The Feasts And The Names

Leviticus xxiii

The Lord commanded His people Israel to keep seven yearly feasts. We

find them mentioned in their proper order in Leviticus. The feasts, or

holy convocations are: The Feast of Passover, the Feast of Unleavened

Bread, the Feast of First-fruits, the Feast of Pentecost, the Feast of

Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. While

these feasts had a special meaning for God's people Israel and their

worship they are also "the shadow of things to come;" they have a

decided prophetic meaning. In a most remarkable manner they reveal the

whole plan of redemption. All the dispensational dealings of God with

Jews and Gentiles may be traced in these feasts.

We find also in the Old Testament Scriptures seven compound names of

Jehovah. These are the following: Jehovah-Jireh (Jehovah provides),

Gen. xxii:14; Jehovah-Rophekah (Jehovah thy Healer), Exod. xv:26;

Jehovah-Nissi (Jehovah my banner), Ex. xvii; Jehovah-Shalom

(Jehovah is Peace), Judges vi:24; Jehovah-Roi (Jehovah my Shepherd),

Psalm xxiii:1; Jehovah-Tsidkenu (Jehovah our Righteousness), Jer.

xxiii:6; Jehovah-Shammah (Jehovah is there), Exek. xlviii:35. These

names are also prophetic; they tell out the story of redemption and may

be linked with the Feasts of Jehovah. The interesting fact is that

these names are given in the Word in such an order that they correspond

with these feasts of Jehovah.

+I. The Passover Feast+. This was to be observed on the fourteenth

day of the month of Abib and was kept in memory of Israel's redemption

and deliverance from Egypt, the house of bondage. The Passover-lamb

was slain and its blood sprinkled on the lintel and side-posts of the

door. God assured them when they were in Egypt, "When I see the blood

I will pass over you." And so it was. The blood of the slain lamb

sheltered them and secured immunity from death. The lamb, as a

spotless victim, died that they might live. This feast marked the

beginning of Israel's history as a redeemed people; their years were to

be counted from that day (Exod. xii:1). The blessed story of this

great redemption was not to be forgotten, but to be remembered from

generation to generation (Exod. xii:24-27). The Passover lamb and the

sheltering blood foreshadow most blessedly the atoning work of the

Cross, the sacrifice of our Lord and His precious blood. The paschal

lamb is a type of Christ our Passover. "Christ our Passover is

sacrificed for us" (1 Cor. v:7). Our Lord fulfilled the type in every

detail. When the time came for the Lord Jesus Christ to give His life,

Satan made an effort that His death should not occur on the

Passover-feast. Satan knew that he was the true Lamb, and so he tried

to prevent His death at the proper time (Matt. xxvi:5; Mark xiv:2).

But the Lamb of God died at the very time, thus fulfilling the

Scriptures. Redemption by blood stands first, for it is the foundation

of everything.

+Jehovah-Jireh+--"the Lord will provide"--is His name in connection

with Abraham when he put his son Isaac as a sacrifice upon the altar.

When Isaac asked, "Where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?" Abraham

answered, "My son, God will Himself provide the lamb for a

burnt-offering" (Gen. xxii:8). The ram was provided to be put upon the

altar and Abraham called the place Jehovah-Jireh. And so the Lord has

provided the Lamb; He has provided a free and full salvation through

His own Son. How beautifully this name of Jehovah fits the Passover

feast needs not to be demonstrated. Every one can see this.

+II. The Feast of Unleavened Bread+. This feast could not be

separated from Passover. Passover without the feast of unleavened

bread would have not only been an impossibility, but an insult to God.

And so also the feast of unleavened bread without the Passover. Leaven

is always the type of evil, corruption and sin. An unleavened

condition means the opposite, it means holiness. God redeems unto

holiness. What He redeems is destined to share His own holy character.

This feast of unleavened bread was to be kept for seven days. In

Corinthians (1 Cor. v:7-8), where we read of Christ our Passover, the

unleavened bread is likewise mentioned. "Christ our Passover is

sacrificed for us; wherefore let us keep the feast, not with old

leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness but with the

unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." And before this it is

written "Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

Purge out, therefore, the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye

are unleavened." Redemption delivers from the power of indwelling sin.

Redeemed by blood, and saved by grace, our calling is unto holiness.

Spiritually to keep the feast of unleavened bread means to live in the

energy of the new nature, walking in the Spirit. And ultimately His

redeemed people will be wholly sanctified delivered from the very

presence of sin. He will present the church to Himself, "a glorious

church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it

should be holy and without blemish" (Eph. v:27). That will be when we

shall be with Him in glory. Then the gracious work of redemption is

completed and crowned.

