light for the people to see by as they journeyed to Jerusalem. Then Moses called all the elders of Israel together and said to them. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe. The blood 2 . That same night they must roast the meat over a fire and eat it along with bitter salad greens and bread made without yeast. one animal for each household. with no defects. The whole animal—including the head. They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the sides and top of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the animal. Brush the hyssop across the top and sides of the doorframes of your houses. and internal organs—must be roasted over a fire. That night the angel of death passed through the land of Egypt. “Go. Before beginning an in-depth-dept study of the Jewish feasts and how they apply to our lives. the Lord will pass over your home. we need examine the scriptures that God gave to ancient Israel. Remember. Take special care of this chosen animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of this first month.Velda Stearns God told Israel to celebrate. either a sheep or a goat.
when the lamb was slain. It is the first and best known Jewish feast that is celebrated in the spring of the year.2 Unusual Happenings on the Tenth of Nisan Another incident that took place on the tenth day of Nisan is described in the book of Joshua. The father selected the lamb on the tenth day of Nisan. It must be a perfect year old male lamb or goat. Passover was the first Jewish feast God instructed His people to observe in the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus. The word Passover comes from a root word that means “to step over or to overleap. When the priests reaching the Jordan and their feet 3 . It generally refers to how the first born Jewish male was protected from the plague of death that struck each Egyptian home. The thirteenth day of Nisan. for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you” (Josh. led by the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant. Joshua told the people.” which points back to the historical origin of the feast.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel on the doorpost of the Israeli homes kept them safe from the angel of death. It usually falls between mid–March and mid–April. 3:5). in the month of Nisan. The Jewish rabbis taught that these four days (between the setting aside of the lamb on the tenth and the sacrifice on the fourteenth of Nisan) symbolize the four generations of Israel that died in Egypt before the Passover and deliverance. It is a memorial of the day the angel of death passed over. without a spot or blemish. The next day the Israelites left their tents to cross the Jordan River. was called the Day of Preparation. Passover recalls the exact day God brought them out of Egyptian bondage. the children of Israel were ready to cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land. He examined it on the eleventh. The Tenth of Nisan Four days prior to the Passover God instructed Moses that the head of each household was to select a Passover lamb. the day prior to Passover. After forty year of wandering in the wilderness. twelfth. “Sanctify yourselves. and thirteenth to make sure it was perfect. The fourteenth was the Passover.
The lamb was eaten 4 . If the family was very small. slew it. Then he stroked the two posts and the top of the door. even though it was at flood stage. God caused the Jordan River to stop flowing and rise up in a heap. by parting the waters of the Red Sea. the first month of the year. This occurred on the tenth day of Nisan. Ezekiel saw a future temple in a time when Israel would live in peace and harmony. a plant similar to a reed that soaks up and holds water. The priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant went in the middle of the Jordan River on dry ground. The Passover Lamb On the fourteenth of Nisan the head of the house took a little lamb. Surely the Egyptians must have wondered what was going on. Burn whatever is not eaten before morning. Every family in Israel was to roast a lamb. Instructions for Preparing the Passover Lamb “Do not leave any of it until the next morning. The Israelites lived in Goshen. for this is the Lord’s Passover” (Ex. wear your sandals. How ironic that God would give this vision on the same day that the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River. The aroma of possibly thousands and thousands of lamb must have aroused their curiosity. and carry your walking stick in your hand. Then all the whole nation of Israel crossed the Jordan River. God gave Ezekiel a vision of the Millennial Temple (Ezek 40:1ff). next door to the Egyptians. and caught the blood in a basin. and dipped it in the blood. He made sure that no blood was put on the steps. Many years later. The lamb had to be roasted whole or cooked over an open fire. again on the tenth day of Nisan. the Jordan overflowed its banks and the flow of the water stopped. This was exactly forty years after God had miraculously delivered them. 12:10-11 NLT). He also took hyssop. The river went dry all the way down to the Dead Sea. These are your instructions for eating this meal: Be fully dressed. Eat the meal with urgency. It could not be boiled and no bone could be broken. his neighbor’s family could join in celebrating the Passover meal.Velda Stearns touched the water.
You must offer it only at the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his 5 . the best time for flight. It was a full moon. They simply were obeying the voice of God. In the homes where no blood was sprinkled on the doorposts. they had no evidence to show they were going to leave. The Israelites were instructed to remain inside that night. expressing their faith that they were going to leave Egypt that night. all males had to be circumcised. Blood of the Passover Lamb Moses received instructions from God that Israel was to flee from bondage on the fifteenth of Nisan. Only unleavened bread was eaten for seven days beginning on the evening of Passover. The blood of the lamb protected them from the angel. Instead of the firstborn dying. In spite of all the plagues they had witnessed. The lamb was a substitute for the firstborn male of the household. There is no record of them celebrating it again until they reach the Promised Land. sojourner. The entire family was instructed to eat the Passover lamb in their home. The only hints of God’s plans were the blood on the door and the lamb on the table. “You may not sacrifice the Passover in just any of the towns that the Lord your God is giving you. Then they were allowed join and partake of the Passover. Old Testament Celebrations Deuteronomy records. on the night they left Egypt. If a hired servant. commonly called the Egyptian Passover. They were to eat in haste with a belt around their waist and sandals on their feet and a staff in their hands. The angel of death passed over when he saw the blood on the doorpost. In the Sinai wilderness. the angel slew the firstborn male.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel with bitter herbs reminding the people of the bitterness of slavery in Egypt. They were to eat while fully dressed and ready to leave Egypt. Anyone who left his home that evening was put to death. they celebrated it a year later on the first anniversary of their flight from Egypt. the lamb died in his place. The shedding of the blood protected them. The Israelites celebrated their first Passover. or stranger wanted to eat the Passover.
New Testament Celebrations On the fourteenth of Nisan. Passover Celebrations in the Old Testament • • • • • • • • Egyptian Passover–Ex. nor further distant from the city than fifteen miles was to appear in Jerusalem. 12 Wilderness Passover–Num. If anyone came in contact with a dead person. the roads and bridges were prepared so the Jewish people could travel to Jerusalem to attend the Passover. 35:1–2 Ezekiel’s Day–Ez.Velda Stearns name to be honored. he was considered unclean for a period of time. 30 King Josiah’s Passover–Chron. each individual family celebrated the Passover. While traveling. the caves became a place of refuge from the rains. Instead. 45:18-25 Passover after the Captivity–Ezra 6:19–21 Preparation for Passover In the New Testament. Later they celebrated Passover in the central sanctuary in Jerusalem. the elders would bury them in a nearby cave. If someone died. every Israelite who was neither physically able. Originally. 9:1–5 Promised Land Passover–Josh. and was not allowed to attend Passover. a month prior to Passover. the priest poured the blood of the animal on the base of the altar. Putting the blood on the doorpost and on the lintel was ended at this time. It became a common practice for the elders to paint the burial caves white to keep the people from becoming ceremonially unclean. Sacrifice it there in the evening as the sun goes down on the anniversary of your exodus from Egypt” (Deut. but each family broiled and ate its own Passover animal at home. 5:10–11 Solomon’s Temple Passover–Chron. 8:12–13 King Hezekiah–2 Chron. not in a state of Levitical uncleanness. 16:5-6 NLT). The Passover animals (Pascal) were slaughtered in the temple because of the large number of people participating. Though women 6 .
But when he didn’t show up that evening. By three o’clock. The head of the family told the story of the Passover and the Exodus from Egypt.3 Passover was a joyous time for all Israel. Yet everyone found a place—and that simple fact was counted as a Passover miracle. Thousands of Jews began to stream through the town. 35:11). ready to begin sacrificing the Passover lambs. singing their pilgrim Psalm. From all parts of the land and from foreign countries the festive pilgrims came in bands. according as the Lord has blessed them.6 The priests slaughtered the sacrificial lambs in the temple because of the large number. for none might appear empty before Him. they started looking for him among their relatives 7 . thousands of priests and Levites from all over Judea gathered in the temple. they attended the festival as usual.5 The morning before Passover. they started home to Nazareth. and bringing with them burnt and peace offerings. Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. By mid-day. However.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel were not legally obliged to go. The city’s usual population was more than doubled by religious pilgrims who came to visit the temple at Passover. because they assumed he was among the other travelers. Every inn was filled capacity. the priests had assembled in the temple courtyard. we know from scripture (Luke 2:41–42) and from the rules laid down by Jewish authorities. who sprinkled the blood on the altar while the Levites prepared the animals” (2 Chron. Putting the blood on the door post and on the lentil was ended at this time. each head of household leading the family’s sacrificial lamb. The Passover was celebrated in this manner at the time of Christ. When Jesus was twelve years old. everyone from tailors to shoemakers to housewives had ceased from their work. every home brimmed with guests and many pilgrims set up tents and shelters against the city wall and in open places. but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. that such was the common practice. the lamb was broiled and eaten from house to house. “The Levites then slaughtered the Passover lambs and presented the blood to the priests.4 Jerusalem was a crowded city during the days of Passover. The blood of the animal was not poured on the base of the altar. His parents didn’t miss him at first. After the celebration was over.
in order to convince Nero of the importance of Jerusalem and of the Jewish nation.000. When they couldn’t find him.700. may be gathered from Josephus. who records that. 2. or.Velda Stearns and friends.500 years. which.600. at the lowest computation of ten person to every sacrificial lamb. Three days later they finally discovered him in the temple. they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there.565. Every year the Jews celebrate Passover as their national birthday. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. would give a population of 2. 8 . while on an earlier occasion (AD 65) he computes the number present at not fewer than three millions. the number of lambs slain was found to be 256. as Josephus himself puts it.8 Conclusion Jewish people have been observing annually their deliverance from Egypt for 3. since that memorable night.7 Josephus Recorded a Census of Worshippers How large the number of worshippers was. sitting among the religious teachers. It reminds them of their rich heritage and gives the fathers an opportunity to retell the story of deliverance to their children. It points to the birth of Israel as a nation and reminds them of their supernatural deliverance out of Egyptian bondage. when Cestius requested the high-priest to make a census.200 persons. listening to them and asking questions.
12:8–11)? 5.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel Chapter 1. 35:10–13)? 10. 12:5). What instructions were given for preparing the Passover Lamb (Ex. 12:3)? 3. Why were they instructed to celebrate Passover annually (Ex. What historical event happened on this day (Ex. How did the blood of the Passover Lamb protect them (Ex. Where did they put the blood of the Passover Lamb (Ex.Study Questions 1. 12:11)? 9. What were the people of Israel doing on Nisan 10 (Ex. 4. How long had it been since the Passover was observed (2 Kings 23:21-22)? 9 . Why were they told to be fully dressed with shoes and walking stick (Ex. How was the Lamb prepared during the Old Testament (2 Chron. 12:21–22)? 7. 12:17)? 2. 12:23)? 8. 12:14)? 6. Give the requirements for the Passover Lamb (Ex.
9:9). Since Jesus had just raised Lazarus from the dead. By doing this. In ancient time. a colt. hen there was a Temple in Jerusalem. He is just and having salvation. People waved palm branches and sang. This sacrificial lamb was led in a huge procession from Bethany to the Jewish Temple (about two miles). 5:7 NIV). save us! Lord. the foal of a donkey” (Zech. Chapter 2 Devotional Reading: Matthew 21:1– 11 and Luke 19:28–44 Jesus Christ (Yeshua) the Passover Lamb “For Christ. The priests would select an additional lamb to die for the sins of the entire nation. O daughter of Zion! Shout. saying: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Mark 11:9-10 NIV). As they followed Jesus into Jerusalem. Jesus accepted this homage and insisted that it was legitimate. our Passover Lamb has been sacrifice” (1 Cor. this was the customary way for a king’s subjects to pay homage. “Rejoice greatly. each household would select a lamb for sacrifice. He proclaimed Himself to be the Lamb chosen to die for the sins of the nations. lowly and riding on a donkey. Many people spread their robes on the road. your King is coming to you. This is a dramatic fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah. grant us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Psalm 118:25-26 NIV). The Eastern Gate to Jerusalem is the only gate leading W 11 . they cried out. “Lord. O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold. Many people believe that Jesus entered through the Eastern Gate on Palm Sunday. many who came to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover were convinced that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Jesus rode into Jerusalem the same day the temple shepherds brought the lambs into the city to be sacrificed.
but many Orthodox Jews believe that the Eastern Gate can only be opened when the Messiah comes. it was called a triumphal entry. He predicted its future destruction. Jesus Christ. But why was it sealed? It happened in 1517 when the Turks conquered Jerusalem under the leadership of Suleiman the Magnificent. This prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70. Jesus Christ was presented to Israel as their long–awaited Messiah. the Long-Awaited Messiah On Palm Sunday. and they will not leave in you one stone upon another.Velda Stearns directly onto the Temple Mount. Someday soon Jesus Christ will come a second time in triumph. we should remember that the so– called triumphal entry ended at the cross. the hierarchy of Israel. “So Christ was 12 . and your children within you. surround you and close you in on every side. to the ground. less than forty years later. Although His disciples and other believers acknowledged Him as the Messiah. Hebrews 9:28 says. because the Jewish people did not recognize their time of visitation. and level you. even to enter the Temple Mount. When he started rebuilding the ancient walls of Jerusalem. The Triumphal Entry Ironically. However. because you did not know the time of your visitation”(Luke 19:43–44). Suleiman even put a Muslim cemetery in front the Gate. They described Him as a great military leader who would return to Jerusalem by means of the Eastern Gate and liberate the city from foreign control. when Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. believing that the Jewish people would not desecrate themselves by walking on burial grounds. “For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you. It was sealed closed many years ago. the religious and political leaders. he consulted some Jewish rabbis and asked them to tell him about the Messiah. Suleiman decided to put an end to this Jewish hope by sealing up the Eastern Gate and it has been sealed ever since. As Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem. and the vast majority of Jews rejected Him.
Many Jews went to the Passover not for Jesus’ sake only. and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation. on the fourteenth of Nisan. When the chief priest and scribes saw the miracles Jesus performed and saw the children shouting in the temple. Lamb of God “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). who do not believe in the resurrection. the death of Jesus was shown to be on Friday the day before the Sabbath at the time of 13 . the Roman procurator. The Sadducees. “Hosanna to the Son of David. whom had been raised from the dead. Just as the Passover Lamb was put on public display for four days. Even Pilate. The chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death. 26). The Pharisees took counsel to see how they might trip up Jesus. were irate. because on account of him many of the Jews believed in Jesus. questioned Jesus. all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death and they bound Him and led Him away… after having Jesus scourged. They wanted to seize Jesus. and was examined by the Sanhedrin. make up of Sadducees and Pharisees. “Now when morning had come. The Sanhedrin.m. the Passover Lamb. Jesus. In John 19:14– 31. In the New Testament. many Jews believed Jesus was the Messiah. 27:1. Jesus. the Passover Lamb was sacrificed at 3:00 p. Jesus stood in the temple for four days prior to Passover. Just as the sacrificial lambs were examined to ensure their perfection. Yeshua will set His feet on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. He will go through the Eastern Gate.” they became indignant. but so they might see Lazarus. they delivered Him to be crucified”(Matt.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel once offered to bear the sins of many. but they feared the people. Jesus was prepared for sacrifice and beaten on the morning of Passover.000 years. “I find no fault in Him” (John 19:6).” When He returns. cried out. the gate that has been closed for hundreds of years and set up His Millennial Kingdom in Jerusalem for 1. Examined After Lazarus was raised from the dead.
Just as none of the Passover lamb’s bones were broken. If a prisoner passed out. said the lamb was sacrificed from 14 . darkness fell across the entire land. Many unusual signs and wonders occurred when Jesus died. Passover was fulfilled by Christ at Calvary when our Savior died for our sins. his legs are broken to hasten the death. humiliating way to die. lasting until 3:00 o’clock. He was nailed to the cross at 9:00 a. the Bread of Life. About noon. But Jesus didn’t die after two or three days. He was without spot or blemish. and died at 3:00 p. I pick my life up when I want to and I lay my life down when I want to.). and the graves were opened. It is a slow.m. painful. When we observe the Lord’s Supper we partake of Christ. When Jesus cried out on the cross “ It is finished” He was referring to the Mosaic Law or Old Covenant. He was on the cross six hours. My God why have you forsaken me?”(Matt. the perfect Passover Lamb. and the earth quaked. attracting the attention of the huge Passover crowd gathered in Jerusalem. Christ came to earth to give His life as a sacrifice for our sins. The fact that He died in just a few hours is incredible. He didn’t die of exhaustion.. Finally he would expire due to exhaustion and dehydration. they went into the holy city and appeared to many” (Matt. and celebrate the New Covenant we remember His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. the exact time the Passover lamb was slain. and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep was raised.Velda Stearns the Passover slaughter. Jesus then established the New Covenant.m. Jesus was already dead. Then about the ninth hour (3:00 p.m. This is one of the most dramatic pictures of Christ found in the Old Testament. Jesus said. He didn’t die because he was weak. Jesus called out with a loud voice saying. none of Christ’s bones were broken. “My God. He didn’t die of dehydration. 27:51–53). the ancient historian. The Romans wanted the crucified person to live in agony for days surrounded by family and friends. When the soldiers came to break Christ’s legs to hasten His death. 27:4) Then Jesus breathed His last. Dying from crucifixion usually takes two to three days. “The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. and coming out of the graves after His resurrection. and the rocks were split. which is the covenant for believers. Josephus. He was offered as the sacrificial Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
’ Having said this. where He suffered. He will establish His Millennial Kingdom and rule on Mount Zion for a thousand years. Jesus was mocked. Even the chief priest and elders of the people conferred together to put Jesus to death. He will walk across the Kidron Valley and enter the now sealed Eastern Gate. “Father. He said. and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. wear a victor’s crown. because they thought He was blaspheming. so the blood of Jesus Christ.m. And then He was nailed to a Roman cross. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice. and it will split in half. the ultimate Passover Lamb. and return as King of kings and Lord of lords! He will put His foot on the Mount of Olives. The Jews in His home town tried to push Him off a cliff. Christ. bled and suffered an agonizing death alone on Golgotha. just at the time the lambs were sacrificed. How contrasting Jesus’ return to earth will be from the first! He will be ride a white stallion. “Now it was about the sixth hour.m. He breathed His last. as was the Jewish custom. the Living Lamb. What a day of rejoicing that will be! All the saints of all the ages will stand before God and Christ crying: 15 . Brought before Pilate and examined by Herod. is sitting at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. spit upon and forced to wear a scarlet robe and a crown of thorns. He is the redeemer of the world. if Jesus had not miraculously disappeared in the crowd. We remember that Jesus is the perfect Lamb of God. redeems believers from the power of sin and death. Then the sun was darkened.. and the veil of the temple was torn in two. ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.) on the fourteenth of Nisan. Jesus died at 3:00 p. They would have stoned Him. Jesus Christ fulfilled Passover by His death on the cross. He was rejected by His own people. The blood of the Passover lamb completely removes our sins. not just atones for them. Conclusion The first time Jesus came to earth.’” (Luke 23:44-46) Just as the blood of the sacrificial lamb saved the Hebrews from destruction in Egypt and atoned for their sins.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.) to the eleventh hour (5:00 p.
7:10–12). be to our God forever and ever” (Rev. thanksgiving and honor and power and might.Velda Stearns “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb! All the angels will stand around the throne and worship God saying: Blessing and glory and wisdom. 16 .
5:7? 17 .Study Questions 1. 21:8–9)? 3. What ancient prophecy in Psalm 118:22 was fulfilled in Matt. What ancient prophecy did Jesus fulfill? 2.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel Chapter 2 . How did the people respond when Jesus rode the colt into Jerusalem (Matt. 1:7)? 8. 26:31)? 6. 27:51–54)? 9. What was Christ called in 1 Cor. What three unusual events occurred when Christ died (Matt. 13:7 did the disciples fulfill on the night of Christ’s arrested (Matt. 21:5. 21:42? 7. 9:9 and Matt. What did Christ say in Luke 19:40 concerning the praises of the children? 5. What prophecy in Zech. What do believers receive through Christ’s blood (Eph. How did the religious leaders respond to the children praising God in the temple (Matt. 21:15)? 4. Compare Zech.
the Israelites ate unleavened bread (matzah) because of their hasty departure from Egypt. they are often thought of as one feast. Since these two feasts are so closely related. but God protected them because of the blood of the Passover Lamb. the setting of the sun represents a new day. On the night of the first Passover in Egypt. The Hebrew name for this feast is Hag ha Matzah. 12:17–19 AMP). and from the persecution they were suffering under Ramses II. The Israelites were by no means guiltless. for on this very day have I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt: Therefore shall you observe this day throughout your generations as an ordinance forever. Historical Significance Historically the Feast of Unleavened Bread looks back to the day the Israelites were delivered from Egyptian bondage. According Jewish custom. Seven days no leaven (symbolic of corruption) shall be found in your houses” (Ex. Therefore. Pharaoh 19 . In the first month. T he Feast of Unleavened Bread occurs simultaneously with Passover and lasts for seven days. on the fourteenth day of the month at evening you shall eat unleavened bread and continue until the twenty first day of the month at evening. It actually begins at sunset on the evening of Passover on the fifteenth of Nisan/Abib. God brought the Hebrew people out with a mighty deliverance and punished the Egyptians for their sins and stubbornness. Chapter 3 Devotional Reading: Psalm 105:37–44 Feast of Unleavened Bread (Hag haMatzah) “And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread. God brought the Israelites out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses. Jews continue to commemorate the eating of unleavened bread during this feast.
which a woman took and hid in three measure of meal till it was all leavened” (Matt. They were leaving the old and entering the new. nor with leaven of vice and malice and wickedness. In the New Testament. Some women make sourdough bread each week. Therefore. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven. A piece of fermented dough is retained from the previous batch of bread that causes the new batch of bread to rise. was eaten. it is used as a symbol of both good and bad influence. still uncontaminated (as you are) for Christ.Velda Stearns of Egypt. Leaven in the New Testament Leaven is symbolic of sin. 20 . 5:6b–8 AMP). but with the unleavened (bread) of purity (nobility. 13:33). not with old leaven. The leaven was gathered in one place and burned. Cooking utensils in which leaven was cooked must be immersed in boiling water. When the unleavened bread. Leaven permeates whatever it touches. It is now typically referred to as the Last Supper. Leaven causes fermentation in dough and makes it rise. honor) and sincerity and unadulterated truth” (1 Cor. the house was thoroughly searched for leaven. while unleavened bread symbolizes purity. They left Egypt a group of slaves and entered the Promised Land a mighty nation. There are ninety different references in the Old Testament that tell about God delivering the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt. until they glow. our Passover (lamb) has been sacrificed. This is the first recorded time of a national deliverance brought about entirely by the mighty hand of God. let us keep the feast. using this same process. “Do you not know that (just) a little leaven will ferment the whole lump of dough? Purge. they were reminded that they were entering a new way of life. Jesus Celebrates His Final Passover The night before Christ was arrested He celebrated His final Passover meal with His disciples. the old leaven that you may be fresh (new) dough. over a fire. clean out. Jesus compared leaven with heaven. Prior to celebrating the Feasts of Unleavened Bread.
