Mo’ed: Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles/Booths) and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Sukkah
Biblical Tabernacle/Booth (Heb. Sukkah)

Leviticus 23:39 “On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. 40 Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] for seven days. 41 You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the Lord [lit. Yahoah] for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall live in booths [lit. sukkot] for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, 43 so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim].” (NASB)

The last of the appointed times (Heb. mo’edim) is known by a few names:  the Feast of Tabernacles/Booths (Heb. Chag Sukkot, or more commonly just Sukkot) and the Feast of the Ingathering (Heb. Chag HaAsiph).  In accordance with the calendar discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), this eight-day festival commences on the 15th day of the seventh month and ends on the 22nd — both on the fourth day of the week.  The first and eighth days are annual or high Sabbaths.  This coincides with the “evening” of October 4th and the “morning” of October 5th of the secular Gregorian calendar.

Let’s explore some of the Biblical passages referencing this festival.  The first mention of sukkot or booths is found in Genesis 33:17; it explains how the ancient settlement of Succoth derived its name:

Genesis 33:17 Jacob (Heb. Ya’akov) journeyed to Succoth, and built for himself a house and made booths for his livestock; therefore the place is named Succoth. (NASB)

To add more detail to the key passage in the opening of this article:

Leviticus 23:33 Again the Lord [lit. Yahoah] spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the Lord [lit. Yahoah]. 35 On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind. 36 For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord [lit. Yahoah]. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the Lord [lit. Yahoah]; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work. (NASB)

As mentioned above, this festival was first referenced as the Feast of the Ingathering at the time of the Exodus (note that the article refers to this event as a “founding myth” although archaeological evidence proves otherwise) from Egypt — which had a second stop after Pi-Rameses at another Succoth in the Land of Goshen (Heb. Eretz Goshen):

Exodus 23:14 “Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me. 15 You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib [not Nisan], for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed. 16 Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors [aka Latter Firstfruits or the Feast of Weeks (Heb. Shavu’ot] from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year [aka the Feast of Booths] when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field. 17 Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord [lit. Yahoah] God [lit. Elohim]. (NASB)

The three pilgrimage festivals (Heb. Shalosh Regalim) will be developed further below.  This passage reiterates two of the three:

Exodus 34:22 You shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks, that is, the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year. (NASB)

But, why are sukkot associated with this festival?  It all has to do with remembrance of the Israelites wandering through the desert wilderness for forty years — a generation — living in temporary dwellings (hence, the sukkot).  After all the miracles they had witnessed firsthand, they acted like insolent children who did not trust Yahoah nor follow His commandments:

Numbers 32:10 So the Lord’s [lit. Yahoah’s] anger burned in that day, and He swore, saying, 11 ‘None of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I swore to Abraham (Heb. ‘Avraham), to Isaac (Heb. Yitzhak) and to Jacob (Heb. Ya’akov); for they did not follow Me fully, 12 except Caleb (Heb. Kalev) the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun (Heb. Yehoshu’a ben Nun), for they have followed the Lord [lit. Yahoah] fully.’ 13 So the Lord’s [lit. Yahoah’s] anger burned against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the entire generation of those who had done evil in the sight of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] was destroyed. 14 Now behold, you have risen up in your fathers’ place, a brood of sinful men, to add still more to the burning anger of the Lord against Israel. 15 For if you turn away from following Him, He will once more abandon them in the wilderness, and you will destroy all these people.” (NASB)

Nothing has changed!  As do all religions, rabbinic Judaism (with Pharisaism being its precursor; see Matthew 23) changed the Word of God through false traditions (embellishments not found in the Scriptures), the precepts of men (manufactured theology), and doctrines of demons (assimilated paganism).  We were warned against these!  Look at how their forefathers complained and wished to return to Egypt under bondage, how even Aaron (Heb. Aharon) forged the golden calf not long after the crossing of the Red Sea, and even Moses‘ (Heb. Moshe[h]) disobedience impeded his entering the Promised Land!  It took the archetype of Joshua the son of Nun to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land just as Joshua the Anointed/Messiah (Heb. Yehoshu’a HaMashiach) — Yahoah incarnate — leads both Jew and Greek (Gentiles) to Salvation to this day!

An interesting observation often overlooked regarding v12 above is the symbolic rejoining of Jacob (aka Israel) and Esau through Joshua and Caleb.  Kenizzites were Edomites (from the future Idumea where the Herodian dynasty hailed), or sons of Esau.  For more on the Herods and eschatology, read my article entitled “Revelation Study: Mystery Babylon.”

Sukkot was also a time for the Law (Heb. Torah) to be read to ALL of Israel — men, women, and children:

Deuteronomy 31:9 So Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 Then Moses commanded them, saying, “At the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of remission of debts, at the Feast of Booths, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place which He will choose, you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people, the men and the women and children and the alien who is in your town, so that they may hear and learn and fear the Lord your God, and be careful to observe all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live on the land which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.” (NASB)

Verse 10 is referring to the sabbatical year when the arable land was to lie fallow; see Leviticus 25:1-7,18-22.  For more information on that practice, read my article entitled “Mo’ed: Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Future Judgment.”

When those of the northern Kingdom of Judah were released from the Babylonian captivity, Sukkot was restored as one of the appointed times:

Ezra 3:1 Now when the seventh month came, and the sons of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered together as one man to Jerusalem. 2 Then Jeshua [lit. Yeshua, shortened form of Yehoshu’a] the son of Jozadak and his brothers the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and his brothers arose and built the altar of the God [lit. Elohim] of Israel to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the law [lit. Torah] of Moses, the man of God [lit. Elohim]. 3 So they set up the altar on its foundation, for they were terrified because of the peoples of the lands; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord [lit. Yahoah], burnt offerings morning and evening. 4 They celebrated the Feast of Booths [lit. Chag Sukkot], as it is written, and offered the fixed number of burnt offerings daily, according to the ordinance, as each day required; 5 and afterward there was a continual burnt offering, also for the new moons [lit. chodesh; =months] and for all the fixed festivals of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] that were consecrated, and from everyone who offered a freewill offering to the Lord [lit. Yahoah]. (NASB)

The reason why these FIXED festivals of Yahoah were reinstituted was that the sons of Israel “were terrified because of the peoples of the lands.”  In fact, these festivals are fixed on the same month, same day(s), and same day(s) of the week in perpetuity!  Revisit the Qumran calendar.  That is NOT the case with the Masoretic (Babylonian) calendar observed by the modern Jewry.  In fact, the fourth (or tenth!) month is named for the Babylonian deity Tammuz; that is an ABOMINATION (Exodus 20:3)!  Read the upper portion of my post entitled “Why explore the Qumran calendar?

Regarding the pagan tradition of marking months by the sighting of the first sliver of a waxing crescent immediately after a new or dark moon, read the lower portion of the same post.  God did not mark His months in that manner; see Lunar Cycles 1-3.

Further confirmation of the restoration of the appointed times is found in Nehemiah:

Nehemiah 8:13 Then on the second day the heads of fathers’ households of all the people, the priests and the Levites were gathered to Ezra the scribe that they might gain insight into the words of the law. 14 They found written in the law how the Lord had commanded through Moses that the sons of Israel should live in booths during the feast of the seventh month. 15 So they proclaimed and circulated a proclamation in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the hills, and bring olive branches and wild olive branches, myrtle branches, palm branches and branches of other leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written.” 16 So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each on his roof, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at the Water Gate and in the square at the Gate of Ephraim. 17 The entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in them. The sons of Israel had indeed not done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day. And there was great rejoicing. 18 He read from the book of the law of God daily, from the first day to the last day. And they celebrated the feast seven days, and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly according to the ordinance. (NASB)

Note how the modern Jewry corrupts the TaNaKh (OT) through their version of the “four species.”  Compare that to v15.  Also, perform a Google search on sukkah images; none are as is described in the Scriptures.  They do not “follow the Law” as they proclaim; they do what is convenient like in most other religions; they desire to have their “ears tickled” (2 Timothy 4:1-5 concentrating on v3).  Also, v17b is significant:  “The sons of Israel had indeed NOT (emphasis mine) done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day.

Sukkot was also observed in the New Testament:

John 7:2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near.

14 But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach. 15 The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated?” 16 So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

19 “Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?” (NASB)

Verse 19a bears repeating:  “Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law?”  Again, some things never change!  Their actions did not live up to their lip service; that is how the Word is corrupted by “rabbinic sages” in the Babylonian Talmud (Heb. Talmud Bavli).  Babylonian calendar.  Babylonian Talmud.  Mystery Babylon!  Why else would Jerusalem be referenced as Sodom and Egypt (Revelation 11:8)?

Sukkot is also observed during Christ’s literal millennial reign, which will occur after the Great Tribulation but before Judgment Day when Satan is bound (Revelation 20:1-3):

Zechariah 14:9 And the Lord [lit. Yahoah] will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord [lit. Yahoah] will be the only one, and His name the only one.

16 Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord [lit. Yahoah] of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 17 And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord [lit. Yahoah] of hosts, there will be no rain on them. 18 If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the Lord [lit. Yahoah] smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. (NASB)

To learn more about End Time events, read my article entitled “Revelation Study: An Overview of Eschatological Events.” (Hint:  This topic is not taught correctly in ANY modern church nor synagogue.)

As promised, this section will be wrapped up with a brief discussion of the three pilgrimage festivals (Heb. Shalosh Regalim; =three feet) required annually by ALL sons of Israel.  Why “three feet?”  Because if you remove a proverbial leg from a three-legged stool, it falls — meaning that these three festivals are the cornerstone of Judeo-Christianity:

Deuteronomy 16:1 “Observe the month of Abib [NOT Nisan!] and celebrate the Passover to the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim], for in the month of Abib the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 You shall sacrifice the Passover to the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] from the flock and the herd, in the place where the Lord [lit. Yahoah] chooses to establish His name. 3 You shall not eat leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), so that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. 4 For seven days no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory, and none of the flesh which you sacrifice on the evening of the first day shall remain overnight until morning. 5 You are not allowed to sacrifice the Passover in any of your towns which the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] is giving you; 6 but at the place where the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] chooses to establish His name, you shall sacrifice the Passover in the evening at sunset, at the time that you came out of Egypt. 7 You shall cook and eat it in the place which the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] chooses. In the morning you are to return to your tents. 8 Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim]; you shall do no work on it.

9 “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; you shall begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing [barley] grain. 10 Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] blesses you; 11 and you shall rejoice before the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim], you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is in your town, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place where the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] chooses to establish His name. 12 You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.

13 “You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; 14 and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. 15 Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] in the place which the Lord [lit. Yahoah] chooses, because the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.

16 “Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the Lord [lit. Yahoah] empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] which He has given you. (NASB)

With as many times as the Tetragrammaton was employed in just this one passage, does anyone honestly think that we were to forget His Name because it was so sacred?  Absolutely NOT!  The commandment is:

“You shall not take the name (Heb. HaShem) of the Lord your God IN VAIN (emphasis mine), for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11)

He wants us to know Him, His Name, and to have a personal relationship with Him through prayer and obeying His commandments.

Note the use of Adonai in the HaShem reference above.  This is the reason why “the Lord” is translated for the Tetragrammaton.  Read further in that section:

“As pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton came to be avoided in the Hellenistic period, Jews may have begun to drop the Tetragrammaton when presented alongside Adonai and subsequently expand it to cover for the Tetragrammaton in the forms of spoken prayer and written scripture. Owing to the expansion of chumra (the idea of ‘building a fence around the Torah’), Adonai itself has come to be too holy to say for Orthodox Jews, leading to its replacement by HaShem (‘The Name’).” — Wikipedia, “Names of God in Judaiam,” “Adonai” section.

Again, false traditions and precepts of men exceeded what was required by manufactured Jewish law (Heb. Halakha).  In doing so, the TRUE pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton was lost and forgotten until the discovery of a DSS fragment in Greek, which confirmed that the Hebrew “vav” was pronounced like the Koine Greek “omega.”  He did say that He is the “Alpha and Omega,” right (Revelation 22:13)?  The Greek ‘Ιαω (iota-alpha-omega) is consistent with the Hebrew Yahoah.  Furthermore, reciting “Adonaiinvokes the Greek Adonis, who was synonymous with the Babylonian Tammuz.

“The annual wailing for Tammuz was very ancient and very widespread, even mentioned in the Bible (Ezekiel 8:14 and possibly Isaiah 17:10).  In the Levant Tammuz was called ‘adoni, ‘Lord’ — hence the Greek Adonis.” — Garder, John and John Maier, “Gilgamesh,” p.154

There is the Mystery Babylon tie-in again.  False traditions.  Precepts of men.  Doctrines of demons.  It is right before our eyes, yet most do not perceive it.

Returning to the Shalosh Regalim…  Why these three?  Let’s examine what has/will occur during these festivals in accordance with God’s calendar:

Passover/Unleavened Bread

Feast of Weeks/Latter Firstfruits

Feast of Tabernacles/Booths/Ingathering

  • Sukkot are symbolic the temporary housing during Israel’s 40-year wanderings through the desert wilderness after the Exodus
  • This is a great segue into the next section… The Marriage Supper of the Lamb!


