The Feasts of the Lord


There are seven Feasts of the Lord specified in Leviticus.  They are sometimes called the Feasts of Israel.  Of the seven feasts, three are spring feasts, three are fall feasts and on is between those two seasons.  When John spoke of these feasts in the Bible, he would refer to them as "a feast of the Jews".  What did he mean?  What is the meaning of these feasts and how do they fit into prophecy?  Explore the possibilities.



And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.     Leviticus 23:1-2

The feasts of the Lord given to the nation (people) of Israel in Leviticus 23 are divided into two groups of three and one in between.  The first three are referred to as the Spring Feasts, the last three are referred to as the Fall Feasts and the one in between is called the Feast of Weeks.

The three spring feasts are Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of First Fruits.  The Feast of Weeks is unusual in that it is the only one of the seven feasts that God commands that leavened bread be used.  The three spring feasts and those in the fall; The Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kipper (The Day of Atonement) and the Feast of Tabernacles, all require unleavened bread.

In the spring, the first three feasts all fall in the month of Nisan (sometimes Nissan).  They are:

                                         Passover
                                         Feast of Unleavened Bread
                                         Feast of First Fruits

 Then 49 days after the Feast of First Fruits is: 

                                         Feast of Weeks (Shavuot)

Then in the fall, during the month of Tishri, the last three feasts are:

                                         Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) 
                                         Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
                                         Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth)

In Matthew 5:17 and 18, Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

When Jesus said that 'not one jot (yot) or one tittle' would pass from the law, he was referring to the Torah.  The reference of a Jot and tittle has to do with the grammar of of the Hebrew language.  A jot and tittle are like an apostrophe or dotting an 'i' or crossing a 't'.  The significance is that nothing was changed by his teachings to us.  

There is a rabbinical 'proverb' that says they (the rabbi's) really won't understand the Torah or Scriptures until the Messiah comes.  That when the Messiah does come, he will not only interpret the passages, he will interpret the words, the very letters and even the spaces between the letters.  This belief by some of the rabbinical leaders in Israel is intriguing considering that Jesus' reference to the Jot and tittle being sacred is very similar to their belief.

In Romans 15:4 Paul tells us that,  "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning..."  That statement by Paul is very interesting because we often think of many of the things in the Scriptures as being Jewish, or for the Jews only.  Quite the contrary is true.  Things like the feasts and other quaint customs or rituals are for all of us.  They are "for our learning."


 

Written by: Bruce M. Larner