A Feast to Remember
By Dianne E. Butts –
Thanksgiving is perhaps the most famous feast in America. As we prepare to celebrate our American feast, you might be interested in a little history and information on the Jewish Feasts. God gave the Jews seven feasts to observe. These feasts are both historical and prophetic, meaning they both remind the Jews of their history with God and point to future events prophetically.
Now, I have called them the Jewish feasts because God gave them to the Jewish people in the Old Testament, however they are actually meant for all people, which is why they are really called the Feasts of the LORD.
Speaking prophetically, the first four Feasts have occurred. Three occurred very close together, then a gap of time before the fourth. Then a larger gap of time passes to the (yet-unfulfilled) remaining and final three in our future. Here are the Feasts of the LORD:
1. Passover occurs in the spring of the year and lasts one day. On the Jewish calendar it is the 14th of Nisan. It corresponds to the Christian Easter, except that Easter is always on Sunday which is why it seems to move around our calendar. Historically, for 1,500 years, from the time of the first Passover in Moses’ day, the Jews killed the Passover lamb on Nisan 14. Prophetically: Jesus, the ultimate Passover Lamb, was crucified on Passover.
2. Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on Nisan 15 and is seven days long. At the first Passover, God instructed the Jews to make bread without leaven. Historically, in the Bible leaven almost always represents sin and Jews spend time in the spring cleaning the leaven (sin) out of their lives and homes. Prophetically: Jesus was the bread that feeds the world without leaven (sin).
3. Feast of First Fruits: begins on Nisan 18, literally within the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Historically it celebrates the first harvest of barley after God brought His people into the Promised Land. Prophetically: Jesus was raised on the third day, the first fruits of the harvest.
4. Feast of Pentecost is the Feast of Weeks, seven weeks of seven days after Passover. Pentecost is on the 50th day. Historically it remembers the Law coming down from God to Moses on Mt. Sinai. Prophetically: Jesus, who paid the death-penalty for the breaking of God’s Law, ascended to heaven on the fortieth day after His resurrection. The Holy Spirit descended upon the church on Pentecost.
5. Feast of Yom Teruah, also known as Rosh Hashanah, is the Feast of Trumpets. This is the first of the three feasts in the fall of the year. Historically, this day is known as “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble,” “The Day of the Awakening [Trumpet] Blast,” “Yom HaDin” (The Opening of the Books”), and “Yom HaKeseh” (The Hidden Day). Prophetically: This is the next feast to be fulfilled on God’s prophetic calendar, and many believe the Tribulation will begin on this day in some coming year.
6. Feast of Yom Kippur. Historically celebrates The Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for those people who believe in, trust in, and love God. Prophetically: Israel calls upon Messiah.
7. Feast of Tabernacles is also known as the Feast of Succoth or Booths. Historically the Jews built booths of sticks to “tabernacle” or live with God. Prophetically: When God/Messiah will come to “tabernacle” or live among us.
The Jewish holidays Purim and Hanukkah also appear on the calendar, but these are not original, prophetic Feasts of the Lord. Purim remembers the near slaughter of the Jews in the book of Esther. Hanukkah remembers the re-taking and purification of the Temple by Judas Maccabaeus in about 164 BC.
This article has been re-posted with a correction: Jesus did not ascend to heaven on Pentecost as the article stated, but 40 days after His resurrection.