Read the Scripture: "And the LORD said to Moses, 'Speak to the children of Israel, saying, "The feast of the LORD, which you shall proclaim as a feast of holy assemblies. Six days shall work be done, and the seventh day shall be a holy sabbath, when there shall be a holy assembly; and you shall do no work; it is a sabbath to be kept to the LORD in all your dwelling places. The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim as holy assemblies on the day, are these.'" (Lev. 23:1-4)
The law of the Israelites was divided into "moral law" and "ceremonial law". The "five sacrifices" and the "seven feasts" were the ceremonial laws. The Israelites were to keep the law because it was their "national law". They were in the age of the law. We in the New Testament, especially after the coming of the Holy Spirit, are in the age of grace, and we do not need to keep the law, but the law is an extremely valuable lesson and foretaste for us. We do not need to keep the law itself, especially the ceremonial law: "Therefore let no one judge you, neither in food, nor in the feasts, nor in the months, nor in the sabbaths. These are the shadow of things to come, but the form is Christ." (Col. 2:16-17)
Leviticus 23 is an account of "the feasts of the Lord", and verses 1-4 are introductory.
1. The Five Books of Moses
On God's creation of all things and man.
On the salvation of God.
On the holy life to be lived after salvation.
On the life in the wilderness.
A restatement of the law in preparation for the crossing of the Jordan into Canaan.
The Israelites had no "feast of the Lord" in Egypt, no holy meetings or joyful times. They only worshipped idols and were slaves, which prefigured the situation before salvation.
2. The Pentateuch in the synagogue
The Jews divided the Pentateuch into 54 sections in the synagogue, with Leviticus taking up 10 major sections. When Jesus was on earth, their Pentateuch was still divided in this way.
3. The Book of Leviticus
It is not appropriate to call it Leviticus, because it is not all about the priests, nor is it all about the sacrifices.
Leviticus could have been divided into many parts, but it is mainly divided into 3 major sections: "The Five Sacrifices" (chapters 1-7), the Day of Atonement (chapter 16, the central chapter), and "The Feast of the Lord" (chapter 23).
These are biblical feast days, not the feasts or festivals of our nations.
1. The word "feast" and "period" (including the meaning of "appointment to meet")
The original word contains the meaning of "feast" and "period". The English Bible only translates the word "feasts", but the Chinese Bible translates it well. The word "feast" is a festival, and "period" is a time or season. The Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost (7/7) and Feast of Tabernacles are "feasts", while the others are "periods". 2.
2. "Proclaim the sacred assembly"
This means a meeting (Lev 23:7-8, 21, 24, 27, 35-37). The feast ordained by the LORD is a "holy meeting" to "gather His people together".
(1) The blowing of the silver trumpet (Num. 10:1-10): To gather the people together for a meeting.
(2) Sacrifice: Sacrifices were offered in all sections. The sacrifices indicate the blood that has the power to save; the feast offerings indicate the food that sustains life.
(3) Counting the grace of God during the feast days.
3. The seven feasts
Some people divide the feasts into five: they call the first three together the "Feast of Unleavened Bread"; the five feasts plus the Sabbatical Year and the Jubilee Year (chapter 25) make seven. But the Sabbatical and Jubilee years are "annual divisions".
(1) There should be 7 feasts.
① Passover (23:5).
Christ is our Passover lamb (Ex. 12).
② Feast of Unleavened Bread (vv. 6-8).
Prefigures Christ as sinless (1 Cor. 5:7-8).
③ The Feast of the Firstfruits (vv. 9-14).
Prefiguring the resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:20, 23).
④ Pentecost (vv. 15-22).
A foreshadowing of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the coming out of the church (Acts 2).
⑤ The Feast of the Blowing of the Trumpets (vv. 23-25).
A foreshadowing of Christ's return (1 Thess. 4:16-17). There is a trumpet that recalls Israel (Mt 24:31).
⑥ Day of Atonement (Lev 23:26-32).
A foreshadowing of Israel's repentance and salvation during the seven-year tribulation (Jas 12:10-13:1, Ro 11:26).
(7) Feast of Tabernacles (Lev 23:33-44).
A foretaste of the millennial peaceable kingdom (Rev. 20:1-6).
(2) In three categories (Deut. 16:16).
The men of Israel, who were to keep the 3 major feasts each year (Psalm 122-134), sang songs of joy on the way to Jerusalem. They were not to make pilgrimages to God empty-handed (Ex 23:14-17, 34:24).
