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On the practice of the Feasts

Author Stephen Pidgeon - Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 6:02 AM


Zakaryahu (Zechariah) 8:18-23

And the word of YAHUAH TSEVA’OT came unto me, saying, 19 Thus says YAHUAH TSEVA’OT; The fast (tsome) of the fourth month (Revi’iy), and the fast (tsome) of the fifth (Chamishiy), and the fast of the seventh (Shevi’iy, also Ethaniym), and the fastֺ of the tenth (Asiriy), shall be to the house of Yahudah joy (sason) and gladness (simchah), and cheerful feasts (moediym) (days); therefore love (ahav) the truth (emet) and peace (shalom).

The Hebrew actually has a more specific read, which is:

Thus says YAHUAH TSEVA’OTH: The fast of Revi’iy, the fast of Chamishiy, the fast of Shavi’iy, and the fast of Asiriy, shall be for the house of Yahudah joy and gladness, and the feast days, [shall be] truth, peace, and love.

This passage speaks volumes, because it infers that only the house of Yahudah will be keeping the fasts and the feast days. The fasts will bring joy and gladness, and the feasts will bring truth, peace, and love.  This begs Pilate’s question again, does it not? What is truth?    Before we consider this question, let us first consider the feasts (we have already discussed the fasts).

The rhythm of life is set forth in these feasts, and the understanding of prophecy begins with their practice.  To understand these days, note first that the day begins at sundown. Hence, the Sabbath, which is the seventh day (Sabbath in the common understanding) begins at sundown on Friday day evening.  The time following sundown, but before bedtime, is called the erev, so the evening of the beginning of Sabbath is called Erev Sabbath. 

Pesach or Passover, the first of these moediym (appointments) begins in our understanding at sundown on the 13th day of the month.  This evening would be called Erev Pesach, or the evening of Passover.  The following day during Passover, the lamb without blemish would be slaughtered in preparation for the solemn feast called an atsarah or chag which begins the feast of Matza.

Matza continues for seven days, and during the course of this chag, there is necessarily a regular Sabbath.  The day after the Sabbath during Matza is an appointed assembly called First Fruits or Bikoor, which celebrates the harvesting of the barley and the end of the season of eating stored food.  This is partly why the leaven is removed from the house as part of the cleaning out of the pantry, if you will, in preparation for a new growing season.

Seven weeks following the feast of Bikoor (First Fruits), or 50 days following the Sabbath within the Feast of Matza, we arrive at the center of the feasts called Shevua or Shevu’oth (in the plural).  You may know this as Pentecost. 

Ma’aseh (Acts) 2:1-3

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Ruach HaQodesh, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Ruach gave them utterance.

This is the day that the prophecy of Yahuchanon the Immerser was fulfilled, when he said “he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom you shall see the Ruach descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizes with the Ruach HaQodesh.” Yahuchanon (John) 1:33.

And of course, this brought to fruition the realization of the Brit Chadasha (the renewed covenant):

Ivriyiym (Hebrews) 8:8-10; Yermeyahu (Jeremiah) 31:31

For finding fault with them, he says, Behold, the days come, says YAHUAH, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Yisra’el and with the house of Yahudah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, says YAHUAH 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Yisra’el after those days, says YAHUAH; I will put my Torah into their mind, and write it in their hearts: and I will be their Elohiym, and they shall be my people.

From Shevua, we proceed to the seventh month, on the first day of the month, which is Yom (the day) Teruah (of the Shofar blast).  As explained above, this is the day that is celebrated as Rosh Hashanah within Judaism.  The sounding of the shofar in a particular way (a blast of nine short notes called the teruah) is a warning to the whole of the house of Yisra’el that there are 10 days to prepare the heart for repentance before YAHUAH. 

Ten days later, on the 10th day of the seventh month, Yom (the day) Kippur (of Atonement) is honored.  The description of this appointed day affirms that in the Hebraic tradition, the day begins as sundown and continues to the following sundown.  The verse below begins with “on the tenth day of this seventh month, but finishes with the command that “in the ninth day of the month at even (evening – i.e., sundown), from even to even.”  With this passage you can readily see that a day is from sundown to sundown, even though it begins on the “ninth” and is counted as the “tenth.”

Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:27-32

Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be a holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto YAHUAH. 28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before YAHUAH your Elohiym. 29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. 30 And whatsoever soul it be that does any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. 31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.

Finally, we arrive at Sukkah, or Sukk’oth (in the plural).  This solemn feast begins on the 15th day of the seventh month, and continues for seven days, through to the 21st.  However, it is part of the practice to celebrate on the eighth day (the 22nd of the month) the completion of the reading of the Torah which is called Simcha Torah, or the joy of the Torah.

Here is the command:

Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:34-42

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto YAHUAH. 35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire to YAHUAH: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation to you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire to YAHUAH: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. 37 These are the appointed times of YAHUAH, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to YAHUAH, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, everything upon his day: 38 Beside the Sabbaths of YAHUAH, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give to YAHUAH. 39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast to YAHUAH seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath. 40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before YAHUAH your Elohiym seven days. 41 And ye shall keep it a feast to YAHUAH seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:

Now, let us consider our question. What is truth?

Tehilliym (Psalm) 119:142

Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And your Torah is truth.

Yahuchanon (John) 14:6

YAHUSHA said unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one comes unto the Father, but by me.

These two passages alone tells the believer that YAHUSHA is the Torah made flesh. But consider further:

Yahuchanon (John) 1:1-2, 14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with את eth ELOHIYM, and the Word was ELOHIYM. 2 The same was in the beginning with את eth ELOHIYM.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and tabernacled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the YACHIYD of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Before we continue with our inquiry, let us also address the issue of grace as well.  Many people in the lawless, fallen, apostasistic church believe that grace is a license to sin, twisting the words of Sha’ul to justify their lawlessness, their rejection of Torah, and their denial of the truth. The Hebrew word for grace – and it has its origin in Hebrew, not Greek – is ןחֵ chen, which means graciousness, i.e. subjective (kindness, favor) or objective (beauty).  The word is derived from its root which is ןנַחָ chanan, which means to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, bestow; causatively to implore (i.e. move to favor by petition) to show favor, to be  merciful, to have mercy on, or to have pity upon.  Nowhere in this usage can you find “license to sin.” Instead we find that Mashiach came full of mercy and the Torah.

The awakening to this truth is the restoration of the remnant and the beginning of the regathering of the house of Yisra’el in contemplation of the final Exodus accompanying the return of Mashiach.  What does that preparation look like, for those who do not know the Feasts (Moediym) and the truth (Torah)?

Zakaryahu (Zechariah) 8:20-23

Thus says YAHUAH TSEVA’OT; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: 21 And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray את eth-before YAHUAH, and to seek את eth-YAHUAH TSEVA’OT: I will go also. 22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek את eth-YAHUAH TSEVA’OT in Yerushalayim, and to pray את eth-before YAHUAH. 23 Thus says YAHUAH TSEVA’OT; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Yahudiy, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that ELOHIYM is with you.

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