Zadok Priestly Calendar Insights

Zadok Priestly Calendar Insights

Our small ministry is focused on equipping the saints for service. We are not concerned so much about how many visitors we get or how many subscribers we rack up on social media. We believe that if just one person is inspired to grow in their faith and sow spiritual seeds on behalf of the Kingdom then Yah be praised!

During the past few months, we have seen an explosion in  Zadok Priestly calendar downloads from our website. Visitors from Croatia, Norway, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada, Ethiopia, New Zealand, France, the United States, and others, have downloaded this remarkable calendar. We see this as evidence that the Most High is opening the eyes of faith brothers and sisters around the world who want to understand more about the Kingdom of Heaven and YHWH’s appointed times.

With this in mind, we will share insights and methodologies into how we designed and constructed this calendar based on Scripture. Shoutouts to Alan Pisarek, Ken Heidebrecht, Gina Sparks, and Sarah Davis who contributed to our understanding of the Zadok Priestly Calendar.

First Things First – The Creation Week

The Genesis account of the creation week sets the parameters. We are told that the first 6 creation days were dedicated to work. Day 7 was set apart for a Sabbath rest by YHWH. The week is based on a 7-day count, if you will. (Genesis 1-2:3)

  • Day 1: Light is separated from darkness
  • Day 2: Firmament created to separate the waters
  • Day 3: Dry land appears, seas gathered, vegetation springs forth
  • Day 4: Luminaries are placed in the firmament for time-keeping (seasons, days, years) and to give light
  • Day 5: Birds and sea creatures created
  • Day 6: Animals, creeping things, and man are created
  • Day 7: YHWH’s work is finished and He proclaims a day of rest

So the creation event establishes the parameters of a week as 7 days in terms of timekeeping and introduces the luminaries — sun, moon, and stars — on Day 4.

And on the fourth day He created the sun and the moon and the stars, and placed them in the expanse of the shamayim, to give light upon all the earth, and to rule over the day and the night, and divide the light from the darkness. And Elohim appointed the sun to be a great sign on the earth for days and for Shabbathoth and for months and for Festivals and for years and for Shabbathoth of years and for Yobelim and for all seasons of the years. And it divides the light from the darkness for good, that all matters may thrive sprout and grow on the earth. These three kinds He made on the fourth day.

The Book of Yobelim/Jubilees 2:8-10 – Halleluyah Scriptures

It was on the fourth day that the luminaries’ roles were established and their courses set. The Hebrew word for course is machaloqeth (#H4256). It can mean a division, company, course, or portion. The Greek word is taxis (#G5021) and can be defined as a regular arrangement, a fixed succession (of rank or character), or order.

4, 7, 52, and 364

It is well established and documented in the Scriptures that our Creator is fond of sevens. The number seven appears over 700 times in the First Covenant (Old Testament) and Renewed Covenant (New Covenant) writings. The theme of ‘sevens’ is also evidenced in the Book of Jubilees, 1 Enoch, and other so-called Apocryphal and Pseudipigraphal material. Here are a few examples:

  1. The Creation week consisted of 7 days
  2. The Menorah has 7 branches
  3. There are 7 firmament layers
  4. 7 assemblies are mentioned in Revelation
  5. The Feasts of Unleavened Bread and Sukkot lasts 7 days
  6. 7 spirits in Revelation
  7. 7 trumpets, seals, and bowl judgments

You get the drift. The number 7 speaks symbolically of completion. So, when we add up the number of days it takes for the sun and moon to complete the cycle of a year — through the 4 seasons — our count comes to 364 days. Or, 52 times 7.

From the beginning, the Father decreed that the sun, moon, and stars would move in orderly precision along predictable paths. Consequently, these luminaries were equipped to govern the yearly, monthly, and weekly feast observances.

And the sun and the stars bring in all the years exactly, so that they do not advance or delay their position by a single day unto everlasting; but complete the years with perfect justice in three hundred and sixty-four days.

The Book of Hanok/Enoch 74:12 – Halleluyah Scriptures

And the leaders of the heads of the thousands, who are placed over the whole creation and over all the stars, have also to do with the four intercalary days, being inseparable from their office, according to the reckoning of the year, and these render service on the four days which are not reckoned in the reckoning of the year.

The Book of Hanok/Enoch 75:1 – Halleluyah Scriptures

A Tale of Two Calendars

Most of the so-called “Jewish” calendars found online today are of Rabbinic construction and rely heavily on human observations of the moon.

During the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes IV, the Aaronic High Priesthood was dethroned and a Hellenized priesthood took its place (175-159 BCE). In the midst of this transition, the Hasmoneans started a war which lasted from 167-164 BCE and resulted in a new Maccabean/Hasmonean priestly dynasty being formed. This new priesthood had nothing in common with the Biblical priesthood that began with Aaron.

The Gospel Worth Dying For, Chapter 8, page 128, 129

John the Immerser was born during the reign of Herod the Great and was a Levite descended from the line of Zadok. Zacharia, Joh’s father, served in the priesthood during the days of Herod, in the priestly division of Abijah. His wife was aslo a descendant of Aaron int he tribe of Levi. This is how Aaron’s descendants, the priests, were divided into groups for service — the sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. But Nadab and Ithamar were left to carry on as priests. With the help of Zadok, who was a descendant of Eleazar, and of Ahimelech, who was a descendant of Ithamar, David divided Aaron’s descendants into groups according to their vrious duties. (1 Chronicles 24:1-3)

The Gospel Worth Dying For, Chapter 8, page 129,130

However, before the Hasmonean period, ancient Yisrael marked time differently.1

  • Every date was anchored to a specific day of the week and did not change from year to year.
  • Each quarter would begin on day four — the day the timekeeping heavenly bodies were created.
  • Each quarter-year was identical: two months of 30 days followed by a month of 31 days.
  • All appointed times or feast days occurred on the same day of the same month each year.
  • This calendar did not rely on human observation of the moon and its phases.

And command thou the children of Israel that they observe the years according to this reckoning: three hundred and sixty-four days, and (these) will constitute a complete year, and they will not disturb its time from its days and from its feasts; for everything will fall out in them according to their testimony, and they will not leave out any day nor disturb any feasts.

Jubilees 6:32,33 R.H. Charles translation

To understand why the Zadok priests used the 4th Day as the “start” of the year – ALWAYS – just look to the retelling of the creation week. Day 4 provides the nexis for the start of the Zadok calendar yearly count with Day 3 being the last day of the year and Day 4 being the start of a new year. This serves as the blueprint for how the Zadok calendar will function during a 364 day-year, using a 7-day weekly count.

Zadokite vs. Gregorian Calendar Function

Function describes an activity or purpose that is natural to, or intended for, a person or thing. While both the Zadok and Gregorian calendars function as time-tracking mechanisms in the narrowest sense, this is where the comparisons end.

At its core, the calendar used by the Zadokites was agriculturally sensitive.2 It was in sync with the 4 seasons and effectively linked the luminaries with nature and time. The work of planting and sowing crops made the necessity of a reliable calendar a matter of supreme importance. Additionally, this calendar was designed to forecast with accuracy and consistency the days and months in which appointed times were to be acknowledged and celebrated by Covenant Torah believers in Messiah.3 Its annual day count was 364 days — 3 monthly quarters of 30 days with 1 intercalary day every 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th months. It is also based on the biblical creation model of the circular level plane on which we live — Earth. The spring and fall feasts will always align with the vernal or autumnal equinoxes. In essence, this calendar is both agriculturally and astronomically linked.

Compare this to the Gregorian calendar which is tied to a heliocentric model of the earth. The Gregorian solar year is based on the theory that it takes “planet” Earth 365.25 days to orbit the sun. (A total of 365 days in an average year, but 366 days in leap years.) By this calculation, dates fall on different days of the week each year. Additionally, the days of the week and months of the year are named in honor of pagan gods or dead Roman Caesars.

pagan months

The months of the year on the Zadok calendar are identified by their number. When you deep dive into the origins of the modern Gregorian calendar system, you will discover that this calendar played a profound role in the advent of globalism and is tied to merchandising.

