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 Feast Days

Sabbath and Feast Days Overview

In addition to the Sabbath, the day of rest and worship every seventh day, the law prescribes many feasts and observances throughout the year. Probably the most important is the day of atonement ceremony when the high priest is to enter the Holy of Holies and offer sacrifice and repentance to God for the forgiveness of the sins of all the people (Yom Kippur). Two goats are to be used. One is to be sacrificed; the high priest is to lay hands on the other, symbolically transferring the people's sins to the goat, called the scapegoat. This goat is to be released to carry the sins away (Lev. 16:1-28).

Jewish Feast Days: An Appetizer
 

FEAST: Rosh Hashanah (Lev.23:24-25)

Commemorates: God as king, judge and redeemer
September / October

Description of Feast:
On this two-day New Year celebration the Israelites prepared themselves for Yom Kippur which comes ten days later. In this celebration they extolled God as the one whose standard men have failed to meet and recounted His greatness, love, and mercy.

FEAST: Yom Kippur (Lev. 23:26-32)

Commemorates: Atonement for sins of the nation
September / October

Description of Feast:
The people spent Yom Kippur (the day of atonement) away from the world, praying in the house of God while the priests offered sacrifices for the nation's sins. Recognizing this day as the holiest of feast days, Jews neither ate nor drank for 24 hours.

FEAST: Sukkot (Lev. 23:33-43, John 7:2)

Commemorates: Israel's wanderings in the wilderness September / October

Description of Feast:
During the seven-day celebration of Sukkot (the feast of tabernacles or booths) the people gave thanks for divine protection and harvest blessings. For seven days they lived in shelters made of branches, demonstrating their vulnerability to external elements yet confidence in God's care.

 

FEAST: Hanukah (John 10:22)

Commemorates: Rededication of the temple in 164 B.C.   November / December

Description of Feast:
On Hanukah (the festival of lights) Jews celebrated their victory over the Syrians and their rededication of the temple which the Syrians had desecrated. Through lighting a new candle each day for eight days, the Jews commemorated the miracle of the temple's holy candelabrum: for the rededication they had only one day's worth of consecrated oil but it burnt for eight full days, the time needed to consecrate more oil.

FEAST: Purim (Esther 9) 


Commemorates: The failure of Haman's plot to destroy the Jews  February / March



Description of Feast:
During Purim (the feast of Esther) the people expressed their faith in the working of an invisible God behind the scenes of human events. It was a time of feasting and merriment.

 

FEAST: Passover and Unleavened Bread
(Lev. 23:4-8, Matt. 26:17)

Commemorates: Israel's deliverance from Egypt  ~ March /April

 

Description of Feast:
Known to the Jews as Pessah, Passover feast was the Independence Day of the Israelites. Each family symbolically reenacted the first Passover as they ate their own Passover meal. The celebration continued for seven days as they commemorated the Exodus and wilderness wanderings by eating unleavened bread and doing no work.

FEAST: Pentecost (Lev. 23:9-22, Acts 2:1) May / June

Commemorates:  Celebration of harvest

Description of Feast:
On Pentecost (the feast of the weeks) the Jews celebrated the ingathering of the first fruits of the wheat harvest. This was a time of feasting and thank God for harvest and daily bread.


 FEAST:  Feast of Tabernacles

Another important observance is the Feast of Tabernacles
 (also called Booths or Ingathering) held in thanksgiving for the harvest.
The people stay in booths or huts made with branches and leaves to remind them of their manner of life in the wilderness.
This festival amounts to a seven-day retreat. It is a time for praising God, rejoicing, and hearing the reading of the law
(Nu. 28:12; Dt. 16:13-15; 31:9-13).

 

 

The Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread commemorate the passing of the angel of death over the Israelites' homes in Egypt, the sparing of the lives of their firstborn, and the escape to the promised land (Ex. 12:11-51).
The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), or First fruits, celebrates the beginning of Harvest time (Lev. 23:17; generally, see Nu. 28-29).

The Mosaic law also provides for a "Year of Jubilee" every 50 years. This special year for proclaiming liberty begins with the day of atonement observance. During this year the ground is to lie fallow. It is a time when property and bondservants may be redeemed, and special efforts are to be made to help the poor (Lev. 25:8-55).

 

Excerpted from The Complete Multimedia Bible based on the King James Version.
Copyright (c) 1994 Compton's New Media, Inc.
I love this CD you just put a word in to look up and you get a whole page of verses to look thru.
 For this page I looked up the words at the top.