Leviticus 23 – The Feasts of the LORD
A. The Sabbath.
1. (1-2) Introduction to the feasts of the LORD.
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.
a. Speak to the children of Israel: This chapter commands and describes seven annual feasts that the people of Israel were commanded to observe and celebrate. There are many things for those who are not of the children of Israel to learn from the feasts, but they were originally given only to Israel and not to the nations.
b. The feasts of the LORD: These feasts, which are rich with symbolic and prophetic significance, were properly called the feasts of the LORD. They fundamentally belonged to God, and He gave them to Israel as holy convocations, sacred gatherings.
i. The major theme in all these feasts is gratitude, for what God has done and what God continues to give. Special “displays of the mercy, kindness, and providential care of God should be particularly remembered. When we recollect that we deserve nothing at his hands, and that the debt of gratitude is all the debt we can pay, in it we should be cheerful, fervent, and frequent. An ungrateful heart is an unfeeling, unloving, unbelieving, and disobedient heart. Reader, pray to God that he may deliver thee from its influence and its curse.” (Clarke)
ii. Holy convocations: “Days for your assembling together to my worship and service in a special manner.” (Poole)
iii. “The Feasts of Purim and Hanukkah are not addressed in this chapter since these feasts celebrate events that occurred after Moses’ time.” (Rooker)
2. (3) The Sabbath.
‘Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
a. The seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest: The Sabbath was not properly a feast like the seven feasts to follow in this chapter. It was, however, a holy convocation – a day set apart not only for solemn rest, but also for the sacred gathering of the people of God.
i. Centuries after this, when the Jewish people were scattered in exile, they started to meet in synagogues on the morning of the Sabbath. The only appointed place for sacrifice was the altar at the tabernacle (or temple). Yet it may be that even before the establishment of the synagogue in exile, Israelites gathered on the Sabbath in a holy convocation, meeting to pray together and hear from the teaching Levites spread around the land of Israel.
ii. When Christians today gather on an appointed day of the week (often Sunday, as in John 20:19, Acts 20:7, and 1 Corinthians 16:2), they gather as a holy convocation – a sacred gathering before the LORD.
iii. “The whole phrase seems to emphasize that the day must be set aside for religious observance, and that the ordinary daily occupations were to be avoided.” (Peter-Contesse)
iv. “The words translated sabbath and rest have the same root in Hebrew, and the word for seventh is also very similar.” (Peter-Contesse)
b. Six days work shall be done: In a shortened form, this repeats the fourth of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11). It commands not only a seventh day of Sabbath rest but also six days of work.
i. “He who idles his time away in the six days is equally culpable in the sight of God as he who works on the seventh.” (Adam Clarke, commentary on Exodus)
ii. Like everything in the Bible, we understand the Sabbath of solemn rest from the perspective of the whole Bible, not only this single passage. With this understanding, we see that there is a real sense in which Jesus fulfilled the purpose and plan of the Sabbath for us and in us (Hebrews 4:9-11). Jesus is our rest. When we remember His finished work, we remember the Sabbath, and we remember the rest.
iii. Therefore, the whole of Scripture makes it clear that under the New Covenant, no one is under obligation to observe a Sabbath day (Colossians 2:16-17 and Galatians 4:9-11). Galatians 4:10 tells us that Christians are not bound to observe days and months and seasons and years. The rest we enter into as Christians is something to experience every day, not just one day a week. This is the rest of knowing we don’t have to work to save ourselves, but our salvation is accomplished in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:9-10).
iv. The Sabbath commanded here, and observed by Israel, was a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ (Colossians 2:16-17). In the New Covenant the idea isn’t that there is no Sabbath, but that every day is a day of Sabbath rest in the finished work of God. Since the shadow of the Sabbath is fulfilled in Jesus, we are free to keep any particular day – or no day – as a Sabbath after the custom of ancient Israel.
B. The first four feasts, celebrated in the spring.
1. (4-5) The first feast: Passover.
