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Fall Feasts of Israel

Return O IsraelForeword

There is a purpose for this page devoted to the exposition of the Fall Feasts of Israel.  The purpose is to draw a Biblical perspective on this season’s Older Covenant feasts as outlined in Leviticus 23.23-44. This Biblical focus often lies buried under piles of tradition which eclipse the glory of God and distract–even with tradition’s colorful array of observances–from the very preeminence of the Anointed One, the Messiah, to Whom these feasts point. Not only does the ritual law embodied in the Fall feasts point to Messiah Jesus, but in fact, Messiah Jesus has fulfilled all the law’s ritual and meaning in Himself through His life, ministry and atoning sacrifice. Knowing this, the one element of the Fall feasts which remains for all the world to see manifest is the day when He finally judges all that is evil in this world and makes all things new…

Therefore, this page is here to put a rake to the pile of traditions to bring into vivid focus the incomparable glory of the “double peace” of which the prophets Isaiah and Zechariah spoke:  i.e. because of the blood of the New Covenant in Jesus, the warfare with a holy God has ended and the iniquity which separates from God is pardoned. In Messiah Jesus, God has restored us to fellowship with Him with double blessing–a double peace:

Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”

Isaiah 40.2 NKJV

As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.”

Zechariah 9.11-12 ESV

This page is not intended to draw Christians back into a compulsory observance of the High Holydays within any cultural circle of Judeo-Christian worship. Doing so would draw Christians back into worshiping in the shadows the One Who has already been declared in the fullness of His glory–the Lord Jesus, the Messiah. I confess that, as a Christian who currently worships in a church culture which has established a liturgical worship calendar different from the Biblical worship calendar, I prefer the simplicity of the Biblical calendar and would be thrilled if the reformed Christian churches would adhere corporate worship in Christ to the seasons as God has simply laid down in the pages of His Word–without attaching a Judaizing culture to that worship, but also without excluding the contribution of any solidly Biblical pieces of Messianic Jewish praise to the corporate worship environment. However, as a Christian alive in Messiah Jesus, no earthly season of worship hinders my soul from observing the principles and disciplines of LIFE in Him; nor do those seasons dictate my joy and worship of God in Spirit and in Truth every day of my life this side of Heaven…

Having said all this, I have some final thoughts about the reason I have endeavored to write what God has given me on the subject of the Fall Feasts of Israel…

  1. If what is written here helps a Jewish unbeliever by answering questions in his soul as he seeks to know who the Messiah is, then I will be glad that God gave me the time and the equipment and the skill and the words to publish what is here. If what is written here drives a Jewish unbeliever into the Word of God to understand the holiness, the majesty and the grace of God, then I will give glory to God with him when he believes that Yeshua is Lord and when I meet him in glory…
  2. If what is written here helps a Gentile Christian by informing his understanding so that he worships the Lord Jesus more heartily by increasing his devotion, then I will be glad that I surrendered my mind and my strength to publish it…
  3. If what is written here helps a Christian, whether Jewish or Gentile, to speak more clearly of Messiah Jesus to unbelieving Jewish people, then I will be glad that I gave my apprehensions about my skill over to the Lord and put this work where the public can find it…

If any reader has questions or wishes a significant dialog with me on the content of this page, write a comment and I will respond…

For Jesus is “the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

–Colossians 1.18-20

The World We Know and the High Holydays

The modern world devoid of agricultural consciousness uses the summer season for sitting around the pool every day and playing games.  In other circles, summer is a time for traveling all over the earth as if it were one’s giant theme park, full of exciting rides and attractions to consume the senses with careless delights…

Scripture shows us that God gave His people the season between Shavuot (Pentecost) and Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) to accomplish the necessary work of harvesting in the fields and preparing for the coming of winter.  The longer days and the warmer weather are mercies for us during a season of bearing the yoke of earthly labor to use profitably, without the pressure of shorter daylight hours and unfavorable weather.  Although God commands His people not to forget Him, He did release Israel during the summer harvest season from the yoke of appearing in the Temple…

The journey to Jerusalem would be a burden during the urgencies of harvesting and preparing for winter. Scripture, therefore, shows by its references to sowing, harvesting, threshing, etc., that summer “vacation” for God’s people was the freedom to be industrious for the common welfare with His blessing.  Still, the summer’s harvest work was not intended to be a release from the awareness of God’s ever present holiness, sovereignty over and providence in all of life’s industries…

In Leviticus 23:24-44, God ordained the “vacation” for His people to come near the end of the labor-intensive season which began at the Springtime feast of Firstfruits and the harvesting labors which increased at Pentecost (Leviticus 23. 9-22).  The heavy yoke of the summer’s agricultural labors was to be exchanged for the blessed yoke of the Holy Covenant of reconciliation and fellowship in the courts of the Living God. This Holyday season was given to Israel first, and therefore much of the celebration to this day is immersed in Jewish culture and tradition. All among the Jews who in ancient times celebrated this season by faith in God’s pure righteousness, looked forward to the Anointed One whom God would provide—the Anointed One whose own perfect righteousness would fulfill all the demands of the Law which they could not fulfill for peace with a holy God…