What was perhaps most significant about Pope Gregory’s system was not its changes, but rather its role in the onset of the globalized era. In centuries prior, countries around the world had used a disjointed array of uncoordinated calendars, each adopted for local purposes and based primarily on local geographical factors. The Mayan calendar would not be easily aligned with the Egyptian, Greek, Chinese, or Julian calendars, and so forth. In addition to the pope’s far-reaching influence, the adoption of the Gregorian system was facilitated by the emergence of a globalized system marked by exploration and the development of long-distance trade networks and interconnectors between regions beginning in the late 1400s. The pope’s calendar was essentially the imposition of a true global interactive system and the acknowledgment of a new global reality.

“The History of the Gregorian Calendar”, January 1, 2020, stratfor.com

Pope Gregory’s calendar was an attempt by businessmen to track and predict a connection between the sun and regions of the earth to facilitate global commerce!

The Zadok Calendar & the Vernal Equinox

While the Gregorian calendar tracks dates, the Zadok calendar is designed to track days. This is how the Zadokite priests were able to have annual feast days ‘land’ on the same day each year. Remember…

  • YHWH designed the week to consist of seven days
  • Three days are manifested before Yah starts the “clock”
  • The time clock starts on day 4 — midweek

Other fascinating ties to the number 4:

  • Yeshua is the light of the world (lights were made on the 4th Day of creation week)
  • Yeshua is the door of the sheepfold. Dalet is the 4th letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet and translates as ‘door’
  • Yeshua came into the world around the 4,000th year from Creation (estimated to be 6-4 BC)

So, the Gregorian leap year (the addition of a day in February) is not an issue because this (act) changes the date and not the day. Days 4 and 7 act as vernal equinox ‘locks’ to keep all feast days and events fixed in place when trying to pinpoint the beginning of the year against the Gregorian calendar.

The Vernal equinox marks the beginning of the year on the Zadok calendar. The month of Abib4 is the first month of the year and is tied to the barley harvest.

Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month is the beginning of months for you; it shall be the first month of your year.

Exodus 12:1 BSB

Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night.

Deuteronomy 16:1 Amplified Bible

So Moses told the people, “Remember this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; for the LORD brought you out of it by the strength of His hand. And nothing leavened shall be eaten. Today, in the month of Abib, you are leaving.

Exodus 13:3,4 BSB

How The Zadok Calendar Works

We will use the 7-branched menorah to represent the days of the week here so you can have a visual helper. The branches represent each of the 7 days of the week. The middle or 4th branch symbolizes the 4th creation day when the luminaries were created and given their assignments/courses. To determine the date of the Vernal equinox during a given year, you can utilize the seasons’ calculator on the Time & Date website. We will use 2024 as a model.

zadok 01

Using the calculator, we see that the date of the 2024 Vernal equinox is shown to be March 19th, which falls on day 3 of the week. Since day 3 on the Zadok calendar is day 364 of 2023 on the Gregorian calendar, then we have to move the day over to the 4th branch of the candlestick menorah (which represents day 4 of creation). This would place the start of year 2024 on the proper day of the week.

This places the start on the 2024 Zadok calendar on March 20th, the beginning of the year. Fourteen days later is Passover, with the Feast of Unleavened Bread starting the following day.

Because the Vernal equinox changes dates each year on the Gregorian calendar, the timeline of the yearly Zadok schedule may have to move to maintain the Feast days. So, think of branches 1 and 7 as ‘guardrails’ that maintain the integrity of the first day of the year. However, if the equinox lands on day 4 in any given year on the Gregorian, then nothing has to be moved on the Zadok calendar to keep the Feast days on track.

Another example: If the Gregorian Vernal equinox date falls on day 5, 6, or 7 of the candlestick, then the equinox would on the Zadok would move back to day 4. If the GVE Vernal equinox falls on day 1, 2, or 3 of the candlestick, then the equinox on the Zadok would move forward to day 4. Below is an example of what this adjustment looks like in different years.

gregorian zadok illustration

When this method is followed, the Zadok calendar will auto-adjust so that Yah’s festival days will always fall on the same day every year. Even if you use a peg calendar, which logs each quarter year as 3 months of thirty days with an extra intercalary day at the end of the third month, your feast days will always line up and the year will start on its proper day.

According to Alan Pisarek:

The Vernal Equinox will switch days of the week. If it happens on days 5, 6, or 7 — day 1 (the first day of the year) moves ‘back’ to day 4. During the 5th year, the Vernal Equinox drops into gate 4 of the firmament and sits there and waits. If it happens on days 1, 2, or 3 — we move it ‘forward’ to day 4 (the start of the year as day 1). This means the year will always end on day 3 and begin on day 4 (1st day). The Gregorian calendar is a mess of dates and is the main reason why people are confused by the Zadok calendar programming lens, which is a language of numbers. So, “names” of days of the week (i.e. Monday, Tuesday, etc) have no meaning. For example, on the Zadok calendar, day 7 is always 3 days from the 4th day (the start of the year). When the VE lands on Sunday on the Gregorian calendar (day 1) , the start of the year will move forward to the 4th day on the Zadok calendar.

The 1st and 7th days are when the Zadok priests would get the sundials out to make sure they knew if the Vernal Equinox is on ‘that’ day, because after the 7th day, the whole thing resets. The luminaries have been programmed to follow this sequence. Because they are sentient, those luminaries that strayed were imprisoned for 10,000 years. There is no intercalation necessary because we are dealing with days and not dates. There are overages to each annual cycle. We are to count 364 days to keep the weeks unbroken.

Zadok Priestly Rotations

Zadok was a Levitical High Priest during King David’s reign over the whole nation of Israel. Zadok whose very name (Strong’s #H6659 tsaw-doke) means “righteous”, was the 11th in descent from Aaron and joined King David after Saul’s death and supported King David during trying family times with Absalom and Adonijah. He also anointed David’s son, Solomon as king over the whole nation of Israel. (See Sherry Sanders’ detailed explanation which answers the question “Who is Zadok and why is this calendar the one to follow?” here on our calendar Q & A page.)

The calendars discovered in the Qumran scrolls were not just based on months, but also the rotation of the priestly courses (mishmarot). These courses would take turns coming to Jerusalem to serve at the temple for one week before rotating out for the next group. The Qumran texts used this continuous cycle not only for their calendar system but also for chronology and historical events.

Each Sabbath, month, year, and feast was associated with a specific priestly family. It took six years for a particular group to serve during the same week of the year again. The order of the priestly courses was originally determined by casting lots, as detailed in 1 Chronicles 24:7-18.

Dead Sea Scrolls Calendric Signs (Otot)

In the Otot or ‘signs’ document (4Q319) found in the Dead Sea Scrolls cache, we learn…

…it represents a calendrical system based on the weekly rotation of the twenty-four priestly courses during a six-year period and constructed into six consecutive Jubilees, i.e. 294 years. The ‘sign’ which recurs in every three years probably identifies the year in which the shorter lunar year of 354 days is supplemented by means of the intercalation of an extra month of 30 days (3x354x+30=1,092) to equal the length of three ‘solar’ years of 364 days each (3×364-1,092). Paleographically the manuscript is dated to the first half of the first century BCE.

The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, translated with an introduction by Geza Vermes, p.365.

Pages 365-369 of The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, lists the Zadok priestly sabbatical cycles. Here is an excerpt:

…on the fourth (day) of the wee[k]…its light on the fourth (day) of the week[k] of the creation in (the week of ) G[amul. The sign of Shecaniah: in the fourth (year). The sign of Gamul: in the (year of Release (i.e. the first sabbatical year). (second sabbatical cycle): [The sign of Shecaniah: in the this]rd (year). The sign of [G]amul: in the sixth (year). (Third sabbatical cycle): The sign [of Shecaniah: in the second (year). The sign of G]amul” [in the fifth (year).

As always, we encourage you to do your research. This article represents our level of understanding as of this writing. As are you, we are still growing and adapting as our understanding of the Scriptures and the calendar increases. If you have further questions or need clarity, please get in touch with us by completing the form on this page or by commenting below. We believe the calendar should NEVER divide believers in Yeshua as we all strive to be obedient followers of the Torah.

