Posts Tagged ‘Feasts of the Lord’

Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts

Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts is a personal or group in-depth study guide/student manual that reveals the shadows and realities of the Messiah in the prophetic visions in the Feasts of the LORD. It will fill in the holes of your Bible when reading the words ‘Jewish feast’ or ‘the feast of the Jews.’  This study will illuminate often-overlooked phrases and idioms that allude to the ‘appointed times’ of God.

Both the prophet Micah and King Solomon state that without prophetic vision and knowledge, God’s people perish. Studying the Biblical holy days will revive the searching soul and bring insight and understanding into the complete salvation found in Yeshua – his past, present and future work.

This newly revised study guide/student manual includes Scriptures from the Torah, Prophets, Psalms, Gospels and Letters. It includes activities for families and children that will enhance celebrating the Biblical ‘appointed times’ as well as suggestions for digging deeper into traditional and Biblical Jewish customs surrounding Yeshua In His Father’s Feasts.

If you are doing a group study, a leader’s manual for the revised second edition student manual can be purchased that not only has the answers to the questions, but also ideas for spurring discussions.

May be purchased on


“This is the best Bible study I have ever done. I can’t seem to put it down and I am learning more and more about my faith everyday. I have been a believer for 60 years and I am learning truths I was never taught in church. I even asked my pastor if he knew all of this and admitted, he did not.” (M. Graves)

“I have been growing in my faith from reading and studying the Feasts in this guide. Thank you for your faithfulness to Yeshua!” (S. Corben)

“Few Christians understand that the context for the Jewish Messiah of the New Testament of their Bibles is the culture and language and history of the nation of Israel. This book helps explain why that culture, language and history is necessary knowledge for understanding the identity of the Messiah and how knowing the Jewish Messiah enlarges the understanding of the Biblical feasts. Good, basic foundational information from which to launch further study. Very enjoyable and eye-opening.” (W. Lopez)

“Loved it. Will keep going back for future Wisdom that truly matters.” (J. Banta)

“I have learned so many things about the Bible that I never saw before. I loved learning about the fall festivals and I became aware of more and more people teaching about these special times. I especially learned that Christmas and Hanukkah are very different holidays. I am grateful to have done this Bible study.” (L. Herbert)

“My eyes are seeing so much more in Scripture, especially the new testament, after doing this study.” (M. Gravenhorst)

Parashah 31: Emor (Speak)

Parashah 31: Leviticus 21:1-24:23

“They are to be holy for their God and not profane the name of their God. For they are the ones who present Adonai with offerings made by fire, the bread of their God; therefore they must be holy” (Leviticus 21:1-6).

The priests of Elohim are to be holy.  They are not to defile themselves with a dead body unless it’s their mother, father, son, daughter, or virgin sister.  They are not to make bald spots on their heads, mar the edges of their beards, or cut gashes in their flesh.  Each of these instructions are mentioned in previous parashot and relate to pagan worship. 

Priests and Marriage

A  Levitical priest is not to marry a widow, divorcee, profaned woman, or prostitute

because he is “Holy to Yahweh.”  Priests were not to marry any woman who followed a pagan religion or who did not profess faith in the Elohim of Isra’el.  Hedid not want His people, especially His priesthood intermarrying and producing offspring that would profane His Altar.  The high priest, the one who has been anointed with oil on his head, was only allowed to marry a virgin. 

Rahab is a unique case.  She was the harlot who helped the two spies when they entered the Promised Land.  For her faithfulness to Isra’el, she is given a place in Yeshua’s kingly bloodline.  She marries Salmon, from the house of Judah and gives birth to Boaz.   Boaz marries Ruth the Moabitess who gives  birth to Obed, the father of King David.

“God hates divorce” (Malachi 2:16).  This verse is quoted to support  all manner of opinions regarding marriage, divorce and re-marriage.  It is important to remember two things.  First, Elohim divorced Isra’el for breaking the marriage covenant.  According to some theologies, He may never remarry – ever.   Through Yeshua, however, He renewed the marriage covenant and all Isra’el who put their faith in him are restored to Elohim as Husband.

Secondly, the words in Malachi are about willful divorce.  He writes about men willfully violating their marriage covenants because they lusted after pagan women (Malachi 2:11).   He calls this ‘treachery’ and a betrayal of trust.  It is for this reason, betrayal of trust and violence,  Elohim hates divorce.

When it comes to remarriage in Leviticus, Elohim speaks only to the men who are priests because they are “Holy to Yahweh.” This did not mean that other divorced men (and women) within Isra’el did not remarry; they just could not remarry someone from the priestly line. 

“Yeshua said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against his wife; and if a wife divorces her husband and marries another man, she too commits adultery’” (Mark 10:11-12).

These words are also taken out of context when trying to defend certain remarriage positions.  This is Yeshua’s response to a question about divorce in Torah.  He is asked if a man is permitted to divorce his wife.  Yeshua knew the hearts of those who asked this question and responded with his own question, “What did Moshe command you?”

Moshe allowed a man to give his wife a ‘get’ and divorce her.   A ‘get’ is like divorce papers that make effective the separation and gives the wife her marital rights back so she is not labeled an adulteress.  King David required all of his soldiers, before going to war, give their wives a ‘get’ so that if they were taken captive or became missing in action, their wives would be free to remarry without being adulteresses.

The problem was not the ‘get’ as it was allowed in Torah.  The problem was the reason for the divorce.  Jewish religious law still states that a ‘get’ can be given to a wife who spoils her husband’s or the husband finds another woman attractive or no reason at all.  The concept of the marriage covenant had been distorted and perverted.  It is because of this hardness of the heart that Yeshua reminds them:

“at the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.  For this reason, a man should leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two are to become one flesh.  …No one should break apart what God has joined together” (Mark 10:6-7).

Marriage is a covenant between a man, woman and Elohim. 

When a marriage breaks apart because of another person, adultery has already been committed.  Lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and pride of life brings the iniquity of adultery into the heart until it becomes the sin of adultery.  If the man asking for the divorce (women didn’t ask for divorce) immediately marries the woman he lusted after, he commits the sin of adultery making his spouse an adulterer as well.  This is because the two became one flesh in the marriage covenant and his sin affects both he and his wife equally.  For a man to divorce his wife in order to marry another woman or for a woman to divorce her husband in order to marry another man is adulteryWhat about the wronged spouse, the one left ‘in the dust’ after a divorce?

“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.  They forbid people to marry …” (1 Timothy 4:3).   This verse refers to more than just catholic priests and nuns taking a vow of celibacy, but the actual forbidding of people to marry.   Those who offer no grace or mercy for remarriage for the one who did not request the divorce calling it adultery could be considered ‘forbidding’ people to marry.   This could be considered ‘hardness of heart’ as well.  According to Sha’ul, this doctrine comes from a deceiving spirit and lacks faith.  Only the Levitical priesthood was told not to marry a divorced woman, not every man (or woman) in the Body of Messiah.

“To the rest I say — I, not the Lord: if any brother has a wife who is not a believer, and she is satisfied to go on living with him, he should not leave her. Also, if any woman has an unbelieving husband who is satisfied to go on living with her, she is not to leave him. For the unbelieving husband has been set aside for God by the wife, and the unbelieving wife has been set aside for God by the brother — otherwise your children would be “unclean,” but as it is, they are set aside for God. But if the unbelieving spouse separates himself, let him be separated. In circumstances like these, the brother or sister is not enslaved — God has called you to a life of peace.   For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” (1 Corinthians 7:12-16).

Sha’ul explains the believer who is married to an unbeliever should not separate from the unbeliever.  This is because the believer in Messiah sanctifies the unbeliever as well as their children.  If the unbeliever chooses to separate from the believing spouse, that situation is allowed so the believer can live a life of peace.   However,  too often I hear of believing women leaving their unbelieving husbands so that they can find and marry a believing husband.  This is not what Sha’ul teaches and would, because of the intention in the heart, be considered hardness of heart and adultery.    