① Passover (Feast of Unleavened Bread) (Lev 23:4-14).
Including the first 3 feasts, which were past, in the first month of Israel.
② Pentecost (Lev. 23:15-22).
In the month of March in Israel. This is a pre-expression of the present church.
③ Feast of Tabernacles (Feast of Collection) (23:23-44).
Including the 3 feasts that prefigure the future, in the seventh month of Israel.
(3) The first 4 feasts follow each other closely, and are followed by 4 months apart. During these 4 months, there was no feast and no sacred meeting in Jerusalem. From Pentecost to the Feast of the Blowing of the Trumpets, there was no voice of the LORD calling His people.
The first 4 feast days refer to the church, and the last 3 refer to earthly Israel.
(4) "The feasts of the Jews" (John 2:13, 5:1, 6:4, 7:2).
The Old Testament called it "the feast of the LORD", but later the Israelites focused only on outward forms, so the joy of the LORD ceased, and in the New Testament it was called "the feast of the Jews".
4. The feasts after the captivity
(1) The feast of Purim (S 9:24-32).
(2) The Feast of the Temple (Jn 10:22): also known as the "Feast of the Renewal of Light".
The Maggribi movement drove out the Greeks (165 B.C.), restored worship, and established the Feast of the Temple.
Sabbath (Lev 23:3)
"Six days shall work be done, and the seventh day shall be a holy Sabbath, when there shall be a holy assembly, and you shall do no work. This is the Sabbath to be kept to the LORD in all your dwelling places." (23:3) This is not a normal Sabbath.
Leviticus 23:1-2 says "the feast of the LORD", verse 3 talks about "the holy Sabbath", and verse 4 "the feast of the LORD" comes up again, which This is a new beginning. These words do not appear again in the subsequent descriptions of the seven feasts, so the Sabbath is independent. Although the Sabbath is mentioned here first, it is not until the end that the Sabbath is fulfilled.
There were Sabbaths before the 7 feasts, which if combined would be 8. But this Sabbath has its own uniqueness, not one of the feasts.
This seems to be unrelated to the feast days (23:37-38). But the 7 feast days are based on this Sabbath, in order to give the people greater rest.
2. The First Sabbath (Genesis 2:3)
After God's work of creation was completed, God also rested. This Sabbath became the model for later Sabbath observance. Genesis shows the divine Sabbath; the other four books emphasize the Sabbath as the law. The number "7" is the number of perfection. The Israelites first recognized 7 as rest when God sent manna (Ex. 16:5, 22-30). 3.
3. "Holy Sabbath" (Lev 23:3)
The original text reads "the Sabbath of rest". The Sabbath was once a week, but the feast was once a year. It is clear that God considered the Sabbath more sacred than the other feasts, so God put the Sabbath before the seven feasts.
4. "You shall do no work"
The other feasts forbid "laborious work" (i.e., service work, Lev 23:7-8, 21, 25, 35-36), but not the preparation of food (Ex 12:16).
5. "There shall be a holy assembly" (Lev 23:3)
The feast must be kept in the place where Yahweh has appointed His name (Deut. 12:14, 16:6); the Sabbath (except for the called sacred assembly) may be kept in the home.
6. The sacrifices offered on the Sabbath
"On the Sabbath, two ram lambs of one year old, without disabilities, and two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, shall be offered as a vegetarian sacrifice, and the same sacrifice shall be offered as a sacrifice. And this is the burnt offering which is offered every Sabbath, and the burnt offering which is always offered, and the sacrificial offering which is offered with it, are outside." (Num. 28:9-10)
7. There were 10 Sabbaths for the Israelites
(1) The weekly ones.
(2) The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:7).
(3) The seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (verse 8).
(4) Of the Feast of Pentecost (verse 16).
(5) Of the Feast of the Blowing of the Trumpets (verse 24).
(6) Of the Day of Atonement (verse 32).
(7) The first day of the Feast of Tabernacles (verse 35).
(8) Of the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles (verse 36).
(9) Of the Sabbatical year (25:4).
(10) The Jubilee year (25:10-11). 8.
8. Special Sabbaths for each "seventh" day
The seventh day, the seventh month, the seventh year, the seventh year.
The feast days are not for us to keep, but the foreshadowing and lessons of the feast days are very helpful to us. We will discuss each of the 7 feasts below.
Chapter 1 Passover
Scripture reading: Exodus 12:1-14, Leviticus 23:5, Deuteronomy 16:6, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8
The "Feast of the LORD", with the Passover as the first and foremost, is called "the Passover of the LORD", which is a matter of salvation.
