Olli Dürr

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The Jewish feast days and their meanings today



The so-called Jewish feast days were intended for the people of Israel according to God’s specifications. Even though these festivals were abolished with the ministry of Jesus, they still have a significant meaning from the New Testament to the present day. The thesis that the Old Testament is obsolete for Christianity is misleading and can be rejected. Therefore, the designation “Jewish festival days” is wrong in the actual sense. The events surrounding Jesus Christ are the realization of the feast days of the people of Israel in the Old Testament.

The feast days in OT were prescribed by God to Israel

With the definition of the first month (Abib or Nisan), God establishes the Hebrew year. This also defined the Hebrew calendar. Exodus 12:2:
This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.“.
The fixed rules are also in Leviticus 23 explained again in detail.
Incidentally, the Sabbath is mentioned separately at this point. In Leviticus 23:3, the Sabbath (7th day) as a day of rest not only comes first, but is listed before the instructions for the “feasts of the Lord” begin. Leviticus 23:4:
These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
At this point, as at any other point in the Bible, there is no reference to a abolition of the Sabbath or that the Sabbath (7th day of the week) belonged to the following ceremonial laws.

God’s plan of salvation from the beginning

The connection between the feast days in the Old Testament and the actions of Jesus Christ and the course of events was not apparent from the point of view of the people of Israel at that time. It was only after the conclusion of the last acts (Pentecost) that it was recognizable in retrospect that all the feast days between Passover and the Feast of Weeks (closing) for the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, the Lord’s Supper, the Crucifixion, the day of rest, the resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit have parallels. The other feast days of the trumpet blowing, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles result from the Sanctuary Doctrine.

In simple words: It was only when all this happened that mankind was “smarter” and able to recognize the great plan of God’s salvation, which was fulfilled with Jesus Christ.

The feast days in the OT and their meaning from the NT onwards

Here is the comparison of the feast days ordained by God in the Old Testament with today’s feast days or meanings.

Heb. Day Feast Day Symbolism for
14. Nisan Passover Last Supper & Crucifixion
15. Nisan Unleavened Bread Jesus rests in the tomb
16. Nisan Firstfruits Resurrection of Jesus
6. Sivan Festival of the week Pentecost
1. Tischri Trumpet blowing Court notice
10. Tischri Day of atonement Repentance, Repentance,
15. Tischri Feast of Tabernacles Court start

Symbolism of the festivals for the salvation work of Jesus Christ

Passover lamb
The Passover festival heralds the beginning of the completion of Jesus’ work of salvation

The festivals of the Old Testament all had a specific symbolism and this can be found in the work of salvation of Jesus Christ. Each individual feast day is also no coincidence in terms of timing and order, but describes the path planned by Jesus Christ for the (conditional) salvation of people.

14. Nisan – (Beginning of) Passover (Pesach)

Exodus 12:6: “And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
It is about the slaughtered lamb, whose blood was painted on the door frame so that the “Angel of Death” would not touch the firstborn in the respective house (10th plague on Egypt).
With the end of this day, the actual “Passover Festival” begins, which was celebrated over a whole week.

From NT and today accordingly:
Passover heralds the Lord’s Supper and crucifixion of Jesus. The new day begins at sunset in the Hebrew calendar. So the Lord’s Supper was already on Nisan 14 and on the following day (daylight) Jesus Christ was executed on the cross.

15. Nisan – Unleavened Bread (Chag Hamazzot)

Exodus 12:17 “And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.
Leviticus 23:6 “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread commemorates the deliverance of the people of Israel from the hands of Egypt.

From NT and today accordingly:
Jesus Christ lies in the grave and rests. That was on a Sabbath. With the acceptance of the sins of the people and His substitutionary death, Jesus Christ (conditionally) saved the people from sin-death.

16. Nisan – Feast of the Firstfruits (Reschit Katzir)

On this occasion the people of Israel were to bring the first fruits of the barley harvest (early harvest) to the priests. The priest began weaving the sheaf “before the Lord.” “And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.” (Leviticus 23:11)

From NT and today accordingly:
Jesus Christ rose from the dead in flesh and blood. He is the “first fruits” among the resurrected. What the priests were to weave from the sheaf of first fruits symbolizes the “robe of righteousness” of Jesus.

6. Sivan – Festival of the week (Chag Schawuot)

After the day of the sheaf of first fruits (Nisan 16, the day after the Sabbath), there are 7 weeks until the day after the 7th Sabbath, for a total of 50 days (Leviticus 23:15-16). The Feast of Weeks concludes the Feast of the First Fruits.