The family sings traditional songs. Jesus took some bread and blessed it. The Seder plate. called the Hallel. left open to imply that they are watching for the Messiah. for this is my blood. for this is my body. for You have answered me. This reminds us that someday the long awaited Messiah. from Psalm 118:21–24 “I will praise You. The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. sometimes with six circular indentations. 4:5). “Behold. Each food is highlighted during the reading of the Seder service with the symbolism of each explained. This was the Lord’s doing.1 21 . saying. Malachi prophesied that Elijah would herald in the Messianic Kingdom. And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. ‘Each of you drink from it. will soon return to earth. The Passover Seder With the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. called the Seder (Hebrew for “order”). The Seder table which is set in order with a place for each individual includes an extra place setting for Elijah. The front door. is never to be touched until the Messiah comes. which confirms the covenant between God and his people. serving unleavened bread (matzah) and retelling the ancient story of deliverance each year. Today they celebrate with a family worship service and evening meal. Take this and eat it. I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord” (Mal. We will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:21–24). Elijah’s cup. 26:26–28 NLT). and have become my salvation. is checked to see if Elijah has come. displays the symbolic food at Passover. It is marvelous in our eyes. They continue to celebrate the Passover meal.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel “As they were eating. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples. He gave it to them and said. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many’” (Matt. the hope of the world. Elijah is thought to be the forerunner to the coming Messiah. This is the day the Lord has made. which is left empty. the Jewish people began to substitute new meaning to this holiday.
This reminds them how God miraculously opened the Red Sea for the Israelites to walk across on dry land. It is then tapped into a saucer as each of the ten plagues is recited. reminds the people of the bitterness and suffering during Egyptian bondage. radish. This symbolizes the mortar the children of Israel make during their bondage in Egypt. A small amount is served with the bitter herbs to reduce the taste of bitterness. • Charoset: A nut and apple mixture to remind them of the mortal used by the Jews. 22 . • Zeroa: A shank bone that represented a symbolic offering to the temple. The leader dips his smallest finger into a glass of wine and removes a drop at a time. potato or other in–season vegetable could be used. • Four glasses of wine was consumed to represent the four–fold promise of redemption. A vegetable called karpas was served as a hors d’oeuvre during the first century.Velda Stearns Special Foods at the Seder • Maror and Chazeret: Horseradish is used to symbolize the bitterness of enslavement. where parsley is dipped in salted water to symbolize tears. usually represented by horseradish. • Beitzah: A hard–boiled egg was a symbol of life and perpetuation of existence. a vegetable. A bitter vegetable. instead of horseradish. The maror. • Chazeret: Romaine lettuce is often used. walnuts and cinnamon mixed with wine or grape juice. parsley. to symbolize the bitterness of slavery. Cucumber. This reminds them of the finger of God that performed the miracles. charoset is often served. lettuce. It is also a reminder of their deliverance from Pharaoh’s army who perished in the Red Sea. • Karpas. Wine represents the blood of the sacrificial lamb. It carries the same symbolism as the bitter herbs. The parsley is dipped twice in the salt water before it is eaten. It is customary to spill a small amount of wine when each of the ten plagues is recalled. Charoset is a mixture of apples. Bitter herbs remind them of the bitter sufferings under the hand of Egyptian taskmasters.
Without the sacrifice of the Passover lamb there would be no Passover! Yet now the lamb is conspicuously absent. the unleavened bread and the bitter herbs. The four sons are the wise.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel Some significant items have been added to the Seder table through the years. The four questions are:3 23 . portrays deliverance. four questions. The candles remind of the Tabernacle worship in the wilderness. Salt water speaks of tears shed in Egypt. thus providing the leader of the Seder with the opportunity to tell the Passover story in response. I will deliver you. represented by the shank of a lamb.2 The dry bone. In the Seder ceremony there are four cups of wine. four expressions of redemption and four special foods. So what are the original things that God commanded for the Passover table? There were only three: the lamb. The fourth cup is a golden cup of praise. The third cup is empty while the fourth cup is placed upside down on the table. I will redeem you. The first cup. It is roasted to symbolize the destruction of the temple. and I will take you. made of crystal. The four expressions of redemption are: I will bring you out. is a solemn reminder of when the Passover lamb was sacrificed in the temple. having the color of clay. without sacrifice and sacred stone (Hosea 3:4). It is a Passover custom for the youngest person at the Seder to ask: “Why does this night differ from all other nights?” along with other questions. represents sanctification. without time for the bread to rise. The bread called matzah must be unleavened for it represents the haste by which the Israelites left Egypt. Leaven also represents a type of evil. The matzah looks much like a cracker that has been pierced before it is baked. they would live many days without king or prince. the simple and the wicked and the one who does not know how to ask. God previously warned the Israelites if they were disobedient. recalls the clay with which bricks were made in Egypt long ago. After it is baked. The second cup. made of crystal. which is a type of resurrection. The grated apple. four sons. stripes appear. The egg was added because in it is the cycle of life. The first and second cups are full of wine. The third cup is a silver cup of redemption. The most significant of the three that first night in Egypt was the lamb.
and songs praising God for His help in leaving the bondage of Egypt.’ So observe the decree of this festival at the appointed time each year’” (Ex.5 24 . On Passover it is customary to recite the Haggadah. why on this night do we eat only unleavened bread? • On all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs. why on this night do we all recline? The symbolic elements of this feast cause them not only to look back and remember what God did for them in the past. an instruction book for the young that recalls the ancient Exodus story. but it also foreshadows a greater redemption through Christ. This book is printed in Hebrew on the right side of the page or in English on the left side. the Passover Lamb. Let it remind you always to recite this teaching of the Lord: ‘With a strong hand. like a mark branded on your hand or your forehead. The Haggadah “On the seventh day you must explain to your children.Velda Stearns • On all other nights we eat either leavened or unleavened bread. The pages are turned from left to right with each person taking turns reading his own Haggadah. ‘I am celebrating what the Lord did for me when I left Egypt. stories. The Haggadah also contains words expressing the hope that one day all the peoples around the earth will be freed from their bondage as well.500 years old and has roots that go back to Old Testament. Reading begins from what would be considered in English the back of the book. The Haggadah is about 2. why on this night do we eat only bitter herbs? • On all other nights we need not dip our herbs even once. 13:8-10 NLT). why on this night do we dip twice? • On all other nights we either sit or recline.’ This annual festival will be a visible sign to you. the Lord rescued you from Egypt.4 In the Haggadah are prayers.
The child who finds it is given a special prize. The head of the Hebrew household presents a beautifully decorated white bag that is divided into three sections. As the middle matzah is broken. the Son and the Holy Spirit. He then breaks the matzah.” The broken. At the end of three days. so Christ became flesh in order to live among us. The leader reaches into the middle section of the bag and removes the center matzah. This bag became known by the rabbis as the unity bag. death and resurrection of Christ. so Christ’s body was broken by the beating. As the broken piece of matzah in linen 25 .Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel Ceremony of the Middle Matzah One unique Passover tradition with an unknown origin is the ceremony of the middle matzah. and Jacob. In some Jewish circles the three sections represent Abraham. wraps half of it in a cloth of white linen. and places it in a separate bag called the afikomen. The ceremony describes a vivid picture of the birth. Christians believe this ceremony refers to the Father. As the middle piece of matzah is pierced so Christ was pierced by the sword. the children are allowed to look for the matzah. meaning “the one who is coming again. As the middle piece of matzah is removed. wrapped matzah is hidden for three days. Isaac.
which was the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. His body was pure and sinless. Jesus’ body was marked with stripes from the Roman beating. He who comes to Me shall never hunger. which I shall give for the life of the world” (John 6:51). all the evidence points to unleavened bread itself as a picture of Christ. Therefore. just as the unleavened bread was marked with stripes. so Christ was buried in linen cloth for three days. and unleavened bread represented the Messiah who lived a pure. Christ rose again from the dead and is coming again! Jesus. which means “House of Bread. In summary. and he who believes in Me shall never thirst…I am the living bread which came down from heaven. Due to the Jewish Sabbath (when no work could be done). sinless life.m. he will live forever. He was quickly buried prior to sunset. and was taken down from the cross. The Feast of Unleavened bread was symbolically fulfilled by Christ. even as unleavened bread is holy and without leaven. the Bread of Life Jesus said to them. We also see from the gospels that Jesus was buried at sunset on Passover. the Feast of Unleavened Bread is symbolic of Jesus’ death and burial for He is the bread of life. “I am the bread of life. He was born in Bethlehem. and the bread that I shall give is My flesh.Velda Stearns cloth is buried for three days. 26 . Jesus’ side was pierced just as the unleavened bread was pierced with holes. Christ died at approximately 3:00 p.” Leaven represented sin. If anyone eats of this bread.
16:3? 5. What does Psalm 105:37–44 tell about God’s provision in the wilderness? 6.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel Chapter 3 .Study Questions 1. What is the meaning of the word Seder? What was its purpose? 9. What was spoken at the end of the Seder? 27 . What were the Egyptians doing on this day (Num. What does leaven represent (1 Cor. What historical event in Israel’s history happened on this day (Ex. Who did God defeat in Egypt with a great act of judgment (Num. 16:5–12? 7. What was unleavened bread called in Deut. 5:6–8)? 8. 33:4)? 4. What did Jesus warn His disciples to avoid in Matt. 12:17)? 2. 33:4)? 3.
supporting sheep and goats. bring the first sheaf of the harvest to the priest on the day after the Sabbath. It falls on Sunday. He shall wave it before the Lord in a gesture of offering. Why? The Israelites could not celebrate this feast without a harvest. He described the land as flowing with milk and honey. following the Feast of Unleavened Bread. and it will be accepted by the Lord as your gift” (Lev. it must have seemed almost like a fantasy as they were still wandering in the wilderness. but Firstfruits could not be celebrated until they entered the Promised Land. the day after the Sabbath (Saturday). Chapter 4 Devotional Reading: Leviticus 23:9–14 and John 20:11–18 Feast of Firstfruits (Yom Ha Bikkurim) When you arrive in the land I will give you and reap your first harvest. W Israel Miraculously Crossed over the Red Sea This feast points back to the day the Hebrew slaves crossed the Red Sea and emerged alive on the other side. The term firstfruits refer to the first portion of the harvest that was dedicated to God. The Israelites were freed from Egyptian bondage when 29 . and honey from beehives. They brought the firstfruits of the land into the house of the LORD and worshipped God. while Pharaoh and all his army drowned. “ hen Moses gave the Israelites instructions to celebrate the Feast of Firstfruits. but rather one that was hospitable to flocks and meadows. The Feast of Firstfruits is related directly to the Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread. Passover was celebrated at the beginning of the Exodus from Egypt. He told them they would plant crops and offer the firstfruits to the Lord. It was not a tropical garden. 23:9–11 LB).
Manna Ceased on the Sixteenth of Nisan “Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal. The newly delivered Hebrew people were firstfruits unto God. They celebrated Passover on the fourteenth of Nisan. 30 . Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord: “I will sing to the Lord. and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight on the plains of Jericho. 5:10–12). He is my God. and the children of Israel no longer had manna. 15:1-4). 14:13–14). the first fruits of a new nation. but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year” (Josh. How amazing that God brought them to the Promised Land just in time to celebrate this spring holiday! Several Historical Events1 • Israel miraculously crossed over the Red Sea (Ex. • Jesus Christ arose from the dead (1 Cor. and I will praise Him. For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! The Lord is my strength and song. and I will exalt Him…Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea. they began eating the firstfruits of the Promised Land. Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land. And they ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover. on the very same day. And He has become my salvation. My father’s God. His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea” (Ex. 15:20). 5:10-12) After forty years in the wilderness.Velda Stearns the firstborn of their Egyptian slave masters were killed. On the fifteenth they ate old grain. Gilgal was located on the eastern border of Jericho about fifteen miles from Jerusalem. • Israel ate the first fruits of the Promised Land (Josh. the children of Israel reached the border of Canaan at Gilgal on the tenth of Nisan. The manna ceased on the sixteenth day and on the seventeenth. unleavened bread and parched grain. This was the day God instructed them to celebrate Firstfruits.
If any farmer started harvesting before the Feast of Firstfruits it would be a declaration that he didn’t need God. He would be doing his own thing and not be covered by the covenant. At this time. If the distance was great. wool. Wave offering have not been practiced since the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. The people went down to the tabernacle and waved their offering before the Lord. The feast was celebrated in the month of Nisan. This corresponds to March–April in the Christian calendar. All the firstfruits had to be the best from the field and vineyard. and many of the rites and rituals associated with 31 . All of Israel had to offer up this ‘sheaf of the first fruit ’ before the harvest began. Even though the crop was ready to be harvested and the farmers were ready to gather in the harvest they had to wait for the Feast of Firstfruits before they began. They took just one stock and waved it. the first month of the Hebrew calendar. When they celebrated the harvest. the first grain of the season. they had to bring dried ‘firstfruits’ such as figs. fruit. The people of Israel brought the firstfruits of their spring planting to the priest to be waved before the Lord on their behalf. They brought either fresh or dried first fruits to Jerusalem and offered them up at the temple.2 After the temple was built. was used to make bread and feed livestock. They lifted the grain up and praised God for giving them the harvest. God said He would bless the harvest and make it everything it needed to be. they would eat the good of the land and all their barns and baskets would be full. or prepared food such as flour or dough. they remembered how God had provided for them. it became impractical for all the Jews to travel to Jerusalem carrying their gifts. a cereal grass with edible seeds. Celebrations in Israel Today The Feast of Firstfruits has all but vanished from the modern Jewish calendar. Barley. a representative from each district would prepare a basket of first fruits to carry to the temple to offer them for the entire district. but it implied every grain of the harvest was under the divine ordinance.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel Celebrating Firstfruits in Biblical Times In biblical times this feast was a holiday of thanksgiving for the barley harvest. If they were obedient.
by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. the firstfruits of those who are asleep. they became the guarantee that the rest of the crop would indeed be harvested. He alone is the “Firstfruits. and flowers to the Jewish National Fund. Jesus was the first to be resurrected from dead and the grave. The fund sells these offerings. The JNF owns much of the land in the country. holding it in trust for the people. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. Although a number of people mentioned in the Bible were resurrected from the dead. For as in Adam all die. Christ fulfilled the Feast of Firstfruits by His resurrection. He presented Himself as a firstfruits offering to God. they simply died again in due season. Christ became the first man to arise from the dead to live eternally. sheaves of corn. including Jairus’ daughter and Lazarus. When God accepted the firstfruits. We celebrate the resurrection of Christ on the same day the Hebrew people celebrated the Feast of Firstfruits.Velda Stearns the Feast of Firstfruits have been transferred to the Feast of Pentecost. as the first day of the week began to dawn. For since by a man came death. But through the Jews no longer observe the Feast of Firstfruits as described in Leviticus 23. However. not physically.4 Christ. the firstfruits. for Jesus (Yeshua) Himself is the Firstfruits. He arose and became the firstfruits of those that rise from the dead (this refers to the firstfruits spiritually. for I know that you seek Jesus who 32 .”5 Christ Fulfilled Firstfruits by His Resurrection ”Now after the Sabbath. there is no denying the link between Passover and Pentecost. after that those who are Christ’s at His coming” (1 Cor. never to die again. so also in Christ all shall be made alive. 15:20–23 NASB).3 Today thousands of school children present baskets of fruits and vegetables. Jesus took our place by becoming sin for us. But each in his own order: Christ. But the angel answered and said to the women. using the proceeds for the never–ending task of settling new immigrants. ‘Do not be afraid. the Firstfruits “But now Christ has been raised from the dead. He endured the wrath of God for our sins. also known as Shavuot. When Jesus arose from the dead. for several other people have arisen from the dead physically).
When Jesus said “It is finished. Death could not hold Him. The Feast of Firstfruits always occurs on the day after the Sabbath following Passover and the crucifixion of Jesus. the Hope of Every Believer “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. see the place where the Lord lay’” (Matt. “Christ has been raised from the dead. 28:1. as He said. an event. which together with more than five hundred eyewitnesses to the risen Christ. 23 NASB). 5–6). and came out of the graves after his resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared unto many. ‘Come. Jesus arose from the dead and ascended into heaven. the first fruits of those who have died… But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel was crucified. He is not here. referred to this miraculous resurrection of the dead. 15:20. then by offering the firstfruits of His resurrection from death when “the graves were opened. Christians can find great meaning celebrating the Feast of Firstfruits. Other ancient writers including Clement of Alexandria in his Stomata. assisted in the rapid spread of the Christian Faith. for He is risen’. This feast always coincided with the resurrection of Jesus.” atonement for sins was complete. and now sits at the right hand of God. and my bodies of the saints which slept arose. to an inheritance incorruptible and 33 . The Feast of Firstfruits was the last feast that Christ personally fulfilled while here on the earth. Resurrecting many of the Old Testament saints on this Feast of Firstfruits. we do not just celebrate the resurrection of the Lord.6 Resurrection. then at his coming those who belong to Christ” (1 Cor. This is foundational to the Christian faith. The term firstfruits imply there will be a second and a third. The power and authority given to Jesus has been made available to believers. Christ proved that His power over death was not limited to Himself alone. On the third day. Jesus rose victoriously from the grave. When we celebrate Firstfruits. We are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Jesus celebrated the Feast of the Firstfruits by first conquering death Himself. We are reminded that believers who have already died will someday be resurrected.
If Christ did not arise from the dead then our hope in Christ is futile. Even the death of Christ is meaningless without the resurrection.Velda Stearns undefiled and that does not fade away. Paul goes so far as to say.7 The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very heart of the gospel. Without it. The physical resurrection of Christ is the very capstone of our faith. Eleven of the twelve disciples gave their lives proclaiming that Christ had risen from the dead. who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation. At the time of the vernal equinox (the day in the spring when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of equal length). The resurrection of Jesus is the most important event in human history. then our hope in Christ is futile. The Jews were the first who believed the truth of Christ’s resurrection. there is no hope for a future life and those who have already died have perished. Christianity crumbles. there is no Christian faith. The resurrection of Jesus is no myth. They proclaimed the message of hope and immorality. “If the dead do not rise. we are of all men most pitiable. reserved in heaven for you. If Christ did not arise from the dead. Billy Graham said. ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3–5). 15:32). apart from this affirmation. the apostle. “There is more evidence that Jesus rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar ever lived or that Alexander the Great died at the age of thirty-three.8 It is unfortunate that Christians use this name since this was originally a pagan festival celebrating fertility and honoring Eostre. The great hope of the Christian faith is the resurrection. Let us eat and drink. sacrifices were offered in her honor. the name Easter was used to designate the annual Christian celebration of the resurrection of Christ. If Christ is not raised from the dead. for tomorrow we die”(1 Cor. It was reliably corroborated by over five hundred eyewitnesses. explains the importance of the resurrection by saying that if our hope is in this life only. Paul. Was Christ physically resurrected from the dead? Absolutely! In truth.” Celebration of Easter As early as the eighth century. a Teutonic (Germanic) a goddess of light and spring. 34 . The great hope of the Christian faith is the resurrection.
Jesus Christ personally fulfilled all three of the Spring feasts down to the minutest detail on the very days God instructed the children of Israel to celebrate them. Just as Israel marched out of the Red Sea to stand on solid ground. but for all mankind. not only for His chosen people Israel. Since the egg is a symbol of fertility.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel Another theory prevails that Easter was named after the Babylonian Goddess Ishtar. We can rejoice in God’s plan of salvation. and the grave could not contain Him! Like a grain of wheat. He arose on the day of the Feast of Firstfruits to bring life to millions!9 35 . and the grave. the “Easter bunny” became associated with Easter. Just as Jesus predicted. Easter was a heathen holiday celebrating fertility. the Cross could not conquer Him. He arose the mighty Conqueror over principalities and powers. Jesus Christ became the Victor over death. buried on Unleavened Bread and rose again on the Feast of Firstfruits. Christ was crucified on Passover. hell. Conclusion We see the redemptive story of our Savior as it emerged into history nearly two thousand years ago. Rome could not convict Him.
When did they start observing Firstfruits (Lev. What historical event occurred on this day (Ex. What did the priest do with the grain offering (Lev.Velda Stearns Chapter 4 . How did Christ fulfill this feast? 36 . What four specific offerings were required (Lev. What did Jesus previously tell His disciples would happen to Him (Mark 9:31)? 8. 15:51-54? 9. 14:21-22)? 2. 23:14)? 5. Why couldn’t the Israelites celebrate this feast in the wilderness? 3. 23:11)? 7. What did Paul promise in 1 Cor. What were they required to do before eating the spring harvest (Lev.Study Questions 1. 23:10–14)? 6. 23:10)? 4.
after the Passover season. 23:10. or fifty days. and thus it is considered the birthday of Judaism. The counting begins on the second night of Passover. T he Feast of Weeks is a festive late spring Jewish holiday celebrating the harvest season in Israel. Devotional Reading: Deuteronomy16:9–12 Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) Chapter 5 Speak to the children of Israel. on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. Unlike Passover and Tabernacles that look back to a specific event in the history of the Jewish people. God wanted them to remember that He had brought them out of slavery. Shavuot was a holy day in which no work was done. 11. You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God. meaning weeks. it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings”(Lev. Shavuot was mainly a harvest festival with no memorial significance. foreigners. He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD.1 37 . and reap its harvest. It was a time to rejoice before the Lord with family and everyone else in their household– Levites. It was perhaps for this reason that the rabbis have ascribed to Shavuot the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai. Fifty days are counted between Passover and the Feast of Weeks. which is May to June in the secular calendar. It is known as Shavuot (Sha-voo-OTE) in Hebrew. Its primary purpose was to bring into the Temple the first fruits of the wheat harvest. It was a God–ordained feast given to the nation Israel. God did not specify a date to celebrate this feast. and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you. widows and orphans. It refers to the festival which occurs seven weeks. 14). It is celebrated at the time of the wheat harvest on the sixth and seventh day of Sivan. to be accepted on your behalf. then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.
to Moses.Velda Stearns Historical Significance The historical focus of the holiday points back to the time God gave the Torah. “Go down and prepare the people for my arrival. Consecrate them today and tomorrow. Sinai was covered with smoke because Jehovah descended upon it in the form of fire. On the fiftieth day after they crossed the Red Sea. 19:10-11). for on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai as all the people watch” (Ex. “ 38 . 9:9-11 NLT). The Lord gave me the two tablets on which God had written with his own finger all the words he had spoken to you from the heart of the fire when you were assembled at the mountain. and there was a long. He reaffirmed His covenant with Israel by giving the Ten Commandments. The Jewish people remembered this holy day and reaffirmed their commitment to Jehovah. After the Israelites left Egypt and crossed the Red Sea. Unusual Events at Mount Sinai On the morning of the third day there was a terrific thunder and lightning storm and a huge cloud came down upon the mountain. the Lord handed me the two stone tablets inscribed with the words of the covenant” (Deut. and all that time I ate no food and drank no water. loud blast as from a ram’s horn: and all the people trembled. I was there for forty days and forty nights. At the end of the forty days and nights. Moses led them out from the camp to meet God and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Sinai. Then the Lord told Moses. God appeared to Moses. They were written by the finger of God on tablets of stone. Be sure they are ready on the third day. the Hebrew Scriptures. they traveled for forty–seven days and reached Mt. the smoke billowed into the sky as from a furnace. “This happened when I was on the mountain receiving the tablets of stone inscribed with the words of the covenant that the Lord had made with you. They were instructed to mark out the limits of the mountain and purify themselves by fasting three days. and have them wash their clothing. All Mt.
