The Zadok calendar places these Biblical Fall Feasts — the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Sukkot — in the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year. On the fourth day of this week (Wednesday), we will kick off this season of celebration with a day of Trumpets. Ten days later will be a day of humble reflection known as the Day of Atonement, followed by a week of joyous celebration and fellowship at Sukkot.
Before we summarize the significance of each festival, let us pause to reflect on a few important points regarding how we as disciples living in the 21st century should view our participation in these appointed times.
Church or Ekklesia?
The Greek word ekklesia is used in several writings of the New Testament such as the book of Acts, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Peter. Most English translations have replaced ekklesia with the word church, which is unfortunate because it camouflages the term’s deeper meaning.
The word church denotes a gathering place set aside for worship amongst those of a particular denomination who agree on doctrine and styles of worship. The New Testament use of this word connotes any assembly of people. Following the Reformation, the term church was more or less a generalized umbrella term for either a place of worship, a body of believers collectively, or ecclesiastical authority.
Christian1 is a description that was first coined in the city of Antioch. This word identified those who were followers of Christ – the anointed one.
Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. So for a full year they met together with the church and taught large numbers of people. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.
Acts 11: 25,26
However, instead of the word church, the descriptive term ekklesia elevates our understanding of the unique purpose of disciples of Messiah who identify and connect with the Torah from a Hebraic mindset.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9
Now if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, you will be My treasured possession out of all the nations–for the whole earth is Mine.
Remember, the collective books of the so-called New Testament did not exist during the time of the first apostles. The word church was never uttered by the apostles and early disciples. Followers of Yeshua were mostly known as the people of the Way — followers of the path of righteousness taught by Yeshua.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. Because the gate is narrow and the way is hard pressed which leads to life, and there are few who find it
And there will be a highway called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not travel it–only those who walk in the Way–and fools will not stray onto it.
The letters and writings that would eventually make up the New Testament had yet to be published in a Bible that was split into two parts called the Old and New Testaments. This publishing “line of demarcation” was artificially imposed on readers by Bible publishers.
According to Tomas Bokedal, associate professor at the University of Aberdeen:
The first New Testament books to be written down are reckoned to be the 13 that comprise Paul’s letters (circa 48-64 CE), probably beginning with 1 Thessalonians or Galatians. Then comes the Gospel of Mark (circa 60-75 CE). The remaining books – the other three Gospels, letters of Peter, John, and others as well as Revelation – were all added before or around the end of the first century. By the mid-to-late hundreds CE, major church libraries would have had copies of these, sometimes alongside other manuscripts later deemed apocrypha.
As followers of Yeshua and people of the Covenant who have been grafted into Israel (Yashar’el), we are expected to obey the terms of this eternal covenant. This means we should practice memorializing all appointed feast days as best we can.
The Biblical Fall Feasts
The Feast of Trumpets
On the first day of the seventh month, you are to hold a sacred assembly, and you must not do any regular work. This will be a day for you to sound the trumpets. Numbers 29:1
In the Old Testament, trumpets were used to call Yahuah’s people to war, announce victories won by Him, and declare the coming of the King. On the Day of the Lord, the trumpet sound believers hear will be a joyful noise that means resurrection. However, unbelievers will be terrorized by it since it will signal the coming of Yeshua with his great army of angels.
At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must be clothedf with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
1 Corinthians 15: 51-53
The Feast of Trumpets not only marks the beginning of the seventh month but it is a time for reflection, repentance, and anticipation of the future. In 1 Corinthians 15:51, the type of trumpet referred to was likely a silver trumpet. In Leviticus 23:24, the Israelites were instructed to use silver trumpets instead of shofars or ram’s horns. Silver trumpets were used for various ceremonial purposes throughout the year. They were blown to announce important events, such as the gathering of the congregation, the start of festivals, the calling of leaders, and even during times of war. the shofar had a unique sound and was seen as a call for repentance, awakening, or reflection. It was blown on specific set-apart days while the silver trumpets seemed to serve more general ceremonial purposes.
Yahuah said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say, ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly announced by trumpet blasts. You must not do any regular work, but you are to present an offering made by fire to the LORD.’ ”
This feast day is a Sabbath, so no servile work is to be done. On the GWDF Zadok calendar, the Feast of Trumpets happens this week on the fourth day (Wednesday). The countdown clocks for each appointed feast that follows are set to Central time (USA) based on the Zadok calendar.
Day of Atonement
Again YHWH said to Moses, “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. You shall hold a sacred assembly and humble yourselves, and present an offering made by fire to YHWH. Leviticus 23:26-27
The Day of Atonement is a Sabbath — a holy convocation or feast day. Although many who follow Judaism feel this is a time of fasting, there is no instruction given in the Bible for us to abstain from food. So, what does it mean to humble yourself if we do not follow the definition given in Isaiah 58?
