Archive for the ‘Sabbath’ Category

Zemirot for Erev Shabbat – The Sabbath Bride

From the Koren Siddur:

IMG_5259“How beloved is your rest, Sabbath Queen, we run to greet you:  Come, royal bride, dressed in fine robes.  We light the light with blessing.  All labors end [as is said] “You shall do no work.” To savor the delights of fowl, quail and fish.

In advance all kinds of tasty food have been prepared, fattened chicken made ready while it was still day.  Varied dishes set out, and fragrant wines to drink, and special delicacies all three times.  To savor the delights of fowl, quail and fish.

They shall inherit Jacob’s heritage, a heritage unbounded, rich and poor will honor [the Sabbath] and be worthy of redemption.  If you keep the Sabbath day you will be My special treasure, six days shall you labor – and on the seventh let us rejoice.  To savor the delights of fowl, quail and fish.

Your secular concerns are forbidden; so too are calculations.  Reflections are permitted, and arranging matches for girls, and teaching a child a book, and singing songs of praise, and meditating on fine words at every place and gathering.  To savor the delights of fowl, quail and fish.

Your walk shall be unhurried; you shall call the Sabbath a delight.  Sleep too is praiseworthy, for it refreshes the spirit.  Therefore my soul yearns for you, to rest in you in love, as if within a fence of roses: on it son and daughter rest.  To savor the delights of fowl, quail and fish.

A foretaste of the World to Come is the day of Sabbath rest.  All who take delight in it will be worthy of great joy.  They will be delivered with relief from the birthpangs of the Messiah.  May our redemption spring forth, and sadness and sighing flee away.  To savor the delights of fowl, quail and fish.”

©Koren Siddur, Jerusalem 2012

Zemirot for Erev Shabbat – Rest, Joy and Light

IMG_6687“Rest and joy, light for all Jews [and those who join with her], is the Sabbath day, day of delights; those who keep it and recall it bear witness that in six days all creation was made. The highest heavens, land and seas, the host of heaven, high and sublime; sea monsters, humans and all wild beasts, were created by YHVH God, He who formed worlds. It was He who spoke to His treasured people: ‘Keep it to make it holy from beginning to end.’ The holy Sabbath is His day of delight, for on it God rested from all His work. Through the Sabbath commandment God will give you strength, rise, pray to Him and He will invigorate you. Recite the Nishmat prayer, and the Kedusha, then eat with joy, for He is pleased with you. With twin loaves and wine for the Kiddush, with many delicacies and a wiling spirit; those who delight in it shall merit great reward: the coming of the Redeemer, and LIFE in the World to come.”

 

Feasts of the Lord: Shadows and Realities (Overview)

“What will you do on the day of your appointed festivals, on the feast days of the LORD?” (Isaiah 9:5).

“Here, I’m standing at the door, knocking. If someone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he will eat with me” (Revelation 3:20).

There are many different calendars in the world today.  There is the Gregorian/Julian calendar which is internationally accepted as the civil calendar.  This calendar begins in January and ends in December and includes American holidays like New Year’s Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving.

There is the liturgical calendar that was generated by the Roman catholic church with the holidays that have been universally embraced by the Christian church worldwide.  On this calendar is the weekly Sunday and yearly dates for Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter.

There is also the Biblical calendar established by God with Israel at Mount Sinai.  This calendar focuses on the weekly and annual festival days called The Feasts of the LORD.  These are the times that God has set to meet with His people in prophetic ways. 

The Mo’edim or Appointed Times

The Hebrew word for ‘feasts or festivals’ is mo’edim and means ‘set or appointed times.’  Within the meaning of mo’ed is the idea of  a ‘meeting of two or more at a certain place and time.’ “Mo’edim    is the word used in Genesis 1:14 for the word ‘seasons‘ when God created the sun, moon and stars.  The Feasts of the LORD are seasons  determined by the sun, moon and stars.   From that account, days are rendered sunset to sunset as ‘there was evening and morning,‘for each day.   Months are approximately 28 days based on the lunar cycle. Years are determined by the  constellations that move across the heavens.   Outlined in Leviticus 23 are the Mo’edim of the Yahweh or the ‘set meeting times’ of the LORD. 

