23:1 The LORD spoke again to
Leviticus 23 begins with instruction on
the appointed times (Lev 23:2) and closes in a similar fashion (Lev
This introductory "formula" is found some 30 times in the book of
Lev 4:1; 5:14; 6:1, 8, 19, 24; 7:22, 28; 8:1; 11:1, 12:1; 13:1; 14:1;
16:1; 17:1; 18:1; 19:1; 20:1; 21:16; 22:1, 17, 26; 23:1, 23:9, 23, 26, 33;
24:1, 13; 27:1
Appointed times - Lev 23:2, Lev
23:4, 23:37, 44
Holy convocations - 11x in 11v -
Lev 23:2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 21, 24, 27, 35, 36, 37 (Note: This phrase
occurs six times in Nu 28-29, twice in Ex. 12:16, and nowhere else)
Work - 11x/10v - Lev 23:3, 7, 8,
21, 25, 28, 30, 31, 35, 36
Laborious - 6x/6v - Lev 23:7, 8, 21, 25, 35, 36
Rest - 4x/4v - Lev 23:3, Lev 24:24, Lev 23:32, Lev 23:39
Perpetual statute - 4x/4v - Lev
23:14, 21, 31, 41 - This phrase only occurs 15x/15v in the Bible.
The other 11 uses of perpetual statue - Ex 27:21, Ex 29:9, Ex
30:21, Lev 3:17, Lev 10:9, Lev 24:3, Nu 10:8, Nu 15:15, Nu 18:23, Nu
19:10, Nu 19:21
Dwelling places - Lev 23:14, 17,
21, 31 - This phrase signifies the feasts are to take place in the homes
and not just in the sanctuary.
23:2 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'The LORD'S appointed
times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations--My appointed times
are these: (Lev 23:4,37 Ex 23:14-17 Isa 1:13,14 33:20 La 1:4 Ho
2:11 Na 1:15 John 5:1 Col 2:16-17) (proclaim: Ex 32:5 Nu 10:2,3,10 2Ki
10:20 2Chr 30:5 Ps 81:3 Joe 1:14 2:15 Jonah 3:5-9)
KJV - Speak unto the children of
Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts (moed) of the LORD, which ye
shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts (moed).
The LORD's appointed times -
Don't miss this point - these festival times were God's idea, God's
agenda, His "appointment calendar" so to speak. He is explicitly
describing how He is to be worshiped in these festivals, all of which were
practical in nature, in that they brought the Israelites together for
rest, worship, praise, and thanksgiving; and prophetic in nature, in that
they were a "shadow" (Col 2:17) of God's divine plan of redemption.
Matthew Henry makes the point
that the appointed times or feasts were...
1. Many and returned frequently, which
was intended to preserve in them a deep sense of God and religion, and to
prevent their inclining to the superstitions of the heathen. God kept them
fully employed in his service, that they might not have time to hearken to
the temptations of the idolatrous neighborhood they lived in.
2. They were most of them times of joy
and rejoicing. The weekly sabbath is so, and all their yearly solemnities,
except the day of atonement.
Seven days were days of strict rest and
holy convocations; the first day and the seventh of the feast of
unleavened bread, the day of Pentecost, the day of the feast
of trumpets, the first day and the eighth of the feast of
tabernacles, and the day of atonement: here were six for holy
joy and one only for holy mourning.
The KJV has "the feasts" and is
probably more accurate translation than NAS as the Lxx has heorte which
means feast, festival, holy day (Jn 5:1; Acts18:21; Col 2:16) The
Appointed times (04150)
from the verb ya'ad meaning to appoint or fix)
can refer to either a time or place of meeting (eg, in "tent of meeting"
the word for "meeting" in Lev 1:1 is moed). Appointed sign,
appointed time, appointed season, place of assembly, set feast. An appointed meeting
time in general (Gen. 18:14; Ex. 13:10). Moed often designates a
determined time or place without any regard for the purpose. Since the
Jewish festivals occurred at regular intervals, this word becomes closely
identified with them. Thus moed is a common term for the worshiping
assembly of God's people. A specific appointed time,
usually for a sacred feast or festival (Hos. 9:5; 12:9).
Moed as in the
present context is used of those places where God’s people were to focus
on God and their relationship with Him, which would include: the tent of
meeting (Ex. 33:7); the Temple (Lam. 2:6); the synagogues (Ps. 74:8).
Note how the NAS translates moed as
referring to time or place - appointed(3), appointed feast(3), appointed feasts(11),
appointed festival(2), appointed meeting place(1), appointed place(1),
appointed sign(1), appointed time(21), appointed times(8), appointment(1),
assembly(2), definite time(1), feasts(2), festal assemblies(1), fixed
festivals(3), meeting(147), meeting place(1), meeting places(1),
season(4), seasons(3), set time(1), time(3), times(1), times appointed(1).
Moed - 213x in NAS - Note that
most of the uses of Moed (about 137 verses) are in the phrase "tent of
meeting" ('ohel moed = the tented part of the tabernacle which
God had appointed as the place to meet His people) - Ge 1:14;
17:21; 18:14; 21:2; Ex 9:5; 13:10; 23:15; 27:21; 28:43; 29:4, 10f, 30, 32,
42, 44; 30:16, 18, 20, 26, 36; 31:7; 33:7; 34:18; 35:21; 38:8, 30; 39:32,
40; 40:2, 6f, 12, 22, 24, 26, 29f, 32, 34f; Lev 1:1, 3, 5; 3:2, 8, 13;
4:4f, 7, 14, 16, 18; 6:16, 26, 30; 8:3f, 31, 33, 35; 9:5, 23; 10:7, 9;
12:6; 14:11, 23; 15:14, 29; 16:7, 16f, 20, 23, 33; 17:4ff, 9; 19:21; 23:2,
4, 37, 44; 24:3; Num 1:1; 2:2, 17; 3:7f, 25, 38; 4:3f, 15, 23, 25, 28,
30f, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41, 43, 47; 6:10, 13, 18; 7:5, 89; 8:9, 15, 19, 22,
24, 26; 9:2f, 7, 13; 10:3, 10; 11:16; 12:4; 14:10; 15:3; 16:2, 18f, 42f,
50; 17:4; 18:4, 6, 21ff, 31; 19:4; 20:6; 25:6; 27:2; 28:2; 29:39; 31:54;
Deut 16:6; 31:10, 14; Josh 8:14; 18:1; 19:51; Jdg 20:38; 1 Sam 2:22; 9:24;
13:8, 11; 20:35; 2 Sam 20:5; 24:15; 1Kgs 8:4; 2Kgs 4:16f; 1Chr 6:32; 9:21;
23:31f; 2Chr 1:3, 6, 13; 2:4; 5:5; 8:13; 30:22; 31:3; Ezra 3:5; Neh 10:33;
Job 30:23; Ps 74:4, 8; 75:2; 102:13; 104:19; Isa 1:14; 14:13; 33:20; Jer
8:7; 46:17; Lam 1:4, 15; 2:6f, 22; Ezek 36:38; 44:24; 45:17; 46:9, 11; Dan
8:19; 11:27, 29, 35; 12:7; Hos 2:9, 11; 9:5; 12:9; Hab 2:3; Zeph 3:18;
Vine on moed (מוֹעֵד) - “appointed place of meeting; meeting.”
Moed keeps its basic meaning of “appointed,” but varies as to what
is agreed upon or appointed according to the context: the time, the place,
or the meeting itself. The usage of the verb in Amos 3:3 is illuminating:
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Whether they have agreed
on a time or a place of meeting, or on the meeting itself, is ambiguous.
The meaning of moed is fixed within the context of Israel’s religion.
First, the festivals came to be known as the “appointed times” or the set
feasts. These festivals were clearly prescribed in the Pentateuch. The
word refers to any “festival” or “pilgrimage festival,” such as Passover
(Lev. 23:15ff.), the feast of first fruits (Lev. 23:15ff.), the feast of
tabernacles (Lev. 23:33ff.), or the Day of Atonement (Lev. 23:27). God
condemned the people for observing the moed ritualistically: (read Isa.
The word moed also signifies a “fixed place.” This usage is not
frequent: (see Isa. 14:13, Job 30:23).
In both meanings of moed—“fixed time” and “fixed place”—a common
denominator is the “meeting” of two or more parties at a certain place and
time—hence the usage of moed as “meeting.” However, in view of the
similarity in meaning between “appointed place” or “appointed time” and
“meeting,” translators have a real difficulty in giving a proper
translation in each context. For instance, “He hath called an assembly
[moed] against me” (Lam. 1:15) could be read: “He has called an appointed
time against me” (nasb) or “He summoned an army against me” (niv).
The phrase, “tabernacle of the congregation,” is a translation of the
Hebrew ohel moed (“tent of meeting”). The phrase occurs 139 times.
It signifies that the Lord has an “appointed place” by which His presence
is represented and through which Israel was assured that their God was
with them. The fact that the tent was called the “tent of meeting”
signifies that Israel’s God was among His people and that
He was to be approached at a certain time and place that were “fixed”
(yaad) in the Pentateuch. In the kjv, this phrase is translated as
“tabernacle of the congregation” (Ex 28:43) because translators realized
that the noun edah (“congregation”) is derived from the same root as moed
The translators of the Septuagint had a similar difficulty. They noticed
the relation of moed to the root ud (“to testify”) and translated the
phrase ohel hamoed as “tabernacle of the testimony.” This phrase was
picked up by the New Testament in Rev. 15:5. Of the three meanings, the
appointed “time” is most basic. The phrase “tent of meeting” lays
stress on the “place of meeting.” The “meeting” itself is generally
associated with “time” or “place.” The Septuagint has the following
translations of moed:
(time), heorte (“feast;
festival”). The English translators give these senses: “congregation” (kjv,
rsv, nasb, niv); “appointed time” (nasb); “appointed feast” (rsv, nasb);
“set time” (rsv, nasb, niv). (Vine's
Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words)
from the verb qara' meaning to call out loudly, to summon to a
is a call, a summons, an assembly of persons "convoked" (called together), a collected body
of people called together for a "religious" purpose, such as a
public worship service. In Neh 8:8 miqra'
refers to a public reading from the Scripture. In Nu 10:2 miqra'
referred to the action of publicly calling with the goal being to bring
the community together. Here the Sabbath is referred to as a
Miqra' - 22x in NAS - Ex 12:16;
Lev 23:2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 21, 24, 27, 35, 36, 37; Nu 10:2; 28:18, 25, 26;
29:1, 7, 12; Neh 8:8; Isa 1:13; 4:5.
NAS renders miqra' -
assemblies(2), assembly(2), convocation(14), convocations(3), reading(1),
These holy convocations
degenerated over time into unholy convocations that were even detestable
Isaiah 1:13 Bring your worthless
offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination (toebah-word
study) to Me. New moon and
sabbath, the calling of assemblies-- I cannot endure iniquity and
the solemn assembly.
There were 3 feasts that were
Ex 23:14 “Three
times a year you shall
celebrate a feast to Me. 15 “You shall observe the
Feast of Unleavened Bread;
(Luke writes "Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called
the Passover, was approaching." Lk 22:1) for seven days you are to
eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the
month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before
Me empty-handed. 16 “Also you shall observe the
Feast of the Harvest
(Pentecost) of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the
field; also the Feast of the
Ingathering at the end of
the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field. 17
“Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD.
Freeman - It is curious to
notice how, at a time considerably later than the origin of these public
festivals, the exact day of their occurrence was made known. In these days
of almanacs and of exact astronomical calculations, we can hardly
appreciate the difficulties they encountered in finding the right time.
The first appearance of the new moon was the starting-point. To
ascertain this the Sanhedrin took the deposition of two impartial
witnesses as to the time they had seen it. They next spread the
intelligence through the country by means of beacons. A person with a
bundle of brushwood or straw went, to the top of Mount Olivet, where he
kindled his torch and waved it back and forth till he was answered by
fires of a similar nature from the surrounding hills. From these, in like
manner, the intelligence was spread to others until the whole land was
notified. After a time the Samaritans imitated the signs, thus making
great confusion. This made it necessary to send messengers all over the
country. These, however, did not go abroad at every new moon, but only
seven times during the year. In this way the time for these three great
feasts Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles as well as for other
important occasions, was published to the people. See citation from
Maimonides in BROWN S Antiquities of the Jews, vol. i, p. 424. These three
festivals were preceded by a season of preparation, called peres,
which lasted fifteen days. During this time each person was expected to
meditate on the solemnity of the feast, and to undergo whatever legal
purifications might be necessary. This is referred to in John 11:55 ( Now
the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up to Jerusalem out of
the country before the Passover, to purify themselves.). Roads,
bridges, streets, and public water-tanks were repaired for the convenience
of travelers. All the males of Israel were expected to attend,
excepting the aged, the infirm, and infants who could not walk alone.
They were commanded to bring offerings with them. (Manners
and Customs 1875)
In ancient Israel there were seven
religious festivals especially ordained by God (cf. Ex. 23:14-19): (1) the
Passover (v. 5), (2) the Feast of Unleavened Bread (vv. 6-8), (3) the
Feast of Firstfruits (vv. 9-14), (4) the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost, vv.
15-22), (5) the Feast of Trumpets (vv. 23-25), (6) the Day of Atonement
(vv. 26-32), and (7) the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths or Ingathering, vv.
Israel was unique in that her holy
celebrations were divinely established by God Himself. They were practical
in nature, in that they brought the Israelites together for rest, worship,
praise, and thanksgiving; and prophetic in nature, in that they were a
"shadow" (Col. 2:17) of God's divine plan of redemption. See chart, "The
Feasts of the Lord," Ex. 23:14.
Scofield - The feasts of the
LORD. These were seven great religious festivals which were to be observed
by Israel every year. The first three verses of this chapter do not relate
to the feasts, but separate the Sabbath from the feasts. Israel's
religious calendar began in Nisan (in the spring); their civil year, in
Tishri (in the autumn). The seven festivals of the Hebrews were included
within the first seven months of the religious calendar: the first three
feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits) took place in the
first month, Nisan; the last three (Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and
Tabernacles), in the seventh month, Tishri. Between the first and last
three was the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) which followed fifty days after
the offering of the firstfruits.
23:3 'For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a
sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work;
it is a sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings. (Lev 19:3 Ex
16:23,29 20:8-11 23:12 31:15 34:21 35:2,3 Dt 5:13 Isa 56:2,6 58:13 Lk
13:14 23:56 Ac 15:21 Rev 1:10)
Sabbath - Baker's Evangelical
Dictionary of Biblical Theology
Sabbath, the - Torrey's Topical Textbook
Sabbath - Holman Bible Dictionary
Sabbath (Gk - Sabbaton) - Vine's Expository
Dictionary of NT Words
Sabbath - Multiple Dictionaries, Naves and ISBE
What is the Sabbath day? from "Got Questions?"
How is Jesus our Sabbath Rest?
Does God require Sabbath-keeping of Christians?
What day is the Sabbath, Saturday or Sunday?
Before all the annual feasts are
described, God first reminds the people of the weekly Sabbath festival.
One man who dishonored the Sabbath by working was punished with death...
Nu 15:32 Now while the sons of Israel
were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering wood on the Sabbath
day (~ "work") 33 And those who found him gathering wood brought him to
Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation; 34 and they put him in
custody because it had not been declared what should be done to him. 35
Then the LORD said to Moses, “The man shall surely be put to death; all
the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 So all
the congregation brought him outside the camp, and stoned him to death
with stones, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
Henry Morris - The weekly day of
rest, commemorating God's completed work of creation (Exodus 20:8-11), was
even more sacred than the seven annual feasts. No "servile" work could be
done in the latter (Leviticus 23:8,21,25,35,36), but no work at all could
be performed on the sabbath. Also, no work could be performed on the great
day of atonement (Leviticus 23:28). (Leviticus
- Defender's Study Bible - type "Lev 23", etc in "all these words")
Shortly after deliverance of Israel
from Egypt, but before the formal giving of the Law at Mt Sinai, God
instructed the people regarding the Sabbath principle. In the following
passages we see that a central tenet was "Trust in the Lord to provide
when He says He will provide." Notice how quickly they disobeyed
(reflecting their lack of faith or trust).
Ex 16:22 Now it came about on the sixth
day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. When all
the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23 then he said to
them, "This is what the LORD meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a
holy sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will
boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning." 24 So
they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered, and it did not
become foul, nor was there any worm in it. 25 And Moses said, "Eat it
today, for today is a sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in
the field. 26 "Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the
sabbath, there will be none." 27 And it came about on the seventh day that
some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28 Then the
LORD said to Moses, "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and
My instructions? 29 "See, the LORD has given you the sabbath;
therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every
man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day."
30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
comes from the verb shabath (07673) meaning to desist
(from exertion), cease (see this use of the verb in Ge 8:22, Jer 31:36),
rest (first used of God resting in Creation - Ge 2:2-3), repose, cease
from labor. So here the noun form sabbat means intermission, the
Sabbath (day), the day of rest, the holy seventh day; a week, the sacred
7th year, a sabbatical year.
It was not until the giving of the Law
at Mt Sinai that the keeping of the Sabbath became a part of the law and a
sign of God's covenant relationship with His people (Ex 20:8-11 Ex
Sabbath = A covenant sign
indicative of Jehovah's authority. When Israel kept the Sabbath, they showed
the pagan nations (the Gentiles had no Sabbath statute - see Ps 147:19-20) that they were
a distinctive people and were subject to their God. Keeping Sabbath was in
a sense a way of demonstrating Israel's trust in God, trusting that He would honor
their labors with fruit. We may plant the seeds and water them, but it is
God who gives the increase (1Co 3:6).
Shabbat - 88x in NAS - Ex 16:23,
25f, 29; 20:8, 10f; 31:13ff; 35:2f; Lev 16:31; 19:3, 30; 23:3, 11, 15f,
32, 38; 24:8; 25:2, 4, 6, 8; 26:2, 34f, 43; Num 15:32; 28:9f; Dt 5:12,
14f; 2Kgs 4:23; 11:5, 7, 9; 16:18; 1Chr 9:32; 23:31; 2Chr 2:4; 8:13; 23:4,
8; 31:3; 36:21; Neh 9:14; 10:31, 33; 13:15ff, 21f; Isa 1:13; 56:2, 4, 6;
58:13; 66:23; Jer 17:21f, 24, 27; Lam 2:6; Ezek 20:12f, 16, 20f, 24; 22:8,
26; 23:38; 44:24; 45:17; 46:1, 3f, 12; Hos 2:11; Amos 8:5. Translated
in NAS: every sabbath(2), sabbath(73), sabbaths(32).
Sabbath = rest for man: Ex 31:15
‘For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a
sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on
the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.
Comment: On the Sabbath Israel
was commanded to imitate the Creator, Who Himself rested from His work of
creation on the seventh day (Ge 2:1-3; Ex 20:11),
Wiersbe: Based on Genesis 2:1–3,
the weekly Sabbath reminded the Jews that Jehovah God was the Creator and
they were but stewards of His generous gifts....Although believers today
aren’t commanded to “remember the Sabbath Day” (Ro 14:1-12-note;
the principle of resting one
day in seven is a good one.
(Ed: Are you resting in Jesus beloved? cp Mt 11:28-30-note).
Sabbath = rest for animals: Ex
23:12 “Six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you shall
cease from labor in order that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the
son of your female slave, as well as your stranger, may refresh
Vine: The “sabbath” was the
covenant sign of God’s lordship over the creation. By observing the
“sabbath,” Israel confessed that they were God’s redeemed people, subject
to His lordship to obey the whole of His law. They were His stewards to
show mercy with kindness and liberality to all (Ex. 23:12; Lev. 25).
By “resting,” man witnessed his trust in God to give fruit to his
labor; he entered into God’s “rest.” Thus “rest” and the “sabbath”
were eschatological in perspective, looking to the accomplishment of God’s
ultimate purpose through the redemption of His people, to whom the
“sabbath” was a covenant sign. The prophets rebuked Israel for their
neglect of the sabbath (Isa. 1:13; Jer. 17:21-27; Ezek. 20:12-24; Amos
8:5). They also proclaimed “sabbath” observance as a blessing in the
messianic age and a sign of its fullness (Isa. 56:2-4; 58:13; 66:23; Ezek.
44:24; 45:17; 46:1, 3-4, 12). The length of the Babylonian Captivity was
determined by the extent of Israel’s abuse of the sabbatical year (2Chr
36:21; cf. Lev. 26:34- 35).
Sabbath = rest for the land: Lev
25:4 but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath
rest, a sabbath to the LORD; you shall not sow your field nor prune
Comment: This demonstrates God's
concern for His creation! Sabbatical Year was the year when land
not tilled (Lev 25:4ff.). In a very real sense the land of Palestine needed
a rest from the sin of the sons of Israel. The length of the Babylonian
captivity was determined by the extent of Israel's abuse of the Sabbatical
year (2Chr 36:21 [cf. Lev 26:33, 34, 35]). After they had learned their
lesson of 70 years of exile, God allowed them to return to the land of
Wiersbe: Other peoples might
work on the seventh day and treat it like any other day, but the
Israelites rested on the seventh day and thereby gave witness that they
belonged to the Lord (Neh. 13:15–22; Isa. 58:13–14).
Sabbath = A Sign: Ex 31:17 “It
is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the
LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor,
and was refreshed.”
Wenham makes an interesting
comment regarding the recurrence of the idea of "seven"...