Ken Heidebrecht features excellent calendar interviews with George Nuber of GeoTruth and Alan Pisarek his YouTube channel Hanging On His Words.


FOOTNOTES

1 See The Gospel Worth Dying For, Chapter 8, pages 125,126

2 Likewise, the Egyptian calendar, for example, was established in part to predict the annual rise of the Nile, which was a critical component in the Egyptian agricultural system.

3 The first month of the year always starts with the barley harvest in the Spring. This was the beginning of the agricultural year for the Hebrew nation. The feasts of YHWH mark both the beginning and the end of a harvest season. The barley harvest for example lasted from Passover to Shavuot. The wheat harvest fell around Shavuot. The grape, fig, pomegranate, and olive crops were harvested in time for Sukkot in Autumn.

4 The Hebrew word abib (#H24) means “month of ear-forming, or of growing green. Abib, the month of Exodus & passover.” [Brown-Driver-Briggs] This month is NOT Nisan, which is a Babylonian corruption. The month names of the modern “Jewish” calendar were derived from the Babylonian calendar dating back to the 6th Century BC during the Babylonian exile.

The Biblical Fall Feasts – A Time of Trumpets, Tears, and Triumph

The Biblical Fall Feasts – A Time of Trumpets, Tears, and Triumph

The Zadok calendar places these Biblical Fall Feasts — the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Sukkot — in the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year. On the fourth day of this week (Wednesday), we will kick off this season of celebration with a day of Trumpets. Ten days later will be a day of humble reflection known as the Day of Atonement, followed by a week of joyous celebration and fellowship at Sukkot.

Before we summarize the significance of each festival, let us pause to reflect on a few important points regarding how we as disciples living in the 21st century should view our participation in these appointed times.

biblical fall feasts

Church or Ekklesia?

The Greek word ekklesia is used in several writings of the New Testament such as the book of Acts, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Peter. Most English translations have replaced ekklesia with the word church, which is unfortunate because it camouflages the term’s deeper meaning.

The word church denotes a gathering place set aside for worship amongst those of a particular denomination who agree on doctrine and styles of worship. The New Testament use of this word connotes any assembly of people. Following the Reformation, the term church was more or less a generalized umbrella term for either a place of worship, a body of believers collectively, or ecclesiastical authority.

Christian1 is a description that was first coined in the city of Antioch. This word identified those who were followers of Christ – the anointed one.

Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. So for a full year they met together with the church and taught large numbers of people. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.

Acts 11: 25,26

However, instead of the word church, the descriptive term ekklesia elevates our understanding of the unique purpose of disciples of Messiah who identify and connect with the Torah from a Hebraic mindset.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9

Now if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, you will be My treasured possession out of all the nations–for the whole earth is Mine.

Exodus 19:5

Remember, the collective books of the so-called New Testament did not exist during the time of the first apostles. The word church was never uttered by the apostles and early disciples. Followers of Yeshua were mostly known as the people of the Way — followers of the path of righteousness taught by Yeshua.

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. Because the gate is narrow and the way is hard pressed which leads to life, and there are few who find it

Matthew 7:13,14

And there will be a highway called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not travel it–only those who walk in the Way–and fools will not stray onto it.

Isaiah 35:8

The letters and writings that would eventually make up the New Testament had yet to be published in a Bible that was split into two parts called the Old and New Testaments. This publishing “line of demarcation” was artificially imposed on readers by Bible publishers.

According to Tomas Bokedal, associate professor at the University of Aberdeen:

The first New Testament books to be written down are reckoned to be the 13 that comprise Paul’s letters (circa 48-64 CE), probably beginning with 1 Thessalonians or Galatians. Then comes the Gospel of Mark (circa 60-75 CE). The remaining books – the other three Gospels, letters of Peter, John, and others as well as Revelation – were all added before or around the end of the first century. By the mid-to-late hundreds CE, major church libraries would have had copies of these, sometimes alongside other manuscripts later deemed apocrypha.

As followers of Yeshua and people of the Covenant who have been grafted into Israel (Yashar’el), we are expected to obey the terms of this eternal covenant. This means we should practice memorializing all appointed feast days as best we can.

The Biblical Fall Feasts

The Feast of Trumpets

On the first day of the seventh month, you are to hold a sacred assembly, and you must not do any regular work. This will be a day for you to sound the trumpets. Numbers 29:1

In the Old Testament, trumpets were used to call Yahuah’s people to war, announce victories won by Him, and declare the coming of the King. On the Day of the Lord, the trumpet sound believers hear will be a joyful noise that means resurrection. However, unbelievers will be terrorized by it since it will signal the coming of Yeshua with his great army of angels.

At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Matthew 24:30,31

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must be clothedf with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

1 Corinthians 15: 51-53

The Feast of Trumpets not only marks the beginning of the seventh month but it is a time for reflection, repentance, and anticipation of the future. In 1 Corinthians 15:51, the type of trumpet referred to was likely a silver trumpet. In Leviticus 23:24, the Israelites were instructed to use silver trumpets instead of shofars or ram’s horns. Silver trumpets were used for various ceremonial purposes throughout the year. They were blown to announce important events, such as the gathering of the congregation, the start of festivals, the calling of leaders, and even during times of war. the shofar had a unique sound and was seen as a call for repentance, awakening, or reflection. It was blown on specific set-apart days while the silver trumpets seemed to serve more general ceremonial purposes.

Yahuah said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say, ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly announced by trumpet blasts. You must not do any regular work, but you are to present an offering made by fire to the LORD.’ ”

Leviticus 23:23-25

This feast day is a Sabbath, so no servile work is to be done. On the GWDF Zadok calendar, the Feast of Trumpets happens this week on the fourth day (Wednesday). The countdown clocks for each appointed feast that follows are set to Central time (USA) based on the Zadok calendar.

Day of Atonement

Again YHWH said to Moses, “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. You shall hold a sacred assembly and humble yourselves, and present an offering made by fire to YHWH. Leviticus 23:26-27

The Day of Atonement is a Sabbath — a holy convocation or feast day. Although many who follow Judaism feel this is a time of fasting, there is no instruction given in the Bible for us to abstain from food. So, what does it mean to humble yourself if we do not follow the definition given in Isaiah 58?

The answer can be found in Jubilees 34 which gives the origin of this day of Atonement — the 10th day of the 7th month. After Joseph had been sold into slavery by his 10 brothers, they deceived their father Jacob by showing him Joseph’s bloody coat. Upon hearing the news of his son’s (presumed) death, Jacob’s entire household went into mourning. Bilhah and his daughter Dinah died during this time as well.

And he mourned for Joseph one year, and did not cease, for he said “Let me go down to the grave mourning for my son.” For this reason it is ordained for the children of Israel that they should afflict themselves on the tenth of the seventh month — on the day that the news which made him weep for Joseph came to Jacob his father — that they should make atonement for themselves thereon with a young goat on the tenth of the seventh month, once a year, for their sins; for they had grieved the affection of their father regarding Joseph his son. And this day hath been ordained that they should grieve thereon for their sins, and for all their transgressions and for all their errors, so that they might cleanse themselves on that day once a year.

Jubilees 34: 22-25

The affliction of the soul is mourning over sin. Symbolically Joseph would be Yeshua and we are the guilty brothers. However, Yeshua shows great compassion toward us and will not only resurrect us to eternal life but ultimately bring us into the goodly land of the Kingdom to come.

On this day you are not to do any work, for it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God. If anyone does not humble himself on this day, he must be cut off from his people. I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on this day.You are not to do any work at all. This is a permanent statute for the generations to come, wherever you live. It will be a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you shall humble yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to keep your Sabbath.”

Leviticus 23:28-32

Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles

And YHWH said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say, ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Feast of Tabernacles to YHWH begins, and it continues for seven days. Leviticus 23:33-34

In just over two weeks, we will gather for Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles.

On the first day there shall be a sacred assembly. You must not do any regular work. For seven days you are to present an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you are to hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a solemn assembly; you must not do any regular work.