The sanctification of the believing spouse has great impact on the family unit.  My mother was a believer and I didn’t realize how much her sanctification affected my family until she passed.  Almost immediately our family unit disintegrated.  My father wasn’t sanctified and neither were my siblings or myself.  We had family friends who saw what happened and still remark about how fast our family fell apart.  For a believer to want to leave the unbeliever is not only destructive to the family, it is also against Elohim’s will for the sanctification of husband or wife and their children.

“Suppose a man marries a woman and consummates the marriage but later finds her displeasing, because he has found her offensive in some respect. He writes her a divorce document, gives it to her and sends her away from his house.  She leaves his house, goes and becomes another man’s wife;  but the second husband dislikes her and writes her a get, gives it to her and sends her away from his house; or the second husband whom she married dies. In such a case her first husband, who sent her away, may not take her again as his wife, because she is now defiled. It would be detestable to Adonai, and you are not to bring about sin in the land Adonai your God is giving you as your inheritance” (Deuteronomy 24:1-4).

These verses deal with remarriage after divorce and remarrying the first spouse.  Apparently, the nations around the Israelites made marriage, divorce, and remarriage a routine of life, similar to today.  Elohim gives the instruction that remarrying a previous spouse defiles both the man and woman and is detestable to Him.

I knew a woman many years ago who was divorced and remarried.  With her second husband, she had five children.  They began attending a church whose leaders told her that she was an adulteress and needed to return to her first husband.  She became distraught at the thought of destroying her family to return to a man she no longer knew was dead or alive.  The leadership pressured her until she began researching the whereabouts of her first husband, preparing for a second divorce to restore that marriage.   She celebrated when she learned that her first husband had passed away. She was now free, according to Elohim (and her misguided leadership) to remain with her husband and children.  In this situation, the grace and mercy of Elohim far outweighed the ‘letter of the law’ that would have destroyed an entire family unit. 

An elder must be blameless, husband to one wife …” (Titus 1:6).

In order to be an elder or leader within the community of believers, the leader is to only have one wife.  Men in leadership, like the priesthood,  are not to be divorced and remarried.  This means that when a man divorces his wife and marries another, he loses the privilege of being in leadership. “For if a man cannot manage his household, how will he manage the family of God?” (1 Timothy 3:5).

Because divorce and remarriage is so prevalent in our culture and even in the Body of Messiah, the instructions of Elohim are ignored.  The teachings of Yeshua are rationalized until more men (and women) in leadership are divorced and remarried contrary to the teachings of Sha’ul.  Perhaps if followers of Yeshua really understood their loss of divine privilege, they would work harder at salvaging their marriages, ridding themselves of sin and hardness of heart.

Yeshua and Two Women

The Adulteress Woman

In John 8:1-11, a woman caught in the act of adultery is brought to Yeshua by the leaders while he is teaching in the Temple Court.  They tell him that according to Torah, this woman needs to be stoned to death.  Yeshua bends down and writes in the dust with his finger.  Eventually he responds, “The one of you who is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.  Then he bent down and wrote in the dust again.”  With those words, the men left one by one.

The men leaving is significant.  To condemn anyone to death by stoning, there needs to be two or three witnesses.  In order to be a witness, one would have to be there and see the crime.  To witness adultery means either watching it happen or taking part in the act.  For any of these men to be a witness to adultery, they would have condemned themselves. 

When the woman is finally alone with Yeshua, he tells her that without anyone to condemn her, he does not condemn her.  With the words, “Now go, and don’t sin any more,” he sends her away.  He never suggests that she will not enter the Kingdom because he knew her situation.  She was either innocent of the claims or had repented from her sin. 

The prophet Jeremiah reveals a little about the writing in the dust and perhaps the destiny of those who had tried to trap him with the adulteress woman:

“Hope of Isra’el, Adonai! All who abandon you will be ashamed, those who leave you will be inscribed in the dust, because they have abandoned Adonai, the source of living water” (Jeremiah 17:13). 

The Woman at the Well

In John 4:5-25, Yeshua is walking in the hills of Samaria, the western bank of the Jordan River.  The Samaritans had been at one time part of the priesthood, but married out of the Levitical Tribe contrary to Yahweh’s instructions.   Though they had a type of religious system, they had loss the understanding of Torah and were worshipping that which they did not really know. 

Yeshua is exhausted from walking and he sits down by Jacob’s well.  It was about noon and a woman comes to the well to draw some water.  Yeshua asks her for a drink.  She responds by asking him why a Jew would ask a Samaritan for water.  Yeshua’s answer begins the conversation,

“If you knew God’s gift, that is, who it is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink of water,’ then you would have asked him; and he would have given you living water.’”  

When she asks for some of the living water, Yeshua tells her to go get her husband.  She responds that she has no husband.  At this, Yeshua reveals that she has had five husbands and is not married to the man with whom she is currently living.   If this woman was committing adultery, this would have been the perfect segue to condemn her lifestyle.  However, Yeshua understood her condition from several factors given in the account.  First, it is about noon and this woman is coming alone to the well.  This suggests she was already an outcast in her community as women generally gathered at the well in the early part of the day and visited with other women.  Barren women were considered an outcast and were often given a ‘get’ because they could not bare children for their husband.   Perhaps she was an outcast because all of her husbands died and the last one didn’t want to fall into that pattern and took her into his home just to provide for her needs. 

The conversation continues with Yeshua telling her that salvation will come from the Jews and a time is coming when one will worship the Father neither in Samaria or in Jerusalem, because Elohim is Spirit and will be worshipped in Spirit and Truth.  The woman responds that she knew the Messiah was coming and when he did, he would teach them all things.  At these words, Yeshua responds, “I, the person speaking to you, am he.”

Nowhere during their conversation does Yeshua tell her to return to her first husband; nor does he tell her to ‘go and sin no more’ as if she was committing adultery through divorce or fornicating by being unmarried.   In fact, Yeshua reveals to her that he is the promised Messiah for whom she is waiting.  Because of their conversation and her witness to the community about him ‘knowing everything she ever did,’ many people in Samaria put their faith in him.

“Do not commit adultery” is one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:14).  As Yeshua showed with the woman ‘caught’ in adultery, it is a sin that with a tender heart can be forgiven.  Marriage and remarriage is not  always considered adultery as Yeshua proved with the woman at the well.   Elohim also knows divorce will happen due to the hardness of men and women’s hearts.  Divorce is not His perfect will, not probably even his pleasing or good will, yet because He knows human nature, He gave instructions for marriage, remarriage and the ‘get’ of divorce.

The Bread of Presence

“You are to take fine flour and use it to bake twelve loaves, one gallon per loaf.  Arrange them in two rows, six in a row, on the pure table before Adonai.  Put frankincense with each row to be an offering made by fire to Adonai in place of the bread and as a reminder of it” (Leviticus 24:5-7).

Twelve loaves of bread were baked with fine flour and arranged in two rows of six as a reminder of the 12 Tribes of Isra’el who are always in the presence of Elohim.  Every Shabbat,  the priest was to arrange the loaves on the Table which were ‘especially holy.’  Only Aaron and his sons were allowed to eat this bread.

These are the same consecrated loaves the priest gave David and his soldiers when they were hungry (1 Samuel 21:1-7).  Yeshua used this historical event when he was accused of breaking the Shabbat to explain that we are to ‘live by Torah, not die by it’ (Matthew 12:3-6).

The Holy ‘I AM’

“Then tell the people of Isra’el, ‘Whoever curses his God will bear the consequences of his sin; and whoever blasphemes the name of Adonai must be put to death; the entire community must stone him. The foreigner as well as the citizen is to be put to death if he blasphemes the Name’” (Leviticus 24:15-16).


“There is however another type of cursing happens with the Name of God.   Because the Name was considered too holy to speak except on Yom Kippur, the actual rendering of Yod Hey Vav Hey has been lost.  The most acceptable form is Yahweh, but so many self-appointed scholars seem to think they know the real pronunciation. Nuances and transliterations have come about that His Name has become a matter of pride and arrogance to those who think they are wise, a laughingstock to those who know better and  a mockery to those who believe it is too holy to even be used casually.   I know those who throw the Name around with such familiarity that it loses its holiness and reverence especially when their life actions do not line up with His teachings.  The whole verbage becomes ‘vanity’ or ‘taking His Name in vain.’