Keil points out that the sabbatical
principle informs all the Pentateuchal laws about the festivals. There are
seven festivals in the year: Passover, unleavened bread, weeks,
solemn rest day, day of atonement, booths, day after booths. During these
festivals there were seven days of rest, first and seventh
unleavened bread, weeks, solemn rest day, day of atonement, first of
booths, first day after booths. The majority of these festivals occur in
the seventh month of the year. Every seventh year is a
sabbatical year (Ex. 21:2ff.; Lev. 25:2ff.; Deut. 15:1ff.). After
forty-nine (7 × 7) years there was a super-sabbatical year, the year of
jubilee (Lev. 25:8ff.). Through this elaborate system off casts and
sabbatical years the importance of the Sabbath was underlined. Through
sheer familiarity the weekly Sabbath could come to be taken for granted.
But these festivals and sabbatical years constituted major interruptions
to daily living and introduced an element of variety into the rhythm of
life. In this way they constantly reminded the Israelite what God had done
for him, and that in observing the Sabbath he was imitating his Creator,
who rested on the seventh day. (NICOT)
Victor Hamilton explains the
theological significance of sabbat...
In the first place Ex 20:8ff.
connects observance of the Sabbath with the fact that God himself rested
on the seventh day after six days of work (Gen 2:2–3). Everything God
made, as recorded in Genesis, he called good. Only the Sabbath, however,
he sanctified, indicating perhaps that the climax of creation was not the
creation of man, as is often stated, but the day of rest, the seventh day.
The Sabbath is thus an invitation to rejoice in God’s creation, and
recognize God’s sovereignty over our time.
Secondly, we observe in Dt 5:15 that a different reason is given
for observing the Sabbath. “You shall remember that you were a slave in
the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your God brought you out with a mighty hand.
…; therefore, Yahweh your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.”
Exodus then connects the Sabbath with creation described in Genesis and
Deuteronomy connects the Sabbath with deliverance from Egypt described in
Exodus. Thus every Sabbath, Israel is to remember that God is an
emancipator, a liberator. The early Christians were on target, it seems,
when they connected the day of rest with the remembrance of Christ’s
resurrection. He is the one who gives freedom. Actually there is no real
conflict between Deuteronomy and Exodus at this point. Whereas Deuteronomy
has in view the people of the Covenant, the Exodus verses place the
emphasis on the God of the covenant (AI, p. 481).
Thirdly, the Sabbath is a social or humanitarian ordinance which
affords dependent laborers a day of rest: Ex 20:10, Deut 5:14–15 and Ex
23:12, “That your ox and your ass may have rest, and the son of your
bondmaid, and the alien may be refreshed.” Here then this commandment
takes a step in the direction of making all men equal before God. As the
Sabbath recalls the liberation from Egypt so it in turn must become an
agent of freedom by setting the dependents in society free. Is it possible
to connect this with the fact that in 1Co 16:2 it is recorded that on the
first day of the week there is a collection of money for the poor in
Fourthly, the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant and in this way the
Sabbath reaches into the future. The Sabbath now joins the signs of the
rainbow and circumcision. The pertinent texts are Ex 31:13, 17 and Ezek
20:12, 20. This accounts for the reason that the penalty for profaning the
Sabbath is death (Ex 31:14; Nu 15:32–36; Jer 17:19–27). As long as Israel
observes the Sabbath she affirms her loyalty to Yahweh and guarantees his
saving presence. For the Christian believer these promises are fulfilled
in a person, Christ. Through him we enter into God’s own rest (Heb
Wordbook of the Old Testament- R Laird Harris, Gleason L Archer Jr., Bruce
In Jewish tradition, the Sabbath is
believed to be a gift from God’s treasury. Exalted and elevated, it is the
day held to be the foundation and epitome of Jewish faith. It is revered
and almost worshiped. The Sabbath is so important that it is looked on as
being the primary instrument by which the Jewish people have been
sustained and preserved throughout the ages. As one Jewish thinker said,
“More than the Jews have kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept the
Jews.”....The purpose of the Sabbath was threefold.
Sabbath was to be a day of rest and refreshment for the Israelites, their
servants, their livestock, and any visitors staying with them (Dt.
5:13–14). For six days they were to labor, but on the seventh day they
were to have a complete rest or cessation from work. In so doing,
observant Jews identified with their God, who also worked for six days and
rested on the seventh.
Second, the Sabbath was to be a sign between
the Lord and Israel (Ex. 31:13). Similar to the sign of circumcision, the
Sabbath was to be kept throughout their generations as a sign of the
covenant between God and Israel. The penalty for not keeping the Sabbath
was the same as that for failure to practice circumcision. Non-observers
were cut off from the covenant people. God gave the sign of the Sabbath so
that Israel would know that He, the Lord, sanctified them.
the Sabbath was to be a day of remembering their physical redemption (Dt.
5:15). The people of Israel were not to forget that they had been slaves
in Egypt and that God had delivered them with great power and might.
Resting on the seventh day therefore involved more than just physical
refreshment. God did not rest on the seventh day because He was fatigued.
Rather, the idea of resting spoke more of cessation. The Israelites were
to cease whatever work they were engaged in during the week. They were to
detach themselves from the material, temporal, and mundane and focus on
the spiritual, eternal, and heavenly facets of life. They were to refresh
the inner man as well as the outer. They were to reflect on their
relationship with God, putting aside their own desires and putting God’s
desires first (Isa. 58:13–14). By keeping the Sabbath in this way, the
Israelites marked out a distinction or division between themselves and the
godless world system around them. This is what God intended for Israel
when He instituted the Sabbath.
Rabbinical Judaism, however, has added
more to the meaning and purpose of the Sabbath. It teaches that the
seventh day of rest was not a result of God’s ceasing from His work of
creation. Rather, God’s work was actually finished with the creation of
the Sabbath on the seventh day. Jewish tradition also teaches that the
Sabbath is equal in itself to all the other commandments found in the
Bible. Therefore, keeping the Sabbath is like keeping all of the biblical
commands at the same time. Furthermore, whenever observant Jews keep the
Sabbath, they believe they are endowed with an additional soul for the
duration of the day of rest. At the conclusion of the Sabbath, that extra
soul leaves. This additional soul is given so that they may experience and
enjoy the spiritual delights of the Sabbath in all of their fullness. (The
Feasts of Israel- Seasons of the Messiah by Bruce Scott)
23:4 'These are the appointed times of the
LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed
for them. (Lev 23:2,37 Ex 23:14)
ISRAEL'S ANNUAL FEASTS
"SACRED TIME OUTS"
KJV - These are the feasts of
the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their
Appointed times of the LORD -
"Here again the feasts are called the feasts of the Lord, because he
appointed them. Jeroboam's feast, which he devised of his own heart (1Ki
12:33), was an affront to God, and a reproach upon the people."
These appointed times of the
Lord are important for many reasons. To begin with, they are part of a
national system of “time-outs.” Together, they provide weekly, monthly,
and yearly occasions to rest from the routines and common work of daily
life. The Provider of Israel designed these “time-outs” and
appointed times for rest, reflection, and worship. They are sacred
convocations that call the people of God together not only in the grandeur
and majesty of the temple, but also in the quiet shelter and simplicity of
every home of the land. Together, these appointed times form a system
of remembrance. The appointed times of the Lord give every
household, whether rich occasions are used to retell stories of Jewish
life and origins, these holidays provide a panorama of history that has
strong implications for all the families of the earth. Seen
individually and together, these feasts paint a compelling picture of the
past, present, and future work of a Messiah Who is the source of life and
hope and peace for all the nations of the world. (The Holidays of God
- Radio Bible Class)
The Spring Feasts consisted of...
1) Passover (Pesach)
2) Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot)
3) Firstfruits (HaBikkurim)
4) Pentecost (Shavuot)
The Fall Feasts consisted of...
5) Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah)
6) Atonement (Yom Kippur)
7) Tabernacles (Sukkot)
The second group of Fall Feasts
are separated from the Spring Feasts by a four-month period. The
first four feasts foreshadow truths concerning this present Gospel age.
The last three foreshadow blessings in store for Israel. The first four
are historic; the last three, prophetic.
These seven (the number of
"completion") annual holidays are honored by Orthodox, Conservative,
Reformed Jewish communities the world over.
Henry Morris describes the prophetic
significance of the feasts...
Many commentators, ancient and modern,
have noted that these seven annual "feasts [or religious festivals] of
Jehovah" not only had spiritual value to the Israelites who observed them,
but also gave prophetic witness to God's great redemptive work.
(1) Feast of the Passover (Leviticus 23:5) testifies of the
shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God. "Christ our
Passover...sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7).
(2) Feast of the Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6-8) speaks of the
Lord's supper which would be instituted by Him on the night of the
Passover and would serve to remind His followers to walk in communion with
Him. "Therefore let us keep the feast,...with the unleavened bread of
sincerity and truth" (1 Corinthians 5:8).
(3) Feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:9-14) foreshadows the coming
resurrection and restoration. "Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that
are Christ's at His coming" (1 Corinthians 15:23).
(4) Feast of Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15-22) was fulfilled in the
descent of the Holy Spirit on the first body of Christian believers after
Christ's ascension, testifying to the world "that God hath made that same
Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).
(5) Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:23-25) is separated by a long
period of time from the first four festivals and promises that someday
"the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven...with the trump of God," when
"the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible" (1
Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:52).
(6) Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32) testifies of the certain
judgments to come--on Israel, on the nations, on believers and on the
lost--when complete separation between unforgiven sinners and perfected
saints will be established forever (note the two goats in Leviticus 16,
the chapter giving the details of this observance).
(7) Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-43) speaks of the coming
eternal rest in the Holy City when "the tabernacle of God is with men, and
He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people" (Revelation 21:3).
Study Bible Note on Leviticus 23:4)
FEASTS OF ISRAEL
Month = Nisan
Festival of Passover
Month = Sivan
Feast of Pentecost
Month = Tishri
Festival of Booths
blood on Door
Offering (Promise of Harvest to come)
Offering of two loaves of leavened bread (promise of harvest to
Blown - A Holy Convocation
Atonement shall be made to cleanse you
Celebrates harvest, memorial of God's care in wilderness
Month, 14th Day
Month, 15th Day
(1st & 8th are Sabbath)
after first fruits
Month, 1st Day
Month, 10th Day
Convocation on 8th Day Lev 23:33-44
(1st & 8th are Sabbath)
our Passover has been sacrificed
out the old leaven...just as you are in fact unleavened
has been raised...the first fruits
of the Spirit, Mystery of Church - Jews and Gentiles in one body
Regathering of Israel before final day of atonement
repents and looks to Christ in one day
Zech 3:9-10, 12:10, 13:1, 14:9
families come to Jerusalem for Feast of Booths
23:5 'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is
the LORD'S Passover. (Ex 12:2-14,18 Ex 13:3-10 Ex 23:15 Nu 9:2-7
Nu 28:16 Dt 16:1-8 Jos 5:10 2Chr 35:18,19 Mt 26:17 Mk 14:12 Lk 22:7 1Co 5:7,8)
FEAST OF DELIVERANCE
When and why is Passover celebrated?
The 14th of Nisan (meaning uncertain but some mentioned include "their
flight," "month of flowers" Assyrian - nisannu = "beginning"). Nisan
is the first month of the sacred year and seventh of the civil year,
answering nearly to our March-April. It was originally called Abib
(sprouting or budding), but began to be called Nisan after the Babylonian
captivity. Passover is a God's appointed celebration so that His people
would remember how He delivered their ancestors from the idols and
slave-yards of Egypt. Today on the 14th of Nisan, observant Jewish fathers
tell their children how the God of their fathers delivered their ancestors
from economic bondage and spiritual darkness. Before the beginning of the
10th plague, Moses instructed every Israelite home to sacrifice a blemish
free lamb, collect its blood (Life is in the blood) and with a hyssop
brush paint the lamb’s blood on the lintel and door posts of their houses
(Ex 12:22). Only where there was blood on the doorway did the death angel
“pass over” and spare the life of the firstborn in that home (Ex 12:23).
At a Passover Seder, which later became known by His followers as “the
table of Communion,” Jesus held up the elements of wine and matzah and
applied them to Himself. During the meal He broke unleavened bread with
His disciples, and then held that broken matzah in His hands, saying,
“This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me”
(Lk. 22:19). Then after the meal He held up a cup of wine and with the
same force of personal application to Himself, said, “This cup is the new
covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Lk 22:20). The Passover
celebration served to anticipated Messiah’s ultimate deliverance of
an body of people willing to trust in His sacrificial death for their
What is the prophetic significance
of the Passover? One element of mystery is found in a Passover
tradition involving the “afikomen.” On every Passover table there
is a cloth bag called a “matzah tosh.” The bag is either square or round
and lies flat on the table. Within the matzah tosh are three pieces of
matzah bread, each separated in its own pocket. In this way they are
hidden from view, but the celebrants know they are there. During the
Seder, the middle matzah is removed from its place, broken in half, and
one portion is wrapped in a linen cloth. This wrapped piece of matzah is
called the “afikomen.” Afikomen is not a Hebrew word, but a Greek
word that means “the coming one.” The afikomen is removed from the
table and hidden. Later in the meal, it becomes a children’s game to
search for the hidden afikomen. The child who finds it brings it back to
the table where “Papa” must ransom it back. Once it is paid for, the
afikomen is unwrapped and shared by all as the last food eaten so its
flavor will stay on the tongue and its memory stay in the mind the
rest of the evening. The rabbis cannot agree on the significance of this
unusual observance, or its origins. Some believe the three pieces of
matzah in the matzah tosh represent three crowns of learning. Jews and
Gentiles who believe in Jesus have seen in the afikomen a striking picture
of the trinity (tri-unity), so that in the three folds of the matzah tosh
there is a picture of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The middle matzah
represented by the Son is broken, wrapped in linen, hidden, and ransomed
(the price paid), and then brought back for the family to accept and enjoy
seems too deliberate to easily dismiss. While the symbolism of this ritual
remains a mystery to those who have not accepted the Messiah, through
messianic eyes the meaning seems clear and powerful. When Jesus said of
the unleavened bread, “Take, eat; this is My body,” He was not instituting
an empty ritual. He was identifying Himself personally with both the
matzah and the Passover lamb, bringing to mind the words of the prophet
Isaiah (Isaiah 53:4-7) Today when Christians share in the bread of
Communion, they are carrying out the fulfilled picture of the Passover.
Another important element in a traditional Jewish Passover observance is
wine. During a typical Passover Seder, four cups are shared, each with its
own significant picture in the ritual. The first cup is called the “cup of
sanctification,” which sets the feast apart from any commonplace meal. The
second cup is the “cup of plagues,” remembering the calamities visited
upon the Egyptians. The third cup is called the “cup of redemption,”
recognizing and memorializing the Hebrews’ release from captivity. The
fourth cup is called the “cup of praise,” during which the family recites
Psalms 113–118, traditionally considered the praise Psalms. The third
cup, the “cup of redemption,” the “Kiddush cup,” in the
modern Seder comes after the eating of the afikomen. Because of the
ritualistic order of the meal and the rich significance of this
observance, some Christian theologians believe that this is the cup Jesus
lifted, blessed, and declared, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My
blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of
is a masculine noun thought by some writers (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew
and English Lexicon) to have its origin
from pacach/pasah which apparently means to pass over; to
spare (Ex 12:13, 23, 27 - "Jehovah will pass" = pasah).
Pesach/pesah virtually always refers to the
Passover, either the feast or the Passover animal.
Note that the Passover is combined with
the Feast of Unleavened Bread by Luke who writes "the Feast of
Unleavened Bread...is called the Passover, was approaching."
(Lk 22:1) Rooker adds that "These two ceremonies were apparently
combined at the beginning, for the Passover lamb was to be eaten with
unleavened bread (Ex 12:8)." (New American Commentary).
Passover - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(see intro for etymology)
Feasts of Israel - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary -
scroll down for "Passover"
VanGemeren rightly states that
The etymology of the root פֶּסַח
(pesah) is much disputed, and some very tenuous links have been
established with the Akk. pašāu, to appease, and the Arab. fasaa,
be/become wide (New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology &
Rooker writes that...
The verbal root of the noun translated
“Passover” occurs only four times in the Old Testament (Ex 12:13, 23, 27;
Isa 31:5). The root has been variously explained: “to have compassion,”
“to protect,” “to skip over.” In Isa 31:5 the verb is parallel to the
verb “to rescue,” which would harmonize well with the first or second
options and would indicate that what was critical during the tenth
plague was not the death angel’s “passing over” Israelites’ homes as much
as the fact that God was displaying his compassion in protecting his
people. (New American Commentary).
Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to
the Old Testament gives the basic meaning of pesach/pesah
"a sparing, immunity from penalty and
calamity, hence—(1) a sacrifice offered on account of the sparing of the
people, the paschal lamb, of which it is said, Ex. 12:27 (“this is a
sacrifice of sparing [prop. of passing over] unto Jehovah, who passed over
the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the
Swanson has this analysis of
this Hebrew word pesach/pesah
1. Passover sacrifice, i.e., the
ceremonial offering of small mammals (sheep or goats) one year old, of
very high quality (Ex 12:21);
2. Passover Feast, i.e., a festival
celebrating deliverance from Egypt (Ex 34:25);
3. Passover meal, i.e., a meal eaten as
a part of the festival of Passover, eaten as a remembrance of hasty
deliverance (Ex 12:11) (Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic
Domains: Hebrew Old Testament)
Pesach - 46v in the NAS - Ex
12:11, 21, 27, 43, 48; 34:25; Lev 23:5; Num 9:2, 4ff, 10, 12ff; 28:16;
33:3; Deut 16:1f, 5f; Josh 5:10f; 2 Kgs 23:21, 22, 23; 2 Chr 30:1f, 5, 15, 17f;
35:1, 6ff, 11, 13, 16ff; Ezra 6:19f; Ezek 45:21
Passover (Ex 12:1-14; Lev 23:5;
Nu 9:1-14; 28:16; Dt 16:1-7) On the 14th day of the 1st month (Nisan),
this festival commemorated God’s deliverance of Israel from bondage in
Egypt. Passover speaks of the substitutionary death of the Lamb of God.
Christ died on the day of Passover.
Paul gives the clear prophetic
fulfillment of the OT shadow (Col 2:16-17, Heb 10:1) in a strong
command to the church at Corinth...
imperative = command - Do
this now! Don't delay!) the old leaven (Remember the
is sin in the church in the form of
incest! Read 1Cor 5:1-6), that you may be a new lump, just as you are in
fact unleavened. For Christ
our Passover also has been
sacrificed. 8 Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven,
nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened
bread of sincerity and truth. (1Cor 5-8)
Criswell: As the firstborn of
the Israelites were saved from the stroke of the angel of death at the
first Passover by the blood of a lamb (cf. Ex 12:21-23), so salvation is
now offered through the blood of Christ, Who died at Passover as the
Passover Lamb (cf. 1Pe 1:18, 19).
Wiersbe - The innocent
lamb died for the firstborn; because the blood of the lamb was applied to
the door by faith, the firstborn sons were safe. This was “the Lord’s
Passover” and the only means of deliverance that He provided that awesome
night when the death angel visited Egypt. To reject the blood of the lamb
was to accept judgment and death. The lamb typified Jesus Christ, who shed
His blood on the cross for a world of lost sinners (John 1:29; 1 Peter
1:19–20). “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Cor.
5:7). Since the Passover lamb had to be perfect, it was chosen on the
tenth day of the month and watched carefully until it was slain on the
fourteenth day of the month. Jesus Christ “knew no sin” (2 Cor. 5:21),
“did no sin” (1 Peter 2:22), and “in Him is no sin” (1 John 3:5). (Be
The first of the three great feasts, is
usually called the Passover, in commemoration of the passing over of the
houses of the Israelites by the destroying angel, at the time when the
first-born of the Egyptians were slain. The ancient Jewish canons
distinguish between what they term - the Egyptian Passover and the
Permanent Passover; the former signifying the feast in its original form,
and the latter representing it as modified in the subsequent years of the
history of the people. The essential parts of the feast, were however, the
same. It took place during the month Abib, or, as it was subsequently
called, Nisan, corresponding very nearly with April of our calendar. See
note on Dt 16:1. (NOTE: Abib means a green ear. This denotes
the condition of the barley in Palestine and Egypt during this month. It
was the first month of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, and was in later
times called Nisan. See Neh.2:1; Esther 3:7. It corresponded nearly to our
month of April.) While it lasted great care was taken to abstain from
leaven. A he-lamb or kid of the first year was selected by the head of the
family and was slain, its blood being sprinkled originally on the
door-posts, and subsequently on the bottom of the altar. The animal was
then roasted whole with fire, and eaten with unleavened bread and a salad
of bitter herbs. It could not be boiled, nor must a bone of it be broken.
When they first ate it in Egypt the Israelites had their loins girt and
their shoes on, all ready for a journey, and they partook of it standing,
as if in haste to be away. In after years this position was changed to
sitting or reclining. Not fewer than ten, nor more than twenty, persons
were admitted to one of these feasts. Stanley (in his History of the
Jewish Church, vol. i, p. 559, Am. ed.) gives a deeply interesting
account, from his personal observation, of the modern observance of the
Passover by the Samaritan*--. For the mode of observing the Passover in
our Lord s time, see notes on Mt 26:19-20. It. is supposed by some writers
that, aside from the general design of the Passover, as already stated,
there was in some of its ceremonies an intentional Divine rebuke of the
idolatry of heathen nations, and especially of that of the Egyptians. One
of their deities was represented by a human body with a ram s head. To
have a lamb slain, and its blood sprinkled on the door posts, was an act
of contempt against this deity. Some heathen people ate raw flesh in
connection with their festivities. The Passover lamb was to be cooked.