Leviticus 23: 35-36

On the first day there shall be a sacred assembly. You must not do any regular work. For seven days you are to present an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you are to hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a solemn assembly; you must not do any regular work.

Leviticus 23: 35-36

After his brothers had gone up to the festival, the he also went up, not openly but secretly.

John 7:10

Sukkot is symbolic of life in the Kingdom — and beyond — when we will literally tabernacle with Yahuah, his son Yeshua, the righteous angels, and all the redeemed. We will finally be able to fulfill our calling as kings and priests under the sovereign rule of YHWH and his son Yeshua.

The 8th day of Sukkot — also called Addition — symbolizes the end of sin, the emptying of Sheol, and the destruction of the wicked. This day was commissioned by Jacob and ordained by the Father after he had bestowed the priesthood on Levi during Sukkot.

And in those days Rachel became pregnant with her son Benjamin. And Jacob counted his sons from him upwards and Levi fell to the portion of the Lord, and his father clothed him in the garments of the priesthood and filled his hands. And on the fifteenth of this month, he brought to the altar fourteen oxen from amongst the cattle, and twenty-eight rams, and forty-nine sheep, and seven lambs, and twenty-one kids of the goats as a burnt-offering, inconsequence of the vow which he had vowed that he would give a tenth, with their fruit-offering, and their drink offerings.

Jubilees 32:3-6

It was also during this time that Jacob’s name was changed to Israel.2 He was told that he would die peacefully in Egypt3 and be buried with honor in the Promised Land, alongside his father Isaac, and grandfather Abraham.

And he celebrated there yet another day, and he sacrificed thereon according to all that he sacrificed on the former days, and called its name ‘Addition’, for this day was added and the former days he called ‘The Feast’. And thus it was manifested that it should be, and it is written on the heavenly tablets: wherefore it was revealed to him that he should celebrate it, and add it to the seven days of the feast. And its name was called ‘Addition‘, because it was recorded amongst the days of the feast days, according to the number of the days of the year.

Jubilees 32:26-29
DAYS
HOURS
MINUTES
SECONDS

As you know, some members of the GWDF community will be gathering in Texas to memorialize Sukkot. We will pray, praise, and wave palm branches. Some of us will sleep in tents and all will fellowship around Yah’s word under the stars. We will share meals, pray for each other, and love one another as we memorialize this glorious feast week.

We pray blessings on everyone who will be gathering together — wherever you are in the world — to memorialize these wonderful feast days. Shalom!


FOOTNOTES

1 The name was first given to the worshippers of Yeshua by the Gentiles (nations). From the second century Justin Martyr onward the term was accepted by them as a title of honor. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon: a Christian, a follower of Christ.

2 Compare Jubilees 32 with Genesis 35.

3 Read Genesis 48 and 49

The Biblical Calendar Then and Now – A Book Review

The Biblical Calendar Then and Now – A Book Review

Bill and Karen Bishop’s book The Biblical Calendar Then and Now is bound to stir up controversy.

However, the same could be said of most literary works that challenge preconceptions and personal prejudices. If you’re like me, you are reluctant to dismiss a topic simply because it may make others feel uncomfortable. The goal is not to upset or to trigger others, but to motivate all of us to dig a little deeper and pray a bit harder in the pursuit of Scriptural truths. The late Walter Martin understood that, in the pursuit of truth, many would be labeled controversial.

truth quote

This brings us to the topic of the Biblical calendar. Never has one word — calendar — stirred up so many passions amongst followers of Yeshua and worshippers of the Almighty. Mention the calendar and mayhem and confusion will inevitably follow.

The Great Calendar Divide

The only calendar most believers were exposed to in church included seasonal observances that were never a part of Torah-observant ancient Hebraic culture. These traditional religious expressions of faith may have involved participating in family Christmas or Easter gatherings.

As believers, we look for ways to express and fight for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints.

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all time handed down to the saints.

Jude 1:3 NASB

Those who are new to the Torah inevitably find themselves torn between sincerely desiring to observe Yahuah’s feast days and appointed times and maintaining healthy family relationships. Confusion over how to express this faith in a post-temple priesthood era only adds to the frustration.

There are other challenges believers face when trying to find “the correct” calendar to follow:

  • A lack of a clear Biblical calendar methodology
  • Ignorance of historical events that impacted calendar methodology
  • Rejection of extra-biblical writings that may shed light on calendar construction methodology
  • Silence from the pulpit regarding Yah’s calendar and its required Sabbaths, Feasts, and appointed times
  • Lack of understanding of how the calendar we follow is tied to our Covenant duties and responsibilities
The Biblical Calendar Then and Now book cover

Enter Bill and Karen Bishop and their book The Biblical Calendar Then and Now.

The authors humbly submit that their work is a way for the reader to challenge personal assumptions and stretch their understanding concerning how the calendar is divinely constructed. While not intended to be a theological dissertation on the calendar, the authors’ intention is clear — “to provide a practicable body of evidence that will spur further revelation through constructive dialogue, study, and debate on this topic among sincere believers of the Torah.”

The tone of the book is respectful and substantive. The chapters are designed to answer most of the questions they have encountered over the years. The writing is very straightforward, and the reader is encouraged to invest the time necessary to do their own research. The approach is not that of calendar “evangelists” whose motive is to sway you to their way of thinking. Their conversational writing style draws you in and logically walks you through the justifications given for various calendar-keeping methodologies.

The Biblical Calendar Book Review Synopsis

The book begins by helping the reader understand four main categories of Torah-based calendars and the methodology behind their determinations:

  • Luni-Solar
  • Astronomical Conjunction
  • The Sighting Method
  • The Hillel Method

The GWDF community will notice I did not mention the Zadokite calendar in this list. Hold on, it’s coming.

Chapter 1 of the book helps the reader understand how these different calendars are formulated. In the second chapter, the authors present a calendar “consideration” that has been hiding in plain sight for years. They point out in appropriate detail how the sun and harvest seasons (working together) help determine the timing of the feasts.

The Luminaries and Their Cycles

Most English-speaking followers of Yeshua lack a functional knowledge of Hebrew. When we read through the Psalms and Old Testament literature, words like “new moons” or “seasons” distort our understanding of what is written. Etymology matters.

In chapter 3, the authors delve into the Hebraic intent of certain words; even examining aspects of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet. Words and definitions play a key role in understanding calendar formulations that involve the luminaries that were created on Day 4. The four seasonal transitions (spring, summer, autumn, winter) are explained in connection with the annual equinoxes and solstices.

Since all calendars require periodic adjustments, the need for intercalation is also explained and discussed in detail.

Historical Context + Ancient Writings

According to the writers, the Babylonian exile and the corruption of the Levitical priesthood are also factors in how the Biblical calendar was corrupted. They encourage readers to do a deep dive into the history surrounding the Sadducees, Pharisees, the Hasmonean Dynasty, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. According to the authors:

Though the Sadducees and the Pharisees did not agree in many respects, these two groups managed to cooperate with one another to run the Temple in their day…The calendar decisions they made then would have been based on lunar criteria, and loosely hinged to the evolving calendar we know as the Jewish Hillel calendar today. However, the Dead Sea Scrolls and encyclopedic research confirm that some sectarian groups observed a calendar other than the one sanctioned by the Sanhedrin.

The Zadokite Calendar

In Chapter 10, sufficient attention is paid to the Zadokite solar calendar. The authors confess that they initially tried to find reasons to disqualify this version of the Biblical calendar but couldn’t. Biblical Scripture is the filter through which they base their conclusions.

These observations regarding this calendar are made in this chapter of the book :

  • The “festival nature” of the equinox and solstice seasonal markers
  • The Zadokite year always makes a complete circuit
  • The Biblical New Year always begins in Spring
  • The year will always begin on Day 4 (Wednesday) of creation
  • A year = 364 days/52 weeks of 7 days each
  • There is never a 13th month added (for intercalation)

Make Your Own Calendar

Chapter 21 ties everything together by revisiting reasons why a lunar-based reckoning did not make sense for a people (Hebrews) whose lifestyles were agrarian-centric. Again, the authors leave the final decision as to which calendar to follow up to the reader.