The first enactment (Exodus 12) was in Egypt, the most important foreshadowing of Exodus; the second enactment (Lev 23:5) was in the wilderness of Sinai, the first of the seven feasts; the third enactment (Deut 16) was in the plains of Moab, which was necessary to be kept three times a year.
I. The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread
Some people think that the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are two names for the same feast. Since the two feasts are connected (as in Deut. 16:1-8), they think they are the same feast. It should be said that these are two separate feasts.
This is a family feast: Leviticus 23:5 does not mention the Passover liturgy. The Passover was originally an ancient shepherd's feast, where no priest entered the sanctuary to offer sacrifices, and no altar was used.
2. The Feast of Unleavened Bread
The beginning of this feast enjoyed pilgrimage status and was one of the three annual pilgrimage feasts celebrated in the sanctuary.
3. Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread
Passover - Christ is the Lamb of atonement for our sins, so that we may be redeemed.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread - Christ is the unleavened bread, so that we may live a holy life.
II. The Tenth Plague (Exodus 11)
The Israelites were working hard in Egypt. God raised up Moses to bring them out of Egypt, but Pharaoh did not allow them to leave. So God performed 10 great miracles (sent 10 plagues) through Moses for about a year. The last plague was the plague of the killing of the firstborn and the killing of the firstborn.
In order to preserve the Israelites, God established the Passover for them.
III. The First Passover (Exodus 12:1-13)
The first Passover had unleavened bread, but it was not a festival of unleavened bread. The Passover was only one day. Exodus 12:1-13 was the Passover, and verses 15-20 were the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which they were to keep later.
"It was to be kept until the fourteenth day of the month" (Exodus 12:6): "the month" means "the first month" (verse 2).
The 14th day of the first month at dusk, which was the national day of Israel.
(1) "The first month" (12:2).
The Jewish calendar takes the month of Tanakh as the first month; but the Holy Year begins with the month of Abib in the Exodus (Deut. 16:1): the month of July is changed to the first month (Abib).
"Abib" (Ex. 13:4) means "green ears", which was the name of the Canaanites. Later, when the Jews went into captivity, they adopted the Babylonian calendar and called it "Nisan" (Neh. 2:1, Sm. 3:7), which means "beginning" and "opening".
(2) "Fourteenth" day (Ex. 12:6).
It was held at the time of the full moon.
(3) "Twilight" (12:6).
The original text is "between two twilights", i.e., between 3-6 p.m. today and 3-6 p.m. tomorrow. The Jews in New Testament times slaughtered lambs from 3-6 pm. This was the exact time of Jesus' crucifixion.
(4) "For the beginning of the year" (12:2).
This was the New Year when the calendar was changed. Salvation is the beginning of a new beginning, the beginning of a new life.
The first Passover was in Egypt. Egypt was a foreshadowing of the world, showing that the world needed to be saved.
3. Crossing over to Israel
(1) Preparation of the lamb (Exodus 12:3-5).
"On the tenth day of the month": The Passover was on the fourteenth day at dusk, and it seemed premature to prepare the lamb four days in advance, but this was a sign that the life of the Lord Jesus was tested (Lk 11:53-54, Jn 8:46, 18:38).
"Every man shall take a lamb according to his father's house, one for each family" (Ex. 12:3): This is not a random combination, but a "family" unit. If a family could not eat, they had to take one with their neighbor (v.4). The average Jewish family was about 10 people, and they ate one lamb together.
"A male lamb of one year old, without disabilities" (Exodus 12:5): A year old is a year of innocence and purity. The lamb was a prefigurement of Christ (1 Cor. 5:6-7), so it had to be "without handicap".
"You may take either from the sheep or from the goats" (2 Cor. 5): This was the choice of the time. Most people preferred to take sheep, and later only sheep were allowed.
(2) Slaughter of lambs (Exodus 12:6).
All the houses of Israel were to slaughter lambs between dusk. This was a foreshadowing of Jesus' death at 3:00 pm.
(3) Applying the blood (12:7).
The blood was "painted on the doorframes and lintels to the right and left of the houses where the lamb was eaten". The blood was a sign, but it was not applied to the threshold so that it would not be trampled on (Heb. 10:29). Jesus is the door that is marked with blood. We have to enter the gate of blood to have peace within the gate of blood. We do not have peace until we have blood at the door of our hearts. Any Israelite who is not in the room will also be killed. If there is a Gentile in the room, he will also be saved by the blood on the lintel of the door frame.