This cooking was by roasting, for the Egyptians and Syrians some times
boiled the flesh of their sacrificial victims in water, and sometimes in
milk. It was to be roasted with h re, for the Egyptians, Chaldeans, and
ancient Persians are said to have roasted their sacrifices in the sun. It
was to be roasted whole, even to the intestines, for the heathen were in
the habit of looking into these for omens, and sometimes even ate them
and Customs 1875)
R A Torrey summarizes the
Feast of the Passover...
Ordained by God Exodus 12:1,2
Commenced the fourteenth of the first month at even Ex 12:2,6,18 ; Lev
23:5 ; Numbers 9:3
Lasted seven days Exodus 12:15 ; Leviticus 23:6
Passover Numbers 9:5 ; John 2:23
Jew's Passover John 2:13 ; 11:55
Lord's Passover Exodus 12:11,27
Feast of unleavened bread Mark 14:1 ; Luke 22:1
Days of unleavened bread Acts 12:3 ; 20:6
All males to appear at Exodus
23:17 ; Deuteronomy 16:16
Paschal lamb eaten first day of Exodus 12:6,8
Unleavened bread eaten at Exodus 12:15 ; Deuteronomy 16:3
Not to be in their houses during Exodus
Not to be in any of their quarters Exodus 13:7 ; Deuteronomy 16:4
Nothing with, to be eaten Exodus 12:20
Punishment for eating Exodus 12:15,19
First and last days of, holy convocations Exodus 12:16 ; Numbers
Sacrifices during Leviticus 23:8 ; Numbers 28:19-24
The first sheaf of barley harvest offered the day after the Sabbath in
TO COMMEMORATE THE
Passing over the first-born Exodus
Deliverance of Israel from bondage of Egypt Exodus 12:17,42 ; 13:9 ; Deut
To be perpetually observed during the Mosaic age Exodus 12:14 ; 13:10
Children to be taught the nature and design of Exodus 12:26,27 ; 13:8
Purification necessary to the due observance of 2 Chronicles 30:15-19 ;
Might be kept in 2nd month by those unclean At appointed time Nu 9:6-11 ;
No uncircumcised person to keep Exodus 12:43,45
Strangers and servants when circumcised might keep Exodus 12:44,48
Neglect of, punished with death Numbers 9:13
Improper keeping of, punished 2 Chronicles 30:18,20
REMARKABLE CELEBRATIONS OF
On leaving Egypt Exodus 12:28,50
In the wilderness of Sinai Numbers 9:3-5
On entering the land of promise Joshua 5:10,11
In Hezekiah's reign 2 Chronicles 30:1
In Josiah's reign 2 Kings 23:22,23 ; 2 Chronicles 35:1,18
After the captivity Ezra 6:19,20
Before the death of Christ Luke 22:15
Moses kept through faith Hebrews 11:28
Christ always observed Matthew 26:17-20 ; Luke 22:15 ; John 2:13,23
The people of Jerusalem lent their rooms to strangers for Luke 22:11,12
The Lord's Supper instituted at Matthew 26:26-28
Custom of releasing a prisoner at Matthew 27:15 ; Luke 23:16,17
The Sabbath in, a high day John 19:31
The day before the Sabbath in, called the preparation John 19:14,31
Illustrative of redemption through Christ 1 Corinthians 5:7,8
23:6 'Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of
Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened
bread. (Ex 12:15,16 Ex 13:6,7 Ex 34:18 Nu 28:17,18 Dt 16:8 Acts
Then - time phrase marks
sequence, in this case the day after the Passover. Passover
occurred on a Friday, Feast of Unleavened Bread on Saturday and
Feast of First Fruits (our "Easter") on Sunday. As noted
earlier, the term Passover is used interchangeably with the Feast of
Unleavened Bread. However, technically, the Feast of Unleavened Bread
begins on Nisan 15, one day after the Passover celebration. “They departed
from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month;
on the day after the Passover the children of Israel went out with
boldness in the sight of all the Egyptians.” (Nu 33:3) As they left Egypt,
the Jews took their bread in mixing bowls, without allowing time for
leaven (yeast) to form or bread to rise. When the order came to leave,
they left with flat bread and all! This act of leaving Egypt with
unleavened bread has led to one of the most colorful traditions of the
Passover season. In anticipation of the days of unleavened bread, Jewish
mothers do their “spring cleaning.” With great care they sweep and search
and scrub their homes to remove every bit of leaven. Floors are swept,
pots are boiled, cupboards are emptied—all in an effort to remove any
trace of leaven. Then just before Passover, bonfires are lit in empty lots
and fields all over Israel to destroy any of the bread and crumbs that
have been found (compare Paul's charge in 1Cor 5:7-8). In Paul’s eyes, and
in the understanding of other rabbis, leaven is an illustration of sin.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread therefore speaks of the need for God’s
people to live new lives marked by a break from the bondage experienced in
the kingdom of sin and darkness. keep in mind, however, is the messianic
significance Jesus claimed for the matzah of Passover. When He broke the
unleavened bread of the Seder and said, “This is My body which is given
for you. This do in remembrance of Me,” He was saying that the matzah of
the Passover had a meaning that is realized fully in Him. Some who believe
in Jesus see a mysterious and ironic picture of Him that has
unintentionally shown up in the way unleavened bread is made. By rabbinic
decree, matzah must be striped, pierced, and burned
in such a way as to appear bruised! (Read Isaiah 53:5, Zech 12:10)
As someone has well said "These so called co-incidences are really
Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ex
12:15-20; 13:3-10; Lev 23:6-8; Nu 28:17-25; Dt 16:3, 4, 8) This feast is
seven days long, beginning on the fifteenth of Nisan and continuing
through the twenty-first. It marked the beginning of the barley harvest
and immediately followed Passover and lasted until the 21st day of the
month. Unleavened Bread speaks of the holy walk of the believer (1Cor
Rooker - The unleavened bread
reminded the Israelites of the haste in which they left the land of Egypt.
They were forced to begin their journey before the dough could rise.
During this seven-day period only bread without yeast could be eaten. (The
New American Commentary page 285)
K. Arthur - When you think of
leaven, you think of sin and how a little leaven leavens the whole lump.
There is no leaven put in the dough to make it rise because God wanted to
show us to a picture. The blood of Jesus was shed for us and that blood,
and when we apply it in faith to the door of our hearts then we are no
longer slaves to sin for the Son has set us free. Therefore I no longer
have to practice sin. I can keep the feast of unleavened bread.
means festival and usually refers to the various feasts on the Jewish
calendar. “Holiday,” i.e. a day or season of religious joy. The term
moed “appointed time,” is also used for “feast,” but is a broader term
including Sabbaths, new moons, etc. "The use of this noun is limited
mainly to the three pilgrim-feasts. Four times it is used for each of the
three in a single context (Ex 23:15–16; 34:18–22; Deut 16:16; 2Chr 8:13).
Otherwise the noun applies most often (twenty times) to the Feast of
Booths (Ingathering), secondly (eleven times) to the Feast of Unleavened
Bread (or Passover) and once to the Feast of Weeks (Deut 16:10)." (TWOT)
translates chaq with the
= "a day or series of days marked by a periodic
celebration or observance, festival, celebration."
Vine - This word refers
especially to a “feast observed by a pilgrimage.” That is its meaning in
its first biblical occurrence, as Moses declared to Pharaoh (Ex 10:9).
Haq/chaq usually represents Israel’s three annual “pilgrimage feasts,”
which were celebrated with processions and dances. These special feasts
are distinguished from the sacred seasons (“festal assemblies”—Ezek
45:17), the new moon festivals, and the Sabbaths (Hos 2:11). (In a unique
use of haq/chaq) Aaron proclaimed a “feast to the Lord” at the foot of Mt.
Sinai. This “feast” involved no pilgrimage but was celebrated with burnt
offerings, communal meals, singing, and dancing. The whole matter was
displeasing to God (Ex 32:5-7).
Chaq - 55v in NAS - Ex 10:9;
12:14; 13:6; 23:15f, 18; 32:5; 34:18, 22, 25; Lev 23:6, 34, 39, 41; Num
28:17; 29:12; Deut 16:10, 13f, 16; 31:10; Jdg 21:19; 1Kgs 8:2, 65; 12:32f;
2Chr 5:3; 7:8f; 8:13; 30:13, 21; 35:17; Ezra 3:4; 6:22; Neh 8:14, 18; Ps
81:3; 118:27; Isa 29:1; 30:29; Ezek 45:17, 21, 23, 25; 46:11; Hos 2:11;
9:5; Amos 5:21; 8:10; Nah 1:15; Zech 14:16, 18f; Mal 2:3
Chaq is translated in NAS
as - feast(52), feasts(5), festival(1), festival sacrifice(1),
Unleavened bread is eaten for
seven days (Lev. 23:6; Nu 28:17). While the Passover is a separate
festival, observed on the fourteenth of Nisan, the meal was eaten
after sundown on the fifteenth of Nisan. The term "Passover," is applied
to the entire eight days (cf. Lk 22:1, Lev. 23:6; Nu 28:17). As noted
above Luke 22:1 associates Feast of Unleavened
Bread and Passover.
Wenham - The first and the last days of this
feast were, like the first and last days of the main autumn festival, the
feast of booths, rest days when “no heavy work” could be done (Lev 23:7,
8, 35, 36). (NICOT)
23:7 'On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do
any laborious work. (Nu 28:18-25)
Holy convocation - Set aside
Laborious work - see note Lev
Ryrie - laborious work. Defined
in a later period as building, weaving, reaping, threshing, grinding, and
23:8 'But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD.
On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious
Laborious work - It is not
clearly stipulated as to what is "laborious." Some think it alludes
to Ex 20:9, which would be fairly restrictive.
Seventh day is a holy convocation
- The opening and closing days of this feast are like the first and
seventh days of the Feast of Tabernacles in the Autumn. Ordinary labor
like farming or trading stopped and a holy convention was held.
Wiersbe has this practical
application regarding the Feast of Unleavened Bread....
For seven days following Passover, the
Jews ate only unleavened bread with their meals, and they carefully
cleansed all the yeast out of their homes (Ex 12:15–20). In many places in
Scripture, leaven depicts sin. Thus the putting away of leaven illustrates
the cleansing of one’s life after he or she has been saved through faith
in the blood (2Cor. 6:14–7:1). We must get rid of the “old life” leaven (1
Cor. 5:7). Those things belong to our unconverted days and have no place
in our new Christian walk (1Pe 4:1–5). We must also put away “the leaven
of malice and wickedness” (1 Cor. 5:8; Eph. 4:31–32), the leaven of
hypocrisy (Luke 12:1), and the leaven of false doctrine (Gal. 5:7–9). The
“leaven of Herod” (Mark 8:15) represents the attitude of pride and
worldliness that was evident in that evil king’s life. And the “leaven . .
. of the Sadducees” was unbelief (Matt. 16:6). The people weren’t saved
from death and bondage by getting rid of leaven but by applying the blood
of the lamb by faith. People today think they’ll be saved because they
reform or get rid of a bad habit, but good as doing these things are, they
can never do what only the blood of Christ can do. Salvation is through
the blood of Christ alone, the sinless Lamb of God, but “let everyone who
names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19, NKJV). The
Christian life is not a famine or a funeral; it’s a feast. “Therefore let
us keep the feast . . . with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth”
(1 Cor. 5:8). Sin can be secretly introduced into our lives and quietly
grow so that it pollutes the inner person. One “toxic” Christian in a
church body can defile the whole body if given enough time. One false
doctrine, if allowed to grow, will destroy an entire ministry. (Be Holy)
23:9 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
This "formula" is found some 30 times in the book of
Lev 4:1; 5:14; 6:1, 8, 19, 24; 7:22, 28; 8:1; 11:1, 12:1; 13:1; 14:1;
16:1; 17:1; 18:1; 19:1; 20:1; 21:16; 22:1, 17, 26; 23:1, 23:9, 23, 26, 33;
24:1, 13; 27:1
23:10 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When you enter the land
which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring
in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.
(When: Lev 14:34) (shall: Lev 2:12-16 Ex 22:29 23:16,19
34:22,26 Nu 15:2,18-21 28:26 Dt 16:9 Jos 3:15) (Pr 3:9,10 Eze 44:30 Ro
11:16 1Co 15:20-23 Jas 1:18 Rev 14:4)
Feast of Firstfruits (Lev
23:9-14; Nu 28:26) marked the beginning of the barley harvest, immediately
followed Passover and lasted until the 21st day of the month. First Fruits
symbolized the consecration of the entire harvest to God and was an
earnest, or pledge (guarantee) of the full harvest yet to be gathered.
Sheaf - The grain is not stated
but this would be at the time of the barley harvest (which preceded the
wheat harvest), so it is most likely a sheaf of barley.
Firstfruits speaks of Christ’s
resurrection as the firstfruit of the resurrection of all believers (1Cor
15:20-23). Christ rose on the day of the Firstfruits (Easter)
"Firstfruits" in the NT
also refers to the earliest converts as the firstfruits of the Spirit (Ro
8:23); to the Jews as precursors of the Christian church (Ro 11:16); to
individual believers (Ro 16:5); to Christ as the firstfruits of
resurrection (1Cor 15:20); to believers born again by the Word of God (Jas
1:18); and to the group that had been redeemed as firstfruits (Rev 14:4).
The Feast of Firstfruits
occurred on our modern Sunday, the “day after the Sabbath” (Lev 23:11), on the first day of
the week, even as Christ was raised on the first day of the week. Like the
feast of firstfruits, the resurrection of Christ anticipates the harvest
which is to follow, the resurrection of the saints. When the priest on the
day of Christ’s resurrection waved the sheaf of first fruits in the
Temple, it was before a torn veil and was but an antiquated form, for the
substance had come and the shadow had passed away (Col 2:16-17). Joseph’s empty tomb
proclaimed that the great first fruit sheaf had been "reaped and waved" in
the heavenly Temple. This feast has been completely fulfilled in Christ.
Josephus says that the sheaf was of
barley and that until this ceremony had been performed, no harvest work
was to be done (Ant. 3.10.5).
see word study
Ryrie - First Fruits symbolized
the consecration of the entire harvest to God and was an earnest, or
pledge, of the full harvest yet to be gathered. See notes on 1Cor 15:20;
Jas 1:18; Rev. 14:4, as well as other NT uses in Ro 8:23; Ro 11:16; 1Cor.
Scofield - The Feast of
Firstfruits, Lev 23:10-14 is typical of resurrection first, of Christ,
then of those who are His at His coming (1Cor 15:23; 1Th 4:13-18).
23:11 'He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the
day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. (Lev 9:21 10:14
The feast of first fruits
celebrated for Israel the new harvest in the land and their deliverance
from Egypt. This foreshadows the resurrection of Christ: (1Cor 15:20,
23). The feast occurred on the “day after the Sabbath” (Lev 23:11), the
first day of the week, even as Christ was raised on the first day of the
week. Like the feast of first fruits, the resurrection of Christ
anticipates the harvest which is to follow, the resurrection of the
saints. When the priest on the day of Christ’s resurrection waved the
sheaf of first fruits in the Temple, it was before a torn veil and
was but an antiquated form, for the substance had come and the shadow
had passed away. Joseph’s empty tomb proclaimed that the great first
fruit sheaf had been reaped and waved in the heavenly Temple. This feast
of first fruits has been completely fulfilled in Christ. The first sheaf
at the Passover was presented by the congregation before the
commencement of the grain harvest (Lev 23:10–11). Josephus says that the
sheaf was of barley and that until this ceremony had been performed, no
harvest work was to be done (Ant. 3.10.5).
The feast of the wave loaves (Lev 23:15), coming exactly 50 days
after the feast of first fruits, without question foreshadowed the day
of Pentecost at which time the two loaves, typical of Gentiles and
Israel, are united into one body, the church (Ep 2:14). It does not have
special Christological significance, however, except as a result of the
work of Christ.
23:12 'Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb
one year old without defect for a burnt offering to the LORD. (Lev
1:10 Heb 10:10-12 1Pe 1:19)
23:13 'Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour
mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the LORD for a soothing aroma, with
its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine. (grain:
Lev 2:14-16 14:10 Nu 15:3-12)(drink: Ex 29:40,41 30:9 Nu 28:10 Joel
1:9,13 2:14) (fourth: Ex 30:24 Eze 4:11 45:24 46:14)
23:14 'Until this same day, until you have brought in the offering of your
God, you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth. It is
to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling
places. (eat: Lev 19:23-25 25:2,3 Ge 4:4,5 Jos 5:11,12)
(it shall be: Lev 3:17 10:11 Dt 16:12 Ne 9:14 Ps 19:8)
signifies coming into near, intimate
proximity of another [in Leviticus into intimate proximity with
Jehovah!] - Does this root
verb not help us discern the picture of "offering?")
is a masculine noun which means that which is brought near (the altar),
thus referring to an offering. Thus quoban/korban was a general term
used for all Israelite sacrifices, offerings,
or oblations. It is used in a variety of offerings in Leviticus.
23:15 'You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath,
from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there
shall be seven complete sabbaths. (Lev 23:10,11 Lev 25:8 Ex
34:22 Dt 16:9,10)
FEAST OF WEEKS
HARVEST OF PENTECOST
Feast of Weeks (Ex 23:16; 34:22;
Lev 23:15-21; Nu 28:26-31; Dt 16:9-12) took place 50 days after the barley
harvest, and involved new grain offerings to the Lord. Pentecost speaks of
the descent of the Holy Spirit after Christ’s ascension and signals the
bringing together of Jews and Gentiles into one new body the Church.
Pentecost is also called the
feast of weeks (Ex. 34:22; Deut. 16:10,16; 2Chr 8:13), the feast of
harvest (Ex. 23:16), and the day of firstfruits (Nu 28:26; cp Ex. 23:16;
34:22; Lev. 23:17)
Freeman - The Feast of Harvest is
sometime called the Feast of Weeks, because of the seven weeks; by
which its time was determined. Dt 16:9, 10. It is also called the Day of
First-fruits, (Nu 28:26) because on that day the first loaves made from
the wheat harvest were offered to the Lord. Its later name was
Pentecost, because it occurred fifty days after Passover. These fifty
days begin with the offering of the first sheaf of the barley harvest
during Passover week, (Lev. 23:10,) and ended with the Feast of Harvest.
This feast took place after the corn harvest, and before the vintage.
Its design was primarily to give an expression of gratitude to God for the
harvest which had been gathered; but the Jews assert, that in addition to
this, it was intended to celebrate the giving of the law on Sinai, which
took place fifty days after the Passover. Maimonides says that the reason
why the feast occupied but one day was because that was all the time
occupied .m giving the law. On this day the people rented from all labor.
Two loaves, made of the new wheat, were offered before the Lord. These
were leavened, in distinction to the Passover bread, which was unleavened.
Lev. 23:17. The Jews say that this was because the Passover was a memorial
of the haste in which they departed from Egypt, when they had not time to
get their bread leavened ; while the Feast of Harvest was a token of
thankfulness to God for their ordinary food. In addition to this offering
of the loaves, every per son was required to bring in a basket a portion
of the first-fruits of the earth, and offer it unto the Lord. Dt. 26:1-10.
At the same time there was a burnt offering of seven young lambs, one
young bullock, and two rams. A kid was given as a sin-offering, and two
young lambs for a peace offering. Lev. 23:18. 19. (Manners
and Customs 1875)
23:16 'You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh
you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD. (Ac 2:1)
Fifty days - The Lord "came
down" at Sinai on the 50th day after the first Passover (Ex 12:6;
19:1,11), just as the Holy Spirit came down fifty days after Christ's
crucifixion (Acts 1:3,4; 2:1-4)
Scofield - The Feast of Weeks, a
harvest feast known as Pentecost, Lev 23:15 - 22. The antitype is the descent
of the Holy Spirit to form the Church. For this reason yeast is present,
because there is evil in the Church (Mt 13:33; Acts 5:1-10; 15:1).
Observe, it is now loaves; not a sheaf of separate growths loosely bound
together, but a real union of particles making one homogeneous body. The
descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost united the separate disciples into
one organism (1Cor 10:16-17; 12:12-13,20). Pentecost took place fifty days
after the offering of the firstfruits, coming at about the beginning of
23:17 'You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a
wave offering, made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of a fine
flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the LORD.
(two wave: Nu 28:26) (leaven: Lev 7:13 Mt 13:33)(firstfruits:
Lev 23:10 Ex 22:29 23:16,19 34:22,26 Nu 15:17,19-21 Dt 26:1,2 Pr 3:9,10 Ro
8:23 1Co 15:20 Jas 1:18 Rev 14:4)
Scofield - The wave loaves were
offered fifty days after the wave sheaf. This is precisely the period
between the resurrection of Christ and the formation of the Church at
Pentecost by the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4; 1Cor 12:12-13).
See Church (Mat 16:18; Heb 12:23, note). With the wave sheaf no yeast was
offered, for there was no evil in Christ; but the wave loaves, typifying
the Church, are "baked with yeast," for in the Church there is still evil.
from bakar = to bear new fruit, to constitute as first-born)
means the first-fruits of the crop. This Hebrew word occurs only in the
masculine plural (cf "-im" ending) and refers especially to the
first products of grain and fruit, (bread, Ex 23:16; grapes, Nu 13:20;
figs, Nah 3:12), a portion of which were to be given to the Lord as a
thank offering and for the support of the priesthood (cf Lev 2:14; Nu
18:12-13). The first use in Exodus refers to the "Feast of the Harvest
of the first-fruits."
translates bikkurim in most of
the OT uses with the noun protogenema which means means
Bikkurim is translated in
NAS as early ripened things(2), first fruits(12), first
ripe(1), first ripe fruits(1), ripe fruit(1).