+Jehovah-Rophekah+, "the Lord thy Healer," He calls Himself in Exod.

xv:26. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits;

who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases, who

redeemeth thy life from destruction, who crowneth thee with loving

kindness and tender mercies" (Psalm ciii:2-4). We look forward to the

day when in the kingdom to come "the inhabitant shall not say, I am

sick" (Isa. xxxiii:24), when His redeemed, blood-washed people shall be

glorified and then wholly sanctified as to body, soul and spirit. When

our body of humiliation is changed that it may be fashioned like unto

His glorious body (Phil. iii:21), then shall we know all the gracious

power of Jehovah-Rophekah.

+III. The Feast of First-fruits+. The third feast is the Feast of

First-fruits (Lev. xxiii:9-14). While the Passover typifies the death

of Christ, the waving of the sheaf of the first fruits is the blessed

type of the physical resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the

third feast; the number three in the Word of God is almost in every

instance connected with resurrection. One sheaf only was brought into

the presence of Jehovah; this sheaf was the earnest of the harvest to

follow. "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the

first-fruits of them that slept" (1 Cor. xv:20). "But every man in his

own order: Christ, the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's

at His Coming" (1 Cor. xv:23). The grain of wheat had fallen into the

ground and died. But He liveth; the full ear of the sheaf waved before

Jehovah typifies the abundant fruit which He brings unto God. It was

waved "on the morrow after the Sabbath." That is the first day of the

week, the glorious resurrection morning. Thus we see in this feast

Christ risen from the dead, the first-fruits, now at the fight hand of

God. And as He was raised from among the dead, so shall His people be

raised from among the dead, when He descends from heaven with the

shout; while living believers shall be changed in a moment. And all

will be with Him in that blessed day when He comes for His own.

+Jehovah-Nissi+, "the Lord my Banner" (Exod. xvii:15). Israel, as we

read in this chapter, fought with Amalek (the type of the flesh).

Joshua was the leader of God's people in this warfare, while Moses was

on the top of the hill holding up his hands that Israel might prevail.

And Joshua gained the victory over Amalek. Joshua typifies Christ

risen from the dead, who, like Joshua, brings His people through Jordan

into the promised land. And Moses on the top of the hill with his

uplifted hands also represents Christ risen from the dead, at God's

right hand interceding for His people. Through a risen Christ, whose

life we have, and who liveth for us, we get the victory in the conflict

down here. He died for us, which gives us peace; He lives for us and

in us, which gives us power. The risen Christ is our banner and


+IV. The Feast of Pentecost+ (verses 15-22). This is the Feast of

Weeks, also called Pentecost (the Greek word for fifty) because it was

celebrated fifty days after the Feast of First-fruits. After seven

Sabbaths had passed by, a new Meal-offering was to be brought to the

Lord. It consisted of two loaves, which were of fine flour, leaven

also was to be put in them; they were to be the first-fruits unto the

Lord. In the beginning of Leviticus we read of the meal-offering. The

offering here in the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, was a new

meal-offering. The meal-offering in the first part of this book

(ii:1-16) is the type of Christ in His perfect humanity. In that

meal-offering there was no leaven, but fine flour was mixed with oil,

and oil was poured upon it before it was exposed to the fire. All this

blessedly foreshadows the Lord Jesus in His spotless humanity and the

sufferings through which He passed. But here is a new meal-offering,

into which leaven was put.

Fifty days after Christ arose, when the day of Pentecost had come, the

Holy Spirit descended out of heaven. While He filled the assembled

believers in Jerusalem, He also baptized them into one body; the

church, the body of Christ, began with this great event. The new

meal-offering, therefore, is a prophetic type of the church. Let us

notice that the loaves of this new meal-offering were also called

"first-fruits." This word identifies them with Him who is the

first-fruits of them that slept, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the

First-fruits and His believing people are likewise called by that name.

"Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be

a kind of first-fruits of His creatures" (Jas. i:18). Believers have

the first-fruits of the Spirit (Rom. viii:23). Christ also is the

firstborn, while believers are His brethren destined to share His glory

(Rom. viii:29); and the church is called the church of the firstborn"

(Heb. xii:23).

