Feast Days

The Festivals of Yahuwah and the Christian

Many people who have correctly become convinced by scripture that the seventh day of the week instead of the first day is the shabbath of Yahuwah and that it is the day that must be observed weekly as Yahuwah commanded have also become convinced that they must keep several of the so-called but erroneously translated "feasts" (look at the underlying word in scripture and you will see that it should have been rendered as "festival") that are commanded in the Law of Mosheh as evidence of their committment and obedience to Yahuwah. These same people usually have many other things wrong in their beliefs too, just as seen in the sign at the left (Yahweh, Messiah).

Yahuwah does require our obedience to ALL of His commandments, through faith in Yahushua, if we are to be called by haShem (the Name). So He then does require that we observe the seventh day as the day He sanctified and hallowed at creation (B'ereshiyth [Genesis] 2:2-3) for the purpose of remembering and acknowledging Him as the Creator. He states this very plainly in many places in scripture, and especially at Choreb (Horeb) as He gave the Ten Words (Commandments) to the people (Shemot [Exodus] 20:8-11) when He said to REMEMBER the shabbath day.

When we acknowledge the Ten Words as given in Shemot 20:1-17 as the original and eternal commandments of Yahuwah to all people who would be His children, are we also acknowledging the law He gave to Mosheh as valid today? Many people think so, as they believe the Ten Words are part and parcel of the Law of Mosheh, and therefore insist that the festival days are to be kept along with the seventh day shabbath.

This problem of determining whether or not the Ten Words are part of the Law of Mosheh can be easily remedied by the very simple act of rightly dividing the word of truth as Sha’uwl (Paul) stated in 2 Timotheos (Timothy) 2:15. As a matter of fact, if we would make more effort to rightly divide the word, we would have much less difficulty understanding that word.

The Ten Words were given by Yahuwah to the people personally and DIRECTLY with NO intermediary (Shemote 20:1-17). The Law of Mosheh is the law that Yahuwah gave to the people THROUGH Mosheh His intermediary. Yahuwah started dictating this law to Mosheh at Shemot 20:22 and continued until Shemot 23:33. Mosheh wrote all of these laws in a book called the "Book of the Law," sacrificed some bulls and goats, and dedicated the book of the law AND the people with the blood of those sacrificial animals. This can be seen in Shemot 24:1-8 and it is also reflected in chapter 9 of the letter to the Ibriym (Hebrews).

Note that the Ten Words were written on the stone tablets with the finger of Yahuwah while the book of the law was written by the hands of Mosheh as it was dictated to him by Yahuwah. The tablets of the Ten Words were placed INSIDE the chest and so that vessel was named the "Chest of the COVENANT," while the book of the law was kept in a pouch external to the chest. This is more evidence of the separation of the two.

Since the sacrifice of Yahushua that He made to redeem the world the commandments that comprise the real law (torah) of Yahuwah, meaning the Ten Words, have been restated in a simpler form. In this simpler form therefore His real and present law (torah) has been renewed and strengthened for ALL mankind. Yahuwah also stated the simpler form in Dabariym (Deuteronomy) 6:4-5 and it was reiterated or approved by Yahushua in MattiythYahuw (Matthew) 22:37-40, Markos (Mark) 12:30-31, and Loukas (Luke) 10:27-28. These TWO commandments contain the ten and are the moral, eternal, from the beginning and will be until the end, torah of Yahuwah and constitute the torah of grace. This torah is to be obeyed through faith in and love for Yahuwah (Yahushua) and not in fear of the consequences of disobedience.

So there is no real reason that the true seeker after the torah of Yahuwah should confuse His ETERNAL commandments with the TEMPORARY (Ibriym 8:13) Law of Mosheh.

The Festival Days under consideration
Below is a big reason that these newfound shabbath-keepers (and some "old-found" ones too) believe that they must keep the festivals as they were appointed by Yahuwah for the sons of Yisra'el under the ritualistic law that He dictated to Mosheh.

    Shemot 23:14 Three times in the year you shall keep a festival to Me.

The Festivals of Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles were established by Yahuwah as seven day festivals while the Festival of Weeks is a one day festival. These three festivals require that all MALES of Yisra'el JOURNEY TO YERUWSHALOM (the ONLY place where He has chosen to put His name) to "appear before Yahuwah" (Dabariym 16:16). There are more festivals proclaimed than just these three, but these three are the ones requiring travel to Yeruwshalom. There are also the one day festivals of Passover, Wave Sheaf Offering, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), etc.

  1. Festival of Unleavened Bread - Fifteenth day of the first month, Abiyb. (Note that this feast is the reason for the travel to Yeruwshalom in Loukas 2:41-42, Yahuchanan 4:45, etc.)
  2. Festival of Harvest (Weeks, or Pentecost) - Fifty days after the first shabbath after the wave sheaf offering. (Note that this festival is the reason all of the male Yahudiym were in Yeruwshalom in Acts 2:5.)
  3. Festival of Ingathering (Tabernacles, Booths, or Sukkowth) - Fifteenth day of the seventh month, (Note that this festival is the reason for travel to Yeruwshalom in Yahuchanan [John] 7:10.)

These festivals and their requirements are delineated in Wayiqra (Leviticus) chapter 23. Below are the descriptions of the festivals from the verses of Wayiqra 23 in which they appear. Note that the full description of the Passover is given in Shemot 12:3-11. (In that description there is no mention of drinking the "blood of the Passover Lamb." More on this later.)


    5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at evening is Yahuwah's Passover.