The painting of the blood is the taking of individual faith, not the taking of the community (Jn 3:36). There is no need to add anything other than the painting of the blood. The blood is for God to see, in order to meet the requirements of His righteousness.
(4) Eating the flesh of the lamb.
"The flesh of the lamb shall be eaten that night, roasted by fire, with unleavened bread and bitter vegetables." (Ex. 12:8) (Exodus 12:8) Note "that night", do not eat it late. The word "eat" means to accept.
(1) "Roasted with fire" (Deut. 16:7): lifted up with a fork and roasted.
"Roasted with fire", but "not a bone shall be broken" (Ex 12:46, Jn 19:36).
"Roasted", as in the fires of hell, makes a man thirsty (Lk 16:24). Jesus was thirsty on the cross (Jn 19:28), but He willingly drank this cup for us (Jn 18:11), meaning that He accepted the fire of hell and was tormented for sinners.
② The flesh of the lamb is fresh: they are only allowed to eat the flesh, but not to drink the blood.
But we are eating the Lord's flesh and drinking His blood (Jn 6:53-55), which shows that Christ is our bread of life.
(3) Eating with unleavened bread and bitter vegetables.
a. Unleavened bread.
Leaven, which is sin. Unleavened bread is the main character of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ex. 12:14-20).
b. Bitter greens.
This is a wild vegetable of the desert, and the nomads make a concoction of bitter greens with meat. The Jewish Oral Law says that the bitter greens are mishnah, and the varieties are lettuce, chicory, snake root, mint, and dandelion. This was Israel's experience of serving bitterness (Ex. 1:14).
We should also be grieved by sin.
④ To eat all (Ex. 12:9-10).
"Never eat boiled": The first Passover is not allowed to eat boiled, but later is allowed to eat boiled (in 1 Sam. 2:13).
"Take the head, the legs, and the five organs, and roast them in the fire and eat them": "head", indicating the thought; "legs", indicating the deed; "five organs", indicating the will.
"No little bit left ......": No little bit left in Egypt, do not desecrate the sacrificial meat. We are to receive the whole Christ.
⑤ All eat (Ex 12:47-49).
The Gentiles were not supposed to eat. If they were to eat, they were to be circumcised first (v. 48). The circumcised Gentiles were still Gentiles, but they entered Judaism by faith.
The church should also gather together in one place to receive the Lord's Supper.
(5) The attitude of eating.
"Eat the lamb when you have your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hands, and eat it with all haste ......." (12:11) This is only the first time the Passover lamb was eaten.
① Eat it in the house (v. 46).
Do not bring it outside to eat it, for there is blood at the door of the house.
② "Do not leave any left over until morning" (12:10).
We are to eat it in the night. We should receive the grace of God while we have this day.
(3) "Eat quickly" (12:11).
"Girded at the waist, with shoes on their feet, and with staffs in their hands", as opposed to the usual attitude to the feast. They ate standing up, because they did not know where they were going at that time. We should have the same attitude when we are living in the world. To "hurry and eat" means to be free from the world.
(6) Slaying the firstborn (12:12-13).
This is the 10th plague in Egypt, and the history of the Passover. The Israelites suffered in Egypt, but God saved Israel in remembrance of His covenant with Abraham.
"For that night I will go round the land of Egypt" (verse 12): The Lord came down to go round and kill all the firstborn (both human and livestock) in the land of Egypt. Egypt was deified by animals, and each god was represented by a beast.
And all the firstborn were protected by their gods. Now all the gods that protected them were to be killed. "And shall corrupt all the gods of Egypt" (under 12:12): The LORD God directly corrupted all the gods of Egypt, that they might know that their gods could not protect them.
(7) Preservation (transgression) of Israel.
"As soon as I see this blood, I will cross over to you" (12:13): This is the Passover. "Pass over" pasach, this verb occurs three times: "to become lame" (2 Sam. 4:4), "to jump and limp" (1 Kings 18:26), and "to cross over and preserve" (1 Kings 18:26). The verb "to pass over and save" (Isa. 31:5) is translated as passover, which means "to pass over".
4. The Passover afterwards
This "later" does not only refer to the annual Passover, but also to some special and frequent Passovers after the first Passover.
