The Jewish calendar year is divided into 12 lunar months, each beginning on a new moon. In seven out of every 13 years, an additional lunar month is added to keep the seasons in their proper time frames; think of these extra months as “leap months”. For most of its history, Israel has actually used two separate calendars that differ only in their starting months. The civil calendar starts in the month of Tishri, and it is this calendar that you will see used most often today. The religious calendar begins seven months later, in the month of Nisan. The Bible primarily uses the religious calendar, and in particular, “the first month of the year”, Nisan, is the proper time for the Spring Feasts, and “the seventh month of the year”, Tishri, is the time for the Fall Feasts. What about the Gregorian calendar, used by most of the world in modern times? Well, of course modern Israel uses that, too, but only for international dealings.
In addition to Shabbat, we will be looking at seven Major Feasts spread over three Festival Seasons:
- The Spring Feasts take place in Nisan, the first month of the religious calendar. There are three feasts in quick succession, related, for our purposes, to Israel’s past and to Jesus’ first advent.
- The Interval Feast is in Sivan, the third month of the religious calendar. There is one feast, relating to the present age and the time between Jesus’ advents.
- The Fall Feasts take place in Tishri, the seventh month of the religious calendar. Three feasts that relate to Israel’s future and to Jesus’ second advent.
As we progress through the Feasts, I’ll show that each has both historical and prophetic significance, and that, in particular, each speaks volumes about the Messiah, Jesus. Additionally, there are agricultural aspects to each feast, but those have more significance to Israel’s history than to us. Finally, the rituals of the feasts hold a lot of significance with respect to a believer’s walk, but my emphasis here is more theological, and not on the ritual, so that will be a bit out of our scope.
Given the fact that I’m limiting my scope, both to increase the probability that I can accomplish what I’ve set out to do, and to avoid boring anyone by actually trying to cover all 69 slides that I started out with… I’ve just presented you with a comprehensive list of study topics related to the feasts, but I’m going to leave gaps going forward, and I encourage you to study some on your own.
This is a slide you will see over and over, with various parts emphasized. Please look it over now, and yes, before you ask, I am going to claim that the events listed in the final column are not only pictured by the related Feast, but took place, or will take place, on the actual Feast days.
Next time, I will delve into the Spring Feasts.
Table of Contents: The Jewish Feasts
Start of Series: The Jewish Feasts: Part 1, Chapter Introduction
Previous in Series: The Jewish Feasts: Part 2, On Sabbaths and Days
Next in Series: The Jewish Feasts: Part 4, Spring Feasts