However, those who would like to “test” the Zadokite calendar are given the tools to do so in the appendices section of the book. They provide the formulae and templates, data, and schemata necessary to make your own Zadokite calendar.

Those who are serious about meeting with their Creator on the appointed days he ordained should consider purchasing this book. A link to the Bishop’s website — Returning to the Garden — is posted below.

Book Ratings:

  • Research — 5/5
  • Writing — 5/5
  • Support Materials — 5/5

The Biblical Calendar Then and Now is 96 pages long. It is very easy to read and comprehend. There is bonus material in the appendices section at the end of the book. Those who want to put into practice what they have learned about the Zadokite solar calendar can use the templates, data, and schemata to chart their own calendar year!

Website: Returning to the Garden

Purchase the book on Amazon

Experiencing Sukkot Joy

Experiencing Sukkot Joy

And Abraham built there an altar to Yahuah who had delivered him, and who was making him to rejoice in the land of his sojourning, and he celebrated a festival of joy in this seventh month for seven days, near the altar which he had built at the Well of the Oath. And he built booths for himself and for his servants on this festival, and he was the first to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) on the earth. Book of Jubilees, Chapter 16

Jubilees tells us that Abraham was the first on earth to celebrate the festival of Sukkot just a few months after Issac was born at the festival of Shavuot (Pentecost/First Fruits). Talk about a time of rejoicing in Yahuah following the birth of the first-generation child that would receive the blessings of the covenant between Yahuah and Abraham in Genesis chapters 12 and 15.

We never knew Abraham or Issac but we do know Yahuah. We are witnesses to the faithfulness of His promises to keep His covenant with this generation and those to come; for believers that love Him, keep the testimony of Yeshua’s resurrection, and obey His ordinances. We also need to love one another and ourselves.

Sukkot – A Festival of Joy

Sukkot is a true festival of joy for every believer in Yahuah. It occurs during early fall as the summer crops ripen such as grapes, olives, pomegranates, and more. It is a celebration honoring all our Heavenly Father has blessed us with and will continue to bless those that love Him and keep His commandments. We rejoice in Yeshua, our High Priest, who sits at the right hand of Yahuah in heaven, mediating for his brothers and sisters in faith. What a wonderful time for all believers.

Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of Yahuah; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

1 Peter 3:21b-22 KJV

The 2023 Sukkot will be my seventeenth celebration and I have wonderful memories of every festival. I have celebrated Sukkots with just one other person and with more than a thousand people attending. Each one was a blessed time because in my heart I knew there were other like-minded believers all over the face of this earth also doing their best to follow Yah’s instructions for keeping His feasts. I know our heavenly Father, His Son, and all celestial beings and luminaries above are looking down with big smiles on their faces thinking those kids do love us almost as much as we love each and every one of them. Brothers and sisters, that is what rejoicing at Sukkot looks like to me. Praise Yah!

Sukkot gives us a chance to practice two of Yahshua’s greatest commandments – to love our Father in heaven and to love each other with all our hearts. This year our ministry, GWDF, is inviting believers in our area to join us at Lake Brownwood state park in Texas. I look forward to meeting new and old friends deep in the heart of Texas where the park is located.

Sukkahs with a Dash of Creativity

There are many ways to celebrate Sukkot in a joyful manner. Folks celebrating the festival may sleep in tents, RVs, Sukkahs, hammocks, cars, and pickup camper shells or beds. Some of the GWDF group will camp out for nine nights while others only a few nights around the weekend in the middle of the feast.

Believers living in cities all over will decorate Sukkahs on their balconies and rooftops inviting friends and family to join them for special meals throughout the festival. Others will camp in their backyards or gazebos, have slumber parties in their congregation parking lots or in their church buildings, and still others will rest under the stars in open fields or woods. These are all great ways to honor Yah by following the ordinance of keeping Sukkot.

Sukkot – A Wonderful “Family Reunion”

Sukkot is a great time to get back in touch with Yahuah’s creation family. We will be still and enjoy the great outdoors while feeling a breeze of fresh air blow across our faces. Sukkot time is spent watching Yah’s kids of all ages laughing, singing, playing, hiking, and melting smores on an open fire. It is a time when we enjoy fireside chats with other believers, looking up at the stars while singing songs to the heavens above. Many will choose to renew their covenant with Yahuah by water immersion. It will be a time of reading Yah’s word, praying for each other, and sharing our testimonies as we enjoy the love all around us. All these events are a foreshadowing of eternal times to come.

Trust me, family, you will make long-term friends and memories at Sukkot. Many eyes tear up on the last day while we pack to go home as we all yearn for the days when we dwell with our heavenly Father, His Son, and the resurrected family of believers in the New Jerusalem kingdom of everlasting love. Amen!

In those days Yahuah bade (them) to summon and to testify to the children of earth concerning their wisdom: Show it unto them; for ye are their guides, and recompense over the whole earth. For I and my son will be united with them forever in the paths of uprightness in their lives; and ye shall have peace: rejoice, ye children of uprightness.

1 Enoch: 105

The Gospel of the Kingdom in the Feasts of Yah

The Gospel of the Kingdom in the Feasts of Yah

The Gospel of the Kingdom is the ageless story of when the Kingdom of Heaven comes to earth. The event known as the Day of Yahuah (Day of the Lord) was a key component of Yeshua’s Gospel message from day one of his ministry. This unique day in history was written about by Enoch, prophesied by Isaiah, envisioned by John, and authored by our heavenly Father before the creation began.

At his first coming, Yeshua’s mission was to proclaim the eternal benefits of his Father’s Kingdom to come. He said it would be a place devoid of disease, poverty, hunger, thirst, fear, or sin. Peace would abound. Citizenship in this Kingdom will ultimately be granted to those who put their faith in him as their Redeemer.

The Gospel of the Kingdom unlocks the mysteries of heaven, speaks of Yeshua’s high priesthood, explains the ministry of angels, and speaks of the eternal destiny of the righteous.

Most of us have understood the Gospel to mean Yeshua’s death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead. But there is more to this amazing story. Much more.

The Feasts Proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom

Our heavenly Father never intended for his children to be left stumbling in the dark, confused about their future. He left us evidence of his plan to redeem mankind within the pages of our Bibles. When you thumb through chapter 23 of Leviticus, you will discover how this Gospel of the Kingdom is proclaimed during appointed times and feast days. Read on.

Then Yahuah said to Moshe, speak to the Israelites and say to them, “These are My appointed feasts, the feasts of Yahuah that you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.”

Leviticus 23:1,2

The twenty-third chapter of Leviticus gives us a detailed outline of the annual appointed times and holy convocation assemblies we are expected to honor as covenant keepers. 

These are Yahuah’s appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times.

Leviticus 23:4

This goes beyond ritual. These assemblies encourage spiritual discipline, obedience, and brotherly/sisterly love – integral components of Kingdom life.

Sabbath

For six days work may be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, a day of sacred assembly. You must not do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to Yahuah.

Leviticus 23:3

Kingdom Key: The seventh day Sabbath rest is a hallmark of the Gospel of the Kingdom promises. The Sabbath represents the covenant promise of resurrection given to us by Yahuah.

The weekly Sabbath is a perpetual weekly reminder of what’s in store for those who endure until the end. Amongst other things, it teaches us how to rest in the promises of our heavenly Father as we walk in obedience to his commandments. 

It is a holy convocation whereby we are told to assemble for worship and study of the scriptures.

Passover

The Passover to Yahuah begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.

Leviticus 23:5

The Hebrew word for passover is pesach or pesah (#H6453) which is derived from pasach or pasah (#H6452). Some have defined this word to mean to “pass over” or protectively cover the houses of the Israelites when the destroyer was sent out that fateful night in Egypt. (Exodus 12:23(b), Hebrews 11:28). 

Pasach or pasah can imply the merciful passing over of a destructive power or outcome. This occurred in ancient history when the destroyer killed the firstborn of those without blood on the doorposts of their homes.

Take a cluster of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin, and brush the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. When Yahuah passes through to strike down the Egyptians, He will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway; so He will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.

Exodus 12: 22,23

That you will say, It is the sacrifice of Yahuah’s Pesach, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when he smote the Egyptians and delivered our houses. And the people bowed their heads and worshiped.