This new meal-offering, a type of the church, was made of fine flour,

which comes from the corn of wheat. It typifies the true believer, who

is born again, and possesses the new nature, and only those who are

born again are members of the true church. The leaven put into this

offering is the type of sin and the old nature, which is still in the

believer. Therefore the sin-offering was made prominent in connection

with this feast, which tells us of the blessed work of Christ as the

sin-bearer of His people. The two loaves foreshadow believing Jews and

Gentiles, which compose the church. Some day the church will be

presented to the Lord, as the new meal-offering was brought into His

presence. This will happen when the Lord comes for His Saints.

+Jehovah-Shalom+, "the Lord is Peace" (Judges vi:24). How beautifully

this name of Jehovah harmonizes with Pentecost. He has made peace in

the blood of the Cross. "Peace be unto you" was His blessed word of

greeting to the assembled disciples on the resurrection day. And ever

since He is in the midst of those who gather unto His Name and His

blessed, precious word of peace remains throughout this age for His

redeemed people. Furthermore, "He is our peace, who hath made both

one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition, having

abolished in His flesh the enmity, the law of commandments in

ordinances, for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making

peace. And that He might reconcile both unto God, in one body by the

cross having slain the enmity thereby. And came and preached peace to

you which were far off, and to them that were nigh" (Ephes. ii:14-17).

But let us notice here that four months elapsed before another feast

was kept. During these four months the harvest and vintage took place.

The feast of Pentecost had after it this long period before the trumpet

was blown for another solemn feast. This interval has a prophetic

meaning of much importance. Dispensationally we are still in the Feast

of Pentecost. This age is the age of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is

present to accomplish His great mission, which is to gather out the

church. This blessed work goes on during this age. But some day the

Spirit's work will surely be finished and the new meal-offering, the

church, will be presented in glory. How this will be accomplished we

know from 1 Thess. iv:13-18 and 1 Cor. xv:5 1-54.

Let us remember then that the four feasts foreshadow the Cross of

Christ (Passover); the Work of the Cross which is complete Redemption

(Unleavened Bread); the Resurrection of Christ (First-Fruits); the Holy

Spirit and His Work on earth, the out-calling of the church

(Pentecost). We are living in the interval between Pentecost and the

fifth feast. But the next feast in its prophetic meaning will not come

till the church is completed and presented unto the Lord. The harvest

has to come. And the harvest is in verse 22 the same as in Matt.


Recently a theory has been advanced according to which the Lord must

come for His Saints on the Jewish feast of Trumpets. But that is only

a speculation. It is disproven by the fact that the new meal-offering

on the feast of Pentecost, typifying the church, must be first

presented to the Lord, before the feast of trumpets can come. What the

feast of trumpets foreshadows we shall see next.

+V. The Feast of Trumpets+. The feast of trumpets, the day of

atonement and the feast of tabernacles in their prophetic meaning are

still future. Nor will the events foreshadowed come to pass till the

harvest, the end of the age, comes, and the church has been removed

from the earth. The trumpets here must not be identified with the last

trump in 1 Cor. xv:53 or the trump of God in 1 Thess. iv. The feast of

trumpets does not foreshadow the Coming of the Lord for His Saints.

The feast of trumpets shows prophetically the call of God to the

remnant of His earthly people. They are to be regathered and a remnant

of them is to be brought back. But the Lord does not regather earthly

Israel as long as His heavenly people are still here. An awakening

spiritually and nationally is predicted throughout the prophetic Word

for His people Israel. See Isa. xxvii:13 and Joel ii:1. Matt. xxiv:31

has often been applied as meaning the church. This is incorrect. The

elect to be gathered by the trumpets' sound is Israel. The blowing of

the trumpets on the first day of the seventh month precedes the great

day of atonement and heralds that approaching day.

+Jehovah-Roi+, "the Lord is my Shepherd" (Psalm xxiii:1). Christians

have almost universally applied this precious Psalm to themselves and

forgotten that Israel also has a part in it. He who is our Shepherd is

the Shepherd of Israel. He gave His life as the good Shepherd for all

His sheep; yea, He died for that nation (John xi:51). There is a day

coming when this loving, caring Shepherd, who was here once and sought

the lost sheep of the house of Israel, will seek them again. "Behold

I, even I, will both search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a

shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his flock

that are scattered, so will I seek out my sheep; and will deliver them

out of all places whither they have been scattered in the day of clouds

and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples and

gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land,

and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers and in all the

inhabited places of the country" (Ezek. xxxiv:11-14). And when He

gathers them, then will they joyfully praise Him as their Shepherd and

know Jehovah-Roi.

