Shadow Annual Events
Needed to synchronize solar year (365 1/4 days) with lunar cycles (29 1/2 day months)
12 lunar months (crescent to crescent) of 29 or 30 days each (
One month added in 7 out of every 19 years to synchronize solar/lunar cycles
13th month (called 2nd Adar) added in years 3,6,8,11,14,17, and 19
The Jewish religious year begins with the month of Abib/Nisan (March or April). (
Ex 12:1-3, Ex 13:3,4, Ex 23:15, Est 3:7)
Older month names (Abib) are Canaanite, newer names (Nisan) are Hebrew equivalent of Babylonian
The Jewish civil year begins with the 7th religious year month (Ethanim/Tishri) (September or October). (
Ex 23:16, Ex 34:22)
The civil year reckoning originated prior to the religious year reckoning.
The civil year also marked the beginning of argricultural, sabbatical, and jubilee years.
Agricultural year - autumn (early rains), winter (rains), spring (latter rains), summer (long, hot, dry)
Sabbatical years (every 7th year)
No sowing or reaping (
Note on verses 6 and 7: The "meat" of the seventh year is the over-abundant blessings God bestowed on the sixth year to prepare for the rest year. (compare verses 20-22)
Cancel debts (
Fellow Hebrew servants released (
Jubilee years (after 7 weeks of years, 50th year) (
Land returns to original owners (
Jewish Days and Weeks
Biblical days go from sundown to sundown (
Ge 1:5,8,13,19,23,31, Lev 23:27,32, Nu 19:16,19 compare Lev 22:6,7, Ne 13:19, Mk 1:21,29,32 compare Mt 12:10)
1 hour = 1/12 the period from sunrise to sunset (
Example hours: 1st = 6-7am, 3rd = 8-9am, 6th = 11am-noon, 9th = 2-3pm, 12th = 5-6pm (compare
Note that Roman hours started from midnight, rather than from sunrise.
The night was divided into 3 watches of 4 hours each.
7 day weeks with the 7th day (Saturday) being the weekly Sabbath
Note that there is no physical cycle of 7 days, it came from God in Eden (
Ge 2:2,3, Ex 20:8-11)
Special Annual Ceremonial Events
All dates are based on Jewish religious calendar (where 1/1 is first day of Abib/Nisan)
There were 7 special annual ceremonial events (sacred assemblies, feasts) (
Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Day of Wave Sheaf, Feast of Harvest, Blowing of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles
These events included 7 special days that were considered Sabbaths because of their work restriction.
1/15, 1/21, 3/6, 7/1, 7/10, 7/15, 7/22 (see below)
The ceremonial Sabbaths were distinguished from the weekly Sabbaths of the moral law. (
Note on Lev 23: Verses 3 and 38 refer to the weekly Sabbath of the moral law.
After Christ, these annual ceremonial events were to be phased out. (
Gal 4:9-11, Col 2:13-17)
Note on Col 2:17: The weekly Sabbath was not a shadow of things to come, but rather an eternal memorial of the Creation. (
Ex 20:8-11, Rev 14:6,7, Isa 66:22-24)
Ex 12:1-14, Ex 34:25, Lev 23:5, Nu 28:16, Dt 16:1-8,12)
Slaying of the Passover lamb
Lamb slayed in late afternoon (just before sunset) (
Ex 12:6, Dt 16:5,6)
Hebrew phrase is literally "between the two evenings" (Biblical days begin at sunset and end at sunset)
Qualifier "when the sun goes down" (
Dt 16:6) indicates the period of the day just prior to sunset
Lamb eaten after sundown of 1/14 (early hours of 1/15) (
Foreshadowed crucifixion of Christ (
Jn 1:29, Jn 19:14-16 (6th hour here is Roman time), 1Co 5:7)
Crucifixion occurred on Preparation Day (Friday) (
Mk 15:42-47 - Mk 16:1,2, Lk 23:52-54, Jn 19:31,42)
Jesus is brought before Pilate early in the morning. (
Crucifixion begins at 3rd hour (9am, Jewish time) (
Darkness from 6th to 9th hour (noon to 3pm) (
Jesus died after 9th hour (3pm) before evening arrived (
The Lord's Supper is the New Testament celebration replacing the Passover.