“Though it is a separate issue, I want to take this opportunity to state my position regarding the usage of the Holy Name. Believe it or not, I do know and indeed say it at appropriate times. I don’t have any reason to prove that, since the name of Yeshua has become the Name above ALL Names, and the One in whom I trust. I regard the Holy Name as holy, holy, holy.  Saying/writing it casually makes it casual. I will refrain from doing that because so many of my Jewish friends also regard it as holy, holy, holy.

“Regarding the usage of “Yahshuah” or “Yahuwah.,” I don’t understand why people have accepted the opinions of self-appointed Hebrew scholars when there are brilliant actual Messianic Jews who are highly educated and speak Hebrew as their primary and natural tongue who have made it abundantly clear that “yashuah” is impossible nonsense.”

The consequence for blaspheming the name of Yahweh, the Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, was death.  The foreigner as well as the citizen was to be put to death.  This is a high price to pay for ignorance and arrogance with the Name of Elohim.  I have used  Yahweh italicized to set His name apart from the rest of the text; however, I believe Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh (yod-hey-vav-hey) is ‘the Name’ and until Yeshua returns, no one will know the exact pronunciation.  Yeshua is the name above all names and the Hebrew spelling found in a Hebrew dictionary is ישוע or yeshua and literally means ‘salvation’.  (Quote from Ted Pearce, musician and Messianic believer from the nations.)

“Anyone who strikes another person and kills him must be put to death.  Anyone who strikes an animal and kills it is to make restitution, life for life” (Leviticus 24:17-18).

Human life is so valuable to Elohim that if someone kills another, they are to be put to death:  a life for a life.  The same holds true for an animal as it is defenseless against human brutality.  Though with an animal, the consequence is not life for life, but restitution.   If an animal kills a human, the animal needs to be put to death because human life is more valuable than an animal. 

Leviticus 24:20 is the famous “break for break, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, whatever injury he has caused the other person is to be rendered to him in return.”  Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” reminds his villagers that if this rule was strictly followed, everyone would be blind and toothless.   It would follow from Tevye’s reasoning that cutting off the hand of someone who steals would render everyone hand-icapped.

“You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you not to stand up against someone who does you wrong. On the contrary, if someone hits you on the right cheek, let him hit you on the left cheek too! If someone wants to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well!  And if a soldier forces you to carry his pack for one mile, carry it for two! When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something from you, lend it to him” (Matthew 5:38-42).

The Feasts of Yahweh

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Tell the people of Isra’el: The designated times of Adonai which you are to proclaim as holy convocations are my designated times’” (Leviticus 23:1).

The Hebrew word for ‘feasts’ is mo’edim and means ‘seasons’ or ‘appointed times.’  Moed’im is used in Genesis 1:14 for ‘seasons’ as the lights in the sky were to be used for determining the days (sunset to sunset), weeks (seven days), months (by the lunar cycle) and for the ‘appointed times’. The Feasts are the ‘appointed times’ of Yahweh, not Jewish festivals as rendered in the new testament.  They appear to be Jewish as Yahweh gave them to His people to ‘proclaim’ and, for millennia that is what they did through their traditions.  As the ‘appointed times’ of Yahweh, there are many prophetic shadows that Yeshua brings to reality with his life, death, resurrection and coming Kingdom.  Celebrating these ‘appointed times’  throughout their generations wherever Isra’el lived, they fulfilled the calling of being a light to the nations while revealing the shadows of Yeshua.   As the nations celebrate the reality of Messiah within these ‘appointed times’, they more effectively fulfill the calling to make Isra’el envious.


“So don’t let anyone pass judgment on you in connection with eating and drinking, or in regard to a Jewish  festival or Rosh-Hodesh or Shabbat. These are a shadow of things that are coming, but the body is of the Messiah” (Colossians 2:16-17). 

When I was being discipled many years ago, I was taught a different perspective of ‘shadow’ or tzel. We know that a reality, a substance casts a shadow.  We see it and say, “Hey, there the shadow of ….”   In Jewish thought, however, a shadow is the evidence of a reality that needs to be sought out. This is the purpose for the Feasts of Yahweh.  They are shadows with the reality in Messiah Yeshua.

For most non-Jewish believers, once they have the reality of Messiah, they feel they don’t need the shadows.   In fact, many say that no one is to judge them for not taking part in the shadows.   However, it is the shadow that proves the reality.  If someone claims to have the reality of Messiah,  then they should be casting his shadow.  When a foreigner or non-Jewish follower of Messiah keeps the Shabbat or any of the ‘appointed times’ focused on Yeshua, a shadow is cast and a Jewish person will seek out the substance (the reason why).  The veil of shadows will be removed from their eyes and they will see the reality of their own Messiah, Yeshua. 

‘Holy convocation’ is mikrah in Hebrew and also means ‘rehearsal.’ This is why no one should be judged for celebrating Elohim’s holy days.   They are a ‘rehearsal’ of ‘events that are coming’ as there are still ‘appointed times’ that need to be fulfilled by Yeshua.

Those who are part of a wedding party go to the rehearsals followed by a rehearsal dinner.  They are the inner circle friends of the bride and groom. Those who don’t attend the rehearsal are the guests invited to the wedding.  There are always some guests who make excuses and do not even attend the wedding celebration.

This is how it is with the mo’edim.  Those who are in the inner circle of the groom attend the rehearsal dinners, the Feasts of Yeshua’s Father. There are many, too numerous to count, who make excuses and do not take part in the rehearsal dinners and will only be the guests at the wedding feast of the Lamb.

“For many are invited, but few are chosen…” (Matthew 22:14, Luke 14:15-24).

Shabbat – Sabbath

The first ‘appointed time’ of Yahweh is the Sabbath. 

Shabbat in Jerusalem

“Work is to be done on six days; but the seventh is a Shabbat of complete rest, a holy convocation; you are not do to any kind of work; it is a Shabbat for Adonai even in your homes” (Leviticus 23:3).

Elohim set apart the seventh day in Genesis as a day to cease work.  It is not a day of personal choice as the Israelites learned when they were given instructions about gathering manna.  When Yeshua called himself ‘Lord of the Sabbath,’ he referred to the seventh day set apart by his Father.   Sabbath remains the seventh day during the Millennial Kingdom until its complete fulfillment as the eternal Sabbath ‘day’ in the restored heavens and earth in the New Jerusalem. As one of Yahweh’s mo’edim, it is a ‘sign’ between Himand His people forever (Ezekiel 20:20).

Pesach – Passover

“In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between sundown and complete darkness, comes Pesach for Adonai” (Leviticus 23:5).

This is a memorial to the Passover in Egypt.  It is established as one of the mo’edim by Yahweh.  It was fulfilled by Yeshua when he died as the ‘Lamb of Elohim’ on the cross.  His blood redeemed all men back to his Father.

Matzah – Unleavened Bread

Matzah or Unleavened Bread

On the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of matzah; for seven days you are to eat matzah.  On the first day you are to have a holy convocation … on the seventh day is a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work’” (Leviticus 23:6-8).

This is a memorial to the exodus from Egypt.  It is established as one of the mo’edim by Yahweh.  It was fulfilled by Yeshua when as a ‘sinless’ (unleavened bread) man, he was quickly taken from the cross, wrapped in burial clothes and placed in a tomb.  Matzah is called a ‘rehearsal’ or mikrah.

Yom HaBikkurim – Early Firstfruits

“Adonai said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Isra’el, “After you enter the land I am giving you and harvest its ripe crops, you are to bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the cohen” (Leviticus 23:9).

This mo’ed was to be celebrated when the Israelites entered the Promised Land and harvested their crops.  The celebration of this ‘appointed time’ was delayed 40 years while they wandered in the wilderness. 

Early Firstfruits included bringing a sheaf of the firstfruits of the barley harvest to the priest who would wave it before Yahweh so the person bringing the offering would be accepted by Elohim.  The sheaf was waved on the day after the weekly Sabbath or the first day of the week.  Offerings of a male lamb, a gallon of fine flour mixed with olive oil and a drink offering of one quart of wine accompanied the wave offering. 

