Good News – Leviticus 23 (Introduction)



The book of Leviticus contains a host of laws covering all sorts of civil issues from homosexuality to child sacrifices. Nestled amongst these various laws so many today consider archaic are the ancient and unchanging truths God is holy (Lev 19:2) and the greatest commandment being that we love one another (Lev 19:18). Chapter 25 gives a series of instructions about a wonderful concept – redemption.


Leviticus 23

Lev 23:1-2 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts. This chapter is another such diversion from the litany of laws. Chapter 23 deals with the major feasts of Israel instituted by Moses in the Wilderness. Each has practical as well as prophetic significance. Due to the extensive impact of the feasts of Israel outlined in this chapter, a Good News entry is also included for each individual feast.


The seven feasts are described in Lev 23:


      Sabbath v3

Spring Feasts

      Passover: 14th Nisan (March/April) v4-5

      Unleavened Bread: 15-21 Nisan v6-14

      Weeks/First Fruits (Penticost): 50 days after Sabbath during Unleavened Bread. (May/June) v15-22

Fall Feasts

      Trumpets: 1 Tishri v23-25 (Sep/Oct)

      Atonement: 10 Tishri v26-32

      Tabernacles/Booths/Tents: 15-22 Tishri v33-44


Jewish Calendar – a little background info…

To make sense of these it helps to understand the Jewish calendar is very different than the one most of us are used to.


The month always starts on a new moon. Since the there are more than 12 new moons in a year (but less than 13) some years have 12 months and some have 13. They just have the last month twice to make up the difference. The total cycle repeats on a 19 year basis.


The first month is in the Spring, but the new year begins with the start of the 7th month. As bizarre as that sounds, when you consider that the Jewish day begins at dusk and is counted night and day to make a whole day (Gen 1), then you can see the logic in starting the year with the fall and winter (longer darkness) before the spring and summer (longer light) months regardless of the month’s number within a given year.


To make it even more interesting, the ancient Jews reckoned the daylight as 12 hours and the night as 12 hours regardless of season, only stretching the length of an hour to an even division of the available light or dark. The sun and stars were used to keep track of the time of day and night (Gen 1:14).


About Feasts in General

In spite of the technical instructions about the feasts we often dismiss as archaic, the concept of a feast is to get together, eat, be happy and praise God. Most modern Christians don’t keep the Jewish feasts, but instead keep Christmas and Easter. These are times Christians traditionally get together with church family and home family, eat big meals, enjoy the time together, and hopefully remember to praise God for His goodness in making it all possible. While the Christian themes associated with these holidays are good, the feasts of Israel as outlined in Lev 23 are the feasts prescribed by God.


  • TMAN

    Good News in Lev 23

    When I saw your title, I thought you were going to talk about how the Gospel (aka, Good News) was in Lev 23.

    I'm occasionally surprised to find how many people aren't aware that each of the spring feasts, just like Passover, represents specific aspects of what Christ accomplished in His death, burial, resurrection and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Frequently, people will have a vague notion that Jesus is 'the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world' and that Passover has something to do with it. But that's not all of the Gospel – nor is Passover all of the Spring feasts. Seeing Christ's work for the believer played out in the feast of Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits and Shavout helps flesh out "the rest of the story".

    ..and I see that this blog is subtitled "Introduction".

    Looking forward to your next few blogs.

  • Lance Ponder

    Dear TMAN

    Thank you for your comment and your input. You correctly noted this is just an introduction. Most of my 'Good News' posts are self-contained posts covering a single chapter, however Lev 23 is special in many ways. As you also noted there are several feasts, not just Passover. In the upcoming entries I will be writing about how the Good News appears in the context of each feast. I hope to read your comments in the coming weeks as this series continues.

  • hebrewgirl

    Biblical Feast are for Today

    The Feasts are part of the Covenant with Elohim (G-d). When Yahushua (Jesus) came he fulfilled the Torah (Law). That does not mean he canceled the Torah but that meaning that he filled the Torah with meaning. He showed the Jewish Israelites how to live the Torah the way it was suppose to be kept, not the way the Torah was supposedly being kept by burdening people down with man-made laws (Matt 15).

