Listen to and read this week’s Bible study below. You will also find study guides by chapter and advanced study of the original languages following the Bible study outline.
Bible Study Outline:
Listen to all the Bible study below or click the link to read them at biblegateway.com in your favorite translation:
- Pentateuch: Leviticus 21:1-24:23
- Prophets: Ezekiel 44:15-31
- Gospels: Matthew 26:2-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 2:41-42; Luke 22:1-20; John 2:13-23; John 6:4; John 13:1-30
- Acts: Acts 2:1-47; Acts 12:3-4; Acts 18:21; Acts 20:16; Acts 27:9
Penteteuch/ Torah Outline
- Leviticus 21:1 | The Holiness of Priests
- Leviticus 22:1 | The Use of Holy Offerings
- Leviticus 22:17 | Acceptable Offerings
- Leviticus 23:1 | God’s Appointed Festivals
- Leviticus 23:3 | The Sabbath, Passover, and Unleavened Bread
- Leviticus 23:9 | The Offering of First Fruits
- Leviticus 23:15 | The Festival of Weeks
- Leviticus 23:23 | The Festival of Trumpets
- Leviticus 23:26 | The Day of Atonement
- Leviticus 23:33 | The Festival of Booths
- Leviticus 24:1 | The Lamp
- Leviticus 24:5 | The Bread for the Tabernacle
- Leviticus 24:10 | Blasphemy and Its Punishment
- 2Ki 4:42 | Elisha Feeds One Hundred Men
- 2Ki 5:1 | The Healing of Naaman
- 2Ki 7:3 | The Arameans Flee
- Eze 44:15-31 | The Levitical Priests
- Matthew 26:2-19 | Jesus killed on Passover as the Passover Lamb
- Mark 14:12-16 | Jesus prepares for Passover with His disciples
- Luke 2:41-42; Luke 22:1-20 | Judas (Judah) betrays Jesus the day before Passover, Jesus observes Passover in the upper room
- John 2:13-23; John 6:4; John 13:1-30 | Jesus’ last activities just before Passover
- Revelation 12 | The Woman and Child
- Acts 2:1-47; Acts 12:3-4; Acts 18:21; Acts 20:16; Acts 27:9 | The Spirit comes at Pentecost (Shavuot). Examples of the apostles observing the feasts after Jesus ascended
- 1 Corinthians 5:7-8; 1 Corinthians 11:1 | Paul exhorts both Jewish and Gentile members of the church at Corinth who were being grafted in
The thirty-first reading from our “Bible in a year” is called speak, or Emor (אמור); a title that comes from the first verse of the study, which says, “Then the LORD (YHVH, יהוה, pronounced most likely Yehovah or Yahweh) said to Moses, ‘Speak (emor) to the priests, the sons of Aaron …’” (Leviticus 21:1). Emor begins with special laws of sanctity, propriety and purity for the priesthood. Leviticus 23 provides an overview of the biblical calendar and a listing of the LORD’s appointed times that Jesus partially fulfilled.
The Bible refers to the Tabernacle as the Ohel Moed (אהל מעד), a term that our English Bibles translate as “Tent of Meeting.” The word moed can refer to an appointed time or place. The Tabernacle was God’s appointed place to meet with man at His appointed times. Leviticus 23 presents a list of God’s appointed times (moadim, מעדים). They are the holy days which He appointed to meet with His people Israel.
This can be understood in a parable. The Master tells the story of how a certain king was giving a wedding feast for his son. He sent out his servants to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast. The servants had two critical pieces of information. They were to declare the appointed time and the appointed place of the banquet. As God summoned Israel to appear before Him, He decreed an appointed place and appointed times. The appointed place was the Tabernacle (and in later years, the Temple in Jerusalem.) The appointed times are the biblical festivals.
Since the destruction of the Temple, the appointed place has been removed, but the appointed times continue. God explains that the appointed times are to be “a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places” (Leviticus 23:14). That means that they are never to be cancelled. They are never obsolete or done away with. They are to be celebrated and observed wherever we live.
The appointed times are part of the biblical calendar. The biblical calendar is a lunar calendar. It is based on the phases of the moon. The waxing and waning of the moon determines the day of the biblical month. The tiny sliver of the new moon always appears on the first day of the month; the full moon indicates the middle of the month; the disappearance of the moon indicates the end of the month.
In Leviticus 23 God declares certain days on the biblical calendar to be moadim, that is, “appointed times.” They include the weekly Sabbath, the Feasts of Passover and Pentecost, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Booths.
It is not uncommon to hear people refer to the appointed times as the Jewish festivals. This is true in that God gave His appointed times to the people of Israel. He told the Israelites, “The LORD’s appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations–My appointed times are these” (Leviticus 23:2). The Jewish people are the wardens of God’s calendar. Therefore, many Christians and Jews think of the biblical Sabbath and festivals as the sole purview of the Jewish people. According to this line of thought, Gentile believers are not welcome to celebrate the appointed times.
However, God does not refer to them as Jewish festivals. He refers to them as “my appointed times.” They are God’s holy days. Paul asks, “Is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also” (Romans 3:29). The Bible never offered Gentile Christians any alternative festival days. To say that Gentile believers are not expected to keep God’s appointed times is the same thing as saying that Gentile believers are not supposed to have any holy days or days of worship. Neither the Gospels nor the Epistles grant the Gentile believers their own special festivals.
In the days of the Apostles, both Jewish and Gentile believers observed God’s appointed times together. They met in the synagogues and in the Temple on the Sabbath and festival days to celebrate and observe God’s holy days. When Gentile Christianity left the cradle of Judaism, the Gentile Christians began to neglect the appointed times. The Sabbath day was replaced with Sunday observance. The timing of Passover was changed. The other festivals fell into disuse. Is this what God intended for believers?
It is true that the Apostles never commanded the Gentile believers to keep the appointed times, but neither did they tell them not to. They were silent on the matter. In those days, the idea of not keeping the appointed times simply had not occurred to anyone.
In the Hebrew Scriptures there are hidden aleph-tav’s (alpa-omega equivalents). In Leviticus 23 lists all of יהוה Father’s Feast Days. Notice the symbolism in Lev 23:11-12 in regard to the sheaf which is waved before יהוה Father on First Fruits as a type and foreshadow of את Y’shua our Messiah that He fulfilled after the resurrection as the wave offering. On this day a male lamb is also offered before יהוה Father. In Lev 23:32 when we deny ourselves (fast) on the High Sabbath of Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), את Y’shua Messiah becomes associated with our affliction, as does יהוה Father within our soul and feels our sacrifice of repentance on this most sacred day of the year. This is the power of covenant with the Yah-head. In Lev 24:11 capital punishment (death by stoning) was to be administered to any Israelite that blasphemed את Name of יהוה by speaking it in vain.
It’s sometimes hard to make the Old Testament fun for kids. Try these Children’s activities:
For Deeper Language Learning
Hebrew “Word of the Week” by Hebrew4Christians.com
Greek “Word of the Week”