‘These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD’s Passover.
a. These are the feasts of the LORD: After the reminder of the Sabbath in the previous verses, this begins the list of the seven feasts of the LORD Israel was commanded to observe and celebrate, and to do so at their appointed times.
b. On the fourteenth day of the first month: On the Jewish ceremonial calendar, the first month was known as Nisan. Passover was held on the fourteenth of Nisan each year. Twilight was the end of one day and the beginning of the new day.
c. The LORD’s Passover: The account of the first Passover is told in Exodus 12. When Israel was a slave people in Egypt, through Moses God sent a series of plagues upon Egypt to convince Pharaoh to set the Hebrews free and allow them to go to Canaan. When the plagues did not convince Pharaoh, God sent one final plague: the death of the firstborn in every household across the land of Egypt. The households of the people of Israel were spared this terrible judgment, if they followed God’s command to sacrifice a lamb and apply its blood to the top and sides of the doorway to their home. When the angel of judgment came to take the life of the firstborn of the households across the land of Egypt, the angel would pass over the homes that were under the blood of the lamb.
i. This command to recognize the LORD’s Passover came before Israel had celebrated a second Passover (Numbers 9:1-14). The memory of the first Passover was still fresh in their minds, and God wanted it to remain fresh. From that time, God commanded Israel to observe the feast of Passover, to commemorate not only their deliverance from Egypt but also the escape from God’s judgment as they applied and trusted in the blood of the lamb.
ii. In the New Testament, Jesus is clearly identified as our Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7). The death of Jesus was at Passover (John 18:28). He is the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 1:36), and it is His blood that makes the judgment of God pass over each of us.
2. (6-8) The second feast: The Feast of Unleavened Bread.
And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.’”
a. The Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD: The Feast of Unleavened Bread was originally established at the first Passover (Exodus 12:14-20). In some ways it was the second part of Passover, lasting from Nisan 15 to Nisan 21. This was one of the three feasts at which God commanded all the men of Israel to gather before Him yearly (Exodus 23:17).
i. “The celebration of Passover and Unleavened Bread marks the commencement of Israel’s national existence; thus it corresponds to the celebration of Independence Day in the United States.” (Rooker)
b. Seven days you must eat unleavened bread: For the first Passover, the unleavened bread following was a practical necessity – they left Egypt in such a hurry there was no time to allow for the bread dough to ferment with leaven (yeast) and rise. After the first Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread was a testimony throughout your generations (Exodus 12:14).
i. Spiritually speaking, this feast was an illustration of the purity God wanted Israel to live out after the blood-deliverance of Passover. Leaven (yeast) is a picture of sin and corruption, because of the way a little leaven influences a whole lump of bread dough, and also because of the way leaven “puffs up” the lump – even as pride and sin makes us “puffed up.”
ii. The Feast of Unleavened Bread means all this and more to Christians: Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)
iii. For ancient Israel, there may also have been a practical, sanitary reason in removing all the leaven from the bread dough once a year. Leaven was put in bread dough by taking a small piece of leavened bread dough from a previous batch. As this was passed on from one day’s lump of bread dough to the next day’s, all through a year, it was possible for harmful bacteria to develop in the dough. Once a year, it was good to remove all leaven and start all over with newly fermented leaven as a “starter.”
c. On the first day…. The seventh day: On both the first and last day of the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread, Israel was to gather in sacred assemblies (a holy convocation). They were also to regard those days as additional Sabbath days (you shall do no customary work on it).
i. A consistent message through the feasts is the rest God has for His people is greater than the Sabbath. That greater rest is fulfilled in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
3. (9-14) The third feast: firstfruits.
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the LORD. Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
a. When you come into the land which I give you: The feast of firstfruits was also called The Feast of Harvest in Exodus 23:16. It was not to be observed until Israel came into the land of Canaan. That God gave them the command for the feast was a promise that they would in fact come into the land and possess it. God said, when you come into the land, and not “if you come into the land.”
i. This was one of the three feasts at which God commanded all the men of Israel to gather before Him yearly (Exodus 23:17).
b. Then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest: This was a celebration of the coming harvest and a giving of thanks for the harvest. The idea was to dedicate the first ripened stalks of grain to God, in anticipation of a greater harvest to come. A sheaf is a bundle of grain stalks, tied together.
i. “The firstfruits at Passover would be barley, which ripens in the warmer areas as early as March.” (Harris)
ii. On the day after the Sabbath: This would be Sunday. “Here the Lord’s day was prefigured, saith one, therefore prescribed, and instituted of God.” (Trapp)
c. Wave the sheaf before the LORD: The sheaf was given to the priest, who waved it in thanks and honor to God. Then there was an offering of a year-old male lamb together with a grain offering and a drink offering.
i. By most accounts, the grain offering was made with two-tenths of an ephah – about four pounds (2 kilograms) of fine flour mixed with oil.
ii. The drink offering was required to be a fourth of a hin of wine, which most estimate to be about one quart or one liter. “It is quite common in Middle Eastern cultures. In the case of the Jews, it was poured out at the base of the altar of sacrifice or on the ground.” (Peter-Contesse)
d. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it: The offering of firstfruits was to be celebrated on the day after the Sabbath that ended Passover and began the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This means that the first three feasts on Israel’s calendar (Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and firstfruits) all happened close together, over a period of nine days.
e. You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain: The grain from the new harvest was not eaten until thanks had been given, and offerings made, for the new harvest.
i. “Parched ears of corn and green ears, fried, still constitute a part, and not a disagreeable one, of the food of the Arabs now resident in the Holy Land.” (Clarke)
4. (15-21) The fourth feast: The Feast of Weeks (also called Pentecost).
This feast is not called “The Feast of Weeks” in this chapter but is given that title in Exodus 34:22, Numbers 28:26, and Deuteronomy 16:9-10.
‘And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD. You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD. And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs of the first year, without blemish, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be as a burnt offering to the LORD, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the LORD. Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats as a sin offering, and two male lambs of the first year as a sacrifice of a peace offering. The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
a. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD: Fifty days after the feast of firstfruits, at the completion of the wheat harvest, Israel was to celebrate the feast of weeks (also called The Feast of Ingathering in Exodus 23:16 and Pentecost in Acts 2:1 and 20:16) by bringing a new grain offering to the LORD and offering specific sacrifices.
i. The name “Pentecost” means “fiftieth day” in Greek. This name is used of this festival in the New Testament because the feast was celebrated fifty days after the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
ii. Count fifty days: “According to the Hebrew way of calculating, the beginning and ending days of any given period are counted.” (Peter-Contesse)
b. You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves: In the national ritual celebrating the feast of weeks, two loaves of bread (something like a modern, large pita bread) were waved before the LORD. Remarkably, these two loaves were to be baked with leaven.
c. Offer with the bread seven lambs…one young bull, and two rams: After the loaves of leavened bread were waved before the LORD, they were offered on the altar along with animal sacrifices as a burnt offering along with a grain offering and drink offerings.
i. This was highly unusual. Generally speaking, Israel was forbidden from offering any kind of leaven or yeast with a blood offering (Exodus 23:18, 34:25). There was a special symbolic message from God in the command to wave two leavened loaves of bread before Him at the feast of weeks, and then to offer those loaves with the burnt offerings.
ii. Two rams: “In Numbers 28:11, 19 it is two young bullocks and one ram…. therefore it was left to their liberty to choose which they would offer.” (Poole)
d. It is a holy convocation to you: When these sacrifices were made at the tabernacle (or temple), it was another day for a holy gathering for Israel, and a day of rest (you shall do no customary work). This was one of the three feasts at which God commanded all the men of Israel to gather before Him yearly (Exodus 23:17).
5. (22) A reminder to be generous to the poor and the stranger.
‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God.’”
a. When you reap the harvest of your land: God gave this command to Israel while they were still at Mount Sinai and a long way from the land God promised to give them. This was a command made in faith, with full assurance that God would fulfill what He had promised.
b. You shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap: This repeats the command of Leviticus 19:9-10. This was a law to provide a way for the poor and the stranger to eat by working for themselves and gathering what was left behind from the harvest. This was an appropriate reminder right after the law concerning the harvest feast of Pentecost.
C. The last three feasts, celebrated in the fall.
1. (23-25) The fifth feast: The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah).
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.’”
a. In the seventh month, on the first day of the month: On the first day of the month of Tishri on the Jewish ceremonial calendar, God called for a special day of sabbath-rest and a ceremonial blowing of trumpets. This is the first mention of this feast in the Bible.
i. “The fall festivals of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles during the seventh month (September/October) were celebrated in conjunction with the harvest of grapes, figs, and olives.” (Rooker)
b. A memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation: On this day of special rest, trumpets were blown to gather together God’s people for a holy convocation. There was also an offering made by fire to the LORD.
i. “The Trumpets called them to cease from servile work in order to worship.” (Morgan)
2. (26-32) The sixth feast: The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God. For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.”
a. Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement: On the tenth of Tishri, the people gathered again for a holy convocation. But this was not a celebration feast, but a day to afflict your souls in humble recognition of sin and the need for atonement.
b. An offering made by fire to the LORD: The priestly sacrifices and ceremonies for the Day of Atonement were described in Leviticus 16. Here, the emphasis is on what the individual Israelite did on that day.
c. And you shall afflict your souls: This command was first made in Leviticus 16:29, and both there and here we have no specific description of what it meant to afflict your souls. This has been interpreted as fasting for the entire day, and to make it a day of solemn reflection over one’s sins and life the previous year. It was also a day of rest: you shall do no work on that same day.
d. Any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people: This strong statement of the command and punishment for disobedience is unique among these instructions for the feasts. In the strongest terms, God wanted His people to use this as a day of humble repentance, and to cease from their own work – while the high priest worked hard to make the sacrifice that would bring atonement to the people of God (Leviticus 16).
i. “Cut off from his people: the common expression for excommunication from the people of Israel.” (Peter-Contesse)
3. (33-44) The seventh feast: The Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth).
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD. On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it. These are the feasts of the LORD which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day; besides the Sabbaths of the LORD, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the LORD. Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the LORD for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest. And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. You shall keep it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.’” So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.
a. The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles: On the fifteenth day of the Jewish month, Tishri (on the Jewish ceremonial calendar), was the Feast of Tabernacles. It lasted for seven days and one additional day. This is the first mention of this feast in the Bible.
b. On the first day…. On the eighth day: The Feast of Tabernacles began and ended with a holy convocation, each of those days was a day of rest. Sacrifices were held throughout the week, including a burnt offering, a grain offering, and drink offerings.
c. Besides your gifts, besides all your vows: The week was also an appropriate time for people to bring their personal gifts, vows, and freewill offerings to the LORD.
i. Alexander Maclaren noted that the Jewish Talmud says that on each of the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles (and according to one Rabbi, also on the eighth day), a priest went down to the Pool of Siloam and drew water in a golden pitcher, which he brought back to the altar, pouring the water into a silver basin as the worshippers sang psalms from the “Great Hallel” collection of Psalms 113-118. This celebrated the water God miraculously provided for Israel in the wilderness. Then, On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-38)
d. You shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days: This was the only feast of the seven in which rejoicing was commanded. This was to be a happy celebration of God’s goodness and provision.
i. “The feast of tabernacles was the consecration of joy. Other religions have had their festivals, in which wild tumult and foul orgies have debased the worshippers to the level of their gods. How different the pure gladness of this feast ‘before the Lord’!” (Maclaren)
ii. Remarkably, Zechariah 14:16-19 tells us that the Feast of Tabernacles will be celebrated by all the nations under the universal kingdom of the Messiah.
iii. “The mandatory reading of the Law every seven years to the congregation was a distinctive of the Feast of Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 31:10-13).” (Rooker)
e. You shall dwell in booths for seven days: During the Feast of Tabernacles, Israelite families were to camp out in shelters made with the branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees. During the years of the Exodus, they lived this way all the time because they had to. When they eventually came into the promised land, they lived this way for a week to remind them of their hardships in those years, and God’s good provision in the wilderness.
i. “Although not specifically stated in the text, we should assume that the branches from these trees would be used for the making of wooden booths.” (Rooker)
ii. “Booths were erected in their cities or towns, either in their streets or gardens, or the tops of their houses, Nehemiah 8:16, which were made flat, and therefore were proper and fit for that use.” (Poole)
f. On the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath rest: The Feast of Tabernacles began and ended in rest. It was a time of celebration, rest, and refreshment.
i. God intended great social good in appointing the Sabbath and these yearly feasts. In almost all other ancient cultures, there was no weekly day of rest and there were no holidays. For Israel, God commanded a weekly day of rest, special holidays, vacation days. All of these were centered on Him.
D. The prophetic significance of the feasts of Leviticus 23.
1. On Israel’s calendar, the four spring feasts were grouped together, and the three fall feasts were also grouped. There was a separation of time between these two groups of feasts.
2. As a group, the first four feasts point to the work of Jesus in His first coming – His earthly ministry as recorded in the New Testament accounts.
a. The feast of Passover clearly points to Jesus as our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7). He was the Lamb of God who was sacrificed, and whose blood was received and applied, so the wrath of God would pass us over.
b. The feast of Unleavened Bread points to the time of Jesus’ burial, after His perfect, sinless sacrifice on the cross. In this time Jesus was received by God the Father as holy and complete (the Holy One who would not see corruption, Acts 2:27), perfectly accomplishing our salvation.
c. The feast of Firstfruits points to the resurrection of Jesus, who was the first human to receive resurrection, never to die again. He is the firstborn from the dead (Colossians 1:18) and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep…. Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23)
d. The feast of Pentecost points to the birth of the Church and the harvest of souls that came from it (Acts 2). Significantly, in the ritual at the feast of Pentecost, two leavened loaves of bread were waved as a holy offering to God, speaking of the bringing of “leavened” Gentiles into the church.
3. Between the first set of four feasts and the second set of three feasts, there is a significant time gap – almost four months. This was a time of harvest in Israel, even as our current age is a time of harvest for the church, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (Romans 11:25)
4. The second group of the last three feasts points to events associated with the second coming of Jesus.
a. The feast of Trumpets points to the ultimate holy convocation of God’s people at the sound of a trumpet – the rapture of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). It also points to God’s gathering of Israel for His special purpose in the last days.
b. The Day of Atonement not only points to the ultimate, perfect atonement Jesus offered on our behalf, but also of the affliction – and salvation – Israel will see during the Great Tribulation.
i. It will truly be a time when the soul of Israel is afflicted, but for their ultimate salvation. Jeremiah 30:7 says regarding that period: Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it, and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
c. The feast of Tabernacles points to the millennial rest and comfort of God for Israel and all of God’s people. From its beginning to its end, it is all about peace and rest.
i. The Feast of Tabernacles is specifically said to be celebrated during the millennium (Zechariah 14:16-19).
5. There is at least some evidence that each of the four feasts pointing to the first coming of Jesus saw their prophetic fulfillment on the exact day of the feast.
a. Jesus was actually crucified on the Passover (John 19:14). It is probably best to regard the meal He shared with His disciples (Matthew 26:17-19) as the Passover meal, but eaten the day before the actual Passover.
b. The body of Jesus was buried, and His holy and pure sacrifice acknowledged by God the Father during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
c. Jesus rose from the dead on the celebration of firstfruits, the day after Passover’s Sabbath.
d. The church was founded on the actual day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1), and a great harvest of souls for God’s kingdom followed, including a harvest of Gentiles.
6. For this reason, some suggest that it would be consistent for God to gather His people to Himself on the day of the feast of trumpets, the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. This event is described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and is commonly called the rapture of the church.