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The Biblical Calendar

The ancient biblical calendar has 12 lunar months starting with new moon. This means each month counts 29 or 30 days, which adds up to 354 days a year. To synchronise the calendar with the seasons, an additional month Adar is inserted in leap years (7 times in 19 years).

Hebrew month corresponds days feasts
1. Aviv (also known as) Nissan March/April 30 14. evening: Passover (Seder meal)

15. 21.: Feast of unleavened bread

16. in the morning: Presenting of the Firstfruit

2. Iyar April/May 29  
3. Sivan May/June 30 6.: Schavuot
4. Tammuz June/July 29  
5. Av July/August 30  
6. Elul August/September 29  
7. Tishri September/October 30 1.: The feast of trumpets (Rosh Hashana)

10.: Yom Kippur

15. 21.:Sukkot

8. Cheshvan October/November 30 or 29  
9. Kislev November/December 30 or 29 25.
10. Tevet December/January 29 2.: Hanukkah (rededication of the temple)/1. Maccabees + Judith
11. Shevat Januar/Februar 30  
12. Adar February/March 29 14.: Purim


During the year, the entire Torah (five books of Moses) is read in the synagogue, a portion at a time each Sabbath. Additionally, there will be read a portion out of the Prophets. These readings are fixed and will be repeated every year.

Also on feast days, a traditional portion of the Torah and the Prophets will be read. These parts do not fit in the weekly readings of the Torah.

The Seven Biblical Feasts

(Leviticus 23)

The Spring Feasts  (Fulfilled by Christ)

1. Feast: Passover
Liberation from the slavery in Egypt.
And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house. (Exodus 12:1-3)
On the fourteenth day of the first month (Nisan) in the afternoon, the Seder (a special meal) is prepared. In the evening, it will be eaten: A lamb, bitter herbs and unleavened bread (matzo). (Exodus 12:8)
Since the destruction of the temple 70 AD, the lamb is left out.
Liberation from the slavery of sin by the Messiah. 

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)

Ex. 12:1-51 / Numbers 28:16-25
The blood of the lamb protects against the destroyer, the Angel of Death. He will see the blood on the top and sides of the door frame and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down." (Exodus 12:23) Passover (Hebrew Pesah) means "to pass over" "to skip" Through the blood of Christ, we have eternal life. 

Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24)

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (1 Peter 1:18-19)

A flawless male lamb, one year old. (Exodus 12:5)

A male lamb, one year old

  Jesus was without fault: (Jes 53:9) or

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:21)

No bone of the lamb may be broken. (Exodus 12:46)   Not one bone of Christ had been broken. (John 19:31-36)
  3 matzot are served. The middle one will be broken in two, and one half hidden. After the meal, the children are sent out to find it. Then, every member of the family eats a small piece. This half of the middle matzo is called the AFIKOMEN.

Rabbinical tradition has two different explanations: 
3 Matzot: Priests, Levites and Israelites (the people) or
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

The trinity of God as 3 matzot: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

The Messiah; the middle matzo

Christ's body is broken for us all (Lords supper)

and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, (Zec 12:10)

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. (Micah 5:2)
The matzot are full of "stripes" and they are "pierced".
Christ's body is covered with stripes and is pierced. (1 Peter 2:24 / John 19:34).
He says: I am the bread of life. (John 6:48)

If anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever. (John 6:51)

He was born in the house of bread (ancient Greek meaning of "Bethlehem") and was put in a vessel, which is designed to eat out of (baby Jesus was put in a manger).

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2. Feast: Feast of unleavened bread
For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses. (Exodus 12:15) On the night before Passover eve, the house is searched for yeast (or leaven), and all which is found will be burnt. Yeast, a symbol for sin (1 Cor 5:8) is eliminated!
  Each day Psalm 113 and 118 are recited: HALLEL  
  Starting the 15th of Nissan, exclusively unleavened bread is eaten for 7 days. Christ's body is buried (put into the ground): Unleavened bread (he was without sin).

I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. (John 12:24)

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3. Feast: Feast of Firstfruits
When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath.(Leviticus 23:10-11)  In biblical times and today, on the first day after Passover Holiday (Sabbath), the feast of Firstfruits is celebrated.  Christ's resurrection as He is the First Fruit.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Cor 15:20)

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4. Feast: Shavuot (Pentecost)

The law on stone tablets

The first time, Moses received the ten commandments on stone tablets and the whole law about 7 Weeks after the death of the Passover lambs in Egypt (Exodus 19).

Future Prophesy

After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jer 31:33)

6. Sivan: Commemoration of the giving of the law The disciples received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2)

Prophesy Fulfilled

The law of God is in your heart

When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. (Exodus 32:19-28)

3000 people died!

Jesus said: If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:15-17)  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:38-41)

3000 people came to everlasting life!