Exodus 12:27

The etymology implies that when the Messiah returns to earth with his warrior angels, he will “pass over” first resurrection believers who are being taken up to New Jerusalem. This is the moment when saints are literally passed over while in the air until after the “indignation has passed.” (Isaiah 26:19-21)

For Yahuah will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.

I Thessalonians 4:16,17

Come, my people, enter your chambers and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourselves a little while until the wrath has passed. For behold, Yahuah is coming out of his dwelling place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth will disclose her bloodshed and will no longer conceal her slain.

Isaiah 26:20,21

The New Testament Greek word pascha (#G3957) can either refer to the actual paschal lamb that was slain at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month, or the Passover itself.

Kingdom Key: Passover represents the moment Yeshua returns and resurrects us. His wrath passes over us as he descends to battle the wicked.

Passover and Unleavened Bread point to Messiah’s death. His death was necessary so this Lamb without spot or blemish could be resurrected and enter into his High Priesthood. As our High Priest, he is now able to mediate with the Father on our behalf and ultimately resurrect us from Sheol.

Feast of Unleavened Bread

On the fifteenth day of the same (first) month begins the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Yahuah. For seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day, you are to hold a sacred assembly; you are not to do any regular work. For seven days you are to present an offering made by fire to Yahuah. On the seventh day, there will be a sacred assembly; you must not do any regular work.

Leviticus 23:4-8

Kingdom Key: The feast of Unleavened Bread represents the glorified, sinless bodies we will receive and the clearing out of the wicked from the geographical Promised Land.

Read: Make Unleavened Bread

First Fruits 

And Yahuah said to Moshe, speak to the Israelites and say, “When you enter the land that I am giving you and you reap its harvest, you are to bring to the priest a sheaf of first fruits of your harvest. And he shall wave the sheaf before Yahuah so that it may be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath.

Leviticus 23:9-11

This is a special offering but is not to be placed in the category of a “holy convocation” feast assembly. (The greater harvest comes 50 days later during the wheat harvest.)

A way to understand this dichotomy is to look at the timing of spring harvest seasons. Deuteronomy 8:7-8 tells us that Israel’s major crops were olives, figs, grapes, pomegranates, honey, wheat, and barley. 

During the Spring the most important crops harvested were barley and wheat, which were planted during Autumn. Since the barley harvest came first, a sheaf of this first fruit would be waved by the priest on the “day after the Sabbath” following the feast of Unleavened Bread.

Kingdom Key: Yeshua is a type of the early yield of first fruits. Our wonderful Redeemer is symbolic of the first fruits of the harvest of righteous souls to come.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ the firstfruits; then at His coming, those who belong to Him.

1 Corinthians 15:20-23

Shavuot/Feast of Weeks/Feast of First Fruits

From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you are to count off seven full weeks. You shall count off fifty days until the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD.

Leviticus 23:15,16

Kingdom Key: This is a dual feast. It represents us fully receiving the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) upon resurrection during the “wheat” harvest of righteous souls, which takes place when the Day of Yahuah commences. This is the first resurrection event. It is during this holy convocation that the covenant with Yahuah is renewed each year. 

And He gave Noah and his sons a sign that there should not again be a flood on the earth. He set His bow in the cloud for a sign of the eternal covenant that there should not again be a flood on the earth to destroy it all the days of the earth. For this reason, it is ordained and written on the heavenly tablets, that they should celebrate the feast of weeks in this month once a year, to renew the covenant every year

Jubilees 6:15-17

And this whole festival was celebrated in heaven from the day of creation till the days of Noah – twenty-six jubilees and five weeks of years [1309-1659 A.M.]: and Noah and his sons observed it for seven jubilees and one week of years, till the day of Noah’s death, and from the day of Noah’s death his sons did away with (it) until the days of Abraham, and they eat blood. But Abraham observed it, and Isaac and Jacob and his children observed it up to thy days, and in thy days the children of Israel forgot it until ye celebrated it anew on this mountain.

Jubilees 6:18-19

Shavuot did not begin with Moses. It has been celebrated since creation.

Trumpets

Yahuah also said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say, ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly announced by trumpet blasts. You must not do any regular work, but you are to present an offering made by fire to Yahuah.’ ”

Leviticus 23:23-25

Kingdom Key: At the sound of the last trumpet, believers in Yeshua will be resurrected and/or translated if still alive on earth at this time. The “wheat” of the second harvest will be escorted by angels into barns while the “tares” will be burned.

His winnowing fork is in His hand to clear His threshing floor and to gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Matthew 3:12

And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Matthew 24:31

Day of Atonement

Again the LORD said to Moses, “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. You shall hold a sacred assembly and humble yourselves,f and present an offering made by fire to the LORD. On this day you are not to do any work, for it is the Day of Atonement when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God. If anyone does not humble himself on this day, he must be cut off from his people. I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on this day. You are not to do any work at all. This is a permanent statute for the generations to come, wherever you live.

Leviticus 23: 26-31

At last! This day marks the final and complete forgiveness of all our sins. We are given resurrection bodies made of water and spirit that will be incapable of ever sinning again. 

Yeshua answered, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of Yahuah unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

John 3:5

Kingdom Key: With our redemption complete we will be able to fully participate in Yeshua’s Melchizedek priesthood. In our resurrected state we will be ordained as priests with the law written on our hearts. 

Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles

And Yahuah said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say, ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Feast of Tabernacles to Yahuah begins, and it continues for seven days. On the first day, there shall be a sacred assembly. You must not do any regular work.

Leviticus 23:33-35

Kingdom Key: Sukkot points to the time when Father and Son will tabernacle with us in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth – The New Jerusalem. We will be joined by those righteous angels who remained faithful to the Most High and their mission to minister to those of us who were destined to inherit eternal life. We will also serve those who survive the Great Tribulation and who will learn Torah during the Millennial reign of Messiah.

Feast of the In-Gathering/Addition/The 8th Day

For seven days you are to present an offering made by fire to Yahuah. On the eighth day, you are to hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made by fire to Yahuah. It is a solemn assembly; you must not do any regular work.

Leviticus 23:36

Kingdom Key: This 8th Day is symbolic of the second resurrection event and the time when death and Sheol will no longer exist. It is a time of great joy which comes at the end of the Millennium as we enter the eternal age. These will be days of rest that will be never-ending. 

In the Book of Jubilees, Jacob is credited with adding this extra day to Sukkot.

And he celebrated there yet another day, and he sacrificed thereon according to all that he sacrificed on the former days, and called its name ‘Addition,’ for this day was added. And the former days he called ‘The Feast.’ And thus it was manifested that it should be, and it is written on the heavenly tablets: wherefore it was revealed to him that he should celebrate it, and add it to the seven days of the feast. And its name was called ‘Addition,’ because it was recorded amongst the days of the feast days, according to the number of the days of the year.

Jubilees 32:27-30

Although covenant promises will not be made real until the resurrection, how we behave now matters. 

Our behavior is evidence of our faith in Yeshua’s ability to redeem us from the penalty of sin. It is also a sign that we truly belong to him.

The Torah of Yahuah is eternal and has not been “done away with.” When we obey the commandments to honor feast days and appointed times, we are living the Kingdom life now. 

As you prepare to welcome a new biblical year, we pray you will appreciate the Gospel of the Kingdom signposts that have been embedded in Yahuah’s calendar.

Photo by: Luis Gonzalez/Unsplash

How Ezra — And Others — Saw The Creation Week

How Ezra — And Others — Saw The Creation Week

Many of us are familiar with the story of how Ezra led the second wave of Yahudim captives in Babylon back to Jerusalem. (Ezra 7:1-7) It was through Ezra’s efforts, and faith in the Most High, that Torah was once again elevated to a place of prominence among Yah’s people.

On the first day of the first month he began his journey from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of Yahuah upon him. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Torah of Yahuah, and to do and to teach statues and ordinances in Israel.

Ezra 7:8,9

The book of Ezra records how the man whose name means “helper” led one of the most important spiritual revivals of his day. The reforms instituted by this amazing prophet, scribe, and priest helped the people reestablish their covenant relationship with the Almighty.