Bikkurim - 15v - Ex 23:16, 19;
34:22, 26; Lev 2:14; 23:17, 20; Nu 13:20; 18:13; 28:26; 2Kgs 4:42; Neh
10:35; 13:31; Ezek 44:30; Nah 3:12
23:18 'Along with the bread you shall present seven one year old male lambs
without defect, and a bull of the herd and two rams; they are to be a
burnt offering to the LORD, with their grain offering and their drink
offerings, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.
(lambs: Lev 23:12,13 Nu 28:27-31 Mal 1:13,14)(their: Nu
Seven one year old male lambs
without defect - Just think of how costly this would have been in an
agrarian society that depended heavily on the animals that were raised.
One wonders if the "seven" might not have some symbolism (completeness),
but we have to be very careful when invoking "numerology," unless the
context or cross references give us clear guidance in interpretation,
lest our interpretation become too "fanciful."
23:19 'You shall also offer one male goat for a sin offering and two male
lambs one year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings. (one
male goat: Lev 4:23-28 16:15 Nu 15:24 28:30 Ro 8:3 2Co 5:21)(lambs:
Lev 3:1-17 Lev 7:11-18)
23:20 'The priest shall then wave them with the bread of the first fruits for
a wave offering with two lambs before the LORD; they are to be holy to the
Lord for the priest. (wave them: Lev 23:17 7:29,30 Ex
29:24 Lk 2:14 Eph 2:14)(holy to: Lev 7:31-34 Lev 8:29 10:14,15 Nu
18:8-12 Dt 18:4 1Co 9:11)
23:21 'On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well; you are to
have a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be a
perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.
(proclamation: Lev 23:2,4 Ex 12:16 Dt 16:11 Isa 11:10)(statute:
Lev 23:14 Ge 17:7 Ex 12:17 Nu 18:23)
23:22 'When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap
to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest;
you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the LORD your
God.' (Lev 19:9,10 Dt 16:11-14 Dt 24:19-21 Ru
2:3-7,15,16-23 Job 31:16-21 Ps 41:1-3 Ps 112:9 Pr 11:24,25 Isa 58:7,8,10
Lk 11:41 2Co 9:5-12)
A wonderful example of Old Testament
LAWS ON REAPING
GOD'S WELFARE PROGRAM
23:23 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
23:24 "Speak to
the sons of Israel, saying, 'In the seventh month on the first of the
month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of
trumpets, a holy convocation. (seventh: Nu 10:10 Nu
29:1-6 1Chr 15:28 2Chr 5:13 Ezra 3:6 Ps 81:1-4 Ps 98:6 Isa 27:13 1Co 15:52
FEAST OF TRUMPETS
HCSB - "Tell the Israelites: In
the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you are to have a day
of complete rest, commemoration and jubilation-- a sacred assembly.
NET "Tell the Israelites, 'In
the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you must have a
complete rest, a memorial announced by loud horn blasts, a holy
NJB 'Speak to the Israelites and
say: "The first day of the seventh month will be a day of rest for you,
of remembrance and acclamation, a sacred assembly.
Young's Literal 'Speak
unto the sons of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first of
the month, ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of shouting, a holy
In the seventh month on the first of
the month - First of
Tishri. The seventh month marked the end of Israel's agricultural
year and beginning of a new one (for it was the time they had "gathered
in the crops of the land" - Lev 23:39). It was a time when physical work
was considerably lessened, so that it provided a good time for some
"work" on their spirituality!
Have you set aside some times to
"cease striving" and to focus on God through His Word?
And the 3 Fall festivals were in some ways also more solemn than the
feasts in the Spring. In fact in modern Judaism, the time of the 3 Fall
feasts is known as "High Holidays" or "High Holy Days" or more properly
as "Days of Awe" (Yamin Noraim)
Mitch Glaser - The restrictions
were not as stringent as those on the weekly Sabbath or the Day of
Atonement, but regular duties and everyday jobs could not be carried
out. The preoccupations of daily life receded into the background as all
thoughts turned to the days ahead, to the coming Day of Atonement.
from shabath = to cease, desist, rest) most often meant a time to
rest, a special holiday, a day of rest, a Sabbath feast. Every used of
shabbathon is translated in the
with the noun
which means a ceasing from activity (an interruption) or a resting from
labor or carrying burdens (used by Jesus in Mt 11:29).
Shabbathon - 10v - translated in
NAS as complete rest(4), rest(4), sabbath observance(1),
sabbatical(1), solemn rest(1).
Exodus 16:23 then he said to them,
"This is what the LORD meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance
(Shabbathon), a holy sabbath (shabbath) to the LORD. Bake what you will
bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to
be kept until morning."
Exodus 31:15 'For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day
there is a sabbath (shabbath) of complete rest, holy to
the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put
Exodus 35:2 "For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you
shall have a holy day, a sabbath (shabbath) of complete rest
to the LORD; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death.
Leviticus 16:31 "It is to be a sabbath (shabbath) of solemn
rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent
Leviticus 23:3 'For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day
there is a sabbath (shabbath) of complete rest, a holy
convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath (shabbath) to
the LORD in all your dwellings.
24 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'In the seventh month on the
first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing
of trumpets, a holy convocation.
32 "It is to be a sabbath (shabbath) of complete rest to you, and
you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from
evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath (shabbath)."
39 'On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have
gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the
LORD for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest
on the eighth day.
Leviticus 25:4 but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath
(shabbath) rest, a sabbath (shabbath) to the LORD; you shall not
sow your field nor prune your vineyard.
5 'Your harvest's after growth you shall not reap, and your grapes of
untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a
Reminder (memorial) (02146)(zikkaron
from zakar = to remember) means a memorial, a remembrance (with
an implication of honor, worship, and celebration), a record, a
reminder. That by which the memory of a person or thing is preserved.
Something that keeps remembrance vivid. A memorial is a monument,
statue, holiday, or ritual that serves as a remembrance or reminder of a
person or an event. The Feast of the Passover was a memorial of God’s
sparing the firstborn of the Israelites in Egypt and of Israel’s
deliverance from Egyptian bondage (Ex. 12:14). Twelve stones served to
remind Israel of God's bringing them into the Promised Land (Josh 4:7,
cp Josh 4:9) The two engraved stones upon the shoulder pieces of
the high priest’s ephod were stones of memorial (Ex. 28:12 cp names
engraved upon the jewels of breastplate Ex 28:29). In Numbers
5:15, the sacrifice in the case of jealousy was called a memorial
because it brought iniquity to remembrance! Zikkaron also referred to a
record as a memorial or thing to be remembered (Ex. 17:14; Mal. 3:16).
Another Hebrew word for
translates azkarah with the
noun mnemosunon - a memorial (that by which the memory of any
person or thing is preserved) and so a remembrance. It also speaks of
something that is done that causes someone not to be forgotten (I
wonder how often in the day I "forget" God?)
(Mt 26:13) Mnemosunon is also used of prayers recorded or kept in
mind by God. “Your (Peter, context - Acts 10:1-3) prayers and alms have
ascended as a memorial before God" (Acts 10.4) Vine
adds that mnemosunon "denotes "a memorial," that which keeps
alive the memory of someone or something (from mnemon,
"mindful"), Matthew 26:13; Mark 14:9; Acts 10:4. (Memorial
- Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words)
Note that in many of the uses, this
reminder does not refer simply to a recollection of something, but to a
recollection or recall which affects one's present feelings, thoughts
and actions! As an aside
how often do you (I) pause to "count" (recollect) our blessings (those
things in our life where we experienced the Lord's hand in a powerful
way, be it a deliverance from danger or distress or a sense of His
comforting presence and power?
O dear God, help our short
memories of Your abundant lovingkindnesses, goodness and graces in and
through Christ. Amen
Memorial - That which preserves
the memory of something; any thing that serves to keep in memory. A
monument is a memorial of a deceased person, or of an event. The Lord’s
supper is a memorial of the death and sufferings of Christ. Any note or
hint to assist the memory. (Webster-1828) Manser adds that a memorial is
"An object, institution or custom established or founded as a reminder
of an important person or event held to be worth remembering in the life
of the community." (Dictionary of Bible Themes)
Zikkaron - 22v - translated in NAS - memorable sayings(1),
memorial(12), records(1), remembrance(4), reminder(5), sign(1).
Exodus 12:14 'Now this day (Passover)
will be a memorial (Lxx = mnemosunon = a memorial, of what
is done that causes someone to not be forgotten) to you, and you shall
celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are
to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.
Exodus 13:9 "And it (observance of the feast of unleavened bread - it
was not actual hand or forehead reminders -- although such was the case
in De 6:8, 11:18) shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a
reminder (Lxx = mnemosunon = a memorial, of what is done that
causes someone to not be forgotten) on your forehead, that the law of
the LORD may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the LORD brought
you out of Egypt.
Exodus 17:14 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this in a book as a
memorial (Lxx = mnemosunon = a memorial, of what is done that
causes someone to not be forgotten) and recite it to Joshua, that I will
utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven."
Exodus 28:12 "You shall put the two stones on the shoulder pieces of the
ephod, as stones of memorial for the sons of Israel, and Aaron
shall bear their names before the LORD on his two shoulders for a
memorial (Lxx = mnemosunon = a memorial, of what is done that
causes someone to not be forgotten).
29 "Aaron shall carry the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece
of judgment over his heart when he enters the holy place, for a
memorial before the LORD continually.
Exodus 30:16 "You shall take the atonement money from the sons of Israel
and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it may be
a memorial (Lxx = mnemosunon = a memorial, of what is done
that causes someone to not be forgotten) for the sons of Israel before
the LORD, to make atonement for yourselves."
Exodus 39:7 And he placed them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod, as
memorial stones for the sons of Israel, just as the LORD had
Leviticus 23:24 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'In the seventh
month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder
(Lxx = mnemosunon = a memorial, of what is done that causes
someone to not be forgotten) by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.
Numbers 5:15 the man shall then bring his wife to the priest, and shall
bring as an offering for her one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he
shall not pour oil on it nor put frankincense on it, for it is a grain
offering of jealousy, a grain offering of memorial (zikkaron), a
reminder (zakar) of iniquity.
18 'The priest shall then have the woman stand before the LORD and let
the hair of the woman's head go loose, and place the grain offering of
memorial in her hands, which is the grain offering of jealousy,
and in the hand of the priest is to be the water of bitterness that
brings a curse.
Numbers 10:10 "Also in the day of your gladness and in your appointed
feasts, and on the first days of your months, you shall blow the
trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your
peace offerings; and they shall be as a reminder of you before
your God. I am the LORD your God."
Numbers 16:40 as a reminder (Lxx = mnemosunon = a
memorial, of what is done that causes someone to not be forgotten) to
the sons of Israel that no layman who is not of the descendants of Aaron
should come near to burn incense before the LORD; so that he will not
become like Korah and his company-- just as the LORD had spoken to him
Numbers 31:54 So Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold from the
captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it to the tent of
meeting as a memorial (Lxx = mnemosunon = a memorial, of
what is done that causes someone to not be forgotten) for the sons of
Israel before the LORD.
Joshua 4:7 then you shall say to them, 'Because the waters of the Jordan
were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed
the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.' So these stones
shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever."
Nehemiah 2:20 So I answered them and said to them, "The God of heaven
will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build,
but you have no portion, right or memorial (Lxx = mnemosunon
= a memorial, of what is done that causes someone to not be forgotten)
Esther 6:1 During that night the king could not sleep so he gave an
order to bring the book of records, the chronicles, and they were
read before the king.
Job 13:12 "Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, Your
defenses are defenses of clay.
Ecclesiastes 1:11 There is no remembrance (Lxx = mneme = memory,
recollection) of earlier things (context of Eccl 1:3-11 focuses on human
achievement = earlier things); And also of the later things which will
occur, There will be for them no remembrance Among those who will
come later still.
Ecclesiastes 2:16 For there is no lasting remembrance (Lxx =
mneme = memory, recollection) of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch
as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and
the fool alike die!
Comment: This raw truth should
make us all the more diligent to redeem the time and store up for
ourselves treasures in heaven rather than treasures on earth, for the
world is passing away and even its lusts (strong desires).
Isaiah 57:8 "Behind the door and the doorpost You have set up your
sign (Lxx = mnemosunon = a memorial, of what is done that causes
someone to not be forgotten); Indeed, far removed from Me, you have
uncovered yourself, And have gone up and made your bed wide. And you
have made an agreement for yourself with them, You have loved their bed,
You have looked on their manhood.
Zechariah 6:14 "Now the crown will become a reminder in the
temple of the LORD to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen the son of
Malachi 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and
the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance
(Lxx = mnemosunon = a memorial, of what is done that causes
someone to not be forgotten) was written before Him for those who fear
the LORD and who esteem His name.
Blowing [of trumpets] (see word
study on "blowing" below) - NET Note - Although the term for "horn"
does not occur here, allowing for the possibility that vocal "shouts" of
acclamation are envisioned...the "blast" of the shofar (a trumpet made
from a ram's "horn") is most likely what is intended. On this occasion,
the loud blasts on the horn announced the coming of the new year on the
first day of the seventh month.
Holy convocation - Not just any
assembly but a holy (qodesh; Lxx -
assembly, one set apart from what is profane and common.
is an assembly of persons. Convocation is from Latin com = together and
vocare = to call.
This instruction in Lev 23:24 is
amplified in the book of Numbers...
Now in the seventh month, on the first
day of the month, you shall also have a holy convocation; you shall do
no laborious work. It will be to you a day for blowing trumpets (Heb = =
blowing, no definite word for "trumpets" in Hebrew. Lxx has "hemera
onmasia" = "a day of shouting"). 2 ‘And you shall offer a burnt
offering as a soothing aroma to the LORD: one bull, one ram, [and] seven
male lambs one year old without defect; 3 also their grain offering,
fine flour mixed with oil, three-tenths [of an] [ephah] for the bull,
two-tenths for the ram, 4 and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs. 5
‘And [offer] one male goat for a sin offering, to make atonement for
you, 6 besides the burnt offering of the new moon, and its grain
offering, and the continual burnt offering and its grain offering, and
their libations, according to their ordinance, for a soothing aroma, an
offering by fire to the LORD. (Nu 29:1-6)
“Also in the day of your gladness and
in your appointed feasts, and on the first [days] of your months, you
shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the
sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be as a reminder of
you before your God. I am the LORD your God.” (Nu 10:10)
Comment: Note that the beginning
of every month was signaled by the blowing of a trumpet. And why? The
text says so that they might be remembered before God!
Dennis Cole explains the phrase
"as a reminder of you before your God": Whole burnt offerings for
consecrative atonement and peace offerings for community celebration
were accompanied by the long blast of the silver trumpets during the
pilgrimage festivals of Passover, Pentecost (Shavuoth), and tabernacles
(Booths), and during the monthly New Moon rites. In the context of
battle, the trumpets served as a prayer by which the covenant
relationship between God and Israel was invoked, and thus they reminded
soldiers that God remembers and delivers his people. (The battle context
is echoed in the war of Abijah vs. Jeroboam I [2Chr 13:12–18]. Victory
came as they relied on the Lord for the victory rather than on their
military prowess.) The covenant themes of remembrance, deliverance, and
blessing provide continuity with other portions of the Pentateuch. These
themes appear from Noah (Gen 8:1; 9:1–17), to Abraham (Ge 19:29), to
Rachel (Ge 30:22), to the Israelites in Egypt (Ex 2:24), and even into
the realm of exile (Lev 26:40–45). The connection between festival
rejoicing and battling against one’s enemies echoes the words of the
covenant reiteration in Ex 34:22–24. The concluding phrase of the Sinai
cycles, “I am Yahweh your God,” sets forth in profoundly plain terms the
sovereignty of God over the nation. As Harrison notes, “He is the
supreme Lord and ruler of His people Israel. The nation is the visible
expression of His existence, personality, and saving power. Without Him
they are meaningless, but they have been chosen specifically out of His
abundant love to be a witness to the surrounding nations because of
their constitution as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exod
19:6).” (New American Commentary - Numbers)
Josephus describes the
trumpets that Moses instructed Israel to blow...
He (Moses) also invented a kind of
trumpet, making it of silver, and it is as follows: it had a length a
little short of a cubit; it is a narrow tube, a little thicker than a
flute, and having a width sufficient for the mouthpiece for the
reception of breath, terminating in a bell very similarly to trumpets.
It is called asosra in the tongue of the Hebrews. (Flavius Josephus:
Translation and Commentary, Volume 3: Judean Antiquities Books 1-4)
A reminder by blowing of trumpets (Literally = "a
memorial of shouting") - As noted "of trumpets" is added
by the translators. However, the
translates the Hebrew text
with the noun salpigx which is the Greek word for a
trumpet. This same Greek word is first used Exodus 19, the blowing
of this trumpet being associated with "thunder and
lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain (Mt Sinai) and a
very loud trumpet sound." (Ex 19:16, cp Ex 19:19, 20:18)
The Hebrew word for "trumpet" in Ex 19:16 is shophar
(07782). Therefore it would be reasonable to translate Lev 23:34 by
adding the phrase "of trumpets" which is most likely an
allusion to the blowing of the shophar . There is however one
-- There is another word translated "trumpet" = hasosra
- click for all uses] and
it is also translated in the Lxx with salpigx. However,
this Hebrew word is not used in Exodus or Leviticus so it is probably
not the trumpet intended in Lev 23:24. The only use of the Hebrew
word for shophar in Leviticus is found in Leviticus 25:9 in a
reference to the Day of Atonement in the context of the
Year of Jubilee.
(Don't miss this "expression
of time" - Always ask
"When is then?" Answer - Read Lev 25:8) sound a ram’s horn (shophar;
Lxx = salpigx = Greek for trumpet) abroad on the
tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound
a horn all through your land.
from rua = to shout, raise a
sound, cry out) refers to a shout or blast denoting war, alarm or joy.
William White - There are four
distinct senses in which (teruah) is used. It is used for "signal"
(Lev 25:9), the "sound of the trumpet" for the blowing of the
shofar on the day of atonement. It is used for "alarm" as in case
of attack (Joshua 6:5; Jeremiah 4:19). In addition, it is used for the
trumpet in the tumult of the battle, (Amos 2:2). Lastly, the noun
is used for the exultation of praise to God, (Psalm 150:3).
Wordbook of the Old Testament)
Baker on teruah - A
feminine noun indicating a shout of joy; a shout of alarm, a battle cry.
It refers to a loud, sharp shout or cry in general, but it often
indicates a shout of joy or victory (1 Sam. 4:5, 6); a great shout
anticipating a coming event (Josh. 6:5, 20). It can refer to the noise
or signal put out by an instrument (Lev. 23:24; 25:9). Amos used the
word to refer to war cries (Amos 1:14; 2:2; cf. Job 39:25; Zeph. 1:16).
The Lord puts shouts of joy into His people (Job 8:21; 33:26). (The
Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament)
Teruah - 32v translated in NAS
as - alarm(5), battle cry(2), blowing(1), blowing trumpets(1), joy(1),
joyful sound(1), resounding(1), shout(10), shout of alarm(1), shout of
joy(1), shouted(1), shouting(4), shouts of joy(1), signal(1), trumpet
blast(1), war cries(2), war cry(1).
Leviticus 23:24 "Speak to the sons of
Israel, saying, 'In the seventh month on the first of the month you
shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy
Numbers 10:5 "But when you blow (Lxx = salpizo =
blow a trumpet) an alarm, the camps that are pitched on the east side
shall set out. 6 "When you blow an alarm the second time, the
camps that are pitched on the south side shall set out; an alarm is to
be blown for them to set out.
Numbers 23:21 "He has not observed misfortune in Jacob; Nor has He seen
trouble in Israel; The LORD his God is with him, And the shout of
a king is among them.
Numbers 29:1 'Now in the seventh month, on the first day of the month,
you shall also have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work.
It will be to you a day for blowing trumpets.
Numbers 31:6 Moses sent them, a thousand from each tribe, to the war,
and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war with them, and
the holy vessels and the trumpets for the alarm (Lxx =
onmasia = signal, shouting) in his hand.
Joshua 6:5 "It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram's
horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall
shout with a great shout (Lxx = anakrazo = cry out, Mk
1:23, Lk 23:18); and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the
people will go up every man straight ahead."
Joshua 6:20 So the people shouted, and
priests blew the trumpets; and when the people heard the sound of the
trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout (Lxx = alalage
= loud noise or sound) and the wall fell down flat, so that the people
went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city.
1 Samuel 4:5 As the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp,
all Israel shouted with a great shout (Lxx = phone =
sound), so that the earth resounded. 6 When the Philistines heard the
noise of the shout, they said, "What does the noise of this great
shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?" Then they understood that
the ark of the LORD had come into the camp.
2 Samuel 6:15 So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the
ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.
1 Chronicles 15:28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of
the LORD with shouting (Lxx = krauge = several voices speaking
loudly, shouting), and with sound of the horn, with trumpets, with
loud-sounding cymbals, with harps and lyres.
2 Chronicles 13:12 "Now behold, God is with us at our head and His
priests with the signal (Lxx = onmasia = signal,
shouting) trumpets to sound the alarm against you. O sons of
Israel, do not fight against the LORD God of your fathers, for you will
2 Chronicles 15:14 Moreover, they made an oath to the LORD with a loud
voice, with shouting (Lxx = phone = sound), with trumpets and
Ezra 3:11 They sang, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, saying,
"For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever." And all
the people shouted with a great shout (Lxx = phone = sound) when
they praised the LORD because the foundation of the house of the LORD
was laid. 12 Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers'
households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud
voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes,
while many shouted aloud for joy,13 so that the people could not
distinguish the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the
weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout,
and the sound was heard far away.