Israel was born as a nation through the gift of the law.   The Congregation of Christ has been born through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  Readings:Exodus 19:1 20:23 / Ezekiel 1:1-28 and 3:12

I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The centre of the fire looked like glowing metal. (Ezekiel 1:4) 

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:24)
From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD. (Leviticus 23:15-16) Shavuot means "weeks" in Hebrew: The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost is a transliteration of the Greek word pentekostos, which means "fifty". The Jews start counting the Omer on the second day of Passover (the 16th of Nisan) and end the day before the holiday of Shavuot, the 'fiftieth day.'. They count the fifty days or seven weeks.  
From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the LORD. (Leviticus 23:17)   Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, Christ's Bride the "Ekklesia" which is Greek for Congregation has been created (Today called "The Church"). It is not a physical building or a certain denomination but a spiritual body of Believers who are not without sin, but are all "baked with yeast". Nobody but Christ alone was and is without sin
(Two loaves: Jews and Gentiles are one in Messiah !)
Celebrate the Feast of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field. (Exodus 23:16)
Feast of summer harvest
Harvest of first fruits: The Ekklesia of Jesus Christ has began!

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The Fall Feasts  (will be fulfilled by Christ's return)

5. Feast: Feast of trumpets
On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets. (Numbers 29:1) The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah sometimes translated as the Feast of Trumpets. 

Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration, which begins on the first day of Tishrei and is the Jewish New Year.

Note: Biblically the new year started the first of Nissan called Rosh Chodashim (Exodus 12:2)

The trumpets will announce the second coming of Jesus:
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the last trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1.Thess 4:16-17) see also 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
Genesis 21 / Numbers 29:16 / 1 Samuel 1:1 2:10
To sound the trumpets: To call the community (Israel) together for ... (Numbers 10).   For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. (Ezekiel 36:24)
In Israel's religious ritual, she utilised two different kinds of trumpets. One was long and flared and made of silver (Numbers 10:2). The other was a rams horn and is called in Hebrew the shofar. To sound the trumpets is a remembrance of the grace of God with Abraham, when he supplied a ram as sacrifice at the place of Isaac. This is why at Rosh Hashanah, the  shofar will sound in the Synagogues over the whole world.  

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6. Feast: Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. (Leviticus 23:27) Jews fast and pray: Well known is the Kol Nidre The bible uses the number 10, as well as the number 40 for a time of trial.
Leviticus 16 / Numbers 29:7-11 / Isaiah 57:14 58:14
Only once a year on Yom Kippur, the High Priest (nobody else) may enter the Holy of Holies, and meet there the glory of the LORD (the Shekinah). (Hebrews 9:7)   Through Christ's death at the cross, the way to the Father is free for everybody at anytime:
With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. (Mark 15:37-38)
The High Priest makes atonement for himself and for the people of Israel (Leviticus 16)   When Jesus arrives on planet earth for the second time, he will come out of the Holy of Holies (heaven). 

When he returns, beside other functions, he will come as the High Priest to his chosen people Israel (Zechariah 12:10)

Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the LORD and sacrifice it for a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat. (Leviticus 16:9-10)   According to Jewish tradition, the scapegoat did return from the desert at Yom Kippur, which followed Christ's crucifixion.
    According to Jewish tradition, the glory of the LORD was not present anymore in the Holy of Holies during the last 40 years before the destruction of the temple through Titus: which is after the crucifixion of Christ!
Since then, the crimson strip of wool tied to one of the scapegoat's horns, did not turn white anymore!

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7. Feast: Sukkot
(Feast of Booths or Tabernacles)
Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. (Deut 16:13)
Harvest festival: The harvest is brought in!

Feast of joy!

Jesus returns : The harvest is brought in!

Great joy and thankfulness.

  On each day, Psalm 113 and 118 are being recited: HALLEL
Readings on the first day: 
Exodus 12:31-51 Numbers 29:12-16 Zechariah 14

Zechariah writes about the last battle for Jerusalem, and that afterwards all nations will come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

 From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD. Isaiah 66:21-23
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. Zechariah 14:16
Say to the Israelites: On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD's Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. (Leviticus 23:34) The Jews live in a Sukkah (or tabernacle) to commemorate the time when Israel lived in tents during their 40 years in the desert. In these days, also God lived in a tent right between the people: the Tabernacle. 7 days a Jewish wedding feast (Wedding feast of the lamb?!)
  According to Jewish tradition, the Messiah will come on Succoth.  
The 7th feast in the 7th month takes 7 days.    
Beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest.(Leviticus 23:39) The eighth day: Final feast Simchat Torah (the Rejoicing of the Law)/the weekly Torah readings are finished and start again with Genesis 1:1.

Water libation:
In the times of the temple, a priest went to the pool of Siloam to fill a golden pitcher with water. He then came back to the temple accompanied by a joyous procession  of trumpet sounds and worshipers, and poured out the water  near the altar. At the same time, he recited Isaiah 12:3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation .... 

Readings on the eighth day: 
Deuteronomy 33:1 34:12

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him". (John 7:37-38)

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. ( Rev 22:12)  see also Ezekiel 47:1-12

The number eight symbolises a new beginning.

According to Jewish tradition, the Messiah shall come for the seventh millennium and establish the "Sabbath", the Kingdom of peace, which will last for thousand years. (Revelation 20). Afterwards, on the eighth day, there will follow something new:
Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.  (Isaiah 65:17)  see also Rev ch.21

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