The answer can be found in Jubilees 34 which gives the origin of this day of Atonement — the 10th day of the 7th month. After Joseph had been sold into slavery by his 10 brothers, they deceived their father Jacob by showing him Joseph’s bloody coat. Upon hearing the news of his son’s (presumed) death, Jacob’s entire household went into mourning. Bilhah and his daughter Dinah died during this time as well.
And he mourned for Joseph one year, and did not cease, for he said “Let me go down to the grave mourning for my son.” For this reason it is ordained for the children of Israel that they should afflict themselves on the tenth of the seventh month — on the day that the news which made him weep for Joseph came to Jacob his father — that they should make atonement for themselves thereon with a young goat on the tenth of the seventh month, once a year, for their sins; for they had grieved the affection of their father regarding Joseph his son. And this day hath been ordained that they should grieve thereon for their sins, and for all their transgressions and for all their errors, so that they might cleanse themselves on that day once a year.
Jubilees 34: 22-25
The affliction of the soul is mourning over sin. Symbolically Joseph would be Yeshua and we are the guilty brothers. However, Yeshua shows great compassion toward us and will not only resurrect us to eternal life but ultimately bring us into the goodly land of the Kingdom to come.
On this day you are not to do any work, for it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God. If anyone does not humble himself on this day, he must be cut off from his people. I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on this day.You are not to do any work at all. This is a permanent statute for the generations to come, wherever you live. It will be a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you shall humble yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to keep your Sabbath.”
Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles
And YHWH said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say, ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Feast of Tabernacles to YHWH begins, and it continues for seven days. Leviticus 23:33-34
In just over two weeks, we will gather for Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles.
On the first day there shall be a sacred assembly. You must not do any regular work. For seven days you are to present an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you are to hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a solemn assembly; you must not do any regular work.
Leviticus 23: 35-36
On the first day there shall be a sacred assembly. You must not do any regular work. For seven days you are to present an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you are to hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a solemn assembly; you must not do any regular work.
Leviticus 23: 35-36
After his brothers had gone up to the festival, the he also went up, not openly but secretly.
Sukkot is symbolic of life in the Kingdom — and beyond — when we will literally tabernacle with Yahuah, his son Yeshua, the righteous angels, and all the redeemed. We will finally be able to fulfill our calling as kings and priests under the sovereign rule of YHWH and his son Yeshua.
The 8th day of Sukkot — also called Addition — symbolizes the end of sin, the emptying of Sheol, and the destruction of the wicked. This day was commissioned by Jacob and ordained by the Father after he had bestowed the priesthood on Levi during Sukkot.
And in those days Rachel became pregnant with her son Benjamin. And Jacob counted his sons from him upwards and Levi fell to the portion of the Lord, and his father clothed him in the garments of the priesthood and filled his hands. And on the fifteenth of this month, he brought to the altar fourteen oxen from amongst the cattle, and twenty-eight rams, and forty-nine sheep, and seven lambs, and twenty-one kids of the goats as a burnt-offering, inconsequence of the vow which he had vowed that he would give a tenth, with their fruit-offering, and their drink offerings.
It was also during this time that Jacob’s name was changed to Israel.2 He was told that he would die peacefully in Egypt3 and be buried with honor in the Promised Land, alongside his father Isaac, and grandfather Abraham.
And he celebrated there yet another day, and he sacrificed thereon according to all that he sacrificed on the former days, and called its name ‘Addition’, for this day was added and the former days he called ‘The Feast’. And thus it was manifested that it should be, and it is written on the heavenly tablets: wherefore it was revealed to him that he should celebrate it, and add it to the seven days of the feast. And its name was called ‘Addition‘, because it was recorded amongst the days of the feast days, according to the number of the days of the year.
As you know, some members of the GWDF community will be gathering in Texas to memorialize Sukkot. We will pray, praise, and wave palm branches. Some of us will sleep in tents and all will fellowship around Yah’s word under the stars. We will share meals, pray for each other, and love one another as we memorialize this glorious feast week.
We pray blessings on everyone who will be gathering together — wherever you are in the world — to memorialize these wonderful feast days. Shalom!
1 The name was first given to the worshippers of Yeshua by the Gentiles (nations). From the second century Justin Martyr onward the term was accepted by them as a title of honor. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon: a Christian, a follower of Christ.
Bill and Karen Bishop’s book The Biblical Calendar Then and Now is bound to stir up controversy.