1. The Second Passover (Num. 9:1-14)
It was an anniversary: "In the first month of the second year after the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt" (v. 1) and "on the fourteenth day" (v. 3). This Passover was held after the dedication and cleansing of the Levites. The first Passover was kept in Egypt, and the second Passover was kept in the "wilderness of Sinai" (verses 1, 5).
This time, the unclean (vv. 6-11) could not keep the Passover: "There were some who were unclean because of the dead bodies, and could not keep the Passover on that day." (v. 7, Lev. 7:19-21) It was to be postponed for a month: "And they shall keep the Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month, at twilight." (9:11)
If the breaking of bread was stopped because of uncleanness, but after dealing with sin, it was to be resumed.
He who does not keep it shall be cut off: "If he who is clean and does not walk in the way excuses himself from keeping the Passover, that man shall be cut off from the people ......." (9:13) This is not a death sentence, but his removal from Israel.
2. The entry into the land of Canaan began with the observance of the Passover (Ep 5:10)
The feast was not observed until Israel entered the Promised Land, and was observed once a year.
3. It was kept at the time of Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 30)
The people of Israel had not kept the Passover for a long time (v. 5, small print), and kept it again under the leadership of King Hezekiah (v. 26).
4. What was kept at the time of Josiah (2 Chronicles 35:18-19)
The Israelites had forgotten to keep the Passover for a long time, and later Josiah resumed it.
5. The Passover at the time of Jesus
Jesus also kept the Passover (Lk 2:41-52).
The Passover feast was a foreshadowing of the Lord's Supper. Jesus kept the Passover before the crucifixion, and then instituted the Lord's Supper, which was continuous.
Judas was a Jew, so he had a share in the Passover feast (Mt 26:17-25, Jn 13); but he was not a true believer, so Jesus did not institute the Lord's Supper until after he had gone out (Mt 26:26-30). Now anyone who is not truly born again and saved should not participate in the breaking of bread.
The Israelites kept the Passover once a year, and all who could go up to Jerusalem went up to keep the Passover.
Good Friday: According to the traditional calculation, the Sunday after the full moon (15th day of the lunar calendar) after the spring equinox (21st day of the 3rd month of the solar calendar) is Easter, and the Friday after that is Good Friday. This algorithm is not correct.
It should be based on the date of Passover: the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish calendar equals the 14th day of the 3rd month of the Chinese lunar calendar, therefore, the 14th day of the 3rd month of the Chinese lunar calendar is "Good Friday" and the 17th day of the 3rd month of the lunar calendar is Easter (please refer to Resurrection, pages 14-15).
V. Jews keep Passover
Jews attach great importance to the Passover. On other festivals and even on Yom Kippur, many of them go to teahouses and wine shops, but they observe the Passover, because they consider it to be the history of the creation of the nation of Israel.
Two or three weeks before the feast, they did a sweeping in each house in order to cleanse the leaven.
(2) Preparation of wheat.
They wrapped a bundle of wheat in white cloth and put it on the ceiling. The men wore white clothes to harvest and did not go near anything leavened, especially for the Passover.
(3) The firstborn shall fast.
They said to the people, "It is by the grace of God that He has saved our firstborn son. After fasting, everyone put on new clothes (better than usual), and after meeting in the synagogue, they went home to greet the people, saying, "Peace be with you!"
(4) Freedom and equality.
They were treated the same that day, without distinction between the master and the servant, the cook and the cart driver.
(5) Hand washing.
Wash your hands 3 times before sitting down, and wipe them dry afterwards.
2. Drinking four cups of wine
(1) The first cup (cup of remembrance).
To commemorate their release from Egypt and becoming a priestly nation. Usually they favored men over women, but on that day men and women were equal.
After drinking the first cup, everyone took a small plate with 3 unleavened cakes (prefiguring the priests, Levites and Israelites). The host opened the door and invited the hungry people (including beggars and travelers) to eat. They hid half of the middle one and gave the rest to each one to eat.
At this time, the children asked what the Passover meant, and the parents told them the book of Exodus.
(2) The second cup (the cup of salvation).
They raised the cup instead of drinking it, but poured the water 10 times into a saucer to show the 10 plagues of Egypt. Jesus first raised the cup of remembrance and then the cup of salvation (Lk 22:17-20).
The bitter greens, in remembrance of the distressing situation of their ancestors during the night of the Exodus.
The yugui, signifying the grass, in remembrance of the ancestors making bricks in Egypt, which Pharaoh ordered not to be given (Ex. 5:10-11).
The shin bone, which was left at the slaughter of the sheep, indicates a sad event.
