New Year's day differed in different periods, but the year began in the month Nisan or Abib (around April) and the first of the great feasts of Israel was the Passover which also included the Feast of Unleavened Bread which commemorated the exodus from Egypt. Fifty days later came the feast of Pentecost, originally a festival of the grain harvest, but later observed in honor of the giving of the Law. In the fall came the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur was the most solemn day of all when the high priest entered the inner sanctuary of the Temple, the Holy of Holies and made atonement for all the sins which the people committed throughout the year. The most interesting part of the ceremony was that of driving out the scapegoat which was believed to carry the sins of the people away into the desert.

Later in the same month Tishri, came the Feast of Tabernacles, the great harvest festival, also observed in later times as a commemoration of the dwelling in tabernacles or booths during the wilderness wanderings. The Feasts of Purim (March) and Hanukkah (December) were established long after the Law was compiled. Esther describes the founding of Purim and Maccabees that of Hanukkah. At the Jewish Feast of Purim there is a regulation which says that, however poor a man is, he must find someone poorer than himself and give him a gift. It is not always those who are most wealthy who are most generous; it is the poor who help the poor, because they know what poverty is like. There was a certain kind of feast in the ancient world called the eranos to which each particular participant brought his own share of the food, and in which all the contributions were pooled to make a common feast.

The Feast of Weeks, marking the end of the grain harvest, took place in late May or early June. The Feast of Booths (Succoth) held in the early fall, celebrated the grape harvest and commemorated Israel's wandering in the wilderness. Other religious festivals included the Feast of the New Moon, which marked the first day of each month; the Feast of Purim, celebrating the deliverance of the Jews by Esther and Mordecai. These festivals often had a joyous, carnival-like atmosphere, with much merriment and feasting. The Day of Atonement was a time of repentance and expiation for the sins of the nation of Israel. No food was eaten, no liquid drunk and no pleasures indulged in that day.

Attendance at three annual festivals was prescribed for male Israelites by the regulations in Ex 23.14-17; Deut 16.16, etc. Golden lampstands were set up 150 feet high in the court of women at the Feast of Tabernacles. The Seventh New Moon, or Feast of Trumpets, fell on the seventh month, or Tishri, differing on account of mystical seven, or perhaps because it marked the beginning of the civil year. A feast day, in the strict sense, by resting from all work, and as a memorial of blowing of horns, by a holy convocation. Throughout the day trumpets were blown at Jerusalem from morning to evening. The Day of Atonement, which falls on this month, provides full expiation of all sins and the removal of all uncleanness; and the Feast of Tabernacles, beginning five days thereafter, provides a foretaste of the blessedness of life in fellowship with the Lord. The fact that Tisri was the great month for sowing might easily have suggested the thought of commemorating on this day the finished work of creation; and thus the Feast of Trumpets came to be regarded as the anniversary of the beginning of the world. The rabbins believed that on this day God judges all men, and that they pass before him as a flock of sheep pass before a shepherd.

After a nameless feast, Jesus went up to Jerusalem, it was probably Purim. The Passover took place only a month afterward. This was wintertime and the Feast of the Dedication was being celebrated, held on the 25th of Cisleu, and fell this year on Dec. 20th. This feast was founded by Judas Maccabaeus in honor of the cleansing of the Temple in BC 164, two hundred years before, 6 and 1/2 years after the profaning of Antiochus Epiphanes. Like the Passover and the Tabernacles, it lasted 8 days, and was celebrated with with rejoicing and great pomp and splendor with magnificent illuminations, so it was called the Feast of Lights.

Traditional Judaism had a single focus for its religious activity, the sanctuary, which for most was the temple at Jerusalem. All able-bodied Israelites from all over the world were expected to make the trip to Jerusalem for at least three annual festival: Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. Pilgramages afforded the worshipers the chance to meet new people and enjoy new experiences. Pilgrims also faced danger in their travels, the vicisitudes of the weather, robbers and wild beasts.

Amos prophesied: 'I despise your feasts.. let justice run like water.' Paul wrote to "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days... Which are a shadow of things to come." What this means is that although Moses commanded the Israelites to attend the feasts, as Christians these requirements are fulfilled in the person of Jesus, the steps inherant in the Christian life and the fact of what is being done through Him until the end of the age. Jesus told us, "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." The feasts were then types of the Christian dispensation and the establishment of the kingdom, some being fulfilled before our very eyes.


The greatest of Jewish feasts was Passover, also called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Go and prepare: It was the evening of the day before the Passover the day when the water was drawn and the bread kneaded for the feast, when all leaven had to put away from Jewish households. The anniversary of the exodus from Egypt, i.e. the 14th day of Nisan, otherwise called Abib and the period of the first full moon in the spring, lasted 8 days. It commemorated that terrible night when the Passover angel smote the first-born of Egypt and "passed over" Israel. The Jews of today continue to celebrate the Passover largely as in the days of the second temple.

In the time of Jesus, every one was home for the Passover meal or went up to Jerusalem every year and the inns were full. Every Jewish man, who could, had traveled to the capital city for the spring feast and Pasch celebration. Tents had sprung up all over the surrounding hills above the ancient city. The Pilgrims were so thick that the Roman legions, traditionally moved to Jerusalem to assure order, had to pick their way carefully around the makeshift shelters which sprawled even around the Temple itself. Women were not obliged to go or men under 13 but many families traveled together. Every highway in Palestine was then crowded with throngs of joyous pilgrims heading toward the Holy City. For weeks road crews were busy making repairs along the way. Innkeepers and homeowners had extra shelters prepared for the travelers.

Jesus and His disciples arrived at Bethany on the evening of Friday, Nisan 8, A.U.C. 780, (March 31, AD 30) six days before the Passover and before the sunset had commenced the Sabbath hours. The custom of eating the Passover standing had long been abandoned, reclining was the proper attitude, because it was that of free men.

