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.”
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.
This goes beyond ritual. These assemblies encourage spiritual discipline, obedience, and brotherly/sisterly love – integral components of Kingdom life.
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.
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.
The Passover to Yahuah begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shavuot did not begin with Moses. It has been celebrated since creation.
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.’ ”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Creation Day two
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
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.
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..
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.
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
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.
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.
Creation Day Four
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. Hemade 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.
Creation Day Five
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’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?
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.)
The instructions of Yah are perfect, reviving the soul; The degrees of Yah are trustworthy, making wise the simple. Psalms 19:7
I am a simple person, so I guess this is why I love simple things.
Needless to say, simplicity played a huge role in the structure and design of this year’s appointed times calendar.
My goal was to produce an easy-to-understand, “no frills” calendar that tracks well with the Gregorian calendar. Brothers and sisters like me who are not particularly “tech-savvy” will find it easy to download and print.
This short format works great for those of us who like posting our calendar on the refrigerator door rather than hanging it on a wall.
Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter seasons have their own dedicated pages. This “no-frills” format allows you to see the current date, day of the week, and feast days at-a-glance.
Scripture Cross References for Appointed Times
In addition to Bible canon scripture references, there are also verses included from 1 Enoch, the Book of Jubilees, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
First Fruits Memorial Days
Barley, Wheat, Wine, and Oil First Fruits memorial days are highlighted, with keys for tracking each.
Oil and Wood Offering Memorial Days (DSS)
The First Fruits of New Oil festival occurs on day 22 of the sixth month.
The week-long Festival of Wood Offerings ceremony begins the day after the Festival of New Oil. It occurs in the 6th month on days 23-28 and historically involved the (paired) tribes of Levi & Judah, Benjamin & Joseph (his sons), Reuben & Simeon, Issachar & Zebulon, Gad & Asher, and Dan & Naphtali.
Truth Nuggets & Other Scriptural Witnesses
Home-schooling moms and dads who may want to help their children dive deeper into the Word will find these very useful. Extra-biblical books that have been removed from our western bibles still contain valuable truth nuggets. The GWDF calendar cites a few of these writings on the Winter page (months 10-12) to help you do a “deep dive” into the lives of the 12 Patriarchs and Prophets like Baruch, Enoch, and Ezra. Other breadcrumbs listed from Jubilees and the Brenton Septuagint (LXX) will hopefully inspire you in these last days.
New Year. New Beginnings.
Spring is one of my favorite seasons of the year. In Texas (where I live), the leaves appear and the birds sing songs as they build their nests. The days get longer as plants grow and flowers bloom. It is a time of new beginnings for all of us.
This year, New Year’s Day will begin on March 22nd. During these three months of Spring, we will celebrate the Passover and Unleavened Bread, Shavuot, and Feast of Weeks memorials.
If you will indulge me, I would like to share how I have traditionally celebrated these appointed times with friends.
Month 1 Day 14(beginning in the evening) is Passover (Pesach) when I usually roast lamb chops with friends and enjoy a meal together while remembering all that Yeshua (Jesus), our Melchizedek High Priest, has done for us. Knowing that He is performing all his priestly duties in heaven right now, brings me so much joy and peace.
Month 1 Days 15-21is the seven-day feast of Unleavened Bread. My friends and I eat unleavened bread for the duration of this feast. The first and last day (of this week) are Holy Sabbath days of rest. Since the fourth day of Unleavened Bread falls on the weekly Sabbath, we get an extra day of rest – three in all!
Leaven is a metaphor for the sins that separate us from our Heavenly Father. During this time we examine ourselves and ask Yahuah for forgiveness in Yeshua’s name by confessing our transgressions. (1 John 3:4)
Month 1 Day 26 marks the First Fruits of Barley and the start of the seven week (49 days) count to Month 3 Day 15 (the 50th day) known as the Shavuot/Pentecost/Feast of Weeks memorial. Shavuot is a multi-faceted feast – a time for renewing our covenant with the Most High. I use this time to grow deeper in my relationship with Yah and Yeshua. It is a daily struggle in this earthly body, but the effort is worth it.
I don’t have a place to grow barley, wheat, or oil, but I can renew the covenant with our Heavenly Father in my heart through study, confession, and prayer.
Yahuah has blessed us with several memorial feasts to look forward to this Spring. These are days you and I can celebrate with friends and family alike. Yah is a loving Father who desires to spend time with us. With this in mind, I pray this short, sweet, and simple appointed times calendar will enrich your life and help you draw closer to Yahuah and His son, our High Priest, Yeshua. Amein.
The role the fall feasts play in helping us fully comprehend the person and mission of our Messiah can not be understated. These autumnal festivals — Yom Teruah (Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Atonement), and Sukkot (Tabernacles) — point to Yeshua’s Second Coming. They are also unique in that they follow a certain Gospel of the Kingdom thematic progression.
The spring feasts — Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Shavuot — outline the first phase of Yahuah‘s redemptive plan for humanity. Passover anticipates the moment Yeshua, our sinless Redeemer and High Priest, returns and resurrects us. His wrath “passes over” us as he and his righteous angelic hosts descend to battle the wicked on earth during the event known as the “Day of the Lord.” Unleavened Bread points to the glorified sinless bodies we will receive upon resurrection. Shavuot is a dual feast memorial, symbolic of when we fully receive the Holy Spirit upon resurrection and have Yah’s laws written on our hearts. This is the moment we are finally born-again into sinless bodies that will be incapable of ever sinning again.1
What’s more, taken altogether, the spring and fall feasts vividly illustrate the plan of redemption made possible by the blood of Yeshua.