However, the same could be said of most literary works that challenge preconceptions and personal prejudices. If you’re like me, you are reluctant to dismiss a topic simply because it may make others feel uncomfortable. The goal is not to upset or to trigger others, but to motivate all of us to dig a little deeper and pray a bit harder in the pursuit of Scriptural truths. The late Walter Martin understood that, in the pursuit of truth, many would be labeled controversial.
This brings us to the topic of the Biblical calendar. Never has one word — calendar — stirred up so many passions amongst followers of Yeshua and worshippers of the Almighty. Mention the calendar and mayhem and confusion will inevitably follow.
The Great Calendar Divide
The only calendar most believers were exposed to in church included seasonal observances that were never a part of Torah-observant ancient Hebraic culture. These traditional religious expressions of faith may have involved participating in family Christmas or Easter gatherings.
As believers, we look for ways to express and fight for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints.
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all time handed down to the saints.
Jude 1:3 NASB
Those who are new to the Torah inevitably find themselves torn between sincerely desiring to observe Yahuah’s feast days and appointed times and maintaining healthy family relationships. Confusion over how to express this faith in a post-temple priesthood era only adds to the frustration.
There are other challenges believers face when trying to find “the correct” calendar to follow:
A lack of a clear Biblical calendar methodology
Ignorance of historical events that impacted calendar methodology
Rejection of extra-biblical writings that may shed light on calendar construction methodology
Silence from the pulpit regarding Yah’s calendar and its required Sabbaths, Feasts, and appointed times
Lack of understanding of how the calendar we follow is tied to our Covenant duties and responsibilities
Enter Bill and Karen Bishop and their book The Biblical Calendar Then and Now.
The authors humbly submit that their work is a way for the reader to challenge personal assumptions and stretch their understanding concerning how the calendar is divinely constructed. While not intended to be a theological dissertation on the calendar, the authors’ intention is clear — “to provide a practicable body of evidence that will spur further revelation through constructive dialogue, study, and debate on this topic among sincere believers of the Torah.”
The tone of the book is respectful and substantive. The chapters are designed to answer most of the questions they have encountered over the years. The writing is very straightforward, and the reader is encouraged to invest the time necessary to do their own research. The approach is not that of calendar “evangelists” whose motive is to sway you to their way of thinking. Their conversational writing style draws you in and logically walks you through the justifications given for various calendar-keeping methodologies.
The Biblical Calendar Book Review Synopsis
The book begins by helping the reader understand four main categories of Torah-based calendars and the methodology behind their determinations:
The Sighting Method
The Hillel Method
The GWDF community will notice I did not mention the Zadokite calendar in this list. Hold on, it’s coming.
Chapter 1 of the book helps the reader understand how these different calendars are formulated. In the second chapter, the authors present a calendar “consideration” that has been hiding in plain sight for years. They point out in appropriate detail how the sun and harvest seasons (working together) help determine the timing of the feasts.
The Luminaries and Their Cycles
Most English-speaking followers of Yeshua lack a functional knowledge of Hebrew. When we read through the Psalms and Old Testament literature, words like “new moons” or “seasons” distort our understanding of what is written. Etymology matters.
In chapter 3, the authors delve into the Hebraic intent of certain words; even examining aspects of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet. Words and definitions play a key role in understanding calendar formulations that involve the luminaries that were created on Day 4. The four seasonal transitions (spring, summer, autumn, winter) are explained in connection with the annual equinoxes and solstices.
Since all calendars require periodic adjustments, the need for intercalation is also explained and discussed in detail.
Historical Context + Ancient Writings
According to the writers, the Babylonian exile and the corruption of the Levitical priesthood are also factors in how the Biblical calendar was corrupted. They encourage readers to do a deep dive into the history surrounding the Sadducees, Pharisees, the Hasmonean Dynasty, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. According to the authors:
Though the Sadducees and the Pharisees did not agree in many respects, these two groups managed to cooperate with one another to run the Temple in their day…The calendar decisions they made then would have been based on lunar criteria, and loosely hinged to the evolving calendar we know as the Jewish Hillel calendar today. However, the Dead Sea Scrolls and encyclopedic research confirm that some sectarian groups observed a calendar other than the one sanctioned by the Sanhedrin.
The Zadokite Calendar
In Chapter 10, sufficient attention is paid to the Zadokite solar calendar. The authors confess that they initially tried to find reasons to disqualify this version of the Biblical calendar but couldn’t. Biblical Scripture is the filter through which they base their conclusions.