The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

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A Jewish Wedding Chuppah.  Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

As Sukkot, or the Feast of Booths, is the last festival of the year, so is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (of God) the last scene in the Book of Revelation.  Based on my article entitled “Revelation Study: An Overview of Eschatological Events,” we know that the following major milestone events will occur at some time in the future:

The Memorial/Day of Blasting/Shouting (Heb. Zichron/Yom Teru’ah) strongly points to the Second Coming and the commencement of Christ’s millennial reign, and the Day of Atonement (Heb. Yom Kippur) likewise points to Judgment Day as judgment is the flip-side of atonement.  By the process of elimination (but it is much more than that!), the Feast of Booths points to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  As Christ was crucified on Passover — representative of an unblemished (sinless), one year old (His Earthly ministry lasted 1.58 years), male paschal lamb, that is how the moniker of the Lamb of God was applied.  This allusion was confirmed in the foreshadowing of John 1:29,36:

John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus [lit. ‘Iesous; =Joshua] coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ 31 I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” 32 John [lit. ‘Ióannés] testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

35 Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus [lit. Joshua] as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” (NASB)

Before moving on, this passage requires further examination:

  • Note in v30b that John said “… for He existed before me.”  How can that be as we know that John was conceived EXACTLY six months prior to Christ on the 22nd day of the twelfth month on the first day of the week?  Many modern “theologians” and “Biblical scholars” state that the Scriptures do not explicitly convey the deity of Christ.  But, the answer to the question posed above is answered in the opening passage of the Book of John — specifically John 1:1-18.  In fact, the incarnate Christ is the preincarnate Yahoah — the firstborn of Creation (Colossians 1:13-20 concentrating on v15).  Even Christ’s Hebrew Name Yehoshu’a means “Yahoah saves;” they are one and the same.
  • In v29b, how can Christ “… take away the sin of the world?”  The incarnate Christ is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53.  He was the only sinless person conceived and born on this Earth — not Mary (Heb. Miryam) nor anyone else as some churches falsely teach.  Most Catholics assume that the Immaculate Conception refers to Christ — not Mary.  Only He is our Salvation and Redeemer through His Blood shed so that believers in Him may have eternal life (John 3:16-21 concentrating on vv16-17).
  • The “baptism of John” was nothing new under the sun.  Yochanan was performing a full-body immersion (Heb. tevilah/Gr. baptizó) in a gathering of “living water” with its source as a natural spring (Heb. mikveh).  The Jordan River (Heb. Nahar HaYarden) qualified as a mikveh as its source is the Banias spring at the foot of Mount HermonYochanan was overseeing full-body water immersions as these were converts to the “sect” called The Way (Heb. HaDerech), which is the TRUE church — to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Gentiles); see Romans 1:16.
  • What does v33b mean when it states that: “He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit?”  The Hebrew Mashiach and Greek Christos both mean “Anointed One.”  Yehoshu’a — immediately after His tevilah — was immersed in something that no king or priest of Israel could — He was anointed with the Holy Spirit while the rest were anointed with fresh olive oil and fine spices (Exodus 30:22-33).  The Scriptures also state that Christ immerses in Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16).  Believers are immersed in the Holy Spirit; the destiny of unbelievers is the lake of fire (Heb. Gehenna) on Judgment Day.  Choose life and believe in Him!
  • In v34 it speaks of the “Son of God.”  Only two people in the entirety the Bible were bestowed with that title:  this first was Adam (Luke 3:38), and the second was Christ (numerous references).  The fallen angels of Genesis 6:1-4 concentrating on vv2,4 were also referenced as “sons of God” as they were created in Heaven on Yom Rishon.

Returning to the Marriage Supper…  Sukkah is translated as booth, canopy, hut, lair, pavilion, and shelter according to the New American Standard (NAS) Concordance.  In fact, several Hebrew words convey this concept. In the NT, the Greek word is skéné meaning a tent, booth, tabernacle, abode, dwelling, mansion, and habitation.

This is the only feast that employs a canopy (Heb. chuppah).  It “symbolizes the home the couple will build together.” A Jewish wedding is comprised of two distinct phases: 1) sanctification/dedication and 2) marriage.  The three occurrences of this word are found in:

All three passages may be found here for your convenience.

Okay, so who’s getting married, and who are the invited guests?  The answers to these questions reveal two more false teachings in Christianity.  This is what the Bible states regarding the Bride (of Christ) — the wife of the Lamb:

Revelation 21:9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

The New Jerusalem

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. (NASB)

Revelation 21 is provided within context for your convenience.

So, the Bride is definitely New Jerusalem — NOT the “body of Christ” (=the church/believers) as is erroneously taught in most Christian churches. There will be a New Heaven and a New Earth, and the New Jerusalem will descend from the former to the latter.  It’s the elect (=chosen ones/saints) who are invited to the wedding feast after the Judgment Day!  Folks, our domain is on Earth — whether the current incarnation or the New Earth that is to come.  WE DO NOT GO TO HEAVEN!  We have been deceived!  What does Revelation 19 state?

Revelation 19:7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” 10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus [lit. Joshua]; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus [lit. Joshua] is the spirit of prophecy.” (NASB)

If the church or body of believers were the Bride, then who would be invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?

Now, read Matthew 22:1-14 and 23-30.  What do verses 14 and 30 say?

Matthew 22:14 For many are called [lit. invited], but few are chosen. (NASB)

Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. (NASB)

The elect/saints/chosen ones will be “like the angels in Heaven” and “neither marry nor are given in marriage.”  Is Christ a liar or are our churches with their false traditions, precepts of men, and doctrines of demons?

This message is similar to the Parable of the Ten Virgins.  What is Christ Himself going to say to the majority who consider themselves “Judeo-Christians?”

Matthew 25:12 But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ (NASB)

Just imagine hearing those words uttered by the Son of God…  Wow!  Do those who will be resurrected from the dead or the living who will be caught up — IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION — reside in Heaven?  NO!  We will tabernacle with Christ in the New Jerusalem on the New Earth after His millennial reign!  THAT is what the Scriptures state; anything else is a false teaching!

A parting thought…  Although we must take the Talmud with a HUGE grain of salt as was discussed earlier, the following does fascinate me.  Jewish eschatology expects that Leviathan will be slain and that her skin will be used as a covering for a sukkah. The most pertinent quote from that article is as follows:

“In the Talmud Baba Bathra 75a it is told that the Leviathan will be slain and its flesh served as a feast to the righteous in [the] Time to Come, and its skin used to cover the tent where the banquet will take place. The festival of Sukkot (Festival of Booths) therefore concludes with a prayer recited upon leaving the sukkah (booth): ‘May it be your will, Lord[/Adonai] our God and God of our forefathers, that just as I have fulfilled and dwelt in this sukkah, so may I merit in the coming year to dwell in the sukkah of the skin of Leviathan. Next year in Jerusalem.’

Folks, this great banquet on Sukkot is none other than the Marriage Supper of the Lamb between Christ and New Jerusalem described in Revelation!  I believe they got this one right… (although we still have at least 1,007 years to go!).


Be sure to read the companion articles in the Mo’edim (appointed times) and Agricultural Feasts series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz.  All rights reserved.

HaDerech Scroll - Paleo-Hebrew

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Mo’ed: Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Future Judgment

two-goats
Two male goats: One for the sin offering and the other as the “scapegoat” (Heb. Azazel).

Leviticus 23:26 The Lord [lit. Yahoah] spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the Lord. 28 You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim]. 29 If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath.” (NASB)

In accordance with the calendar discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), the tenth day of the seventh month on the sixth day of the week — which coincides with the “evening” of 9/29 and “morning” of 9/30 of the secular Gregorian calendar — marks the Day of Atonement (Heb. Yom Kippur).  As is stated in the Leviticus passage above, it is an annual or High Sabbath.  In fact, the modern Jewry considers it the holiest day of their liturgical calendar — the “Sabbath of Sabbaths.”  Although the TaNaKh (OT) does not explicitly state that it is holier than any other Sabbath — weekly or annual, vv29-30 stresses the importance and seriousness of its observance for the sons of Israel; it certainly bears repeating:

Leviticus 23:29 If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. (NASB)

Even with its importance, it is not one of the three pilgrimage festivals (Heb. Shalosh Regalim); therefore, I personally reject the notion of its being holier than the other appointed times (Heb. mo’edim).

Nowhere in the TaNaKh (OT) does it state that Yom Kippur is a fast day (Heb. tsom).  Many have falsely stated that “afflict your soul” in Leviticus 16:29 — in the KJV, for example — implies fasting.  The better translation is “humble your soul” as in NASB.  The actual Hebrew word is anah; see here.  However, if one would prefer to fast on Yom Kippur, there is nothing prohibiting it, either.

The term scapegoat (Heb. Azazel), which is a misnomer introduced in the KJV, originates from the following Biblical practice on Yom Kippur when one of two goats is selected by lot to serve as the scapegoat to carry the sins of Israel into the desert wilderness to the east of Jerusalem while the other serves as the sin offering:

Leviticus 16:7 He shall take the two goats [lit. sa’iyrim; pl. of sa’iyr] and present them before the Lord [lit. Yahoah] at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 8 Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats [lit. sa’iryim], one lot for the Lord [lit. Yahoah] and the other lot for the scapegoat [lit. Azazel]. 9 Then Aaron shall offer the goat [lit. sa’iyr] on which the lot for the Lord [lit. Azazel] fell, and make it a sin offering. 10 But the goat [lit. sa’iyr] on which the lot for the scapegoat [lit. Azazel] fell shall be presented alive before the Lord [lit. Yahoah], to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness as the scapegoat [lit. Azazel]. (NASB)

There are a couple of interesting things of note here.  The most important is recorded in the Book of 1 Enoch — which was the third most frequent manuscript discovered among the DSS behind Psalms and DeuteronomyAzazel was among the 200 fallen angels (aka Watchers) who abandoned their Heavenly stations and descended on Mount Hermon (Heb. Har Hermon) in the opening of Genesis 6, which corresponds to 1 Enoch 6.  Among other things, these fallen angels (i.e., the “sons of God”) had sexual relations with women (i.e., “the daughters of men”) and produced giants (Heb. Nephilim) as their progeny.  This abomination was the primary reason that lead to the Biblical Flood.  This is what 1 Enoch specifically states concerning Azazel:

1 Enoch 8:1 And Azâzêl taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals〈of the earth〉and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all coloring tinctures.

1 Enoch 9:6 Thou seest what Azâzêl hath done, who hath taught all unrighteousness on earth and revealed the eternal secrets which were (preserved) in heaven, which men were striving to learn.

Essentially, Azazel was the father of blacksmithing (esp. for warfare), jewelry, and make-up; he was not to divulge that information to humankind.  But, here is the coup de grâce in v8 below:

1 Enoch 10:4 And again the Lord said to Raphael: “Bind Azâzêl hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dûdâêl, and cast him therein. 5. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there for ever, and cover his face that he may not see light. 6. And on the day of the great judgement he shall be cast into the fire. And heal the earth which the angels have corrupted, and proclaim the healing of the earth, that they may heal the plague, and that all the children of men may not perish through all the secret things that the Watchers have disclosed and have taught their sons. 8. And the whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azâzêl: to him ascribe all sin.”

Wow!  That last sentence certainly casts Yom Kippur in a different light, doesn’t it?  So, the “scapegoat” of the KJV was actually a reference to a fallen angel named Azazel unto which all of humanity’s sins were ascribed!  That certainly lends more credence to the canonicity of 1 Enoch (not to mention that Jude 1:14-15 quotes 1 Enoch 1:9).

Another item of note was that the Hebrew word for a “male goat” (Heb. attud) was not used in the Leviticus 16:7-10 passage; instead, the term employed was sa’iyr (pl. sa’iyrim) meaning “devil.”  It is the basis for the mythological beast known as a satyr; Pan is an example.  What is even more interesting is that Pan is associated with the Banias spring at the foot of Mount Hermon, which is a tributary of the Jordan River (Heb. Nahar HaYarden).  The River Jordan could not have served as a gathering of “living water” (Heb. mikveh) without this spring.  More information on Christ’s full-body immersion (Heb. tevilahFeast of New Wine (Heb. Chag Tirosh).

Now, with a different understanding…

Leviticus 16:20 “When he [Aaron] finishes atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall offer the live goat [lit. sa’iyr]. 21 Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat [lit. sa’iyr], and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat [lit. sa’iyr] and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness. 22 The goat [lit. sa’iyr] shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat [lit. sa’iyr] in the wilderness. (NASB)

The following are the passages above in Hebrew with a Strong’s concordance:

Yom Kippur completes what the modern Jewry calls the High Holy Days also known as the Days of Awe (Heb. Yomim Nora’im), which commences with the Memorial/Day of Blasting/Shouting (Heb. Zichron/Yom Teru’ah) on the first day of the seventh month on the fourth day of the week.