Feasts and Appointed Times
The word for feast in Hebrew is mishteh ( משתה). It refers, in a general sense, to a banquet where food and drink is offered in abundance. Feasts are held for a variety of reasons: to commemorate an important event, honor a monarch, or celebrate a marriage. Abraham made a great mishteh when Isaac was weaned (Genesis 21:8), Pharaoh arranged a birthday mishteh for his servants (Genesis 40:20), Abigail held a mishteh “like a king” for her husband Nabal (1 Samuel 25:36), and Laban prepared a wedding mishteh for Leah and Rachel (Genesis 29:21,22)
The other word often translated as feast is the Hebrew word moed (מוער). It can mean appointed place or time, an appointment, meeting, fixed time, season or assembly. Technically it means congregation or, by extension, a place of meeting.
In a nutshell, a moed is the worshipping assembly of Yahuah’s people. The plural form of this noun is moedim (מועדים). They are annual gatherings or appointed times that the Most High has mandated by royal decree for all believers.2 These are not non-biblical, secular “holidays” like Christmas or Easter.3 Leviticus 23:2 tells us that Yahuah has proclaimed these particular feasts as His own. They are His feasts (not the “Jews”) and serve as a mark of identity for His people.
Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say unto them, The feasts of the Lord which ye shall call holy assemblies, these are my feasts.
Brenton Septuagint (LXX)
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, The set feasts of Jehovah, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my set feasts.
American Standard Version
Speak unto the sons of Israel, and thou hast said unto them, Appointed seasons of Jehovah, which ye proclaim, holy convocations, are these: they are My appointed seasons:
Young’s Literal Translation
Once you wean yourself from following secular holidays on the Gregorian calendar, you will begin to experience the new depth of understanding that Yah’s feasts bring to your spiritual walk. When the Most High called them His appointed times He wanted His people to understand that He was the Master of the calendar and the author of creation. On the seventh day He rested and expects us to rest each week on the seventh day Sabbath, which is also an appointed time.
And Yahuah spoke unto Mosheh, saying, Speak unto the children of Yashar’el4 and say to them, ‘Concerning the feasts of Yahuah, which ye shall proclaim to be holy assemblies, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Shabbath of rest, a holy assembly; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Shabbath of Yahuah in all your dwellings.
Leviticus 23:1-3 The Cepher
And on the seventh day, Elohim completed His work that He made, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work, which He had made. And Elohim blessed the seventh day and sanctified it (set it apart for a holy purpose), because He rested from all His work on it, which Elohim created to make.
The weekly Sabbath was set apart at creation before Noah, Abraham, or Israel ever existed. In their attempt to unite and harmonize pagan practices, the church at Roman changed the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day of the week (Sun-day). This was done because they practiced sun god worship of Mithra. The Romans had found a way to control people through familiar concepts and practices.
Constantine the Great changed the Sabbath to Sunday on March 7, in the year 321 CE (Common Era). The Catholic Church quickly followed suit.
“It [the Roman Catholic Church] reversed the Fourth Commandment by doing away with the Sabbath of God’s word and instituting Sunday as a holiday.”
History of the Christian Church (1873), N. Summerbell
The Pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even Divine Laws…The Pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man, but of God, and he acts as vicegerent of God upon earth.” Translated from Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca (Ready Library).
Translated from Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca
We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.
The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1946), Peter Geiermann,
Unfortunately, many heathen idolatrous customs and traditions have been mixed in with Christianity, and Yah’s appointed times have been ignored or forgotten by the church. When you substitute Sun-day worship for the true Sabbath, you break the fourth commandment.
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahuah your Elohim, on which you must not do any work—neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant or livestock, nor the foreigner within your gates. For in six days Yahuah made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, but on the seventh day He rested. Therefore Yahuah blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as Yahuah our Elohim has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahuah your Elohim, on which you must not do any work—neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox or donkey or any of your livestock, nor the foreigner within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest as you do.
Sabbath days of rest are also incorporated into appointed times such as Unleavened Bread, Shavuot, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and the Last Great Day feast.
The Fall Feasts of Yah
Yom Teruah – 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.
The blowing of the trumpet or shofar (yobel/Strong’s #2986) on this feast day is a call for Yah’s people to assemble. Yom (Strong’s #3117) means”day” in Hebrew. Teruah (Strong’s #8623) can mean either “a shout or blast of war, alarm, or joy.”
These various trumpet sounds conveyed a specific message to the congregation. It instructed the people to either prepare for war or celebration. In these last days it is conceivable that both meanings hold true as we march toward the day when Yah’s Kingdom comes to earth.
Trumpet sounds are mentioned numerous times throughout biblical history.
1 Corinthians 15:52 — resurrection
Revelation 8:6 — 7 angels blowing 7 trumpets
Numbers 10:2-8 — trumpet blasts calling community together and dispersing the camps on their journeys
Psalm 98:6 — instruments used for making a “joyful noise”
Hosea 5:8 — battle cry as a foreign invader enters the land
1 Chronicles 16:6 — priests with trumpets before the ark
Matthew 24:31 — gathering of the elect
Joshua 6:13 — Joshua’s campaign against Jericho
Judges 7:18 — Gideon’s campaign against Midian
Many times in scriptures our Heavenly Father’s voice is compared to that of a trumpet.