Leviticus 23:23-44 states that in the beginning of the seventh month–the Hebrew month Tishrei–the season of summer labors is to cease.  A new season in the lives of all who love the only true and living God begins.  It is characterized by a Sabbath, a rest.  The Divine Mandate summons the mind of a child of God burdened with earthly labors to relinquish that yoke for the pleasant yoke of renewed intimacy with God and spiritual revival.  It is a time of remembering the holiness and mercy of Israel’s God, the Lord and Sustainer of all creation.  It is a time of heart response to that remembrance of His awesome being and character.  Leviticus 23:24 says this season of “R&R” begins on the first day of Tishrei with a loud trumpet call. This day is called Yom Teruah which is the Hebrew for “Day of Blowing.”  The Scriptural name for it is the Feast of Trumpets…

Leviticus 23:27-32 says that Yom Kippur follows the Feast of Trumpets on the tenth day of TishreiYom Kippur is the Hebrew for “Day of Atonement.”  After its observance, there are four days of preparation for the next festival beginning on the 15th day of Tishrei

Leviticus 23:34-44 establishes the entire week between Tishrei 15 through Tishrei 22 as the observance of Sukkot.  Sukkot is the Hebrew word for Feast of Tabernacles.  In Jewish tradition, the close of the “vacation” is crowned by a holyday named Simkhat Torah, celebrated on Tishrei 23.  This is the Hebrew for “Rejoicing in the Law.”   This is particularly significant because the entire “vacation” has been spent immersing the mind in the Holy Scriptures, its ways of pleasantness and paths of peace.  The Scriptures are likened to water, and so the heart of an observant believer in the only true and living God enjoys drinking deeply in  the “water from the wells of salvation” during this divinely ordained, three-week vacation…

In stark contrast, our modern, worldly culture dozes through the mercies of the summer season drugged on pleasure. Then, as the God of creation calls His people to the “True R&R,” the world imposes upon us the burdening yoke of a maddening scramble to the modern concept of school, work, racing to get ready for winter, and a thousand other intrusions upon our awareness of the God Whose creative power mercifully sustains us.  The world considers a “vacation” as a continual cruise into spiritual oblivion…

The God of Scripture says there is only one way to know rest, and that way is to turn to Him for it. Out of the shadows of the Older Covenant feasts of the High Holydays, God points to the Holy One in whom and through whom a man may find a living and eternal rest in a world culture bent on a deadly compulsion to avoid Him…

The trumpets call those who labor and are heavily burdened to the blessed yoke of resting in Him.  The world is totally blind to the blessing.  The world’s preoccupation with itself noisily evades the pleasantness of three continuous weeks of celebrating the God who blesses mankind with the mercies of summer.  The noise and commotion of the world’s agenda attempts to drown out the trumpet call to board a God-given, three-week cruise into the Days of Awe and Divine rapture coming at the end of summer’s dizzying schedule…

Will this year be the Last Call?

Introduction to the Hebrew Calendar

As with all the days of the Biblical/Hebrew year, the days begin at sunset and end at sunset. For example, the first day of the seventh Hebrew month of Tishrei/September-October (Tishrei 1) begins at sunset on the 29th day of the sixth Hebrew month of Elul/August-September (Elul 29). The link below will take you to a website where you can see how the Hebrew calendar months and dates fall within our modern calendar. Scroll down through the months to the month of September and you will find the names of the Fall Feasts highlighted in the date boxes…

Hebrew Calendar Online (Corresponding Modern Calendar)

Distinguishing the Biblical Calendar from the Hebrew Calendar

In the Scriptures, the year begins in the springtime; the first month of the Biblical calendar was given a name “Aviv” (Exodus 12.1-3, NKJVExodus 13.3-5, NIV).  In the Bible the months were predominantly counted by number and each month begins at the new moon. The subsequent names assigned by the Jewish leaders to the Hebrew calendar came from names in Babylonian culture at the return of the exiles: History of the Hebrew Calendar

In modern times, Jewish traditions have re-appropriated the new year to the seventh month in which the Feast of Trumpets is observed; the tradition has re-named the Feast of Trumpets, “Rosh Hashanah” (lit. “Head of the Year”). From that tradition come all the other trappings of Jewish tradition surrounding the season…

Those who will adhere to the Scriptures will find a blessed immunity from the cultural chaos and confusion…

High Holydays—A Season of Remembrance, Awe and Rejoicing, from DISCIPLING THE MESSIANIC BELIEVER, first edition pp. 389-436, ©1990 & 1991,  Revised 1995, 2003, Patricia Stachew, Stillwaters Publications, Reston, VA. All rights reserved.

Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah – Page 2–

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4 thoughts on “Fall Feasts of Israel

  1. Pingback: Remodeling and Re-Publishing… | Georgetownrose

  2. Pingback: Greetings at the Feast of Trumpets… | Georgetownrose

  3. Pingback: Greetings on Yom Kippur… | Georgetownrose

  4. Pingback: Greetings and Blessings at the Feast of Tabernacles… | Georgetownrose

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