Every seventh year, Yom Kippur serves as an agricultural sabbatical year in which the land is to lie fallow in accordance with a Jubilee “week of years” (i.e., a grouping of seven, contiguous years):

Leviticus 25:1 The Lord [lit. Yahoah] then spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai, saying, 2 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I shall give you, then the land shall have a sabbath to the Lord [lit. Yahoah]. 3 Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, 4 but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5 Your harvest’s aftergrowth you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a sabbatical year. 6 All of you shall have the sabbath products of the land for food; yourself, and your male and female slaves, and your hired man and your foreign resident, those who live as aliens with you. 7 Even your cattle and the animals that are in your land shall have all its crops to eat. (NASB)

Leviticus 25:18 ‘You shall thus observe My statutes and keep My judgments, so as to carry them out, that you may live securely on the land. 19 Then the land will yield its produce, so that you can eat your fill and live securely on it. 20 But if you say, “What are we going to eat on the seventh year if we do not sow or gather in our crops?” 21 then I will so order My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the crop for three years. 22 When you are sowing the eighth year, you can still eat old things from the crop, eating the old until the ninth year when its crop comes in. (NASB)

Every forty-nine years, or seven “weeks of years,” a Jubilee year (Heb. yobel) is marked by the sounding of ram horns (Heb. shofr’ot) during Yom Kippur on the last year of the “week of release.”  All Israeli property is to be returned to each family every jubilee among other things; it is certainly a time of second chances and redemption!  God meant for His people to be redeemed.  (But, this is no longer practiced today.  So, does the modern Jewry REALLY follow the Law as they claim?  Only when it is considered convenient and/or advantageous — just like most other religions).

Leviticus 25:8 ‘You are also to count off seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years. 9 You shall then sound a ram’s horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land. 10 You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. 12 For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field.

13 ‘On this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his own property. 14 If you make a sale, moreover, to your friend or buy from your friend’s hand, you shall not wrong one another. 15 Corresponding to the number of years after the jubilee, you shall buy from your friend; he is to sell to you according to the number of years of crops. 16 In proportion to the extent of the years you shall increase its price, and in proportion to the fewness of the years you shall diminish its price, for it is a number of crops he is selling to you. 17 So you shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the Lord your God. (NASB)

The Law of Redemption

Leviticus 25:23 ‘The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me. 24 Thus for every piece of your property, you are to provide for the redemption of the land.

25 ‘If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman is to come and buy back what his relative has sold. 26 Or in case a man has no kinsman, but so recovers his means as to find sufficient for its redemption, 27 then he shall calculate the years since its sale and refund the balance to the man to whom he sold it, and so return to his property. 28 But if he has not found sufficient means to get it back for himself, then what he has sold shall remain in the hands of its purchaser until the year of jubilee; but at the jubilee it shall revert, that he may return to his property.

29 ‘Likewise, if a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then his redemption right remains valid until a full year from its sale; his right of redemption lasts a full year. 30 But if it is not bought back for him within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city passes permanently to its purchaser throughout his generations; it does not revert in the jubilee. 31 The houses of the villages, however, which have no surrounding wall shall be considered as open fields; they have redemption rights and revert in the jubilee. 32 As for cities of the Levites, the Levites have a permanent right of redemption for the houses of the cities which are their possession. 33 What, therefore, belongs to the Levites may be redeemed and a house sale in the city of this possession reverts in the jubilee, for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the sons of Israel. 34 But pasture fields of their cities shall not be sold, for that is their perpetual possession.

Of Poor Countrymen

35 ‘Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 Do not take usurious interest from him, but revere your God, that your countryman may live with you. 37 You shall not give him your silver at interest, nor your food for gain. 38 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.

39 ‘If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service. 40 He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee. 41 He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers. 42 For they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they are not to be sold in a slave sale. 43 You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God. 44 As for your male and female slaves whom you may have — you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. 45 Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession. 46 You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another.

Of Redeeming a Poor Man

47 ‘Now if the means of a stranger or of a sojourner with you becomes sufficient, and a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to him as to sell himself to a stranger who is sojourning with you, or to the descendants of a stranger’s family, 48 then he shall have redemption right after he has been sold. One of his brothers may redeem him, 49 or his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or one of his blood relatives from his family may redeem him; or if he prospers, he may redeem himself. 50 He then with his purchaser shall calculate from the year when he sold himself to him up to the year of jubilee; and the price of his sale shall correspond to the number of years. It is like the days of a hired man that he shall be with him. 51 If there are still many years, he shall refund part of his purchase price in proportion to them for his own redemption; 52 and if few years remain until the year of jubilee, he shall so calculate with him. In proportion to his years he is to refund the amount for his redemption. 53 Like a man hired year by year he shall be with him; he shall not rule over him with severity in your sight. 54 Even if he is not redeemed by these means, he shall still go out in the year of jubilee, he and his sons with him. 55 For the sons of Israel are My servants; they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God. (NASB)

For all OT passages regarding the Day of Atonement, see Leviticus 16; 23:26-32; 25; Numbers 29:7-11.  There is also an indirect NT reference in Hebrews 9:1-10 concentrating on v7.


Judgment Day (aka “the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord”)

Now that the topic of atonement and redemption have been discussed in regard to Yom Kippur, let’s discuss the flip-side of what is to come:  Judgment Day.  Those two words strike dreadful fear in most everyone.  And, it should to a degree as it is literally everyone’s “day in court” before the living God — both for the righteous and the wicked.  The only ones who will NOT participate in Judgment Day are those who will be beheaded for their testimony of Christ during the Great Tribulation, will be part of the FIRST resurrection, and who will serve as priests during Christ’s literal Millennial Reign; see Revelation 20:1-6.  Regardless, for those who truly believe in Christ (and He will inspect our hearts!) there is absolutely NOTHING to fear — because we will be granted Grace, which is a judicial pardon or clemency.  With Grace, it is as if our “crimes” (i.e., sins) had never occurred; we are completely absolved.  Isn’t that a comforting thought?  That is the true meaning of the following passage:

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (NASB)

During Christ’s First Coming, He came as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 as our Savior and Redeemer — to provide Grace.  During His Second Coming, He will appear as the expected, conquering Messiah (Heb. Mashiach).  To learn more about the Light referenced in vv19-21 above, read my article entitled “Creation Week: Yom Rishon (First Day).”  One passage from that article requires reiteration:

The Deity of Jesus Joshua Christ (Heb. Yehoshu’a HaMashiach/Gr. ‘Iesous Christos)

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

The Witness John Johanan (Heb. Yochanan/Gr. ‘Ióannés)

6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John [lit. ‘Ióannés]. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.

9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

The Word Made Flesh

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John [lit. ‘Ióannés] testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus [lit. ‘Iesous] Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. (NASB)

Let’s fast forward to the End Times…  In a nutshell, the following will occur:

For more information as to the timeline with additional details, read my article entitled “Revelation Study: An Overview of Eschatological Events.”

Regarding Yom Kippur, what is important to note is Judgment Day (aka “the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord [lit. Yahoah]”).  It is “great” for those written in the Book of Life but “terrible” for those who are not!  In that passage in Malachi, Elijah is one of the Two Witnesses of Revelation who will appear mid-Tribulation; the other is Enoch.  Neither has experienced death as both were taken up into Heaven in preparation of their prophesying for 1,260 yomim (slightly less than 42 months).  However, Leviathan will certainly kill them (Revelation 11:3-13 concentrating on vv7-10).  Besides Christ Himself, they are the only two born of this Earth residing in Heaven.  Note, however, in v5 that they are no longer quite human as literal fire will come from their mouths to devour their enemies.  Note also in v8 that Jerusalem is mystically called Sodom and Egypt because modern Israel covertly practices Babylonian paganism — including the mysticism of Kabbalah to this day.  This is further proof that Jerusalem — and by extension Israel — is Mystery Babylon; hence, the requirement for an undefiled New Jerusalem!

Christ will certainly act as the final judge/authority on Judgment Day:

John 5:19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. (NASB)

Although this passage is speaking directly of ancient Babylon, it is also prophetic as modern Jerusalem is Mystery Babylon:

Judgment on the Day of the Lord

Isaiah 13:6 Wail, for the day of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] is near!
It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
7 Therefore all hands will fall limp,
And every man’s heart will melt.
8 They will be terrified,
Pains and anguish will take hold of them;
They will writhe like a woman in labor,
They will look at one another in astonishment,
Their faces aflame.
9 Behold, the day of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] is coming,
Cruel, with fury and burning anger,
To make the land a desolation;
And He will exterminate its sinners from it.
10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not flash forth their light;
The sun will be dark when it rises
And the moon will not shed its light.
11 Thus I will punish the world for its evil
And the wicked for their iniquity;
I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud
And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.
12 I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold
And mankind than the gold of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
And the earth will be shaken from its place
At the fury of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] of hosts
In the day of His burning anger.
14 And it will be that like a hunted gazelle,
Or like sheep with none to gather them,
They will each turn to his own people,
And each one flee to his own land.
15 Anyone who is found will be thrust through,
And anyone who is captured will fall by the sword.
16 Their little ones also will be dashed to pieces
Before their eyes;
Their houses will be plundered
And their wives ravished. (NASB)

History certainly does repeat itself, and the adage holds true that:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana in Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1

The “sons of Israel” have proven time and time again to have short-term memories throughout the Bible — to the point of not recognizing their own Messiah!  However, we, as Christians must remember that they are “God’s Chosen,” and their hearts are currently hardened so that we may be adopted as “children of God” (Romans 11).  There is no “replacement theology” in play as some churches incorrectly teach.  The following passage states it well — we can choose Christ or Judgment…

Hebrews 10:26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. 28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (NASB)

Life and death, blessing and curse…  CHOOSE LIFE!

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (NASB)

Once Christ is rightfully recognized as the Messiah, it will realized there is no more need for a sacrificial system — including Yom Kippur!  The Living God GAVE HIS OWN BLOOD FOR A NEW AND BETTER COVENANT!

Hebrews 9:11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (NASB)

Hebrews 7:26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever. (NASB)

Read Hebrews 7-10 in its entirety to understand why the order of Melchizedek (Heb. Malki-tsedeq) is greater than that of the imperfect Levitical priesthood and why a New Covenant was required as was prophesied.


Be sure to read the companion articles in the Mo’edim (appointed times) and Agricultural Feasts series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz.  All rights reserved.

HaDerech Scroll - Paleo-Hebrew

Mo’ed: Zichron Teru’ah (Memorial of Blasting/Shouting) NOT Rosh Hashanah

shofar-2
Levite Sounding a Shofar

Leviticus 23:24 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord [lit. Yahoah].’” (NASB)

In accordance with the calendar discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), the first day of the seventh month on the fourth day of the week — which coincides with the “evening” of 9/20 and “morning” of 9/21 of the secular Gregorian calendar — is the Memorial of Blasting [of trumpets/shofr’ot] (Heb. Zichron Teru’ah) also known as the Day of Blasting/Shouting (Heb. Yom Teru’ah); it is an annual or high Sabbath.  Most may know this by its misnomer Rosh Hashanah (lit. “head of the [civil] year”).  Few know that Israel employs a pagan Babylonian calendar and observes both an ecclesiastical and civil accounting of months and years based on misguided Talmudic commentaries by “rabbinic sages” in tractate Rosh Hashanah of the Mishnah.  The term Rosh Hashanah is not mentioned in the entirety of the TaNaKh (OT).  The Law (Heb. Torah) is clear that time, as we know it, began on 1 Abib on the fourth “yom” (Heb. Yom Revi’i) of Creation when the sun, moon, and stars were created for “signs and for seasons and for days and years” (Genesis 1:14-19 concentrating on v14).  This day commences the appointed times in the Fall in what the Jewry refers to as the Days of Awe (Heb. Yamim Nora’im).

shofars_1024x1024
Shofr’ot come in many shapes, sizes, and finishes.  Photo courtesy of Holy Land Gifts.

Leviticus 23:23-25 quoted above certainly did not provide much detail, but the following passage fills in the gaps:

Numbers 29:1 ‘Now in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall also have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. It will be to you a day for blowing trumpets [lit. teru’ah]. 2 You shall offer a burnt offering as a soothing aroma to the Lord [lit. Yahoah]: one bull, one ram, and seven male lambs one year old without defect; 3 also their grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the ram, 4 and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs. 5 Offer one male goat for a sin offering, to make atonement for you, 6 besides the burnt offering of the new moon* [lit. new month] and its grain offering, and the continual burnt offering and its grain offering, and their drink offerings, according to their ordinance, for a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the Lord [lit. Yahoah]. (NASB)

*Note:  “New moon” in v6 is a mistranslation based on Masoretic practices regarding the sighting of the waxing crescent immediately following the new or dark moon.  That has absolutely no Biblical basis; it should read “new month.”  The Hebrew chodesh simply means “new/renew” in regard to a month.  The Hebrew yareach literally means “moon.”  Essentially, all references to a “new moon” in the TaNaKh (OT) is actually “new month” (Heb. chadash chodesh); “new moon” is a misnomer.  The same holds true in the NT; the root is mén (note the inserted “lunar” in the definition) meaning “month.”  The months certainly do not commence with new moons in the DSS calendar; see the latter three pages regarding the Lunar Cycles.  In fact, the first month of the three-year cycle commences with a FULL MOON!  A full moon occurring on 1 Abib is called a sign (Heb. ‘ot) in the Jubilee accounting of years.  This Heavenly sign will be observed next year on the “evening” of March 21, 2019, as it marks the beginning of Lunar Cycle 1 of 3.  The only time the Fingernail of God (FoG) appears on the first of a month is in the ninth month in Lunar Cycle 2 of 3; again, refer to the DSS calendar.