19:16–20 LB). a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. This further confirms that its origin was from God. 7:6–8a) While the children of Israel traveled through the wilderness. Moses spoke and God thundered His reply. A Shofar is an ancient horn of Israel. The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people. They drank from the Rock. a Special Treasure “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God. Shavuot would have died with the destruction of the temple and the separation of the people from agriculture. But just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much–most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel and all the mountain shook with a violent earthquake. they may not have believed that the Ten Commandments were from God. Normally a blast of the trumpet gets softer and softer. Israel. Sinai and called Moses up to the top of the mountain and Moses ascended to God”(Ex. the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Him. as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life. Sinai when God gave the Law (Torah) to the Jews. “All their ancestors were led by the providential cloud and taken miraculously through the Sea. in a baptism like ours. They went through the waters. If the children of Israel had not seen the lightning and heard the thunder and the audible voice. So the Lord came down upon the top of Mt. As the trumpet blast grew louder and louder. They all ate and drank identical food and drink. As a mere harvest festival. and God 39 . The blowing of the first trumpet is connected with the marriage covenant between God and His people. and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers” (Deut. But as a festival that looks back to Mt. God protected them and provided for them in miraculous ways. God’s fountain for them that stayed with them wherever they were. meals provided daily by God. for you were the least of all peoples. it has retained it strength and prominence. And the Rock was Christ. but because the Lord loves you. but here the trumpet’s blast got louder and louder. This is the first time a trumpet (Shofar) is mentioned in the Bible.
It was often referred to as being carried on eagle’s wings. Often times the entire family would make the journey. 8:4). • Pillar of Cloud by day and Pillar of Fire by night (Ex.Velda Stearns was not pleased. for all the earth is Mine. Below are several ways God provided for them. During their wilderness walk. Thousands upon thousands of Jewish people would amass in the Holy City from every corner of the known world. These are all warning markers–danger!–in our history books. 40 . And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. as the farmer watched his ripening crop. Now therefore. 19:3–5). As the people traveled up to Jerusalem. • Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell (Deut. and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 13:21–22) • Israel crossed the Red Sea on dry land (Ex. 14:21–23). written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. It reminded them that redemption from slavery was not complete until the Jewish people received the Torah. then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people. and the Lord spoke to him from the mountain.”2 God Carried the Israelites on Eagle’s Wings Moses went up to God. This was the second of the three pilgrimage feasts where all adult Jewish males had to present themselves in Jerusalem to the Lord. 17:3–6). hoping for good weather. if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant. 16:12–17). God carried the Israelites in miraculous ways. and tell the children of Israel: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. “ Biblical Celebration A period of seven happy weeks separated Passover and Shavuot when the Jewish people looked forward to the celebration of a new feast at the end of the spring harvest. saying. • God provided food in the wilderness (Ex. But these were also weeks of anxiety. “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob. This seven–week period commenced on the second night of Passover and ended on the eve of Shavuot. • God provided water in the wilderness (Ex.
they acknowledged that God was their provider. The firstfruits of the fields and orchards from the spring harvest were brought to the temple on Mt. but the two loaves did. A meal offering was offered as well as a sin offering of a kid of the goats. During the temple worship. since Shavuot occurred at the time of the wheat harvest. This is a permanent law for you. Keep counting until the day after the seventh Sabbath. 23:15-17. From wherever you live. one ram and seven lambs of the first year for a burnt offering.3 Offering at Shavuot “From the day after the Sabbath—the day you bring the bundle of grain to be lifted up as a special offering—count off seven full weeks. They will be an offering to the Lord from the first of your crops. wheat was the foremost offering. the children of Israel brought a sheaf of the firstfruits of the spring harvest and offered it to the Lord. That same day will be proclaimed an official day for holy assembly. a day on which you do no ordinary work. bring two loaves of bread to be lifted up before the Lord as a special offering. Make these loaves from four quarts of choice flour. The required sacrifices were two young bullocks. 21 NLT). It was considered the day of Israel’s dedication. Why the Bread had Leaven The people brought two loaves of bread from the first grain of their harvest on Shavuot. Moriah as an offering to the Lord. Each year they brought the first fruits of the harvest into the temple. All able bodied men were required to be present at the temple and offer special offerings. The other meal offerings did not contain leaven. The fine flour in the loaves may represent the perfect righteousness 41 . By doing this. This day was a holy convocation and no work could be done. and bake them with yeast. The priest waved them along with the required animal sacrifices. fifty days later. Then present an offering of new grain to the Lord.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel they would sing praises to God and rejoice in His goodness as they brought their baskets filled with their offerings to the priests. Although seven kinds of first fruits were accepted. The offering that gives Shavuot its uniqueness is the two wave offerings along with two loaves of bread. and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live” (Lev.
but during the second century. sexual intercourse was forbidden 42 . along with Aaron’s almond branch rod that budded and the tablets of the covenant. They celebrated this harvest festival by going to Jerusalem. In each reference it refers to manna. and activities such as shaving. An omer was an ancient Hebrew measure equal to one–day supply of bread. This period became known as “Counting of the Omer. The Omer was only mentioned four times in the Bible. That evening the blasts of the trumpet sounded.” There was no fixed day to celebrate Shavuot.8 liters. This manna was placed in a golden pot in the Ark of the Covenant. It was the portion of manna assigned for each individual’s daily portion. Ex. haircuts. the Omer took on customs of semi–mourning. in the Old Testament. This marked the day they celebrated the Feast of Shavuot. He is without wrinkle. Originally the Omer days were intended to be happy ones. the food God provided for the Israelites in the wilderness. the head of the church. It was a measure of grain or dry goods amounting to about 1/2 gallon or 3. the Israelites were instructed to count fifty days between Passover and Shavuot. In some traditions.Velda Stearns of Yeshua. Counting the Omer As discussed. He is the unleavened bread that came down from heaven. 16:16 tells us that each man was to gather an omer of manna for each member of his family. The great altar was cleansed in the first watch and immediately after midnight the temple gates were thrown open. the Jews connected the Feast of Weeks with the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. thanking God for His provision. Moses instructed them to keep a small amount of manna so that following generations would be able to see that God fed them in the wilderness. but is defined as the day after counting seven weeks. A blessing was said on each of the 50 days. the day before the feast. music and weddings were forbidden.4 The reasons for mourning are widely debated. New Testament Observance In the early days of Christ.
the following blessing is recited. or to turn back from following after you. Ruth. The entire evening service is often spent studying the Torah. Eternal One. Jewish men put on festive garments and attend the synagogue. They study the Torah. the light of the world.” Before lighting the candles. Present Day Observance In modern times. Tradition also prohibits marriage during this season. Shavuot is observed by many Jewish people as a thanksgiving festival. The priests chanted the Hallel (Psalm of Praise) while the people joined in. all burnt and peace offerings were brought to the priest to be examined. on the quotation from the Song of Songs 4:11. Before the morning sacrifice. The Feast of Weeks is celebrated each year on the sixth and seventh of Sivan. The story of Ruth. Blessed are you Adonai. I will go 43 .Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel during this period. The freewill offerings made a hospitable meal to be shared by all. For wherever you go. The custom of eating dairy foods on Shavuot is based. is always read on this day since Ruth was considered the first convert to Judaism. and attend prayer services and eat mostly dairy products. for family. The Ten Commandments are publicly read at the morning service in the synagogue.6 Others believe it refers to God giving them a land “flowing with milk and honey. friends and the Jewish traditions they share. Ruth told Naomi “Entreat me not to leave. Customarily some Jewish people stay awake in prayer for the holiday. among other sources. the Jewish people gather and thank God for all His blessings. based on the legend that thunder and lightning kept the Israelites awake when God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. a Moabite woman forsook her Gentile heritage and clung to her mother-in-law Naomi. A woman lights the candles––since she gave birth to the Messiah. who enables us to welcome Shavuot by kindling these candles.5 They gathered at the temple and offered grain and fruit in thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest. or at least for a part of it. “Honey and milk shall be under your tongue” refers to the words of the Torah being as pleasant and nourishing as milk and honey are to your tongues. the great–grandmother of King David.
my God”(Ruth 1:16). Young women dance in the fields celebrating fertility. The people bring fruits. children dress in white and carry wreaths of flowers on their heads. Your people shall be my people and your God. I will lodge. Celebrating with colorful costumes and folk dancing are widely held on or around the Festival of Shavuot. A happy. The synagogues are decorated with flowers and plants. In Israel. relaxed atmosphere prevails on this day. flowers. unlike the somber vigil on Yom Kippur.Velda Stearns and wherever you lodge. and animals to the celebration as examples of fertility. Nature is brought into the sanctuary. 44 . Many New Testament symbols are used such as the dove and the fish.
Tell about an instance when God spoke to you. What similar events will occur at the end of time. What did God promise the Israelites if they would serve Him (Ex. 23:25–26)? 3. Describe a situation in your own life when you felt unable to cope and God carried you on eagle’s wings. How did they determine the day to celebrate the Feast of Weeks (Lev. 23:21)? 6. when the courts of heaven are open (Rev. as a man speaks to his friend (Ex. 11:19)? 9. 23:22)? 7. What was your response to God? 10. Why do you think the two loaves of bread were made with leaven? 5. God spoke to Moses face to face. 16:12)? 4. What did this feast remind the Israelites of (Deut. What did God provide for the poor and the strangers (Lev. 45 . 33:11).Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel Chapter 5 .Study Questions 1. Name 3 unusual occurrences happened when God gave the Ten Commandments (Ex. How often and how long did God want them to celebrate this feast (Lev. 23:15–16)? 2. 19:16–19)? 8.
God called Moses up to the peak and Moses climbed up” (Ex. there were loud claps of thunder. firstfruits of his harvest. He is their Redeemer. They stood at attention at the base of the mountain. Devotional Reading: Acts 2:14–41 Celebrating Pentecost Chapter 6 entecost is a Greek word that is derived from the word penta. 47 . a thick cloud covering the mountain. Everyone in the camp shuddered in fear. meaning “fiftieth day. It is celebrated on Sivan 6. God descended to the peak of Mount Sinai. 2:2-3 NIV). Mount Sinai was all smoke because God had come down on it as fire.’ declares the “This is what the Lord says: ‘I remember the devotion of your the through a land not sown. all who devoured her were held guilty. P God Betrothed Himself to Israel at Mt. Lord” (Jer. 19:16-20 MSG). Moses spoke and God answered in thunder. The whole mountain shuddered in huge spasms. flashes of lightning. and the God of all the earth. Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God. and God is considered to be Israel’s husband. Sinai youth. The trumpet blasts grew louder and louder. the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. The Sinai covenant is considered a marriage vow. Smoke poured from it like smoke from a furnace.” Pentecost (Feast of Weeks or Shavuot) falls seven weeks or fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits. Jehovah God is their husband. how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness. which usually falls in June. and disaster overtook them. Israel was holy to the Lord. the Holy One of Israel. and an ear-piercing trumpet blast. God Gave the Ten Commandments to Moses “On the third day at daybreak.
and to the ends of the earth”(Acts 1:4. of judgment. the Holy Spirit. John baptized with water. Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost. 5. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 4:16 AMP). And when He has come. When they saw the light and heard the voice they became keenly aware of the Divine authority of the law that God gave Moses. but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses at Mt. 48 . It was essential that the people realize the supreme importance of the moment. telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem. of righteousness. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. Jesus told the disciples. I will send Him to you. Jesus Instructed His Disciples John told his disciples. And you will be my witnesses. “It is to your advantage that I go away. and the loud voice of the trumpet were all present. thunder. but He who is mightier than I is coming. for if I do not go away. because the ruler of this world is judged”(John 16:7–11). On that day in antiquity. lightning.Velda Stearns When God manifested Himself to Moses and gave the Ten Commandments to him. and of judgment: of sin. the Helper will not come to you. “I baptize you with water. “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised. Shortly before His ascension. as I told you before. He will convict the world of sin. ten days later. The giving of the law was a dress rehearsal for the giving of the Spirit. but if I depart. But also on this special day. God chose to pour out His Spirit on the one hundred and twenty disciples who tarried (stayed or waited) in prayer. in Samaria. and of righteousness. because they do not believe in Me. throughout Judea. This was not a coincidence or an afterthought in God’s mind. It was God’s plan of salvation unfolding to His people. Sinai. a thick cloud. wind and fire? The parallel with what took place on Mount Sinai in connection with the giving of the Law is very enlightening. because I go to My Father and you see Me no more. What was the purpose of the supernatural joining of sound and sight. of whose sandals I am not fit to unfasten. 8 NLT). Jesus previously told the disciples He would send the Helper.
These people are not drunk. they were all with one accord in one place. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues. Cretans and Arabs were present as well. and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. crucified. The people present at this tremendous event were made acutely aware that something supernatural was transpiring. God poured out the Holy Spirit as promised. and buried.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel The Feast of Pentecost “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come. and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. This place of greatest tragedy was also the place of greatest triumph. These men. and one sat upon each of them. yet they understood the gospel preached to them in their own language. Christ was tried. With the help of lawless Gentiles. full of the Holy Spirit addressed the crowd. “Listen carefully. wonders. Peter. This city of crucifixion was also the city of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. as you well know. all of you. like wind. as of fire. Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that” (Acts 2: 14-16 NLT). resembling fire. Libya. “People of Israel listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles. as some of you are assuming. In Jerusalem. fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. for death could not keep him in its grip” (Acts 2:22-24). you nailed him to a cross and killed him. Cyrene. from three continents. as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1–4). Tongues. There He arose from the grave. may not have understood Hebrew or Aramaic. was symbolic of the Divine Presence. Jews were in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) from all over Israel. Once again God makes His presence known with a mighty rushing wind and tongues of fire and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. and signs through him. 49 . Rome and other countries. as well as Egypt. When this happened. Converts to Judaism. But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven. the disciples were accused of being drunk with wine! Peter stood up and shouted to the crowd. as of a rushing mighty wind. settled on each one of those who stayed to pray. Then there appeared to them divided tongues. But God knew what would happen. scourged. Fire. Mesopotamia.
one ram and seven lambs of the first year. He promised us: “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. Shavuot is also the birthday of the Church. In Biblical times. so also is Christ. one to represent the church. 12:12-13). 32:28). They didn’t understand the picture of the two leavened loaves that were to be offered to the Lord at Pentecost-one to represent Israel. Four thousand years ago. Men were required to be present at the temple and to bring with them special sacrificial offerings. are one body.Velda Stearns The Jewish people regard Shavuot as the birthday of Judaism. “For as the body is one and has many members. When Christ returns. 3:6).2 Jews and Gentiles in the Body of Christ This is a beautiful picture of Jews and Gentiles that make up the body of Christ. The children of Israel didn’t realize the full significance of the Mount Sinai experience. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks. Jews made a wave offering of two loaves of bread at Shavuot. There is a fascinating parallel between these two events. but all the members of that one body. the Holy Spirit descended. whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor. Judaism was born and 3000 souls were killed (Ex. Two thousand years ago. The required sacrifices consisted of two young bullocks. the Church was born and 3. If it were not so. God descended.1 Paul wrote the “letter (law) kills but the spirit gives life” (2 Cor. or leaven still exists in them. Offerings to the Lord In remembrance. the church will be a glorious church without spot or wrinkle. The church has not yet been glorified. which is thought to represent imperfection in their lives. would I have told you that I go 50 . Our bridegroom has gone away to prepare a place for His bride. being many. These two wave loaves were baked with leaven. Pentecost was a holy convocation where manual labor and working ceased. Believers are betrothed to Christ through the new covenant and the blood of Jesus Christ.000 souls were saved (Acts 2:41). These were the burnt offerings. both holy to God even though sin. Moses went to Sinai. Biblically.
3 The most important aspect of what happened in the Upper Room was not the miracles that these disciples later performed. to becoming bold witnesses of the gospel.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you. Pentecost Sunday is also a celebration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the believers in the upper room. know how to give good gifts to your children.” (John 14:1-3). The Church Age would never have been born. righteous Words in fire––the first time on tablets of stone and the second time on hearts of flesh. being evil. Luke 11:13 says. It is not merely an event in the past. who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. “In order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us. there you may be also. Suppose for a moment that there had been no Pentecost. The Holy Spirit must be received by faith and you must believe that God will fill you. or Pentecost? To remember and rehearse God’s mighty acts! He came down both on Mount Sinai and on Mount Zion. allowing those present to experience His power through sight and sound. “If you then. 51 . Why Celebrate Pentecost Why should we celebrate Shavuot. writing His holy. What Pentecost Means Today While it can be considered the birthday of the Church. God made His presence known in a mighty way. but it can become a reality in your life. The Upper Room would be of no consequence. how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. who changed the world in their generation. so that where I am. The Heavenly Father promises the Holy Spirit to those who ask. we are encouraged to believe that God wants to do the same mighty work in us. This awesome act transformed a group of ordinary men and women from being frightened fugitives. but the miracle that God did in their hearts.”4 On the Day of Pentecost. During Pentecost.” In prayer ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit brought forth new life to the Church. I will come again and will take you to myself.
This law was not written on tablets of stone. To believers today. our motives. We humble ourselves before you. Every believer is sealed with the Holy Spirit at conversion. but overflowed to others. until the day when God completes the redemption of what he has paid for as his own. 1:13-14 Phillips). there was no emotion. Cleanse our thoughts and make us holy. He prepares men’s hearts and transforms lives. Rather. We are here today because the early Christians tarried (waited) and prayed. but through Christ Jesus we can walk victoriously. fill us anew with your Spirit. the heavens opened and the presence of God filled me to overflowing. When we attend church on Sunday we are celebrating the birthday of the church. We pray that our hearts. Our Lord arose from the grave on the first day of the week. We have the privilege of being partners with Him in bringing glory to Christ as others accept Christ as their personal Savior and mature in the Lord. Lord. We can do nothing in our own strength. Today’s Christians also need to tarry and pray until we are endued with power from on high. The church celebrates Pentecost on Sunday. so to speak. and that will again be to the praise of his glory”(Eph. and because believers down through the centuries have been faithful to proclaim the Good News of salvation. and our desires will be purified. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.Velda Stearns When I asked God to fill me with the Spirit. And after you gave your confidence to him you were. the first day of the week. Spiritual Application of Pentecost “You too trusted him. When I was filled with the Holy Spirit. the Gospel of your salvation. it not only supplies my needs. I didn’t feel any different. the Spirit of the Living God poured out His Spirit on fleshy tablets of the heart. when you heard the message of truth. but each day I thanked Him for filling me. stamped with the promised Holy Spirit as a guarantee of purchase. the Day of Pentecost was the giving of a better law. The church was born on the first day of the week. In a few days. It is this empowering by the Holy Spirit that enables believers to live overcoming lives. who is 52 . The Holy Spirit was sent into the world to draw men and women to God.
the Messiah. 11 NIV) . like the latter and former rain to the earth” (Hosea 6:3b). Thousands of Jews were saved when God poured out the former rain. or a man his brother.’ because they will all know me. Passover. so the next three festivals will help us calculate what lies ahead. saying. I will be their God. are acts one through four in God’s preparation for the divine drama of the Second Coming.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel in you. Unleavened Bread. Inspired by the Holy Spirit. Jesus fulfilled the former rains at his first coming to the earth. Pentecost teaches that our salvation experience is not complete until the Spirit of God has filled us. as well as the rains of spring” “Rejoice. from the least of them to the greatest”(Heb. The prophetic fulfillment of those feasts lie behind us. would come twiceonce in the former rain. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Cor.6 The former rain and latter rain correspond to the Seven Jewish Feasts given in the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus. Once more the autumn rains will come. and that the purpose of this infilling is to establish His righteousness in us. Firstfruits and Pentecost. As the four feasts predicted what now lies in history. Former and Latter Rain the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. The latter rain will bring in the rest of the harvest of souls. The four feasts of the former rain. he wrote of the Messiah. No longer will a man teach his neighbor. and again in the latter. you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the Lord your God! For (Joel 2:23 NLT).5 Hosea meant that Jesus Christ. saying. whom you have received from God? You are not your own. and they will be my people. Spring brings the former rains. by writing His laws on our hearts. “He will come to us like the rain. the latter rain comes in the fall. ‘Know the Lord. but the hands of God’s clock are moving swiftly. you were bought at a price. “I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. 6:19-20 NIV). 53 . 8:10b. The prophet Hosea knew the seasons and rain cycles were a clear picture of things to come.
Father Zakaria Boutros.Velda Stearns Harvest after Pentecost After Pentecost. the Middle East and Central Asia. This represents the present time while the church is waiting for Christ. The fall festivals will bring in the final harvest when the Jewish people will accept Yeshua and all God’s people will be gathered in. How amazing since there are only 13 million Jews in the world! That means that one out of every 13 Jews in the world has accepted Yeshua as their Messiah. we see a long period of time before the next feast. Jonathan Bernis said a survey taken by Jews indicates that one million Jews have accepted Yeshua as their Messiah. The church is given the privilege of sharing the good news of the gospel and gathering in the harvest (the lost) before the fall feasts usher in the return of the Lord of the harvest. He has led thousands of Muslims to Christ via the internet and television. to return to earth. is the most wanted man in Islam. Many Jews and Muslims are turning to Yeshua through dreams and visions. Speaking at the 2012 Messianic Jewish Bible Institute (MJBI) Banquet. There is a price of $60 million dollars for his death. Pray that many more will find the true Messiah. 54 . Many Muslims are accepting Christ as their personal Savior in North Africa. the Messiah. a Roman Catholic Priest and Egyptian Evangelist.
