The following notes were taken from Bible teaching given by D. Dalton on Jan 15th, 2020.
Reading: Leviticus 23
The Sabbath – While the Feasts of Jehovah are annual convocations (callings together), the chapter that outlines these feasts across the year begins (vs 1-3) with a reminder of the importance of the Sabbath Day to the nation of Israel. Every week was to end with the seventh day devoted to Jehovah, an ongoing weekly remembrance.
This Sabbath, being on the seventh of each week, was a reminder to the Jewish people that, not only did God’s work in creation end in rest, but all His purposes in redemption will also have an end – an eternal rest.
It must be noted that while the other nine of the 10 Commandments apply as a moral law to all people, the keeping of the Sabbath specifically addressed the Jewish covenantal relationship to Jehovah. As such it does not apply to the Christian, who relates to the LORD through a different, a New Covenant.
The Feasts – From verse 4 onward, the chapter outlines 7 Feasts: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles. These fall on the following dates:
- First Month – 14th Day – Passover; 15th -21st Day – Unleavened Bread
- At 1st Harvest – First Fruits
- 50 Days from the 1st Harvest – Pentecost
- Seventh Month – 1st Day – Trumpets; 10th Day – Day of Atonement; 15th – 21st – Tabernacles
Note that two of the feasts are seven day feasts, while the others are on a specific day. The difference is important, for the One Day Feast speaks prophetically of a once for all mighty act of God, whilst the Seven Day Feast focuses on our continuing responsibility in response to what Christ has done.
Prophetic Timetable – Read the chapter again, and note the phrase ‘the Lord spake unto Moses’. It occurs 5 times at the commencement of the following sections: v1-8, v9-22, v23-25, v26-32, v33-44, and sets out the prophetic timetable.
Looking at the One Day Feasts, we note that Passover, First Fruits and Pentecost all occur in the Spring, and clearly refer to Christ’s Death, Resurrection, and the sending of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2), all central to God’s redemptive purpose. The feast of Unleavened Bread refers to our responsibility, having been redeemed, to live on-going holy lives.
There follows around a three and a half month gap, taking us to the seventh month in which we have all of the final feasts. Just as the seventh day brings the week to an end, so these feasts in the seventh month refer prophetically to God’s final dealings with His people Israel in a day yet to come: the Trumpets to the regathering of Israel from the nations, and the Day of Atonement, their national repentance and cleansing. The feast of Tabernacles refers to Israel’s responsibility throughout the Millenial Reign of Christ.
Inspiration – The prophetic detail above, specifically the timing in relation to Christ’s death, resurrection and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, give incontrovertible evidence of the inspiration of the Bible.
When you consider that the details relating to the Feasts of Jehovah were given to Moses one and a half millenia before Christ came, the accuracy of the detail show us that God’s plan of redemption, in Christ Jesus, was foreordained (2 Timothy 1:9, 1 Peter 1:20).
Praise God for the inspired revelation of Scripture that speaks wholly of the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.