“The LORD said to Moses, ‘Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies” (Leviticus 23:1).

The ‘appointed times’ given by God were called sacred assemblies or holy convocations. In Hebrew, the word for ‘assembly’ or ‘convocation’ is mikrah. This word has its root in qara and means to ‘call out loudly’ or be ‘invited.’  Mikrah has the added nuance of ‘rehearsal’ associated the ‘appointed times’ of God with being invited to a rehearsal dinner

These ‘appointed times’ were not given just to the Tribes of Israel, but also Egyptians who had heeded Moses’ command to put lamb’s blood on their doorposts.  This mixed multitude of men, women and children left Egypt and became one community known as Israelites.

The ‘appointed times’ of the LORD had agricultural foundations with festivals for firstfruits and harvests giving each festival a spiritual significance to the complete redemptive plan of God.  Each festival was a shadow of the Messiah who was, is, and will be.   Yeshua became the reality of the spring ‘appointed times’; he will become the reality of the fall festivals at their ‘appointed times.’

“Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.  These are a shadow of the things that are coming; the reality, however, is found in Messiah” (Colossians 2:16-17).

This verse in Colossians has been used for a proof-text that gentiles or non-Jewish believers don’t need to celebrate the Biblically appointed times because they have Jesus in their lives. Instead of understanding the Scripture in the context that judgment should not come from Jews when gentiles join together with them in celebrating their holy days, they rid themselves from what is found in the reality of Messiah. 

Shadows and realities go together.  Shadows imply that there is some substance causing it while something of substance causes a shadow.  If we are in Messiah and he in us, then we have the the light that brings the reality out of the shadows.  The shadows spoken of in these verses to the Colossians are in the progressive present tense, that are coming,  meaning that they are still in process in the present and have yet to all be fulfilled.

This inherited lie has kept the believing gentile separated from their full inheritance in the Messiah of Israel.      Instead of accepting the spiritual blessings that come from celebrating the Sabbath and the New Moon, they reject the very substance of Yeshua’s life in their own.

Weekly Appointed Time

Sabbath is the first appointed time given by the LORD.

“There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly.  You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the LORD” (Leviticus 23:3).

Present Shadow and Reality

The seventh day Sabbath is a memorial to Creation ‘in the beginning.’  It is so important that God put it in the 10 Commandments as well as listed it the first of the mo’edim.  Yeshua taught that God made the Sabbath for mankind and he is the Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 8:12, Mark 2:27).   

First of Months and the Spring Feasts

These mo’edim of the LORD have been fulfilled by Yeshua on their appointed day and time.  The first three represent the past work of Yeshua justifying the individual before  God and bringing the hope of redemption to the world. 

Passover is the second appointed time given by the LORD.

“These are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month” (Leviticus 23:4-5).

Shadow

The Passover festival is a memorial to the deliverance of the people of God from Egypt through the blood of the lamb.  They were taken from a life of slavery to a life of freedom.  They were taken from the darkness of a pagan world into the light of the God’s Kingdom.

Fulfilled Reality:

Yeshua is our Passover lamb.  Through his sacrificial death, we are taken from a life of slavery in sin to a life of freedom in righteousness.  We are taken from the darkness of the sinful world to the light of the Kingdom of God.

Feast of Unleavened Bread is the third appointed time given by the LORD.

Shadow:

This festival is in memorial to the haste in which the Israelites left Egypt.  They had no time to let their bread dough rise. 

Fulfilled Reality:

Yeshua was the sinless, unleavened bread of life.  He was hastily taken off the cross and buried before the Feast of Unleavened Bread would begin.  He was wrapped in cloths and put in a tomb.

The Feast of Firstfruits is the fourth appointed time given by the LORD.

Shadow:

This festival is a memorial to the firstfruits of the harvest.  It is celebrated on the first day of the week after the weekly Sabbath following Passover.

Fulfilled Reality:

Yeshua rose from the dead and ascended to his Father and offered himself as the first sheaf of grain from the harvest.