What is the requirement for being filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13)? 55 . How many men were saved on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4)? 7. Why God sent the Holy Spirit to the early church (John 16:7-8)? 4.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel Chapter 6 . Why were the Jews confused on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:6)? 6. 8)? 2. What did Joel say concerning the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-29)? 3. To whom did Jesus promise to send the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:39)? 9. What did Jesus ask His disciples to stay in Jerusalem and pray (Acts 1: 4. Why do you think God choose this day to pour out His Spirit? 5.Study Questions 1. What did Peter emphasize about the resurrection in Acts 2:29-33? 8.
is often seen in the synagogue. White. even though God intended for the Biblical New Year to start on the first day of Abib (Nisan) in the spring of the year. and the kittel. on the first day of the month. In order to show their trust in God’s compassion. a holy convocation” (Lev. 23:24). a memorial of blowing of trumpets. Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. Some scholars believe it originated during the Babylonian Captivity as a way of counteracting the influence of the Babylonian New Year Festival. It is a time of reconciling to God and to one’s fellow man. a white smock like garment worn over other clothes. Because the spotless kittel resembles a burial shroud. The exact reason for its observance is not clear. this feast was firmly established as the Jewish New Year. Three fall feasts are celebrated in this month. and a time of dedication and commitment to obey God’s law.1 Rosh Hashanah (Rosh Ha-SHA-nah) carries with it all the excitement and freshness of a new year and all the anxiety of an unsettled fate before the King of the universe who will be revealed on the Day of Atonement.2 T 57 . signifying purity. you shall have a Sabbath–rest. Jews dress in their best clothing for the festival and celebrate with quiet joy. it reminds the people of man’s mortality as well as purity. is the favorite color. Feasts of Trumpets. “ he Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) is celebrated in the fall of the year on the first day of Tishri. By the time of Christ. Chapter 7 Devotional Reading: Numbers 29:1–6 Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) In the seventh month. The Torah is covered in white fabric throughout the holidays.
Velda Stearns Blowing of the Shofar The Shofar. “Then Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men. 34:15-19). a primitive horn. He read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday. Nehemiah and Ezra brought the people together on the first day of the seventh month. 25:9) • When the Jericho Walls fell down (Josh. women and all who could listen with understanding. those who could understand. on the first day of the seventh month. 6:20) • When Solomon was crowned King (1 Kings 1:34–35) • At the arrival of a king • On Solemn Days and New Moon Celebrations (Psalm 81:1–4) Rosh Hashanah in Nehemiah’s Day After the children of Israel were given permission to return to the Promised Land. Then Nehemiah. in the presence of men and women. and the Levites who taught the people said 58 . This ritual horn is curved and usually made from a ram’s horn. King Josiah admitted that Israel had not kept the law and the holy days had been grossly neglected. is one of the earliest musical devices known to man. In Jerusalem. telling them that this is a holy day. He wept and rent his clothes in mourning because Israel had disobeyed God’s laws. 19:16–19) • At the Sabbath Year Celebrations (Lev. the Shofar was blown from morning to evening on the Feasts of Trumpets. Most of the scriptures in the Old Testament that are translated trumpet are actually from the Hebrew word Shofar. The Old Testament does not mention any observance of this feast from the time of Moses until the return from Babylonian Captivity. who was the governor. and Ezra the priest and scribe. the king had it read to him (2 Chron. Occasions to Blow the Shofar • When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai (Ex. and all the people were attentive to the book of the law. When the book of law was found in the temple.
The sound of the Shofar reverberating from the Temple Mount would have been truly awe–inspiring. A priest trained from his youth would blow three blasts. to drink.’ For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law. People touch the Torah with their prayer shawls 59 . for this day is holy to our Lord. which would be followed by the piercing notes of silver trumpets sounded by two other priests standing nearby. to send portions and to celebrate a great festival. Admit that you rebelled against the Lord your God and committed adultery against him by worshiping idols under every green tree. The Torah (books of the law) is carried around the synagogue by a respected member. for the joy of the Lord is your strength. one from this town and two from that family—from wherever you are scattered. do not be grieved. 8:2–3. Present Day Observance Jewish people go to their synagogue. because they understood the words which had been made known to them’” (Neh. the Shofar is blown to warn the people to turn back to God. says the Lord. confess their sins of omission and commission. eat of the fat. my faithless people. ‘This day is holy to the Lord your God. recite long prayers.’ All the people went away to eat. come home to me again. Only acknowledge your guilt. I will bring you back to the land of Israel. you wayward children. ‘Go. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice…Return home. Rosh Hashanah in Christ’s Day Rosh Hashanah in the time of Jesus was an elaborate and moving affair. and send portions to him who has nothing prepared.3 “O Israel. for I am your master. for the day is holy. Do not be grieved. ‘Be still. 9–12). who will guide you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:12-15 NLT). for I am merciful. drink of the sweet. It was considered a religious duty to hear the notes of the Shofar and to respond to its call to repentance. I will not be angry with you forever.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel to all the people. saying. and pray to God on Rosh Hashanah. Then he said to them. And I will give you shepherds after my own heart. Following the Morning Prayer. do not mourn or weep.’ So the Levites calmed all the people.
This is reflected in the holiday’s scripture reading (1 Sam. but for their family and friends. 19:1–6 on both days. The synagogue readings on Rosh Hashanah are: Gen. 31:2–20 on the second day. At the conclusion of the evening service. Apples are dipped in honey hoping for a sweet year. The devotion of those Hebrew mothers to their children has 60 . not only for themselves. The main theme on this day is that God is King and He rewards good. hoping that greatness will come to them in the coming year. They are encouraged to remember family. Portions of the Pentateuch are read that reflect these events. The observance and ceremony takes place in the synagogue. Rosh Hashanah has never been a festival for the home however the family celebrates with a festive meal. 22 and Jer. The Jewish people remember they are God’s chosen people.4 Another event that supposedly occurred on Rosh Hashanah was the birth of Samuel. May you be inscribed in the Book of Life and sealed unto the Day of Redemption. Rosh Hashanah is also considered to be a Day of Remembrance. Another rabbinical tradition claims that this was the day in which Hannah’s prayers were heard by God rather than the day of Samuel’s birth.Velda Stearns showing great respect for God’s word. Gen. friends and their Jewish heritage on this special day. The head of a fish (signifying the “head of the year”) may be served. the father chants a special blessing for the New Year. It is thought that Abraham offered Isaac on this day and that Joseph was released from prison on New Year’s Day. Sarah and Hannah were each blessed with a child after they seemed destined to be barren. 1:2–10). and Num. 1:1–2:10 on the first day. The pomegranate is often eaten in hopes that one’s merits increase in number to match its seed. As the family sits down to eat. it is customary to exchange the greeting: “May your name be inscribed in the book of life.5 The idea of motherhood is a central theme of this feast. Many Jewish people send holiday greeting cards that say. 21 and 1 Sam.” Bible Reading on Rosh Hashanah Many Bible verses are read on Rosh Hashanah since the rabbis’ claim that several biblical events happened on this day.
Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel
been an inspiration to the Jewish people through history. Even the love of God is compared to that of a mother caring for her children.
Jewish Traditions Concerning Rosh Hashanah
Much tradition surrounds Rosh Hashanah. It has also been associated with the day of creation and the birthday of the world. Jewish eschatology teaches that after six thousand years of human history, the Day of the Lord will occur on the Feast of Trumpets. When the Shofar sounds, the righteous (both dead and alive) will be resurrected. Jewish tradition teaches that God writes the names of those found completely righteous into the Book of Life and those found completely wicked in the Book of Death. The righteous will go to the coronation of the King, the Messiah, and then be united with the Messiah as His bride. Rosh Hashanah also points to a Day of Judgment (Yom haDin). Jewish tradition teaches that each person is reviewed by the heavenly court each year on Rosh Hashanah. God examines the life of each Jew for his good deeds for the past year. Each individual is judged according to his own actions (Psalm 9:7–8). Those found completely righteous are written in the Book of Life, but those found completely wicked are written in the Book of Death. Those who are not completely righteous or completely wicked await the Day of Atonement when their fate is sealed. According to the Talmud, the resurrection of the dead will occur on Rosh Hashanah. The Messiah will return and will establish His throne in Jerusalem and be King over all the earth in that day. The righteous will be invited to the coronation of the Messiah and be united as His bride.
Ten Days of Awe
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on the rock” (Psalm 27:5). Ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are commonly called Days of Awe or High Holy Days. This is a time of spiritual renewal and repentance to prepare for the Day of Atonement. Forty days prior to
Yom Kippur was time of spiritual preparation. Since the number forty is considered a period of testing, the Jewish people are tested to see if they will turn to God in repentance. This reminds them that Moses went up to Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments and stayed there for forty days in prayer and fasting. The Jews start the celebration of the fall holidays thirty days prior to the Feast of Trumpets, which falls on the first day of the seventh month. For thirty days the Shofar is blown every morning in the Synagogue to remind the people that the holy days are approaching, and that they should prepare themselves. Their preparation consists of confessing their sins and seeking forgiveness, and going back to fix mistakes made during the year.6 According to Jewish teaching all Jewish people pass before God during the Ten Days of Awe. They reflect and repent for sins committed the previous year, awaiting judgment on the Day of Atonement. The righteous people’s names are written in the Book of Life and the wicked are condemned. Those who are not fully righteous or fully wicked are given ten days to repent and escape judgment. The Days of Awe represent a coming Day of Trouble commonly called Jacob’s Trouble, which will come upon the earth prior to coming of the Messiah. “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it” (Jer. 30:7). It is often referred to as the Birth Pangs of the Messiah.
First and Last Shofar
Jewish Rabbis called the Shofar that was blown on Shavuot, the first Shofar, when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. This is an Old Testament picture showing the marriage between Yahweh and Israel. This marriage, between Israel and Yahweh, will be consummated when the Bridegroom returns at the end of this age. Rabbis believe the last Shofar is blown on the Feast of Trumpets. The last trumpet signifies the return of our Savior, Jesus Christ. “Let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into
Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel
bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies” (1 Cor. 15:51-53 NLT).
Theories Concerning Fulfillment
Since the trumpet points so graphically to the return of Christ, this feast may be fulfilled when the Messiah returns to earth. Many who study the feasts look forward to the return of Christ and feel that the Feast of Trumpets points to Christ’s return. The Feast of Trumpets warns Christians that Christ will soon return to Jerusalem. Whether you are Jew or Gentile, you can accept Christ as your personal Savior. Repent and turn from your sins and be ready to meet the Lord when He returns.
Chapter 7 - Study Questions
1. What day in the Jewish calendar did they celebrate the Feast of Trumpets (Lev. 23:23–25)? 2. How did God instruct the Israelites to observe this feast (Lev. 23:23-25)? 3. Why do you think God choose the trumpet to be associated with Rosh Hashanah? 4. Why did God promise Israel if they would repent and return to God (Jer. 3:14-16)? 5. What was King Josiah’s response when the book of the law was read to him (2 Chron. 34:18–21)? 6. How did God show His mercy to King Josiah after he restored worship to Israel (2 Chron. 34:26–28)? 7. When King Josiah read the scroll on Rosh Hashanah, how did the people respond (2 Chron. 34:29–32)? 8. What does Rosh Hashanah mean in Hebrew? 9. What does 1 Thess. 4:16-18 say regarding the return of Christ?
Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
Devotional Reading: Leviticus 16:1– 34 and Numbers 29:7–11
“Be careful to celebrate the Day of Atonement on the tenth day of that same month—nine days after the Festival of Trumpets. You must observe it as an official day for holy assembly, a day to deny yourselves and present special gifts to the Lord. Do no work during that entire day because it is the Day of Atonement, when offerings of purification are made for you, making you right with the Lord your God” (Lev. 23:27-28). he Day of Atonement is the most holy day in the Jewish calendar. It is observed on the tenth day of Tishri in late September or early October, nine days after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The common Jewish name for the Day of Atonement is Yom Kippur. The Hebrew name is Yom HaKippurim, which means the “day of covering.” It is often called The Great Fast. Acts 27:9 simply calls it “The Fast.” Atonement comes from the Hebrew word kaphar from which the name Yom Kippur was developed. Kaphar means to “appease or to cover over.” The sacrifices don’t remove sin, but simply covers the sin, so that God does not see it. They do not forgive sin. They never have. They only allow one to draw near to God and be accepted by Him. Atonement provided a covering for the sins of the people or “at–one–ment” with God.
“Now therefore, says the LORD, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, with mourning. So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger,
and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly’” (Joel 2:12–13, 15). Yom Kippur (Yome Ki-POOR) was the only day in the year the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the sins of Israel. This one sacrifice reconciled man and God by means of the blood sacrifice. In biblical times, the Day of Atonement was the most difficult and soul searching day of the year. It was set aside by God as a holy day, a day of fasting and a day of repentance. It was a day in which the Israelite people humbled themselves and confessed their sins individually and as a nation. It was a day of great sorrow when the people of Israel spent every waking hour in prayer and fasting. The people were required to honestly confess every sin, repent and trust in God for atonement for their past sins. Every year it was necessary to spend this day in the same manner. One of the central themes of Yom Kippur is holy living. The Hebrew word for holy is kadosh, which is used over eighty times in the book of Leviticus. It means to set apart or cut apart. God wanted His people to be a holy, separated people called out to serve Him. The Jews were not allowed to work on this day. God told them to rest seven times in the twenty–third chapter of Leviticus. According to this chapter, four things were necessary to meet the requirements for atonement. The people must attend a holy assembly, observe a Sabbath of rest, present an offering by fire, and spend the day in fasting and prayer. By the first century, the services at Herod’s Temple had far surpassed the rituals in the Hebrew Scriptures in terms of complexity. But the fundamental truth had not changed. It still has not changed. Only through the sacrificial shedding of innocent blood may forgiveness be procured. In Jesus’ day, the High Priest, after lengthy and painstaking ritual preparation undertaken for days before, performed the sacrifice and entered the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur just as his predecessors had done.1
Yom Kippur Service
Usually the temple service would begin at dawn, but on the Day of Atonement, pious Jews arrived while the Temple courts were still in darkness. A hush of anticipation filled the air as the high priest stepped forward, with the first rays of dawn, to initiate the day’s events.2
Chapter 8 – Day of Atonement Footnotes http://www.chosenpeople.com/main/article/the_high_holy_days_in_the_time_of_messiah.html. Mitch & Zhava Glaser, The Fall Feasts of Israel (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1987), 98.
What absolute. Before the veil (Lev. He then sprinkled blood before the Ark of the Covenant.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel The High Priest would leave his home a week before the holiday and live in the temple.5 Clem Clack. On the horns of the brazen altar (Lev. On the horns of the golden altar (Ex. utter awe must have transpired as the High Priest uttered God’s holy name! Seven–Fold Sprinkling of Blood On Yom Kippur the high priest offered a bull for himself and his family. 42. to mark the perfection of accomplished atonement:4 1. Then he would wash his hands and feet in a golden basin. The number “seven” implied that the atonement sacrifice was perfectly accepted. He memorized all the temple duties he must perform. Lastly. showing fellowship with God. On the mercy–seat (Lev. 30:10) 5. 4:17) 4. This was also the only day in the year that the High Priest uttered the name of God. 67 . He recited prayers of confession for himself and his family. but from other scriptures we learn that there were seven sprinklings on that great day. the lighting of the menorah and the burning of incense. he would put on his priestly clothes and go about the daily morning service. then take a bath. China: National Library of Australia. showing acceptance to God. He had to atone for his own sins before offering a sacrifice for the people. The blood that was left was poured out at the foot of the brazen altar (Lev. Kong. Then he took sprinkled the blood seven times on the east side of the mercy seat. In the morning. He sprinkled blood first on the veil which speaks of access to God’s presence. 16:14) 3. he sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat. 16:18 6. 1980). (Hong. including the morning’s sacrifice. He would stay up all night to prepare himself spiritually prior to the sacrifice. 16:14) 2. in the Holy of Holies. 4:18) The high priest once a year sprinkled blood on the altar in the Holy of Holies for the atonement of Israel.3 The high priest would lay aside his priestly robe and put on a simple white linen robe to minister in the Holy of Holies. God’s name was so holy that no one else would say His name. The directions for the Day of Atonement are given in the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus. 16:19) 7. Round about upon the altar (Lev. The Bible in Focus. Before the mercy–seat (Lev.
the Hebrew name for God or Jehovah. we have done wickedly! O Lord. The first goat. was sacrificed for the sins of the people. the false messiah or a type of Satan. When he opened the curtain and stepped out of the Holy of Holies. The juggler vein was cut. He reached down into the golden urn in which was two lots placed of the same shape. The High Priest’s prayer was similar to the prayer in ninth chapter of Daniel. bearing the iniquities of the people. according to all your righteousness I pray. the Hebrew name for the scapegoat. as it is this day––we have sinned. he was representing the people before God. who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand. This miracle reportedly did not happen for forty years before the destruction of the temple (about the time Christ was crucified).Velda Stearns When he went behind the veil. the people knew the offering was accepted by God. Sacrifice of Two Goats (Lev. the sacrificial goat. 16:8-26) When the second temple was in existence. 9:15–16a). or the removal of sins. According to tradition. and made Yourself a name. On one was written “La–Adonai “. After that they started pushing the scapegoat off a cliff. A rope was put on the scapegoat’s neck and it was led away into the wilderness. the scarlet cloth turned white when the blood was applied in the Holy of Holies. The high priest tied a piece of scarlet cloth to the horn of the scapegoat (Azazel ). Some Bible scholars believe “Azazel ” refers to an evil spirit. It was reported that on one occasion the scapegoat wandered back into Jerusalem. He cast lots to determine which goat would be the sacrificial goat and which goat would be the scapegoat. size and material. let your anger and your fury be turned away” (Dan. He selected and pulled out a cloth in his right hand and another one in his left hand. 68 . and the blood of the goat was poured out on at the base of the altar to provide atonement for the people’s sins. the High Priest selected two male goats to be sacrificed to the Lord. Their sins were forgiven for another year. “And now O Lord our God. On the other “La–Azazel ”.
The Jewish Temple was burned and Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70 by the Romans. It is believed that this light was used to light the other lights of the candelabra. and that cost could no longer be paid. and without an ephod. the destruction of the Temple did not come as a total surprise to the Jewish rabbis. Without the proper sacrifice. The scarlet cord tied to the door of the Temple on the Day of Atonement stopped turning white after the scapegoat had been cast over the precipice. “Open thy doors.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel Destruction of the Jewish Temple Foretold “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king. Afterwards shall the children of Israel return and seek the Lord their God.7 1. and without an image. there is no atonement for sin. According to Jewish tradition all four of these signs came to pass. But it is a substitute that we know to be inadequate. 11:1. 4. For if sacrifice was the cost of forgiveness. The rabbis saw this as an ominous fulfillment of Zech. 2. how could God’s forgiveness be obtained? Repentance. prayer and works of mercy became a substitute for sacrifice in Judaism. No sacrifice has been offered to God on Jewish altars since that time. The lot for Lord’s goat did not come up in the right hand of the high priest. and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days” (Hosea 3:4–5). After the destruction of the Second Temple in the year AD 70. and David their King. The Temple doors would open by themselves.6 It has been impossible to carry out the Levitical instructions on the Day of Atonement since the destruction of the temple. 69 . Those four events were to warn the rabbis of the Temple’s impending doom. The westernmost light on the Temple candelabra would not burn. and without a sacrifice. and without a prince. 3. the Talmud records that four ominous events occurred approximately forty years before the destruction of the Temple. In fact. Four Ominous Events According to the Talmud. and without teraphim. Judaism was faced with a crisis that would require it literally to remake itself.
maintains that sins between man and God are atoned for at Yom Kippur.about. Day of Atonement. This is a time to atone for sins between man and God. I. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice. actions. In Judaism. The Talmud.com/od/biblefeastsandholidays/p/dayofatonement. I will not be angry with you forever. I will bring you back to the land of Israel[_ one from this town and two from that family—from wherever you are scattered. have spoken! R eturn home. go and give this message to Israel. if you repent. come home to me again.8 According to Jewish tradition. Only acknowledge your guilt. relationships with others needed to be restored as well as one’s relationship with God.” says the Lord. This is what the Lord says: “O Israel. And I will give you shepherds after my own heart. you wayward children. and throughout the Old Testament. The gates of Mary Fairchild. However.” The opening of the doors to let in the consuming fire foretold the destruction of the Temple itself by fire. for I am merciful. there is a distinction between sins committed against God and sins committed against another person. that fire may devour thy cedars. my faithless people.Velda Stearns O Lebanon. he is required to make restitution to that individual and then offer a guilt offering to God. They recall each sin and go over them one by one. each person was judged on Rosh Hashanah and his fate was sealed on Yom Kippur. http://christianity. Jewish Traditions on Yom Kippur On this day Jewish people are required to examine their souls. and thoughts of every person whose name he has written there. Jewish tradition tells how God opens the Book of Life and studies the words. Admit that you rebelled against the Lord your God and committed adultery against him by worshiping idols under every green tree. 3:12-15). the Lord. “Therefore. If a person’s good deeds outweigh or outnumber their sinful acts. This theme is found in Jeremiah. On Yom Kipper. his or her name will remain inscribed in the book for another year. who will guide you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer. “for I am your master.htm 70 . you must seek reconciliation with any person you have wronged. Every waking hour is spent in prayer and introspection. When a person sins against another person. repent of sins and return to God. a book of Jewish tradition and Torah commentary.
Jews seldom drive. A new tradition among secular Israeli youth in the Holy Land is bicycle–riding and inline skating on the empty streets on the eve of Yom Kippur. wear white clothes symbolizing purity. Many people reduce their intake of caffeine prior to this day. According to Jewish traditions. several prohibitions are observed:9 • No eating and drinking • No bathing or washing • No wearing of leather shoes • No anointing oneself with perfumes or lotions • No sexual relations On Yom Kippur. for Israel is at rest and prayer. Stores and businesses are closed. The streets in Jerusalem are empty. It is a hearty meal that would sustain them. Drinking large quantities of water is helpful. and trust in God for atonement for past sins. It is similar to a shroud in which a person is buried. except for emergencies. a long white robe usually made of linen. Modern Day Observance Yom Kippur is a legal holiday in Israel.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel repentance remained open until the Day of Atonement. It is a garment of death to remind the people of the brevity of human life. It is the most difficult and soul searching day of the year. The airport is closed down. especially Orthodox Jews. Many Jews do not surf the Internet or watch television on this holy day. Jewish rabbis read from the Book of Jonah since Jonah is an 71 . There is no television or radio. It is considered impolite to eat in public. repent. This is a day of affliction and luxuries are to be avoided. High salty food is usually avoided. Jewish people are required to honestly confess every sin. There is no public transportation. when the final decree was issued by God and each person’s fate was sealed. Jewish people. Taxies and buses don’t run. Jewish men often wear a kittel. Some Jews wear sneakers on Yom Kippur because wearing leather shoes is considered a luxury. except for Arabs who drive cars. The last meal eaten before Yom Kippur is quite early to allow the people to get to the synagogue before sunset.
