Other feasts (Deut 16:9-16:17)

“You shall count seven weeks. Begin to count the seven weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain. Then you shall keep the feast of weeks to Yahweh your God, contributing a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing that you have received from Yahweh your God. Rejoice before Yahweh your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female slaves, the Levites resident in your towns, as well as the strangers, the orphans, and the widows who are among you, at the place that Yahweh your God will choose as a dwelling for his name. Remember that you were a slave in Egypt. Diligently observe these statutes.”

This harvest feast of weeks was also mentioned in Exodus, chapter 23, Leviticus, chapter 23, and Numbers, chapter 28. 7 weeks after the first harvest began would put this feast in June. It later became known as Pentecost, 50 days after the first harvest attempt. Once again your whole family had to go to the place that Yahweh will choose to celebrate this feast day.

“You shall keep the festival of booths seven days, when you have gathered in the produce from your threshing floor and your wine press. Rejoice during your festival, you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female slaves, as well as the Levites, the strangers, the orphans, and the widows resident in your towns. Seven days you shall keep the festival to Yahweh your God at the place that Yahweh will choose. For Yahweh your God will bless you in all your produce and in all your undertakings, and you shall surely celebrate.”

The feast of tents or booths can be found in Exodus, chapter 23, Numbers, chapter 29, and Leviticus, chapter 23. Once again, everyone is to be included in joyous festival that happens at the place that Yahweh will choose. This a fall festival harvest that lasts 7 days.

“Three times a year all your males shall appear before Yahweh your God at the place that he will choose. They are the festival of unleavened bread, at the festival of weeks, and at the festival of booths. They shall not appear before Yahweh empty-handed. All shall give as they are able, according to the blessing of Yahweh your God that he has given you.”

These then are the three great feast days, unleavened bread, weeks, and booths. All the men must go to Yahweh with full hands, each according to what he believes best. Thus the place that Yahweh chooses, which is Jerusalem, will be an extremely busy time at least 3 times a year.

Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread (Deut 16:1-16:8)

“Observe the month of Abib, by keeping the Passover to Yahweh your God. In the month of Abib, Yahweh your God brought you out of Egypt by night. You shall offer the Passover sacrifice to Yahweh your God, from the flock and the herd, at the place that Yahweh will choose as a dwelling for his name. You must not eat with it anything leavened. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, the bread of affliction, because you came out of the land of Egypt in great haste. All the days of your life you may remember the day of your departure from the land of Egypt. No leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory for seven days. None of the meat of what you slaughter on the evening of the first day shall remain until morning. You are not permitted to offer the Passover sacrifice within any of your towns that Yahweh your God is giving to you. But at the place that Yahweh your God will choose as a dwelling for his name. Only there shall you offer the Passover sacrifice, in the evening at sunset, the time of day when you departed from Egypt. You shall cook it and eat it at the place that Yahweh your God will choose. The next morning you may go back to your tents. For six days you shall continue to eat unleavened bread. On the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly for Yahweh your God, when you shall do no work.”

This is much like Exodus, chapters 13, 23 and 34, Leviticus, chapter 23, and Numbers, chapters 28-29. Clearly this is the most important feast day of the year, the Passover. Abib is often called Nisan and usually refers to our April. Here the Passover is to be celebrated at ‘the place that Yahweh will choose as a dwelling for his name.’ It will not be in the towns that Yahweh is giving to them. The 7 day unleavened bread feast is called the ‘bread of affliction.’ No leftover meat may be eaten the next day. Sunset was the time of the meal because you left Egypt at sunset. There was to be a solemn assembly on the 7th day with no work done.

 

The feasts of Israel (Ex 23:14-23:19)

“Three times in the year you shall hold a festival for me. You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread.  As I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. None shall appear before me empty-handed.”

1)      The festival of unleavened bread is seven days in the month of Abib.

 “You shall observe the festival of harvest, of the first fruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field.  You shall observe the festival of ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor.  Three times in the year all your males shall appear before Yahweh God.”

2)      The festival of harvest is the first fruits of your labor, the festival of weeks or Pentecost in spring time.

3)      The festival of ingathering is the festival of booths, at the end of the year in autumn.

“You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the fat of my festival remain until the morning.  The choicest of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of Yahweh your God.  You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.”

There are three major festivals for Israel, but they do include Passover or Yom Kippur.  They are the festivals: (1) of unleavened bread, seven days in the month of Abib; (2) of harvest, first fruits of your labor, festival of weeks or Pentecost; and (3) of ingathering, festival of booths, at the end of the year, autumn.  Only the best should be presented to Yahweh.  Nothing must remain for the next day.  The admonition about not boiling a kid in its mother’s milk refers to a Canaanite sacrifice practice.