An official Passover feast was celebrated on Friday night (i.e., early Saturday). (
Mt 26:3-5, Jn 18:28)
Jesus knew that He would die before the Friday night feast. (
The Lord's Supper occurred on Thursday night (i.e., early Friday) (
The Passover lamb represents Jesus our Passover Lamb. (
2. Feast of Unleavened Bread
1/15 - 1/21 (seven days) (
Ex 23:15, Ex 34:18, Lev 23:6-8, Nu 28:17-25, Dt 16:3,4,8)
Note that 1/15 and 1/21 are ceremonial Sabbaths.
1/15 foreshadowed the Sabbath day that Christ lay (rested) in the tomb. (
Mk 15:42-47 - Mk 16:1,2, Lk 23:52-56, Jn 19:31)
Unleavened bread (no yeast) eaten for 7 days - yeast is a symbol of sin (
Mt 16:6,11,12, 1Co 5:6-8)
The unleavened bread represents Jesus, the bread of life. (
Jn 6:32,33,35,48,51, Jn 1:29, 1Jn 3:4,5)
3. Day of Wave Sheaf
1/16, the day after the 1/15 ceremonial Sabbath (
Lev 23:10-14 compare Lev 23:6 and Lev 23:14)
A sheaf of the first fruits of the barley harvest is waved before the Lord.
The first fruits represent Jesus, the first fruits from the dead (
1Co 15:20,21, Col 1:18)
Note that the resurrection occurred on first day of week (Sunday) (
Note that 3 days in grave is based on standard Jewish inclusive reckoning (Fri, Sat, Sun).
4. Feast of Harvest (Feast of Weeks)
3/6, 7 weeks (50 days inclusive) after Day of Wave Sheaf (
Ex 23:16, Ex 34:22, Lev 23:15,16, Nu 28:26, Dt 16:9-11)
Note that 3/6 is a ceremonial Sabbath.
Offering of new grain from the wheat harvest.
Called Pentecost in New Testament, from Greek word meaning fiftieth.
Pentecost is the day the Holy Spirit came in power to the early church.
The harvest represents the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in the harvest of souls (
Mt 9:37,38, Ac 2:1-4,41)
5. Blowing of Trumpets (Modern Rosh Hashana)
Lev 23:24,25, Nu 29:1)
Note that 7/1 is a ceremonial Sabbath.
The trumpets announced the soon arrival of the Day of Atonement, signaling the people to prepare for judgment.
The trumpets represent world-wide, warning messages prior to the final judgment. (
Rev 14:6-12, Rev 18:1-4)
6. Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
Lev 16:1-34, Lev 23:27-32)
Note that 7/10 is a ceremonial Sabbath.
Most solemn day of year - judgment (
Any person who does not afflict his soul is cut off. (
Cleansing of the sanctuary and the genuine people of God (
The day of atonement represents the investigative judgment of God's people. (
Heb 9:25-28, 1Pe 4:17,18)
7. Feast of Tabernacles (Feast of Ingathering)
7/15 - 7/21 (seven days) (
Ex 34:22, Lev 23:33-36,40-43, Dt 16:13)
Note that 7/15 and 7/22 (eigth day) are ceremonial Sabbaths.
Gather in (ingathering) vintage and olive crops at the end of the agricultural year (
Ex 23:16, Lev 23:39)
Lev 23:40, Dt 16:14,15)
The closing assembly of the annual feastival cycle (
The airy booths represent the final Exodus from walls of bondage to homes of freedom. (
Lev 23:40-43, Jn 14:1-3, 1Co 15:52-54)
The ingathering represents the second coming of Christ and the kingdom of heaven (
Mt 3:12, Rev 14:14-20)