The Feast of Weeks is the fifth appointed time given by The LORD. This festival represents the present work of Yeshua sanctifying the individual through the Holy Spirit and preparing him for the world to come.

Shadow:

There are 50 days between the Feast of Firstfruits and the Feast of Weeks called Counting the Omer.  For 40 of these days Yeshua walked on the earth, met and ate with his disciples.  Then, he ascended into heaven.

Fulfilled Reality:

The Spirit of God came mightily upon the Jewish believers in Messiah as part of the promised new covenant.  Tongues of fire reseted on them and filled them with power to speak in other languages and take the gospel to the nations. 

Fall Appointed Times

“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” (Habbakuk 2:3).

These mo’edim of the LORD have not yet been fulfilled by Yeshua.  This is the future work of Yeshua restoring the glory of God to Israel and the nations.  These ‘appointed times’ are a vision of hope.

The Feast of Trumpets is the sixth appointed time given by the LORD.

Shadow

The Feast of Trumpets is a memorial to something that has not yet happened. 

Reality is yet to come

At the trumpet call of God, the dead will be raised and changed from mortal to immortality.

The Day of Atonement is the seventh appointed time given by the LORD.

Shadow

On this day, the high priest went into the Holy of Holies in the Temple and made atonement for himself and the nation of Israel.

Reality is yet to come

On this day, all Israel will be saved. 

The Feast of Tabernacles is the eighth appointed time given by the LORD.

Shadow

The Feast of Tabernacles is a memorial to the Tabernacle in the wilderness when the LORD lived among His people. 

Reality is yet to come

When Yeshua returns, he will Tabernacle with the nation of Israel and rule the nations from Jerusalem.

The Eternal Sabbath

Shadow

We are living in the shadow of the eternal Sabbath with the vision of a remaining Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4:8).

Reality is yet to come

The restoration of the Kingdom of God and the New Jerusalem.

The weekly and annual cycle of The Feasts of the LORD give us the complete picture of God’s plan of salvation.   Yeshua was, is and will be the reality in each and every mo’edim.

“Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are the people who know the joyful sound (who understand and appreciate the spiritual blessings symbolized by the feasts); they walk, O Lord, in the light and favor of Your countenance” (Psalm 89:15 The Amplified Bible).

©2010 Tent Stake Ministries (Chapter from Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive that includes more about the Feasts of the LORD and how to celebrate in your home or with others.)

The ‘yom’ of Sabbath

Genesis 1:5 “God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day.”

Genesis 1:8 “So there was evening, and there was morning, a second day.”

Genesis 1:13 “So there was evening, and there was morning, a third day.”

Genesis 1:19 “So there was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day.”

Genesis 1:23 “So there was evening, and there was morning, a fifth day.”

Genesis 1:31 “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good. So there was evening, and there was morning, a sixth day.”

Each of the first six days of creation, included Day (light) and Night (darkness) and were part of one day beginning with evening.

Day

The Hebrew word for ‘day’ is yom. It is the period of daylight that contrasts nighttime.  In regards to creation, each yom was a 24-hour period that began in the evening at sunset and went through the morning (boker) until the next sunset (erev).  The original Sabbath yom did not have a time limitation, another nuance to the Hebrew word. The created Sabbath yom was never supposed to end.  Adam and Eve were to live in Gan Eden for all eternity; however, when sin entered the world through disobedience, the eternal Sabbath yom ended for them and their descendants.  It became a weekly Sabbath yom.

Light

The Hebrew word for ‘light’ is or and is first seen in Genesis 1:3.  It does not mean ‘day’ but is the opposite of darkness.

Night

The Hebrew word for ‘night’ is laila. It is the period of time that is dark.  During Biblical times, the laila was divided into three watches – sunset to 10 p.m., 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., 2 a.m. to sunrise. 

Darkness

The Hebrew word for ‘darkness’ is choshek and means darkness and obscurity.  The or was separated from the choshek.

