Preface and 1st chapter of God’s Calendar.


The filming of the discussion of the holidays or feasts* with Seth Postell along with Katie and Kent Philpott took place on May 21, 2009 and shortly before Seth and family moved to New York so that Seth could begin teaching Old Testament at the Fineberg Center in Manhattan. Our studio crew consisted of Stan Damas, Grace Harris, Jim Parker, and Vernon Philpott. The resulting DVD was prepared for publication by Jim, Katie transcribed the DVD into a Word document, and Seth, Katie, and Kent combined to write the text for the book. Each took a hand at editing.

* The words “holidays” and “feasts” will be used interchangeably. “Holiday” coming from the concept of a holy day, is not a biblical term. The Tanakh, in both Leviticus and Numbers, usesמועד,, which is transliterated moed and means an appointed time. A feast was an appointed time, a time directed by God to be observed forever by His people.

One. Sabbath

God rested on the seventh day. For six days God created then He ceased working and rested.* This is a central part of the opening revelation of God to Moses in Genesis.

            Sabbath, in the Hebrew transliterated** shabbath, means rest or cease from labor. It is not as though God became tired after creating the universe, rather His resting points to something above and beyond the normal idea of resting. The Sabbath is perhaps the most important key in understanding the Jewish holidays; in fact, as we shall see, it occupies the center of each of the holidays.

            In Leviticus chapter 23, situated before the listing and descriptions of the holidays or feasts, is the following vital introduction.

Leviticus 23:1-2

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of            Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; theyare my appointed feasts.”  

Notes on the passage:

One. The word LORD, all capital letters, indicates that the covenant name for God is in the Hebrew text, that name which God gave to Moses as to His actual name. (see Exodus 3:1-15) It may be transliterated Yahweh and its pronunciation cannot be know for certain. Attempts at arriving the meaning of this covenant name of God include but are not limited to: I am that I am, or I am the only one, I am being, and I am the unnamable one.

Two. Moses is the author of the material, originally.

Three. The feasts are directly appointed, determined, authorized, established, by God; they are not of human origin.

Four. The feasts are holy—special and not ordinary.

Five. The feasts are occasions for the gathering of the people of Israel. A synonym for convocation would be assembly. 

 Leviticus 23:3

            Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a                  Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do                        no work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwelling                places.

Notes on the passage:

One. Work is normative, six days of work followed by a day of rest. The Sabbath is special then, solemn and holy, set aside, and on it there was to be a gathering of the people of God.

Two.  No matter where or when, the people of God were to observe the Sabbath.

 The Biblical Sabbath

The Sabbath began Friday at sunset. It lasted until sunset of the next day, Saturday. The Sabbath was the last day of the week. Six days of work were followed or concluded by one day of rest, exactly the formula for the creation in Genesis chapter one.

On the Sabbath no work was to be done, and to ensure that no work would be done on the Sabbath, traditions were developed by Jewish rabbinical scholars, over the centuries, and these became so detailed they became burdensome, indeed almost impossible for the ordinary person to carry out. Much of the conflict Jesus had with the religious authorities of His day had to do with Sabbath observance.

            It should be noted that some Christians still observe the actual biblical Sabbath as their special day of worship, but mainstream Christianity began to worship on Sunday, the first day of the Jewish work week, because the resurrection occurred on a Sunday and also because Jewish believers in Jesus began to be excluded from attending synagogues. Sunday, the first day of the week became known, very early on, as the Lord’s Day. (see John 20:19; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10)

Rest as a view into the nature of salvation

God revealed to Moses that Adam was to take care of the home created for him—the Garden of Eden. All that was necessary for life was in that garden. After The Fall, that willful disobedience to a clear command of God, Adam and Eve were evicted from their home, cut off from fellowship with their God, and were forced to toil, labor painfully, for their survival. Everything had changed.

            Rest was where God was. God was present in the garden and walked and talked with the first humans created in His image, which probably means that the Creator God could actually enter into intelligent communion with His creation.

 Rest is always where God is. God was present in the Tabernacle, and later the temple in Jerusalem, that place of worship God directed Moses to build, and it was in the inner most holy place, the Holy of Holies, where God dwelt. Away from God there was no rest, there was work and labor instead.

The Sabbath—an historical, dramatic, prophecy

Embedded then in the story of rest and work is the story of salvation. God created the Sabbath for His people, He was present with them and when that paradise was lost, God worked, with the emphasis on worked, so His chosen people would be able to enjoy His rest and cease from their work.

            Long before God’s plan could be fully understood by anyone He put into place the very heart of the nature of salvation—resting in the work of God. The falling into death must be overcome by the working of the Messiah, the Anointed One of God. The people of God were promised in the creation of the Sabbath itself that there would be a resting. The writer of Hebrews, chapter 4 verses 9 and 10, describes this:

            So, then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,                       for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his                        works as God did from his.


David Baron in Types, Psalms and Prophecies said, “The weekly Sabbath was appointed by God as a prophecy and pledge.” (page 6)

            In the description of the feasts, holidays, appointed for the people of Israel by God, the Sabbath holds center stage. There was an actual Sabbath day to be observed, but it pointed to something more, a restoration of the rest Adam and Eve had enjoyed in the presence of God. There would always be a Sabbath for God’s chosen people and the weekly observance continually pointed to it.

* Varying views of the nature of God’s creative act are held. Whatever view one might have will not substantially alter, change, or negate the fundamental underlying concept that God rested or ceased from working (creating) and the Sabbath as a concept entered into the human experience and understanding.

**  A transliteration is the rendering or spelling of a word with the letters of one language in place of another. In this case, the corresponding English letters are used in place of Hebrew letters, all in order to assist in pronouncing the Hebrew words.

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