God established the Levitical Priesthood. it is a Day of Judgment where their future hangs in the balance. God is represented as the God of all nations in this book. They repent of their sins. and give charitable gifts to the poor to obtain God’s forgiveness for sins of the past year. the Messiah cast His shadow and pointed to a new and living way by the shedding of His blood on the cross. God gave the Jewish people a covenant and the fulfillment of it was the coming of the Messiah. All through the Old Testament. On one hand. but look at the substance. It refers to a person whose primary calling is to build a bridge between man and God. pregnant women. but the Old Covenant was obsolete. It was about to vanish away and be replaced by the New Covenant instituted by Christ. God chose one family. On the other hand. to be priest from generation to generation. our great High Priest. we no longer look at the shadow. The Latin word for priest is “pontifez” which means bridge builder. or the sick often abstain from fasting. where sacrifices were offered for the people’s sins on a daily basis. the ram’s horn (Shofar) is blown at the end of evening prayer services for the first time since Rosh Hashanah. say long prayers. Young children. Jews who do not regularly observe other holidays often make an exception on Yom Kippur. All the shadows of the Old Covenant point to the New Covenant. 72 . The Mosaic Covenant provided a covering for people’s sins through the sacrifice of animals. it was a day of joy and celebration for those who repent because their sins are forgiven. Inadequacy of the Levitical Priesthood In order to maintain fellowship between a holy God and sinful man. On Yom Kippur. The sacrifices of animals would build a bridge from God to man and cover man’s sins. Jewish worshippers reflect different moods on this holy day. The High Priest was God’s representative before the people and also the representative of the people before God. from the House of Aaron. growing old and ready to disappear. The tribe of Levi was assigned to be assistants or helpers to the priests. Now that Christ has come.Velda Stearns example of a wayward prophet who repented and turned to God.
set apart from sinners. the holy. those who come to God. Because of this oath. Jesus. a living sacrifice. Christ offered Himself as a sin offering. our great High Priest. blameless. as far as the East is from the West. Christ. exalted above the heavens. took off His kingly robe. He does not need to offer sacrifices day after day. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered Himself. offered one single sacrifice for our sins that completely cleanses those who receive salvation. Unlike the other high priest. our High Priest. put on the robe of humanity and became our merciful and faithful High Priest. first for his own sins. Only Christ. which came after the law. our High Priest is able to save completely. needed no ceremonial washing or priestly robe to wear. Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak. but the oath. 7:26–28 NIV). His sacrifice did not cover sin. The Greek word for “laid on Him” is the same word used when the High Priest leaned on the animal for sacrifice. entered the most Holy Place in heaven with His own blood as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. blameless. pure. the sinless one. but removed it forever. where our Lord offered as a sacrifice for sin. His authority is not based on His genealogy. when He offered Himself a living sacrifice for our sins. was found worthy to offer Himself for the sins of the world. who has been made perfect forever” (Heb. “ 73 . On the cross He shed His blood and prepared a way for our redemption. and then for the sins of the people.10 Christ. God laid on Him the iniquities of the entire world. He became the guarantee of a better covenant when God swore that Christ was a priest forever. He was perfect man and yet He was God.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel Christ’s Death – the Superior Sacrifice Such a high priest meets our need–one who is holy. appointed the Son. sinless son of God. He left the splendor of heaven. Through this one great sacrifice all other sacrifices are unnecessary. What right does He have to be High Priest? He didn’t come from the tribe of Levi or the House of Aaron. but in His person. A priest who was holy. Jesus. The blood of bulls and goats was a type of Christ’s blood that was shed on Calvary. He was from the tribe of Judah. Jesus became our High Priest. undefiled and separated from sin was the only one qualified to represent sinful people before God.
He took the blood and applied it on the mercy seat in the true tabernacle in heaven. our High Priest. priest and people. and mourn for him as for an only son. This one–time sacrifice reconciled man to God. The whole nation will be bowed down with universal grief––king. The sorrow and mourning the Jerusalem at that time will be even greater than the grievous mourning for the godly King Josiah who was killed in the valley of Megiddo. thus securing an eternal redemption. He said. and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer. Final Day of Atonement Then I will pour out the spirit of grace and prayer on all the people of Jerusalem. Jesus Christ. On the final Day of Atonement. That same day He reappeared to the disciples and told doubting Thomas to touch His nailed scared hands. then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands. 12:10–13. a Fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and uncleanness” (Zech. how much more with the blood of Christ. Jesus offered His blood on the brazen altar. His blood was poured out for you and for me. At that time a Fountain will be opened to the people of Israel and Jerusalem. not of this creation) He entered once for all into the holy places. Yom Kippur portrays the future conversion of Israel. All of Israel will weep in profound sorrow. 13:1 LB). not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of His own blood.11 On the cross. sanctify for the purification of the flesh.Velda Stearns But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come. who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God. We can know that our sins are forgiven and our names are written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. prophet. “Touch me not” which really means ‘do not cling to me’ for I am not yet ascended to My Father and your Father. sits at the right hand of God making intercession for us. purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. When Jesus meet Mary Magdalene after the resurrection. We can now come boldly into the throne room of grace to find mercy in our time of need. God sent His Son over 1. and they will look on him they pierced.900 years ago as a permanent sacrifice for the sins of the world. deliverance and salvation will come to the nation “ 74 . For if the blood of goats and bulls. and grieve bitterly for him as for an oldest child who died. that is.
Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel of Israel. The Messiah. not just atoned for. Their eyes will be opened and they will recognize their Messiah. the coming Deliverer. They will see the One whom they have pierced and intense mourning will take place. Jewish doctrine teaches that on this day the Messiah will set up His earthly kingdom. This deliverance of the nation will be followed by the blowing of the heavenly trumpet. will come to live and rule in Jerusalem. so Israel will look at the Messiah’s pierced hands and feet. their long awaited Messiah and their sins will be forgiven. They will realize that Yeshua is their long–awaited Messiah. Both Jews and Christians look forward to the soon return of the Messiah. The final Day of Atonement will come at the end of this age. Just as doubting Thomas became believing Thomas when He saw our Lord’s wounds. The Day of Atonement has a prophetic element that looks forward to a time when Israel will be delivered from all their enemies and saved as a nation. They will accept Yeshua. 75 .
What does Is. What did the High Priest confess over the head of the live goat (Lev. Explain who Christ is the Mediator of a new covenant (Heb. 53:5–6 say regarding Christ’s sacrifice for sinners? 9. 17:11)? 5. How does a person afflict his soul according to Is. 23:26-27)? 2. How far will God remove our sins (Psalm 103:12)? 8.Velda Stearns Chapter 8 Study Questions 1. 16:21)? 6. How did Christ’s death fulfill the purpose of the Day of Atonement (Heb. What day were they instructed to observe the Day of Atonement (Lev. What is the only scriptural basis for atonement (Lev. How were they to observe Yom Kippur (Lev. 58:5? 3. What does Heb. 9:11–14)? 10. 9:15)? 11. 10:4 say regarding the blood of bulls and goats? 7. What is the most meaningful aspect of the Day of Atonement? 76 . 23:32)? 4.
A sense of anticipation filled the air. This seventh feast was celebrated in the seventh month and lasted seven days. two weeks after the Feast of Trumpets and five days after the awesome Day of Atonement. This time of repentance was followed by Sukkot. It was the final feast that came at the conclusion of the autumn harvest after all the crops had been gathered in. because the most joyful season of the year had arrived. Begin celebrating the Festival of Shelters on the fifteenth day of the appointed month—five days after the Day of Atonement. and is sometimes referred to as Succoth. The people could relax and enjoy the festival for this week–long celebration. which brought a renewed relationship with God. This festival to the Lord will last for seven days” (Lev. T he seventh and final feast God instructed the Children of Israel to celebrate is a biblical pilgrimage festival called the Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Booths. Solomon’s Temple Dedicated on Sukkot After Solomon completed the temple in Jerusalem. 23:33-34). The Israelites had gone through a season of repentance and soul searching. he waited until the next year at Tabernacles to dedicate it. Sukkot always begins on a full moon in the middle of the month from Tishri 15–21. During biblical times. Chapter 9 Devotional Reading: Leviticus 23:39– 44 and Psalm 113–118 Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot or Booths) The Lord said to Moses. The celebration began on 77 . a season of celebration. “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. It is celebrated in the fall of the year. The Hebrew name for Tabernacles is Sukkot (Soo-KOTE or SOO-kote). Jewish men were required to journey to Jerusalem to celebrate this feast for seven days.
But from Nehemiah’s day on. when there would be a general assembly of the people in Jerusalem. and gave them drink in abundance like the depth. He also brought streams out of the rock. May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place? May you hear the humble and earnest request from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place? Yes. and when you hear forgive” (1 King 8:27–30 NLT). Occasionally. even the highest heavens cannot contain you. “But will God really live on earth? Why.1 All the Israelites gathered to celebrate the dedication of the Temple. May you watch over this Temple night and day. several neighbors will join 78 . My name will be there. the festival was celebrated at the Second Temple. In the daytime also He led them with the cloud. That was also a Jubilee year. How much less this Temple I have built! Nevertheless. and caused waters to run down like rivers” (Psalm 78:12–16). this place where you have said. hear us from heaven where you live. On this special day. Modern Day Observance Today devout Jews build a little shelter (sukkot) outside their houses and worship in them to celebrate this feast. O Lord my God. Neh. He said. the children of Israel had not built the huts of Sukkot.Velda Stearns the eighth of Tishri––to allow seven days for the dedication and seven for Sukkot. Often it is built against the house in the back yard with half of one wall being the door. and all the night with a light of fire. Whether Sukkot was regularly celebrated during the period of the First Temple is not clear. Apparently Solomon intentionally scheduled the dedication of the temple to coincide with the Feast of Tabernacles held in the seventh month. and He made the waters stand up like a heap. “Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers… He divided the sea and caused them to pass through. After the return from Babylon. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you today. leaving only two walls to construct. listen to my prayer and my plea. 8:17 said that from the days of Joshua’s crowning into the land of Israel until his own day. He split the rocks in the wilderness. so it was especially appropriate. King Solomon prayed to God.2 This feast reminded the children of Israel of God’s protection when they journeyed from Egypt to Canaan.
As the procession came to the Water Gate on the side of the inner temple court. the priests would march around the altar with the water container while the temple choir sang the Hallel (Psalm 113 to 118). Meals are usually eaten in the sukkot (booth). carrying palm branches. through which the righteous shall enter. they chant. Most important. It was regarded as a prophetic symbol of the Messiah. or other objects related to the fall harvest. This is the day the LORD has made. The Jewish people look forward to this season because it is a time of renewing old friendships and visiting with neighbors and friends. Once built. who would come and pour water upon the desert and the parched ground. with a unique ritual. We will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:20–24).” At the temple while onlookers watched. 79 . which are a symbol of peace.4 “ This is the gate of the LORD. It is marvelous in our eyes. to the Hebrews it was a symbol of the Messiah pouring the Holy Spirit upon them. “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. a Jewish tradition called Hoshanna Rabbah was instituted on the seventh day of Tabernacles. it is usually decorated with fruits and vegetables (plastic or real). In prayer. bowing up and down from their waist.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel together and build a neighborhood sukkot. for You have answered me. 12:3. the Messiah. praising God with their entire body. three trumpet blasts were made to mark the joy of the occasion and the people recited Is. I will praise You. The literal meaning of the Pool of Siloam is “the pool of the One who will be sent”– that is.3 In this ceremony a golden container filled with water from the Pool of Siloam was carried in a procession by the High Priest back to the temple. And have become my salvation. Many Jewish people visit the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem at Tabernacles. This was the LORD’S doing. and other symbolic autumn fruits. The High Priest would go down to the Pool of Siloam where fresh water was brought into Jerusalem by means of a canal system. Jewish Tradition on the Last Day of Tabernacles A few centuries before Christ. The children especially enjoy the festival since they are able to sleep outdoors and spend extra time with family and friends. The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
The use of the water symbolized the blessing of adequate rainfall for crops. because Jesus was not yet glorified. It is thought Yeshua may have been born in the fall rather than the winter. Come and drink!”5 The water was offered in sacrifice to God at the time of the morning sacrifice. which is the winter solstice. Elizabeth. He who believes in Me. Zechariah. as the scripture has said. It was at this moment that Jesus stepped out from the crowd and shouted: “If anyone thirsts. Jesus responded. As the people prayed for Him to come and pour out His Spirit. The living water Jesus spoke about was the Holy Spirit. a pagan holiday was celebrated on December 25th. Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months. That day the prophetic ritual of the “pool of the One who will be sent” was fulfilled! This was Jesus’ greatest and boldest claim to being the Messiah. since John’s father. Jesus. during the month of Tishri. “Here I am. Yeshua was born six months later. the same month of the Feast of Tabernacles. Saturnalia. Jesus used this event as an object lesson and opportunity to make a very public invitation on the last day of the feast of His people to accept Him as the living water. In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. 80 . Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would conceive and give birth to a son. December 25th may have been selected to coincide with the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah.6 Theory Regarding Tabernacles The birthday of Jesus Christ has been celebrated in December since the fourth century. If John the Baptist was born on Passover. possibly until the birth of John the Baptist. which had not yet been given. and to call Him.Velda Stearns Christ Acknowledged His Divinity On the last day of the feast. became pregnant shortly afterward. Zechariah’s wife. the crowds fell silent and prayed for the Messiah to come and pour His Spirit upon them. was performing temple duties when the angel appeared to him and prophesied the birth of John. out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37). Scholars have calculated that John the Baptist was likely born on Passover based on the schedule that the priests served in the Temple. let him come to Me and drink.
Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel
Another reason to believe that Yeshua was born on the Feast of Tabernacles is because there was no room in the inn when Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem. Jewish men were required to appear before the Lord in Jerusalem (Deut. 16:16). Many Jews traveled to Jerusalem to appear before the Lord. The surrounding area would likely be very crowded, thus no room in the inn. We also know that shepherds were watching their flocks in the fields when Yeshua was born. The flocks around Bethlehem were normally brought into a sheepfold or corral during the winter (approximately November through February).7 It stands to reason that the weather was still warm enough to keep the flocks in the fields when Joseph and Mary arrived.
Tabernacle of David to be Rebuilt
King David! And the royal descendants will be like God, like the angel of the Lord who goes before them” (Zech. 12:8 NLT)! God’s promised that a prophet would arise, and rule over David’s kingdom. Gabriel told Mary that God would give her a son who would be called the Son of the Most High (Luke 1:30–33). He would be given the throne of His father David; and reign over a kingdom that will never end. God made a covenant with King David, promising that one of David’s descendants would dwell on his throne forever: “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son…and your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:12–16). Amos, the Old Testament prophet prophesied that the tabernacle of David would be rebuilt. “I will raise up the tabernacle of David, the fallen hut or booth (Sukkot) and close up its breaches, and I will raise up its ruins, and I will build it up as in the day of Old” (Amos 9:11). Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would sit on the throne of David and establish it forever. He is coming to rule over the throne of David.
weakest among them will be as mighty as
“On that day the Lord
will defend the people of Jerusalem; the
This will be a literal throne. He will literally rule over the House of Jacob in a world–wide rule that will never come to an end. The Lord of heaven’s armies will mount his throne in Zion and rule gloriously in Jerusalem, in the sight of all the elders of his people.
Christ Will Tabernacle with Man
“Shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you. Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day, and they too, will be my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty sent me to you. The land of Judah will be the Lord’s inheritance in the holy land and he will once again choose Jerusalem to be his own city”(Zech. 2:10–12 NLT). This scripture points to a future time when Yeshua will return to earth to set up His earthly kingdom in Jerusalem. The Old Testament prophets clearly revealed that the coming Kingdom would be a magnificent age. The prophet Zechariah has a great deal to say regarding how people will celebrate this feast in the coming age. The Messiah is coming to live on earth. Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day. This feast was formerly just for the Jewish people. When the Messiah returns to earth, people from all over the world, will celebrate this feast in Jerusalem and worship the Messiah. God is determined to set His king upon the throne on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. His kingdom will be world–wide in scope. He will be given the nations for His inheritance and the uttermost part of the earth for His possession. King Jesus will rule from sea to sea and from the River Euphrates to the ends of the earth. Kings will bow down before Him and all men will serve Him. Psalm 72 reveals the glorious Messianic Kingdom that Christ will soon establish. Righteousness will be the plank in His platform. His name will endure forever. All nations will be blessed through Him. The scope or range of His government will be world–wide. All nations will be subject to His rule, and the uttermost parts of the earth shall be possessed by Him. The whole world will be filled with His glory. There will be such glory that the brightness of the sun and moon will seem to fade away. When Jesus Christ, the Messiah, returns His Divine glory will be fully manifested. He will come as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah,
Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel
instead of the gentle Lamb. Instead of humiliation and shame, He will be clothed in honor and royal majesty. Our Lord will be King of kings and Lord of lords over the entire world. He will reign in power and majesty. What a day that will be!
Messiah to Rule from Jerusalem
of all—the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. us go up to the mountain of the
“In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest
People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem” (Micah 4:1-2 NLT). The Messiah will establish His earthly kingdom and rule from Jerusalem for a thousand years. He will be given dominion, glory and a kingdom that all peoples, nations, and languages will serve Him. His reign will be an everlasting dominion, which will never pass away. Zechariah foretold: “In the end, the enemies of Jerusalem who survive the plague will go up to Jerusalem each year to worship the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and to celebrate the Festival of Shelters. Any nation in the world that refuses to come to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will have no rain” (Zech. 14:16-17). Isaiah prophesied: “In Jerusalem, the Lord Almighty will spread a wonderful feast for everyone around the world. It will be a delicious feast of good food, with clear, well–aged wine and choice beef. In that day he will remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of defeat that hangs over the earth. He will shallow up death forever! The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears. He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. The Lord has spoken” (Is. 25:6–8 NLT).
Spiritual Application of Tabernacles
“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For
while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:1-6 NIV). For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move— and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, and our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.8
The Old Testament paints a beautiful picture of the Messiah. The spring feasts prophetically point to His first coming as suffering savior. The fall feasts point to His return as conquering king. The fall feasts are unique among the appointed times of the Lord. The lessons they teach form a natural progression of thought. The Feast of Trumpets teaches repentance, the Day of Atonement, redemption, and the Feast of Tabernacles, rejoicing.9 On the Feast of Trumpets, the sound of the rams’ horn calls upon each Jew to repent and confess his sins before his Maker. The Day of Atonement is that ominous day when peace is made with God. On the Feast of Tabernacles, Israel obeys God’s command to rejoice over the harvest and the goodness of God. It is necessary to pass through repentance in order to experience His joy.10 The coming kingdom will be a lot different than this present world. Everyone will have the knowledge of the Lord. Christ will be King over all the earth and reign in Jerusalem with His bride. Believers have many reasons to pray “Thy kingdom come.”
Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel
Chapter 9 - Study Question
1. Why did God instruct them to dwell in tents for seven days (Lev. 23:42–43)? 2. What happened as the priest ministered at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 8:10–11)? 3. What did they construct the booths out of in biblical times (Neh. 8:15–16)? 4. What does living water represent (John 7:37–39)? 5. The New Testament is in full agreement with Amos. What does Acts 15:16–17 say about the tabernacle of David? 6. What does Luke 1:30–33 say regarding the throne of David? 7. How will the nations respond to His reign (Psalm 72:8–12)? 8. Is. 33:22 tells of the Messiah’s reign. What three different roles will the Messiah fulfill? 9. What does Rev. 21:3 say regarding the tabernacle of God? 10. Share about a special time when God provided for your family in a supernatural manner.
Prayer is not mentioned–it wouldn’t be. Most of the Jews were still living in Persia (modern day Iran) even though King Cyrus had made a decree that the Jews could return to Jerusalem. because it was the ancient word for casting lots. but their exact nature is unknown. orphaned Jewish woman.1 This non–Levitical feast celebrated in biblical times tells the story of the survival of God’s people amidst hostility and threatened destruction during the fifth century before Christ. a beautiful. since God is omitted. Yet the heathen king Xerxes is mentioned 192 times as we are introduced into the court of 87 . In spite of the many references to casting lots in the Old Testament. after the seventy–year captivity. or some kind of dice. Haman cast a lot to determine what date to massacre the Jewish people. They could have been sticks of various lengths.000 Jews chose to return to their ancient homeland. There is not even a divine title or pronoun that refers to God. The practice of casting lots is mentioned seventy times in the Old Testament and seven times in the New Testament. The closest modern practice to casting lots is likely flipping a coin. This holiday is called Purim. less than 60. P Esther. A Remarkable Book The Book of Esther in one sense is the most remarkable in the Bible because the name of God is not mentioned in this book at all. flat stones like coins. However. nothing is known about the actual lots themselves. Devotional Reading: Esther chapters 1–10 Feast of Purim (Lots) Chapter 10 urim (POOR-im) commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia (modern day Iran) were saved from extermination through the heroism of Queen Esther.
the Great. Her name originates from Persian words for beautiful woman. In the third year of his reign. He entertained them for one hundred and eighty days with a sumptuous banquet.3 King Xerxes Exiles Vashti While the King Xerxes entertained his guests. his wife Queen Vashti also had a feast in the palace for the women. which indeed makes it most unusual. the last King of Babylon. before the invasion of the Medes and Persians. It is thought that he wanted to win their support for a military campaign to capture Greece and become the supreme ruler of the known world. Vashti. Cyrus. During Vashti’s father’s kingship. King Xerxes was the son of Darius I. gave the Jews permission to return to their ancient homeland. in the middle of all the killing and looting poor Vashti did not know her father had been killed. Xerxes’ kingdom was very extensive. the first Temple in Jerusalem. which is his title. He ruled over 127 provinces extending from India to Ethiopia. that night. and Belshazzar’s palace was looted. nor is there even a casual reference to it. His grandfather. Some translations refer to him as Ahasuerus. he brought in his princes and rulers from every part of his kingdom. But the king wanted 88 . she ran to her father’s quarters where she was captured by Darius who took pity on her and gave young Princess Vashti to his son Ahasuerus to marry. not his name.Velda Stearns this great monarch who ruled over all the then known world. invading hoards of Persians and Medes attacked. and drove the Jewish nation into exile. According to history her countenance equaled that of the definition of her name. inviting all his nobility. King of Persia King Xerxes was a mighty monarch who ruled the Persian Empire from 486 BC to 465 BC.2 Xerxes. The Book of Esther is never quoted in the New Testament. the Queen Queen Vashti was the daughter of Belshazzar. this makes Vashti the great–granddaughter of King Nebuchadnezzar who destroyed Solomon’s Temple. he was murdered.