Along with shofar made from ram’s horns, two silver trumpets were instructed to be made along with how they should be utilized:

Numbers 10:1 The Lord spoke further to Moses, saying, 2 “Make yourself two trumpets of silver, of hammered work you shall make them; and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for having the camps set out. 3 When both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 4 Yet if only one is blown, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions of Israel, shall assemble before you. 5 But when you blow an alarm, the camps that are pitched on the east side shall set out. 6 When you blow an alarm the second time, the camps that are pitched on the south side shall set out; an alarm is to be blown for them to set out. 7 When convening the assembly, however, you shall blow without sounding an alarm. 8 The priestly sons of Aaron, moreover, shall blow the trumpets; and this shall be for you a perpetual statute throughout your generations. 9 When you go to war in your land against the adversary who attacks you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the Lord your God, and be saved from your enemies. 10 Also in the day of your gladness and in your appointed feasts, and on the first days of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be as a reminder of you before your God. I am the Lord your God.” (NASB)

The power of these trumpets, shofar, and voices of the Israelite people were demonstrated at the Fall of Jericho:

Joshua 6:1 Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in. 2 The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors. 3 You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. 4 Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.”

6 So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” 7 Then he said to the people, “Go forward, and march around the city, and let the armed men go on before the ark of the Lord.” 8 And it was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord went forward and blew the trumpets; and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. 9 The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while they continued to blow the trumpets. 10 But Joshua commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard nor let a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout!” 11 So he had the ark of the Lord taken around the city, circling it once; then they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp.

12 Now Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord went on continually, and blew the trumpets; and the armed men went before them and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while they continued to blow the trumpets. 14 Thus the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp; they did so for six days.

15 Then on the seventh day they rose early at the dawning of the day and marched around the city in the same manner seven times; only on that day they marched around the city seven times. 16 At the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city. 17 The city shall be under the ban, it and all that is in it belongs to the Lord; only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in the house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. 18 But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, so that you do not covet them and take some of the things under the ban, and make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it. 19 But all the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.” 20 So the people shouted, and priests blew the trumpets; and when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city. 21 They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.

22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the harlot’s house and bring the woman and all she has out of there, as you have sworn to her.” 23 So the young men who were spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and her mother and her brothers and all she had; they also brought out all her relatives and placed them outside the camp of Israel. 24 They burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold, and articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. 25 However, Rahab the harlot and her father’s household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

26 Then Joshua made them take an oath at that time, saying, “Cursed before the Lord is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho; with the loss of his firstborn he shall lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son he shall set up its gates.” 27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land. (NASB)

Note that modern Jericho is not on the same site as the ancient per v26; the modern is north of the ancient per satellite imagery.

So, how does this appointed time apply today?  The NT documents how trumpets/shofr’ot will play into the End Times. The first is the resurrection of the dead and the transformation of the living:

1 Corinthians 15:50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;* nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (NASB)

*Note:  The “kingdom of God” is referring to New Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb.

This is corroborated by the gathering/catching up (Gr. episunagó or harpazó) of the resurrected dead and living at Christ’s Second Coming:

1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus [lit. Joshua]. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (NASB)

This event occurs immediately AFTER the Great Tribulation contrary to the false pre-Tribulation “rapture” doctrine taught in most modern churches:

Matthew 24:29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. (NASB)

This is corroborated in Mark 13:24-27.   The term “rapture” originates with the Latin rapturo.  As the NT is preserved in Koine Greek, that was not the word employed in the original Scriptures.

Second, trumpets are employed most prevalently in regard to what is popularly called the “trumpet judgments” in the Book of Revelation:

The Seventh Seal — The Trumpets

Revelation 8:1 When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

3 Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

6 And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.

7 The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

8 The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, 9 and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.

10 The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. 11 The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.

12 The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.

13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

The Fifth Trumpet — The Bottomless Pit

9:1 Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. 2 He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. 3 Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. 6 And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.

7 The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8 They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. 10 They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. 11 They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.

12 The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.

The Sixth Trumpet — Army from the East

13 Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17 And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. 18 A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths. 19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm.

20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; 21 and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.

The Angel and the Little Book

10:1 I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire; 2 and he had in his hand a little book which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land; 3 and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices. 4 When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them.” 5 Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to heaven, 6 and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things in it, and the earth and the things in it, and the sea and the things in it, that there will be delay no longer, 7 but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.

8 Then the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, “Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land.” 9 So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, “Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. 11 And they said to me, “You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”

The Two Witnesses

11 Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2 Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. 3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. 6 These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.

7 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9 Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

11 But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. 13 And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly.

The Seventh Trumpet — Christ’s Reign Foreseen

15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. 18 And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”

19 And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm. (NASB)

Note that verse 9:5 states that these ungodly locusts will torment the non-believers for five months.  More importantly, believers with the seal of God on their foreheads in v4 remain untouched, but this proves —  along with Matthew 24:29-31 and Mark 13:24-27 — that a pre-tribulation rapture is an impossibility.  In fact, I believe that one false teaching will finalize what is known as the Great Apostasy.  When many “Christians” see that the signs of Revelation are occurring without their being taken up beforehand, they will fall away from their faith in God.

1 Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer. (NASB)

2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, 17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word. (NASB)

Further proof lies in Revelation 11:3 when the two witnesses, Enoch and Elijah, appear on the scene and prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days.  So, although Yom Kippur and Sukkot will be fulfilled likely one after the other, Zichron Teru’ah will not — just as the appointed times (Heb. mo’edim) in the Spring were not fulfilled in chronological order, either.

For a summary of events that will occur in the End Times, read my article:  “Revelation Study: An Overview of Eschatological Events.”

Will these events occur on Zichron Teru’ah — even successive ones? On that, the Scriptures are inconclusive based on my current understanding, but Revelation 11:18 bears repeating:

Revelation 11:18 “And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” (NASB)

Note that these “trumpet judgments” prophesied in Revelation 8-11 occur BEFORE Judgment Day, but that is the next topic…  Stay tuned!

Be sure to read the companion articles in the Mo’edim (appointed times) and Agricultural Feasts series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.

HaDerech Scroll - Paleo-Hebrew

Other Feast: Korban Etzim (Wood Offering)

wood_in_a_woodpile
Wood in a Woodpile.  Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Leviticus 6:8 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 9 “Command Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law for the burnt offering: the burnt offering itself shall remain on the hearth on the altar all night until the morning, and the fire on the altar is to be kept burning on it. 10 The priest is to put on his linen robe, and he shall put on undergarments next to his flesh; and he shall take up the ashes to which the fire reduces the burnt offering on the altar and place them beside the altar. 11 Then he shall take off his garments and put on other garments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place. 12 The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it. It shall not go out, but the priest shall burn wood on it every morning; and he shall lay out the burnt offering on it, and offer up in smoke the fat portions of the peace offerings on it. 13 Fire shall be kept burning continually on the altar; it is not to go out. (NASB)

The least known of all the appointed times (Heb. mo’edim) is the Offering of Wood (Heb. Korban Etzim).  To learn more about what korban means; see here (note that wood is overlooked).  As Torah clearly states above, the sacrificial altar and the fuel to keep it burning perpetually had to be provided for in some manner.  Unfortunately, the calendrical passages describing when this event would occur would be lost to history if it were not for the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, most of which are warehoused and/or on display at the Rockefeller Museum and the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem.  Four scrolls mention this mo’ed:  The Temple Scroll (11Q19), the Reworked Pentateuch (4Q365), and portions of the priestly courses (Heb. mishmarot) in 4Q325 and 4Q327; the definitive date is contained in the latter:

“After the Feast of New Oil is the Feast of the Offering of Wo]od.”  (4Q325, Fragment 1, Column 3) from p.350 of “The Dead Sea Scrolls in English” by Geza Vermes

4Q327 is more definitive:

“[On the twenty-firs]t (day) in (the fifth SIXTH month) is a Sabbath.  On the twenty-second (day) in (the fifth SIXTH month) is the Festival of Oil.  Af[ter the sab]bath … is the Offeri[ng of Wood].” (4Q327, Fragment 1, Column 2) Ibid.

Note:  Corrections were made from the reconstructed Qumran calendar.  There is no weekly Sabbath on the twenty-first day of the fifth month, but there is in the sixth.  As we will discover, Vermes based his translation on the incorrect practice recorded by “rabbinic sages” in the Talmud, where this festival was observed in the fifth month of the Masoretic ecclesiastical calendar known by its Babylonian name Av.

As was presented last week, the Feast of New Oil (Heb. Chag Yitzhar) occurs on the twenty-second day of the sixth month — 49 days after the Feast of New Wine (Heb. Chag Tirosh), and as is stated above, the Wood Offering occurs “after the Feast of New Oil” (4Q325) and “after the (weekly) Sabbath” (4Q327).  This means that it occurred on the twenty-ninth of the sixth month on the first day of the week.  When reconciling that date with the pagan Gregorian calendar, that coincides with the “evening” of September 17th and the “morning” of September 18th; see here.

One additional piece of information leads up to the culmination of the festival itself; this is documented in the Reworked Pentateuch:

“And the Lord [lit. Yahoah] said to Moses, ‘Command the children of Israel, saying: When you enter the land which I am giving to you as an inheritance, and you dwell upon it securely, you shall bring wood for a burnt-offering and for all of the service of [the H]ouse which you shall build for Me in the land, to lay it on the altar of burnt-offering, [and] the calves … for Passover sacrifices and peace-offerings and thank-offerings and free-will offerings and burnt-offerings daily … and for the doors and for all the service of the House you shall offer … the festival of Oil, the twel[ve tribes] they shall offer wood … Those who offer on the first day shall be Levi and … [on the third day, Reu]ben and Simeon, [and on] the fou[rth] day …’” (4Q365, Fragment 23) from p.445 of “The Dead Sea Scrolls in English” by Geza Vermes

So, it appears days were appointed before the festival to present the wood offering from each of the twelve tribes of Israel.  Is this practice mentioned elsewhere in the Bible?

Nehemiah 10:34 Likewise we cast lots for the supply of wood among the priests, the Levites and the people so that they might bring it to the house of our God, according to our fathers’ households, at fixed times annually, to burn on the altar of the Lord our God, as it is written in the law; 35 and that they might bring the first fruits of our ground and the first fruits of all the fruit of every tree to the house of the Lord annually, 36 and bring to the house of our God the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, and the firstborn of our herds and our flocks as it is written in the law, for the priests who are ministering in the house of our God. (NASB)

“As it is written in the law” in v34 refers to Leviticus 6:8-13.

Nehemiah 13:30 Thus I purified them from everything foreign and appointed duties for the priests and the Levites, each in his task, 31 and I arranged for the supply of wood at appointed times and for the first fruits. Remember me, O my God, for good. (NASB)

Is this mentioned in extrabiblical texts as well?

“Now the next day was the festival of Xylophory; upon which the custom was for every one to bring wood for the altar (that there might never be a want of fuel for that fire which was unquenchable and always burning).” — Titus Flavius Josephus, “The Wars of the Jews,” Book 2, Chapter 17, Section 6

Note:  Josephus employed the Greek term Xylophory, meaning “wood-bearing,” instead of Korban Etzim by the time of the First Jewish-Roman War in 66 CE; this proves that the Hellenization of Israel — including its paganism — was an expanding influence.  The timing of the Wood Offering had changed from the 29th of the sixth month of the Qumran calendar to the 15th of the fifth month (Heb. Tu B’Av), or mid-August, recorded by “rabbinic sages” in the Mishnah. This became a time associated with marriage and pagan practices such as mid-summer bonfires.  Do you see how the Law was continually corrupted?  This is documented throughout the Scriptures.  Are you beginning to see why modern Jerusalem — and by extension — Israel is Mystery Babylon?

Be sure to read the companion articles in the Mo’edim (appointed times) and Agricultural Feasts series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.

HaDerech Scroll - Paleo-Hebrew

Agricultural Feast: Chag Yitzhar (New Oil)

oliveoil_600x400
Image courtesy of The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc. Copyright (c) 2018.

This evening marks the commencement of the Feast of New [Olive] Oil (Heb. Chag Yitzhar) on the 22nd day of the sixth month on the first day of the week (“evening” of 9/10 and “morning” of 9/11).  It is the last of four agricultural feasts of Israel with each occurring forty-nine (49) days apart, exclusive:

These are documented in the calendar of God Most High (Heb. El Elyon) discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) in the caves surrounding Khirbet Qumran (=ruins of Qumran).  These scrolls were penned by the “sect” called The Way (Heb. HaDerech) in the Book of ActsTitus Flavius Josephus, né Yosef ben Matityahu — a mid- to late first century CE historian, self-described Pharisee (Matthew 23), and military general turned traitor to Israel — derogatorily referred to them as Essenes [=pious ones].