+VI. The Day of Atonement+. This solemn feast followed immediately

the blowing of the trumpets. Lev. xvi gives us the full description of

that important day. On that day the blood of a sacrificial animal was

carried within the vail and sprinkled by the high-priest on the mercy

seat. When the high-priest has done this and came out from the Holiest

the second sacrificial animal, a goat, was brought before him. He then

put his hands upon the head of the goat and confessed upon it all the

iniquities, the transgressions and sins of the children of Israel.

"And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not

inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness" (chapter

xvi). And here the dispensational aspect comes in. Before the

transgressions of Israel could be confessed over the scapegoat and

before the goat could be sent forever away with its burden, the

high-priest had to come out of the Holiest. As long as He remained

alone in the Holiest, the goat could not carry away the sins of the

people. When the Lord appears the second time, when He comes from

heaven's glory as the King-Priest, then the blessed effect of His death

for the nation will be realized and their sins and transgressions will

forever be put away. Then they will in true repentance look upon Him

whom they pierced and mourn for Him. And their sins will be forgiven

and remembered no more. They will, through grace, become the

righteous, the holy, the Spirit filled nation. "In that day there

shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and to the

inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness" (Zech. xiii:1).

+Jehovah-Tsidkenu+--"The Lord our Righteousness." It is significant

that this name of Jehovah appears twice in Jeremiah. Once it means our

Lord and connected with the acknowledgement of Him as "our

righteousness" is the promise that He shall reign as King. "In His

days shall Judah be saved and Israel shall dwell safely, and this is

His name whereby He shall be called 'Jehovah-Tsidkenu'" (Jer.

xxiii:5-6). They will know Him as their righteousness, as we know Him

as our righteousness. But when? When He has come and they accepted

Him as their Lord and King. In Jer. xxxiii:16 the city of Jerusalem

shall be called by that name. One of the future names of restored

Jerusalem will be "the Lord our righteousness." No doubt, because the

King has chosen her and manifests His glory in, round about and above


+VII. The Feast of Tabernacles+. The seventh feast began on the

fifteenth day of the seventh month and was kept after the harvesting.

"Thou shalt observe the feast of Tabernacles seven days, after thou

hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine" (Deut. xvi:13). Besides this

it was a memorial feast of their wilderness journey of the past.

Therefore they made booths of palm trees and willows. The palm is the

emblem of victory and the willow the emblem of suffering and weeping.

This feast is prophetic of the millennium and the coming glory, when

Israel is back in the land and the kingdom has been established in

their midst. Then the King will manifest Himself in the midst of His

people. It will be a time of rejoicing and victory, when sorrow and

sighing, so long the lot of Israel, will no more be heard. It comes

after the harvest (the end of the age) and the vintage (the winepress

of the wrath of God). The Gentiles, too, will join in that feast; it

will be celebrated by Jews and Gentiles throughout millennial times

(Zech. xiv:16), while the glorified church dwells with the Lord in the

heavenly Jerusalem above the earth in marvellous glory, seen by the

inhabitants of the world during the millennial age. It will probably

be during that feast that the King of kings and Lord of lords will

appear in visible glory in Jerusalem to receive the homage of Israel

and the representatives of converted nations. How beautiful is the

order of these last feasts of Jehovah! The blowing of the trumpets,

the remnant of Israel called and gathered; the day of atonement, Israel

in repentance, looking upon Him whom they pierced, when He comes the

second time; the feast of Tabernacles, the Kingdom come, the time of

peace and glory for the earth.

+Jehovah-Shammah+, "the Lord is there" (Exek. xlviii:35). The name of

that city from that day shall be "Jehovah-Shammah"--the Lord is there.

This is another millennial name of the city of Jerusalem. The closing

chapters of Ezekiel tell us of Israel's restoration, the overthrow of

their enemies, Gog and Magog, the powers from the North. Then the

glory returns (Ezek. xliii:1-5), a wonderful temple is seen once more

in Jerusalem, the Lord manifests Himself in the midst of the city and

living waters will flow forth from Jerusalem. Thus the last compound

name of Jehovah clearly points to millennial times.

We have seen that the feasts and the names of Jehovah are prophetic.

They reveal the great redemption and tell us of the cross, the work

accomplished there, how God made provision and redeems unto Himself.

We traced in them His resurrection and the victory; the coming of the

Holy Spirit, the formation and completion of the church; the

regathering and the restoration of Israel, their spiritual blessing and

the millennium. His Name is blessedly linked with these feasts. How

wonderful is the blessed Word of God! And how we may find His gracious

purposes in every portion of this Book of books. Soon the last three

feasts may be ushered in. Let us therefore as His heavenly people,

with a heavenly hope and destiny, wait daily for the promised

home-call, the gathering shout.

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