Today we begin Leviticus Chapter 23.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James Version, click here.
Leviticus 23 is considered to be “The Calendar of Sacred Time”.
In this chapter, we get a nice organized and detailed schedule of the 7 God-ordained Biblical feasts.
However, this isn’t the first time we’ve been introduced to these feasts, nor will it be the last.
Hebrew scholars inform us that there are 3 main sections in the Torah where the Biblical Feasts are presented.
The first section is Exodus chapters 21-23.
This part of Exodus is also known as the “Book of the Covenant”.
The Book of the Covenant are those rules and commands that immediately follow the 10 Words (commandments) given in Exodus chapter 20.
Remember that the 10 Words of God are the foundation from which the remaining 603 future commands of God arose.
There is not one law, ordinance or command given that doesn’t conform to the principles and patterns of the 10 Words of God (understand when I say “10 Words”, I’m referring to what the church calls the “10 Commandments”).
Now isn’t it interesting that the church venerates the “10 Commandments” (which also contains the command to keep the Sabbath by the way) but will turn around and tell us that to follow the laws and principles of the Torah is being “legalistic”?
Holy hypocritical cheesecake muffins!!!
Okay, let’s move on before I get on a rant that might last a couple of days.
The second section where the God-ordained religious calendar is presented is Leviticus 23 (where we’re at now) coupled with Numbers 28-29.
The third section is in Deuteronomy.
You may be wondering why in the world there are 3 different sections dealing with the 7 Biblical feasts in the Torah?
Are these separate sections just repeating one another or do they conflict with one another?
Well, the best way to explain it is to say that each section gives us a different aspect of the religious event calendar.
For example, take the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The truth be told, there ARE differences and discrepancies between these books and I would be lying if I was to say otherwise.
Bible critics and those who oppose God in general just love to point out these discrepancies.
The best way to explain the difference and discrepancies in Scripture is remind ourselves that we are reading about the same events as told through the eyes of four different men.
Some of these men were direct eye witnesses to the events they wrote about, others gathered their data from eye witnesses and then later compiled it.
Think you about your own personal life experiences.
When two people view the same event, or hear the same sermon, each person comes away from it with a different slant or understanding about what they saw and heard.
In the same way, the writers of the four Gospels viewed Yeshua and His life and ministry from different perspectives.
On the other hand, if the Gospels were too identical to each other, one would definitely suspect collusion.
Most of the differences in the Gospels are because the authors chose to emphasize different parts of Yeshua’s ministry over others.
And in some cases, it’s just a matter of the writer choosing which events to record and which to leave out based on what he thought was most important.
We apply the same principle in our courts of justice.
We have a number of different witnesses give their testimonies and then the judge and jury piece together what they heard to obtain a complete picture of what really transpired.
It is exactly the same phenomenon with the 3 sections of Torah dealing with the Biblical feasts.
Each section provides us a different slant, perspective and emphasis that when taken together gives us a more fuller and complete understanding of what God expects from us in terms of observing these feasts.
Since we’re now in Leviticus, it should be obvious which perspective we’re being given: The PRIESTLY perspective of of course!
Because of this, we’re going to get more of an emphasis on the required rituals and the sacrifices connected to the Biblical Feasts.
Let me give you fair warning that we may be wading in Leviticus 23 for quite a while.
We’re going to go deep into the details because these Biblical Feasts are central and point directly to the life and ministry of Messiah.
I’m also going to be taking a close look at those passages that Christians have MISUNDERSTOOD for centuries that have led to some, quite frankly, really bizarre and completely misguided Church traditions and doctrines.
This study should be quite interesting.