This is a memorial to the firstfruits of Isra’el set free from a life of slavery and death in Egypt.  It becomes one of the mo’edim.  It was fulfilled by Yeshua when he was resurrected on the first day of the week as the firstfruits of those who were also raised from the dead and released from the captivity of Abraham’s bosom (Matthew 27:52-53, Ephesians 4:7-9).

“This is a permanent regulation through all your generations, no matter where you live (Leviticus 23:14).

Feast of Weeks – Shavuot – Latter First Fruits

Sefirat HaOmer – Counting the Omer

“From the day after the day of rest [weekly Shabbat] — that is, from the day you bring the sheaf for waving — you are to count seven full weeks, until the day after the seventh week; you are to count fifty days; and then you are to present a new grain offering to Adonai” (Leviticus 23:15-16).

The 50 days of counting is called ‘counting the omer’ of the barley harvest.  At the end of the 50 days is the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot. This festival is known as the Latter Firstfruits wheat offering for Yahweh and consisted of two loaves of leavened bread made with one gallon of fine flour. 

The Israelites had to wait to celebrate this mo’ed until they entered the Promised Land for they could not grow grain during their wilderness travels.  It was only after they entered the Land they could actually make fine flour from their wheat harvest.

I have an electric grain mill and no matter which setting I use, my flour is not ‘fine’ nor can I run it through a second time to make it finer; it sticks to the mill stones.  Fine flour needs to be sifted numerous times until it is aerated and much lighter than when it was first ground.  In ancient Isra’el, grain was put between two huge mill stones for grinding.  The flour would be coarser than what comes out of my electric mill so the number of times it would have to be sifted to aerate to the consistency of powder would be determined by the coarseness after each sifting.  From this powdery fine flour two loaves of  leavened bread were made and waved before Yahweh along with a burnt offering,  drink offering, sin offering and a peace offering.  Shavuot was a permanent regulation and called a mikra or ‘rehearsal.’ 

“When you harvest the ripe crops produced in your land, don’t harvest all the way to the corners of your field, and don’t gather the ears of grain left by the harvesters: leave them for the poor and the foreigner; I am Adonai your God” (Leviticus 23:22).

Shavuot was a memorial to the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.  It becomes a mo’ed of Yahweh at this time.  Yeshua fulfills this ‘appointed time’ by ascending to his Father and asking him to pour out His Ruach to comfort, teach and unite his followers (John 14:16, Acts 2).

Though Shavuot is referred to as the ‘birthday of the church,’ a new and separate religion from the Jewish faith called Christianity was not created on this day.   Shavuot was the fulfillment of the promise in the new covenant the Ruach HaKodesh would write the Torah on the hearts of those from the House of Judah and the House of Isra’el.  Their sins and lawless deeds would be forgiven and forgotten (Jeremiah 31:31).   

Because Elohim discusses the poor and the foreigner in reference to harvesting crops, He reminds Isra’el that His promises and provision are not only for them.  Foreigners would join them in the new covenant promises and through faith in Yeshua, the wild olive branches (the nations) would join with the natural olive branches of Isra’el to become a representation of His Kingdom on earth, the two leavened loaves of bread waved before Yeshua our High Priest.

“And he [Yeshua] told them yet another parable. The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with a bushel of flour, then waited until the whole batch of dough rose” (Matthew 13:33).  

Yom Teruah – Day of Blowing

Blowing the shofar on Yom Teruah

“Adonai said to Moshe,  ‘Tell the people of Isra’el, In the seventh month, the first of the month is to be for you a day of complete rest for remembering, a holy convocation announced with blasts on the shofar’” (Leviticus 23:23).

This is the first mo’edim that Yeshua has not yet fulfilled and it remains in the shadow.  It is a day for ‘remembering,’ but Yahweh doesn’t reveal what is to be remembered or what will be remembered by blowing the shofar.   It is a day of complete rest and a mikra or ‘rehearsal.’

Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement

“Adonai said to Moshe, “The tenth day of this seventh month is Yom Kippur; you are to have a holy convocation, you are to deny yourselves, and you are to bring an offering made by fire to Adonai” (Leviticus 23:26-27).

On the tenth day of the seventh month is another mikra or ‘rehearsal.’  The regulation for this mo’ed is to deny oneself or be cut off from the people of Isra’el.  No work is to be done on this day and it is a permanent regulation through the generations wherever the Israelites live.  This ‘appointed time’ has not yet been fulfilled by Yeshua.

Sukkot – Feast of Tabernacles

“Adonai said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Isra’el, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of Sukkot for seven days to Adonai” (Leviticus 23:33-34).

Sukkot is the plural for the Hebrew word sukkah meaning ‘shelter.’  Sukkot is another mo’ed of Yahweh also called The Feast of Ingathering.  It is a ‘Season of Rejoicing’ when all  Isra’el lives in shelters or temporary dwellingsfor seven days  as a reminder of Isra’el’s ancestors who lived in tents in the wilderness and Yahweh’s Mishkan that was in the center  of their tribal camps.  On the first and eighth days there is a ‘rehearsal’ and no ordinary work was to be done. 

Rejoicing with the Lulav

On the first day of Sukkot, palm, myrtle and willow branches were bound together with an etrog or citrus fruit and waved in the presence of Yahweh for seven days.   When the Jews gathered palm branches and welcomed Yeshua into Jerusalem with shouts of Hoshana, they believed they were ushering him into his Millennial reign in Jerusalem, fulfilling the prophetic shadow of Feast of Tabernacles; however this was not the case.  This mo’ed is still in the shadow only to be fulfilled when Messiah returns to set up his 1000-year Kingdom.

“Thus Moshe announced to the people of Isra’el the appointed times of Adonai” (Leviticus 23:44).

Yeshua in the Feasts of His Father


“Then Yeshua left and went to his home town, and his talmidim followed him. On Shabbat he started to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded” (Mark 6:1).


“For our Pesach lamb, the Messiah, has been sacrificed…” (1 Corinthians 5:7).

Yeshua is the reality in the Pesach lamb.  The lamb’s blood was put around the doors of the Hebrews homes in Egypt so that death would ‘pass over’ them.  Yeshua’s blood redeems Elohim’s people by removing sin and its consequence of death from those who trust in the pouring out of his blood on the cross.

Unleavened Bread

“Get rid of the old hametz [leaven], so that you can be a new batch of dough, because in reality you are unleavened” (1 Corinthians 5:7).

Yeshua, the unleavened bread from heaven creates a ‘new batch of dough,’ his Body of followers who exit ‘Egypt’ and leave their pagan idols and religious practices behind.  They are set free from slavery to worship Elohim as he intended.

Early Firstfruits

“But the fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have died. For since death came through a man, also the resurrection of the dead has come through a man.  For just as in connection with Adam all die, so in connection with the Messiah all will be made alive. But each in his own order: the Messiah is the firstfruits; then those who belong to the Messiah, at the time of his coming… “(1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

The Firstfruits sheaf offering envisions a coming harvest of crops.   The risen Yeshua offered a sheaf of grain to his Father in the heavenly Tabernacle and it was accepted on his behalf and ours.  Yeshua becomes the intermediary between Elohim and us while showing us the ‘way’ to the eternal land of promise.

“At that moment the parokhet in the Temple was ripped in two from top to bottom; and there was an earthquake, with rocks splitting apart. Also the graves were opened, and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life;  and after Yeshua rose, they came out of the graves and went into the holy city, where many people saw them” (Matthew 27:51-53).

Feast of Weeks, Shavuot, The Latter Firstfruits

“If you love me, you will keep my commands; and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another comforting Counselor like me, the Spirit of Truth, to be with you forever” (John 14:15-16).

“You will receive power when the Ruach HaKodesh comes upon you; you will be my witnesses both in Yerushalayim and in all Y’hudah and Shomron, indeed to the ends of the earth!” (Acts 1:8)

“The festival of Shavu‘ot arrived, and the believers all gathered together in one place. Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them. They were all filled with the Ruach HaKodesh and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak” (Acts 2:1-4).