When reading through the book that bears his name it is hard to miss this man’s faith and humility. Because the hand of Yah was on him, he was able to accomplish the impossible. 

Ezra, whose name is transliterated as Esdras in Latin, possessed an insatiable curiosity regarding end times, the destiny of mankind, Yah’s promises to his people, and the Creation itself.

Ezra’s Creation Story Echoes Genesis, Jubilees, and Enoch

The scriptures inform us that we get back what we invest when it comes to spiritual maturity and discernment. Those who desire to know more about the Kingdom of Yahuah benefit the most when they are willing to spend time in prayer and study.

It is the glory of Yahuah to conceal a matter, and the honor of kings to search it out.

Proverbs 25:2

In the apocryphal book of 4 Ezra (2 Esdras), we are privy to an exchange Ezra has with Uriel,1 an angel acting as an agent2 of the Most High. Following a seven day fast, Ezra the scribe articulates his version of the creation event.

When you compare the six days of creation as described in 4 Ezra with the accounts in Jubilees and Genesis, the similarities are undeniable. Additional verses from Job, Amos, 1 Enoch, and Psalms imply a creation model that supports biblical cosmology.

This article is written for those who are willing to throw off the shackles of mind controlled religion and dip their toe into “extra biblical” waters — namely, certain ancient manuscripts that were removed from our western Bibles. The creation accounts in 4 Ezra and Jubilees3 are posted so you can draw your own conclusions as to their compatibility with the Genesis narrative. After you’ve compared these creation accounts, ask yourself if this extra effort paid off in terms of helping you acquire a greater understanding of biblical cosmology, certain end times events, and the importance of observing Yah’s feast days.

Creation Day one

Creation day one light

The first day of creation is characterized by seven great works. The Creator brings order out of chaos and light is separated from darkness. This evident in the Genesis, 4 Ezra, and Jubilees accounts.

However, Ezra gives us this nugget of information that is missing from both the Genesis and Jubilees accounts: the light mentioned here is taken from Yahuah’s treasuries or storehouses. These storehouses are also repositories of natural phenomena such as snow, hail, and wind. (Psalm 135:7, Job 38:22, Jeremiah 10:13)

And I said, O Lord, you spoke from the beginning of the creation, even the first day, and said this: Let heaven and earth be made; and your word was a perfect work. And then was the spirit, and darkness and silence were on every side; the sound of man’s voice was not yet formed. Then you commanded a fair light to come forth of your treasures, that your work might appear.

4 Ezra (2 Esdras) 6:38-40

The Jubilees account is even more intriguing. Angels were created on day one and given and assigned classes. Angels of the Presence and angels of Sanctification made up the higher orders, while other classes of angelic beings were put in charge of natural phenomena.

For on the first day He created the heavens which are above and the earth and the waters and all the spirits which serve before him – the angels of the presence, and the angels of sanctification, and the angels of the spirit of the winds, and the angels of the spirits of the clouds, and of darkness, and of snow and of hail and of hoar frost, and the angels of the voices and of the thunder and of the lightning, and the angels of the spirits of cold and heat, and of winter and of spring and of autumn and of summer, and all the spirits of his creatures which are in the heavens and on the earth, (He created) the abysses and the darkness , eventide, and night, and the light, dawn and day which He hath prepared in the knowledge of His heart.

Jubilees 2:2,3

Creation Day two

Creation day 2 image

On day two we are given information regarding the structural foundation that holds up the heavens (firmament layers). This was such a massive undertaking that it was the only thing created on this day. Pillars of heaven and earth, apparently buttressed by winds, support these firmaments which also divide the waters above from the waters beneath.

He spreads out the heavens like a vault; upon the waters has he founded it.

4 Ezra (2 Esdras) 16:59
Firmaments of Heaven Illustration by Hanging on His Words ministry
Firmaments of Heaven” by Hanging On His Words

Again, on the second day, you did create the spirit of the firmament, and did command him to divide and separate the waters, that one part might move upward and the other part remain beneath.

4 Ezra (2 Esdras) 6:41

O Lord who inhabits eternity, whose eyes are exalted and whose upper chambers are in the air4,

4 Ezra (2 Esdras) 8:20

And on the second day He created the firmament in the midst of the waters, and the waters were divided on that day – half of them went up above and half of them went down below the firmament (that was) in the midst over the face of the whole earth. And this was the only work (God) created on the second day.

Jubilees 2:4

Here is what the prophet Amos, Job, and Enoch have to say:

He builds His upper rooms in the heavens and founds His vault upon the earth. He summons the waters of the sea and pours them over the face of the earth. Yahuah is His name..

Amos 9:7

He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth upon nothing. He has inscribed a horizon on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.

Job 26:7, 10

I then surveyed the receptacles of all the winds, perceiving that they contributed to adorn the whole creation, and to guard the foundation of the earth. I surveyed the stone which supports the corners of the earth. I also beheld the four winds, which bear up the earth, and the expanse of heaven. And I beheld the winds occupying the exalted sky. Arising in the midst of heaven and of earth, and constituting the pillars of heaven.

1 Enoch 18:1-510 Cephyr

Creation Day Three

Creation day 3 image

Four great works were done on day three:

  • the dry land appeared
  • the waters (under the heavens) are gathered to form seas
  • vegetation and fruit bearing trees appear
  • the Garden of Eden appears

Upon the third day thou didst command that the waters should be gathered in the seventh part of the earth: six parts hast thou dried up, and kept them, to the intent that of these some being planted of God and tilled might serve thee. For as soon as thy word went forth the work was made. For immediately there was great and innumerable fruit, and many and divers pleasures for the taste, and flowers of unchangeable color, and odors of wonderful smell: and this was done the third day.

4 Ezra (2 Esdras) 6:42-44

And on the third day He commanded the waters to pass from off the face of the whole earth into one place, and the dry land to appear. And the waters did so as He commanded them, and they retired from off the face of the earth into one place outside of this firmament, and the dry land appeared. And on that day He created for them all the seas according to their separate gathering-places, and all the rivers, and the gatherings of the waters in the mountains and on all the earth, and all the lakes, and all the dew of the earth, and the seed which is sown, and all sprouting things, and fruit-bearing trees, and trees of the wood, and the garden of Eden, in Eden and all plants after their kind. These four great works God created on the third day.

Jubilees 2:5-8(a)

Both 4 Ezra and Jubilees are consistent with the Genesis account of what happened on the third day.

Then Yahuah said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear; and it was so. And Yahuah called the dry land earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called seas. And Yahuah saw that it was good. Then Yahuah said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the her that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth; and it was so.

Genesis 1:9-11

Creation Day Four

Creation day four image

On day four of the creation week the Sun, Moon, and stars appear. These three heavenly timekeepers will set the boundaries of night and day, and calibrate months and years, the seasons, and feast days. The Sun, called the greater light, is pre-eminent. It is appointed to be the great sign that will govern sabbaths, appointed times, jubilees, and seasons of the year. This is covenant calendar language.

The Moon and stars are the lesser lights that govern the night. (Psalms 136:9) All three are said to be located in the firmament.

On the fourth day you commanded that the sun should shine, and the moon give her light, and the stars should be in order: and gave them a charge to do service unto man, that was to be made.

4 Ezra (2 Esdras) 6: 45,46

And on the fourth day He created the sun and the moon and the stars, and set them in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon all the earth, and to rule over the day and the night, and divide the light from the darkness. And God appointed the sun to be a great sign on the earth for days and for sabbaths and for months and for feasts and for years and for sabbaths of years and for jubilees and for all seasons of the years. And it divides the light from the darkness [and] for prosperity, that all things may prosper which shoot and grow on the earth. These three kinds He made on the fourth day.