The eunuch in charge of them then sent one of them each day to the king. who had intercourse with her and then sent her back to the eunuch. The king’s servants suggested they find young virgins to minister to him. 89 . Now Esther surpassed all women in beauty. This idea pleased Xerxes. Esther and Mordecai There was a Jewish man named Mordecai. and she joined the 400 virgins who were pampered for twelve months before they were considered ready for the king’s bed. since her beauty exceeded that of all other women.6 Xerxes loved Esther more than any other woman and made her queen in the seventh year of his reign. although he was deeply in love with her. He commanded her to appear at his banquet. The king decided to banish Vashti. When her father and mother died. If Esther could easily hide the fact that she was a Jew. meaning Star. But because the laws of Persia forbade their women to be seen by strangers. since Mordecai had instructed her to conceal her identity. we know she had assimilated into the Persian culture and lost much of her Jewish distinctiveness. and cousin of Mordecai. and from which he could select a new queen. he remembered Vashti and his decree against her. whose family was exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. Her Hebrew name was Hadassah. King Xerxes did not know that Esther was a Jew. wives would no longer want to respect their husbands when they heard about the queen’s arrogance towards the one who had power over all. so his servants searched throughout the kingdom for beautiful young women and prepared them to meet the king. One of them replied that her insult affected all Persians. she refused repeated summons from the king. She was taken to the house of Xerxes and became a part of the king’s harem.4 King Xerxes was so angry that he broke up the banquet and called the “Seven Persians” who interpreted their laws.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel to display her to his guests. She was the daughter of Abihail. Esther was a very lovely Jewish woman living in Persia. He sat daily in at the king’s gate.5 After Xerxes’ wrath subsided. Accusing the queen of disobedience. Mordecai adopted Esther and raised her as his own daughter. he asked how she should be punished.
The Amalekite kings were called Agag. since he sat in the king’s gate. The day of Esther was 550 years after the death of Agag. “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom.7 Wicked Haman Haman. If it pleases the king. including King Agag. a grandson of Esau. to bring it into the king’s treasuries. egotistical advisor to the king. and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who do the work. hated the Jews. he told Queen Esther. neither Haman the Agagite nor Mordecai the Benjamite had forgotten the tribal feud that still smoldered in their souls. The reason dated back hundreds of years when the Amalekites attacked the Hebrew people shortly after they left Egypt as mentioned in Exodus 17:8–16. let a decree be written that they be destroyed. Haman became very angry and plotted to destroy Mordecai. As expected God’s prophecy to extinguish the Amalekites and God’s promise to preserve the Jews prevailed (Gen. she would not have been able to hide her Jewish heritage.Velda Stearns If she had observed Jewish customs. an Agagite. God ordered Saul to destroy all the Amalekites. diet and celebrating the feasts of Israel. their laws are different from all other people. was an arrogant. This explained why Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman and why Haman viciously attempted to exterminate the Jewish race. 90 . such as dress. History Behind the Feud Haman. but he disobeyed. and they do not keep the king’s laws. the enemy of the Jews”(Esther 3:8–10). the villain in the story. Mordecai probably held an office at the palace. Haman requested King Xerxes to allow him to destroy all the Jews. When he heard two of the king’s doorkeepers planning to kill the king. 17:1–8). When Mordecai refused to bow before him. So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain. All the king’s servants were supposed to bow before him and pay him homage. the son of Hammedatha the Agagite. She informed the king what Mordecai had reported. The Amalekites traced their lineage back to Amalek. In spite of such a long passage of time.
neither eat nor drink for three days. So Haman had the gallows built. I perish!”(Esther 4:16) Esther knew that if she went into the inner court without being called by the king. and fast for me. both young and old. because on this day it was lawful to kill all the Jews. That very day. My maids and I will fast likewise. Haman could barely restrain himself. but you and your father’s house will perish. He planned a horrible slaughter. he tore his clothes. The king refused the money.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel Haman offered the king ten thousand talents of silver to massacre the Jews in his kingdom. but granted the request. Yet all these events paled in comparison to Mordecai’s failure to show Haman homage. When Mordecai learned what happened. When Queen Esther entered the inner court to the palace. Mordecai’s Message to Esther “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. night or day. He sent word to Esther of the impending danger and asked her to appeal to the king. on the thirteenth day of Adar (Esther 3:8–13). gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan. and if I perish. which is against the law. For if you remain completely silent at this time. He called for his friends and his wife and told them of his great wealth and how the king promoted him. Haman bragged about how he and the king had been invited to yet another banquet by Queen Esther. Haman’s wife and friends suggested that he build a gallows and hang Mordecai on it. She requested again that they attend another banquet the next day. And so I will go to the king. 91 . put on sackcloth and cried out with a loud and bitter cry. Esther’s Reply to Mordecai “Go. they dined with Esther. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”(Esther 4:13–14). she would perish unless the king held out the golden scepter. She requested that Haman and the king come to a banquet she had prepared. relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place. women and children. Haman sent couriers to all the provinces with permission to kill the Jews and to take their property. King Xerxes welcomed her.
The Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the 92 . Jewish Victory over their Enemies “On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them. “Who would do such a thing? “ Esther turned to Haman. and do so for Mordecai the Jew who stands in the king’s gate!” Queen Esther’s Banquet (Esther 7:1–10) The next day at the banquet for the king and Haman. Haman’s evil attempt at genocide failed. The king asked Haman. His officer came to the part about Mordecai reporting the plot to kill the king. take the robe and the horse. “This wicked Haman is our adversary and our enemy!” The king jumped to his feet. the opposite occurred. When Haman arrived in the palace the next day the king requested to see him. and let one of the king’s most noble princes lead him through the streets shouting before him.Velda Stearns King Xerxes Honors Mordecai That night when the king could not sleep. “Hurry. Xerxes realized that Mordecai had not been honored. ‘This is the way the king honors those who truly please him. the king demanded. he had the book of records read to him. Queen Esther revealed her Jewish heritage to the king in front of Haman. In anger. the king’s own horse. signaling his doom. in that the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them. His plot to destroy the Jews by casting lots had failed. “Give the man a royal robe. Haman told the king. Haman grew pale with fright. The king’s attendants covered Haman’s head. Haman was hanged on the very gallows he had built for Mordecai! Instead of the Jews of Persia being slaughtered. “What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?” Haman thought that the king was referring to him. pleading for his life.” The king thought that was a good idea. the Jews killed the ten sons of Haman at the citadel in Susa. He told Haman. She pleaded for her life and the lives of her people from annihilation. Instead of Mordecai being hung.
Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel
provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all people. And all the officials of the provinces…the governors, and all those doing the king’s work, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them. For Mordecai was great in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for this man Mordecai became increasingly prominent” (Esther 9:1b–4). A proclamation revoking Haman’s decree went out on the thirteenth day of Adar. The Jews were able to take vengeance on their enemies instead of being destroyed.
A Time of Rejoicing
“Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar 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” (Esther 9:20–22 NIV).
Modern Day Purim Celebration
Purim is a very joyous, fun filled two–day holiday of feasting, sending food to friends and giving gifts to the poor. Special prayers and portions of scripture in Esther are read in the synagogue. Purim is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, but this holiday is still celebrated as a feast of God’s deliverance. In Jewish synagogues today, it is customary to dress up in costumes like the characters in the story of Esther, and perform plays and hold beauty contests. Sometimes it is referred to as the Jewish Mardi Gras. Boisterous and uproarious merrymaking is enjoyed by adults and children alike. People often boo, hiss, or stomp your feet whenever the name of Haman is mentioned. The only miracle in the book of Esther is the providential control over events as God preserved the Jewish people. “Providence is the means by which God directs all things; animate and inanimate; seen
and unseen; good and evil toward a worthy purpose, which means His will must finally prevail.”8
Jesus Attended the Feast of Purim
There is little doubt that Purim was the Feast of the Jews to which the Savior went up to Jerusalem when He healed the man at the Pool of Bethesda. No other feast could have intervened between December and the Passover except that of the Dedication of the Temple (Purim).9 Purim and Hanukkah are the only two feasts outside of the Mosaic Law that are still celebrated today.
Today, more than ever before, it seems like the nations of the world are lining up against Israel. The Jewish people continue to press on in spite of all the centuries of persecution, in spite of Pharaoh, Hamon, Hitler and Ahmadinejad, who conspire to wipe them off the face of the earth. God’s Word is still true. “God’s Message, from the God who lights up the day with sun and brightens the night with moon and stars, who whips the ocean into a billowy froth, whose name is God-of-the-AngelArmies: If this ordered cosmos ever fell to pieces, fell into chaos before me”—God’s Decree—then and only then might Israel fall apart and disappear as a nation before me” (Jer. 31:35-36 MSG).
Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel
Chapter 10 - Study Questions
1. Do you see Christians assimilating into today’s culture? What is the effect? 2. How did Haman select a day for the execution of the Jews (Esther 3:7)? 3. What was unusual about the law of the Medes and Persians (Dan. 6:8, 15)? 4. Compare Mordecai’s concern for the Jews with Jesus’ concern for Jerusalem (Luke 19:41–44)? 5. Esther and her maidens fasted for three days, yet there is no mention of prayer or God. What are your thoughts about this? 6. 6. How do you think Haman felt as he led Mordecai, his worst enemy, through the streets? 7. Name some men in the 19th century who could be compared to Haman? 8. Why did the nobles help the Jews on the day they were scheduled for execution (Esther 9:3)? 9. How the providence of God is illustrated in the story of Esther?
Feast of Hanukkah
Festival of Lights
anukkah a Jewish festival, like Purim, that is not mentioned in the Torah. It is celebrated for eight days beginning on the 25th of Kislev (mid to late December). Since Hanukkah falls four days before the new moon (the darkest night of the month) and close to the winter solstice (the longest night of the year), it seems only natural that a key element of this holiday is light. In fact, one of its other names is the “Feast of Lights” along with “Feast of Dedication” and “Feast of the Maccabees”.1 The story of Hanukkah is recorded in the Apocryphal book of the Maccabees. Although not considered a part of scripture, the Apocrypha contains a great deal of historical value. Hanukkah is not, strictly speaking, a biblical event, but the historical evidence for it is better than the evidence for a December 25th date for the birth of Jesus. The New Testament mentions the Feast of Dedication that Jesus attended in Jerusalem. As a Jew, He celebrated this festival. In fact, He used this opportunity to again declare truth to the children of Israel. “It was now winter and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication. He was in the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon’s Colonnade. The people surrounded him and asked, ‘How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’ Jesus replied, ‘I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name’” (John 10:22–25, NLT).
History behind Hanukkah
“Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will and when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken up and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not among
his posterity nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be uprooted, even for others besides these” (Dan. 11:3-4). The story begins during the so–called silent years between the Old and New Testament. After the Greeks defeated the Persians, Alexander the Great, at the age of 20, became commander of the Greek army. In twelve brief years, the Greeks conquered the entire civilized world, without losing a battle. Alexander was thought to have wept because he had no more worlds to conquer. Alexander was a zealous and brilliant apostle of a new religion, Hellenism. He was completely convinced that Greek religion, Greek philosophy, and Greek culture were the only paths to true life. He was the “Apostle Paul of Hellenism.” Alexander may have died, but his religion continued to flourish, even in today’s philosophy.2 A Hellenist was one who spoke Greek, but was not ethically Greek. This expression was especially used of Jews who adopted the Greek language and to some extent Greek customs and culture. Alexander the Great spread Greek culture by conquering most of the known world. After 200 years of Greek rule, the Jewish people began to accept this culture, even speaking the Greek language. Perhaps this was preparing the way for the scriptures to be written in Greek, a more widely known language, than Hebrew. The glories of ancient Greece are long past, but the influence of Greek philosophy still effects our age. The Greek world–view glorified man and gave us gods, made in the image of man. Alexander the Great built vast highways and roads to all the provinces in his empire. These roads were used by missionaries as they traveled to preach the gospel. He never knew the world was being prepared for the coming of Jesus Christ and the spread of the gospel during the so called Silent Years between the Old and New Testament. After Alexander’s death, his kingdom was divided into four separate kingdoms. Israel was ruled by Ptolemies who collected taxes, but gave the Jews a great deal of freedom. Many Jews hoped for the eventual return of the Davidic Kingdom.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Wicked King
He (Alexander the Great) will be succeeded by a contemptible person who has not been given the honor of royalty. He will invade the kingdom
and he will seize it through intrigue. After the death of Alexander. 99 . The king of the South will wage war with a large and very powerful army. both it and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed.3 Antiochus fought against the Jewish people and anything that had to do with the covenant relationship between God and the Jews. He began to enforce Greek rule and tighten control over his empire. but decided to destroy their faith as well. he brought into the temple a foreign god of pleasure and wine. and threw them over the precipice (2 Maccabees 6:10). The ancient practice of circumcision was forbidden. he killed the babies and hung them around their mother’s neck and marched the women through the streets of Jerusalem to the highest wall. but he will not be able to stand because of the plots devised against him. The Jews in the city were forbidden to practice anything Jewish on penalty of death.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel when its people feel secure. he turned his fury on the Jews and ransacked Jerusalem. stealing the gold and silver furnishings from the Temple. 11:21. which means Antiochus the Madman. but his heart will be set against the holy covenant. a very wicked Greek King named Antiochus IV Epiphanes ruled from 175–163 BC. His name means Antiochus. When Antiochus heard about it. History records that there were two mothers who were determined to circumcise their baby boys. Many Jews hated this wicked Greek ruler and changed his name to Antiochus Epamanes. Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before him. He had Israel’s last legitimate High Priest. murdered and from then on the office was sold to the highest bidder. even burning every copy of the Torah he could find. Antiochus attacked Israel. He will take action against it and then return to his own country” (Dan. He wanted to substitute Greek worship and culture for the Jewish religion. He forbade the observance of the Sabbath and the reading of the scriptures. The persecutions which Antiochus launched against the Jews and their religion made him one of history’s monsters. 22. After trying to conquer the world and being stopped by the Roman armies. The king of the North will return to his own country with great wealth. God Manifest. Soon after taking power. 25. With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South. Instead of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. 28 NIV). with the money going to Antiochus. Antiochus was not satisfied killing the Jews. Onias III.
to meet death at men’s hands. with his own face on it.6 King Antiochus ordered his commissioners to stop the Jewish rebels. When one of the sons was dying. Mattathias overcome by righteous anger. including the family of Hashmon: Mattathias and his five sons. they met resistance. craftsmen. he sprinkled water in which pork had been boiled in the Holy of Holies. In 168 BC Antiochus again broke into the Temple. Then he erected a statue of Zeus in the Holy Place. The villagers assembled. They organized an armed force and started overthrowing the pagan altars and circumcising all the boys in Israel. Jewish historians called this act the “Abomination that Causes Desolation. he cried out. pulled out his sword and killed the man upon the altar. follow me!” He. no new life!” Antiochus’ Greek–Syrian soldiers went throughout the countryside. Eleazar and Jonathan. Shimon. Shepherds. This triggered the Maccabean Revolt. Josephus reported in The Essential Writings that the young king was 100 . farmers. converting it into a pagan worship center in honor of the Greek god Zeus (called Jupiter in Roman mythology). “Ours is the better choice. either to the right hand or to the left. and slaughtered pigs on the altar.” the only event in history so named.5 They hid in caves by day and fought against the Greek army at night. Instead of the blood of bulls and goats. thereby proclaiming to be God.”4 Another Jew came forward and offered to carry out the sacrificial ritual.Velda Stearns The seventh chapter of Second Maccabees tells the story of seven brothers who were burned to death for refusing to taste pig’s flesh. whereas for you there can be no resurrection. When the soldiers came to the village near the modern location of Israel’s main airport. yet relying on God’s promise that we shall be raised up by Him. Because it rendered the Temple unfit for worshiping God. his sons and their supporters fled to the hill country where they became guerrilla fighters. Matthias refused to kill the sacrificial pig and said “We will not obey the law of the king by departing from our worship. Johanan. and shopkeepers slipped away to join them. Judas. “Whoever is for God. Then Mattathias and his sons turned on the commander and the soldiers and killed them all on the spot. Mattathias cried. setting up altars and holding official ceremonies which included the sacrifice of pigs.
The oil. but in their trust in the Lord. which means dedication.7 The Maccabees armed themselves and left the city. a Miracle of Light After the Maccabees were victorious. they entered the Temple. harps and cymbals. The men from heaven rained down arrows and thunderbolts on the enemy and completely confused the enemy. barely enough for one day. surrounding Maccabaeus and screening him with their own armor.9 The First Hanukkah.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel angry and collected an army of 100. Judas and his men humbled themselves and petitioned God to help them defeat their enemies. they faced the opposing army in battle. five magnificent men appeared from heaven on horses with golden bridles and put themselves at the head of the Jews. On the twenty–fifth of Chislev. at the same time of year and on 101 .000 cavalry and 32 elephants. They spent months tearing down the pagan altars and cleansing the Temple. not in their own valor alone. Hanukkah. and his men put on sackcloth and sprinkled dirt on their head and made supplications to God. Judas. which they had made. the leader of the Jewish army. The altar was dedicated. the Hammer Mattathias died during the first year of the revolt and was succeeded by his son. Judas Maccabaeus. They prostrated themselves before the altar and begged God for help against their enemies. became a festival of light and freedom. miraculously lasted for eight days. Twenty thousand five hundred infantry and six hundred cavalry were slaughtered. 20. to the sound of zithers. Oil for temple use had to be prepared according to Levitical standards. When it came time to light the great menorah only one small flask of consecrated oil could be found. Maccabee means hammer in Hebrew. The Jewish army put their chances of success and victory. in the year one hundred and forty– eight. they arose at dawn and offered a lawful sacrifice on the new altar of holocausts. At the first light of day.000 infantry.8 In the heat of battle. Judas Maccabaeus who became the leader of the Jewish army. saw that pigs had been sacrificed and a Greek god erected.
Universal Presence. the great Hallel. another candle is added to the menorah after sundown. In some ways Hanukkah resembles a Jewish version of Christmas festivities. Blessed are you.11 “Blessed are You. On each of the holiday’s eight nights. with his brothers and the whole assembly of Israel. Eternal one our God.Velda Stearns the same day on which the pagans had originally profaned it. There was no end to the rejoicing among the people and the reproach of the pagans was lifted from them. is sung. communion sacrifices and thanksgivings.10 Modern Day Celebration of Hanukkah Hanukkah is celebrated today by lighting a nine–branched menorah called the Hanukiah. meaning Rock of Ages and praises God for His power over the enemies of Israel. but by my Spirit says the Lord” (Zech. songs. is read and a special blessing for the miracle is recited. On each of the eight nights. Children look forward to lighting a new candle each night and the family joins together to sing traditional holiday songs. 102 .12 A lovely hymn. special foods. for eight days beginning on the twenty–fifth of the month Chislev. called the Shamash or helper. with rejoicing and gladness. Psalm 113 to 118. Thousands of menorahs can be seen in Jewish homes all over Israel. For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar. Judas. Eternal One our God. Candles. Universal Presence who worked miracles for our ancestors in ancient days at this time”. praising to the skies Him who had made them so successful. “Not by might or by power. who sanctifies us and gives us this path of kindling the light of Hanukkah. and children’s games are familiar aspect of both holidays. In Jewish Synagogues around the world this scripture is read on Hanukkah. is used to light the others. representing the eight day miracle of the Temple oil. called Maoz Tzur. the ninth candle. The whole people fell prostrate in adoration. Jews typically recite blessings during this ritual and display the menorah prominently in a window as a reminder to others of the miracle that inspired the holiday. 4:6). gifts are exchanged. The center candle (servant candle) is used to light an additional candle each night until a total of eight candles are lit. made it a law that the days of the dedication of the altar should be celebrated yearly at the proper season. joyfully offering holocausts.
5:14–16). each family places their candlestick in a window where it can be visible to the outside world. and latkes (crispy potato pancakes) served with applesauce. They also wanted an alternative for their children. such as doughnuts filled with jelly. but on a lamp stand. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket. Spiritual Applications of Hanukkah At Hanukkah. Elizabeth. but it is important for us to realize that our choices matter. “You are the light of the world. Would there have been a Jewish community to nurture Mary. Just as the Maccabees cleansed and dedicated the Jewish Temple. Hanukkah means “dedication”. sour cream and a variety of other toppings. Let your light so shine before men. and Hanukkah gifts tend to be smaller than their Christmas counterparts. believers need to dedicate their lives to God. and it gives light to all who are in the house.S. that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. however. Simeon and Anna if the Maccabees had not been faithful to defend Jewish life 160 years earlier? Only God knows. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Gifts are generally not exchanged with anyone else. These include many fried foods.13 A four–sided top called a dreidle is used to play a favorite children’s game which also teaches about the miracle of the Temple oil in the process. Many Jewish families have adopted the tradition of giving small gifts to their children to alleviate jealousy of non–Jewish friends who celebrate Christmas. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. which by all accounts is derived directly from Hanukkah’s proximity to Christmas––especially in the U. Traditional foods served are mostly related to oil as well.14 103 . Joseph. to help maintain Jewish identity and avoid assimilation. Zachariah.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel This gift giving tradition is a recent addition. Jesus tells His disciples to shine forth as a beacon in a dark world.
What miracle happened at Hanukkah.Study Questions 1. after the Jews cleansed the temple? 9. What is Hanukkah’s most important tradition? 10. What is another name for this feast? 5. Why does a woman always light the candle? 104 . Where is the story of Hanukkah recorded? 4. What time of the year did the Jews celebrate Hanukkah (John 10:22)? 2. What time in history did Hanukkah occur? 3. How were the Maccabees victorious when Antiochus’ army attacked them? 8. What Jewish priest and his sons resisted Antiochus? 7.Velda Stearns Chapter 11. What wicked king polluted the Jewish Temple and killed many Jews? 6.
105 . Even the lesser festivals of Purim and Hanukkah. burial and resurrection. This is the Lord. Some marked the beginning or the end of the agricultural year. except Yom Kippur. God dictated the dates and proper observance of these days to Moses while he was on Mount Sinai. buried on Unleavened Bread. both major and minor holidays. Then He sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. His death. were marked by thanksgiving and joyous feasting and all. and He will save us. while others commemorated historic events in the life of the nation. “ he seven biblical feasts that God commanded Moses and the children of Israel to celebrate help unlock the entire Bible. All. These four spring feasts clearly reveal God’s master plan of salvation. The feasts and festivals of the Jewish nation were scheduled at specific times in the annual calendar and they were both civil and religious in nature. We have waited for Him. The accuracy in which Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts at His first appearance is undeniable! They graphically describe His first coming. and resurrected on Firstfruits. 25:9). He was sacrificed on Passover. The twenty-third chapter of Leviticus gives complete details of these seven feasts. not mentioned in the Torah (but added later) speak of God’s continual desire to preserve His Chosen People for their prophetic destiny. this is our God. We have waited for Him. we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation” (Is. T Fulfillment of the Spring Feasts The Old Testament paints a beautiful picture of the Messiah. Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel Chapter 12 Behold. are still celebrated by the Jewish people today to some extent. The spring feasts prophetically point to His first coming as suffering Savior.
which help to understand the entire Bible. As we carefully analyze the seven appointed feasts in Leviticus 23. 106 . First.1 The religious pilgrimages from the various towns and cities to the Temple or to the Levitical cities scattered throughout the land became annual events.2 Dates to Celebrate the Seven Jewish Feasts • Passover (Pesach) is celebrated on the fourteen day of Nisan (March to April). • Firstfruits (Yom Ha Bikkurim is celebrated on Sunday following Passover (March to April). It helps to build up your faith as you see God’s master plan for the ages unfold.Velda Stearns Christians can find new understanding and depth to their walk by studying the Feasts of Israel. • Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) is celebrated six weeks after the Feast of Firstfruits. a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. In all the feasts and festivals the nation of Israel remembered its past and renewed its faith in the Lord who created and sustained His people.). we observe three significant facts. These are a shadow of the things that were to come. • Unleavened Bread (Hag haMatzah) is celebrated on the fifteenth day of Nisan (March to April). A Mere Shadow “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink. the New Testament clearly teaches that some of these feasts have already been prophetically fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ. however. is found in Christ” (Col. the reality. to Oct. it is quite evident that even though all of these feasts are prophetic in both the Old and New Testament. Second. there are still some that have not as yet been fulfilled. we observe that all of these holy days are frequently mentioned throughout the Old and New Testaments and they all have both symbolic and prophetic significance. Third. These yearly events may also have progressed from annual “pilgrimages” early in Israel’s history to “processionals” at the Temple or at the Levitical center in later times. or with regard to a religious festival. • Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) is celebrated on the first day of Tishri (Sept. 2:16–17 NIV).
Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel • Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is celebrated on the tenth day of Tishri (Sept. the Messiah will return to earth and live in the midst of His people. like the latter and former rain to the earth” (Hosea 6:3b). Yom Kippur. 5:17). and again in the latter. Passover. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. are acts one through four in God’s preparation for the divine drama of the Second Coming. The four feasts of the former rain. Inspired by the Holy Spirit. Through these seven festivals. we will enter into rest after six thousand years in a one–thousand–year time span known as the Millennium. Unleavened Bread. usually between September and October. to Oct. saying. so the next three festivals will help us calculate what lies ahead. God has given us a picture.3 Hosea meant that Jesus Christ. As the four feasts predicted what now lies in history. 107 . “He will come to us like the rain. he wrote of the Messiah.). The world as we know it will end!5 The Fall Feasts The three fall feasts. Rosh Hashanah. the Messiah. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matt. But the hands on God’s clock are moving swiftly. The prophet Hosea knew the seasons and rain cycles were a clear picture of things to come. of His plan for the future. The scriptures do not clearly state the time of the remaining feasts. in the fall of the year. and Sukkot occur in Tishri. would come twice–once in the former rains. The prophetic fulfillment of those feasts lies behind us. Two Sets of Holidays The two sets of holidays also coincide with the two annual seasons of rain. the latter rain comes in the fall.4 Christ Himself said. • Feast of Tabernacles (Booths) is celebrated for seven days. They point graphically to the days when Yeshua. God reveals His seven–thousand– year plan for humanity. but we can look at their historic significance and mention some possible views concerning their fulfillment. starting on the fifteenth day of Tishri. Spring brings the former rains. Just as God commands us to rest on the Sabbath after six days. Firstfruits and Pentecost. both in a simple seven–day week and the seven festivals.
He will establish a period of universal restoration. and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. Zechariah. 15:51–52). In Jerusalem today. The sound of the trumpet is clearly associated with Christ’s return. the prophet. in the twinkling of an eye. God promised to restore the kingdom to Israel. When the Messiah returns to earth. we shall not all sleep. I will put ” 108 . The New Testament teaches that Christ will soon return to the earth to catch His bride away. people pay a tremendous amount of money to be buried on the Mount of Olives. I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. revealed the exact spot where the Messiah will return. and the Messiah will return to earth.6 Jewish Eschatology teaches that the last trumpet will be blown on this day. Over and over again. the Day of the Lord will occur on the seventh day. which faces Jerusalem on the east” (Zech. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. that this feast may be fulfilled when He returns to earth. Future Fulfillment of Yom Kippur Then I will sprinkle clean water on you. both dead and living. and the dead will be raised imperishable.” The last Shofar is blown on Yom Teruah (a day of trumpet blasts) the Feast of Trumpets and the Feast that signifies the Lord’s return. The Shofar will sound on the Feast of Trumpets. for the trumpet will sound. The Rabbis call the Shofar that is blown on Pentecost the “first Shofar. will be resurrected and be united with the Messiah as His bride. “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives. 14:4). because they believe that the Messiah will return there.000 years (or six days) of human history. and you shall be clean. at the last trumpet. and all the righteous. I tell you a mystery. promised by both the Major and Minor Prophets.Velda Stearns Possible Fulfillment of Trumpets Jewish Rabbis believe that after 6. but we shall all be changed in a moment. the apostle said that the trumpet will announce the return of Christ: “Behold. Some Christians believe that since the trumpet points so graphically to the return of Christ. Paul.
so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced. The Lord has spoken!”(Is. He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. and turn to God in repentance. the Spirit of grace and of supplication. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers. occurs on the Day of Atonement. every family by itself. and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 13:1 NASB). and you will keep My judgments and do them. 12. 36:25–28). 25:8 NLT) Jewish tradition teaches that Yom HaPeduth. “For this is My blood of the new covenant. The nation will see the one whom they have pierced and intense mourning will take place. They will look to Him and be saved. He became a sacrifice of atonement through His precious blood. It points to a time when the Jewish people accept Yeshua. not just atoned for. their long awaited Messiah. 109 . the Day of Redemption. and they will mourn for Him. Their Messiah will come to live and rule from Jerusalem. Deliverance and salvation will come to the nation of Israel. redemption will come to the Jewish people. We are justified freely by His grace through the redemption of Jesus Christ. Christ Provided Salvation on the Cross Believers in Christ know that Jesus provided atonement by His shed blood on the cross of Calvary. In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves. and I will be your God” (Ez. The land will mourn. “The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes. for sin and for impurity” (Zech. “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 26:28). The final Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) portrays the future conversion of Israel as a nation. you shall be My people. as one mourns for an only son. 12:10. Their sins will be forgiven. This implies that on this day. Israel will be delivered from all their enemies and saved as a nation. Their eyes will be opened.
21:3). ”Behold. “May God be gracious to us and bless 110 . • Christ will fulfill Yom Kippur when Israel accepts Yeshua. He will establish His throne in Jerusalem and be king over all the earth in that day. Gentiles will Celebrate Tabernacles In the future kingdom. The land of Judah will be the Lord’s special possession in the holy land. and be their God” (Rev. their Messiah (Rom. • Christ fulfilled Firstfruits when He arose from the dead and became the Firstfruit. 5:7). too. 21:3). our Passover Lamb. (John 6:35). • Christ will fulfill Trumpets at His Second Coming (1 Thess. When the Messiah returns to earth. Christ is the bread of life. will be my people. which was formerly a feast just for Israel. 15:20) • Christ fulfilled Pentecost by sending the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1–4). 11:26). (1 Cor. I will live among you. These prophets consistently declared a righteous king. • Christ fulfilled Unleavened Bread.Velda Stearns Future Fulfillment of Tabernacles “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day. has been sacrificed (1 Cor. the tabernacle of God is with men and He will dwell with them and they shall be His people and God Himself shall be with them. Messiah Fulfills the Feasts of Israel • Christ. He will bring about a time of universal restoration. • Christ will fulfill Tabernacles when God dwells with man (Rev. and they. 4:16). The King of kings will rule and reign from Jerusalem and tabernacle with His people. from the House of David. would restore God’s Kingdom on earth. and he will once again choose Jerusalem to be his own city” (Zech. The Psalmist explains that someday all the nations of the world will worship Israel’s King and God. Gentiles will be required to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This was proclaimed through the holy prophets centuries ago. and you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies sent me to you. They will journey to Jerusalem in the fall of the year to worship the Messiah. 2:10-11 NLT).
Christ came to earth to fulfill the law.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel us and make his face shine on us— so that your ways may be known on earth. Kings will bow before Him and nations will serve Him. prophets and feasts that God instituted. There he will teach us his ways. They will be His people and He will be their God. may all the peoples praise you. and the uttermost parts of the earth shall be possessed by Him. 67:1-4 NIV) Promise of the Millennial Kingdom “In the last days. the salvation of the Jewish people and the Millennial Reign when Yeshua. Christ has already fulfilled the spring feasts and will fulfill the fall festivals at His Second Coming. May the nations be glad and sing for joy. Each feast shows a prophetic picture that only the Messiah can fulfill. The scope or range of His government will be worldwide. 111 . All nations will be subject to His rule. Distant lands will bring Him tribute. It will be raised above the other hills. to the house of Jacob’s God. 2:2-4 NLT). The three fall feasts have yet to be fulfilled.’ For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion. May the peoples praise you. They speak of the joy and fulfillment to be found in the presence of the Messiah! The themes of the fall feasts are especially meaningful to a believer in Jesus. your salvation among all nations. the Messiah tabernacles with man. God. his word will go out from Jerusalem” (Is. King Jesus will reign from sea to sea and to the ends of the earth. let us go up to the mountain of the Lord. They point to the Second Coming of Christ as conquering King. the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all—the most important place on earth. Conclusion The Jewish feasts point to Christ as Lord of time and Lord of eternity. God will tabernacle with man and dwell with them. Many nations will worship the Lord on that day. The feasts–and the entire Old Testament–are fulfilled in Christ. People from many nations will come and say. ‘Come. and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. and we will walk in his paths. for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth” (Ps.
everlasting. and indescribable–which the world cannot give or take away.Velda Stearns Every Jew and Gentile must turn to Christ. Our robes will be washed in the blood of the lamb. Our Messiah will soon reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. Be to our God forever and ever!’” (Rev. Thanksgiving and honor and power and might. “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb! All the angels will stand around the throne and worship God saying: ‘Blessing and glory and wisdom. 7:12). We will worship the Lord day and night in His holy temple.7 Someday the saints of all the ages will stand before God and Christ crying. Make Him your Lord today! 112 . accepting His atoning sacrifice at Calvary and receive Him in joy––unfathomable.
What does Isaiah 9:6–7 say regarding the Messianic kingdom? 7. How has this study expanded your understanding of God’s plan of salvation? 113 . What does Zechariah 2:10–11 say regarding the coming of the Messiah? 6. What does Zechariah 13:1 say regarding Israel’s cleansing from sin? 3.Fulfilling the Feasts of Israel Chapter 12 . Name three feasts Jewish men were required to celebrate in Jerusalem? 5. What Revelation 21:3 say regarding the tabernacle of God? 8. How many of the prophets from Moses on foretold of these events (Acts 3:24)? 2. What did Romans 11:26–27 say concerning Israel? 4.Study Questions 1.
The beginning of each Jewish year is based on the earth’s position in relationship to the sun. In biblical times. Passover is always celebrated on Nisan 14. A Jewish year consists of 354 days. years were identified according to historical 115 . The Jewish day begins in the evening at sunset and goes to the next evening at sunset. Every two or three years a 13th month is added to reconcile the seasons with the year. T. It came into general use in the tenth or eleventh century. 1:5). Shevat and Adar. while the secular calendar is based strictly on the solar calendar.2 The Jewish holidays are celebrated on the same day each year. but falls from the middle of March to the middle of April in the secular calendar. Kislev.1 The Jewish calendar is thought to begin with the day of creation of man according to Biblical chronology. there are seven years that have the 13th month. Ancient names such as Abib and Ziv have given way to the traditional month names of Nisan. It is necessary to consult a Jewish calendar in order to know exactly the day of the Jewish holiday. It begins at 6:00 p.m. but vary slightly with the secular calendar. Tishri. Elul. Passover now occurs in the Jewish month of Nisan. Tevet. The lunar aspect determines the length of the month. Each month begins on a new moon.Understanding the Jewish Calendar In order to comprehend the Jewish holy days. it is profitable to understand the Jewish calendar. Therefore. the following evening. In a 19 year cycle. in the evening and goes to 6:00 p. the names of the month have changed. Over the centuries. Chesvan. The natural day is from sunrise to sunrise and the civil day is from sunset to sunset. Av. Iyan. Sivan. “So the evening and morning were the first day” (Gen.m. This extra month is called Adar Sheni or Second Adar. with 12 months of 29 or 30 days. The solar aspect determines the length of the year. The Jewish calendar is based on aspects of both the lunar and solar calendars. The Jewish calendar does not count years since the birth of Christ.
The World Book Encyclopedia says that BC means “Before Christ” and AD means “Anno Domini” and is Latin for (In the year of our Lord). Tishri was adopted as the first month of the civil year which is in the fall of the year between September and October. Solomon had twelve deputies over Israel who provided for the king and his household. In a later reference. the President of the Sanhedrin officially declared the beginning of each new month (Rosh Chodesh). many Orthodox Jews will readily acknowledge that the seven “days” of creation are not necessarily 24-hour days (indeed. The Jewish tradition of counting years since the creation of the world began in Talmudic times and was adopted as the definitive Jewish method of dating after the Gregorian or secular calendar came into existence. However. which became known as the civil calendar. However. The Jewish year 5775 begins in the fall of AD 2014 and goes to the following fall. Some people believe that the ancient Jewish calendar was not a 30day month. The year number on the Jewish calendar represents the number of years since creation. as calculated by adding up the ages of people in the Bible back to the time of creation. A Gentile or a woman was not an acceptable witness.3 The Bible indicates there are 12 months each year. a concept rejected by the Jews. since some of the early patriarchs lived to be 800 or 900 years. each man for one month each year (1 Chron. The civil calendar has to do with civil celebrations and king’s birthdays. 8:3 said that the flood was on the earth for 150 days. Two people were required to witness the actual sighting of the new moon. This concept implies the acceptance of Jesus Christ as divine. a 24-hour day would be meaningless until the creation of the sun on the fourth “day”. Jewish Civil Calendar From Genesis 1 to Exodus 12 there was only one calendar.happenings–‘in the year King Uzziah died’. In ancient times. Gen. For example. it said that the water covered the earth for five months (30 x 5 = 150). 27:1-15). Tishri one is the Jewish New Year and thought to be the day of creation. 116 . it is important to note this date is not necessarily supposed to represent a scientific fact.
while Nisan one is the spiritual birthday of Israel. Both civil and religious calendars are used in the scripture and continue to the present time. By the time of Christ. the identification of the seventh month. The new calendar became known as the spiritual or sacred calendar. The first month of the sacred calendar is Abib (later changed to Nisan) and falls from the middle of March to the middle or April. Tishri one is thought to be the birthday of the world.Jewish Sacred Calendar In Exodus 12 God established another calendar starting in the spring of the year after the Exodus from Egypt. Tishri and especially Rosh Hashanah. The first month of the sacred is the seventh month of the civil calendar while the first month of the civil calendar is the seventh month of the sacred. Jewish Sacred Calendar 117 .established. as the beginning of the fiscal year was already well. In order to better understand the Old Testament it is helpful to learn the Jewish months. This calendar had to do with the celebration of the religious feasts. They are referred to over and over again in the scriptures.
Gregorian or Secular Calendar
The secular calendar is based strictly on the solar aspect. It takes the globe 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds to make a complete solar journey. Based on this, the Gregorian calendar or secular calendar was adopted in AD 1582 and is still used today. In order to reconcile the extra time, another day is added every fourth years. This day occurs on February 29 and became known as leap year. The World Book Encyclopedia says that BC means Before Christ and A.D. means Anno Domini and is Latin for (In the year of the Lord). This concept implies the acceptance of Jesus Christ as divine, a concept rejected by the Jews. The Jewish people, because of their aversion to counting time from the birth of Christ indicates the year before Christ as BCE (Before Common Era), and the years following His birth as CE (Common Era). This draws a distinction between the Jewish calendar and the Christian.4
Dates to Celebrate the Jewish Holidays
Jewish observances begin at sundown on the evening preceding the holiday. Feast of Passover Rosh Hashanah
2013: March 26-April 1 2013: September 5-6 2014: April 15-21 2015: April 4-10 2016: April 23-29 2017: April 11-17 2014: September 25-2 2015: September 14-15 2016: October 3-4 2017: September 21-22
2018: March 31-April 6 2018: September 9-10 2019: April 20-26 2020: April 9-15 Yom Kippur 2013: September 14 2014: September 18 2015: September 23 2016: October 12 2017: September 30 2018: September 19 2019: October 9 2020: October 3 2019: Sept. 30-Oct. 1 2020: September 18-19 Sukkot 2013: September 19-25 2014: October 9-15 2015: Sept. 28-Oct. 4 2016: October 17-23 2017: October 5-11 2018: September 24-30 2019: October 14-20 2020: October 3-9
New Moon Celebrations
“Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, at the full moon, on our solemn feast day. For this is a statute for Israel, A law of the God of Jacob” (Psalm 81:3-4). God instructed the people to celebrate the arrival of each month or new moon with the blowing of the trumpet. Each feast began with the blowing of the trumpet. As soon as the little silver of the new moon appeared, the trumpet was blown. In Biblical times, the trumpet was blown at all the festivals to celebrate the joyous days in the service of God. It resounded on the festival of the new moon as well as other festivals throughout the year. Each new moon began on a new month. The middle of the month was always a full moon. Two of the biggest feasts were held around the middle of the month, which was a full moon. This provided better light for the people to see by as they journeyed to Jerusalem. This was essential to the religious life of the Jewish people. God ordained certain days in the calendar to be holy days or feast days. The Israelites also sacrificed at the beginning of each new moon (Num. 28:11-15). Each new moon was a time of celebration in the ancient world. On this day, a feast was held by both the Israelites and Canaanites. The king would throw a party and people of importance would be invited. King Saul had a special dinner on the new moon and invited David and others to attend the celebration (1 Sam. 20:5).5 During the time of the temple, signal fires were set on the top of mountains allowing Jews in other areas to know the new moon had actually began. Fires were set from mountain top to mountain top across Israel to proclaim the new month. The Samaritans and others at times light fires several days before the new moon to bring confusion. Because of this a mathematical formula was developed by Rabbi Hillel II to scientifically determine the beginning of each month. This system has been changed slightly, but is still in use today.
Glossary of Jewish Terms
Abib Atonement Booths Afikomen CE Challah Chanukah Charoset Days of Awe Feast of Weeks Hanukkah Haggadah Hag haMatzah Hallel High Holy Days Holy of Holies Jubilee LaAdonai LaAzazel Maror Mashiach Matzah Mishnah Matzah Nisan Passover Pentecost Pesach Proselyte Rosh Chodesh Rosh Hashanah Changed to Nisan Yom Kippur Another name for Feast of Tabernacles Passover napkin Jewish term for Common Era (Same as AD) Special bread eaten on Sabbath Jewish name for Hanukkah Passover food 10 days between Trumpets and Atonement Celebrated in Sivan on Pentecost Festival of Lights Passover guide book Feast of Unleavened Bread A collection of Psalms 10 days from Trumpets to Yom Kippur Place where the HP offered the Atonement sacrifice Festival celebrated every 50 years God Demon god Bitter herbs Messiah (anointed one) Unleavened bread Early rabbinic material or Talmud Unleavened Bread Jewish month, formerly Abib First Jewish feast Celebrated 50 days after Passover Passover Lamb Convert to Judaism The first day of each month Jewish New Year – Feast of Trumpets
Sabbatical Year Seder Shabbaton Shacharit Shavuot Shekinah Shofar Sukkah Sukkot Talmud Torah Yeshua
Celebrated every seven years Passover meal Seven High Sabbaths Jewish Morning Service Day of Pentecost The indwelling presence of God Trumpet made from a ram’s horn Booth or covering Feast of Tabernacles Guidelines for Jews to live by Teaching or law Hebrew name for Jesus (salvation)
Sabbath Day Celebrations
“Now at last the heavens and earth were successful completed, with all that they contained. So on the seventh day, having finished his task, God ceased from the work he had been doing and God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he ceased this work of creation” (Gen. 2:1-3 LB). The word Sabbath came the Hebrew word Shabbat, meaning rest. It began in creation when God created the heavens and the earth and rested on the seventh day. God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it because on this day He rested from all His work. The Sabbath was intended to be a memorial of God’s creation. This day is considered by many Jews to be the most sacred and holy day in the Jewish calendar, even above the other holidays. God commanded the Israelites to observe the Sabbath day twelve different times in the Old Testament. The fourth commandment said, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8). God blessed the Sabbath and called it holy. The Jewish Sabbath begins each Friday evening at sunset and ends on Saturday evening at sunset. Friday, the day before the Sabbath, is a day of preparation for the Sabbath. The house is cleansed and food cooked because the “kindling of a fire” was forbidden on the Sabbath. In ancient times, the Jewish women would bake two loaves of bread on Friday for the entire week. These loaves were called challis. God rested on the seventh day, not because He was tired, but because He had completed creation in six days. The Sabbath was set aside as a perpetual covenant or sign between God and the Children of Israel forever, remembering that God created the heaven and earth in six days and rested on the seventh day. It is intended to be a memorial of God’s creation.
The Sabbath was given for man to rest and be restored physically and spiritually. and observers. baking. the creator of the world. and who stirs the sea into roaring waves. the Lord. 31:13-17 NLT). its wonders. and this is what he says: ‘I am as likely to reject my people Israel as I am to abolish the laws of nature! Just as the heavens cannot be measured and the foundations of the earth cannot be explored. and gathering wood. I. His name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. they were not allowed a day of rest. through the ages. anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. so I will not consider casting them away for the evil they have done. Certain types of work were prohibited on this day in the scriptures. for it is a holy day for you. He wanted man to worship Him on this special day each week. God wanted His people to rest and look forward to a new week. You have six days each week for your ordinary work. 31:35-37 NLT). You must keep the Sabbath day. The Sabbath Day was not given to the Jewish people until after the Exodus from Egypt. This one day permitted the Jewish people to focus their attention and worship on Jehovah. It is a day of exceeding beauty and holiness. “It is the Lord who provides the sun to light the day and the moon and stars to light the night. its reward. and harvesting. God wanted fellowship with man. This is a covenant obligation for all time. plowing. but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest. Mystics.The Sabbath was a precious gift given from God. rabbis. When they were slaves in Egypt. buying and selling. He wanted man to observe the Sabbath as a delight and not a burden. who makes you holy. Among these were cooking. It is given so you may know that I am the Lord. have written about its ethereal quality. kindling a flame. have spoken!” (Jer. carrying. It is a permanent sign of my covenant with the people of Israel” (Ex. 124 . What great joy and comfort a day of rest must have been to them! Sabbath celebration eclipses all Jewish holy days and feasts. a holy day dedicated to the Lord…The people of Israel must keep the Sabbath day by observing it from generation to generation. for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you from generation to generation.1 “Be careful to keep my Sabbath day. and its miracle. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death.