Cooked chickens, indicating death. Their mourners ate the chicken with the ashes.
The dish of friendship, which Jesus used to bind his hands with Judas in the dish. It means, "If you kill me, you can still be a friend if you repent. In the dish there were walnuts (a great tree to give shade to those who travel, showing that Christ is our refuge); two dates (signifying goodness and cleanness); and an apple (rottenness inside and beauty outside, we have fellowship with the Lord and must guard against inner decay). Blessed is he who has a portion of the bun in his hand in the dish.
(3) The third cup (the cup of salvation).
The other cups are only half full, but the third cup is overflowing.
When the thanksgiving is given, each one, though weary, must still be awake. Take out the half of the bread that you hid earlier and give it to everyone. This half of the bread is called "completed", and the feast is finished.
(4) The fourth cup (the cup of the Lord's fast approaching kingdom).
At the end, they sing Psalm 24, with special emphasis on verse 9.
3. The Jews still observe the Passover
They keep the Passover as usual, but with many additions and subtractions (Isa 1:14, Moses 5:21).
At the time of Jesus, they turned the "Feast of the Lord" into a "Jewish Feast" (Jn 2:13), which had form but no content. By changing the feast, they showed their disobedience to God (Dan. 7:25).
VI. The Passover Lamb
The Passover was a "redemption": Israel crossed the Red Sea only to "save", but not to "redeem". Originally, redemption came before salvation, so the Israelites kept the Passover first before crossing the Red Sea.
1. The main thing is the lamb
The whole Passover ritual refers mainly to the lamb, which is the lamb that prefigures Christ's atonement (1 Cor. 5:7). Christ had to be slain and shed blood in order to atone for our sins. The Passover feast was primarily the eating of meat, which is the food of life. The men of Israel may not eat bread on that night (Ex. 12:34-39), but their firstborn son is kept.
2. Blood must be shed
A living sheep without disabilities cannot save us. We are not saved by the sinless life of Christ on earth. He had to go to the cross and shed His blood to pay the ransom.
3. Anointing the blood (Ex. 12:7)
If you shed blood alone and do not apply it, you are still not saved. The blood in the basin was not effective until it was taken by man.
Jesus shed His blood on the cross, so we should take it and apply it to the door of our hearts in order to be saved.
Chapter 2: The Feast of Unleavened Bread
Scripture reading: Exodus 12:15-20, Leviticus 23:6-8, Numbers 28:17-25, Deuteronomy 16:3
Leviticus 23 is the general account of 7 feasts. The Israelites kept the Passover and ate unleavened bread when they came out of Egypt (Exodus 12:8), and at the same time promulgated the "Feast of Unleavened Bread" to be kept later (15-20). The Passover was celebrated on the fourteenth day of the first month, and unleavened bread was eaten, but the official Feast of Unleavened Bread did not begin until the fifteenth day, which was seven days in total (Lev. 23:6). The Feast of Unleavened Bread is also called the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ex. 34:18).
The word "leaven" has always referred to sin. The Passover prefigures salvation, which is the cause; the Feast of Unleavened Bread prefigures sanctification, which is the effect. In fact, the leavening begins from salvation and continues until we leave this world, so that we can live a holy life.
I. Unleavened Bread
The main part of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is "unleavened bread". Without unleavened bread, the Feast of Unleavened Bread is meaningless.
1. Making the bread
(1) Prepare the wheat.
The Israelite men wore white clothes to harvest the wheat, and wrapped a bundle of wheat in white cloth and put it on the ceiling, not near the leavened things.
(2) Grinding into flour.
Near the time of the feast, they had to carry the bundles of wheat on donkeys to a place 8 kilometers away from the city. There, they burned the stone mill with seven times the power of fire, so that the millstone would not contain leaven. When they finished grinding, they sang a psalm to celebrate the success of the mill.
(3) Baked bread.
They seldom buy ready-made bread. They have a special baker who collects the bread and bakes it at home, and returns it when it is ready. The bakery is in a special area and they use unleavened ovens.
(4) Cake making.
One man makes the dough, another man rolls it, and then a woman in a new dress follows. Finally, the man pierces the cake before putting it into the oven. If not pierced, the cake will rise when baked, it will be useless. The bread should be made in a good way, so that it is cooked but not burnt.
(5) On the morning of Passover, they brought some flour to the store and carefully made three loaves in the store to take home.
(6) At the end, they double-checked that there was no leaven, and if there was, they burned the remaining leaven.