Evening

The Hebrew word for ‘evening’ is erev.  This word represents the time of day immediately preceding and following the setting of the sun and was used in Genesis 1:5 on the first day of creation. Erev can also mean night and therefore, there was night and then there was day.  This is significant because darkness always comes before light whether it’s the first day of creation or that we, as sinners walk in darkness until we are called into the light of salvation. 

Morning

The Hebrew word for ‘morning’  or ‘daybreak’ is boker. It does not mean the period of time before noon, but that point in time which night is changing to day or the rising of the sun.  When it is used as the antonym for night, boker means  the entire period of daylight.

The Seventh Day

Genesis 2:2-3 “On the seventh day God was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.”

Exodus 20:8 “Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God.”

One of the ten commandments was to ‘remember’ the Sabbath yom – the eternal yom with a weekly yom.  The weekly yom of Sabbath became part of the seven-day cycle of the week with each yom beginning with evening (erev) and ending with morning (boker) as the days were created.

The importance of remembering the Sabbath yom was not so much about looking back to what was lost, but looking forward to the restoration of all things that would come at the end of time through the seed of the woman.  In other words, remembering the weekly Sabbath yom is a vision of the restoration of life Gan Eden which is found in Revelation 21 with the re-newed heavens and earth.

Evening to Evening, Sunset to Sunset

Matzah

In Exodus 12:18, the command to eat matzah went from the erev of the fourteenth day to the erev of the twenty-first day and lasted seven days.  Each yom was counted from evening to evening or sunset to sunset.

Exodus 12:18 “From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day, you are to eat matzah.”

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is known as the Day of Atonement.  In Leviticus 23, the Sabbath yom is described.  The rest of the Sabbath is from evening until the following evening.  Since this holy day is called a yom, this is an excellent example of how God defines a Sabbath yom. 

Leviticus 23:32 “It will be for you a Shabbat of complete rest, and you are to deny yourselves; you are to rest on your Shabbat from evening the ninth day of the month until the following evening.”

Nehemiah had the gates of Jerusalem closed for the Shabbat.  When the sun began to set, the gates closed until after the Sabbath.  No loads were brought into the city during the nighttime hours or the daytime hours.

Nehemiah 13:19 “So when the gates of Yerushalayim began to grow dark before Shabbat, I ordered that the doors be shut; and I ordered that they not be reopened until after Shabbat. I put some of my servants in charge of the gates, to see to it that no loads be brought in on Shabbat.”

Yeshua’s Resurrection

In the gospels, it becomes clear when the Sabbath begins or ends.  In Matthew the ‘day was dawning’ or boker.  In Mark, ‘just after sunrise” or boker.  Both of these verses show that Sabbath was over and sunrise was coming.  In Luke and John, the ‘first day of the week’, ‘very early’ it was still dark.  This shows that the yom begins not in the morning or at daylight, but in evening (erev) when darkness falls.

Matthew 28:1 “After Shabbat, as the next day was dawning, Miryam of Magdala and the other Miryam went to see the grave.”

Mark 16:2 “Very early the next day, just after sunrise, they went to the tomb.”

Luke 24:1 “…but the next day, while it was still very early, they took the spices they had prepared, went to the tomb….”

John 20:1 “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Miryam from Magdala went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.”

Sabbath Eternity

Revelation 22:5 “Night will no longer exist, so they will need neither the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because Adonai, God, will shine upon them. And they will reign as kings forever and ever.”

In eternity, the restored Sabbath yom, laila will no longer exist nor will the or of a lamp or the sun because of the light of Yahweh.  Yet, the 24-hour Sabbath yom will still be celebrated along with a new moon Rosh Chodesh.   How will that be done?  Only God knows.  Until then, from sunset to sunset, God gave the weekly Sabbath yom to give us a vision of what is to come.  The light of the countenance of YHVH will make these days of Sabbath-keeping seem like darkness and we will enter an eternal light of Sabbath. 

Isaiah 66:22-23 ““For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making will continue in my presence,” says Adonai, “so will your descendants and your name continue. “Every month on Rosh-Hodesh and every week on Shabbat, everyone living will come to worship in my presence,” says Adonai.” 

©2014 Tent Stake Ministries and Vines Expository Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew and Greek Words

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