These observations regarding this calendar are made in this chapter of the book :
The “festival nature” of the equinox and solstice seasonal markers
The Zadokite year always makes a complete circuit
The Biblical New Year always begins in Spring
The year will always begin on Day 4 (Wednesday) of creation
A year = 364 days/52 weeks of 7 days each
There is never a 13th month added (for intercalation)
Make Your Own Calendar
Chapter 21 ties everything together by revisiting reasons why a lunar-based reckoning did not make sense for a people (Hebrews) whose lifestyles were agrarian-centric. Again, the authors leave the final decision as to which calendar to follow up to the reader.
However, those who would like to “test” the Zadokite calendar are given the tools to do so in the appendices section of the book. They provide the formulae and templates, data, and schemata necessary to make your own Zadokite calendar.
Those who are serious about meeting with their Creator on the appointed days he ordained should consider purchasing this book. A link to the Bishop’s website — Returning to the Garden — is posted below.
Research — 5/5
Writing — 5/5
Support Materials — 5/5
The Biblical Calendar Then and Now is 96 pages long. It is very easy to read and comprehend. There is bonus material in the appendices section at the end of the book. Those who want to put into practice what they have learned about the Zadokite solar calendar can use the templates, data, and schemata to chart their own calendar year!
And Abraham built there an altar to Yahuah who had delivered him, and who was making him to rejoice in the land of his sojourning, and he celebrated a festival of joy in this seventh month for seven days, near the altar which he had built at the Well of the Oath. And he built booths for himself and for his servants on this festival, and he was the first to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) on the earth. Book of Jubilees, Chapter 16
Jubilees tells us that Abraham was the first on earth to celebrate the festival of Sukkot just a few months after Issac was born at the festival of Shavuot (Pentecost/First Fruits). Talk about a time of rejoicing in Yahuah following the birth of the first-generation child that would receive the blessings of the covenant between Yahuah and Abraham in Genesis chapters 12 and 15.
We never knew Abraham or Issac but we do know Yahuah. We are witnesses to the faithfulness of His promises to keep His covenant with this generation and those to come; for believers that love Him, keep the testimony of Yeshua’s resurrection, and obey His ordinances. We also need to love one another and ourselves.
Sukkot – A Festival of Joy
Sukkot is a true festival of joy for every believer in Yahuah. It occurs during early fall as the summer crops ripen such as grapes, olives, pomegranates, and more. It is a celebration honoring all our Heavenly Father has blessed us with and will continue to bless those that love Him and keep His commandments. We rejoice in Yeshua, our High Priest, who sits at the right hand of Yahuah in heaven, mediating for his brothers and sisters in faith. What a wonderful time for all believers.
Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of Yahuah; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
1 Peter 3:21b-22 KJV
The 2023 Sukkot will be my seventeenth celebration and I have wonderful memories of every festival. I have celebrated Sukkots with just one other person and with more than a thousand people attending. Each one was a blessed time because in my heart I knew there were other like-minded believers all over the face of this earth also doing their best to follow Yah’s instructions for keeping His feasts. I know our heavenly Father, His Son, and all celestial beings and luminaries above are looking down with big smiles on their faces thinking those kids do love us almost as much as we love each and every one of them. Brothers and sisters, that is what rejoicing at Sukkot looks like to me. Praise Yah!
Sukkot gives us a chance to practice two of Yahshua’s greatest commandments – to love our Father in heaven and to love each other with all our hearts. This year our ministry, GWDF, is inviting believers in our area to join us at Lake Brownwood state park in Texas. I look forward to meeting new and old friends deep in the heart of Texas where the park is located.
Sukkahs with a Dash of Creativity
There are many ways to celebrate Sukkot in a joyful manner. Folks celebrating the festival may sleep in tents, RVs, Sukkahs, hammocks, cars, and pickup camper shells or beds. Some of the GWDF group will camp out for nine nights while others only a few nights around the weekend in the middle of the feast.
Believers living in cities all over will decorate Sukkahs on their balconies and rooftops inviting friends and family to join them for special meals throughout the festival. Others will camp in their backyards or gazebos, have slumber parties in their congregation parking lots or in their church buildings, and still others will rest under the stars in open fields or woods. These are all great ways to honor Yah by following the ordinance of keeping Sukkot.
Sukkot – A Wonderful “Family Reunion”
Sukkot is a great time to get back in touch with Yahuah’s creation family. We will be still and enjoy the great outdoors while feeling a breeze of fresh air blow across our faces. Sukkot time is spent watching Yah’s kids of all ages laughing, singing, playing, hiking, and melting smores on an open fire. It is a time when we enjoy fireside chats with other believers, looking up at the stars while singing songs to the heavens above. Many will choose to renew their covenant with Yahuah by water immersion. It will be a time of reading Yah’s word, praying for each other, and sharing our testimonies as we enjoy the love all around us. All these events are a foreshadowing of eternal times to come.