2. The first unleavened bread used
This was to commemorate the Israelites' hasty departure from Egypt (Exodus 12:39).
3. Unleavened bread for the feast
You can eat leavened bread in normal times, but the bread used for the feast must be unleavened bread, because it is used to show the removal of sin (sanctification).
4. Unleavened bread must be used for the Lord's Supper
The Passover and the Lord's Supper were both made of unleavened bread (1 Cor. 5:8).
Some people use bread cut into small pieces to honor the Lord, and they think that by the time of the New Testament only spiritual meaning was important.
But Jesus and the apostles were from the New Testament era, and they also used unleavened bread. Unleavened bread has both a historical and a spiritual meaning.
5. The bread of affliction
The "bread of affliction" is found from the beginning to the end of the feast (Deut. 16:3).
6. Not saved by unleavened bread
The Israelites were not saved by unleavened bread, but by blood. Neither are we saved by the blood of the Lord, but by the blood of the Lord.
II. The Feast of Unleavened Bread
This is the feast that the Israelites kept every year: the first one is the Passover, and the second one is the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
The Passover is celebrated on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish calendar, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is celebrated after the Passover. The Feast of Unleavened Bread runs from the 15th to the 21st day of the first month (Lev. 23:6). But Exodus 12:18 says, "From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day, you shall eat unleavened bread." It turns out that the Jews entered the second day at dusk (6:00 p.m.), so the evening of the 14th day of the first month would be the 15th day. This festival is 7 days in total.
2. "You shall eat unleavened bread for seven days" (Lev 23:6, Ex 12:15)
The word "seven" means "complete". To eat unleavened bread for seven days means "complete holiness".
"...... Anyone who eats leavened bread will be cut off from Israel" (Ex. 12:15, 19), which means separation from the congregation.
3. "The First Day"
This is a Sabbath day. On this first day they were to remove the leaven.
4. "There shall be a holy assembly" (Ex. 23:16, Lev. 23:7-8)
But on the first and last two Sabbaths of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, they could prepare meals, but they could not do any "laborious" work.
They were to commemorate the history of God's deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt (Exodus 12:17-18, 13:18).
6. The sacrifices offered (Num. 28:19-25)
Except for the Passover, where the lamb was slain, there were sacrifices offered at every feast. The sacrifices offered at each feast were more or less the same, but each had its own emphasis.
(1) Fire sacrifice for seven days (Lev 23:8).
Fire offering, which is the abbreviation of all suitable offerings. It was to be offered daily and completely, so that the unleavened life could be lived.
(2) "In addition to the regular burnt offerings" (Num. 28:23-24).
The Israelites had their daily burnt offerings in the morning and evening, but the sacrifices offered during the feast were in addition to the regular burnt offerings, which were to be pleasing to God again. The burnt offering was the main sacrifice for the feast, and the vegetarian sacrifice was offered with it, and it was to be offered completely (Num. 28:20-21).
(3) A large amount (Num. 28:19, 22).
But it is not only the quantity that is required, but also the satisfaction of God and His pleasure.
According to the law, first, no leavened bread is to be eaten; second, no leavened matter is to be seen; third, no leaven is to be found in the house (Ex. 13:7). Look carefully at the cupboards and basins ...... to see if there is a little leaven.
1. Misrepresenting the good side
(1) The parable of the leaven (Mt 13:33-35).
Some people think that this parable refers to the development of Christianity. In fact, the seven parables in Matthew 13 refer to the seven periods of the church. The parable of the leaven shows the deterioration of the whole Catholic Church into leavened bread. The Roman Catholics have many sins and heresies: they exalt Mary, pray to her, and say that she ascended to heaven. They defended the pope, saying that he was a superman, and made Peter out to be the pope, saying that the pope was not in error. They worship idols and recite fabricated scriptures. They do purgatory. They also used to have "atonement tickets" and so on.
(2) Leavened bread (Lev 23:17).
This leavened bread shows that the church is still sinful. If Christ is prefigured, leavened bread cannot be used.
(2) The reference to sin, etc.
The Bible has always used the word "leaven" to refer to sin and false doctrine, for sin is permeable and destructive.
(1) Hypocrisy: "...... Guard yourselves against the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." (Lk 12:1)
(2) False teaching: "...... the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees" (Mt 16:6), which is said in reference to their false teaching (16:12).
(3) False doctrine: "A little leaven leavens the whole lump" (Gal. 5:9). The Galatian church was to be saved by keeping the law, and they believed that after salvation, they were to be saved by keeping the law to achieve a life of sanctification, which is "leaven. This leaven also includes all heresies and heresies.
