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The Sabbaths of the LORD

an exposition on Leviticus 23


The seventh day SABBATH

and

the seven sabbaths of the LORD.

(Two things which are called by the same name, but which are different.)

 

 

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Leviticus 23:

1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations [sabbaths], even these are My feasts.

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The seventh day SABBATH:

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Leviticus 23:

3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the SABBATH of rest, A HOLY CONVOCATION; you shall do no work therein: it is the [7th day] SABBATH of the LORD in all your dwellings.

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After establishing the 7th day SABBATH as a base, God gives us the general list.

 

The Passover – a working day- the 14th day of the 1st month.

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Leviticus 23:

4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations [sabbaths], which you shall proclaim IN THEIR SEASONS [on their due dates].

5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover.

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It was followed by the first feast which included TWO sabbaths.

 

The Feast of Unleavened Bread – a seven day period – two holy convocations (sabbaths) – 15th and 21st days of the 1st month.

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Leviticus 23:

6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to the LORD: seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7 In the first day you shall have a holy convocation [a sabbath]: you shall do no servile [ordinary] work therein.

8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD seven days:

in the seventh day is a holy convocation [a sabbath]: you shall do no servile work therein.

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The above feast included the ceremony of first fruits.

 

Firstfruits – a working day – 16th day of the 1st month.

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Leviticus 23:

9 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you be come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the [first] harvest thereof [for the year], then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest: 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you:

on the morrow after the sabbath [the first "holy convocation"] the priest shall wave it.

12 And you shall offer that day when you wave the sheaf a he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering to the LORD . . .

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The second feast was a single sabbath and came seven weeks later when the major harvests of the year began to be gathered.

 

The Day of Pentecost – the 50th day – about the 19th day of 3rd month.

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Leviticus 23:

15 And you shall count to you from the morrow after the [next seventh day] SABBATH, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven SABBATHS shall be complete [49 days]: 16 even to THE MORROW AFTER THE SEVENTH SABBATH shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat [cereal] offering to the LORD . . .

21 And you shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be a holy convocation to you [a sabbath AFTER a SABBATH]: you shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations . . .

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Pentecost, the 50th day, was ALWAYS the day after a 7th day SABBATH, so it could never fall on a 7th day SABBATH as the others might (the "high" day).

The third feast was also a single sabbath, a day of warning, coming about three and a half months later.

 

The Day of Trumpets – a holy convocation – (a sabbath) 1st day of 7th month.

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Leviticus 23:

23 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 24 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, In THE SEVENTH MONTH, in the first day of the month, shall you have a sabbath, a memorial [warning] of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation [sabbath]. 25 You shall do no servile work therein: but you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.

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The fourth feast was again a one day sabbath, an especially solemn one.

 

The Day of Atonement – a holy convocation (sabbath) – 10th day of 7th month.

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Leviticus 23:

26 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be a holy convocation [sabbath] to you; and you shall afflict your souls [search your hearts], and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. 28 And you shall do no work in that same day: for it is a Day of Atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. 29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

30 And whatsoever soul it be that does any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. 31 You shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

32 It shall be to you a sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even to even, shall you [begin to] celebrate your sabbath.

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The fifth feast included two sabbaths and started when ALL the harvests were in.

 

The Feast of Tabernacles – an EIGHT DAY period – from 15th to 22nd of 7th month – two sabbaths.

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Leviticus 23:

33 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 34 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days to the LORD.

35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation [sabbath]: you shall do no servile [ordinary] work therein.

36 Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD: ON THE EIGHTH DAY shall be a holy convocation [sabbath] to you; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and you shall do no servile work therein.

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These "sabbaths" were to be EXTRA to the seventh day "SABBATH", with six of them sometimes preceding it, and on occasion following it, and sometimes even falling on the same day!

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Leviticus 23:

37 These are the feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations [sabbaths], to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat [cereal] offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: 38 BESIDE [as well as] THE [seventh day] SABBATHS OF THE LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD.