From NT and today accordingly:
Today this “graduation day” is celebrated as Pentecost. The day when the one that Jesus Christ already announced came, His representative, the Holy Spirit. On this day the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples. This also began the spread of Christianity through Jesus’ apostles or followers.

1. Tischri – Trumpet blowing (Rosch ha-Schana)

This day is described in Leviticus 23:23-25:
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

From NT and today accordingly:
The judgment is announced on this occasion, because the so-called Day of Atonement will follow shortly. A stark warning that this judgment has already begun is found in Revelation 14, as part of the 3 angels message.

10. Tischri – Great Day of Atonement (Yom Kipphur)

On this day the people of Israel were to gather to repent of their sins and do penance. The atonement was made. On this single day of the year, the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies to cleanse it of the sins accumulated over the year. These sins were passed on to the scapegoat, who was sent to the desert at the end. In the early days of the people of Israel, the cleanup was carried out in the so-called Tabernacle, then in the Temple.

From NT and today accordingly:
The Tabernacle or Temple was a replica (symbolic) of the Heavenly Sanctuary. With His ascension, Jesus Christ took the place of the once earthly high priest. All burnt offerings and grain offerings were abolished with the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. An earthly symbol, which also made justification by faith possible, was no longer necessary. Now this symbol has been realized with Jesus Christ.

15. Tischri – Feast of Tabernacles (Chag Hasukkot)

The Feast of Tabernacles began 5 days after the Day of Atonement and lasted 7 days, or the 8th day was the work-free final day. The people of Israel were to offer far more sacrifices during these days than usual, in addition to the Sabbath sacrifices and also in addition to the offerings and freewill offerings. The wheat harvest (late harvest) that was brought in at the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles was also decisive.

From NT and today accordingly:
As the 1st angel in Revelation 14 announced the judgment and Daniel also reported in chapter 8 about the beginning of the cleansing of the sanctuary, the start of the Feast of Tabernacles also means the beginning of the judgment before the return of Jesus. The prophecy in Daniel 8:14 indicates that this judgment began as early as 1844. The bringing in of the wheat harvest is also a clear indication of the soon-to-come “Judgment Day” as wheat and weeds will grow side by side until the end. Then comes the harvest with the separation of the wheat from the weeds.

Representation of Hebrew calendar

Hebrew Calendar

Calendar download as .pdf – here

Original feast days have been defaced

From the feast days of Nisan 14, 15, and 16, it is clear that Nisan 14 is the 6th day of the week (Preparation Day), Nisan 15 is the 7th day of the week (Sabbath), and Nisan 16 is the Must have been 1st day of the week. This sometimes contradicts various theses that claim that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the Sabbath.

However, the fact that these days always fall on Friday, Saturday and Sunday has nothing to do with actually observing the Hebrew calendar, but with the Gregorian calendar introduced by the Catholic Church. Because of their pagan belief in a supreme sun god, the church of Rome intended to always let these days fall on the “sun day”. Today’s Easter only has a Christian painting, but only covers the actual pagan background of secret Ishtar worship.

The Old Testament is not superfluous

New Testament
The Old and New Testaments are inseparable

Another widespread thesis claims that the Old Testament is superfluous today, or no longer binding. It was the “new covenant” and therefore the OT could be set aside. That would not only render the commandments obsolete, but also any evidence that even in the Old Testament, people were justified solely by faith. At that time it was the forward-looking symbolism of the coming Saviour. The New Testament and the doctrine of salvation contained therein cannot be properly understood without the Old Testament. The NT builds on the AT. Furthermore, in Matthew 24:15, Jesus Christ exhorts us to search the writings of Daniel:

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)”

Misleading designation

The term “Jewish feast days” is just as misleading as “Jewish Sabbath”. The regulation of the feast days applied to the people of Israel long before the land or state of Judah was even mentioned. Since the feast days are a symbolism that was realized with Jesus Christ, the meaning of these feast days also applied to today’s “people of Israel”, i.e. those who keep the commandments and bear the testimony of Jesus. The only difference is that no believer is called upon to procure an animal for sacrifice. Jesus eventually replaced that with His own sacrifice, once and forever.

Chapter 11 of Revelation provides further proof of the inseparability of the Old and New Testaments. The “2 witnesses” described there represent precisely these two sections of the Bible.
The assertion that the Old Testament is obsolete for Christians thus belongs in the realm of old wives’ tales. Whoever defends this thesis simply ignores Jesus’ request to read the book of Daniel.

Bible verses from King James Version

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