At his last Pesach seder, Yeshua promised the Ruach HaKodesh would be given to his followers.   Before he ascended to his Father, he explained the Ruach would empower them to be his witnesses to the whole world.  The Ruach came upon the first Jewish believers on this ‘appointed time as evidence that Yeshua had instituted the new covenant for Judah and Isra’el.

Feast of Trumpets

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God’s shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise;  then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).

Day of Atonement

“I [Yahweh] will pour out on the house of David and on those living in Yerushalayim a spirit of grace and prayer; and they will look to me [Yeshua], whom they pierced.” They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son they will be in bitterness on his behalf like the bitterness for a firstborn son. When that day comes, there will be  great mourning in Yerushalayim … (Zechariah 12:9-11).

Feast of Tabernacles

“The Word became a human being and lived with us and we saw his Sh’khinah, the Sh’khinah of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14, CJB).

“And the Dvar Hashem [Word of God]  took on gufaniyut (corporeality) and made his sukkah, his Mishkan (Tabernacle) among us, and we gazed upon his Kavod [glory] the Shechinah of the Ben Yachid from Elohim HaAv, full of Hashem’s Chesed v’Emes” (John 1:14, Orthodox Jewish Bible).

“Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them received authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for testifying about Yeshua and proclaiming the Word of God, also those who had not worshipped the beast or its image and had not received the mark on their foreheads and on their hands. They came to life and ruled with the Messiah for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4).

Eternal Sabbath

“Then the culmination, when he hands over the Kingdom to God the Father, after having put an end to every rulership, yes, to every authority and power” (1 Corinthians 15:24).

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had passed away, and the sea was no longer there. Also I saw the holy city, New Yerushalayim, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “See! God’s Sh’khinah is with mankind, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and he himself, God-with-them, will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will no longer be any death; and there will no longer be any mourning, crying or pain; because the old order has passed away”(Revelation 21:145).

Haftarah (Readings of the Prophets)

Ezekiel 44:15-31

B’rit Chadashah (New Testament Readings)

Galatians 3:26-29

Hebrews 11:6

Midrash Emor: Acts and the ‘Appointed Times’

Find and discuss the all of the Feasts of Yahweh found in the book of Acts, celebrated by the disciples and the first century church. 

For a more in-depth and prophetic study guide , purchase Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts.

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion or the complete Torah cycle, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

Parashah 47: Re’eh (See)

Parashah 47: Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17

“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse — the blessing, if you listen to the mitzvot of Adonai your God that I am giving you today;  and the curse, if you don’t listen to the mitzvot of Adonai your God, but turn aside from the way I am ordering you today and follow other gods that you have not known” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28).

In Hebrew ‘see’ is re’eh and is the imperative singular.  In other words, it is like a parent telling a child to ‘see’ something by saying, “Look!”  The singular means that one individual’s response to the commandments will affect the blessing or cursing of the entire nation of Isra’el making each person in the nation accountable to the others.  The words ‘seer’ or ro’eh and ‘shepherd’ or roi are all derived from the same root as ‘see.’

The word ‘blessing’ in Hebrew is barakah and has its root in ‘to kneel.’  In Jewish thought, the purpose of a barakah is to ‘kneel before Elohim’ and bless Himas the source of all blessing in order to increase awareness of Him at all times.  For example, when a barakah is madeat a meal, the Creator of the food is blessed, not the food. 

In general Hebrew blessings begin “Blessed are you Adonai our God, King of the Universe who ….”  In the instance of blessing bread, ‘who brings forth bread from the earth.’  If one is blessing wine, ‘who brings forth the fruit of the wine.’  Our family meal time barachah is ‘who creates the various kinds of foods.’ 

One of my favorite Hebrew blessings is called the Shehecheyanu meaning ‘who has given us life.’   While walking down the stairs near the Temple Institute in the Old City of Jerusalem,  a Jewish man stopped me, took my hand and asked if he could bless me.  He blessed me with the Shehecheyanu:

“Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this season.”

Baruch atah Eloheinu melek ha’olam, she-echeyanu, ve’qi’eh’manu ve’higiy’anu lazman hazeh.

It was the perfect blessing for my first visit to Jerusalem and the perfect blessing for Isra’el as they arrive at the place where they will cross the Jordan and enter the Promised Land.  Only because of yod-hey-vav-hey who had given them life, sustained them for forty years in the wilderness and enabled them to reach that season in time, did they reach the land of promise.

The Hebrew word for ‘curse’ is alah.  Like blessings, curses were invoked in the name of Elohim.  This is why Balim wanted Baalak, a prophet of Elohim, to curse the Israelites.  A curse is more than a loss of blessing, it is a powerful use of words or actions to destroy a soul.  When spoken, a curse can actually invite demonic activity into the lives of those being cursed and the cursor.  Curses are so serious that children who curse their parents are to be put to death (Deuteronomy 5:16).  An undeserved curse will return on the one who cursed (Proverbs 26:2). When Yeshua cursed the fig tree it withered up and died (Mark 1:21).  When cursed, speak a blessing in return (Luke 6:28). 


Alla in Hebrew means ‘curse’ and is similar in root to the Arabic Allah who is the ‘god’ of Islam.

Blessings and curses are the result of our faithfulness to Yahweh’s commandments.  When we keep the Sabbath day as commanded by Elohim, we receive the blessing of rest and put aside the slavery to the never-ending cycle of work.  If one chooses not to remember the Sabbath day as Elohim commanded, they lose the blessing or rest and are cursed and enslaved in a never-ending cycle of work. 

Hebrew Word Pictures

See or re’eh – ראה – resh, alef, hey

– the authority of the first revealed

Blessing or barakah – ברכה – bet, resh, kaf, hey

the family head covers to reveal

Curse or alah – אלה – alef, lamed, hey

– strong leader revealed

Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal

Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal are mountains west of the Jordan River ‘in the direction of the sunset’ in Canaan near the ‘Pistaschio trees of Moreh.’  These mountains sit in the West Bank near the city of Nablus or the Biblical Shechem.  Mount Ebal is on the northern side of the valley and Mount Gerizim is on the southern side. 

Pistachio trees, like the Almond, blossom and produce early fruit.  These particular Pistachio trees were near Shechem where Abraham had passed and where the sons of Isra’el committed murder to avenge the dignity of their sister.  The specific place was named Moreh meaning ‘to teach.’

When the Israelites crossed the Jordan, between the mountains Gerizim and Ebal where there was a grove of Pistachio trees, they would have a time of teaching.  They were to put blessings on  Mount Gerizim and curses on Mount Ebal as they learned the rules for living in the Promised Land.

The Place with His Name

“You are to come to the place where Adonai your God will put His name.  He will choose it from all your tribes; and you will seek out that place, which is where He will live, and go there” (Deuteronomy 12:4).

Yahweh gave Isra’el a place to go and worship Him so they would not serve the Canaanite gods.  At the place where ‘I AM’ put His name, the Tribes of Isra’el would bring their offerings, sacrifices and tithes.  They would eat in His presence and rejoice because of His blessings.

They were not to offer burnt offerings anywhere else, only in the place where Yahweh put His name.   They could slaughter meat for food whenever  and wherever they lived  according to how they had been blessed.   They were not to eat blood, but pour it out on the ground.

“Just take care not to eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you are not to eat the life with the meat.  Don’t eat it, but pour it out on the ground like water.  Do not eat it, so that all things will go well with you and your children after you as you do what Adonai sees right” (Deuteronomy 11:23).

Book of Second Opinion

“You will not do things the way we do them here today, where everyone does whatever in his own opinion seems right …” (Deuteronomy 12:8).

There is a joke in our family whenever we encounter someone who believes their opinion has far greater weight than the D’var Elohim.  We say they are quoting from the Book of Second Opinion and sometimes we even add a chapter and verse.

The Book of Second Opinion gives everyone the freedom to do what is right in their own eyes rather than lining up their behavior with the commandments of Yahweh. This isn’t freedom in Christ, it is apostasy from Torah. Of course, each person has a different halacha or way of expressing the commandments of Elohim, but halacha is not the same as situational ethics and the Book of Second Opinion 2:18. 

