Leviticus 23 Study – "Feast of the Lord"
Feasts of the Lord
23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “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.
3 ‘Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
The Passover and Unleavened Bread
4 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. 5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no [a]customary work on it. 8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.’”
The Feast of Firstfruits
9 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the Lord, for a [b]sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. 14 You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
The Feast of Weeks
15 ‘And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the Lord. 18 And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs of the first year, without blemish, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be as a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the Lord. 19 Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats as a sin offering, and two male lambs of the first year as a sacrifice of a peace offering. 20 The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
22 ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God.’”
The Feast of Trumpets
23 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’”
The Day of Atonement
26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 27 “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. 28 And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall [c]afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall [d]celebrate your sabbath.”
The Feast of Tabernacles
33 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord. 35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred[e] assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.
37 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day— 38 besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the Lord.
39 ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest. 40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the [f]fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in [g]booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’”
44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.
Notes Leviticus 23 Study – (vv. 1-44)
23:1-4: The account that follows is not the entire Jewish calendar … These are the “fixed feasts”, where a convocation – a coming together of the people – was required … They focused attention on the Lord by means of the sanctification of time and life … (Exodus 31:13 – says in this regard, “you shall direct the children of Israel, saying, ‘See to fit that you keep my Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know I am the Lord who sanctifies you …”
“A Reading from THE FEAST OF WEEKS – PENTECOST – From my Orthodox Study Bible
23:5: Pascha – (or Passover) sanctified Israel’s time and life as a sign pointing to them to the coming Incarnation of the Lord … In this feast they were to remember Him and what he did for them in delivering them from Egyptian bondage … But more importantly, it pointed them to His coming in the flesh … They were to know Him in the blood of a slain lamb, a sign pointing to Him as the Lamb of God … yet when He became incarnate as this Lamb, they did not recognize their own Lord who had delivered them from Egypt – (John 1:11) …
- READ A NOTE FROM STUDY BIBLE ABOUT PASCHA …
23:15-21: The Feast of Pentecost also sanctified the time and life of Israel as a sign pointing to the coming of the Holy Spirit and harvesting of the church. It was precisely seven full sabbaths (49 days) plus one day after Pascha and marked the completion of the grain harvest. Here, the offering was not a sheaf of grain, but rather baked loaves, signifying the church.
Thus, Pentecost also sanctifies the time in life of the church each year, but not as a sign. For Christ is the sheaf, the first fruit. The Loaves are the many from the harvest, those from Christ and in Christ in the church … In John 12:24 Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain …” This grain is the Church, harvested by the Holy Spirit … Hence, the ancient Feast of Pentecost prophetically prefigures the birth of the Church through Christ and the Holy Spirit …
At the same time, it also signifies the beginning of the end of the age … On the Day of Pentecost, fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ, the apostle Peter quoted the prophet Joel to explain what was taking place, “it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, / That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh” – (Acts 2:17) … The gifts of the Spirit for the age of God’s Kingdom are given to the people of God while still living in this age, as a forestate of the world to come …
23:39: There was a feast on the eighth day after Tabernacles began … It was the end date – the leave -taking of the Feast of Tabernacles … It completed the feasts of the seventh month as well … This final day was the consummation, or great high point, of the feast … It was the eighth day – first day of the season of rest … The day itself was to be a day of complete rest; no work whatever was to be done … The planting, the cultivating, and the harvesting had all been accomplished … Now it was time to rest …
That eighth day was a type of the new creation – the day that never ends – the day “when all our labor and trials are over …” It is the day of the establishment of the eternal kingdom of God in its fullness … All is completed … All is renewed … All is at rest … The true New World has begun … It is the fulfillment of the work of Christ for us all …