    With regards to the Set-Apart Feast Days being thought of as archaic, this is a mindset that Christianity has perpetuated although it is not true. The Feast Days are as revelant today as they were in the beginning. The Spring Feast (Passover, Unleavened Bread, Shavout) are not only a memorial of the Exodus from Egypt, but a foretelling of the Messiah's death and resurrection. This is why he is the Passover Lamb. The Fall Feast (Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur, Feast of Tabernacles) are prophectic of the End of Time when Yahushua returns at the last trumpet, judgement day and when we will Tabernacle with him for eternity.

    Many Christians feel that the Feast are no longer necessary for believers as they "have been done away with", but the prophet Zechariah tells us that after Yahushua comes back we will still celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

    "And it shall come to pass, [that] every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles." Zech 14:16

    Many people refer the Feasts as Jewish, however the Feast were commanded to be kept by the Israelites (Judah (jew) plus 11 other tribes) AND the mixed multitude/stranger (Ex 12:38). The mixed multitude were not blood relation to the Israelites but those in Egypt who left with the Israelites. They were, in essence, grafted into Israel (Rom 11:19-24) as there was one set of instructions (Torah) for both the Israelite and the stranger (Ex 12:49). We, as believers in Messiah Yahushua, have been grafted into the assembly of Elohim and should be just as willing to follow His one set of instructions for his people.

    Christmas and Easter have pagan origins and many of the customs kept during the holidays are nestled from pagan pasts, from easter eggs and bunny rabbits to mistletoe and yuletide. Easter, in fact, is the English translation of the name of the  goddess Ashtoreth, the vile (adbominable) queen of heaven (2 Kings 23; Jer 7:18, 44:19). It is interesting that many Christians are so intent to keep the traditions of man while dismissing the set-apart days ordained and instructed by Elohim to keep as a lasting ordination from generation to generation (Lev 16).

  • Lance Ponder

    Re Feasts for Today

    YES. YES. YES.

    Just for clarification, while I did say, "the feasts we often dismiss as archaic," I am not saying they actually are archaic. As you correctly state, most of Christianity has ignored these feasts since the second century.

    I understand your statements about Christmas and Easter. Again, I was stating the obvious reality we live with in the world. As to their pagan origins – and they do have those elements and I was in your camp for years – further research I've done has shown there is more to these than you've indicated. For example, there's strong support for dating the arrival of the Magi at Bethlehem on or about Dec 25, 2 BC (Jesus would have been a little over a year old by this data). The name Easter is often thought to come from the Ishtar goddess, but there is much stronger evidence that the Anglo name Easter actually comes from the German word for the spring month corresponding to the equinox. There is a relationship between that German month-name and the Passover, believe it or not. I was very surprised to learn this, but when I did it took the bad taste out of my mouth.

  • hebrewgirl07

    Moedim – appointed times

    Regardless of what day the magi came, whether it was Dec 25, Dec 26 or Jan 6 (as other propose) the truth of the matter is that Elohim gave us HIS appointed times (moedim) to worship him. No where in scripture are we told to celebrate the arrival of the magi but we are told not to worship as the pagans (heathen) worship. Review the letters from first century believers. They did not advocate keeping the festivals that were pagan as these believers were suppose to the old life behind and be new creations in Messiah

  • Lance Ponder

    Re Moedim

    Thank you, Hebrew Girl. You make excellent points. While I do not mean to advocate for the "traditional Christmas holidays," I am trying not to be judgmental about it. There's what God said to do and what man said to do. I hope other readers here will understand this point as well as you've made it. It seems to me a profoundly important example of this very principle is the Creation/Evolution debate. The bible says one thing, but human philosophy says something else. We who know and choose the Truth must stand firmly on it and be the light that shines for the lost while at the same time not being their judges – the court of the holy (self-righteous) who drive them further into the darkness.