(4) Sin: "This boasting is not good for you. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?" (1 Cor. 5:6) (1 Cor. 5:6)
3. Why is leaven compared to sin and false teaching?
(1) Leaven makes the flour bigger.
A big loaf of bread has many empty spaces inside. It is a false phenomenon to pretend that something that was not that big is that big.
(2) Fluffy and delicious.
Fermented, loose and soft, easy to eat and delicious. There are many things in the world that appeal to Christians, but those who fear God should give them up and take Christ as our satisfaction.
(3) "It makes the whole leaven".
The leaven is not only a foreshadowing of sin, but the leaven will start and cause the whole group to fall into sin. It does not appear to be a great evil and does not do much, but the leaven is able to corrupt the whole body. After it has grown, one can no longer see the leaven itself, but only the great bread of falsehood.
4. When the leaven is removed
1. Before the Exodus
The Passover was salvation, but we did not leave Egypt until we entered the Feast of Unleavened Bread. God not only forgives our sins, but He will deliver us from the power of sin (Exodus) and put us in a holy position to make us holy (Eph. 1:4).
2. God's requirements for human life (2 Cor. 7:1, Gal. 5:7-9)
God wants us to have a life free from sin. Man died in sin for the joy of sin. Since we left Egypt, we should not stay with things that smell like Egypt (cucumbers, Philadelphia vegetables, meat and fish in the pot).
3. Get rid of heresies
We are not only to get rid of sin, but also to prevent all evil toxins and heresies that poison people.
4. Remove all "leavened things" (Ex 12:19-20)
Destroy all incense burners, musical instruments, candlesticks, and other things that are associated with idolatry and superstition. Also, see if there are any things or instruments used for sin, such as gambling equipment, prostitutes, murder weapons, all kinds of narcotics (except for medicinal purposes), and improperly obtained things.
5. "There shall be no leaven for seven days" (Ex. 12:19)
The word "seven" means complete. We are to turn completely away from sin and from the attraction of earthly things.
6. "shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel" (v.19)
The word "cut off" does not mean to be killed, but to isolate the congregation and break off fellowship with God and man. We are not saved by unleavened bread, but by blood, for leaven will separate us from God and man.
The Israelites ate lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter vegetables in the house. In the house, there was no fear of God's wrath against Egypt, and nothing to harass them. But "leaven" could cause them to be cut off! What a harmful thing "leaven" is! That is why we must "cut it out".
On the first day and the seventh day there was a holy assembly (Exodus 12:16), both of which were Sabbaths. We can enter into rest only after we turn away from sin.
Chapter 3 The Feast of Firstfruits
Scripture reading: Exodus 23:19, Leviticus 23:9-14, Deuteronomy 26:1-11, 1 Corinthians 15:20
The Feast of the Firstfruits is a foretaste of the resurrection of Christ. If there is only the Passover (Christ's death) but not the Feast of the Firstfruits (Christ's resurrection), it is not the gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4).
I. The Feast of the Trinity
Some people do not include the Feast of the Firstfruits in the feast because Leviticus 23:9-14 does not contain the words "firstfruits". Others think that the Feast of the Firstfruits is a subsidiary of the Passover. This is not true.
1. It is a separate feast
The Feast of the Firstfruits is the third of the seven feasts listed.
The Feast of the Firstfruits had a sacrificial ordinance (Lev 23:14): on this day, there was a special offering.
2. The general name is "Feast of Unleavened Bread".
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is also called the Feast of the Removal of Leaven (Ex. 34:18).
The Passover is celebrated on the 14th day of the first month (Lev. 23:5); the Feast of Unleavened Bread is celebrated for seven days in a row starting from the 15th day (vv. 6-8), and the Feast of the Firstfruits is within the Feast of Unleavened Bread (v. 11), for with the resurrection life (Feast of the Firstfruits) comes the resurrection life (Feast of Unleavened Bread).
3. There are three different but connected feasts
(1) Passover: Our sins are atoned for by the death of Christ.
(2) The Feast of the Firstfruits: Because of Christ's resurrection, we have new life.
(3) The Feast of Unleavened Bread: We are sanctified and justified because Christ is the sinless Lamb.
So the Feast of Firstfruits is placed in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which does not refer to the day of the first harvest.
It does not refer to the first harvest. It is not allowed to eat leavened things in all three feasts.