There are numerous references to these four crops together throughout the Bible; note that barley and wheat are at times combined under the generic term “grain.” The Levitical priests’ portion came from the first fruits of these (focusing on v12):

Numbers 18:11 This also is yours, the offering of their gift, even all the wave offerings of the sons of Israel; I have given them to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a perpetual allotment. Everyone of your household who is clean may eat it. 12 All the best of the fresh oil and all the best of the fresh wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to [lit. Yahoah], I give them to you. 13 The first ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to [lit. Yahoah], shall be yours; everyone of your household who is clean may eat it. (NASB)

A bountiful harvest of these four were the reward for obedience to Yahoah’s commandments:

Deuteronomy 11:13 “It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. (NASB)

In prophesy, the third seal is famine. See how these four staples are explicitly mentioned:

Revelation 6:6 And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” (NASB)

New oil (Heb. yitzhar/Gr. elaion) — aka “fresh oil,” “olive oil,” or simply “oil” — is mentioned 203 times in the Bible.  Besides serving as a dietary staple, olive oil is most often associated with anointing/consecration, but it also has medicinal purposes as well as serving as fuel for lamps in Biblical times.

biblicaloillamp
Ancient oil lamp.  Photo courtesy of Redeemer of Israel site. Copyright (c) 2018 by Daniel Smith.

The first mention of olive oil in the Bible had to do with the dream of Jacob’s ladder and the founding of Bethel; see Genesis 28:10-22 concentrating on v18.  To demonstrate that the Bible also serves as a historical document, this is the location of Bethel.

One of Christ’s more memorable parables was in regard to the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-12:

Matthew 25:1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5 Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11 Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.'” (NASB)

To understand what this means, we have to place it within the proper eschatological context.  Contrary to what is incorrectly taught in most Christian churches, the Bride of Christ is New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:9-14), also known as the Kingdom of Heaven.  The Bridegroom is Christ, who is also known as the Lamb (of God).  Near the conclusion of End Time events — after the Great Tribulation and Christ’s Second Coming immediately followed by His literal millennial reign and Judgment Day, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb occurs on the Feast of Tabernacles/Booths (Heb. Sukkot).  From the beginning of Creation, ALL have been invited to the culminating event of the Marriage Supper, but not all have prepared themselves by accepting Christ as their Savior/Redeemer as well as receiving the indwelling Holy Spirit.  In the parable above, the lamp oil is regarding the Holy Spirit.  The destiny of those without the indwelling Spirit is the lake of fire called Gehenna; they will be shut out of the Heavenly Kingdom (=New Jerusalem), which will descend from the New Heaven to the New Earth.  For more on these events, please read my article entitled:  “Revelation Study: An Overview of Eschatological Events.”

As was mentioned above, olive oil was used for anointing and consecration.  The recipe for anointing oil is as follows:

Exodus 30:22 Moreover, the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Take also for yourself the finest of spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred and fifty, and of fragrant cane two hundred and fifty, 24 and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a hin. 25 You shall make of these a holy anointing oil, a perfume mixture, the work of a perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil. 26 With it you shall anoint the tent of meeting and the ark of the testimony, 27 and the table and all its utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense, 28 and the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the laver and its stand. 29 You shall also consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them shall be holy. 30 You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister as priests to Me. 31 You shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. 32 It shall not be poured on anyone’s body, nor shall you make any like it in the same proportions; it is holy, and it shall be holy to you. 33 Whoever shall mix any like it or whoever puts any of it on a layman shall be cut off from his people.’” (NASB)

A Biblical hin is just under a modern gallon; see Biblical Weights and Measures.  The following is an example of an ancient olive press.

5687252_orig
Ancient olive press.  Photographer unknown.

Extra virgin olive oil is made from the first pressing; regular olive oil is made from subsequent pressings.  The former is used for anointing and lamp oil as well as for cosmetics.  For more information on the olive pressing process, see here.

During the “evening” of Passover (14 Abib) in 36 CE, Christ prayed fervently and agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane (Heb. Gat Shmanim/Gr. Gethsémani; lit. “winepress of oils” or “oil press”) at the foot of the Mount of Olives, aka Olivet (Heb. Har HaZeitim/Gr. oros tōn elaiōn).  This was just prior to Judas’ betrayal (Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, and Luke 22:39-46):

Matthew 26:36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”

39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? 41 Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 45 Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!” (NASB)

jerusalem_gethsemane_tango7174
Image courtesy of Wikimedia in the Wikipedia article entitled Gethsemane


Christ’s Conception in 5 CE

There was a very significant prophetic event that occurred on this date in 5 CE that overshadowed this date’s simply serving as an agricultural feast; it marked the day of Christ’s conception!  These are the facts from the Book of Luke and the calendar of God Most High (Heb. El Elyon) discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls in Khirbet Qumran [=ruins of Qumran]:

Fact #1:  Zecharias (Heb. Tsekharya) was a Levite of the division of Abijah; see Luke 1:5-7 concentrating on v5.

Fact #2:  The mute and shaken Tsekharya returned home immediately after his weekly course was completed, and Elizabeth (Heb. Elisheba) conceived a son; see Luke 1:8-25.

Fact #3:  Elisheba was six months pregnant in the sixth month; see Luke 1:26-38 concentrating on vv26 and 36.

Fact #4:  For Elisheba to be six months pregnant in the sixth month, Tsekharya (of the division of Abijah) had to have served in the 12th month.  The only time this occurs is from the 14th-20th; see Cycle of Priestly Divisions… > Division Year 3 of 6 in the calendar of God Most High.

Fact #5:  As Tsekharya (and Elisheba) were righteous and walked blamelessly in ALL requirements and commandments of Yahoah (Luke 1:6), he could not have traveled more than a Sabbath day’s journey (2,000 cubits) on the 21st of the 12th month, which was a weekly Sabbath.

Fact #6:  The first day that Tsekharya could have returned home — likely Kiryat Arba on the outskirts of Hebron in the hill country of Judah — was the 22nd of the 12th month on the first day of the week. That was the day that John (Heb. Yochanan) was conceived in 4 CE.

Fact #7:  After Mary‘s (Heb. Miryam) visitation from the archangel Gabriel (Heb. Gavri’el) in the sixth month (Luke 1:26) of 5 CE, she left IN A HURRY to visit Elisheba.  At the moment of arrival, Elisheba was overcome by the Holy Spirit (Heb. Ruach HaKodesh) and knew that Miryam had conceived a child; see Luke 1:39-55.

Fact #8:  Exactly six months after Yochanan was conceived, Joshua* the Anointed (Heb. Yehoshu’a HaMashiach/Gr. ‘Iesous Christos) was conceived.  According to the Qumran calendar, that would have occurred on the 22nd of the sixth month on the first day of the week, which is the Feast of New Oil!  The root of Christos is chrió meaning “to anoint” (with olive oil).

*Note:  “Jesus” is the English transliteration from the Latin ‘Iesvs; it is NOT the translation! Joshua is the correct translation from the Heb. Yehoshu’a / Aram. Yeshua / Gr. ‘Iesous.  See the second footnote from Matthew 1:1 although Yeshua is Aramaic — NOT  Hebrew, and Yehoshu’a means “Yahoah saves” — NOT “the Lord saves.”  Yahoah, the correct pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton, was the preincarnate Christ, the firstborn of Creation on the first “day” (Heb. Yom Rishon).

As was discussed in my Feast of Weeks (Heb. Shavu’ot) article, the gestation period for women is thirty-eight (38) weeks from conception to birth — that is not to be confused with the forty (40) weeks from the last menstrual period (LMP) to birth employed by modern OB/GYN’s.  EXACTLY 38 weeks from Christ’s conception on the Feast of New Oil in 5 CE is the 15th day of the third month on the first day of the week in 6 CE — which is the Feast of Weeks.  This is better known to Christians as Pentecost, which is a misnomer.  Recall that the census of Quirinius occurred in 6 CE; see Luke 2:2-3. At that time, Herod Archelaus was king (ethnarch) of JudaeaHerod the Great was dead for nearly a decade by then!  We have been deceived by “Biblical scholars!” Herod was a dynastic title like Pharaoh and Caesar. There were four Biblically relevant “Herods” in the Herodian dynasty cited in the NT: Herod Archelaus, Herod Antipas, Herod Agrippa, and Herod Agrippa II; see here.

Do you see how God Most High uses His appointed times (Heb. mo’edim) to bring about prophetic events and why we need to understand them so that we will not be deceived? Do you also see how Satan (Heb. HaSatan) has confused the appointed times by employing pagan calendars from Rome (Gregorian) and Babylon (Masoretic) — including the days of week?


Be sure to read the companion articles in the Mo’edim (appointed times) and Agricultural Feasts series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz.  All rights reserved.

HaDerech Scroll - Paleo-Hebrew

Agricultural Feast: Chag Tirosh (New Wine)

A Winepress in Ancient IsraelGraphic by Karbel Multimedia. Copyright (C) 2011, Logos Bible Software.

This evening marks the commencement of the Feast of New Wine (Heb. Chag Tirosh) on the 3rd day of the fifth month on the first day of the week (“evening” of 7/22 and “morning” of 7/23). It is the third of four agricultural feasts of Israel with each occurring forty-nine (49) days apart, exclusive:

  • 26 Abib (barley) – Early Firstfruits (Heb. Bikkurim),
  • 15th of the third month (wheat) – Feast of Weeks (Heb. Shavu’ot)/Latter Firstfruits,
  • 3rd of the fifth month (fermented grapes) – Feast of New Wine (Heb. Chag Tirosh), and
  • 22nd of the sixth month (olive oil) – Feast of New Oil (Heb. Chag Yitzhar).

These are documented in the calendar of God Most High (Heb. El Elyon) discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) in the caves surrounding Khirbet Qumran (=ruins of Qumran).

There are numerous references to these four crops together throughout the Bible; note that barley and wheat are at times combined under the generic term “grain.” The Levitical priests’ portion came from the first fruits of these (focusing on v12):

Numbers 18:11 This also is yours, the offering of their gift, even all the wave offerings of the sons of Israel; I have given them to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a perpetual allotment. Everyone of your household who is clean may eat it. 12 All the best of the fresh oil and all the best of the fresh wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to [lit. Yahoah], I give them to you. 13 The first ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to [lit. Yahoah], shall be yours; everyone of your household who is clean may eat it. (NASB)

A bountiful harvest of these four were the reward for obedience to Yahoah’s commandments:

Deuteronomy 11:13 “It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. (NASB)

In prophesy, the third seal is famine. See how these four staples are explicitly mentioned:

Revelation 6:6 And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” (NASB)

“New wine” is specifically mentioned forty (40) times in the Bible — thirty-five (35) times in the Old Testament and five (5) times in the New Testament. We know from Deuteronomy 12:17, 14:23; 2 Chronicles 31:5; and Nehemiah 10:37 that new wine was tithed to Yahoah. It was also clear that the Levitical priests were not to be forsaken for as long as the Israelites live in the Promised Land; see Deuteronomy 12 concentrating on vv6 and 19.

One of Christ’s more memorable parables was in regard to not putting new wine into old wineskins; this is documented in the synoptic Gospels in Matthew 9:17, Mark 2:22, and Luke 5:37-39. The latter passage follows:

Luke 5:37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39 And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’ (NASB)

To understand what this means, we have to place it within context. Christ had recently healed a leper and those with other sicknesses (Luke 5:12-15). Cleansing a leper was a significant undertaking; in fact, an entire chapter was dedicated to its treatment (Leviticus 14). This certainly piqued the interested of some Pharisees and teachers of the Law, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea as well as Jerusalem (Luke 5:17). Although they knew that only someone special could perform such healings, they were seeking ways to discredit Him as Christ represented a threat to their “sect.” Enter the paralytic (Luke 5:18-26). Christ made some important proclamations:

Luke 5:20 Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” 22 But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” — He said to the paralytic— “I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.” 25 Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. (NASB)

Verse 24 employs the catchphrase “Son of Man.” This term is primarily used to refer to either a prophet or the Messiah; it is employed 441 times in the Bible — 339 times in the Old Testament and 102 times in the New Testament. The scribes and Pharisees knew this, and if there were any doubt to the meaning, He spelled it out for them explicitly in verses 20 and 24. Yes, ONLY God the Father and His incarnate Son — the Son of Man — can forgive sins!

Next, Christ had the audacity to ask a tax collector — one of the most despised of professions in ancient Israel — to be one of His disciples (Luke 5:27-32). Not only that, he dined with sinners (i.e., irreligious Jews)! Again, the scribes and Pharisees were attempting to lambaste His actions and through His associations.

This is what Christ was fulfilling:

Luke 7:19 Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” 20 When the men came to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?’” 21 At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind. 22 And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” (NASB)

But, what was Luke 7:22 quoting? The deaf and blind are mentioned in several passages in Isaiah, but nowhere does it speak of cleansing lepers nor raising the dead. Enter the Dead Sea Scrolls… specifically 4Q521 also known as the Messianic Apocalypse. Two passages in particular are applicable:

He who liberates the captives, restores sight to the blind, straightens the b[ent]

For He will heal the wounded, and revive the dead and bring good news to the poor…

4Q521

Folks, if this does not lend credence to the Dead Sea Scrolls, I do not know that does! Acts speaks of the “sect” called The Way (Heb. HaDerech); that specific phrase is employed throughout what “Biblical scholars” call the sectarian manuscripts, yet they never make the logical conclusion that The Way in Acts was The Way of the DSS! Instead, they incorrectly refer to them as Essenes (=pious ones) based on the derogatory term coined by Titus Flavius Josephus, a self-described Pharisee.