‘Apostasy’ in Greek is apostasia and means ‘to turn away, pervert, and divorce.’

Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines apostasy as ‘a declension from apostolic teachings.’  Declension means ‘a condition of decline or moral deterioration.’ This definition using ‘declension’ is actually found under Sabbath in new testament words.  Accordingly, apostasy is turning way, perverting and divorcing oneself’ from the teachings of the apostles, inclusive of Yeshua.

Sha’ul describes the ‘great apostasy’ to the Thessalonians:

“For the Day [of Adonai] will not come until after the Apostasy has come and the man who separates himself from Torah has been revealed, the one destined for doom. He will oppose himself to everything that people call a god or make an object of worship; he will put himself above them all, so that he will sit in the Temple of God and proclaim that he himself is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

Apostasy isn’t just a denial of Jesus or Yeshua, it is a turning away and divorcing oneself from Torah, the one of the foundations of faith.  Without a solid foundation, the whole building will fall and crumble.  Some translations say, ‘man of lawlessness’ because this ‘man’ will deny Torah.  Those who separate themselves from Torah could be likened to this ‘man’ and considered lawless and apostatizingfrom the faith.  Those who are sanctified, set apart and “Holy to Yahweh” not only remain faithful to Yeshua, but also obey to the commandments of Elohim (Revelations 14:12).

“Many will say to Me [Yeshua] on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands]’” (Matthew 7:22,23, Amplified Bible).

The Israelites cannot have a Book of Second Opinion when they enter the Land because ‘they have not yet arrived at the rest and inheritance which Yahweh was giving them’ (Deuteronomy 12:9).  This concurs with Yeshua’s words in Matthew 5:17-20 regarding the duration of the Torah.  Until there is a new heaven and new earth with a New Jerusalem, no one has arrived in the eternal Kingdom with the inheritance promised by ‘I Am.’  All of Torah is still in force and all books of Second Opinion, whether written by  Jewish sages or church fathers, are just only opinions. 

Adding and Subtracting

“Everything I am commanding you, you are to take care to do.  Do not add to it or subtract from it” (Deuteronomy 13:1).

Human nature loves to add to or away from the D’var Elohim because it allows humanity to be ‘god’ and remain sinful, not perfecting holiness out of reverence for the One who called us into His Kingdom.   Re-defining sin from breaking Elohim commandments to whatever we like or don’t like in the behavior of another person has become the modern  standard for righteousness.

There are denominations that don’t allow music or dancing when the Scriptures are clear about these powerful ways to worship the ‘I Am.’  Some denominations consider drinking a sin when Scripture says that getting drunk, not a glass of wine, is a sin.  It seems they forget that Yeshua changed water into wine and blessed cups of wine and at his Pesach seder.

A cautionary statement about adding and subtracting from the D’var Elohim is needed.  Taken literally, adding would mean that the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures are the only valid Scriptures.  This is not true.  Yeshua read from the Prophets in a synagogue showing validity to their ‘addition.’  He used the Prophets and the Psalms to reveal his suffering, death, and resurrection to his disciples.  He quoted Psalm 22 on the cross.   Some of Yeshua’s teachings came directly from the Talmud or oral teachings.   Peter and Jude quote from the Book of Enoch and Jasher is quoted by Joshua, both books removed from canon though quoted in the Scriptures. Adding and subtracting needs to be discerned righteously and according to the revealed Truth in all of Scripture.

“For Adonai your God is testing you, in order to find out whether you really do love Adonai your God with all your heart and being.  You are to follow Adonai your God, hear him, obey his commandments, listen to what he says, serve him and cling to him; and that prophet or dream is to be put to death, because he urged rebellion against Adonai your God … in order to seduce you away from the path Adonai your God ordered you to follow” (Deuteronomy 13:4-6).  

The False Prophet

Yahweh warns about those who use dreams to cause a rebellion against Him.  John says to ‘test the spirits’ because not every spirit comes from Elohim (1 John 4:1).  Because the D’var Elohim is readily available today to everyone, it should be easy to test the prophet  or the wolf wearing a sheep outfit.   Most believers, however, do not study the Scriptures for themselves – both testaments – and do not have the knowledge to ‘test the spirits.’

The consequence for false prophets was death.  Since there is no longer a governing court to determine whether or not someone is a false prophet or wolf and should be stoned, these rebellious leaders are given a platform, a television show or a youtube channel.  Some have mega churches with bank accounts that make them appear righteous, but their twisted teachings and feel-good doctrines easily deceive (2 Timothy 3:1-8).

“You are the people of Adonai your God.  You are not to gash yourselves or shave the hair above your foreheads in mourning for the dead, because you are a people set apart as holy for Adonai your God.  Adonai your God has chosen you to be his own unique treasure out of all the peoples on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 14:1-2).  

This command wasn’t new for Isra’el. It had been given 40 years earlier.  It was a reminder to the Israelites that when they entered the Land they were not to act as those of the nations cutting themselves in the worship of other gods.  Isra’el and those who join with her are Yahweh’s unique treasure in all the earth.  How we treat our bodies, the tabernacle of our souls is of great importance to our Creator. 

Disgusting Foods

“Because you are a holy people to Adonai your God, you are not to eat anything disgusting”  (Deuteronomy 14:1-3).

Because Isra’el is a holy people, set apart for Elohim, they were given dietary regulations.  The regulations did not mention health and wellness because they were faith-based works of obedience.

“We do not abolish Torah  by faith.  Heaven forbid!  On the contrary, we confirm Torah” (Romans 3:31).

The pig is disgusting along with all scavengers whether mammal, bird or fish.  Horses, camels, and possums are also disgusting.   The list of animals not disgusting to Elohim include ox, sheep, goat, deer, gazelle, roebuck, ibex, antelope, oryx, and mountain sheep.  Anything in the water that has fins and scales isn’t disgusting.  All birds were edible except the eagle, vulture, osprey, kite and buzzard, raven, ostriches, screech-owls, seagulls, hawk, little owl, great owl horned owl, pelican, barn owl cormorant, stork heron hoopoes and bat. 


‘Heaven forbid’ is an idiom for ‘a curse be upon it.’

The Yearly Tithe

“Every year you must take one tenth of everything your seed produces in the field, and eat it in the presence of Adonai your God.  In the place where he chooses, to have his name live you will eat the tenth of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first born of your cattle and sheep, so that you will learn to fear Adonai your God always” (Deuteronomy 14:2-3).

The significance of obeying this command was to learn the fear of Elohim forever.  The tithe consisted 1/10 of the produce, grain, wine, olive oil, cattle and sheep to be eaten in the presence of Yahweh.  It was not given weekly at a church service, but was brought once a year to Jerusalem.  If the distance was too far to travel with the produce and livestock, then it was exchanged for money and used to buy the items necessary to fulfill this command at the Temple.  Remember the moneychangers?  This was their job and they perverted it so badly that Yeshua overturned their tables.

Every three years the tithes were collected in the villages and given to the Levites as they had no land inheritance.  These tithes would be their sustenance and wage for serving at the Altar and teaching the Israelites Torah.

“And Yeshua entered the temple [grounds] and drove out [with force] all who were buying and selling [birds and animals for sacrifice] in the temple area, and He turned over the tables of the moneychangers [who made a profit exchanging foreign money for temple coinage] and the chairs of those who were selling doves [for sacrifice]” (Matthew 21:12, Amplified Bible).


In Jerusalem, there are still money changer signs.  They exchange currency.


“At the end of every seven years you are to have a sh’mittah” (Deuteronomy 15:1).  

At the shemitah, all debt was abolished whether with a native Israelite or a foreigner. Slavery between brothers was dissolved unless the slave wanted to remain in the house of his owner.  The owner would then take an awl and pierce through his ear and the man would remain his slave forever. 


Piercing the ear was a sign of permanent slavery (James 4:4).

During the shemitah, no planting or harvesting of the land was to be done.  The land was to settle or rest, only bringing forth what naturally grew for food.  If Isra’el obeyed this command,  they would receive a blessing.

