I'll be posting the discussion topics on our next post date- this is a lot of information and I want to give everyone a chance to read it & think about it before throwing questions at you!
Leviticus: Chapter 23 covers the "Sabbath, Feasts, and Seasons" of the Israelites. It is a very informing experience to look at the list, and then compare it a bit to what we celebrate today (and realize that we even celebrate some of the same things, 4,000-5,000 years later!).
Feel free to read the chapter in the Bible if you want. I am going to lay out the "events" in a different format.
First of all, the Hebrews and we are on different calendars! Use this as a reference as we do a quick overview of the Holy Days, Weeks, Etc. of the Hebrew Year.
1st month- Nisan-----late March-early April
2nd month- Iyar-----late April-early May
3rd month- Sivan-----late May-early June
4th month- Tammuz-----late June-early July
5th month- Ab-----late July- early August
6th month- Elul-----late August-early September
7th month- Tishri-----late September-early October
8th month- Heshvan-----late October-early November
9th month- Chislev-----late November-early December
10th month- Tebeth-----late December-early January
11th month- Shebat-----late January-early February
12th month- Adar-----late February-early March
Obviously, there was the Sabbath day each week to be observed. Leviticus 23:1-3- The Lord said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and tell them: The following are the festivals of the Lord, my feast days, which you shall celebrate with a sacred assembly.”
"For six days work may be done; but the seventh day is the Sabbath rest, a day for sacred assembly, on which you shall do no work. The Sabbath shall belong to the Lord wherever you dwell."
Now we have seven annual feasts (though they sometimes run consecutively [like Good Friday and then Easter Monday] to add to the confusion!).
A. Passover- also called Pesach (celebrated on 10th or 14th [depends on bible] day of the first month of the Hebrew calendar, Nisan. Commemoration of the night that God stuck down the firstborn of Egypt while sparing the Israelites.
B. Feast of Unleavened Bread- also called Mazzot (celebrated the seven days directly following Passover). Ate bread without yeast and offered sacrifices to God.
C. The Offering of Firstfruits- a slightly "tricky" holiday. The offering of the firstfruits of the barley usually took place during Mazzot. However, the rest of the produce that started to grow/ripen between Passover & Pentecost were offered during the Pentecostal celebration.
Main Point: Off first fruits of any harvest to thank God.
D. The Feast of Weeks- also called Pentecost- also called Shavout.
Occurred seven weeks after Passover. Had a solemn gathering of the people and main purpose was to thank God for the wheat harvest.
E. The Feast of Trumpets- celebrated on the first day of the seventh month (Tishri). This feast marked the end of the agricultural year. The blasting of Trumpets (hence its name) was used to announce the coming month, which included the two yearly "feast" or "events."
F. Day of Atonement- took place on the tenth day of the seventh month.
The High Priest made solemn sacrifice on behalf of everyone in Israel. This was the one day a year that the high priest could enter the most Holy Place. This was, as the name implies, a day of atonement.
E. Feast of Booths (also called Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkoth)- took place five days after the Day of Atonement. People "camped out" in small huts that were hastily thrown up in order to recall the time in the desert before taking Canaan. This was a joyous week, time of final celebration before the New Year, and thanksgiving for the year's harvest.
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong