The Forgotten Biblical Feasts



Those of us who have rejoiced in God's Holy Days, as recorded in Leviticus 23, have seen various prophetic significance in these days. We have God's handiwork in these days, seven Holy Days in three festival seasons. But is there something that we may have missed, apart from but related to these days we keep?

While not Holy Days on which no work can be done, there are other Biblical festivals. The Jews speak of the five festivals, and each has its own special book of the Bible. In the Hebrew order of the scriptures, these five books follow each other in a logical progression.

The five festivals are: (A) Passover/ Unleavened Bread, (B) Pentecost, (C) Tenth of Ab, (D) Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, Last Great Day, (E) Purim.

Their festival books are: (A) Song of Solomon, (B) Ruth, (C) Lamentations, (D) Ecclesiastes, (E) Esther.

Of these five festivals periods, A, B, and D are regularly kept by most Holy Day observers, while C and E usually are not. Yet there must be a significance to these non-Holy Day festivals. What is that significance, and where do these days fit into a prophetic overview?

The tenth of Ab is the tenth day of the fifth sacred month. Just as Pentecost follows Wavesheaf Sunday by 50 days, so the tenth of Ab precedes Trumpets by 50 days. The book of Lamentations was written by Jeremiah upon the death of Josiah, and this service on the tenth of Ab was commanded from that time on by God's prophet and priest of that day. "Then Jeremiah chanted a lament for Josiah. And all the male and female singers speak about Josiah in their lamentations to this day. And they made them an ordinance in Israel; behold, they are also written in the Lamentations," (II Chronicles 35:25, NASV).

Also, just as there are five festival books, there are five sections to the Psalms: again, one for each of the five festivals. The third section of the Psalms, chapters 73-89, are Psalms of sorrow and distress.

Several years after the tenth of Ab/Lamentations festival was started,

Solomon's Temple was destroyed on that very day. Likewise, Herod's Temple was also destroyed on the tenth of Ab. Might the tenth of Ab hold yet a future significance in God's plan? And if so, what might that significance be?

There are many who look for what they call a latter rain of the Holy Spirit in the days just ahead. Still others look to a future day of Pentecost as the day on which the church age will find its conclusion, and possibly gain protection then for the coming tribulation. If any of these possibilities be so, then might not the tenth of Ab depict the time of God's wrath at the end of this Age?

Purim is more well known, being established clearly in its book, Esther. Like its Psalmscounterpart (chapters 107-150), it speaks of a final time when all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:26).

Still another festival that deserves mentioning is Hanukkah, also known as the Feast of Lights or Feast of Dedication. Hanukkah is not found in the Old Testament specifically, dating from about 165 BC, although some see a prophecy relating to it in Daniel 8:14. Hanukkah was apparently kept by Jesus (John 10:22-23) on at least one occasion.

Let us not also forget to mention each New Moon. Again, although not a Holy Day on which no work should be done (except the Day of Trumpets), the observance of each New Moon was commanded through Moses (Numbers 10:1-10; 28:11-15), was practiced in Israel (I Samuel 20), and was defended by Paul (Colossians 2:16).

Perhaps there is much to be learned from these forgotten festivals, both of themselves, and in their order in the sequence of God's plan.

-- written by Larry Dean Spurgeon



Tisha B'Av and Other Fast Days



Tisha B'Av, the ninth day of Av (or Ab), the fifth month on the Hebrew calendar, is an annual mournful fasting day celebrated by Jews in commemoration of several tragic historical events. It is a national, rather than a Biblical, fast day.

At least nine of the greatest disasters in Israel's history are believed to have occurred on or about Av 9. Some of the dates are given in scripture, while others are understood from Jewish history and tradition.

(1) Moses broke the tablets of the Law upon seeing the people worshipping the Golden Calf, Exodus 32.

(2) The twelve spies returned from searching out the land of Canaan, with their report which caused almost all the people to lose faith in God and rebel against Him, leading to their being cursed to wander in the wilderness for forty years, Numbers 14.

(3) The First Temple, Solomon's Temple, was destroyed in 586-587 B.C. on the ninth of Av. The Babylonians fought their way into the Temple on Av 7, and ate and caroused there until Av 9, and at evening, set the Temple on fire. It burned all night and through the next day, Av 10. See Jeremiah 52:12-13.

(4) The Second Temple, built by Herod, was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. on Tisha B'Av. Over 1,250,000 people were trapped inside the besieged city of Jerusalem by Roman legions. The Daily Sacrifice ceased on Tammuz 17, and 21 days later, on Av 9, the Romans reached the edge of the Temple compound. Titus did not want to destroy the Temple, and begged the Jews to surrender, but they refused. In spite of his firm orders, Roman soldiers threw flaming torches into the Temple, setting it on fire.

(5) In 71 A.D. on the anniversary of Av 9, the Roman army plowed Jerusalem with salt, in preparation for making Jerusalem a Roman colony.

(6) The army of Simon Bar Kochba, who had rebelled against Rome in 132 A.D., was destroyed by Roman legions in 135 A.D. on Tisha B'Av, or Av 9. The last great army of an independent Israel was slaughtered without mercy. Roman historian Dio Cassius says that some 580,000 Jewish soldiers fell by the sword, not counting those killed by fire and famine. Roman horses waded in blood up to their girths in the valley battleground.

(7) King Edward I of England expelled all Jews from England on July 18, 1290 A.D., the 9th of Av. It wasn't until almost 400 years later that Oliver Cromwell allowed Jews the right of settlement in 1657.

(8) King Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain expelled all Jews from Spain (about 800,000 Jews) on August 2, 1492, on you guessed it, Tisha B'Av.

(9) In 1914, on Av 9, World War I was declared, as Russia mobilized for war and launched bitter persecutions against Jews in Russia, which led many Jews to emigrate to the Holy Land to escape.

Observed as a fast day, in Israel today, Jews stand mourning and weeping in prayer at the Wailing Wall, the only portion of the Temple still standing. Jews read from the book of Lamentations in a dirge-like chant. The question is, are these fasts of the Jews, or the times when we fast, dedicated to the Eternal, and a call to repentance, or are they instead days without food by a rebellious people who want their own ways? This the question asked in Zechariah 7:4-14. The Eternal promises that national fast days like Tisha B'Av shall be turned into cheerful feasts, in the World Tomorrow, Zechariah 8:19.

For all of these disastrous events to have occurred on the same date on the Hebrew calendar is more than coincidence. We should watch world events, and pray always that we may be accounted worthy to stand before the Son of Man, Luke 21:36.

Similar to Tisha B'Av are three other traditional Jewish fast days. Tammuz 17, the 17th day of the fourth month, is the day on which, according to tradition, Nebuchadnezzar's army broke the walls of Jerusalem. Actually, the date in Jeremiah 39:2 is the 9th day of the fourth month. Asarah B'Tevet, or Tevet 10 (or Tebet, the 10th month), is the day on which, according tradition, Nebuchadnezzar's army laid seige of Jersualem. Finally, Zom Gedaliah, or the Fast of Gedaliah, is on Tishri 3 (the seventh month). It commemorates the day on which Gedaliah, the Babylonian appointed governor of Judah, and his associates were assasssinated. This precipitated the sending of the

Babylonian army against Judah.

All these Jewish national fast days should not just remind us of the loss of the physical Temple in Jerusalem. They should help us look forward to the One who would be the Temple made without hands, the Messiah, Matthew 12:6, Mark 14:58, John 2:19, 21.

Miscellaneous Information Quiz

Answers to the following quiz are at the end of this section.

Matching1. Pentecost

2. Deuteronomy 16:16

3. Last Great Day

4. I Corinthians 5:7-8

5. Day of Trumpets

6. Acts 20:16

7. Feast of Tabernacles

8. Deuteronomy 14:22-23

9. Day of Atonement

10. Colossians 2:16-17

11. Passover

12. Feast of Unleavened Bread

__ a. Three times in a year

__ b. Christ's sacrifice

__ c. Let no man judge you in respect of Holy Day, New Moon, Sabbath.

__ d. Putting sin out

__ e. Last Judgment

__ f. Purge out old leaven, keep the Feast with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

__ g. Return of Christ

__ h. Paul wanted to be in Jerusalem

__ i. Second (festival) tithe

__ j. Millennium, World Tomorrow

__ k. the fast

__ l. Holy Spirit



List the Following:

Three Pilgrimage Feasts:



Seven Annual Holy Days:



Nineteen Special Annual Days:

Answers

Matching: 1l, 2a, 3e, 4f, 5g, 6h, 7j, 8i, 9k, 10c, 11b, 12d

Lists: Three: Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Pentecost, Feast of Tabernacles; Seven: First Holy Day of Unleavened Bread, Last Holy Day of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, First Holy Day of Feast of Tabernacles, Last Great Day; Nineteen: Passover, seven Days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, seven days of Feast of Tabernacles, Last Great Day.



Additional Articles:

Responding to Attack on God's Holy Days

Holy Days or Feast Days?

What Should We Do During the Eternal's Feasts?

God's Second Tithe

Holy Day Words

Main Holy Day Menu