Psalms 119:8 “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.“
One of those wondrous things to behold are the Feasts of the Lord given to the Nation of Israel in Leviticus 23. The 7 feasts are Prophetic in nature and lay out the first and second comings of Christ and all that is in between pertaining to Israel. The timing of these 7 feasts are based on the lunar calendar. Each of the feasts is a reminder of events in the Nation of Israel’s history and layout a prophetic timeline for Jesus, the Messiah.
God in his creation of our world established our events according to his time table, that is his calendar. Genesis 1:14. “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years“. (Just so you know, “the firmament”, is called “the expanse” in other versions, is in fact “the universe” and an interesting topic for another blog) God gave us in his creation all the makings for a calendar, sun, moon, stars, light, darkness, in order to establish signs, seasons, days, and years. The reasons we have 24 hour days, 29-30 day months (Hebrew calendar) and 30-31 day months + a leap year (Gregorian calendar).
This chart shows the difference between the Hebrew and Gregorian Calendars. The chart breaks months into seasons by color, also giving the days each month has according to the Hebrew month, and listing the Jewish holidays in each month. This will be discussed in further detail later.
The Hebrew calendar is different from the Gregorian calendar, established by Pope Gregory. The following Google search reveals this information: Gregorian calendar is internationally the most widely used civil calendar. It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582. It was a refinement to the Julian calendar involving an approximately 0.002% correction in the length of the calendar year. Calendars, are another story for another blog.
The cover photo gives the names of 7 major feasts, found in Leviticus 23, that are divided into Spring and Fall feasts. The 4 Spring feasts are listed in different months while the 3 Fall feasts are all listed in the 7th month, Tishri, (Hebrew) or September – October, (Gregorian).
However, Leviticus 23 has 8 feasts listed, the very first one, The Sabbath, (discussed latter). The Hebrew definitions, according to Strong’s dictionary, for the words signs, seasons, days, and years are more of those “wondrous things” God give us to behold. When we think of the seasons, we would think of our 4 seasons, winter, spring, summer, and fall. We would, however, be wrong in doing so.
Genesis 1:14. “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years“
Leviticus 23:2, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.”
Leviticus 23:4 “These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.”
These feasts are the Lord’s and were woven into the very fabric of Israel’s history. The Bible demonstrates their significance by explaining their message and God having the Israelites celebrate them every year. The words translated Feasts and Seasons in these 3 verses are actually the same Hebrew word “moed”. This word can also be translated appointed, assembly, time, congregation. Strong”s Dictionary says, “an appointment, i.e. a fixed time or season; specifically, a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand): — appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn(-ity), synogogue, (set) time (appointed).” Therefore, These feasts are “divine appointments” set up as “dress rehearsals” at the specific dates established on the Hebrew calendar.
The first feast mentioned in Leviticus 23 is the “Sabbath Feast”, but not recognized by bible scholars, as part of the 7 feasts, Leviticus 23:3 “Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.” However, the Sabbath is often part of the 7 feasts because it happens every Friday night at 6:00 PM to Saturday night at 6:00 PM,
The Sabbath is a special event to happening as noted above and is discussed beginning in Genesis 2: 2-3, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” However the word “sabbath” is translated 108 times and is first used in Exodus 16:23.
What does the Bible say about Keeping the Sabbath?
Keeping the Sabbath is a covenant arrangement with the nation of Israel given in the 10 Commandments, Exodus 20:8-11, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” While, the word “sabbath” was not used, but the description and definition is used in Genesis 2: 1-3. Adam and Eve may have very well know of God’s sabbath day rest. Genesis 2: 1-3, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made”.
It may be inconsistent to think that God would sanctify the seventh day without Adam and Eve not being aware of it and God not instructing Adam and Eve how to observe the day. It may be inconsistent to think that way, however, it can argued that from Adam to Moses that no one kept the sabbath day rest observance. This is a discussion for another time and an another blog. See the next blog on the feasts of Leviticus 23.