After this I looked and saw a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had previously heard speak to me like a trumpet was saying, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after these things.”
For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom, and storm; to a trumpet blast or to a voice that made its hearers beg that no further word be spoken.
Hebrews 12: 18,19
On the third day, when morning came, there was thunder and lightning. A thick cloud was upon the mountain, and a very loud blast of the ram’s horn went out, so that all the people in the camp trembled.
Let’s take another look at Joshua’s strategy for taking the land at Jericho. They were instructed to march around the city 7 times while the priests blew 7 shofars. Finally, at the long blast of the seventh trumpet, the people were to shout a great shout. This is when the kingdom of Jericho came to an end and the people conquered it. They victoriously entered their Promised Land.
The Hebrew word shout is rua (Strong’s #7321) and means to raise a shout or give a blast. Teruah (Strong’s #8643) can mean either a shout or blast of war, alarm, or joy. We see both going on here with the priests blowing trumpets and the people shouting on the 7th shofar blast.
So what is Yom Teruah, all about? In my humble opinion this day of trumpet blasts or soundings should cause us to look back at what happened when Joshua took Jericho and what we can look forward to at the resurrection. Every time we remember Yom Teurah we are rehearsing the day the trumpet will sound and those who have put their trust in Yeshua will rise in the resurrection. At that time we will enter the Promised Land of New Jerusalem and serve our King Yeshua in his Kingdom on earth.
Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement
On the tenth day of this seventh month, you are to hold a sacred assembly, and you shall humble yourselves; you must not do any work.
Yom Kippur comes ten days after Yom Teruah as the mood shifts from the blowing of trumpets, to a spirit of humility before Yah. There is much debate about how we should memorialize this day. Should we collectively fast, pray, or do something else? Why is this called a day of atonement? Before we go further in our effort to unpack the meaning of this important day, let’s dig deeper into the Hebrew words for atonement and humble.
Historically Yom Kippur was a day marked by a sin offering for the entire nation. On this day the high priest would enter the inner veil of the Temple bearing the blood of the sin offering. (Hebrews 9:7) A second goat or “scapegoat” (azazel) was released as a visual illustration of the total removal of sin.
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.
The word atonement used in this verse is the Hebrew word kaphar (Strong’s #3722) which means to cover over, pacify, forgive, appease or make propitiation.
When we examine the word humble, it gets a bit stickier as it relates to Yom Kippur. Rabbinical tradition holds that a day of fasting was required of this day. They apparently equated fasting with humility. But is this how we are to interpret it? When you compare scriptures using the Hebrew word for humble — anah — you may come to a different conclusion. Here are a few examples:
Then Yahuah said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not their own, and they will be enslaved and afflicted four hundred years.
He humbled you, and in your hunger He gave you manna to eat, which neither you nor your fathers had known, so that you might understand that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
So the Egyptians appointed taskmasters over the Israelites to afflict them with forced labor. As a result, they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.
If anah meant fast, then the Israelites would have been fasting a long time during their Egyptian enslavement. Forty years of fasting in the wilderness would have annihilated these people. In both Matthew and Mark’s gospels the Pharisees asked Yeshua why his disciples did not fast.
Jesus replied, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while He is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
When prophesying about the New Jerusalem in the coming Kingdom, Zechariah mentions fasting done in the seventh month.
This is what the LORD of Hosts says: The fasts of the fourth, the fifth, the seventh, and the tenth months will become times of joy and gladness, cheerful feasts for the house of Judah. Therefore you are to love both truth and peace.
Arguments can be made for both sides I guess. So, does Yah command us to fast on this day? I don’t believe He has. It is possible to do a fast and not have a heart that is submitted to Yeshua, our High Priest and coming King. I tend to agree with brothers and sisters in the faith who choose to honor this unique Sabbath day by submitting to his Torah commandments and confessing our individual sins and the sins of our nation with a spirit of humility.
Sukkot – Feast of Booths
On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, you are to hold a sacred assembly; you must not do any regular work, and you shall observe a feast to Yahuah for seven days.
Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles is considered a festival of joy because it was during this time that Rachel found out she was pregnant with Benjamin and Abraham learned that Sarah was with child. Abraham is the first to celebrate Sukkot; building booths or sukkahs for himself and his servants. It was also during this festival that Jacob passed the priesthood to Levi.
And Levi discharged the priestly office at Bethel before Jacob his father in preference to his ten brothers, and he was a priest there, and Jacob gave his vow: thus he tithed again tithe to the Lord and sanctified it, and it became holy unto him.
Book of Jubilees 32:9, R.H. Charles translation
On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the produce of the land, you are to celebrate a feast to Yahuah for seven days. There shall be complete rest on the first day and also on the eighth day.
The feast of Sukkot, along with Unleavened Bread and Shavuot are considered pilgrimage festivals.
Three times a year all your men are to appear before the LORD your God in the place He will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles. No one should appear before Yahuah empty-handed.