Job 8:21 "He will yet fill your mouth with laughter And your lips with
Job 33:26 Then he will pray to God, and He will accept him, That he may
see His face with joy, And He may restore His righteousness to
Job 39:25 "As often as the trumpet sounds he says, 'Aha!' And he scents
the battle from afar, And the thunder of the captains and the war cry.
Psalm 27:6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy (Lxx
= alalagmos =shouting); I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to
Psalm 33:3 Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of
joy (Lxx = alalagmos =shouting).
Psalm 47:5 God has ascended with a shout (Lxx =
alalagmos =shouting), The LORD, with the sound of a trumpet.
Psalm 89:15 How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound
(Lxx = alalagmos =shouting)! O LORD, they walk in the
light of Your countenance.
Psalm 150:5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding
(Lxx = alalagmos = shouting) cymbals.
Jeremiah 4:19 My soul, my soul! I am in anguish! Oh, my heart! My heart
is pounding in me; I cannot be silent, Because you have heard, O my
soul, The sound of the trumpet, The alarm (Lxx = krauge =
several voices speaking loudly) of war.
Jeremiah 20:16 But let that man be like the cities Which the LORD
overthrew without relenting, And let him hear an outcry in the morning
And a shout of alarm (Lxx = alalagmos =shouting) at
Jeremiah 49:2 "Therefore behold, the days are coming," declares the
LORD, "That I will cause a trumpet blast (Lxx = akoutizo =
cause to hear) of war to be heard Against Rabbah of the sons of Ammon;
And it will become a desolate heap, And her towns will be set on fire.
Then Israel will take possession of his possessors," Says the LORD.
Ezekiel 21:22 "Into his right hand came the divination, 'Jerusalem,' to
set battering rams, to open the mouth for slaughter, to lift up the
voice with a battle cry, to set battering rams against the
gates, to cast up ramps, to build a siege wall.
Amos 1:14 "So I will kindle a fire on the wall of Rabbah And it will
consume her citadels Amid war cries (Lxx = krauge =
several voices speaking loudly) on the day of battle, And a storm on the
day of tempest.
Amos 2:2 "So I will send fire upon Moab And it will consume the citadels
of Kerioth; And Moab will die amid tumult, With war cries
(Lxx = krauge = several voices speaking loudly) and the sound of
Zephaniah 1:16 A day of trumpet and battle cry (Lxx =
krauge = several voices speaking loudly) Against the fortified
cities And the high corner towers.
Feast of Trumpets (Rosh
Hashanah = "Head of the Year") (Lev 23:23-25; Nu 29:1-6) - Note that
neither the name "Feast of Trumpets" nor "Rosh Hashanah" are found in
Scripture, in contrast to other fall feasts such as "Day of Atonement"
and "Feast of Tabernacles. The name originates from the instruction "a
reminder by blowing" with the word "trumpets" (or shofar)
being implied (as explained above).
Shofar - The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia
Shofar—Call to Action - High Holidays
Shofar - 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
Shophar - Holman Bible Dictionary
Rams horns - The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And
Shofar - Wikipedia
Mitch Glaser, a Jewish believer,
and president of Chosen People Ministry, explains that "When the
Month of Tishri arrives, the feast of
Rosh Hashanah begins the sober countdown to Yom Kippur known
as the Ten Days of Awe. During these days, the Jewish people are
commanded by the rabbis to begin the process of repentance: “The Holy
One, blessed be He, said to Israel: Remake yourselves by repentance
during the ten days between New Year’s Day and the Day of Atonement, and
on the Day of Atonement I will hold you guiltless, regarding you as a
newly made creature” (Pesikta Rabbati 40:5)....The Ten Days of
Repentance conclude on the tenth of Tishri (Yom Kippur). A moving
confession of sins (the Viddui) is recited ten times on the Day of
Atonement to coincide with the tradition that the Temple high priest
pronounced the name of God ten times when he invoked divine pardon (Yoma
39b). Yom Kippur also recalls the Ten Commandments, which, according to
Jewish tradition, are personified and serve as advocates before the
supreme judge on behalf of the children of Israel. Judaism teaches that
on the first day of Tishri, the New Year, a heavenly judgment takes
place; the sentence for the coming year hangs in the balance during the
next ten days and is finally sealed on the Day of Atonement. During
these ten days, the religious often fast in contrition until noon,
except on the Sabbath and on the eve of Yom Kippur, days on which
fasting is prohibited. (The
Fall Feasts Of Israel- Mitch Glaser, Zhava Glaser)
The first day of the 7th month (Tishri)
marked the Feast of Trumpets, which included a Sabbath rest, the blowing of
trumpets, and a holy convocation. As as aside the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and
Feast of Tabernacles speak of events associated with the Second Coming of Christ.
This may be why these three Fall feasts are separated by a long interval
from the four Spring feasts.
FOLLOWING NOTES FROM
by Tracey R Rich
Judaism 101 says "Rosh
Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of
Tishri. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, "head
of the year" or "first of the year." Rosh Hashanah is
commonly known as the Jewish New Year. This name is somewhat
deceptive, because there is little similarity between Rosh Hashanah, one
of the holiest days of the year, and the American midnight drinking bash
and daytime football game. There is, however, one important similarity
between the Jewish New Year and the American one: Many Americans use the
New Year as a time to plan a better life, making "resolutions."
Likewise, the Jewish New Year is a time to begin introspection, looking
back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make
in the new year. More on this concept at Days of Awe (see
Another popular practice of the
Hashanah) is Tashlikh ("casting off"). We walk to
flowing water, such as a creek or river, on the afternoon of the first
day and empty our pockets into the river, symbolically casting off our
sins. Small pieces of bread are commonly put in the pocket to cast off.
This practice is not discussed in the Bible, but is a long-standing
custom. Tashlikh is normally observed on the afternoon of the first day,
before afternoon services. When the first day occurs on Shabbat, many
synagogues observe Tashlikh on Sunday afternoon, to avoid carrying (the
bread) on Shabbat." (Judaism
101- Rosh Hashanah)
Walter Kaiser comments on the "Casting
Off" of sins described above - "The last three verses of this book
(Micah 7:18-20) are linked with the book of Jonah for the afternoon
reading in the synagogue on Yom Kipper, the “Day of Atonement.” Once
every year, on Ros Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, the orthodox Jew goes
to a stream or river and symbolically empties his sins from his pockets
into the water as he recites Micah 7:18–20 (Micah
7:18-20 Commentary). This is the Tashlich service,
named after the word “You will cast.” (shalak) It symbolizes the
fact that God can and will take our sins, wash them down the streams of
running water and bury them deep in the depths of the ocean. God not
only forgives our sins, He also forgets them. If some object that God
cannot forget our sins if He is omniscient, let it be remembered that
what He does when He forgets our sins is remember them against us no
DAYS OF AWE
Days of Awe = The ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah and
ending with Yom Kippur are commonly known as the Days of Awe [Yamim
Noraim] or the Days of Repentance. This is a time for serious
introspection, a time to consider the sins of the previous year and
Yom Kippur. One of the ongoing themes
of the Days of Awe is the concept that G-d has "books" that he writes
our names in, writing down who will live and who will die, who will have
a good life and who will have a bad life, for the next year. These books
are written in on Rosh Hashanah, but our actions during the Days of Awe
can alter G-d's decree. The actions that change the decree are "teshuvah,
tefilah and tzedakah," repentance, prayer, good deeds (usually,
charity). These "books" are sealed on Yom Kippur. This concept of
writing in books is the source of the common greeting during this time
is "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year." Among the customs
of this time, it is common to seek reconciliation with people you may
have wronged during the course of the year. The Talmud maintains that
Yom Kippur atones only for sins between man and G-d. To atone for sins
against another person, you must first seek reconciliation with that
person, righting the wrongs you committed against them if possible. (Judaism
101- Days of Awe)
Another custom observed during this
time is kapparot. This is rarely practiced today, and is observed in
its true form only by Chasidic and occasionally Orthodox Jews.
Basically, you purchase a live fowl, and on the morning before Yom
Kippur you wave it over your head reciting a prayer asking that the fowl
be considered atonement for sins. The fowl is then slaughtered
and given to the poor (or its value is given). Some Jews today simply
use a bag of money instead of a fowl. Most Reform and Conservative Jews
have never even heard of this practice. (Judaism
101- Days of Awe)
M R De Haan comments related to
"Kapparot" - What is the future hope of those who rejecting Jesus
as Messiah—still have no temple, no priest, and no Yom Kippur sacrifice
to assure them of God’s mercy and forgiveness? Can they find assurance
in their repentance, prayer, and good deeds, hoping that God will
forgive? Moses said: "The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have
given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it
is the blood that makes atonement for the soul." (Lev. 17:11). After
the temple was destroyed in AD 70, the rabbis from the known world
gathered for a council—the Yavneh Council. Their purpose was to
decide the future of Jewish worship without priesthood or sacrifices.
The religious customs established at Yavneh are the basis of modern
rabbinic Judaism and have remained relatively unchanged over nearly
2,000 years. Rabbi Yochanan Ben-Zakkai, the most influential member of
the council and still a widely studied commentator, appears to have
exhibited little confidence in the new synagogue system’s ability to
save his soul from judgment. On his deathbed, the rabbi is quoted as
saying, “Now I am being led before the supreme King of Kings, the
Holy One, blessed be He, who lives and endures for ever and ever. If He
is angry with me, He is angry forever. If He imprisons me, He imprisons
me forever. If He puts me to death, He puts me to death forever. I
cannot persuade Him with words or bribe Him with money. Moreover, there
are two ways ahead of me: one leads to Paradise and the other to Hell,
and I do not know which one will take me. How can I do anything but
weep?” (B’rakhot 28b Talmud). Yet, in fulfillment of the Day of
Atonement, there is evidence declaring that God has not left us without
hope or atonement. He has not left us devoid of hope, without sacrifice,
or without a way of apprehending His mercy. In the pictures of the
Akeida, and in the pictures of the sin offering of Yom Kippur, we can
see the character and foreshadowing of God’s Messiah, our assurance of
salvation. These pictures are not just remarkable parallels or
coincidences. They are God’s revelation to Israel—and to all nations. (For
the complete discussion see booklet - The Holidays Of God- The Spring
Mitch Glaser comments on
the Kapparot - Another custom that was practiced by the masses but has
largely become a thing of the past (except among orthodox communities)
is the ritual of kapparot. In remembrance of the ancient Temple
sacrifice, a pious Jew would take a white fowl (a rooster for males and
a hen for females) and wave it over his head three times, while reciting
the following formula: “This is a substitute for me; this is in
exchange for me; this is my atonement. This cock (or hen) shall be
consigned to death, while I shall have a long and pleasant life and
peace.” The bird was then slaughtered and given to the poor or eaten
for the evening meal and its value contributed to the less fortunate.
Some religious modern-day Jews, while not actually performing this
ritual, nevertheless participate in a less bloody form: a handkerchief
with money tied in it is swung around the head three times while a
similar phrase is recited. The ceremony of kapparot is a
substitutionary sacrifice. That is precisely the reason learned
rabbis have opposed it through the ages. Faced with the immense
popularity of the tradition, yet knowing that the Bible forbade
sacrifice outside of the Temple, the rabbis attempted to limit and
control the similarities between the kapparot ceremony and the Temple
sacrifices. Nevertheless, in the minds of many pious Jews, the kapparot
filled the vacuum left by the destruction of the Temple. It points to
the continuing role of substitutionary atonement in Judaism. (Ed
comment: And this of course points to the Messiah, God in the flesh,
the perfect Passover Lamb [1Cor 5:7, 1Pe 1:18-19], the Lamb of God Who
takes away the sin of the world [Jn 1:29], and although He "knew no
sin," He was made to be "sin on our behalf" [Our Substitute = He died in
our place in time that we would not have to die in eternity], "that we
might become the righteousness of God in Him." [2Cor 5:21]) (The
Fall Feasts Of Israel- Mitch Glaser, Zhava Glaser)
23:25 'You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering
by fire to the LORD.'" (Lev 23:24-25, Num 29:1-6 Neh 8:2
23:26 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
23:27 "On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of
atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble
your souls and present an offering by fire to the LORD. (tenth:
Lev 16:29,30 Lev 25:9 Nu 29:7-11)(humble: Lev 16:31 Nu 29:7 Ezr
8:21 Ps 35:13 Isa 58:5 Da 10:2,3 Zec 12:10 Acts 2:37,38 2Co 7:10,11 Jas
4:9) (offering: Lev 16:11,15,24)
Day of Atonement
This shall be an everlasting statute
unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their
sins once a year. The Great Day of Atonement took place on the tenth day
of the seventh month, Tisri, corresponding to our October. It was a day of
great solemnity, especially designated and kept as a fast day, (see Lev
23:27; Nu 29:7 ; comp. Ps. 35:13 Isa. 58:5,) and in later times was known
by the name of The Fast. Acts 27:9. On this day the high priest, clad in
plain white linen garments, brought for himself a young bullock for a
sin-offering and a ram for a burnt-offering; and for the people two young
goats for a sin-offering, and a ram for a burnt-offering. The two goats
were brought before the door of the Tabernacle, and by the casting of lots
one was designated for sacrifice and the other for a scape-goat. The high
priest then slaughtered the bullock and made a sin-offering for himself
and family. He next entered the Most Holy Place for the first time,
bearing a censer with burning coals, with which he filled the place with
incense. Taking the blood of the slain bullock, he entered the Most Holy
Place the second time, and there sprinkled the blood before the
mercy-seat. He next killed the goat which was for the people s
sin-offering, and, entering the Most Holy Place the third time, sprinkled
its blood as he had sprinkled that of the bullock. Some of the blood of
the two animals was then put on the horns of the altar of incense, and
sprinkled on the altar itself. After this the high priest, putting his
hands on the head of the scape-goat, confessed the sins of the people, and
then sent him off into the wilderness. He then washed himself, and changed
his garments, arraying himself in the beautiful robes of his high office,
and offered the two rams as burnt-offerings for himself and for the
people. Lev 16. (Manners
and Customs 1875)
The "futility" of the Day of
Atonement - Ever since the destruction of the Jewish Temple by the
Romans in AD70, their required sacrifices have been arbitrarily
eliminated, so that the observance of this day can have no "atoning"
value for them in reality (See Hosea 3:4).
Following is adapted from M R De
Haan II - 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’” (Lev. 23:1-2).
With these words, the Lord of Israel established an annual cycle of
holidays that are still observed in Jewish communities all over the
world. Whether these communities are Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform;
whether they are Russian, Yemenite, or American, these feasts form a
common thread in global Jewish culture. In the Hebrew language, the word
for “My feasts,” pronounced mo-a-deem, literally means “appointed times”
or “appointed feasts.” In Jewish culture these “appointed times of the
Lord” are important for many reasons. These events, as listed in
Leviticus 23, are part of a national system of “time-outs.” Together
they provide weekly, monthly, and yearly rests from the common routines
of daily life. They also provide a preplanned schedule for reflection
and worship. These “holidays of God” are sacred convocations that
summoned a nation not only to the grandeur and majesty of the temple,
but also to quiet and simple worship in the home. Together these
“appointed times of the Lord” give every home, whether rich or poor, an
occasion to remember the holiness, power, and longsuffering love of the
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It’s important for us to understand,
however, that this cycle of holidays is not just about Jewish culture.
Even though they are linked to the harvest cycle of the land of Israel,
and even though the festival calendar is used to retell stories of
Jewish life and origins, these holidays provide a panorama of history
that has strong implications for all of the families of the earth. Seen
individually and together, these feasts paint a compelling picture of
the past, present, and future work of a Messiah who is the source of
life, hope, and peace for all the nations of the world.
As in the Spring Feasts, many Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus
share the conviction that the first phase of Messiah’s deliverance has
been recorded on the center page of human history. According to a group
of Jewish eyewitnesses, the plan of God was revealed during the holy
days of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Pentecost.
With a sudden turn of events, the first four feasts of Israel took on
the personality of a miracle worker who bore the marks of God’s Messiah.
On Passover, Jesus became the sacrificial Lamb whose blood marked all
who believe in Him for deliverance. During the Feast of Unleavened
Bread, He died to take away our sin and to give us, in the place of our
own efforts,the “bread” (life-sustaining provision) of His eternal
presence. On the Feast of Firstfruits, He arose from the dead to show
that it was by God’s power that He carried out our rescue. Then 50 days
later on the Feast of Pentecost (also known as the Feast of Weeks, or
Shavuot), Jesus sent His Spirit to show His presence with all who are
willing to stake their lives on Him.
Yom Kippur (literally "day of covering”) falls on the tenth day
of the month of Tishri and brings to a close the period of repentance
begun on Rosh Hashanah. On this national Day of Atonement, the high
priest of the temple used compelling and colorful ritual to show God’s
willingness to forgive the sins of the previous year. Seven days before
Yom Kippur, every effort was taken to ensure that the high priest was
kept in a state of ritual purity. On this day of days, he would undergo
five immersions and have an entourage of about 500 Levites with him
everywhere he went, to help guard him from anything that might render
him “unclean.” On every other day of the year, the high priest dressed
in his formal uniform, which included the golden crown, colorful robes,
a breastplate, and jewels inscribed with the names of the tribes of
Israel. On the Day of Atonement, however, he set aside his normal
splendor and wore only a white linen robe, which was symbolic of purity.
Because the Day of Atonement was a day of sacrifice, the high priest’s
white linen robe was soon spattered with blood. To atone for his own
sins, he sacrificed a bull before the Lord. Then to atone for the sins
of the nation, the high priest took two kid goats and cast lots to
determine their fate. Depending on how the lots fell, one of the goats
was sacrificed as a sin offering for the nation. When this sacrificial
goat was appointed, the high priest pronounced, “For Jehovah,” and the
throngs of worshipers would fall on their faces and call out, “Blessed
be the Name; the glory of His kingdom is forever and ever.” Then the
goat was slain. The other goat, known as the Azazel, or scapegoat,
became a second picture of national atonement. First the high priest
symbolically placed the sins of the nation on the head of the live goat.
He did this by laying both of his hands on the goat’s head while
confessing the sins of the people. Then, with the sins of the people on
the head of the goat, the high priest sent the Azazel off into the
wilderness. It was a dramatic picture of God’s willingness to separate
His people from their sins. In the second temple period (515 BC to AD
70), the scapegoat was led to a cliff and forced over the brink to make
sure it didn’t return. Then, only on this one day of the year, the high
priest risked his life to carry the blood of the sacrificed animal into
the Most Holy Place of the Lord’s house of worship. Going behind the
veil that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place, the high
priest entered the presence of God to sprinkle the blood of the
sacrifice on the golden Mercy Seat that covered the Ark of the Covenant.
If any aspect of the ritual was not fulfilled according to God’s
instructions (Lev. 16), the high priest could be struck dead. Only when
the high priest came out alive did the nation rejoice that for one more
year God had accepted the sacrifice for their sins. An additional fact
about the scapegoat is worth noting. In the second temple period, the
Talmud records that the Levites tied a scarlet thread of wool around a
horn of the Azazel. After the goat was driven off a cliff, witnesses
were sent to examine the thread. For centuries, this thread is reported
to have miraculously turned white, indicating that God had accepted
their sacrifice and forgiven the nation of Israel. It was believed that
this was in fulfillment of Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins are like
scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like
crimson, they shall be as wool.” The Jewish Talmud records, however,
that 40 years before the destruction of the second temple, the thread
ceased to turn white. Is it a mere coincidence that at the same time as
the death and resurrection of Jesus, around AD 30, the rabbis themselves
took note of the fact that the Most High began rejecting the Azazel
YOM KIPPUR: LOOKING BACK - Many believers of both Jewish and
Gentile origin see in the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement a
foreshadowing of a Messiah who would come to make atonement for our
sins. Many believe that Isaiah 53 speaks of this suffering Savior when
it says, “It pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He
shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in
His hand” (Isa 53:10). The message seems to be that our Messiah is
pictured as both the sin offering and the Azazel, carrying our sins off
into the wilderness of Gehenna (hell) so that our scarlet sins could be
white as snow, and so that our sins could be wiped away before the Judge
of all the earth. That God would accept a messianic sacrifice for sin is
still a difficult concept for Jewish people to believe. Yet the concept
of such a sacrifice is rooted in the Jewish theology of rabbinic
commentaries. The following quote comes from The Stone Edition: The
Chumash, “Why is the death of the righteous mentioned in conjunction
with the chapter of the Yom Kippur service? Because just as Yom Kippur
brings atonement, so the death of the righteous brings atonement.”
YOM KIPPUR: LOOKING WITHIN - What can Yom Kippur mean for us
today? For those who see that the sacrifice for our sins has been made
by God’s Messiah once and for all, the truth of Yom Kippur has great
meaning. We don’t look back fearfully at the comment of the Talmud that
the scarlet thread no longer turned white as proof of God’s forgiveness.
Instead, we can reflect back on an empty tomb and on the compelling
testimonies of the appearances of the One whose bodily resurrection
proved that the price for our sins has been paid in full and that we
have been accepted by God. Now we can confess, “Yes, I have gossiped.
Yes, I have had lust in my heart. Yes, I have been angry with my
brother. Yes, I have been arrogant. Yes, I withheld love from God and
sinned against Him in countless ways. Yes, I have withheld love from my
neighbors, and sinned against God by not giving others the consideration
I want for myself. Yes, I have sinned, but by the blood of His own
Messiah, the Father has paid the penalty.” As we have trusted Him, so He
has forgiven us. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is a day to be
mindful of our sin and the offering that was made on our behalf. It is a
day to be mindful—and grateful—for the grace afforded through the
perfect, everlasting sacrifice, Messiah Jesus.