This was the early church — to the Jew first and also to the Greek (i.e., Gentiles) — which started in the early second century BCE! Please take eight minutes out of your busy schedule to view the following YouTube video from Dr. Peter Flint entitled “Evidence Jesus was the Messiah from the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

These same scribes and Pharisees were likewise offended that Christ’s disciples did not fast per tradition (Luke 5:33-35) to which He responded with two parables: applying a swath of fabric (i.e., a piece of cloth) from a new garment to an old one (Luke 5:36), and not putting new wine into old wineskins (Luke 5:37-39). To put the latter into perspective, this is a depiction of an old wineskin from Biblical times:

nod-yayin

Certainly, new wine that may still be fermenting would easily burst an old wineskin, which usually had a year-long lifetime.

Regarding fasting, the following two passages set it into perspective for the “holier than thou” scribes and Pharisees who failed to recognize their Messiah:

Zechariah 7:4 Then the word of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] of hosts came to me, saying, 5 “Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted?'” (NASB)

Zechariah 7:5 is referencing Tisha B’Av in the fifth month and the Fast of Gadalia in the seventh month; see the discussion below.

Matthew 6:16 “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face 18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (NASB)

Only one fast day (Heb. ta’anit) was specified in Torah — that of the Day of Atonement (Heb. Yom Kippur). The other full fast day is “the ninth of Av” (Heb. Ta’anit Tisha B’Av), which has no Biblical basis; that is, it is a false tradition. There are four other “minor” fasts:

Two items of note: Tammuz is a Babylonian deity. God Most High (Heb. El Elyon) would NEVER name one of His calendrical months after a foreign god; that would be an abomination (Ezekiel 8 concentrating on vv14-15). In fact, the Jewry has employed a Babylonian calendar since the time of their captivity! The Book of Esther is one of two books of the canonized Bible that does not mention God — even once! Nor was this manuscript discovered among the DSS. Because of this, its canonicity MUST be called into question as well as the festival of Purim (=lots), which was not mentioned in the DSS calendrical manuscripts.

In case Christ’s disdain of the scribes and Pharisees was unclear to this point, it was made abundantly clear in Matthew 23. Pharisaism became modern rabbinic Judaism; nothing has changed in two millennia!

Returning to the parables… these were allusions to the New Covenant. The old garment and the old wineskin refer to the Law; the new cloth and new wine refer to the Holy Spirit (Heb. Ruach HaKodesh). Although the Law itself is perfect, the Levitical priesthood and the sacrificial system were imperfect; therefore, a change in the Law was required. Instead of focusing on a Temple system, the temple of the New Covenant is the literal bodies of believers with the indwelling Holy Spirit in their hearts. Christ Himself serves as the holy, innocent, undefiled high priest — of the order of Melchizedek (Heb. Malki-tsedeq; =my king is righteous)! This is explained in detail in Hebrews 7.

1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (NASB)


Christ’s Tevilah in the Mikveh of the Nahar HaYarden at Bethabara in 34 CE

the_jordan_river_near_the_dead_sea
The Jordan River Near the Dead Sea.  Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Most Christians falsely believe that “baptism” was something newly introduced by “John the Baptist.” What was being performed is a tevilah, or full-body immersion, for purification and consecration/sanctification; the Greek equivalent is baptizó meaning “submerge.” A tevilah was performed in a collection of “living water” called a mikveh which must have a natural spring as its source. The Jordan River (Heb. Nahar HaYarden) qualified as such because its source is the Banias spring at the foot of Mount Hermon. Note that everything Christ performed was in accordance with the Law:

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” (NASB)

Let’s examine John (Heb. Yochanan) for a moment. His father Zechariah (Heb. Tzekharya/Gr. Zacharias) was a Levitical priest of the division/course of Abijah (Heb. Abiyah); see Luke 1:5. The twenty-four priestly courses are outlined in 1 Chronicles 24:1-19 with Abijah’s being drawn in the eighth lot in v10. Yochanan’s mother Elizabeth (Heb. Elisheba) was a descendant of Aaron (Heb. Aharon), the brother of Moses (Heb. Moshe) and first high priest (Heb. kohen gadol) of the Israelites (Heb. B’nai Yisra’el; =children of Israel). Both Tzekharya and Elisheba were considered righteous:

Luke 1:6 They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord [lit. Yahoah]. (NASB)

The birth of Yochanan was considered miraculous as Elisheba was advanced in age (i.e., past her childbearing years). These events were documented in Luke 1:5-24. For more on Yochanan’s conception and that relationship to Christ’s conception and birth, read my article entitled “Mo’ed and Agricultural Feast: Shavu’ot (Feast of Weeks) — Wheat.” But, note the following curious passage regarding Yochanan:

Luke 1:80 And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel. (NASB)

Why would anyone — especially an older couple with an only son — allow him to live in the deserts? When you understand that chaste, firstborn Israelite males where dedicated to the “sect” called The Way (Heb. HaDerech) referenced throughout the Book of Acts and that the center of learning for this priesthood was located in the Judaean desert wilderness of Qumran, then this makes perfectly good sense. Note, too, that the 144,000 of Revelation are chaste, Israelite males! The Pharisees and Sadducees were certainly not celibate. In caves surrounding Khirbet Qumran is where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered; in them, the phrase “the voice crying out in the (desert) wilderness” (Isaiah 40:3, Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3, Luke 3:4, John 1:23) was frequently documented throughout the manuscripts. This community was founded approximately two centuries before Christ’s birth in 6 CE. For more information regarding HaDerech, please read my series:

Bottom line: Yochanan was serving as an Old Covenant Levitical priest of The Way in Qumran (but knew his second cousin was the Messiah!), and he had his own disciples (Matthew 9:14-15, 11:2-6 et al.). Yehoshu’a was establishing a New Covenant and became a high priest of the order of Melchizedek (Heb. Malki-tsedeq; =my king is righteous).

To determine Christ’s age and when this event took place, we must establish:

  1. when He was born,
  2. when He died,
  3. the start of His ministry, then
  4. backtrack to the date of His tevilah.

We already know from the Shavu’ot article above that Joshua the Messiah (Heb. Yehoshu’a HaMashiach/Aram. Yeshua Masiah/Gr. ‘Iesous Christos) was conceived on the Feast of New Oil in 5 CE and was born on the Feast of Weeks in 6 CE — contrary to what all “Biblical scholars” state. The first census of Quirinius (Luke 2:2) definitely occurred in 6 CE. And, Herod the Great was NOT part of the birth narrative; it was Herod Archelaus, who was deposed and exiled later that year after the massacre of the innocents. Note that even this article cites incorrectly that Herod the Great was responsible; he died in 4 BCE! You have to ask yourself: Why are our churches hiding the truth from us?

We also know that Christ was crucified on Passover (14 Abib) in 36 CE. For the details, see my article entitled: “Mo’ed: Pesach (Passover) – The Paschal Lamb of God – 14 Abib.” He never attained His 30th birthday!

Now, for the start of Joshua’s ministry… Immediately after His forty days of fasting in the desert wilderness culminating in His temptations by Satan in Jerusalem, He returned to the region of Galilee (Heb. HaGalil). First He traveled to Capernaum (Heb. Kfar Nahum; =village of Nahum), where he performed His first miracles, then to His hometown of Nazareth (Heb. Natzrat); see Luke 4:14-30. Note: Many Christians mistakenly believe that the water to wine miracle at the wedding feast in Cana was His first; that occurred in the following year near Passover (John 2:1-11). As v11 clearly states, this was the first of His attesting miracles AT CANA! Also, Luke (and by extension Acts) are the only two books explicitly written in chronological order (Luke 1:1-4 concentrating on v3).

Returning to that significant Sabbath in Nazareth… The following sets a definitive frame of reference as to when this event occurred:

Luke 4:16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and FOUND THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS WRITTEN [emphasis mine],

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (NASB)

The passage in vv18-19 is referencing Isaiah 61:1-2a. Although extremely significant prophetically (and many “Biblical scholars” falsely claim that Joshua NEVER proclaimed Himself to be the Messiah), a subtlety regarding the timing is found in v17. The scroll of Isaiah was handed to Him, but “He… found the place where it was written.” Isaiah 61:1-2a was NOT the specified reading for that Sabbath! What most Christians fail to understand is that certain readings from the Torah as well as from the Prophets (Heb. Nevi’im) are scheduled to be read on certain Sabbaths. Also, through the convoluted teachings of “rabbinic sages” (Matthew 23:8), they claim the year starts on Rosh Hashanah [lit. “head of the year”] when the Torah is clear that it commences in the spring during the month of Abib. In fact, rabbinic Jews follow a Babylonian calendar from the time of their captivity. For more information, read my article entitled: “HaDerech: It’s About Time.”

The Parashah reading for that particular Sabbath is called the Nitzavim, meaning “ones standing.” The Torah reading was Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20, and the Haftarah portion was supposed to be Isaiah 61:10-63:9. So, let’s see what was read by the rabbi and/or others in the congregation:

Deuteronomy 29:9 So keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.

10 “You stand today, all of you, before the Lord your God [lit. Yahoah your Elohim]: your chiefs, your tribes, your elders and your officers, even all the men of Israel, 11 your little ones, your wives, and the alien who is within your camps, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water, 12 that you may enter into the covenant with the Lord your God, and into His oath which the Lord your God is making with you today, 13 in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

14 “Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, 15 but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here today 16 (for you know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the midst of the nations through which you passed; 17 moreover, you have seen their abominations and their idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold, which they had with them); 18 so that there will not be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of those nations; that there will not be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood. 19 It shall be when he hears the words of this curse, that he will boast, saying, ‘I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart in order to destroy the watered land with the dry.’ 20 The Lord shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. 21 Then the Lord will single him out for adversity from all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant which are written in this book of the law.

22 “Now the generation to come, your sons who rise up after you and the foreigner who comes from a distant land, when they see the plagues of the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it, will say, 23 ‘All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His anger and in His wrath.’ 24 All the nations will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?’ 25 Then men will say, ‘Because they forsook the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. 26 They went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they have not known and whom He had not allotted to them. 27 Therefore, the anger of the Lord burned against that land, to bring upon it every curse which is written in this book; 28 and the Lord uprooted them from their land in anger and in fury and in great wrath, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.’

29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

Restoration Promised

30:1 “So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you, 2 and you return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, 3 then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4 If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. 5 The Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.

6 “Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. 7 The Lord your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. 8 And you shall again obey the Lord, and observe all His commandments which I command you today. 9 Then the Lord your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the Lord will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; 10 if you obey the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.

11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.

Choose Life

15 “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. 17 But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (NASB)

Then, Joshua read this and closed with:

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (NASB)

Folks, if that doesn’t give you goose bumps, I don’t know what will! The Nitzvaim is read on the fifty-first Sabbath in accordance with rabbinic Judaism. Assuming that the calendar of the DSS aligned with the Babylonian calendar in that year, this reading would have occurred on the twenty-first (21st) day of the sixth month — the yom before the Feast of New Oil (Heb. Chag Yitzhar)!

So, where do the Scriptures state that Yehoshu’a received His tevilah in the Nahar HaYarden? This is one of the things that the KJV actually got right!

John 1:28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. (NASB)

Almost all other translations use the term “Bethany” or “Bethany beyond the Jordan” (Arab. Al-Maghtas; lit. “immersion”) implying that the location was on the east bank of the Jordan River. The Greek word employed was Béthania meaning “house of dates;” the area where the Jordan River empties into the Dead Sea was known for its date palms.

Al-Maghtas is the “traditional” tourist trap site of the “baptism of Jesus.” In fact, this fictitious site is about a football field’s length from the Jordan River. They even have (gasp!) letters of authentication corroborating that this is the correct site. Honestly, who needs letters of authentication when you have the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Word of God at your disposal? This represents more false traditions and precepts of men — not to mention incorrectly referencing the Madaba map; more on that to follow.

An interesting point about “beyond the Jordan” is that it depends on your point of reference. The Israelites traveling up from the Sinai peninsula into the Promised Land would have called the west bank “beyond the Jordan.” The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) under the topic BETHABARA states the following:

“It is interesting to note that LXXB reads Baithabara for Masoretic Text Beth-‘arabhah, one of the cities of Benjamin (Joshua 18:22). If this be correct, the site is in Judea.” – ISBE

Let’s also examine the following passage in Matthew 4 regarding Capernaum:

Matthew 4:12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; 13 and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, BEYOND THE JORDAN [emphasis mine], Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light,
And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death,
Upon them a Light dawned.”

17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (NASB)

Verses 15-16 are quoting Isaiah 9:1-2. Note “beyond the Jordan” in v15. Capernaum is situated on the northwestern bank of the Sea of Galilee (aka Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, and Lake Tiberias) — but it is certainly on the western side of the Jordan River!