“You will lend money to many nations without having to borrow, and you will rule over many nations without their ruling over you” (Deuteronomy 15:6).

“God will bless you in all your work, in everything you undertake–for there will always be poor people in the land.  That is why I am giving you this order. You must open your hand to your poor and needy brother in your land” (Deuteronomy 15:10).

“Guard yourself against allowing your heart to entertain the mean-spirited thought that because the seventh year, the year of sh’mittah is at hand, you would be stingy toward your needy brother and not give him anything …” (Deuteronomy 15:9).

The Mo’edim of Yahweh

Moshe’s last words are about the ‘appointed times’ or mo’edim.  With these final words, he names the place that bears Yahweh’s name – Jerusalem.


The Israelites were to keep Passover in the month of Abib.  They were to sacrifice the Passover offering only in the place where Yahweh put His name, not in any other place.


They were to eat bread without chametz for seven days for the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  It was to be known as ‘the bread of affliction’ and a reminder to the day the Israelites left Egypt.   


They were to count seven weeks from the day the barley harvest began.   On that day they were to present a voluntary offering and rejoice in the presence of Yahweh celebrating the Feast of Weeks.  


They were to keep the  Feast of Tabernacles for seven days in the fall after they gathered the produce of the threshing floor and winepress. They were to rejoice before Yahweh for seven days.

For each these mo’edim, Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot,  all Israelite men were to appear in the presence of Yahweh at the place where He put His Name – Jerusalem. 

(Study guide for “Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts.”)

Yeshua and the Barachah

“Prompted by the Spirit, he went into the Temple courts; and when the parents brought in the child Yeshua to do for him what the Torah required, Shim‘on took him [Yeshua] in his arms, made a b’rakhah to God…” (Luke 2:27-28).

“He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and check.” When they had found out, they said, “Five. And two fish.” Then he ordered all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. They sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred. Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, and, looking up toward heaven, made a b’rakhah” (Mark 6:37-41).

“Then Yeshua took the loaves of bread, and, after making a b’rakhah, gave to all who were sitting there, and likewise with the fish, as much as they wanted” (John 6:11).

“However, when Yeshua saw it, he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me, don’t stop them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Yes! I tell you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it!” 16 And he took them in his arms, laid his hands on them, and made a b’rakhah over them” (Mark 10:14-16).

“Also he [Yeshua]  took a cup of wine, made the b’rakhah, and gave it to them, saying, “All of you, drink from it! For this is my blood, which ratifies the New Covenant, my blood shed on behalf of many, so that they may have their sins forgiven” (Matthew 26:27-28).

“He led them out toward Beit-Anyah; then, raising his hands, he said a b’rakhah over them; and as he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:50-51).

Haftarah (Readings of the Prophets)

Isaiah 54:11-55:5

B’rit Chadashah (New Testament Readings)

1 Corinthians 5:9-13

1 John 4:1-6

Hebrews 4:1-8

Midrash Se’er:  Book of Second Opinion

There are many phrases that believers use that are not Scriptural.  Think of several and discuss how they sound good, but actually nullify the Word of Elohim.

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion or the complete Torah cycle, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

When was Jesus born?

“For to us a child is born,  to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace  there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty  will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).


Most Christians acknowledge that Jesus (Yeshua) was not born on December 25 in the middle of winter.  Yet few realize that Yeshua’s birth is outlined in the Bible if they could unravel some of the clues given to them in the gospels and refer back to the Hebrew Scriptures.   The account of our ‘reason for the season’ begins in the book of Luke chapter one when Zechariah was in the Temple at Jerusalem burning incense to God.   The time of  his Temple service is the key to understanding  when of the birth of his son, John took place, as well as the birth of Yeshua. 

1.  Zechariah was a Levite priest in of the lineage of Abijah, a descendant of Aaron (Luke 1:5, Numbers 3:2).

“In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron” (Luke 1:5).

2. All Levitical priests, including Zechariah, were required by God to serve in the Temple during Passover, Pentecost (Shavuot), and Tabernacles as well as two weeks extra per year according to their family lineage (Deuteronomy 16:16).

“Three times a year all your men must appear before YHVH your God at the place he will  choose:  at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot/Pentecost) and the Feast of Tabernacles” (Deuteronomy 16:16).

3.  Abjiah was eighth in line for Temple duties. This means that as a descendant of Abijah,  Zechariah was eighth in line for his Temple duties (1 Chronicles 24:10).

“With the help of Zadok … David separated them [the descendants of Aaron] into divisions for their appointed order of ministering. … The first lot fell to Jehoiarib … the eighth to Abijah ….  This was their appointed order of ministering when they entered the Temple of  the LORD according to the regulations prescribed for them …” (Numbers 1:1-19).

4. Zechariah would have served during the week of Passover and Unleavened Bread  in the Temple as part of his required Temple service.

The Biblical calendar is not the same as the Julian/Gregorian calendar we use today.  Passover is our March/April, Pentecost (Shavuot) near June, Tabernacles or Sukkot September/October. The Scriptures utilize a Biblical calendar with the first month being in spring at the time of Passover (Exodus 12:2).

Zechariah would have served in the spring for Passover/Unleavened Bread.  After Passover, he would have returned home until his lineage service began, eight weeks or about 50 days later.   

5.  Zechariah would have returned to the Temple for his two week duties as part of the lineage of Abijah.  This would have fallen in mid-June during the Feast of Weeks, Shavuot (Pentecost). 

Altar of Incense

6.   An angel of the LORD appeared to Zechariah during his time in the Temple at the Altar of Incense.

As a descendant of Aaron, he would have ministered in the Most Holy Place.  It is at the Altar of Incense that intercessory prayer is made by the priesthood. The angel of the LORD met Zechariah at this specific place and time.  He told him he was going to have a son who he was to name John.  Because of his unbelief, Zechariah is made mute by the angel until the time of his son’s birth. 

“… your prayers have been heard.  Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John”  (Luke 1:13).

7.   Zechariah returns home after his Temple service. He and Elizabeth conceive a child.  Elizabeth remains in seclusion for five months.

“When his time of service was completed, he returned home.  After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion” (Luke 1:23-24).

8.  One month later, “when Elizabeth was in her sixth month,” the angel Gabriel visited Mary (Luke 1:26).

Angel Visits Mary

Some people question whether this was the sixth month of the year or the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy.  With the wording of Elizabeth being in seclusion for five months and then  “in the sixth month,” it would seem that the months are contiguous and based on Elizabeth’s pregnancy.  Also, the angel tells Mary “Even Elizabeth your relative  … is in her fifth month” giving a witness to the timing of the angel’s visit  (Luke 1:36).

9.  Mary conceives a child by the Holy Spirit and immediately goes to visit Elizabeth.

“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth” (Luke 1:39).

Elizabeth’s baby leaps in her womb

When Mary greets her cousin, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaps.  According to the time period given for Elizabeth’s seclusion,  this most likely would have been the first contact she had with another woman and maybe even the first time she felt the movement of her child.  It is apparent that her unborn son knew the blessing of the Spirit of God on Mary.  The meeting of these two pregnant women had such profound significance that Luke recorded it with details.   Elizabeth’s baby leaps for joy in the womb recognizing the newly conceived Messiah of Israel.

“As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy”  (Luke 1:44).

Six months after Zechariah’s Temple service in mid-June would be about mid-to-late December.   The Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah occurs at this time as a memorial to the rededication of the Temple after it was defiled by the Greeks. It is also known as the Festival of Lights because the Temple Menorah was once again lit after its desecration.  It was during Hanukkah, the time of dedication, that the Spirit of God came upon Mary and she conceived Immanuel, God with us, the Light of the World.

Mary’s song in Luke 1:46-55 not only has prophetic significance about her baby, but is quite the declaration of humble ‘dedication‘ regarding the ‘light of the world.’

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name” (Verses 46-49).

10. Mary stays with Elizabeth for about three months.

“Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home. When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son” (Luke 1:56-57).

Mary returns to Nazareth very close to the time Elizabeth would deliver her baby.  The timing for the birth of Elizabeth’s baby would be mid-March/April or near Passover.    