When you study the Scriptures and take careful note, you will also see how a December 25th birthday for our Messiah is not believable. For one thing, we are told that the shepherds were watching over their sheep at night. After month seven the cold and rainy season would have set in and the sheep brought inside. The first chapter of Luke provides more evidence to the timing of Yeshua’s birth.
There was 6 months between the birth of Yochanan (John) and the birth of Yeshua according to scripture. Hebrew tradition asserts that John was born at Passover. Yeshua would then be born 6 months later; perfect timing for Sukkot. The course of Abijah5 and this reasoning would not add up for Yeshua to have been born in December. In Luke 2:10 it states that “great joy” would be to all people. Sukkot was already known as the “Season of Our Joy”. What would make it more joyful than a savior being born and tabernacling with us at that very season? Sukkot is a picture perfect time for the birth of The Messiah. Most Messianic Jews teach that Yeshua was born on the 1st day of Sukkot and then circumcised on the 8th day of Shemini Atzeret (incidently, both of these days are Sabbaths). Sukkot would have been perfect timing! Hebrews 9:11 speaks of Yeshua being a more perfect “tabernacle”.
Leisa Baysinger, Our Ancients Paths
John was conceived by Elizabeth when his father Zechariah’s priestly course ended. Mary conceived Yeshua by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) at the sixth month mark of Elizabeth’s pregnancy; placing his birth around the time of Sukkot. It is interesting that the name Abijah means “Yahuah is my father.” Huppah and Jeshebeab’s courses (13 and 14) came around the time of Sukkot in the fall. Huppah means “covering or canopy.” Jeshebeab’s name means “may the father sojourn or dwelling of the father.” This gives us a new perspective on the Word that became flesh and tabernacled among us!
On the eighth day you are to hold a solemn assembly; you must not do any regular work.
Numbers 29: 35
The eight day which is attached to Sukkot is also called Addition or the Eighth Great Day. The Book of Jubilees attributes this added day to the feast of booths to Jacob.
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 days of the year.
Book of Jubilees 32:27-30, R.H.Charles translation
I sincerely hope what is written here will help you in your quest to know more about the Kingdom of Yahuah. As believers in Messiah we have a wonderful inheritance awaiting us if we don’t stray off the ancient paths. If this information is new to you, that’s alright. You can begin researching everything that is included in the articles posted on this blog and information included in our book The Gospel Worth Dying For (in PDF or paperback).
Download the 2022/2023 Feast Calendar
We have prepared a calendar for you to follow as you dig deeper into your understanding of the feasts of Yahuah. It has been synced with dates on the Gregorian calendar and is available below as a free PDF download.
1 Most of us were taught to focus solely on the second half of the Bible; suggesting that the Old Testament was not relevant to New Testament believers in Messiah. This old/new covenant dichotomy as led to much confusion. The Bible’s message is a united whole. The narrative is integrated and will not make sense if treated as two separate messages. The promises given to Abraham will not be realized until the Kingdom comes down to earth. Our New Covenant promises will not be realized until we are resurrected and born again from the womb of Sheol. This side of immortality we have a down payment on those promises through the presence of the Ruach HaKodesh and experience the new birth proleptically. (Hebrews 8:1-12 and Jeremiah 31: 27-34).
2 Each festival of Yah is a moed (מוער). However, when the word chag (חג) is used, it denotes the three annual “pilgrim” festivals which were mandatory for all Hebrew males: Unleavened Bread, Shavuot, and Sukkot.
3 The Christmas festival was a part of pagan sun worship long before the birth of Yeshua. Originally called Saturnalia or Paganalia, it served as a compromise in attempts to lure pagans into Christianity. During the time of Constantine’s rule the Roman church assigned December 25 as the date for the celebration of Yeshua’s birth around 320 or 350 CE. (Jeremiah 10:1-8)The Scriptures however place Messiah’s birth at the time of the fall feasts. Easter, with its fertility bunnies and eggs, is also a pagan celebration taken out of Babylon. It is not another way of honoring Passover. (1 Corinthians 11:23-24) Easter’s pagan rites of spring is connected to Nimrod and the sun god Baal. Easter worship began during the early 2nd century by bishop Sixtus of Rome.
4Israel: He will rule as Elohiym or prince of Elohiym; the upright in Elohiym. Yashar’el: a symbolical name of Ya’aqov; also (typically) of his posterity: the nation of the 12 tribes; the name of the kingdom of the 10 northern tribes after the split of the kingdom of Shalom. (The house of Yashar’el). The identity of all believers in MASHIACH. [Cepher definition]
Note: Do not confuse Yashar’el with the modern day nation of Israel. Biblical Israel or Yashar’el is rooted in the entirety of the Scriptures. This includes the Bible canon of 66 books and other extra biblical writings. Judaism incorporates “Jewish” rabbinical interpretation, Talmudic caveats, and tradition into its theology. Judaism does not represent the message of the Gospel once and for all delivered to the saints.
5 David set up the 24 priestly divisions and handed the instructions over to Solomon. During David’s reign there were two priests, Abiathar and Zadok. However, when Abiathar participated in the rebellion against David which was fomented by Adonijah, he was removed. At this time Zadok (a descendent of Eleazar) and his descendants occupied the office of High Priest. The divisions collapsed after Judah was carried off to Babylon in 586 B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) (1 Kings 1:1-8; 1:24-26)
Shavuot — also known as the Feast of Weeks — is the second of three mandatory pilgrimage festivals to Jerusalem that the men of Israel were required to make each year. These three so-called “ascendant” festivals served as a visual affirmation of the nation’s commitment to the Most High. They were mandated by Torah, and a condition of the nation’s covenant promise to Yahuah.