They did not walk in his statutes. He implies that He is Lord of the Sabbath. God gave his people the Sabbath to be a sign between them and God. but it foreshadows a time when the first day of the week will be observed in memory of the resurrection. The Sabbath falls on the last day of the week. and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem. the greatest event since creation. if they would observe the Sabbath Day. 27). Prior to the destruction of Solomon’s Temple and even until the time of the Second Temple. The house of Israel rebelled against Him in the wilderness. The city of Jerusalem 125 . so that they might know that He was the Lord who sanctifies them. Desecration of the Sabbath “And it shall be. says the Lord. 17:24–25. to bring no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day. then shall enter the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David. By His life Christ demonstrated showing love and compassion of the Sabbath and not just rules and regulations. If they had obeyed the laws. to do no work in it. 23:1-3 Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. 23:12 Ex. But if you will not heed Me to hallow the Sabbath day. and it shall not be quenched” (Jer. if you diligently heed Me. but hallow the Sabbath day.Names for the Sabbath A day of rest A lasting covenant A day of worship A day of holy convocation Ex. 19:30 Lev. God promised to bless them if they obeyed the Sabbath and that there would always be a king sitting on the throne of David. riding in chariots and on horses. God warned them that if they failed to keep the Sabbath that God would light a fire that would destroy the palaces of Jerusalem. they would have prospered. then I will kindle a fire in its gates. such as not carrying a burden when entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. the Sabbath Day was not carefully observed. 31:16-17 Lev.
Those under seventeen were sold into private bondage.) or a little more than half a mile. south. Josephus said that one million one hundred thousand men fell in the siege of Jerusalem by Titus. I. others into the provinces to be destroyed at the theaters by the sword and wild beasts. Herod’s Temple was built around 20 BC and was in existence during the time Christ walked on the earth. Even though the city of Jerusalem has changed hands many times and been leveled to the ground several times.000 cubits (3. west. the Lord. God promised His people will never be destroyed. This may have represented the distance between the ark of the Lord and the people. His name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.was burned and Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians on the 9th of Av in 586 BC.2 The destruction of the Jewish Temple was understood as God’s punishment for violating the covenant God made with Israel.000 cubits. Sabbath Day’s Journey “You shall measure from the wall of the city outward on the east. 35:5 Amp). and who stirs the sea into roaring waves. This day was declared a day of mourning in remembrance of the anniversary of the temple’s destruction Orthodox Jews and Messianic believers mourn for the Temple. and this is what he says: ‘I am as likely to reject my people Israel as I am to abolish the laws of nature! This is what the Lord says: “Just as the heavens cannot be measured and the foundations of the earth cannot be explored. 31:35-37 NLT). This shall belong to [the Levites] as [suburb] pasturelands for their cities” (Num. and ninety-seven thousand were captured in the whole war. Thousands of Jews were slaughtered. “It is the Lord who provides the sun to light the day and the moon and stars to light the night. it represents a very limited distance. 126 . In the book of Acts. so I will not consider casting them away for the evil they have done. the city being in the center. have spoken!” (Jer. of the rest some were sent to the Egyptian mines. Jerusalem was destroyed and this Temple was destroyed by the Romans on the 9th of Av in AD 70. The Jewish legislature established a Sabbath day journey to be 2.000 ft. the same day Solomon’s Temple was destroyed. This day was the saddest day in the Jewish calendar. and north side’s 2.
The Sabbatical Year was related to the land. for it is a year of rest for the land and the Sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you. The harvest was not to be harvested and the grape vines were untended.000 feet on the Sabbath. edited by Rabbi Judah. Any produce was 127 .3 “What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap. your male and female servants. Do not plant your fields or prune your vineyards during that year” (Lev. What an amazing scripture! God created the seventh day for man. There is a curse upon the earth as well as upon man. a code of Jewish conduct. Letting the land lie dormant for a year was obviously good for the soil. and then neither sow nor prune on the seventh year. In this year the land lay at rest. 25:2-4 NLT). your hired man. For six years you may plant your fields and prune your vineyards and harvest your crops. and it is by the sweat of man’s brow that he extracts bread from the soil. Anyone who wanted to go further than a Sabbath day journey could travel this distance before sundown on Friday and finish the last 3. The Sabbatical year was God’s way of protecting the land and the poor. nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. and the stranger who dwells with you.within the immediate vicinity of any locality. the land itself must observe a Sabbath rest before the Lord every seventh year. but the seventh year is for the land. Even the oxen were allowed to rest. They were to sow their fields and prune their vineyards for six years. but during the seventh year the land must have a Sabbath year of complete rest. for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land—all its produce shall be for food” (Leviticus 25:5-7). It is the Lord’s Sabbath. Sabbati Year “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. around three quarters of a mile. and all debts were cancelled. You might say it was God’s welfare system. When you have entered the land I am giving you. Many additional rules in keeping the Sabbath were added in the Mishnah. The seventh year was a year of rest for the land. in the 2nd century CE. It also gave rest to those who tilled the soil.
hired hands and strangers as well as for the livestock in the land. I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness. so God sent them into captivity for seventy years. the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. Aspects to the Sabbatical year a. 25:10–11). It was the breaking of the Sabbatical Year that sent Israel into captivity in Babylon for seventy years. seven times seven years. the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. Israel failed to keep seventy sabbatical years over a period of 490 years. God was teaching them to protect the land and provide for the poor. And this whole land shall be desolation and astonishment. d. servants. on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. The land and vineyards were to rest The voluntary crops could be used for food All debts were cancelled To release Hebrews bound to servitude Seventy Years of Desolation “Because you have not heard My words. and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years” (Jer. Year of Jubilee “You shall count seven Sabbaths of years for yourself. The keeping of the Sabbatical Year was also intended to deliver the people from covetousness and teach them to depend on God to provide for their needs. c. And you 128 .food for the farmer. God had promised enough in the sixth year to provide until the harvest of the eighth year. God kept a record of the years they did not give the land rest. b. just as He gave a double portion of manna in the wilderness. and the time of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be to you forty nine years. Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month.
they were required to observe this year.shall consecrate the fiftieth year. and is usually connected with the year of Jubilee. the fiftieth year was to be announced. Property purchased from Gentiles was not redeemable. and each of you shall return to his family. The Year of Jubilee was a special year in family renewal. A man who was bound to another as a slave or indentured servant was set free and returned to his own family. If they were not redeemed within a year. Houses and lands could also be redeemed in the Year of Jubilee. Gentile servants were permanent slaves. God told them to observe the year of Jubilee every fifty years. After the lapse of seven Sabbatical years (7 x 7 = 49 years). and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. the entire family was set free. they became the permanent possession of the previous owner. The soil was to enjoy a holy rest and man was freed from the labor of sowing and reaping in the year. reaping or gathering from the vine was allowed. nor gather the grapes of your untended vine”(Lev. The word Jubilee means a blast of a trumpet. These privileges did not extend to non–Hebrews. The land owned by Levites was exempted from this law. they could redeem their land at any time. If any members of his family were also bound. and each of you shall return to his possession. however. Once the Israelites were settled in the Promised Land. Four Aspects in the Year of Jubilee • Restore Rest to the Land No sowing.4 The Year of Jubilee favored the Hebrews. • Ancestral Possessions were Restored to the Original Owner 129 . The trumpet was blown throughout the land of Israel and the Year of Jubilee was initiated on the Day of Atonement. It shall be a Jubilee for you. Man was to live and enjoy the bounty provided by Jehovah in the sixth year. This year began with the blowing of the Ram’s Horn. That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you. 25:8–11). in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord.
25:23. • All Debts were Cancelled There was a remission of all debts in the Year of Jubilee. who gave him back his possessions and family. The land would revert back to the original land owner in the Year of Jubilee. 39-43). was to go out free with his children (Lev. All property in the fields and houses situated in villages or unwalled town. was to revert without payment to its original owner or his lawful heirs. This land could not be sold to anyone except in the case of poverty and then only for a prescribed number of years. was to Israel a Year of Jubilee. cancellation of all debts brought relief and gladness. but decreed that only foreigners could be slaves in Israel. a time of rejoicing and restitution. if they had been unable to redeem themselves or had not been redeemed by a Kinsman. but not a slave. It also gave freedom from labor in the field and represented a time of refreshing. God did not forbid slavery. and release of all slaves inspired much jubilation and celebration. in which families were reunited and lost homesteads were restored. • Restore Liberty to the Enslaved Every Israelite who had sold himself to one of his countrymen or to a foreigner settled in the land. Restoration of every man to his own possession brought great joy. counting from the time of their entrance into Canaan. In this year. 25:35. This year became a year of freedom and grace for all the poor. 29-30)).The land was divided by lots and God gave each tribe a certain section of land. He also gave each family a section of land. So marked was the 130 . (Lev. Thus every fiftieth year. The only exception was in the walled city. The Hebrew people were a called out people and belonged to the Lord. by giving them back their property and allowing the poor to freely pick from the fruit of the vine in someone else’s field. Jews could be a hired hand. every kind of oppression was to cease and every member of the covenant people finds his redeemer in the Lord. which the owner had to sell and which had not been redeemed.
special meals and allow some recreational and social activities. building. 131 . in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. special twisted bread for the Sabbath. The candles may be on the table. even orthodox Jews. the Jewish people became less strict in observance of this day. The candle-lighting ritual is a beautiful tradition–one that is handled down from mother to daughter. with close friends or in enjoyable activities. The Sabbath dinner is a very festive meal. In many homes one candle is lit for each person in the household. At least two candles are lit with the dual meaning of “to remember and to observe”. The candles are lit in traditional Jewish homes by the women shortly before sundown in the room where they will eat the evening meal. The table is decorated with a fine tablecloth. More liberal Jewish people celebrate the Sabbath with synagogue services. One of the loaves is cut or torn apart and shared with everyone at the table. Many Jewish families bake two loaves of bread called “Challah”. from generation to generation.wisdom. nice china and flowers. so manifold were the blessings of this divine institution! No wonder it was called a Jubilee!5 Present Day Celebrations of the Sabbath Observance of the Sabbath day has stood as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar for nearly twenty-four hundred years since the time of restoration. buying. refreshment and rejoicing. The Sabbath day is a day of rest. with a new economic way of life. Saturday afternoon is usually spent resting. It is symbolic of the double portion of manna collected before the Sabbath day while they wandered in the wilderness. It celebrates the birthday of the world and reminds them of deliverance from Egyptian bondage. selling and cooking are avoided. The Jewish people see two reasons to celebrate the Sabbath. In traditional Jewish communities activities such as driving. the mantle or another location. keep their stores open on the Sabbath. Candles add beauty and warmth to the holiday and welcome the Sabbath into a Jewish home. Many Jews. During the nineteenth century.
and she laughs without fear of the future. all the days of her life. “Shalom Aleichern” (Peace Be unto You) is sung as a welcoming and as an offer of hospitality to the angels who accompany us during Shabbat. They also protect them in the wings of unconditional love along the journey.6 Next. extolling her virtues and declaring his love and appreciation for her.7 The father stands to honor his wife and often recites Proverbs 31.Welcoming the Sabbath Once the candles have been lit. but you surpass them all!” (Prov. and not harm. Reciting or expressing a blessing from your heart over your children is a beautiful Shabbat tradition that can create lifelong memories. which is cut and distributed to each person at the table. the first of three to 132 . the Kabbalat Shabbat (Welcoming the Sabbath) service begins with the blessing of the children by the father. She is clothed with strength and dignity. “Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Spoken blessing have the power to inspire children to high realms. When she speaks. and she will greatly enrich his life. but it has again become an important part of the Shabbat celebration. There was a time when this custom had fallen into disuse. Shabbat shalom–a good and peaceful Shabbat–is wished to everyone present. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. He turns to each child and says: “May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh” or “May God make you like Rachel and Leah”. Some parents and grandparents compose their own blessing for their children acknowledging something they did that week or affirming a child’s special gifts. Her husband praises her: There are many virtuous and capable women in the world. Her children stand and bless her. her words are wise. 31:10-12. This is a perfect time to emphasize the strength and growth of character displayed in a child’s life. 25-29 NLT). She brings him good. Next comes two prayers: One is called the Kiddush and is said over a brimming cup of wine-a symbol of overflowing joy and bounty-and the second is said over the Challah. After this. a large meal. Parents bless their children and encourage them to follow examples of Biblical characters. the husband sings the “Woman of Valor” to his wife. and she gives instructions with kindness. After this. Her husband can trust her.
is consumed. When the last candle is extinguished the ceremony is ended with a hope that the Sabbath rest will encourage peace for the whole world. 133 . There is a short service. called Havdalah symbolizes farewell to this day and ushers in the new week.8 As the Sabbath closes. or studying the Torah. a special ceremony. The rest of the night is spent talking to family and friends. It is time for Havdalah when three stars appear in the night sky. All the lights are turned off leaving only one candle aglow. The greeting on the Sabbath is “Shabbat Shalom” which means have a Sabbath day of peace. and is often sung.be eaten on Shabbat.
Alfred J. Chapter 1 – Feast of Passover Footnotes 1. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing Co. 3. Chapter 4 – Feast of Firstfruits Footnotes http://www. 5. 214–215. 1965). 1999). Chapter 3 – Feast of Unleavened Bread Footnotes 1. Luke 2:41-49 NLT 9. New York. Ex. Dr.3htm#6 2. 135 . Sharon Kalman.layevangelism. (Middle Village. His Glory Revealed. 8. Armageddon. Crowell Publisher. John Hagee. 1997). The Spiritual Significance of the Feast of First Fruits. 102. B. 217. D. 4. (Toronto: Frontier Research Pub. Appointment with Destiny. 3. Crowell Publishers. 6:3-8 NLT) 2.com/qrference/chapter 3. 1965). 49. 9. 1. Halley’s Bible Handbook. The Jewish Book of Why. Halley. 1996 Plum Report. 99.D. (New York: Thomas Y. 7. 8. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub.. (New York: Crescent Books).. Ibid. 2. Norma Simon.C. 217. Grant R. Ibid. Kotatch. Jer. Lee Warren. 32:35-36 MSG 6. Kevorah Levinrad and Anita Hirsch: Celebrating the Jewish Holidays. 1961).. Jonathan David Publishers. Halley H. Passover. 4. 8. Norma Simon. Halley. Jeffrey.Endnotes Introduction Footnote 1. 219. Galatians 3:8–9 MSG. Passover. (New York: Thomas Y.
Merrill F. Resurrection. http:///ww. Hank Hanegraaff. 5. 2000). 64. 1999). 1 Cor. David Holt Boshart. Jeffrey. (Toronto: Frontier Research Pub.thewatchman.jerusalem. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.il/english/lior/shvut/svt. John Hagee. Ungers. 33. 2.shalomnyc. http://www. 1999). 1999. John Hagee. John Hagee. Neptune: Loizeaux Brothers. Word Publishing. 6.jewishaz. 357. 2. 136 .php 4.org/en/shavuot. http://www. (Chicago: Moody Press. (Nashville.il/english/lior/shvut/svt. 4. His Glory Revealed . Coulson Shepherd. John Hagee.. 101. 62. 3.muni.com/jewishnews/050520/wedding. http://www. Nelson’s Software Bible Dictionary. xiv. 1966). 6. 4. xiv. John Hagee.. 1999). 1986. 1977). Appointment with Destiny. Chapter 7 – Feast of Trumpets Footnotes 1. 1997). 9.org/feasts/shavous. His Glory Revealed .shtml. 5.christcenteredmall. His Glory Revealed. 2. Chapter 5 – Feast of Weeks Footnotes 1. 6. 1999). (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers. His Glory Revealed. Jewish Holy Days.shalomnyc./teaching/feasts/ firstfruits Grant R. Unger’s Bible Dictionary. Armageddon. www.html. Thomas Nelson Publishers. Ibid.htm. Ibid. 3.jerusalem. http://www. 5. 59.. Ibid. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub. Jr. 8.htm.muni. His Glory Revealed (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub.org/feasts/shavous.html Chapter 6 – Celebrating Pentecost Footnotes 1. 96. 11 MSG.3. http://www. 57. 7. 10:1–5.
http://en. 3.htm 9. 5. The MacArthur Study Bible (Nashville: Word Publishing. 98.chosenpeople. 8.wikipedia. Waskow.. http://christianity. 5. Mitch & Zhava Glaser. 485. 7.org/wiki/Yom_Kippur 10. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers. John MacArthur. A Prophetic Walk Through the Holy Land (Eugene.ahuva.chosenpeople.3.//biblicalholidays.com/main/article/the_high_holy_days_ in_the_time_of_messiah. 50. Hal Lindsey.com/ od/biblefeastsandholidays/p/dayofatonement. High Holidays: 10 Days of Repentance. 50. The Bible in Focus. html. The Fall Feasts of Israel (Chicago. 137 .about. 42. (Chicago: Moody Press. 1982). 3.–in–bible/7.Feast of tabernacles Footnotes 1.org/bibleref/meaning–of–Num. General Editor. Ibid.aspx 4. 1981). 1596. 5. China: National Library of Australia. Hal Lindsey. 1987). Mitch and Zhava Glaser. 1987). The Fall Feasts of Israel.html Mitch and Zhava Glaser. 1982). John MacArthur. 1980). 1983). The Fall Feasts of Israel . 4.com/fall_holidays. Illinois: Moody Press. Harvest House Publishers. 6. 2. Mary Fairchild. 105.html.htm Chapter 8 – Day of Atonement Footnotes 1. Ibid. (Chicago: Moody Press. MacArthur. 4. http://www. 90. Day of Atonement. MacArthur Study Bible. Clem Clack. Seasons of Our Joy (New York: Bantam Books.biblestudy. Arthur I. http. (Hong. 1997).com/ Static/High–Holidays. 1596. 49. 6. 2. http://www. 6.com/main/article/the_high_holy_days_ in_the_time_of_messiah. Ibid. http://www. Kong. 90. http://www. Hebrews 9:11–14 ESV Chapter 9. 11.
Magnuson. 1987). 1998).religionfacts. Josephus. http://www. php?note_id=202319906121. 545. 16.rapturealert. 3.Ibid. Vol.facebook. 16. Fuch. 4. J. John MacArthur’s Study Bible (Nashville: Thomas Nelson. 8.. 1997). 193. 8. Chapter 10 – Feast of Purim Footnotes 1. 5:1-5 MSG 9. 193. 2 Maccabees 10:27–38 (Garden City: Double Day & Co. Vernon McGee.htm. The Feast of Hanukkah. Ibid. 88. The Handwriting on the Wall.com/note. Alfred Edersheim. 193. JoAnn G. 7. 1982).asp. 544. Eerdmans Publishing Company. Israel’s Holy Days. 5. Jack Kelley. 2. 4. Maier. Dan. 710. In Type and Prophecy (Nepture: Loizeaux Brothers. Vernon McGee. 1992). 8.. 7. 138 . The Essential Writings. 1985).com/2006/121706hanukkah. History and Prophecy http://www.com/question/index?qid=20061111091944AA V8jBs. Chapter 11 – Feast of Hanukkah Footnotes 1. 682. David Jeremiah. Hanukkah (Chanukah): Festival of Lights. 165. 5. 2. The Jerusalem Bible. Vernon McGee. Its Ministry and Services. 332. http://www. Paul L. 7. Inc. The Jerusalem Bible. 2. 1961). 6. Ibid. (Nashville: Word Publishing. 1992). 3. http://answers. com/judaism/holidays/hanukkah. J. Ibid. (Grand Rapids: Wm. 2 Cor. Hanukkah: The Festival of Light Has Some Lessons for Christians. E. John MacArthur. (Garden City: Double Day & Co. 708. 1961). Ibid. (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications. The Temple.yahoo. Mitch and Zhava Glaser. 10. Ibid. 9. The Fall Feasts of Israel (Chicago: Moody Press. 6. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers. Thru the Bible with J.
139 . Chapter 12 – Fulfilling the Feasts Footnotes 1. Bonnie Saul Wilks.com/note. 5. (Chicago: Moody Press. http://www. A Gift of Time. xii. (Grand Rapids: William B. His Glory Revealed . Israel’s Holy Days. Thomas Nelson Publishers. Fuchs. 2. Ibid. Hanukkah (Chanukah): Festival of Lights.religionfacts. 9. 1991). http://www. Hanukkah: The Festival of Light Has Some Lessons for Christians. 13. 2005). Understanding the Jewish Calendar Footnotes Rabbi Karen I. 710. 6. Bible Software. John Hagee. Ibid.com/topics/hanukkah 12. 1985). Unger’s Bible Dictionary. Ibid.history.. Dan. Eerdmans Publishing Company. Its Ministry and Services.thewatchman. 182. 1992). (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers. xiv. 16–17.. Sabbath. John Hagee. JoAnn G. 2.htm. http://www. The Temple. 214. Mitch and Zhava Glaser. 1999). 4.org/en/shavout. Merrill F. (Neptune: Loizeaux Brothers. 149. 3.php 7. (Grand Prairie: Jacob’s Fountain Publishing. 10. viii.facebook. 1977). His Glory Revealed (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub. History of Hanukkah. 4. 2. (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary. www. 1. Ibid. 3. 1999). The Fall Feasts of Israel (Chicago: Moody Press. Alfred Edersheim. Sabbath Day Celebrations Footnotes 1. 14. Miller. xiv. 215. 214. Magnuson. Maccabees 4:52–60 11.Ibid. php?note_id=202319906121. Feasts and Festivals. 1986. com/judaism/holidays/hanukkah. 9. In Type and Prophecy. Unger. 1987). Fox & Phyllis Z. Seasons of Joy (New York: Preigee Books.
1981). Ibid. 8. 4.html. 1986. 17. Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nelson Illustrated Dictionary. Vernon McGee. 28. 2005. Sharon Kalman. Sabbath: A gift of Time. Vernon McGee. 1 (Thru the Bible Radio. J. Kevorah Levinrad and Anita Hirsch: Celebrating the Jewish Holidays. The Year of Jubilee. J. 17.org/egy/articles/savior/jubilee. 437. The Savior of the World Series. (Grand Prairie: Jacob’s Fountain Publishing. Preston Eby. http://www. 5. 7. Vol. 140 . (New York: Crescent Books). 6.3. Bonnie Saul Wilks.hisremnant. Thru the Bible with J.
XX A DIVISION OF THOMAS NELSON .SPIRITUALITY T he seven Jewish feasts. The seven feasts paint a beautiful picture of God’s plan of salvation through Christ. which God gave to ancient Israel.RELIGION . The Jewish people have celebrated these feasts. to remind of a special time in the history of Israel. Each feast is celebrated on the same day each year. I pray you will be greatly blessed as you read Fullling the Feasts of Israel.S. Understanding the significance of the feasts encourages believers to share the good news of salvation with the lost. It is unfortunate that Christians rarely celebrate the feasts or understand their significance. totally unaware they are rehearsing future events that point to the Messiah. They reveal a record of atonement in the Old Testament and point to redemption in the New Testament. His Son. for 3. while messianic believers call Him Yeshua. U. Christians refer to Him as Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ. help unlock the entire Bible. They point to the soon return of our Savior. They were not feasts as we think of them but were structured around the sacrificial altar to worship God. The feasts reveal God’s divine seven-thousand-year plan of salvation for mankind.500 years. in one form or another. and the glorious future reign of the Messiah. $XX.
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