11.  On the eighth day after the baby’s birth, he is circumcised and named.

Continuing with the Biblical timeline, Zechariah’s son would have been born right before Passover.   This means that Zechariah would have gone to the Temple for his regular service at Passover and while there, he names his son, John, in the presence of astonished people.    This is the first time he has spoken since the angel visited him months before at the Altar of Incense on Shavuot.

“At that moment, his power of speech returned, and his first words were a b’rakhah [blessing] to God” (Luke 1:64).

12. From the information given about the conceptions and pregnancies of Mary and Elizabeth, it can be calculated that John and Jesus (Yeshua) were born six months apart.

Six months after Passover in the spring (March/April) would be the fall (September/October), the time of ‘ingathering’ or the Feast of Tabernacles.  The Feast of Tabernacles also falls approximately nine months after Hanukkah in December.

Because of the Roman census being taken by Caesar Augustus, Bethlehem was bustling with Jews from everywhere in Israel.  All native born Israelites, specifically men, were required to live in booths or sukkot for the week of Tabernacles. Women and children who were with their husbands filled all of the inns to capacity. 

“Live in booths (sukkot) for seven days:  All native-born Israelites are to live in booths so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt” (Leviticus 23:42).

Under these crowded conditions, Joseph and Mary are given a temporary dwelling, called a stable in most Bible translations, and Mary gives birth to her son.  The baby was placed in a cattle feeding trough (Luke 2:4-7).

“And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger (sukkah) …” (Luke 2:6).

Yeshua in a Sukkah

According to the command in Leviticus 23, the Israelites were to live in a sukkah for seven days.  Consistent with the rabbinical definition of a temporary dwelling or sukkah, a stable would have been  an acceptable substitute.  Because of the timing of Yeshua’s birth during the Feast of Tabernacles, many people believe that it was not a literal stable, but a sukkah.   The Greek word for ‘manger’ in Luke 2:7 is phatne and can mean ‘cattle stall’ or sukkoth just like what Jacob built for his livestock (Genesis 33:17).  The equivalent Hebrew word for ‘manger’ is the singular sukkah. 

Using this information along with the established timeline, Yeshua would have been born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles and would have lived with his parents in the sukkah for the first seven days of his life until he was circumcised and named on the eighth day.   Whatever the specific accommodations,  Joseph fulfilled God’s requirement to live in a temporary dwelling during Sukkot as did Yeshua who was the firstborn son of God.

13.   The angels rejoiced because ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…’ (John 1:14, Luke 2).

The Greek word for ‘dwelling’ in this verse is skenoo and means  ‘spread his tent’ among us.  As a booth or sukkah is a temporary dwelling like a tent, this verse could read, “The Word became flesh and spread his tent (tabernacle) among us” making a direct allusion to Yeshua being born at the Feast of Tabernacles. 

14.  On the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the priests in the Temple would wave large branches of several different trees  in the Temple.

Palm, Willow, Erog, Myrtle

These branches were called lulavs and represented the different nations of the world.  Hundreds of priests waving large branches from the willow, the palm and the myrtle, would have created an enormous sound like a ‘rushing wind’ as they walked toward the Temple.  In Hebrew,  the word for God’s Spirit is ruach and means ‘wind.’  As the priests were waving these tree branches, they were unaware of the birth of Yeshua.  They had no idea that the salvation of Israel, through the ‘wind’ of God and a humble woman, had come to live in a little baby. 

“So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month… celebrate a festival to the LORD for seven days …. On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the LORD  your God for seven days” (Leviticus 23:39-41).

15. There were shepherds in the hills outside of Jerusalem  (Luke 2:8-15).

“As for you, O watchtower of the flock, O stronghold of the Daughter of Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to the Daughter of Jerusalem” (Micah 4:8).

Tower of the Flock

The shepherds in the hills near Bethlehem, a short distance from Jerusalem,  were special shepherds.  They camped at the Migdal Eder and raised the sacrificial sheep for the Temple offerings.  According to the prophecy in Micah, the Jewish people believed that the Messiah would be revealed at the Migdal Eder, “the tower of the flock.”

At the time of Yeshua’s birth, there  was an actual military watchtower above the hills that was used to protect Bethlehem.  This tower also was used by the shepherd to guard the Temple sheep from robbers.  It was from these sheep that the Passover lambs were chosen.  When the angels came announcing the ‘good news’ to all the world, these shepherds would have completely understood the meaning because they were at the exact location for the prophesy of Messiah’s birth to be fulfilled. 

16.  Eight days later, it was time for the baby’s circumcision and naming (Luke 2:21).

Eight days after a sons’ birth, the father would take the child to be circumcised and named because the mother would still be in her time of purification and could not enter the Temple area.  When Yeshua is eight days old, Joseph takes his infant son to Jerusalem to the Temple and names him Yeshua as he was commanded by the angel.  Yeshua means ‘salvation.’

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home with you as your wife; for what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua, [which means ‘the LORD saves,’] because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21-22).

Rejoicing in the Torah – Simchat Torah

The Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated for seven days.  The following day, the eighth day, there is a special celebration called Simchat Torah  which means ‘Rejoicing in the Torah.’   As Yeshua was being named by his father, crowds were in the Temple courts dancing, singing, and rejoicing in the Torah.   In their midst, without their knowledge, the living Torah had just been named Salvation.

“On the eighth day, when it came time to circumcise him, he was named Yeshua, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived” (Luke 2:21).

17.   Mary’s purification completed.

“When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest a year-old lamb … and a young pigeon or dove…. He shall offer them before YHVH … and she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood.  …If she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves …” (Leviticus 12:6-8).

Redemption of the Firstborn

Forty days after Yeshua’s birth, Mary’s time of purification was completed. She and Joseph took Yeshua to the Temple for the Redemption of the Firstborn according to the Torah command in Leviticus 12:8.   It was at this time, they offered the sacrifice of the doves. 

“When the time of her purification according to the Torah of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written) …” (Luke 2:22).

There were two prophets in the Temple who knew and expected the Word to become flesh, salvation of Israel to be revealed.  Simeon and Anna, two witnesses to Messiah’s birth, spoke prophecies over Yeshua in the presence of his parents.

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. …There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher” (Luke 2:25,39).

18. At this time, a sign appeared in the heavens (Matthew 2:1-2).

Every kingdom in the known world had astronomers who studied and understood the signs in the heavens.   Each culture, but more specifically the Jewish culture, looked to the heavens for the fulfillment of  Biblical prophecy.   Constellations, planets and stars moved to tell God’s story as well as to set His ‘appointed time’s.  Other middle eastern cultures studied the Hebrew concepts and understood their connection to the people of Israel.

Astronomers from the east (probably from what is modern day Iraq/Iran) saw this “sign” in the heavens and began their journey toward Jerusalem to bow down and worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.   The word ‘star’ in this verse is the Hebrew is kokhav and is referred to in Numbers 24:17 along with the scepter from Jacob, all terminology for  stars and planets that are ‘signs in the heavens.’

19.  The magi or wise men arrived in Bethlehem.

“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him” (Matthew 2:9).

The journey of ‘the wise men,’ (number unknown and probably a lot more than three) took a long time to get to Israel as they were on foot and traveled a great distance of nearly 500 miles.  When they finally arrived in Jerusalem, Yeshua was no longer a baby nor living in a sukkah.  The Scripture calls Yeshua a child and the wise men came to his home with their gifts.  They returned back to Iran/Iraq by a different route because Herod was angry that there was another ‘king’ and sent out an edit for the murder of all baby boys under the age of two in and around Bethlehem (Matthew 2:13-18).

This is how the conception, birth, and life began for Yeshua.  According to the information written in the Torah, Prophets, and Gospels, Yeshua was born in the ‘season of our rejoicing’, on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles in a sukkah. The shepherds knew from the angelic hosts that ‘peace on earth and good will toward men’ had come as the ‘lamb of God’ in the town of the Migdal Eder, Bethlehem.  While all Israel rejoiced in the Torah given by God, the living Torah, the begotten Son of God was circumcised and named Salvation.

©1997 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.