Three times a year all your men are to appear before the LORD your God in the place He will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the LORD empty-handed.
Deuteronomy 16:16 Berean Study Bibles
Since all believers in Messiah through faith and obedience are considered Israel,1 when we memorialize Yah’s feasts we honor our Heavenly Father. Through our actions we show others that we want to go home — back to the Garden. We are demonstrating our faith in the Father’s promise that through Yeshua we will live with Him in New Jerusalem. This place is also known as the Promised Land which descends to earth following the tribulation.
Then one of the seven angels with the seven bowls full of the seven final plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the holy city of Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, shining with the glory of God. Its radiance was like a most precious jewel, like a jasper, as clear as crystal. The city had a great and high wall with twelve gates inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, and twelve angels at the gates.
The heart’s desire of every believer is to go home. Our journey back to the paradise that was lost by Adam involves a rough and tumble pilgrimage. The way is paved with heartache, pain, disappointment, fear, deception, and betrayal. However, humanity’s dream of ultimately dwelling with our Creator can only become a reality through Yeshua. He meant it when he promised to prepare a place for us in the Kingdom to come. (John 14:2,3)
Both Isaiah and Micah hinted at these pilgrimages actually being dress rehearsals for what resurrected saints will see happening once New Jerusalem comes down to earth. The “sheep nations” (Matthew 25:31-34) consisting of mortal humanity who enter the Millennium will also participate in these pilgrimages as part of their training in righteousness.
In the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways so that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Isaiah 2:2,3 Berean Study Bible
And many nations will come and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Micah 4:2 Berean Study Bible
And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.
Revelation 21: 24-26 New King James Version
Our Return to the Kingdom
In our effort to get back home, we must ascend or go up little-by-little. The Hebrew word for ascent is ma’alot. It is used often in the Psalms of Ascent — Psalms 120-134. Just as the Hebrews journeyed up to Jerusalem to present their gifts, we must also ascend to a higher way of living.
Many believe the ascent referred to were the 15 steps that led to the Jerusalem temple. Others think the ascent is connected to the people’s journey back from exile. Both interpretations hold true. Like rebellious Israel and Judah, we too have been disobedient. We have spent years in exile, separated from the Father. We have broken His covenant and long for His presence.
While the earthly temple was never meant to be an end in itself, it pointed to a time and place where Father and Son would dwell with humanity. So ultimately, these Psalms of Ascent remind us that Yah’s presence with His people will become a reality.
Here are excerpts from just a few of the Psalms of Ascent that the people sang on their way to Jerusalem.
I will lift up my eyes to the hills — From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
Psalm 121:1-4 NKJV
Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together, where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, to the Testimony of Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD. For thrones are set there for judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
Psalm 122: 3-5 NKJV
Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, until He has mercy on us.
Psalm 123:1,2 NKJV
Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD; Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If you, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.
Psalm 130:1-5 NKJV
If your sons will keep My covenant and My testimony which I shall teach them, their sons also shall sit upon your throne forevermore.” For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place: “This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation. And her saints shall shout aloud for joy. NKJV
These Psalms of Ascent remind believers that when we follow the Way of Yeshua, we will ascend to a higher level of faith and spiritual maturity. We will remember the Father’s mercy, forgiveness, kindness, long suffering, redemption and love. These are the things that bring us joy as we focus on the Father and His rules for living righteously.
Shavuot’s Ties to Noah, Abraham, and Moses
Shavuot is a festival of renewal of the eternal Covenant. Jubilees tells us that this festival has been kept in heaven since the beginning — before the earth was created. It was celebrated by Noah, Moses, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
We serve a Creator who keeps His promises and expects us to do the same. Yah told Noah that He would never again destroy the world with a flood and promised that the Seasons would continue as long as the earth remained.
And He gave to 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. And this whole festival was celebrated in heaven from the day of creation till the days of Noah…
Jubilees 6:15-18Pseudepigrapha, by R.H. Charles
“Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said: This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: “I set My rainbow in the clouds and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
Genesis 9:11-13New King James Version
After Noah died, his sons and grandsons did not continue this feast. However, Abraham did.
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 9:19Pseudepigrapha, by R.H. Charles
And in the fifth year of the fourth week of this jubilee, in the third month, in the middle of the month, Abram celebrated the feast of the first-fruits of the grain harvest. And he offered new offerings on the altar, the first-fruits of the produce, unto the Lord, an heifer and a goat and a sheep on the altar as a burnt sacrifice unto the Lord; their fruit offerings and their drink offerings he offered upon the altar with frankincense. And the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him: ‘I am God Almighty; approve thyself before me and be thou perfect. And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and I will multiply thee exceedingly.’ And Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him and said: ‘Behold my ordinance is with thee, and thou shalt be the father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but they name from henceforth, even for ever, shall be Abraham. For the father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee very great, and I will make thee into nations, and kings shall come forth from thee. And I shall establish My covenant between Me and thee, and to thy seed after thee.2
Jubilees 15:1-9 Pseudepigrapha, by R.H. Charles
It is interesting that the golden calf incident in Exodus 32 is also connected to Shavuot. In their impatience and impudence the people pressured Aaron into making an idol. This act violated the first and second commandments.