Jubilees 2: 8(b)-11(a)

Then Yahuah said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and sasons,a nd for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth; and it was so. Then Yahuah made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. Yahuah set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And Yahuah saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:14-18

Creation Day Five

day05

Birds and sea creatures are created on the fifth day and told to be fruitful and multiply. But Ezra tells us that it was on this day that two other beings were given life, and a purpose. According to Ezra, Behemoth and Leviathan were among the first fleshly creatures that were created. Behemoth5 occupied land where there are a thousand hills while Leviathan lived in the sea. (Psalm 104:26)

Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eats grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moves his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. He is the chief of the ways of Elohim: he that made him can make his sword to approach.

Job 40:15-19
Behemoth and Leviathan
Behemoth and Leviathan

Job’s description of Leviathan is equally as fascinating.

Can you draw out leviathan with a hook? or his tongue with and cord which you let down? Can you put a hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?

Job 41:1,2

Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants? Can you fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears?

Job 41:6,7

Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about. His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal. One is so near to another, that no air can come between them. They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered.

Job 41:14-17

When you dig a bit deeper into the destiny of these two amazing creatures, you may come to realize that they were created for a specific purpose. There will be survivors of the Great Tribulation who will see New Jerusalem descend from above and flock there for medicine, food, and mercy. These two creatures could be on the menu — the ultimate surf and turf meal that will serve as rations for the hungry and destitute until the food supply can be replenished.

You break the heads of Leviathan in pieces, and gave him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.

Psalms 74:14

And Behemoth shall be revealed from his place and Leviathan shall ascend from the sea, those two great monsters which I created on the fifth day of creation, and shall have kept until that time; and then they shall be food for all that are left.

2 Baruch 29:4-6

Upon the fifth day you said to the seventh part, where the waters were gathered that it should bring forth living creatures, fowls and fishes: and so it came to pass. For the dumb water and without life brought forth living things at the commandment of God, that all people might praise thy wondrous works. Then you did ordain two living creatures, the one thou called Behemoth, and the other Leviathan; And did separate the one from the other: for the seventh part, namely, where the water was gathered together, might not hold them both. Unto Behemoth you gave one part, which was dried up the third day, that he should dwell in the same part, wherein are a thousand hills: But unto Leviathan you gave the seventh part, namely, the moist; and has kept him to be devoured of whom you will, and when.

4 Ezra (2 Esdras) 6: 47-52

And on the fifth day He created great sea monsters in the depths of the waters, for these were the first things of flesh that were created by his hands, the fish and everything that moves in the waters, and everything that flies, the birds and all their kind. And the sun rose above them to prosper (them), and above everything that was on the earth, everything that shoots out of the earth, and all fruit-bearing trees, and all flesh. These three kinds He created on the fifth day.

Jubilees 2: 11(b)-13(a)

Creation Day Six

Day 6 Creation Day image

The animal kingdom and man are created on day six. In the Genesis account we are told that the animals were labeled “living creatures according to its kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth.” Man was created to have dominion over the entire earth. He was created in Yahuah’s image.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, and over all the earth itself and every creature that crawls upon it.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Genesis 1:27,28

The Hebrew word selem (#H6754) is translated in English as image. The word can mean a physical representation of something. The term is suitable when used in the context of idolatry. However, when we are told that man is made in Yah’s image (selem) and likeness (demut), the meaning refers to man’s intended purpose — given to him by his Creator. He was to have dominion over the entire creation as a type of vice-regent.


God’s image obviously does not consist in man’s body which was formed from earthly matter, but in his spiritual, intellectual, moral likeness to God from whom his animating breath came. The emphasis of the prohibition of idols is that they are all material created things. This spiritual aspect of man has been damaged by the fall and is daily tarnished by sin. But it was seen in perfection in Christ and will be made perfect in us when salvation is complete.

Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., Bruce K. Waltke, p. 768


Upon the sixth day you gave commandment unto the earth, that before you it should bring forth beasts, cattle, and creeping things:  and after these, Adam also, who thou made lord of all your creatures: of him come we all, and the people also whom you have chosen.

4 Ezra (2 Esdras) 6:53,54

And on the sixth day He created all the animals of the earth, and all cattle, and everything that moves on the earth. And after all this He created man, a man and a woman created He them, and gave him dominion over all that is upon the earth, and in the seas, and over everything that flies, and over beasts and over cattle, and over everything that moves on the earth, and over the whole earth, and over all this He gave him dominion. And these four kinds He created on the sixth day. And there were altogether two and twenty kinds. And He finished all his work on the sixth day –all that is in the heavens and on the earth, and in the seas and in the abysses, and in the light and in the darkness, and in everything.

Jubilees 2:13(b)-16

The 7th Day Sabbath Rest

And on the seventh day Yahuah ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because on that day He rested from all the work of creation that He had accomplished.

Genesis 2:2,3

Unfortunately, the Genesis mention of Yah’s resting on day seven does not go far enough in my opinion. The Father’s seventh day rest was intended for mankind as well. It was set-apart for us so we would have a day to rest from our work (labor) and reconnect with our family and our heavenly Father.

This sabbath day of rest was not something strictly mandated for “the Jews.” It was a way to identify true covenant keepers. Jubilees tells us that the Father makes note of those who honor the sabbath day (the 7th day of the week).

And He finished all His work on the sixth day — all that is in the heavens and the earth, and in the abysses, and in the light and in the darkness, and in everything. And He gave us a great sign, the Sabbath day, that we should work six days, but keep Sabbath on the seventh day from all work. And all the angels of the presence, and all the angels of sanctification, these two great classes — He hath bidden us to keep the Sabbath with Him in heaven and on earth. And He said unto us: ‘Behold, I will separate unto Myself a people from among all the peoples, and these shall keep the Sabbath day, and I will sanctify them unto Myself as My people, and will bless them; as I have sanctified the Sabbath day and do sanctify (it) unto Myself, even so will I bless them, and they shall be My people and I will be their God.

Jubilees 2:16-19

This seventh day Sabbath6 rest was given to believers of all biblical ages from Adam to Yeshua, and will continue into the eternal ages to come. Yeshua and his disciples kept the Sabbath and we are expected to honor it too. Keeping the Sabbath is a sign or a mark that identifies true believers.

Ezra Kept Asking, Seeking, and Knocking

The point of this re-examination of the creation event is to inspire followers of Yeshua to emulate Ezra — a man who wanted to go deeper with Yah. The Father always rewards believers who desire to know more about Him and matters related to the Kingdom. We have to think for ourselves as we walk out this very personal salvation. We live in an age where we can no longer be satisfied with spoon-fed “traditional” church doctrine.

For those brave believers who are ready to break away from the religious doctrinal herd mentality and determine for themselves whether books like Jubilees, 1 & 2 Esdras, 1 Enoch or Baruch deserve consideration, we hear you. The Study Tools section of this website is loaded with resource links to help you along your way. And, as usual, we encourage you to always seek the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Maranatha!


FOOTNOTES

1 Uriel is one of four archangels mentioned in 1 Enoch 8:1 and is credited with being the angel who enlightened the scribe Ezra through many visions. Uriel, as one of the angels of the Presence, was sent by Yah to Lamech to warn Noah (his son) concerning the impending world-wide flood with instructions on how to escape this judgment. (1 Enoch 10:1-4)

2 For information on the role angels play in ministry and agency, see The Gospel Worth Dying For Chapter 9, “Agency and Prolepsis.”

3 The R.H. Charles translation.

4 Deuteronomy 10:14 (LXX): “Behold, to Yahuah your Elohim belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, and the earth and everything in it.” Yah dwells in the highest part of the firmaments – the Heaven of Heavens. This is why He is sometimes regarded as the Most High.

5 The word behemoth (Strong’s #H930) is the same in English as it is in Hebrew and is the plural form of the word behemah (Strong’s #H929). Behemah can mean beast, cattle, or large quadruped (four-legged) animal. It is interesting that this creature is connected to a location where there are “a thousand hills.” Just speculation, but is there a connection to Psalms 50:10 which states: “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle (behemah) upon a thousand hills?”

6 The Sabbath is NOT Sunday, which is the first day of the week. The Emperor Constantine made Sunday a day of rest from labor and the Roman Catholic Church made this change. Unfortunately many Protestant denominations followed suit. See the article, “Who Changed the Sabbath to Sunday?” (Linking to this article is not an endorsement of this website or its ministry. It is for research purposes only.)