The death of Jesus at the very time of the Passover is regarded as Christ our Passover. This is typical of Christ in its connection with the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt and held to typify our salvation from the bondage of sin. "In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house... Your lamb shall be without blemish..." It was the same as a sacrifice, and that of a lamb without blemish - the perfection of the Paschal lamb - no bone of the paschal lamb was to be broken.

The Feast of Passover is also the Feast of Unleavened Bread. "And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days you must eat unleavened bread." "Whosoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel." Leaven represents sin. When leaven is present in the preparation of bread, it ferments and grows; just like sin in our lives, if it is allowed to remain it only gets worse. The first day, an holy convocation is offered where there is no work, only the Lord is to be served. An offering of fire is then given which represents purification. The unleavened bread also reminds us of the affliction of Egypt and that we have been delivered from former bondage.

Jesus likened leaven to the doctrine and hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Sadducees and of Herod, warning us to beware. Saint Paul was most direct as he taught: "Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." Jesus is our Passover, delivering us from the penalty of sin, it is then our response to remove actual sin from our presence, serve the Lord and undergo the fire of purification. Along with the slain lamb was the requirement that the blood must be applied to the doorposts of the house. This represents an external action required to validate the fact of the redemption. Although the death of Christ fulfilled the requirements of salvation according to the law for all humanity, the fact still needs to be appropriated through faith and obedience for the individual to enter into it.

Think on this - the fact of a person's individual salvation compared to the fact of salvation entering the world through the vicarious death of Jesus. This is a thought provoker. As I think upon it, it might not matter either way but Jesus died on the cross for the WHOLE world, which is the objective fact of salvation but might not be subjective according to an individual. It is in the fact of receiving that makes it subjective. We may be assured that Jesus died for all of us unless you are a Mormon or a Calvinist, they believe that Jesus died only for the saints and deny subjective spiritual experiences. As to an individual, the Holy Spirit is given through faith as a witness to the salvation, that is a subjective act in response to an objective truth. The fact of receiving the Holy Spirit is objective as to having coming from the Lord and subjective as to the one receiving Him and bearing witness. Without the objective fact of the sacrifice of Jesus, there would have been no salvation, but without us as subjects there would have been no need. True facts are never wrong, only those that interpret everything they say as factual.


The feast following that of the Pasch was called the Feast of the (seven) Weeks or Pentecost. Never was there more an international crowd in Jerusalem than at the time of Pentecost. Pentecost is a Greek word meaning 50 and comes from the feast of weeks of Leviticus 23:16.

The Hebrew Feast of Weeks or Day of the First Fruits, as it was also called, came seven weeks after the Passover. Also called the feast of the harvest, the first fruits of labor, the feast of weeks and the day of first-fruits.

The whole period of 50 days, being kept in honor and memory of the Savior's resurrection, was a time of more than ordinary joy. It was a custom of very general observance to worship standing, instead of kneeling, during the whole of this space, to mark the joyful character.

Pentecost was also the anniversary of the law. It was on that very day that Moses gathered Israel around Mount Sanai and god came out in majesty and gave His law with His thunders and lightnings and they stood trembling and entered into the covenant of works with him. The Holy Ghost came on that anniversary because the Holy Ghost is the new law of the Christian. The old law was written on stone. The new law is written on the tables of the heart.

Because Pentecost was one of the required feasts, there were at Jerusalem devout Jews out of every nation under heaven making their pilgrimage. The city of Jerusalem was filled with these Jews from the dispersion on the Sunday of the first Christian Pentecost. Many churches throughout the empire would spring up from this first introduction of the seed of the gospel and witnessed the events of the day of Pentecost.


Feasts as types: (1) Passover speaks of Calvary and of redemption by blood from Egypt. Jesus is also the scapegoat. (2) Unleavened bread typifies the holy walk. (3) First fruits typical of resurrection, first of Christ, then of "them that are Christ's at his coming." (4) Pentecost - The anti-type is the coming of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost to form the church, the body of Christ. Because the church is not yet glorified and contains evil, leaven is present. Two loaves, one body being Jew and Gentile one in Christ, yet the leaven was baked, that is, sin in the redeemed has been judged in Christ (5) Trumpets have been said to speak of the re-gathering of Israel to its home land and the out-gathering of the church. The second advent sending his angels with a great sound of a trumpet to gather together his elect of Israel from the four winds, from one end of heaven to another. (6) Day of Atonement envisions Israel's national cleansing from sin when the veil is removed. With Israel as the church, atonement still represents the repentance of sins and expiation when the veil is removed from our hearts and minds through salvation. (7) Tabernacles represent the end time in-gathering and the harvest of souls which is soon to be fulfilled in the church.
[291, 293, 296, 309, 311, 318, 322, 324, 325, 328, 330, 332, 334, 345, 347, 377, 318, BD, 392, 402, 415, 418, Exodus 12, 23, 34, Leviticus 2, 23, Deuteronomy 16, Lev 16, 23, Esther 9, Amos 4, I Macc. 4, Matthew 5, 16, Mark 8, Luke 12, 1 Corinthians 5, Colossians 2]

The Lord has given Christians the grace to reconcile the children to their Fathers

As One Body

  • We prepare for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
  • Harvest the Fruit of the Latter Rain
  • Follow Him as the Army of the Lord into His Glory

Help To Prepare A Holy Bride!

Issue Oriented Discussion Newsletter

Prayer Requests

Index | Search This Site | Aristide.Org | The Latter Rain | Babylon the Great | The Kingdom | The Nicolaitans | Jezebel | The Baptism With the Holy Ghost | The Grand Delusion | World Trade Org | Liberation Theology | Jay Atkinson | Alphabetical Index