And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made molded calf. Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!” So when Aaron saw it, he built an alter before it. And aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD.”
Exodus 32:4,5 New King James Version
I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt; out of the house of bondage. You hall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image — any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.
Deuteronomy 5: 6-9 New King James Version
And do command the children of Israel to observe this festival in all their generations for a commandment unto them: one day in the year in this month they shall celebrate the festival. For it is the feast of weeks and the feast of first fruits: this feast is twofold and oaf a double nature: according to what is written and engraved concerning it, celebrate it. For I have written in this book of the first law, in that which I have written for thee its sacrifices that the children of Israel should remember and should celebrate it throughout their generations in this month, one day in every year.
Exodus 32:4,5 New King James Version
Shavuot is Pentecost
Shavuot is not just a “Jewish” thing as some naively insist. It is a festival that we are told to celebrate from generation to generation. Yeshua recognized its significance when he chose this day to fill his disciples with the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room on Pentecost.3 (Pentecost to the Greek work which means “the fiftieth day.” This is not a coincidence.
Leviticus tells us that this “Feast of Weeks” happens on the fiftieth day, following 7 weeks of Sabbaths after Passover (7×7 = 49 +1). It is also the day Moses presented the Torah (rules for living) to the people at Sinai.
You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. ‘You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD.
Leviticus 23:15,16 Berean Study Bible
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 2:1-4 Berean Study Bible
What was inscribed on stone tablets at Mount Sinai was now proleptically being inscribed on believing hearts of flesh. When the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) was given in Acts, it was a foreshadowing of the first Resurrection event when the redeemed would receive new bodies. Our resurrection bodies will have the Torah engraved on our hearts so we will never sin again.
Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt — a covenant they broke, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD. I will put My law in their minds and inscribe it on their hearts. And I will be their God,and they will be My people. No longer will each man teach his neighbor or his brother,saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquitiesand will remember their sins no more.”
Jeremiah 31:31-34 Berean Study Bible
This New Covenant reality has not yet materialized. If you are tempted to say yes, it has, then ask yourself these questions: “Do you have all of the commandments contained in the Scriptures committed to memory? Do you still sin?” Both Jeremiah and the author of Hebrews 8:8-10 are speaking of a future event.
The Joy of Remembering Shavuot
Although as believers in Messiah we are not journeying to a temple in Jerusalem these days, we are encouraged to remember Yah’s Feasts Days. These annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem reminded the Israelites of their heritage and the eternal promises of Yah. They were considered joyous occasions because the people were given the opportunity to give back to Yah in appreciation for all He had done for them. It should do the same for us as we await our Messiah’s return.
As you read through the Psalms of Ascent your heart will be lead to meditate on the goodness of Yah. In his rules for living called the Torah, we are taught how to love our Father and our brothers and sisters. These festivals are a way of promoting community, strengthening our faith, and giving honor to Yah. The gift of the Holy Spirit was meant to empower us to do this. What a joy!
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing — Life forevermore.
Psalm 133, A Song of Ascents of David, New King James Version
1 Biblical Israel has nothing to do with the nation which currently bears that name in the Middle East. It consists of believers from every nation, tribe, tongue and people who have put their faith in the Messiah for redemption. This process, also known as salvation is carried out by our High Pries Yeshua and will reach its apex at the resurrection. However, the land on which earthly Jerusalem now sits will also be the place where the New Jerusalem will descend to earth. See The Gospel Worth Dying For, Chapter 6, “Here Comes the Bride.”
2 Compare with Genesis 15 and The Apocalypse of Abraham Part 2, Chapters 9, 20
3 From Strong’s #G4005, pentekoste. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon gives this definition: “the second of the three great Jewish feasts, celebrated at Jerusalm yearly, the seventh week after the Passover, in grateful recognition of the completed harvest.”
The Hebrew calendar in Jubilees and Enoch is the focus of this article. Why? Because this 364 day solar based method of timekeeping is not just a register of the year. This calendar dictates when we celebrate appointed times and marks the seasons of the year. It also serves as a token of religious identity and facilitates loving fellowship and community. Needless to say, the type of calendar we choose to follow will impact our spiritual walk in profound ways.
Essential to any calendar is the notion of order. Without order, a calendar is rendered useless. From the beginning, the Father decreed that the sun, moon, and stars would move in orderly precision along predictablepaths. Consequently, these luminaries were equipped to govern the yearly, monthly, and weekly feast observances.
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.
Jubilees 2:8,9 R.H. Charles translation
Then God said, “Let there be light-bearers (sun, moon, stars) in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be useful for signs (tokens) [of God’s provident care], and for marking seasons, days, and years;
Genesis 1:14 The Amplified Bible
These scripture verses tell us that the sun, moon, and stars are also involved in time tracking. However, the sun was given a unique role. It was created to be a great sign, and plays a predominate part in the scheduling of sabbaths and feast days.
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.
Jubilees 2:9,10 R.H. Charles translation
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 out in them according to their testimony, and they will not leave out any day nor disturb any feasts.