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Then came a reminder of the experience of the Feast of Tabernacles (living in huts made from vegetation).

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Leviticus 23:

39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land [all the harvests], you shall keep a feast to the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath [a holy convocation], and on THE EIGHTH DAY shall be a sabbath [a holy convocation].

40 And you shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook [and make dwellings (booths) of them]; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.

41 And you shall keep it a feast to the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: you shall celebrate it in the seventh month.

42 You shall dwell in booths [gazebo type dwellings] seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

44 And Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.

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In this chapter there are sabbaths on the 15th day and the 21st day of the first month.

Then there is a sabbath following a SABBATH in the third month.

The 1st day of the seventh month is another sabbath, followed by one on the 10th, and one on the 15th and the 22nd of the same month.

                              Seven sabbaths in total for the year.

The SEVENTH month is the ONLY time that the 1st day is a sabbath.

 

The purpose of the seven sabbaths

Although expressed in rituals and symbols, all these "sabbaths" are very personal, for the Bible is written to each one of us individually.

We have read that Christ is the Passover lamb sacrificed for us on the 14th of the 1st month as a picture of His entry into our lives. 1 Corinthians 5:7. While we hide behind the "blood" on the door posts, we "eat" Him. Exodus 12:7. However, the "lamb" was chosen on the 10th day but not eaten until the evening meal of the 14th. Exodus 12:3-9.

Why?

Because any new participant must be circumcised first, thus removing a portion of the person. Exodus 12:43-49. In the reality, both things, the circumcision of the heart (Deuteronomy 30:6) and the indwelling of the life of the Son of God (Colossians 1:27), occur quickly – a major operation of rebirth.

It is after that that we can enter into the seven day period of the removal of the leaven of sins and attitudes from our new lives. We are told, "Purge out therefore the old leaven [yeast], that you may be a new [clean] lump [all over], as you are [now] unleavened [internally]. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old [physical] leaven, neither with the [spiritual] leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the [heavenly] unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" [outward actions]. 1 Corinthians 5:7-8. We will need to "rest in faith" in Him that first "sabbath" as He searches out and reveals the "leaven" to us, especially if He shows us doctrines that we would like to cling to. But as we eat the "unleavened" Bread of Life so we will grow in grace. At the end of that spiritual time we will find that our Christian life has moved up a notch to the "rest" of the second "sabbath". In between we will have lifted up our Saviour to any and all who will listen.

Next comes three "months" of sowing "seed" (Matthew 13:1-23). We may even "water" other men’s plants, but it is "God that gives the increase", so either way we must "rest" in Him for the harvests on and after our Day of Pentecost when we will receive special power to witness for Him. See 1 Corinthians 3:6-8.

Quite a few "months" later, the time of our harvests is nearly over and we are growing old. With age and experience we should be giving a special "warning" sound on our "trumpet" that there is a judgment to face. "For it is written, ‘As I live’, says the LORD, ‘every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God’. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God". Romans 14:11-12. We will need to cling close to the LORD and "rest" in Him for the power and wisdom on how to give that call to the folk we meet.

Four "sabbaths" down – three to come.

It’s time to put our own house in order and take the great leap of faith "resting" in His mercy while He makes the special "atonement", carrying us on His shoulders and chest into the Most Holy place of the heavenly sanctuary with the "blood" of a "bullock". Exodus 28:9-12; 15-21 and Leviticus 16:11-14. We may be assured that it will not be long before He will change His clothes and officiate in the "ritual" of the "blood" of the "LORD"s goat". Leviticus 16:15-17.

Then we may rise to a blessed experience of living, not a seven day period, but an eight day "age" with Him.

At the beginning of that time we will need all the "rest" we can get from the sixth "sabbath" for there will be many things to learn and many to unlearn while we live in "dwellings" made by Him. John 14:1-3. A thousand years will go by like a flash, and we will join with Him in that last "sabbath" as eternity rolls by in a new creation.

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly [seriously], righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works". Titus 2:11-14.

oooOooo

 


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