YOM KIPPUR: LOOKING AHEAD The Day of Atonement also points us to
the future. On the heels of a last-days call to repentance there will be
a day of final reckoning for all who have not repented of their sins.
According to Hebrew prophets, in the last days there will be a great and
awesome Day of the Lord that will reveal the judgment that awaits those
who have not taken advantage of the atonement of God. Here we can let
the Scriptures speak for themselves. The Lord gives voice before His
army, for His camp is very great; for strong is the One who executes His
word. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; who can endure
it? . . . The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into
blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord (Joel
2:11,31). “Behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the
proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is
coming shall burn them up,” says the Lord of hosts, “that will leave
them neither root nor branch” (Mal. 4:1). No one can afford to be
“uncovered” or “unatoned for” on the final Yom Kippur. That day will be
inexpressibly hopeless for all those who have spent the days of their
lives resisting the evidence and claims of God’s Messiah! It will be the
kind of regret anticipated by the prophet Zechariah when he wrote: I
will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the
Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they
pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son,
and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there
shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad
Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family
by itself (Zech. 12:10-14). (For
the complete discussion see booklet - The Holidays Of God- The Spring
(03725)(kippur/kippurim) is a masculine plural noun which refers
to an act of reconciliation and is used to describe the Day of
Atonement. Swanson adds that kippurim refers to "an act. of ceremonially
accounting for wrong done in a covenantal relationship, which causes
forgiveness, pardon, and right relationship, which may have a possible
implication of appeasement or anger (Ex 29:36; 30:10, 16; Nu 5:8;
29:11)" and then adds that "the plural (kippurim) is a marker of a
Baker - Kippurim is used five
times to indicate the act or process of reconciliation: a young bull was
sacrificed each day for seven days during the ordination ceremony of
Aaron and his sons to make atonement (Ex. 29:36). Once a year, the blood
of a sin offering was used to make atonement on the horns of the altar
of incense located in front of the Holy of Holies (Ex. 30:10). Ransom
money of a half-shekel was used to effect atonement or reconciliation
for male Israelites who were at least twenty years old (Ex. 30:16). The
money was then used to service the Tent of Meeting. When a person had
wronged the Lord or another person, a ram was presented to the priest,
along with proper restitution (Num. 5:8); a sin offering for atonement
was presented yearly on the Day of Atonement (Num. 29:11). Three times
the noun is used to indicate the Day of Atonement itself (Lev. 23:27,
Gilbrant - This noun is derived
from the verb kāphar, "to make atonement." It is also attested in
Middle Hebrew and Jewish Aramaic. The noun is used to denote both the
sin offering and the Day of Atonement. The relationship of the sin
offering and the Day of Atonement is clear. The purpose of cleansing the
Temple of the accumulated sin of the priests is much the same process as
an offering for cleansing a person guilty of sin. The noun is used in
the context of sin offerings in three occurrences (Ex. 29:36; Nu 5:8;
29:11). It is used to denote the money collected in the course of taking
the census, a fee paid as ransom if the individual was not ritually
pure. The purpose of the census was usually military, and one needed to
be in a state of ritual purity to engage in military endeavor, for
Yahweh was in the camp, fighting for the Israelites, and one could not
threaten to contaminate His presence without suffering death. The noun
is used to refer to the Day of Atonement in four occurrences. The
purification of lamps on this day is mentioned (Ex 30:10). On this day,
the people were not to work, but to afflict themselves and make burnt
offerings to Yahweh (Lev. 23:27-28). The day, the tenth day of the
seventh month, was announced by a trumpet blast (Lev. 25:9). The purpose
of the rituals which filled this day was to purify the Temple. (Complete
Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary)
Yom Kippur - Wikipedia
Kippur - 8v - atonement
Exodus 29:36 "Each day you shall offer
a bull as a sin offering for atonement (kippur), and you shall
purify the altar when you make atonement (kaphar) for it, and you shall
anoint it to consecrate it.
Exodus 30:10 (Day of Atonement) "Aaron shall make atonement (kaphar) on
its horns once a year (Lev 16:18); he shall make atonement (kaphar) on
it with the blood of the sin offering of atonement once a year
throughout your generations. It is most holy to the LORD."
Exodus 30:16 "You shall take the atonement money from the sons of
Israel and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it
may be a memorial for the sons of Israel before the LORD, to make
atonement (kiphar) for yourselves."
Leviticus 23:27 (Day of Atonement) "On exactly the tenth day of this
seventh month is the day of atonement (yôm hakkippùrîm); it shall
be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and
present an offering by fire to the LORD. 28 "You shall not do any work
on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, (kippur) to make
atonement (kaphar) on your behalf before the LORD your God.
Leviticus 25:9 (Day of Atonement) 'You shall then sound a ram's
horn (Heb = shophar) abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on
the day of atonement (kippur) you shall sound a horn all through
Comment: This marks the
beginning of the Year of Jubilee, which is the year of liberty that
occurs after 49 years ("seven Sabbaths of years for yourself, seven
times seven years" Lev 25:8).
Numbers 5:8 'But if the man has no relative to whom restitution may be
made for the wrong, the restitution which is made for the wrong must go
to the LORD for the priest, besides the ram of atonement
(kippur), by which atonement (kaphar) is made for him.
Numbers 29:11 one male goat for a sin offering, besides the sin offering
of atonement (kippur) and the continual burnt offering and its grain
offering, and their drink offerings.
23:28 "You shall not do any work on this
same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf
before the LORD your God. (Lev 16:34 Isa 53:10 Da 9:24 Zec 3:9
Ro 5:10,11 Heb 9:12,26 Heb 10:10,14 1Jn 2:2 1Jn 4:10 1Jn 5:6)
This passage describes the Day of
Atonement which is described in detail in Leviticus 16. Here in
Leviticus 23, the stress is upon sorrow and repentance of Israel.
means to make atonement, to make reconciliation (to reconcile), to
purge, to make propitiation (to propitiate), to pacify, to cancel.
There are two main ideas regarding the
meaning of kapar - (1) Kapar means to cover over sin (2) A number
of resources however favor the idea that kapar means to wipe away. These
ideas are discussed more below.
Richards notes that "It is often
said that the idea expressed (in kapar) is one found in a possibly
related Arabic root that means “to cover or conceal.” Atonement
would then denote a covering that conceals a person’s sin
and makes it possible for him to approach God. Although this
relationship is possible, the language link is not at all certain. What
is certain is the role that atonement played in the religion of Israel—a
role given to atonement by God to carry a vital message about our
As might be surmised the verb kapar
is found most often in the Pentateuch, especially in Leviticus. In
Leviticus, kapar is especially prominent in Leviticus 16,
occurring 16 times in the great chapter that describes the annual Day of
Vine writes that "Most uses of
the theological meaning of “covering over,” often with the blood of a
sacrifice, in order to atone for some sin. It is not clear whether this
means that the “covering over” hides the sin from God’s sight or implies
that the sin is wiped away in this process."
Mounce writes that while
kapar can mean "to cover, to ransom, or to wipe
clean/purge, it is the last one that seems most appropriate in the OT."
(1) When kāpar is used in verses not connected with Israel’s
sacrificial system, it has the nuance of wiping something clean or
appeasing someone. Jacob attempts to appease Esau’s anger (i.e., to wipe
the anger off his face) by the enormous gift he has sent on ahead of his
actual encounter with him (Gen 32:20). Similarly, a wise man knows how
to wipe away a king’s wrath (Pr 16:14).
(2) In Israel’s religious ceremonies other than the Day of
Atonement, kāpar usually refers to God’s wiping away our sins
through various sacrifices (cf. Lev 1:4; 4:20, 26, 31). Note especially
the parallel lines of Jer 18:23: “Do not forgive their crimes or blot
out their sins from your sight.” To forgive sins is to blot them out and
wipe them clean. As Ps 65:3 attests, when we come to God overwhelmed by
our sins, God wipes them clean (KJV, “will purge them away”; NIV
“forgave”; cf. Ps 78:38 where "forgave" = kapar).
(3) As described in Lev 16 (kāpar occurs 16x), the Day of
Atonement was a day of purging sins from the holy sanctuary. All
throughout the year, the priest sprinkled the blood of sacrificial
animals in front of the curtain of the sanctuary (e.g., Lev 4:6) and
thus symbolically transferred the sins of God’s people into his Holy
Place. By the end of the year, that place was, as it were, filled up
with all their sins. Something had to be done in order to “clean house”;
this was the purpose of the Day of Atonement. Note how in the final
stage of this ceremony, the sins of God’s people were placed on the head
of the live goat, who then carried them far away into the desert, never
to be seen again. There was now “room” for another year’s worth of sin
in the Most Holy Place. Jesus, of course, has by his sacrifice taken
away our sins once for all (Heb 9–10). See NIDOTTE, 2:699–702. (Mounce’s
Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words)
The NET Bible Note (these are
usually very good, even if a bit technical) states that the primary
sense of the kapar is "to wipe [something off (or on)]"
(see esp. the goal of the sin offering, Lev 4, "to purge" the tabernacle
from impurities), but in some cases it refers metaphorically to "wiping
away" anything that might stand in the way of good relations by
bringing a gift (see, e.g., Ge 32:20, "to appease; to
pacify" as an illustration of this). The translation "make
atonement" has been retained in Leviticus 1:4 because, ultimately,
the goal of either purging or appeasing was to maintain a proper
relationship between the LORD (Who dwelt in the tabernacle) and
Israelites in whose midst the tabernacle was pitched.
Swanson defines kapar -
(1) (piel) make atonement, make
amends, pardon, release, appease, forgive, i.e., remove the guilt from a
wrongdoing for any length of time (Ex 29:36); (nitpael) atoned for (Dt
21:8); (pual) be atoned for (Ex 29:33; Nu 35:33; Pr 16:6; Isa 6:7;
22:14; 27:9); (hitp) allow for atonement (1Sa 3:14);
(2) (piel) ransom, i.e., pay an
amount of money as a gift, with a quid pro quo of so being allowed to
keep one’s freedom (Isa 47:11)
(3) (pual) be annulled, i.e.,
have a relationship or agreement broken (Isa 28:18); 4. LN 57.178–57.185
(4) pacify, give a gift,
formally, cover the face, i.e., give a gift of tribute which will
establish some level of relationship, possibly implying reconciliation
(Ge 32:20) (Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains :
Stephen Renn explains that "kapar
refers to the process by which the barrier between Yahweh and his people
may be removed, or appeasing God’s wrath. For his wrath is the
inevitable divine response to the violation of his law. This
“appeasement” is synonymous with the concept of “propitiation.” Divine
wrath is set aside, however, only if the sacrifice of atonement is
offered with a true sprit of repentance and sorrow for sin. Kapar means
“to make atonement,” and is almost exclusively confined to the context
of worship — where reconciliation with Yahweh is sought through
sacrificial offering. Kapar refers to sacrifices for the sins of
the priests (Lev 1:4); the Levites (Nu 8:12); the entire Israelite
community or nation (Lev 4:20; 10:17; Nu 8:19; 16:47; 1Chr 6:49; 2Ch.
29:24; Neh. 10:33); and the high priest (Lev. 9:7; 16:6ff.). The latter
passage is especially significant in that it involves the crucial
atoning sacrifices for the ritual leader of the nation as he prepares to
offer the sacrifice for the Israelite people on the Day of Atonement.
Septuagint - Lxx
translates every use of kapar in Leviticus with the verb
exilaskomai which means to propitiate, to make atonement, to
appease. Thayer says that exilaskomai is used "When one
endeavors to attain the goodwill of another, the word can be rendered,"
meaning to appease. We find such a sense in Ge 32:20 where Jacob seeks
to appease his brother Esau (whom he had cheated out of the blessing of
On the other hand, the
Septuagint - Lxx
translates every use of kapar in Exodus with the verb
which means to sanctify, set
apart, make holy.
Here are the cognate (related)
Atonement (03722) kapar
ATONEMENT — the act by which God
restores a relationship of harmony and unity between Himself and human
beings. The word can be broken into three parts that express this great
truth in simple but profound terms: “at-one-ment.” Through God’s atoning
grace and forgiveness, we are reinstated to a relationship of
at-one-ment with God, in spite of our sin....Although Old Testament
believers were truly forgiven and received genuine atonement through
animal sacrifice, the New Testament clearly states that during the Old
Testament period God’s justice was not served: “For it is not possible
that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Heb. 10:4).
Atonement was possible “because in His forbearance God had passed over
the sins that were previously committed” (Rom. 3:25). However, God’s
justice was served in the death of Jesus Christ as a substitute: “Not
with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered
the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption”
(Heb. 9:12). “And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new
covenant” (Heb. 9:15).(Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary)
ATONEMENT. The word ‘atonement’
is one of the few theological terms which derive basically from
Anglo-Saxon. It means ‘a making at one’, and points to a process
of bringing those who are estranged into a unity.....Its use in theology
is to denote the work of Christ in dealing with the problem posed by the
sin of man, and in bringing sinners into right relation with God. (New
ATONEMENT - The English word
atonement is derived from the two words “at onement” and denotes a state
of togetherness and agreement between two people. Atonement presupposes
two parties that are estranged, with the act of atonement being the
reconciliation of them into a state of harmony. The theological meaning
is the reconciliation between God and his fallen creation, especially
between God and sinful human beings. Atonement is thus a solution to the
main problem of the human race-its estrangement from God stemming from
the fall of Adam and Eve. (Dictionary of biblical imagery)
ATONEMENT - The root meaning in
English, “reparation,” leads to the secondary meaning of reconciliation,
or “at-one-ment,” the bringing together into harmony of those who have
been separated, enemies. (New International Bible Dictionary)
ATONEMENT In Christian thought,
the act by which God and man are brought together in personal
relationship. The term is derived from Anglo-Saxon words meaning “making
at one,” hence “at-one-ment.” It presupposes a separation or alienation
that needs to be overcome if human beings are to know God and have
fellowship with him. As a term expressing relationship, atonement is
tied closely to such terms as reconciliation and forgiveness. (Tyndale
ATONEMENT - Primarily in the Old
Testament, atonement refers to the process God established whereby
humans could make an offering to God to restore fellowship with God.
Such offerings, including both live and dead animals, incense, and
money, were required to remove the bad effects of human sin. (Atonement
- Holman Bible Dictionary)
English word - Appease =
To make quiet; to calm; to reduce to a state of peace; to still; to
pacify; as, to appease the tumult of the ocean, or of the passions; to
appease hunger or thirst. [This word is of a general application to
every thing in a disturbed, ruffled or agitated state.] (Webster -
English word - Propitiate
= To conciliate; to appease one offended and render him favorable; to
make propitious. PROPITIATION, 1. The act of appeasing
wrath and conciliating the favor of an offended person; the act of
making propitious. 2. In theology, the atonement or atoning sacrifice
offered to God to assuage his wrath and render him propitious to
sinners. (Webster - 1828)
English word - Atonement
= Agreement; concord; reconciliation, after enmity or controversy.
Expiation; satisfaction or reparation made by giving an equivalent for
an injury, or by doing or suffering that which is received in
satisfaction for an offense or injury; with for. In theology, the
expiation of sin made by the obedience and personal sufferings of
Christ. (Webster - 1828)
English word - Expiation -
The act of atoning for a crime; the act of making satisfaction for an
offense, by which the guilt is done away, and the obligation of the
offended person to punish the crime is canceled; atonement;
satisfaction. Among pagans and Jews, expiation was made chiefly by
sacrifices, or washings and purification. Among Christians, expiation
for the sins of men is usually considered as made only by the obedience
and sufferings of Christ. 2. The means by which atonement for crimes is
made; atonement; as sacrifices and purification among heathens, and the
obedience and death of Christ among Christians. 3. Among ancient
heathens, an act by which the threats of prodigies were averted.
(Webster - 1828)
John Walvoord in a discussion of atonement writes that "Etymologically
the English verb “to atone” and the noun “atonement” signify the process
and/or result of two estranged persons becoming “at one,” that is, in
agreement or reconciled. Biblically the word is used mainly in the OT to
describe the result of various Levitical animal sacrifices. “To atone”
is a translation of the Hebrew word kápar, “to cover,” and
signifies God's temporary dealing with the sins of His people Israel
corporately or individually. The sacrifices Israel offered anticipated
God's final and permanent dealing with human sin in the death of Jesus
Christ on the cross."
Resources on Atonement:
Atonement - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of
Atonement - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Atonement - Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
Atonement - American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
Atonement - Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
Atonement (2) - Hastings' Dictionary of the New
Atonement - Holman Bible Dictionary
Atonement - Watson's Biblical & Theological
Atonement - Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
Related Resources on Day of
Day of atonement - Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
Day of Atonement - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Day of Atonement- American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
Day of Atonement (Scroll down page) easts and Festivals of Israel
Day of Atonement - Holman Bible Dictionary
Day of Atonement - Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
Day of Atonement - Torrey's Topical Textbook
Day of Atonement - The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia
Baker writes that "At
its most basic level, kapar conveys the notion of covering but not in
the sense of merely concealing. Rather, it suggests the imposing of
something to change its appearance or nature. It is therefore employed
to signify the cancellation or “writing over” of a contract (Isa
28:18); the appeasing of anger (Ge 32:20; Pr. 16:14); and the
overlaying of wood with pitch so as to make it waterproof (Ge 6:14)
The word also communicates God’s covering of sin. (Ed: See R
Laird Harris' comments below on the concept of "covering"). Persons made
reconciliation with God for their sins by imposing something that would
appease the offended party (in this case the Lord) and cover the sinners
with righteousness (Ex. 32:30; Ezek. 45:17; cf. Da 9:24). In the Old
Testament, the blood of sacrifices was most notably imposed (Ex. 30:10).
By this imposition, sin was purged (Ps. 79:9; Isa. 6:7) and forgiven
(Ps 78:38). The offenses were removed, leaving the sinners clothed in
righteousness (cf. Zech. 3:3, 4). Of course, the imposition of the blood
of bulls and of goats could
never fully cover our sin (see Heb 10:4-note),
but with the coming of Christ and the imposition of His shed blood, a
perfect atonement was made (Ro 5:9–11-note).
Kapar is translated -
appease(1), appease*(1), atone(3), atoned(2), atonement is made(1),
atonement shall be made(1), atonement was made(1), atoning(1),
canceled(1), expiation can be made(1), forgave(1), forgive(4),
forgiven(5), made atonement(3), make atonement(71), makes atonement(2),
making atonement(1), pardon(1).
Kapar - 94v - Ge
6:14 Ge 32:20; Exodus 29:33, 36,37; Ex 30:10, 15, 16; 32:30; Leviticus
1:4; 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:6, 10, 13, 16, 18; 6:7, 30; 7:7; 8:15, 34; 9:7;
10:17; 12:7, 8; Leviticus 14:18-21, 29, 31, 53; 15:15, 30; Leviticus
16:6, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 20, 24, 27, 30, 32, 33,34; 17:11; 19:22;
23:28; Nu 5:8; 6:11; 8:12, 19, 21; 15:25, 28; 16:46f; 25:13; 28:22, 30;
29:5; 31:50; 35:33; Deut 21:8; 32:43; 1Sa 3:14; 2Sa 21:3; 1Chr 6:49;
2Chr 29:24; 30:18; Neh 10:33; Ps 65:3; 78:38; 79:9; Pr 16:6, 14; Isa
6:7; 22:14; 27:9; 28:18; 47:11; Jer 18:23; Ezek 16:63; 43:20, 26; 45:15,
17, 20; Da 9:24
Gen 6:14 "Make for yourself an ark of
gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover (kapar)
it inside and out with pitch (koper)."
The NAS Concordance does not
list Ge 6:14 for the classic sense of to atone or make atonement and
distinguishes the use of kapar there as a different word than the other
93 uses in the OT. The following note by Harris attempts to explain the
logic, but I must confess (not being a Hebrew scholar) that is a
difficult, somewhat technical point.
R Laird Harris (TWOT) feels that
the Hebrew verb kapar used here in Ge 6:14 while having the same
spelling as the uses of kapar in the following passages, is a separate
and distinct Hebrew word with a different derivation. Harris explains
that "This denominative verb (kapar) is used only in Ge 6:14 in
the waterproofing of the ark. The cognate word is used in the Babylonian
Harris goes on distinguish
between kapar as used in Ge 6:14 and kapar as used in the
93 other OT verses beginning in Ge 32:30 below explaining that kapar (as
used in Ge 32:20, Lev 1:4, etc, etc - see all uses below) "should
probably be distinguished from kapar “to smear with pitch" (the sense of
the word in Ge 6:14)." Harris goes on to explain that "There is an
equivalent Arabic root meaning “cover,” or “conceal.” On the strength of
this connection it has been supposed that the Hebrew word means “to
cover over sin” and thus pacify the deity, making an atonement (so
Brown-Driver-Briggs' A Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament). It
has been suggested that the OT ritual symbolized a covering over of sin
until it was dealt with in fact by the atonement of Christ. There is,
however, very little evidence for this view. The connection of the
Arabic word is weak and the Hebrew root is not used to mean “cover.” The
Hebrew verb is never used in the simple or Qal stem, but only in the
derived intensive stems. These intensive stems often indicate not
emphasis, but merely that the verb is derived from a noun whose meaning
is more basic to the root idea." Okay, I realize this is very technical
(at least it is to me). So what is the point? The point is that the
classic understanding of kapar in the many Leviticus uses may not mean
"cover over sin" so that God cannot see it (so to speak).