Jubilees 6:32 R.H. Charles translation
As we dive deeper into a study of the Scriptures, we all come to a point when we ask questions like: “Is the Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday?”, “What calendar should I use?”, or “Am I observing the right feast days?” Questions like these are not frivolous. They are the breadcrumbs of discovery that help us realize the calendar’s connection to our covenant with the Almighty. Since all believers in Messiah are destined to become part of a Kingdom of priests, having an accurate calendar is essential to fulfilling our covenant responsibilities.
But there are so many versions of the Hebrew calendar being published these days, it is hard to know which one is sanctioned by Yah. Is it the lunar, solar, or lunar-solar hybrid version? Is a year 365 or 364 days? Do “holidays” such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter meet the criteria for Yah’s appointed times? How you answer these questions will have a profound impact on your spiritual growth.
Babylon’s Influence on the Calendar
Judah’s punishment for ignoring the land rest (amongst other infractions1 they committed relative to the Covenant) landed them in Babylon for 70 years. During their captivity it appears the people began assigning Babylonian names to months of the year. Traditionally days of the week and months of the year were numerically designated (i.e. month one or day one). Ancient Hebrews began their year in the spring, in the month of Abib, which is month one. (Exodus 13:4)
In Hebrew, Abib means “fresh, young ears of barley.” During the spring feast of Unleavened Bread, barley was the grain offering as it was the first major crop to ripen for harvest. Wheat was brought as an offering during Shavuot (approximately 50 days later) when that crop ripened. Typically, wine, oil, dates, grapes and figs were brought for the autumn festival of Sukkot, held in the seventh month.2
However, the exiled Israelites of the southern kingdom began calling the first month of the liturgical year Nisan. The seventh month was called Tishrei, and was regarded as the beginning of the civil new year. Tishrei means “beginning” and originates from the Babylonian/Akkadian word tasritu.3 It includes other festivals not mentioned in Torah such as the Fast of Gedalia, Hoshanna Rabbah, and Shemini Atzeret. On the Gregorian calendar Tishrei occurs between September and October, around the time of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). Although the people were warned against worshipping strange gods, they chose to call month four Tammuz.
“Son of man,” He said to me, “do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol? For they are saying, ‘The LORD does not see us; the LORD has forsaken the land.’ ” Again, He told me, “You will see them committing even greater abominations.” Then He brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the LORD, and I saw women sitting there, weeping for Tammuz.4
Ezekiel 8:12-14 Berean Study Bible
Some argue that 1 Kings is evidence that the Hebrews did indeed name their months of the year. They cite the following passage:
So all the men of Israel assembled before King Solomon at the annual Festival of Shelters, which is held in early autumn in the month of Ethanim.
1 Kings 8:2 New Living Translation
This verse refers to Sukkot, the feast of booths or shelters. Rather than ascribe the word Ethanim5 to the name of a month, it may be better to look closer at its meaning: “steady flowings.” So, instead of being the name of a month, it is perhaps a descriptive term for the heavy rainfall that occurs during the seventh month.
Some speculate that the reason Jewish sages gave the months Babylonian names was because post-exilic Yahudim (Jews) had adopted a lunar calendar, which included Babylonian-named months. The destruction of the Temple and the decoupling from their agrarian/religious rituals during the second Temple period may have also played a part.
Most of the so-called “Jewish” calendars found online today are of Rabbinic construction and rely heavily on human observations of the moon.
However, prior to the Hasmonean period, ancient Israel marked time based on an Enochian calendar:6
Every date on their calendar was anchored to a specific day of the week and did not changes from year to year.
Each quarter of the calendar would begin on day four, a Wednesday. It is 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 of the appointed times or feast days occurred on the same day of the same month each year.
This calendar does 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
Israel (Northern Kingdom) separated from Judah (Southern Kingdom) around 930 BCE. Once Judah fell in 586 BCE it was never reformed. During the time of the Maccabean revolt, a Hasmonean dynasty began to rule and the land was controlled religiously and politically by foreign usurpers. A new Maccabean/Hasmonean priestly dynasty was formed which had nothing in common with the Aaronic priesthood.
Prior to Antiochus Epiphanes IV, the Hebrews followed a pre-calculated solar calendar. It guided their spiritual life and informed their identity as a set-apart people. To them it was a non-negotiable issue. Absolutely non-negotiable. So the Zadokite priest and others left Jerusalem and went into the wilderness of Qumran. This marked a time of historical and spiritual change for the nation.
Dr. Rachel Elior, Professor of Jewish Philosophy at Hebrew University in Jerusalem
The Solar Calendar in Jubilees and Enoch
The calendar mentioned in the Book of Jubilees and Enoch is evidence of the centrality of the solar calendar in ancient Hebrew culture. This 364 day calendar formula is attributed to Enoch, who was taught how to calculate the days and appointed times by angels.7
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 eternity; but complete the years with perfect justice in 364 days.
1 Enoch 72:128
Professor Michael Segal, lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, says the Jubilees calendar plays a big role in the calendrical texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
A similar calendar has been discovered in some of the Dead Sea scrolls from Qumran. A 364-day calendar is useful from the perspective that the number of days in a year is divisible by 7 (52 weeks = 364 days). Every date in the calendar is therefore anchored to a specific day of the week, and does not change from year to year. The Jubilees calendar is further divided into four quarters, each of which consists of 91 days (13 weeks of 7 days), and since this number is also divisible by 7, each date in the quarter falls out on set day of the week, without any shifts from quarter-to-quarter or year-to-year. Each quarter in the calendar begins on Wednesday, the day of the creation of the heavenly bodies relevant to time keeping (Genesis 1:14-19). Every quarter throughout history is identical, consisting of two months of 30 days and third month of 31.