Bethabara means “house of the ford; place of the crossing.” The oldest extant map of the area is actually a floor mosaic called the Madaba map; it is a sixth century map located in an early Byzantine church of Saint George in Madaba, Jordan. The figure below is the section that includes Bethabara just underneath the rightmost fish in the Jordan River emptying into the Dead Sea; it is certainly on the east bank. The Greek reads: Βέθαβαρά το τού άγίου Ιωάννου τού βαπτίσματος meaning “Bethabara, the place of St. John’s baptizing.” The Greek word incorrectly translated as “Saint” is hagios; recall that it was foretold that Yochanan (Gr. Ióannés) would take a Nazirite vow (Luke 1:15; Numbers 6:1-21). Also, note the date palms beneath the inscription.

1200px-sapsaphas_madaba

Image courtesy of Wikimedia in the Wikipedia article entitled Bethabara.

There are other interesting sites documented in this map from the time of the Israelite crossing, but I will save that for another article. For now, I will include this Google map I created to explain some of those. Note that Yochanan would have only had to travel a little over 6.5 miles from Qumran to Bethabara. And, doesn’t it make sense symbolically that Yehoshu’a would receive His tevilah at the EXACT spot where the Israelites crossed over into the Promised Land? There were actually 12 stones taken from the Jordan River that were set in a circle as a memorial where they lodged the first night after the crossing (Joshua 4:1-11). Note the building with 12 white stones on the Madaba map; it is labeled as: Galgala to kai Dodekalithon [lit. “Gilgal and the 12 stones”]. Gilgal literally means “stone circle.”

Now that we know where Bethabara was located and when the Nitzvaim was read, we can back into when Christ’s ministry commenced, as well as when His fasting/temptation and tevilah occurred:

Event: Haftarah Reading of Isaiah 61:1-2a in the Synagogue
Location: Nazareth
Date: 21st of the sixth month on the weekly Sabbath (day before the Feast of New Oil)
Passage: Luke 4:16-30

Travel: A day’s journey from Capernaum to Nazareth (30 mi)

Event: Christ’s Ministry Begins in Galilee
Location: Capernaum
Date: 18th-19th of the sixth month
Passage: Luke 4:14-15; Matthew 4:12-17 concentrating on v13; note “beyond the Jordan” in v15

Travel: Three days’ journey from Jerusalem to Capernaum assumed (124 mi; ~41 mi per day).

Event: Christ’s Fasting and Temptation (40 days)
Date: 5th day of the fifth month – 14th day of the sixth month in 34 CE
First Location: Judaean Desert
Passage: Luke 4:1-8
Second Location: Second Temple in Jerusalem
Passage: Luke 4:9-13

Travel: A partial day’s journey from Bethabara to the Judaean Desert assumed (only a few miles).

Event: Christ’s Tevilah (Full-Body Immersion for Purification) and Anointing with the Holy Spirit
Location: Bethabara from the KJV and the Madaba map; on west bank of the Jordan River where the Israelites crossed over into the Promised Land
Date: Feast of New Wine; third day of the fifth month
Passage: Luke 3:21-22; John 1:28 KJV

Now, for the year… The Gospel of John states that three Passovers were documented during Christ’s ministry; the last of these was in 36 CE when He was crucified. Most “Biblical scholars” state that His ministry must have lasted three and a half years because of the three Passovers. What they fail to recognize is Second Passover (Heb. Pesach Sheni) which occurs on the fourteenth day of the second month on the fifth day of the week; see the DSS calendar. This is documented in Numbers 9:10-14. So, the two other Passovers were both from 35 CE. That can only mean that Christ’s tevilah occurred on the Feast of New Wine in 34 CE; He would have been 28 years and 49 yomim (or one month and 19 yomim). At the time when His ministry began on the 18th day of the sixth month on the fourth day of the week, He would have been 28 years and 94 yomim (or three months and 4 days). What do the Scriptures state?

Luke 3:23 When He began His ministry, Jesus [lit. ‘Iesous] Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli … (NASB)

Is 28+ years old “about thirty years of age?” Most would be in agreement.


Be sure to read the companion articles in the Mo’edim (appointed times) and Agricultural Feasts series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.

HaDerech Scroll - Paleo-Hebrew

Mo’ed and Agricultural Feast: Shavu’ot (Feast of Weeks) – Wheat

wheat-1

Agricultural Feast and Annual Sabbath

This evening marks the commencement of the Feast of Weeks (Heb. Shavu’ot) on the 15th day of the third month on the first day of the week (evening of 6/3 and morning of 6/4).  It is the second of four agricultural feasts of Israel with each occurring forty-nine (49) days apart, exclusive:

  • 26 Abib (barley) – Early Firstfruits (Heb. Bikkurim),
  • 15th of the third month (wheat) – Feast of Weeks (Heb. Shavu’ot)/Latter Firstfruits,
  • 3rd of the fifth month (fermented grapes) – Feast of New Wine (Heb. Chag Tirosh), and
  • 22nd of the sixth month (olive oil) – Feast of New Oil (Heb. Chag Yitzhar).

These are documented in the calendar of God Most High (Heb. El Elyon) discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) in the caves surrounding Khirbet Qumran (=ruins of Qumran).

There are numerous references to these four crops together throughout the Bible; note that barley and wheat are at times combined under the generic term “grain.”  The Levitical priests’ portion came from the first fruits of these (focusing on v12):

Numbers 18:11 This also is yours, the offering of their gift, even all the wave offerings of the sons of Israel; I have given them to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a perpetual allotment. Everyone of your household who is clean may eat it. 12 All the best of the fresh oil and all the best of the fresh wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to [lit. Yahoah], I give them to you. 13 The first ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to [lit. Yahoah], shall be yours; everyone of your household who is clean may eat it. (NASB)

A bountiful harvest of these four were the reward for obedience to Yahoah’s commandments:

Deuteronomy 11:13 “It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love [lit. Yahoah] your [lit. Elohim] and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. (NASB)

In prophesy, the third seal is famine.  See how these four staples are explicitly mentioned:

Revelation 6:6 And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” (NASB)

Here is the Law regarding Shavu’ot; it is an annual Sabbath (see v21):

Leviticus 23:15 ‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord. 17 You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the Lord.18 Along with the bread you shall present seven one year old male lambs without defect, and a bull of the herd and two rams; they are to be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord. 19 You shall also offer one male goat for a sin offering and two male lambs one year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 The priest shall then wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering with two lambs before the Lord; they are to be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well; you are to have a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations. 22 ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the Lord your God.’” (NASB)

One of Christ’s more memorable parables concerns the wheat and tares:

Matthew 13:24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” (NASB)

After He finished teaching for the day and retired to the house in which they were staying for the night, Christ explained this parable to His disciples:

Matthew 13:36 Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 37 And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. 40 So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (NASB)

The “furnace of fire” mentioned in v42 is a reference to Gehenna, the lake of fire, on Judgment Day on a future Yom Kippur after Christ’s millennial reign as is documented in Revelation 20:7-15.


Mo’ed (Appointed Time) and Shalosh Regalim (Second of Three Pilgrimage Festivals)

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The Pilgrimage to Jerusalem.  Source: The Temple Institute

As has been discussed previously, there are appointed times (Heb. mo’edim) documented in Torah.  The most referenced in this regard is Leviticus 23 with Shavu’ot mentioned in vv15-22; see above.  Not only was Shavu’ot included in the mo’edim, but it was elevated as one of the three annual pilgrimage festivals (Heb. Shalosh Regalim) to Jerusalem:  Passover/Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, and Feast of Booths/Tabernacles (Heb. Sukkot).  The most descriptive passage regarding these pilgrimage festivals is found in Deuteronomy 16:

Deuteronomy 16:1 “Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 You shall sacrifice the Passover to the Lord your God from the flock and the herd, in the place where the Lord chooses to establish His name. 3 You shall not eat leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), so that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. 4 For seven days no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory, and none of the flesh which you sacrifice on the evening of the first day shall remain overnight until morning. 5 You are not allowed to sacrifice the Passover in any of your towns which the Lord your God is giving you; 6 but at the place where the Lord your God chooses to establish His name, you shall sacrifice the Passover in the evening at sunset, at the time that you came out of Egypt. 7 You shall cook and eat it in the place which the Lord your God chooses. In the morning you are to return to your tents. 8 Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord your God; you shall do no work on it.
9 “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; you shall begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. 10 Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as the Lord your God blesses you; 11 and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is in your town, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place where the Lord your God chooses to establish His name. 12 You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.
13 “You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; 14 and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. 15 Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.
16 “Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.
18 “You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. 20 Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
21 “You shall not plant for yourself an Asherah of any kind of tree beside the altar of the Lord your God, which you shall make for yourself. 22 You shall not set up for yourself a sacred pillar which [lit. Yahoah] your [lit. Elohim] hates. (NASB)

Author’s Note:  In the pagan religions of antiquity, Asherah, which could be a wooden pillar, a sacred tree, or even a grove, was a representation of the “mother goddess” or “Queen of Heaven.”  Likewise, cut stone pillars or obelisks essentially served as “divine” phallic architecture; God’s stone altars and memorials were ALWAYS of uncut stones.  If Yahoah, the preincarnate Christ and firstborn of Creation, hated these, then why is “Mary” referenced as the “Queen of Heaven” in Roman Catholicism and Greek Orthodoxy and an Egyptian obelisk is the centerpiece of St. Peter’s Square?  A good representation of the latter may be found here.  It is because ancient paganism has been assimilated and still remains in certain churches.  Numerous pagan “mysteries” were incorporated well before the Reformation and spread to other denominations unchecked — many of those “mysteries” remain to this day.  As will be discovered, that applies to even the date of Christ’s birth.

Returning to Deuteronomy 16…  Why these three, specific times?  All were prophetic and two were fulfilled.  Regarding Passover/Unleavened Bread, Christ accomplished the following in 36 CE:

  • He was crucified as the Lamb of God and buried on 14 Abib,
  • He was dead and buried for three days and NIGHTS per the sign of Jonah on 15-17 Abib,
  • He was resurrected as Lord of the (weekly) Sabbath on 18 Abib,
  • His empty tomb was discovered early in the morning of 19 Abib,
  • He ascended into Heaven for the first time on 20 Abib, and
  • He observed the final day of Unleavened Bread — an annual Sabbath — at the right hand of the Father on 21 Abib.

This article is developing the reasoning for the inclusion of the Feast of Weeks, which has also been fulfilled; a synopsis for the reasoning will be provided in the conclusion.

Finally, the Feast of Tabernacles will be the final event of the End Times; it represents the future Marriage Supper of the Lamb to New Jerusalem:

Revelation 21:9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

The New Jerusalem

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. (NASB)

How does one marry a city?  I have no idea; that will be one of the things revealed to those invited to the Marriage Supper.  But, He is certainly not “marrying the church,” and He certainly did not secretly marry Mary Magdalene and have a child with her.

Bottom line:  All Israelite males were to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to witness these events firsthand.  THAT is the reasoning behind the Shalosh Regalim — fulfillment of prophesy and recognition of Israel’s Messiah (Heb. Mashiach).


HaDerech: Renewal of Covenants

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Rainbow Covenant.  Source: Grow in Christ

The Feast of Weeks was exceptionally important to the “sect” called The Way (Heb. HaDerech) whose ascetic firstborn males — comprised of priests, Levites, Israelites, and proselytes — lived in the desert wilderness of Qumran.  They were the “wise men of the east” of Jerusalem — 15 miles as the crow flies.  Even John (Heb. Yochanan) studied there (Luke 1:80).  In the words of Paul well after his conversion:

Acts 24:14 But this I admit to you, that according to [T]he Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; 15 having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16 In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men. (NASB)

To become a member of The Way required a public repentance of sin via a tevilah (=full body immersion) in a miqveh (=a gathering of “living water” with a natural spring as its source).  This is why Yochanan was overseeing these immersions in the Jordan River; it has a natural spring at its source — the Banias at the foot of Mount Hermon.  The Jews were converting from false sects of Pharisaism and Sadducism to The Way.  This was the TRUE church — “to the Jew first and also to the Greek,” where “the Greek” refers to believing gentiles.

Matthew 3:1 Now in those days John the [lit. Immerser; Gr. baptizó] came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said,

“THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS,
‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF [lit. YAHOAH],
MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!’”

4 Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan; 6 and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; 9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. 10 The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (NASB)

Author’s Notes:  The phrase “set His paths straight” is referring to setting the record straight — to proclaim the truth; Christ is the one and only way.  This is exactly what the two witnesses of Revelation, Enoch and Elijah, will do, and the world at large will REJECT the truth!  Except for a remnant, the world will celebrate their deaths to the point of exchanging gifts (Revelation 11:3-13 concentrating on v10). Also, compare the Parable of the Wheat and Tares in the section above to the wheat and chaff in this passage. Those not written in the Book of Life will be thrown into Gehenna, the lake of fire, and experience the second death.

The men and women of The Way lived in Damascus, Syria.  Just as Acts explicitly states, they lived a communal lifestyle in which everything was shared equally.  This is outlined in the Damascus Document.  Recall where Saul (Heb. Sha’ul), the Pharisee (Matthew 23), was going to persecute the men and women of The Way under direct orders from the adulterated Great Sanhedrin:

Acts 9:1 9 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to [T]he Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” 7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. (NASB)

Of course, Saul’s conversion was well known (Acts 22:1-16), but never is it taught in our churches and synagogues that he converted to The Way.

