The Seven Feasts of the Lord
"And God spoke to Moses saying "speak to the children of Israel and say to them. 'The appointed times of The Lord which you are to proclaim as set apart gatherings, My appointed times are these..." (Leviticus 23:1)
The Seven Feasts of the Lord are a road map for the Messiah. The seven branched menorah is a physical example of this reality. The Spring Feasts are prophetic of Maran* Yeshua’s first coming and ministry and the Fall Holy Days will be fulfilled upon His return and His establishing the Kingdom upon this earth.
Pesach (Passover) is the High Holy Day commemorating the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt. It is an eight day holiday marked by the eating of matzoh or unleavened bread. The name Pesach is derived from the time when God passed through the land and killed every firstborn Egyptian but made sure to pass over the houses which had the Blood of the Lamb on the doorpost. As in today, Maran Yeshua is the Lamb and we are sanctified by His Blood. The law of sin and death will pass over us as we call on His name.
Exodus 12:1-18, Leviticus 23:4-8, Matthew 26:17-30, Luke 22:7-20
Feast Date: 14 Nissan
Hag Matzoh/Feast of Unleavened Bread
Hag Matzoh/Feast of Unleavened Bread: This begins the day after Pesach and lasts for seven days. During this time the LORD commands that we eat no leaven and have no leaven in our house. Leaven is likened unto sin, and at this time, we reflect on ourselves and the sin that is in our lives.
Exodus 12:18,19, Deuteronomy 16:1-8, 1Corinthians 5:6-8
Feast Date: 15 Nissan - 22 Nissan
Hag HaBikkurim/Feast of Firstfruits
Yom HaBikkurim (Feast of Firstfruits) begins a 50 day period known as the Counting of the Omer. This time is The Feast of Weeks during which Psalms 119 is read as we write the Torah on our hearts and souls. Firstfruits speaks of resurrection. When the Pharisees questioned Maran Yeshua for a sign He rebuked them and said that the only sign would be three days and three nights as Jonah was. Death did not hold our Messiah! On this day Yom HaBikkurim, Maran Yeshua was resurrected from the dead, as He truly is the Firstfruits. The sheaf of Firstfruits is distinctive of The Messiah who has risen from the dead as the firstfruits of those that slept; 1Corinithians 15:20.
The Hebrew root of bikkurim - firstfruits is the same as that of bekhor - firstborn. “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29)
This feast occurs on the 1st Sunday after Pesach.
Feast Date: 17 Nissan
Shavout (Pentecost) commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai and the giving of the Holy Spriit in the Upper Room. This Feast Day reflects the ingathering of wheat during the early summer harvest.
John The Baptist speaks about this time in Matthew 3:11-12. Repentance is returning to God's Teaching and Instruction - The Torah - and walking as MaranYeshua walked - by His Spirit! (Leviticus 23:15-22, Exodus 35:22, Deuteronomy 16:9-12, Acts 2:1-31)
The Ten Commandments were given to Moses on Mount Sinai at Shavuot. The holiday is also called "Zman Matan Toratenu," or "The Time of the Giving of Our Law." Shavout means "The Festival of Weeks," and occurs 7 weeks after Passover.
This is the same day, yet thousands of years later, that Moses was given the Ten Words (Commandments) and the Apostles received the Holy Spirit.
This feast takes places 50 days after Yom Omer
Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah/Day of Trumpets
Yom Teruah (The Feast of Trumpets) celebrates the return of Jesus Christ to earth to establish the Kingdom of God! In the book of Revelation we read about events that describe angels sounding a series of seven trumpet blasts. The seventh angel's sounding of the last trumpet signifies that "the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ" (Revelation 11:15).
Leviticus 23 calls the blowing of trumpets a memorial and many believe it is a memorial of God’s grace to Abraham (Genesis 22). Yom Teruah is signaled in by the blowing of the Shofar (Leviticus 23:24, 1Chronicles 15:24 and Psalms 81:3). Yom Teruah begins the 10 Days of Awe bringing us into Yom Kippur.
The Feast of Trumpets also marks the future fulfillment of the many Old Testament prophecies that speak of a Messiah coming as a king who will rule with power and authority. The concept of a conquering Messiah was on the minds of the apostles immediately after Jesus' resurrection. When He appeared to them in those early days, they asked questions such as: "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6).
Feast Date: 1 Tishrei
Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement
Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement), the holiest day of the year, is a day of fasting, prayer and making teshuva (repentance) as we prepare ourselves for the coming of The Lord. We forgive and we seek forgiveness as we enter into a deeper relationship with our King, Yeshua. This is the wedding phase of our Bridegroom, Yeshua.
Then as the prophets had foretold, God sent His Son, Maran Yeshua the Messiah to be the final offering for sin. When Maran Yeshua died on the tree, His death provided an atonement once and for all. Therefore, believers in Maran Yeshua can rejoice on Yom Kippur that we have assurance of forgiveness of sin.
The Day of Atonement has many special customs, including: Fasting, Kol Nidre (the eve of Yom Kippur), Yizkor, a special prayer at noon, and the blowing of the shofar.
Leviticus 16:31, 23:27-32
Yom Kippur Date: 10 Tishrei
Hag Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles
Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) is a week long autumn harvest festival, with the first and eighth day being a Holy Convocation. It is also known as The Feast of the Ingathering, or Sukkot. The two days following this festival are separate holidays, Shemini Atzeret, The Great Eighth Day, and Simchat Torah, Joy In The Torah, but they are generally thought of as part of Sukkot. This feast is the final High Holy Day of the Cycle of YAHWEH, and the divine pronouncement, “I am the Lord your God” concludes this section. “That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am The LORD your God.” (Leviticus 23:43)
The customs of this Feast Day is to dwell in booths for seven days, recite Psalm 27 and make a lulav of palm, myrtle, willow and fruit from citron. (Leviticus 23:40) Our Messiah celebrated this High Holy Day, teaching in the Temple. On the last and greatest day of Sukkot, the day the Rabbis poured the water, Maran Yeshua stood calling special attention to His Word and proclaimed that He was the very fountain of living water. ( John 7:37-38)
“But who so ever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14)
The Living Water comes from Jerusalem; we will worship The King and keep the Feast of Tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:8-19)
Exodus 23, Leviticus 23, Deuteronomy 16, John 1 & 7
Feast Date: 15 Tishrei - 21 Tishrei
We encourage you to enjoy this season - build a Sukkot in your yard, on your porch, on your balcony - wherever- and invite friends and neighbors to come into the Sukkot and pray, eat and fellowship!
Other Feasts of the LORD:
Shabbat begins at sunset on Friday evening and ends Saturday night when three stars are visible in the sky (25 hours). On Shabbat we remember that God created the world and then rested from His labors (Genesis 2:2).
Shabbat is considered the most important of the Jewish holidays -- even more important than Yom Kippur or the other High Holidays. This special day is to be marked by three qualities: rest (menuchah), holiness (kedushah), and joy (oneg).
During Shabbat we spend time with family, friends, pray, read, and rejuvenate. We light candles to symbolically drive away darkness and welcome the Light of the Mashiach Yeshua into our hearts.
There are three main rituals regarding Shabbat observance:
- Lighting the Sabbath candles
- Saying Kiddush over wine
- Reciting HaMotzi over challah
The Shabbat meal is a time when friends and families share highlights from the week, words from Torah, and sing Shabbat table songs, called zemirot.
We are called by Scripture to both "remember" (zakhor) and to guard (shamor) the Sabbath Day, in order to consecrate it as a day devoted to the things that matter most in our spiritual lives before the LORD.
Rosh Chodesh/New Moon Celebration
Rosh Chodesh literally means Head of The Month. YAHWEH's beginning of months are marked by the new moon, almost invisible to the naked eye. It is celebrated at the first sighting of the waxing crescent. Numbers 28:11-15 is read as we blow the shofar in celebration of YAHWEH's appointed times.
Hag Chanukah/Feast of the Dedication
Chanukah (Feast of Dedication/Festival of Lights) explores the fighting reaction to the reign of Antiochus. A band of Jewish settlers led by the priest, Yehudah Maccabee took back the temple and conquered their oppressors. Upon returning to the Temple they found it desecrated and defiled.
After rededicating and cleansing it, they found just one jar of oil for the lights of the Menorah. This oil miraculously lasted 8 days until the special oil of YAHWEH could be made.
Maran Yeshua is referred to as The Light and was conceived during the Festival of Lights. He is indeed the Light of the World.
10:22 It was the Feast of Hanukkah at Jerusalem. 10:23 It was winter, and Yeshua was walking in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 10:24 The Judeans therefore came around him and said to him, “How long will you hold us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 10:25 Yeshua answered them, “I told you, and you don’t believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name, these testify about me. 10:26 But you don’t believe, because you are not of my sheep, as I told you. 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 10:28 I give eternal life to them. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 10:30 I and the Father are one.”
Feast Date: 25 Kislev - 2 Tevet
Purim (Lots) is a celebration of the deliverance of the Persian Jews over one of the most evil schemes in history to exterminate the Jewish people. The Book of Esther, referred to as a monument in the history of anti Semitism, tells the story of how the beautiful Jewish woman Esther (Hadassah) and her cousin Mordechai prevent the evil Haman from his plan to massacre the Jewish people.
Purim today is celebrated with feasts, sending gifts of food to the needy and with reading The Book of Esther. The earliest depiction of Purim, from the Second Temple offer no suggestion of the partying that is associated with the festival today. The customs of donning masks, drinking and costumes originated in the late fifteenth century Italy.
This holiday is a special one for children, as the story of Esther is told, groggers (noisemakers) are used to depict joy or booing.
Hamantashen, a jammed filled cookie resembling Haman’s hat is served along with other sweet delights.
Feast Date: 14 Adar
*Maran means “Great Lord” in Aramaic