Trust me, family, you will make long-term friends and memories at Sukkot. Many eyes tear up on the last day while we pack to go home as we all yearn for the days when we dwell with our heavenly Father, His Son, and the resurrected family of believers in the New Jerusalem kingdom of everlasting love. Amen!
In those days Yahuah bade (them) to summon and to testify to the children of earth concerning their wisdom: Show it unto them; for ye are their guides, and recompense over the whole earth. For I and my son will be united with them forever in the paths of uprightness in their lives; and ye shall have peace: rejoice, ye children of uprightness.
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.
To fast or not to fast on Yom Kippur is a question new Torah observant believers in Yeshua wrestle with each year. If you are just beginning to get acquainted with Yah’s appointed times, trying to figure out how to honor these special days can be a bit daunting. I believe this because we are not following the customs and traditions of Judaism and there no longer exists an active Levitical priesthood requiring animal sacrifices.
However, even if we are not sure how to do the Feasts properly, I believe our Heavenly Father wants us to at least try. This is the spirit of the law in action. We have to do what we can — in faith — while relying on the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to give us wisdom in the matter.
Yom Kippur – The Day of Atonement
Again Yahuah said to Moses, “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. You shall hold a sacred assembly and humble yourselves, and present an offering made by fire to Yahuah. On this day you are not to do any work, for it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before Yahuah your Elohim. If anyone does not humble himself on this day, he must be cut off from his people. I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on this day. You are not to do any work at all. This is a permanent statute for the generations to come, wherever you live. It will be a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you shall humble yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to keep your Sabbath.”
Leviticus 23: 26-30
Yom Kippur is to be commemorated each year on the tenth day of the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar. It is considered a High Sabbath observance that spans a 24 hour period. In addition to refraining from work, we are instructed to “humble” ourselves. (Some translations substitute the phrase “afflict your souls” for the words “humble yourselves.” ) What is being said here?
Historically, fasting has been an outward expression of inward remorse, repentance, sorrow, grief, distress, or petition.1
And there by the Ahava Canal I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions
And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:
However, on some occasions the people would be called out for their hypocrisy in doing so.
“Why have we fasted, and You have not seen? Why have we humbled ourselves, and You have not noticed?” “Behold, on the day of your fast, you do as you please, and you oppress all your workers. You fast with contention and strife to strike viciously with your fist. You cannot fast as you do today and have your voice be heard on high.
“Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for these seventy years, was it really for Me that you fasted?
Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
What Type of Fast?
When you research Yom Kippur, you will no doubt get several different instructions on how this important feast day is to be memorialized. Not everybody observes Yom Kippur the same way. However, the prevailing opinion seems to be focused on fasting.
As I was wrestling with this myself, I was prompted to re-read Isaiah 59. This was an eye opener which spoke to me in a very profound way as I was asking for guidance in what to do on Yom Kippur this year. I believe fasting is appropriate during this solemn occasion. However, this fast involves much more than abstaining from food.
I sensed that the Father is asking us to fast from being so “self” focused. We are all feeling the pressures of these last days. However, we must deny ourselves and focus on ways we can be more of a servant to those who are less fortunate.
Instead of focusing on the “politics” of hunger and homelessness, we must concern ourselves with how we can demonstrate the message of Yah’s lovingkindness and the hope of the Kingdom. If we have been prepping for a coming famine, have we done it out of a selfish heart or are we setting aside provisions for those who may not have the resources to do likewise? Are we making ourselves into instruments of peace with our family? Are we fasting from backbiting, gossip, character assassination, or even revenge?
I believe Yah was showing me that when it comes to afflicting myself, I need to do it His way. Re-read Isaiah 59:6-12 and determine for yourself if this is indeed the fast Yah is asking us to do as we focus on Yom Kippur.
Isn’t this the fast that I have chosen: to break the chains of wickedness, to untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and tear off every yoke? Isn’t it to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your home, to clothe the naked when you see him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will come quickly. Your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of Yahuah will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and Yahuah will answer; you will cry out, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke (of oppression) from your midst, the pointing of the finger and malicious talk, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted (depressed) soul, then your light will go forth in the darkness and your night will be like noonday. And Yahuah will always guide you; He will satisfy you in a sun-scorched land and strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will restore the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of the Streets of Dwelling.
1Deuteronomy 9:9-18, 2 Samuel 12:1-23, 1 Kings 19:4-8:1, Ezra 10:6-17, Daniel 6:18-23, Acts 9:1-9
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)
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