Now, that it has been established that The Way was the TRUE church, let us examine their beliefs of the renewal of covenants on the Feast of Weeks.  What exactly was this regarding?  First and foremost there were three which had been fulfilled, along with the expectation of a fourth, and an unexpected fifth (which caused great consternation among many Jews):

  1. God’s covenant with Noah not to destroy the Earth by flood again with the visible sign of rainbows (i.e., the bow in the cloud) after rainstorms (Genesis 9:1-17 focusing on vv12-17);
  2. God’s covenant with Abraham to build many nations from his sons Isaac and Ishmael with the visible sign of male circumcision (Genesis 17)*;
  3. God’s covenant with Israel to lead them out of Egypt to the Promised Land with the visible signs of the tablets containing the Ten Commandments given to Moses as well as the pillar of cloud leading them by day and the pillar of fire by night (primarily Exodus 20, 34 concentrating on chapter 34:10-28 and Deuteronomy 4-5, 10 for the Ten Commandments as well as Numbers 14 for the pillars of cloud and fire).
  4. God’s prophetic promise of the “consolation of Israel” — which was messianic foreshadowing (Isaiah 40 with a concentration on vv1-2); and
  5. God’s New Covenant to count believing Gentiles as adopted sons of Israel (Romans 8-9, Galatians 4, Ephesians 1) with the allegory of the wild olive tree being grafted into the natural (Romans 11).

*Note: The nations from Isaac and Ishmael have and will be embattled with one another until the end (as are the descendants of Jacob and Esau, but that’s another story).


Christ’s Birth in 6 CE

nativity-scene-mary-joseph-baby-jesus-1326846-gallery
The Nativity.  Source: LDS.org (Note: The author has no affiliation with the LDS.)

For nearly two millennia, “Biblical scholars” and “theologians” have stated that the Bible does not definitively state when Christ was born.  Before the discovery of the DSS and the calendar contained therein, that was certainly true.  However, now there are no excuses; all is being revealed in the Latter Days just as was prophesied (Matthew 10:26-28).

So, how did these great “scholars” and “theologians” arrive at a December 25th date, which is inconsistent with the Scriptures?  False church traditions (unsubstantiated embellishments), the precepts of men (manufactured theology), and doctrines of demons (assimilated paganism) cloud the truth regarding Christ’s conception and birth. For starters, one needs to review the program entitled “Christmas Unwrapped: The History of Christmas” from when The History Channel actually presented history.

According to this program, Mithraism and Saturnalia were assimilated from “mysteries” of pagan Rome; that’s where December 25th falsely originated; see also Sol Invictus.  Arguably, the most important quote of “Christmas Unwrapped” occurs at the 7:31 mark:

“So if you’re gonna sort through the runes of the Scriptures, Jesus was probably born in the Spring.  If the shepherds were out in the fields watching their flocks by night, we’re probably not talking about one of the cold spells at the heart of winter.” — Forrest Church, Minister, All Souls Church

Note: I have no affiliation with this minister or church, and the minister died in 2009.

Many “Biblical scholars” discounted the Lucan account because of the mention of Lysanias, the tetrarch of Abilene, in Luke 3:1; they assumed it was this figure from circa 40-36 BCE.  That was before the discovery of the Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum (CIG) 4521.  Again, the Word of God was vindicated as it repeatedly is via archaeology.

Furthermore, when the Book of Luke is placed within the context of the calendar of the Dead Sea Scrolls, not only can one know with GREAT CERTAINTY the month, day, day of the week, and year when Joshua* (Heb. Yehoshu’a/Aram. Yeshua/Gr. ‘Iesous) was born incarnate but when John (Heb. Yochanan) and He were conceived.

*Note: “Jesus” incorrectly originates from the transliteration of the Latin; it is NOT the translation. See the second footnote from Matthew 1:1 in Aramaic (not Hebrew as is listed).  According to the famous Hebrew lexicographer Reuben Alcalay, Yehoshu’a is closely associated with “Let there be…”

To understand when Christ was born, we need a point of reference.  Fortunately, the Lucan account is explicitly written in consecutive order with information gathered from eye witnesses (Luke 1:1-4 concentrating on vv2-3).  This account was written to Mattathias ben Theophilus (referenced as Theophilus just as Yosef ben Caiaphas was referenced as Caiaphas), who was the chief priest (Heb. kohen gadol) from 65-66 CE just before the onset of the First Jewish-Roman War.  It was written so that he would know the “exact truth” (Luke 1:4).  The point of reference starts with Elizabeth’s (Heb. Elisheba) being six months pregnant in the sixth month…  These are the facts, and NO church nor synagogue teaches the truth:

Fact #1:  Elisheba was six months pregnant in the sixth month; see Luke 1:26-38 concentrating on vv26 and 36.

Fact #2:  Zecharias (Heb. Tsekharya) was a Levite of the order/division of Abijah; see Luke 1:5-7 concentrating on v5.

Fact #3:  The mute and shaken Tsekharya returned home immediately after his weekly course was completed, and Elisheba conceived a son; see Luke 1:8-25.

Fact #4:  This is the calendar documented in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and it was employed by the “sect” called The Way during Christ’s incarnate life.  Suggestion:  You may want to print this out.

Fact #5:  For Elisheba to be six months pregnant in the sixth month, Tsekharya (of the course of Abijah) had to have served in the twelfth month.  The only time this occurs is from the 14th-20th; see Cycle of Priestly Divisions from Calendrical Documents 4Q320 and 4Q321 > Division Year 3 of 6 in the Qumran calendar  from Fact #4.

Fact #6:  As Tsekharya (and Elisheba) were righteous and walked in ALL requirements and commandments of the Lord (Luke 1:6), he could not have traveled more than a Sabbath day’s journey (2,000 cubits) on the 21st of the 12th month, which was a weekly Sabbath.

Fact #7: The first day that Tsekharya could have returned home (likely Kiriath Arba — modern day Hebron — in the hill country of Judah) was the 22nd of the 12th month on the first day of the week.  This was the day that John (Heb. Yochanan) was conceived.

Fact #8:  After Mary’s (Heb. Miryam) visitation with the archangel Gabriel (Heb. Gavri’el) in the sixth month (Luke 1:26), she left IN A HURRY to visit Elisheba (Luke 1:26-39).  At the moment of arrival, Elisheba was overcome by the Holy Spirit and knew that Miryam had conceived a child (Luke 1:39-55).

Fact #9:  Exactly six months after Yochanan was conceived, Joshua (Heb. Yehoshu’a) was conceived.  According to the Qumran calendar, that would have occurred on the 22nd of the sixth month on the first day of the week, which is the Feast of New Oil!

Sidebar:  The Feast of New Oil is also the fourth of four agricultural feasts each occurring 49 days apart, exclusive (i.e., barley, wheat, wine, and olive oil). Olive oil is a component of anointing oil (Exodus 30:22-33).  Also, the root of Christos is chrió meaning “to anoint with olive oil.”

Fact #10:  The gestation period for women is 38 weeks from CONCEPTION (not to be confused with last menstrual period or LMP) to birth.  EXACTLY 38 weeks after Miryam conceived, Yehoshu’a was born on the Feast of Weeks (Heb. Shavu’ot) on the 15th day of the third month on the first day of the week.

So, now we know the month, day, and day of the week of John’s conception and Christ’s conception and birth.  Now, for the years…

Fact #11:  Yehoshu’a was born in 6 CE during the census of Quirinius.  For the Scriptural reference, see Luke 2:1-20 concentrating on v2.

Sidebar:  “Herod” was a dynastic title like Caesar and Pharaoh.  The “Herod” at the time of Christ’s birth was Herod Archelaus; he was deposed that same year (after the “slaughter of the innocents” in Bet Lechem) and died in exile in 18 CE.  When did the “holy family” return from Egypt after Herod [Archelaus] died?  When Yehoshu’a was 12 years old (18 CE – 6 CE = 12 years)!

Sidebar:  The only verse in the Gospels that contradicts this account is Matthew 2:22.  The earliest extant manuscript containing that verse is Papyrus 70which is “a fairly reliable text, though it was carelessly written,” from the late third century CE.  The “early church fathers” (Matthew 23:9) were already at work destroying the truth!

Regarding “signs in the Heavens,” this was what the “wise men of the east” of Jerusalem (Heb. Yerushalyim) — 15 miles as the crow flies — in the desert wilderness of Qumran saw on the evening of Feast of Weeks in 6 CE.  This was confirmed by our local planetarium in Baton Rouge.  The “wandering stars” of Jupiter (representative of the Most High/Father) and Venus (representative of the virgin mother) as well as the conjunction with occultation of Uranus (representative of the Holy Spirit) and Mars (representative of the redemptive Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53) rose in the east in the constellation Pisces (representative of Israel). This “star” sign naturally moved from east to south towards Bethlehem as the evening progressed — just as the Scriptures state (Matthew 2:1-12).

Note:  The Planetarium software from Neave Interactive Ltd. no longer supports dates earlier than January 1, 1500 at midnight.

False traditions such as Herod the Great’s being part of this narrative when he died in 4 BCE and the precepts of men creating the fanciful machinations of the three kings of Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO SCRIPTURAL BASIS! Who doesn’t think that the wise men of The Way in Qumran didn’t have the means to gift Joshua the Messiah (Heb. Yehoshu’a HaMashiach/Gr. ‘Iesous Christos) with gold, frankincense, and myrrh after the discovery of the Copper Scroll?

In summation when comparing the Lucan account with the Qumran calendar:

  • Yochanan was conceived on the 22nd day of the twelfth month on the first day of the week in 4 CE.
  • Yehoshu’a was conceived on the 22nd day of the sixth month on the first day of the week on the Feast of New Oil in 5 CE — exactly six months after Yochanan’s conception.
  • Yehoshu’a was born during the census of Quirinius on the 15th day of the third month on the first day of the week on the Feast of Weeks (Shavu’ot) in 6 CE — exactly 38 weeks from His conception.

Sidebar: As was discussed above, the Feast of Weeks is when the “sect” called The Way (Heb. HaDerech) in Acts and the DSS made new covenants.  Christ’s birth ushered in the ultimate New Covenant!  Josephus, Jewish historian and self-described Pharisee (Matthew 23), coined the derogatory term “Essenes” (=pious ones) that is applied incorrectly to this day!


Holy Spirit Sent on Pentecost in 36 CE

pentecost
Holy Spirit Sent.  Source: God’s Hotspot

Yet, there is one more event even more important than Christ’s birth…  the Holy Spirit’s being sent to be our Helper and Teacher on the 15th day of the third month on the first day of the week in 36 CE.  [Hint:  Much of the article on Pentecost above is simply machinations of men.]  This was foretold in John:

John 14:16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. 25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe. 30 I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; 31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here. (NASB)

The fulfillment of this prophesy is found in Acts:

Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs — we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” 12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.”

Peter’s Sermon

14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; 16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says,
‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
And your young men shall see visions,
And your old men shall dream dreams;
18 Even on My bondslaves, both men and women,
I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit
And they shall prophesy.
19 And I will grant wonders in the sky above
And signs on the earth below,
Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.
20 ‘The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood,
Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.
21 ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. 25 For David says of Him,

‘I saw [lit. Yahoah] always in my presence;
For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken.
26 ‘Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted;
Moreover my flesh also will live in hope;
27 Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades,
Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
28 ‘You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.’

29 “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says:

‘The Lord (Father/El) said to my Lord (Son/Yahoah),
“Sit at My right hand,
35 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ — this Jesus whom you crucified.”

The Ingathering

37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. (NASB)

What “sect” HAD ALL THINGS IN COMMON and “began selling their property and possessions?”  Was it the Pharisees or the Sadducees?  Certainly NOT!  It was The Way.

What changed on that day is that that the bodies of believers in Christ became the Temple and where the Holy Spirit resides — in circumcised hearts — is the Holy of Holies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  The Bible states clearly that there are only TWO INTERCESSORS:  Christ and the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26-39 concentrating on vv26 and 34).  Everything on this Earth of a mere shadow of what is to come!


Conclusion

The Feast of Weeks (Heb. Shavu’ot/Gr. Pentecost) is one of the more important days of the year; it certainly ranks among the top three!  To recap, the “evening” of June 3rd and the “morning” of June 4th marks:

  1. The second of four agricultural feasts — each 49 days apart, exclusive — with the wheat harvest being dedicated on this annual Sabbath;
  2. The second of the three Shalosh Regalim (=annual pilgrimages), prophetic mo’edim (=appointed times) requiring the sons of Israel to return to Jerusalem — the other two being Passover/Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles;
  3. The annual renewal of covenants by the “sect” called The Way from whom the Dead Sea Scrolls were penned;
  4. Christ’s birth in 6 CE during the reign of Herod Archelaus and the census of Quirinius; and
  5. The Holy Spirit being sent in 36 CE to be our Helper and Teacher residing in the hearts of believers in Christ; He did not leave us as orphans.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. (NASB)


Be sure to read the companion articles in the Mo’edim (Appointed Times) and Agricultural Feasts series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.

HaDerech Scroll - Paleo-Hebrew