Harris then adds that kōper
which is translated pitch is "noun, from which the above verb
(koper - to waterproof) was doubtless derived. Pitch, bitumen, asphalt
was used in early antiquity as an adhesive to hold inlays into statues.
It was a logical material for caulking the ark as specified both in the
Bible and the Babylonian flood story."
NET Bible Note - The Hebrew term
kapar, "to cover, to smear" [= to caulk] appears here in the Qal
stem with its primary, non-metaphorical meaning. The Piel form of kapar
is kipper, which has the metaphorical meaning "to atone, to
expiate, to pacify," is used in Levitical texts. Some authorities (Ed:
I think they are alluding to R Laird Harris)
regard the form in Ge 6:14 as a homonym (each of two words having
the same spelling but different meanings and different origins) of the
much more common Levitical term.
The Greek translation (Septuagint
- Lxx) of Genesis 6:14
would tend to support the premise of Harris that Kapar in this
passage might not have the meaning of "to cover" because the
corresponding Greek verb is asphaltoo which means to smear
with pitch or cover with tar and is used only here in Scripture. The
Hebrew noun koper translated pitch in Ge 6:14 is
translated in the
Septuagint - Lxx
with the Greek noun asphaltos which means asphalt, bitumen, tar,
a kind of petroleum. This Greek word is used in Ge 11:3 and Ge 14:10 in
both passages translating chemar, the Hebrew word for tar,
Gen 32:20 and you shall say, ‘Behold,
your servant Jacob also is behind us.’” For he said, “I will appease
(Lxx = exilaskomai) him with the present that goes before me. Then
afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me.”
Ex 29:33 “Thus they shall eat those
things by which atonement was made (Lxx =
= sanctified, set apart, make
holy - translated = "by which they have been set apart by") at their
ordination [and] consecration; but a layman shall not eat [them,]
because they are holy.
Ex 29:36 “And each day you shall offer a bull as a sin offering for
and you shall purify the altar when you make atonement
translated "when you perform consecration for it" [for the altar]) for
it; and you shall anoint it to consecrate it.
Ex 29:37 “For seven days you shall make atonement (Lxx =
for the altar and consecrate it; then the altar shall be most holy,
[and] whatever touches the altar shall be holy.
Ex 30:10 “And Aaron shall make
= verb exilaskomai = propitiate, make
atonement) on its horns once a year; he shall make atonement on
it with the blood of the sin offering of atonement (kippur)
once a year throughout your generations. It is most holy to the LORD.”
Ex 30:15 “The rich shall not pay more, and the poor shall not pay less
than the half shekel, when you give the contribution to the LORD to
make atonement (Lxx = verb exilaskomai = propitiate,
make atonement) for yourselves.
Ex 30:16 “And you shall take the atonement money (kippur)
from the sons of Israel, and shall give it for the service of the tent
of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the sons of Israel before the
LORD, to make atonement (Lxx = verb exilaskomai =
propitiate, make atonement) for yourselves.”
Ex 32:30 And it came about on the next day that Moses said to the
people, “You yourselves have committed a great sin; and now I am going
up to the LORD, perhaps I can make atonement (Lxx = verb
exilaskomai = propitiate, make atonement) for your sin.”
Lev 1:4 ‘And he shall lay (resting or
support oneself on the animal = worshiper identifies with the animal as
his substitute) his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that
it may be accepted for him to make atonement (Lxx = verb
exilaskomai = propitiate, make atonement) on his behalf.
Lev 4:20 ‘He shall also do with the bull just as he did with the bull of
the sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make
atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven.
Lev 4:26 ‘And all its fat he shall offer up in smoke on the altar as [in
the case of] the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings. Thus the
priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin, and he shall
Lev 4:31 ‘Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat was removed
from the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall offer it up
in smoke on the altar for a soothing aroma to the LORD. Thus the priest
shall make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven.
Lev 4:35 ‘Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat of the lamb
is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offerings, and the priest
shall offer them up in smoke on the altar, on the offerings by fire to
the LORD. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his
sin which he has committed, and he shall be forgiven.
Lev 5:6 ‘He shall also bring his guilt offering to the LORD for his sin
which he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat as a
sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his
Lev 5:10 ‘The second he shall then prepare as a burnt offering according
to the ordinance. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for
his sin which he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him.
Lev 5:13 ‘So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin
which he has committed from one of these, and it shall be forgiven him;
then [the rest] shall become the priest’s, like the grain offering.’”
Lev 5:16 “And he shall make restitution for that which he has sinned
against the holy thing, and shall add to it a fifth part of it, and give
it to the priest. The priest shall then make atonement for him with the
ram of the guilt offering, and it shall be forgiven him.
Lev 5:18 “He is then to bring to the priest a ram without defect from
the flock, according to your valuation, for a guilt offering. So the
priest shall make atonement for him concerning his error in which he
sinned unintentionally and did not know [it], and it shall be forgiven
Lev 6:7 and the priest shall make atonement (Lxx =
exilaskomai) for him before the LORD; and
he shall be forgiven for any one of the things which he may have done to
Lev 6:30 ‘But no sin offering of which any of the blood is brought into
the tent of meeting to make atonement (Lxx = exilaskomai) in the holy place shall be eaten;
it shall be burned with fire.
Lev 7:7 ‘The guilt offering is like the sin offering, there is one law
for them; the priest who makes atonement with it shall have it.
Lev 8:15 Next Moses slaughtered [it] and took the blood and with his
finger put [some of it] around on the horns of the altar, and purified
the altar. Then he poured out [the rest of] the blood at the base of the
altar and consecrated it, to make atonement for it.
Lev 8:34 “The LORD has commanded to do as has been done this day, to
make atonement on your behalf.
Lev 9:7 Moses then said to Aaron, “Come near to the altar and offer your
sin offering and your burnt offering, that you may make atonement for
yourself and for the people; then make the offering for the people, that
you may make atonement for them, just as the LORD has commanded.”
Lev 10:17 “Why did you not eat the sin offering at the holy place? For
it is most holy, and He gave it to you to bear away the guilt of the
congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD.
Lev 12:7 ‘Then he shall offer it before the LORD and make atonement for
her; and she shall be cleansed from the flow of her blood. This is the
law for her who bears [a child, whether] a male or a female.
Lev 12:8 ‘But if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two
turtledoves or two young pigeons, the one for a burnt offering and the
other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her,
and she shall be clean.’”
Lev 14:18 while the rest of the oil that is in the priest’s palm, he
shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed. So the priest shall
make atonement on his behalf before the LORD.
Lev 14:19 “The priest shall next offer the sin offering and make
atonement for the one to be cleansed from his uncleanness. Then
afterward, he shall slaughter the burnt offering.
Lev 14:20 “And the priest shall offer up the burnt offering and the
grain offering on the altar. Thus the priest shall make atonement for
him, and he shall be clean.
Lev 14:21 “But if he is poor, and his means are insufficient, then he is
to take one male lamb for a guilt offering as a wave offering to make
atonement for him, and one-tenth [of an] [ephah] of fine flour mixed
with oil for a grain offering, and a log of oil,
Lev 14:29 “Moreover, the rest of the oil that is in the priest’s palm he
shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed, to make atonement on
his behalf before the LORD.
Lev 14:31 “[He shall offer] what he can afford, the one for a sin
offering, and the other for a burnt offering, together with the grain
offering. So the priest shall make atonement before the LORD on behalf
of the one to be cleansed.
Lev 14:53 “However, he shall let the live bird go free outside the city
into the open field. So he shall make atonement for the house, and it
shall be clean.”
Lev 15:15 and the priest shall offer them, one for a sin offering, and
the other for a burnt offering. So the priest shall make atonement on
his behalf before the LORD because of his discharge.
Lev 15:30 ‘And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering and the
other for a burnt offering. So the priest shall make atonement on her
behalf before the LORD because of her impure discharge.’
Leviticus 16:6 "Then Aaron shall offer
the bull for the sin offering which is for himself, that he may make
atonement for himself and for his household.
10 "But the goat on which the lot for the scapegoat fell shall be
presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon
it, to send it into the wilderness as the scapegoat.
11 "Then Aaron shall offer the bull of the sin offering which is for
himself and make atonement for himself and for his
household, and he shall slaughter the bull of the sin offering which is
16 "He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of
the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions
in regard to all their sins; and thus he shall do for the tent of
meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities.
17 "When he goes in to make atonement in the holy place,
no one shall be in the tent of meeting until he comes out, that he may
make atonement for himself and for his household and for
all the assembly of Israel.
18 "Then he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD and
make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of
the bull and of the blood of the goat and put it on the horns of the
altar on all sides.
20 "When he finishes atoning for the holy place and the tent of
meeting and the altar, he shall offer the live goat.
24 "He shall bathe his body with water in a holy place and put on his
clothes, and come forth and offer his burnt offering and the burnt
offering of the people and make atonement for himself and
for the people.
27 "But the bull of the sin offering and the goat of the sin offering,
whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy
place, shall be taken outside the camp, and they shall burn their hides,
their flesh, and their refuse in the fire.
30 for it is on this day that atonement shall be
made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins
before the LORD.
32 "So the priest who is anointed and ordained to serve as priest in his
father's place shall make atonement: he shall thus put on
the linen garments, the holy garments,
33 and make atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall
make atonement for the tent of meeting and for the altar.
He shall also make atonement for the priests and for all
the people of the assembly.
34 "Now you shall have this as a permanent statute, to make atonement
for the sons of Israel for all their sins once every year." And just as
the LORD had commanded Moses, so he did.
Leviticus 17:11 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have
given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is
the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.'
Leviticus 19:22 'The priest shall also
make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering
before the LORD for his sin which he has committed, and the sin which he
has committed will be forgiven him.
Leviticus 23:28 "You shall not do any
work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make
atonement on your behalf before the LORD your God.
Numbers 5:8 'But if the man has no
relative to whom restitution may be made for the wrong, the restitution
which is made for the wrong must go to the LORD for the priest, besides
the ram of atonement, by which atonement is made for him.
Numbers 6:11 'The priest shall offer
one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, and make
atonement for him concerning his sin because of the dead person.
And that same day he shall consecrate his head,
Numbers 8:12 "Now the Levites shall lay
their hands on the heads of the bulls; then offer the one for a sin
offering and the other for a burnt offering to the LORD, to make
atonement for the Levites.
19 "I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from
among the sons of Israel, to perform the service of the sons of Israel
at the tent of meeting and to make atonement on behalf of
the sons of Israel, so that there will be no plague among the sons of
Israel by their coming near to the sanctuary."
21 The Levites, too, purified themselves from sin and washed their
clothes; and Aaron presented them as a wave offering before the LORD.
Aaron also made atonement for them to cleanse them.
Numbers 15:25 'Then the priest shall make atonement for
all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and they will be forgiven;
for it was an error, and they have brought their offering, an offering
by fire to the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD, for their
28 'The priest shall make atonement before the LORD for
the person who goes astray when he sins unintentionally, making
atonement for him that he may be forgiven.
Numbers 16:46 Moses said to Aaron, "Take your censer and put in it fire
from the altar, and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the
congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has
gone forth from the LORD, the plague has begun!"
47 Then Aaron took it as Moses had spoken, and ran into the midst of the
assembly, for behold, the plague had begun among the people. So he put
on the incense and made atonement for the people.
Numbers 25:13 and it shall be for him
and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood,
because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for
the sons of Israel.'"
Numbers 28:22 and one male goat for a
sin offering to make atonement for you.
30 also one male goat to make atonement for you.
Numbers 29:5 'Offer one male goat for a
sin offering, to make atonement for you,
Numbers 31:50 "So we have brought as an
offering to the LORD what each man found, articles of gold, armlets and
bracelets, signet rings, earrings and necklaces, to make
atonement for ourselves before the LORD."
Numbers 35:33 'So you shall not pollute the land in which you are; for
blood pollutes the land and no expiation can be made for the land
for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed
Deuteronomy 21:8 'Forgive Your people
Israel whom You have redeemed, O LORD, and do not place the guilt of
innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel.' And the
bloodguiltiness shall be forgiven them.
Deuteronomy 32:43 "Rejoice, O nations,
with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, And will
render vengeance on His adversaries, And will atone for His land and His
1 Samuel 3:14 "Therefore I have sworn
to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned
for by sacrifice or offering forever."
2 Samuel 21:3 Thus David said to the
Gibeonites, "What should I do for you? And how can I make atonement that
you may bless the inheritance of the LORD?"
1 Chronicles 6:49 But Aaron and his
sons offered on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense,
for all the work of the most holy place, and to make atonement
for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had
2 Chronicles 29:24 The priests
slaughtered them and purged the altar with their blood to atone
for all Israel, for the king ordered the burnt offering and the sin
offering for all Israel.
2 Chronicles 30:18 For a multitude of
the people, even many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun,
had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than
prescribed. For Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "May the good LORD
Nehemiah 10:33 for the showbread, for
the continual grain offering, for the continual burnt offering, the
sabbaths, the new moon, for the appointed times, for the holy things and
for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and
all the work of the house of our God.
Psalm 65:3 Iniquities prevail against
me; As for our transgressions, You forgive (Lxx =
= to be merciful, make reconciliation for, be propitious, be favorably
inclined, to forgive) them.
Psalm 78:38 But He, being
compassionate, forgave (Lxx =
= to be merciful, make reconciliation for, be propitious, be favorably
inclined, to forgive) their iniquity and did not destroy them; And often
He restrained His anger And did not arouse all His wrath.
Psalm 79:9 Help us, O God of our
salvation, for the glory of Your name; And deliver us and forgive
= to be merciful, make reconciliation for, be propitious, be favorably
inclined, to forgive) our sins for Your name's sake.
Proverbs 16:6 By lovingkindness and
truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one
keeps away from evil.
14 The fury of a king is like messengers of death, But a wise man will
Isaiah 6:7 He touched my mouth with it
and said, "Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is
taken away and your sin is forgiven (Lxx = perikatharizo =
to clean or purge away entirely; used to translate "circumcise" in Dt
30:6 a prophecy of the end-times when a believing remnant of the nation
will be saved - Ro 11:25-27)."
Isaiah 22:14 But the LORD of hosts
revealed Himself to me, "Surely this iniquity shall not be forgiven
you Until you die," says the Lord GOD of hosts.
Isaiah 27:9 Therefore through this
Jacob's iniquity will be forgiven (Lxx =
And this will be the full price of the pardoning of his sin: When he
makes all the altar stones like pulverized chalk stones; When Asherim
and incense altars will not stand.
Isaiah 28:18 "Your covenant with death
will be canceled (Lxx =
And your pact with Sheol will not stand; When the overwhelming scourge
passes through, Then you become its trampling place.
Isaiah 47:11 "But evil will come on you
Which you will not know how to charm away; And disaster will fall on you
For which you cannot atone (Lxx =
not be free from); And destruction about which you do not know Will come
on you suddenly.
Jeremiah 18:23 Yet You, O LORD, know
All their deadly designs against me; Do not forgive (Lxx =
athooo - [do not] hold guiltless, let go unpunished) their iniquity
Or blot (Hebrew = machah = to wipe, wipe out; Lxx =
as in Acts 3:19) out their sin
from Your sight. But may they be overthrown before You; Deal with them
in the time of Your anger!
Ezekiel 16:63 so that you may remember
and be ashamed and never open your mouth anymore because of your
humiliation, when I have forgiven (Lxx = exilaskomai =
propitiate) you for all that you have done," the Lord GOD declares.
Ezekiel 43:20 'You shall take some of
its blood and put it on its four horns and on the four corners of the
ledge and on the border round about; thus you shall cleanse it and
make atonement (Lxx = exilaskomai = propitiate)
26 'For seven days they shall make atonement (Lxx =
exilaskomai = propitiate) for the altar and purify it; so
shall they consecrate it.
Ezekiel 45:15 and one sheep from each
flock of two hundred from the watering places of Israel-- for a grain
offering, for a burnt offering and for peace offerings, to make
atonement (Lxx = exilaskomai = propitiate) for
them," declares the Lord GOD.
17 "It shall be the prince's part to provide the burnt offerings, the
grain offerings and the drink offerings, at the feasts, on the new moons
and on the sabbaths, at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel;
he shall provide the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt
offering and the peace offerings, to make atonement (Lxx =
exilaskomai = propitiate) for the house of Israel."
20 "Thus you shall do on the seventh day of the month for everyone who
goes astray or is naive; so you shall make atonement (Lxx
= exilaskomai = propitiate) for the house.
Daniel 9:24-commentary "Seventy
weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish
the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement (Lxx
= exilaskomai = propitiate) for iniquity, to bring in everlasting
righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most
Andrew Trotter (Atonement
- Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)
That the Bible's central message is
atonement, that is, that God has provided a way for humankind to come
back into harmonious relation with him, is everywhere apparent in
Scripture. From the first stories in Genesis to the last visions of
Revelation, God seeks to reconcile his people to himself. Atonement,
however, cannot be usefully discussed in this way, and translators have
settled on it, and its cognate expressions, as a translation for a
relatively circumscribed number of nouns and verbs in the Bible.
The Old Testament - In the Old
Testament atonement, and related phrases, such as sacrifice of
atonement, most often translates the Hebrew piel verb kipur [ כִּפֻּרִים
] and two related nouns, one, kippurim, found always in the plural and
signifying the noun equivalent of kipur [ כִּפֻּרִים ], and the other,
kapporeth [ כַּפֹּרֶת ], meaning the so-called mercy-seat or the place
where the sacrifice of atonement happens. These occur with meanings
related to atonement around 140 times, almost always in the context of
the cults, as a sacrifice for sins and to provide reconciliation to God.
The breadth of the use of the concept in the Old Testament is
striking. Atonement is provided for inanimate objects such as
a mildewing house, the altar in the temple, the sanctuary (i.e., the
Holy of Holies within the Tent of Meeting), the holy place, and the tent
of meeting/temple itself. In one place atonement is also provided for an
animal, the scapegoat used in the atonement rituals found in Leviticus
16 . Sacrifice accomplishes atonement "for sins" in many places,
though these passages always mean atonement for people "because of"
their sins rather than atonement "on behalf of" sins, as if sins were
being personified and therefore in need of redemption. Of course,
the majority of all the references are to atonement on behalf of
people, either individually or as members of the community of Israel.
Atonement for inanimate objects is found twelve places in the Old
Testament: Exodus 29:36-37; 30:10; Leviticus 8:15; 14:53; 16:10,16 ,
18,20; Ezekiel 43:20,26; 45:20 . Eleven of these passages refer to
cleansing either the tent/temple, one of its rooms, or the altar inside
it. The lone exception refers to the cleansing of a contaminated house.
In one of the stranger passages of the Law, God instructs Moses and
Aaron about the purification rites they are to apply to a house that has
"a spreading mildew" and declares that, if a house responds to the
treatment, then it can be declared clean (Leviticus 14:33-53 ). The
priest cleanses the house by sacrificing a bird, and dipping cedar wood,
hyssop, scarlet yarn, and a live bird in the blood of the dead bird,
then sprinkling the blood on the house seven times. He then is to
release the live bird into the open fields outside the town. "In this
way he will make atonement for the house, and it will be clean"
(Leviticus 14:53 ).
The entire passage significantly echoes the preceding passage in which a
human being undergoes the same investigations and purifications for
infectious skin diseases, and it anticipates the important regulations
of Leviticus 16 concerning the Day of Atonement, the most important
sacrifice of all, when sacrifice is made for the cleansing of the sins
of all the people. The point is apparently that the surface of the skin
can demonstrate a deeper sickness underneath as can the surface of a
house; both need to be cleansed of that deeper sickness as does the
human heart of its sin.
Far more important are the references to the atonement of the Tent of
Meeting, the temple, the holy place, the sanctuary, and the altar.
These take place in the contexts of the ordination of priests (Exodus
29:35-37; Leviticus 8:15 ), God's instructions for the building of the
eschatological temple in the later chapters of Ezekiel (Ezek 43:20,26;
45:20), and the Day of Atonement itself (Leviticus 16:16,18,20 ). The
need for cleansing the buildings, the altar and the sanctuaries is due
to the fact that these are the meeting places of the divine Holy One
with his people. The holiness and purity of God are so emphasized that
not only does He and the one who approaches Him have to be pure, but
even the means of their communication and relationship must be covered
by the blood of an atoning sacrifice because of its contamination by
It is perhaps important that this cleansing of inanimate objects, with
the lone exception of the house (which seems to serve as an analog to
human cleansing), is limited to the house of God and its parts. There is
no sense that the world is God's place of meeting and in need of a
cleansing sacrifice of atonement, but rather that the special cultic and
covenantal relationship that God has with his people is what is in need
of purification. This is not to deny that the world has been infected by
sin, just that the particular relationship of redemption that God has
with his covenant people is not extended to the whole world, but simply
to the people of Israel, and even that is vicarious, that is, through
the priests and their cultic duties.
Primary among the objects of atonement in the Old Testament are the
people of God, but the means of atonement can vary. Goats, sheep,
and birds are listed among the acceptable animals to be sacrificed, but
there were also grain, oil, and drink offerings. Ransom money can
provide atonement for the lives of the people; God commands at least one
census to be made of the people at which each participant pays the same
amount to buy his life and the lives of his family from God, who
promises no plague will harm them when they do pay (Exodus 30:11-16 ).
Significantly, the money is to be used to support the services of the
Tent of Meeting, hence tying it to the sacrifice of blood for atonement,
if only in a tangential way. The other non-animal sacrifices are often
equally tied to atonement by blood.