Author – The Book of Jubilees: Rewritten Bible, Redaction, Ideology and Theology (English: Brill; Hebrew: Magnes; 2007).
Here are the “anchored” feast days that never change based on this calendar:
Head of the Year (1st day of month one) – always falls on the 4th day of the week (Wednesday) after the Vernal Equinox.9
Passover (14th day of month one)
Unleavened Bread (15th-21st day of month one)
Shavuot/First Fruits (15th day of third month)
Trumpets (1st day of 7th month)
Atonement (10th day of 7th month)
Sukkot (15th-22nd day of 7th month) [Includes the Addition]
This calendar is also divisible by 7:
7 days in a week
7 yearly festivals
7 Sabbaths’ countdown to Shavuot (Pentecost)
7 Shmita (sabbatical) years
Enoch is the 7th from Adam
So, it would follow reason that the total number of calendar days for the year should also be divisible by 7. It is. 364 divided by 7 equals 52 weeks in a year. However, a 354 day lunar calendar is not divisible by 7, but 6. (And 6 is the number of man).
The Enoch/Jubilees/Dead Sea Scrolls calendar places the Sun in the dominant position in terms of reckoning time. Here is a grid to help you see how this calendar works.
Length of Days
Day One Begins
Wednesday (day four)
Friday (day six)
Sunday (day one)
Another interesting aspect of the Hebrew calendar was its relationship to the priestly courses (mismarot) outlined in 1 Chronicles. These courses would come to Jerusalem for Temple service for a week, then rotate out as the next group arrived there to do their service. Those who resided in Qumran relied upon this cycle for calendrical relevance, but also for timekeeping and historical documentation. Each sabbath, month, year and feast bore the name of a priestly family.10
Although we maintain that a solar calendar was the predominate system of timekeeping employed by faithful priests, there is evidence that they also maintained a lunisolar calendar. Authors Robert Eisenman and Michael Wise tell us:
Although the authors of the Qumran calendrical texts disdained the lunisolar calendar, a number of their writings synchronize the two versions. The reasons for this synchronization are not entirely clear, but two suggestions may be somewhere close to the mark. First, these authors considered all time holy and its measurement ordained by God. It was probably thought necessary that someone keep a proper record of its passing. Since the opponents of the authors could not be relied upon to do so — following as they did, an illicit system — the Qumran authors took the responsibility. Thus, they tracked time by the system of their opponents as well as by their own. Second, the authors of these texts certainly expected that at some time they would be in power in Jerusalem. At that time, of course, they would impose the solar calendar. But in order to know where they were in the year, they would have to know both the false lunisolar date and the real solar date. In fact, there is some evidence that at certain points in the Second Temple period the solar calendar actually was imposed, at least for short periods.
The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered by Robert Eisenman and Michael Wise
This would be the equivalent of us matching the days of the week of the 365 day Gregorian calendar with the 364 day solar calendar.
Why The Calendar Is Important
As stated earlier, the calendar was and is more than just a timekeeping register of the year. It existed before Creation and was/is observed by our Heavenly Father, His Son, and the Angels. When you study the calendrical appointed times and festivals, you will be better able to comprehend events described in the Scriptures. Understanding how the calendar works gives you a deeper understanding of the biblical narratives.
The calendar is also an instrument the Father uses to facilitate fellowship with Him, and maintain loving relationships with other believers in Yeshua. We believe community is fractured when we run to and fro; observing different feast days dictated by different calendars.
We are still learning and growing in our understanding of how and when the Father wants us to observe his appointed times. We do not have all the answers. However, we are learning more and more as we comb through the Scriptures and dedicate ourselves to prayer.
To assist you in your walk, we have designed a 2022/2023 Zadok11 calendar which you can download. It corresponds to the Gregorian calendar and is easy to follow. We believe it will be a blessing to you and your family.
If you are curious to know more about the calendar, Sean Griffin and Ken Heidebrecht have put together an informative and comprehensive video to address your questions and concerns.12
3 Tishrei (or Tishri) begins with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year festival.
4 Tammuz , meaning Sprout of Life , was a Sumerian god of fertility.
5 Strongs #H388
6 See The Gospel Worth Dying For, Chapter 8, pages 125,126
7 1 Enoch Chapters 72-75 and Jubilees 4:23,24. We are told in Jubilees that Enoch was not translated to heaven as is often the commentary preached on Genesis 5:21-24. In the Jubilees 4 account he (Enoch) “was taken from amongst the children of men, and we (the angels) conducted him into the Garden of Eden in majesty and honour…”
8The Book of Enoch, R.I. Burns, SageWorks Press, 2017
9 The Gregorian calendar designates January 1st as the start of the year while Rabbinic Judaism has civil and liturgical new years — Nisan and Rosh Hashanah.
10The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered by Robert Eisenman and Michael Wise
11 Zadok was a high priest in the lineage of Aaron of the tribe of Levi (who was given the priesthood from his father Jacob). Download the 2023-2024 Calendar here.
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