Agricultural Feast: Chag Yitzhar (New Oil)

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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

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