Certainly the most frequently mentioned means of atonement in the Old
Testament were the blood sacrifices, dominating the use of the term
by constant reference in the books of Leviticus and Numbers. Atonement
needed to be made for everything from heinous crimes like idolatry
(Numbers 16:47 ) to mistakes of intent, when the only sin was ignorance
or error, not willful disobedience (Numbers 15:22-29 ).
Perhaps the heart of the Old Testament teaching on atonement is found
in Leviticus 16 , where the regulations for the Day of Atonement
occur. Five characteristics relating to the ritual of the Day of
Atonement are worthy of note because they are generally true of
atonement as it is found throughout Scripture:
(1) the sovereignty of God in
(2) the purpose and result of making
(3) the two goats emphasize two
different things, and the burning another, about the removal of sin;
(4) that Aaron had to make special
sacrifice for himself;
(5) the comprehensive quality of the
Atonement is clearly the action of God
and not of man throughout the Bible, but especially in Leviticus 16 .
Aaron's two sons, Nadab and Abihu, had been recently put to death by the
Lord for disobeying his command by offering "unauthorized fire" before
the Lord (Leviticus 10:1-3). Here God gives Aaron precise instructions
concerning how he wants the sacrifices to be made, down to the clothes
Aaron is to wear, the bathing rituals in which he is to engage, and the
types of sacrificial animals he is to bring. His sovereignty is further
emphasized by the fact that the lot is used to choose which goat will be
sacrificed and which goat will serve as the scapegoat.
The purpose for the ritual is made very clear in several places. It is
to cleanse you "from all your sins" (Leviticus 16:30). Other passages
make it clear that such cleansing results in saving the life of the
participant (cf., e.g., Leviticus 17:11). The restoring of pure
relationship is an important result, too, since the atonement is for all
"uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have
been" (Leviticus 16:16). Thus Israel is reunited in purity to its God by
the atoning sacrifice for sins.
The symbolic import of the sacrifices is so detailed that three
different actions were necessary to display everything that God
apparently intended us to understand about the way he was to deal with
sin. The sacrificial death of the first goat showed clearly that the
offense of sin requires the punishment of death (Ezekiel 18:4). The
sending of the second goat into the wilderness with the sins laid on the
top of its head emphasizes that sin will be removed from the person and
the community "as far as the east is from the west" (Psalm 103:12). The
burning of the sacrifice so that it is consumed shows the power of God
over sin, completely destroying it so that it can bother the supplicant
Particularly important for the full biblical picture of atonement as it
is found in Christ is the sacrifice Aaron makes for himself and his
family (Leviticus 16:11-14). Everyone, even the high priest, is guilty
and needs atonement that can only be provided by God himself. The author
of Hebrews emphasizes this point to make clear his doctrine of the
purity of Christ as both the true and perfect sacrifice and the true and
perfect priest who performs the ritual of atonement (8:3-6; 9:6-15). The
Old Testament sacrifices are shown to be but shadows of the real
sacrifice of Christ on the cross by the fact of Aaron's sinfulness; an
imperfect high priest cannot offer a true sacrifice, just as the blood
of bulls and goats could never truly pay for the offense of human sin or
substitute for the shedding of human blood.
Lastly, atonement covers all the sins—intentional, unintentional,
heinous, trivial of those for whom it is intended. No one was to
enter the Tent of Meeting until the ritual was over because what was
taking place there was for the whole of the community of Israel
(Leviticus 16:17), presumably because any interference with the
sovereign action of God's cleansing might bring an impurity into the
equation that would nullify the purificatory act. The comprehensive
nature of the sacrifice of atonement prefigures the comprehensiveness of
the shedding of Christ's blood on the cross, but it limits its effects
in the same way the Old Testament limits the effects of its sacrifice on
the day of atonement to the people whom God has elected to call his own
and them alone. (Atonement
- Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)
(kapporet) always refers to the golden cover of the sacred
chest in the Holy of holies. Recall that it was here (above
the mercy seat) that God had promised to meet with men (Nu 7:89). The word
is derived from the root "to atone."
The Greek equivalent in the
hilasterion, "place or object of propitiation," a word which is
applied to Christ in Romans 3:25. The translation "mercy seat" does not
sufficiently express the fact that the lid of the ark was the place
where the blood was sprinkled on the day of atonement. "Place of
atonement" would perhaps be more expressive.
Kapporet - 22v - Always
translated "Mercy Seat" in the NAS - Ex 25:17, 18, 19, 20,
21, 22; 26:34; 30:6; 31:7; 35:12; 37:6, 7, 8, 9; 39:35; 40:20; Lev 16:2,
13, 14, 15; Nu 7:89; 1Chr 28:11
Mercy Seat - Holman Bible Dictionary
Mercy Seat - Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Mercy Seat - Morrish Bible Dictionary
Mercy Seat - Watson's Biblical & Theological
Mercy seat - Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types
Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT
= "the lid or cover of the ark of the
covenant," signifies the Propitiatory, so called on account of the
expiation made once a year on the great Day of Atonement, Hebrews 9:5 .
For the formation see Exodus 25:17-21 . The Heb. word is kapporet, "the
cover," a meaning connected with the covering or removal of sin (Psalm
32:1 ) by means of expiatory sacrifice. This mercy seat, together with
the ark, is spoken of as the footstool of God, 1 Chronicles 28:2; cp.
Psalm 99:5; 132:7 . The Lord promised to be present upon it and to
commune with Moses "from above the mercy seat, from between the two
cherubim," Exodus 25:22 (see CHERUBIM). In the Sept. the word epithema,
which itself means "a cover," is added to hilasterion; epithema was
simply a translation of kapporet; accordingly, hilasterion, not having
this meaning, and being essentially connected with propitiation, was
added. Eventually hilasterion stood for both. In 1 Chronicles 28:11 the
Holy of Holies is called "the House of the Kapporet" (see RV , marg.).
Through His voluntary expiatory sacrifice in the shedding of His blood,
under Divine judgment upon sin, and through His resurrection, Christ has
become the Mercy Seat for His people. See Romans 3:25 , and see
PROPITIATION , B, No. 1. (Mercy
Seat - Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words)
is a masculine noun which refers to the ransom payment, but in several
OT contexts assumes the sense of a bribe. A ransom is the price
required to redeem a person. See all uses below for discussion of the
meaning of ransom or bribe in each passage.
Ransom (English word) - 1. The money or price paid for the
redemption of a prisoner or slave, or for goods captured by an enemy;
that which procures the release of a prisoner or captive, or of captured
property, and restores the one to liberty and the other to the original
owner. 2. Release from captivity, bondage or the possession of an enemy.
They were unable to procure the ransom of the prisoners. 3. In law, a
sum paid for the pardon of some; great offense and the discharge of the
offender; or a fine paid in lieu of corporal punishment. 4. In
Scripture, the price paid for a forfeited life, or for delivery or
release from capital punishment. 5. The price paid for procuring the
pardon of sins and the redemption of the sinner from punishment. The Son
of man came—to give His life a ransom for many. Mark 10:45. (Webster-1828)
Bribe (English word) - 1.
A price, reward, gift or favor bestowed or promised with a view to
pervert the judgment, or corrupt the conduct of a judge, witness or
other person. A bribe is a consideration given or promised to a person,
to induce him to decide a cause, give testimony, or perform some act
contrary to what he knows to be truth, justice or rectitude. It is not
used in a good sense, unless in familiar language. 2. That which
Note that some concordances (NAS) do
not include the use of koper in Ge 6:14 as they interpret it as a
different word than in the remaining uses. The KJV concordance does
include it in the list of verses with koper.
translates koper with the Greek noun
which refers to the ransom
price or the payment which is necessary to free a slave from bondage (or
a prisoner from captivity) giving them liberty.
Koper - translated in NAS
- bribe(1), bribes(1), ransom(11).
Koper - 17v (KJV) - Ge 6:14; Ex
21:30; 30:12; Num 35:31-32; 1Sam 6:18; 12:3; Job 33:24; 36:18; Ps 49:7;
Pr 6:35; 13:8; 21:18; Song 1:14; 4:13; Isa 43:3; Amos 5:12
Ge 6:14 “Make for yourself an ark of
gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it
inside and out with pitch (Heb - koper; Lxx - asphaltos =
Ex 21:30 (Context - Ex 21:28-29) “If a
ransom is demanded of him, then he shall give for the redemption
of his life whatever is demanded of him.
NET Note - The family of the
victim would set the amount for the ransom of the man guilty of
criminal neglect. This practice was common in the ancient world, rare in
Israel. If the family allowed the substitute price, then the man would
be able to redeem his life.
Ex 30:12 (Context - Ex 30:11-16) “When you take a census of the sons of
Israel to number them, then each one of them shall give a ransom
for himself to the LORD, when you number them, that there may be no
plague among them when you number them.
NET Note - The “ransom”
is כֹּפֶר (kofer), a word related to words translated “atone” and
“atonement.” Here the noun refers to what is paid for the life.
The idea is that of delivering or redeeming by a substitute – here the
substitute is the money. If they paid the amount, their lives would be
safe (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:473).
Comment: Note that in this
context the ransom is for each of the sons of Israel over 20
years of age, so that no plague might come on them (Ex 30:12) that the
ransom is half a shekel, a contribution to the LORD (Ex 30:13-14), to
make atonement (Ex 30:16 - verb
kapar) with the "atonement
money." (Ex 30:16 - noun -
Num 35:31 ‘Moreover, you shall not take
ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he
shall surely be put to death. 32 ‘And you shall not take
ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may
return to live in the land before the death of the priest.
Eugene Merrill - The reason for
such strict measures was the fact that bloodshed in murder pollutes the
land and the only “cleansing” agent was the blood of the murderer
himself (Gen. 4:10; 9:6). It was not fitting that Israel and the LORD,
who lived in Israel’s midst, should occupy a polluted land. So blood
vengeance was not an option but a theological necessity. (The Bible
Job 33:24 Then let him be gracious to
him, and say, ‘Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a
Roy Zuck - The angel’s
interceding work (in contrast with angelic “messengers of death,” Job
33:22) was based on his providing a ransom for the sick person. The
“ransom,” while not specified, means something that can be regarded as a
consideration or reason for the sufferer to be relieved from his
illness. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary)
Job 36:18 “[Beware] lest wrath entice
you to scoffing; And do not let the greatness of the ransom turn
Roy Zuck - Bribe may be rendered
“ransom or recompense,” as in 33:24. Perhaps it means here “the large
price Job is paying by his suffering.”) As many people have learned,
money and accomplishments cannot buy a person out of distress. (The
Bible Knowledge Commentary)
The angel’s interceding work (in
contrast with angelic “messengers of death,” Job 33:22) was based on his
providing a ransom for the sick person. The “ransom,” while not
specified, means something that can be regarded as a consideration or
reason for the sufferer to be relieved from his illness.
Ps 49:7 No man can by any means redeem
[his] brother, Or give to God a ransom for him–
Comment: Every rich person in
the world needs to emblazon this proverb on their heart (while they
still have time - 2Cor 6:2). If you are in Christ, you are immeasurably
Pr 6:35 He (See context = Pr 6:32-34)
will not accept any ransom, Nor will he be content though you
give many gifts.
Comment: The idea here is that
he will refuse a bribe, no matter how great! Why? Presumably
because it was money paid to cover up a crime or as we might say today
it was "hush money!" (See comment on Amos 5:12)
NET Note: The word rendered
“compensation” is כֹּפֶר (cofer); it is essentially a ransom price, a
sum to be paid to deliver another from debt, bondage, or crime. The
husband cannot accept payment as a ransom for a life, since what has
happened cannot be undone so easily.
As the word “ransom” (כֹּפֶר, cofer)
indicates, the rich are susceptible to kidnapping and robbery. But the
poor man pays no attention to blackmail – he does not have money to buy
off oppressors. So the rich person is exposed to legal attacks and
threats of physical violence and must use his wealth as ransom.
Buzzell - Bribery is frequently
condemned in Proverbs (6:35; 15:27; 17:8), in the Law (Ex. 23:8; Deut.
16:19; 27:25), and elsewhere (e.g., Job 36:18; Ps. 15:5; Ecc. 7:7; Isa.
33:15). (The Bible Knowledge Commentary)
Pr 13:8 The ransom of a man’s life is his riches, But the poor
hears no rebuke.
NET Note: As the word “ransom”
(כֹּפֶר, cofer) indicates, the rich are susceptible to kidnapping and
robbery. But the poor man pays no attention to blackmail – he does not
have money to buy off oppressors. So the rich person is exposed to legal
attacks and threats of physical violence and must use his wealth as
Pr 21:18 The wicked is a ransom
for the righteous, And the treacherous is in the place of the upright.
NET Note: The Hebrew word
translated “ransom” (כֹּפֶר, kofer) normally refers to the price
paid to free a prisoner. R. N. Whybray (Proverbs [CBC], 121) gives
options for the meaning of the verse: (1) If it means that the wicked
obtain good things that should go to the righteous, it is then a
despairing plea for justice (which would be unusual in the book of
Proverbs); but if (2) it is taken to mean that the wicked suffers the
evil he has prepared for the righteous, then it harmonizes with Proverbs
elsewhere (e.g., 11:8). The ideal this proverb presents – and the future
reality – is that in calamity the righteous escape and the wicked suffer
in their place (e.g., Haman in the book of Esther).
Buzzell - This verse does not
mean that the wicked redeem the righteous. Instead it may mean that the
wicked who have caused the righteous to suffer will themselves suffer
and will thereby “set free” (become a ransom for) the righteous, for the
godly will no longer suffer at the hands of the wicked. (Bible Knowledge
Song 1:14 “My beloved is to me a
cluster of henna blossoms In the vineyards of Engedi.”
Song 4:13 “Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates With choice
fruits, henna with nard plants,
Isa 43:3 “For I am the LORD your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your place.
- As a ransom or reward for releasing the Jewish captives, Persia
was enabled by God to conquer Egypt … Cush (modern-day southern Egypt,
all of Sudan, and northern Ethiopia), and Seba, possibly the same as
Sheba in southern Arabia (cf. 60:6; Job 6:19; 1 Kings 10:1–13) where the
Sabeans lived (cf. Job 1:15; Isa. 45:14; Ezek. 23:42; Joel 3:8). (Bible
Amos 5:12 For I know your
transgressions are many and your sins are great, [You] who distress the
righteous [and] accept bribes, And turn aside the poor in the gate.
NIDOTTE - Bribery
always results in someone’s losing the meaning of life or life itself.
Wolff comments, “Bribery leads to declaring the innocent guilty and the
guilty innocent” (248). This explains why Amos charges the Israelite
aristocracy with the sins of greed and injustice, “For I know how many
are your offenses and how great your sins. You oppress the righteous and
take bribes (כֹּפֶר) and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts”
(Amos 5:12; see also 1 Sam 12:3)."
23:29 "If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day,
he shall be cut off from his people. (will: Lev 23:27,32
Isa 22:12 Jer 31:9 Eze 7:16) (he shall be: Ge 17:14)
How important is humility to God?
That's a rhetorical question of course. Cut off from his people is at
least ex-communication (but look at the punishment in the next passage -
the implication is that the person in verse 30 has refused to humble
himself and obey God's clear instruction!) It is an inviolable principle
that pride obstructs the flow of grace, while humility opens the
floodgates! Grace always flows in a "downward direction." James
"arrays Himself against" (like ancient armies did in battle!) the pride
person! (James 4:6-note)
23:30 "As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I
will destroy from among his people. (Lev 20:3,5,6 Ge 17:14 Jer
15:7 Ezek 14:9 Zep 2:5 1Co 3:17)
Holiness is separation from the
profane, and it is not a partial separation, not a partial obedience
(which is really "disobedience" with a shell of complicity)!. God is
serious about it and is not here accepting 90% acquiescence! Do we in
21st century America (and specifically the evangelical church) really
understand God's desire for His people to be holy as He is holy.
23:31 "You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute
throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. (
23:32 "It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble
your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until
evening you shall keep your sabbath." (sabbath Lev
16:31 Mt 11:28-30 Heb 4:3,11)(humble: Lev 23:27 Ps 35:13 Ps
51:17 Ps 69:10,11 Ps 126:5,6 Isa 57:15,18,19 58:3-7 Isa 61:3 Mt 5:4 1Co
Sabbath means intermission or
rest so one might paraphrase it as "It is to be a rest of complete
Humble your souls - This is not
to be an external ornament one puts on for show. God is looking at our
hearts, not what we wear. He is interested in the internal, not the
external. It's easy for us to "do" something to appease (that we think
will appease) God, but God is primarily interested for us to "be"
someone! Being should always proceed doing. In this context, being calls
for humility and doing is keeping sabbath.
23:33 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
23:34 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'On the fifteenth of this seventh
month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the LORD. (fifteenth:
Ex 23:16 34:22 Nu 29:12 Dt 16:13-15 Ezr 3:4 Ne 8:14 Zec 14:16-19 John 1:14
7:2 Heb 11:9,13)
FEAST OF INGATHERING
FEAST OF TABERNACLES
FEAST OF BOOTHS
See Jesus' great invitation to all who
are thirsty to come and drink, this invitation given at the end of the
feast of Booths -
John 7-37-39 Commentary (See
Excursus on the feast)
Scofield: The Feast of
Tabernacles, or Ingathering, Lev 23:34-44, is, like the Lord's Supper for
the Church, both memorial and prophetic - memorial as to redemption out of
Egypt (v. 43); prophetic as to the kingdom-rest of Israel after her
regathering and restoration, when the feast again becomes memorial, not
for Israel alone, but also for all nations (Ezra 3:4; Zech 14:16-21; cp.
Rev 21:3). This festival, its name derived from the fact that during its
observance the Israelites dwelt in booths or tabernacles (Lev 23:42-43),
began on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, Tishri, and lasted for
23:35 'On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work
of any kind. (Lev 23:7,8,24,25)
23:36 'For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On
the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering
by fire to the LORD; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work.
(Seven: Nu 29:12-38) (eighth: 2Chr 7:8-11 Ne 8:18 John
7:37)(assembly: Heb. day of restraint, Dt 16:8 Joel 1:14 Joel 2:15)
See related discussion of this feast in
John 7 where Jesus stood up on the last day and cried out asking if any
was thirsty? See
John 7-37-39 Commentary (See
Excursus on the feast)
23:37 'These are the appointed times of the LORD which you shall proclaim as
holy convocations, to present offerings by fire to the LORD--burnt
offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each day's
matter on its own day--
(feasts: Lev 23:2,4 Dt 16:16,17) (each: Ec 3:1)
23:38 besides those of the Sabbaths of the LORD, and besides your gifts and
besides all your votive and freewill offerings, which you give to the
LORD. (Sabbaths: Lev 23:3 Lev 19:3 Ge 2:2,3 Ex 20:8-11)(besides:
Nu 29:39 Dt 12:6 1Chr 29:3-8 2Chr 35:7,8 Ezra 2:68,69)
23:39 'On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have
gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the
LORD for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth
day. (when: Lev 23:34 Ex 23:16 Dt 16:13)(on the first:
Freeman - The Feast of Ingathering, more
generally known as the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths), (Lev. 23:34,)
was instituted to remind the people that their fathers dwelt in tents in
the wilderness, (Lev. xxiii, 43 ;) and also to be an annual thanksgiving
after all the products of the earth corn, fruit, wine, and oil were
gathered for the year. Lev. 23:39. It was held in the seventh month, Tizri,
or Ethanim, corresponding to our October, and lasted for eight days;
during which time the people dwelt in booths made of the branches of palm,
willow, and other trees. Lev. 23:39-43. On each day there were offered in
sacrifice two rams, fourteen lambs, and a kid for a burnt-offering. During
the continuance of the feast seventy bullocks were offered, thirteen on
the first day, twelve on the second, eleven on the third, and so on, the
number being diminished by one on each day until the seventh day. when
only seven were offered. The eighth day was a day of peculiar solemnity,
and had for its special offerings a bullock, a ram, and seven lambs for a
burnt-offering, and a goat for a sin-offering. Nu 29:12-38. On the
Sabbatical year, the Feast of Tabernacles was still further celebrated by
a public reading of the law. Dt. 31:10-13. Whether this was intended to
include the whole law, or only certain portions, and if so, what portions,
is matter of dispute. Other ceremonies than these, originally instituted,
were afterward added. See John 7:37. These festivals at the gathering of
harvests were not peculiar to the He brews, but were in use among many
Gentile nations. "The ancient sacrifices, assemblies, and conventions for
sacrifices, were made at the gathering in of the fruits and productions of
the earth, as the season of greatest lei sure and rest." ARISTOTLE, cited
by MAIMONIDES, Reasons, etc., p. 257. (Manners
and Customs 1875)
23:40 'Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of
beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of
the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.
(foliage: Ne 8:15 Mt 21:8)(palm trees: Ps 92:12 John
12:13 Rev 7:9) (rejoice: Dt 16:14,15 Isa 35:10 66:10 John 16:22 Ro
5:11 Php 3:3 4:4 1Pe 1:8)
Disciple's Study Bible - The
Feast of Booths (or Tabernacles or Ingathering) was a time of high
rejoicing. The expression "before the LORD'' is a reminder that we live in
full knowledge of God's watchful eye. See Ge 19:27. Prayer expresses our
joy and celebration in God's presence.
23:41 'You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in
the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you
shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
(Nu 29:12 Ne 8:18)
23:42 'You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel
shall live in booths, (Ge 33:17 Nu 24:2,5 Ne 8:14-17 Jer 35:10
2Co 5:1 Heb 11:13-16)
23:43 so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in
booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your
God.'" (Ex 13:14 Dt 31:10-13 Ps 78:5,6)
23:44 So Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of the
LORD. (Lev 23:1,2 Lev 21:24 Mt 18:20)