Festival of Unleavened Bread

    6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of unleavened bread to Yahuwah. Seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7 In the first day you shall have a sacred convocation. You shall do no service work in it. 8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahuwah seven days. In the seventh day is a sacred convocation. You shall do no service work in it.

Wavesheaf Offering

    9 And Yahuwah spoke to Mosheh saying, 10 "Speak to the sons of Yisra'el and say to them, 'When you have come into the land which I give to you and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the minister 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before Yahuwah to be accepted for you. On the next day after the shabbath the minister shall wave it. 12 And you shall offer that day when you wave the sheaf a male lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering to Yahuwah'".

Feast of Firstfruits (Harvest, Weeks, or Pentecost)

    15 And you shall count to you from the day after the shabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, seven shabbaths shall be complete. 16 The day after the seventh shabbath you shall number fifty days and you shall offer a new food offering to Yahuwah. 17 You shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals. They shall be of fine flour they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to Yahuwah. 18 And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, one young bullock, and two rams. They shall be for a burnt offering to Yahuwah, with their food offering, and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire, of sweet savor to Yahuwah. 19 Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 And the minister shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before Yahuwah with the two lambs. They shall be set apart to Yahuwah for the minister.

    23 And Yahuwah spoke to Mosheh saying, 24 "Speak to the sons of Yisra'el saying, 'In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, you shall have a shabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a sacred convocation. 25 You shall do no service work in it but you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahuwah.'"

Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)

    26 And Yahuwah spoke to Mosheh saying, 27 "Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement. It shall be a sacred convocation to you. You shall afflict your souls and offer an offering made by fire to Yahuwah. 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 Yahuwah your Elohiym."

Feast of Ingathering (Tabernacles)

    33 And Yahuwah spoke to Mosheh saying, 34 "Speak to the sons of Yisra'el saying, 'The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Festival of Tabernacles for seven days to Yahuwah. 35 On the first day shall be a sacred convocation. You shall do no servile work therein. 36 Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahuwah. On the eighth day shall be a sacred convocation to you and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahuwah. It is a solemn assembly and you shall do no service work in it. 37 These are the festivals of Yahuwah that you shall proclaim to be sacred convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to Yahuwah, a burnt offering, a food offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon its day, 38 beside the shabbaths of Yahuwah, beside your gifts, beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which you give to Yahuwah.'"

Carefully note that the common element in all of these festivals and special shabbaths is the requirement of a burnt offering to Yahuwah. Remember also that the burnt offerings were for the purpose of atonement for sin and could only be offered at the temple in Yeruwshalom (the place where He put His name) and the only people who could make this offering were the officials of the temple, the Lawiyiym. When King Sha'uwl (Saul), who was anointed of Yahuwah, attempted to make a sacrifice in accordance with the law he was deposed from his position as king. Besides that, Yahushua made the FINAL sacrifice for atonement of our sins when He died on that tree.

Most "feast keepers" will tell you that the sacrifice of Yahushua removed the requirement for the burnt offerings because the requirement for a sacrificial blood offering was "nailed to the cross," and that is true. What they will not tell you is that nowhere in scripture is the requirement to maintain the other parts of those festivals to be found. If part of the requirement is gone, ALL of the requirement is gone. We cannot decide for ourselves that we will do something that we "think" is right unless it is absolutely supported in scripture. To do anything else is to be found in disobedience to Yahuwah.

Also note that another one of the arguments that "feast keepers" use to justify their position that these "feasts" must be kept today is that the word owlam (forever, perpetual, etc.) appears in several verses defining these "feasts." They will tell you that the festival must be kept forever because "that is what it says." If that belief is true, then I wonder how they can justify the fact that these burnt offerings were also stated to be in force owlam? If the feasts are to be done forever, then so are the burnt offerings, or there is some really big problem with what was said in scripture.

When Yahushua made His sacrifice of Himself, no further blood sacrifices were required by, desired by, or acceptable to, Yahuwah. Yahushua's sacrifice of Himself was the FINAL blood sacrifice and with that FINAL sacrifice the Law of Mosheh was fulfilled. The 40th Psalm and Ibriym chapter 10 in their entirety make unequivocal statements that the sacrifices and festivals were to cease at the death of the Testator, Yahushua, regardless of the wording of previous books.

    Also Yahuyadad appointed the offices of the house of Yahuwah by the hand of the ministers the Lawiym, whom Dawiyd had distributed in the house of Yahuwah, to offer the burnt offerings of Yahuwah, as it is written in the Law of Mosheh, with rejoicing and with singing, as it was ordained by Dawiyd. -- 2 Chronicles 23:18

So according to the above scripture the burnt offerings were under the Law of Mosheh. Since they were under the Law of Mosheh and that law ceased at the death of the Testator of the new covenant (Yahuchanan [John] 1:17), the festivals that required burnt offerings ceased then too. Since the death of Yahushua the burnt offerings are no longer valid and the festivals days CAN NO LONGER BE KEPT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE WORD OF YAHUWAH. In the Law of Mosheh He specified burnt offerings at ALL festivals and to observe the festivals without a burnt offering is like calling yourself "born again" without experiencing believer's immersion (Rhomaios [Romans] 6:3-14). Trying to rationalize and justify the festivals as still required is like the daughters of the harlot trying to rationalize and justify the first day as the "Christian" shabbath. It just doesn't work.

If you are a "feast keeper" today and you are NOT offering a burnt offering at those "feasts" then you are in disobedience to the scripture concerning festivals and therefore guilty of ALL the laws of Mosheh. If you are a "feast keeper" and you DO offer a burnt offering, then you are in disobedience to the scripture that causes the cessation of that offering. You lose either way. (See Ibriym chapters 9 and 10.)

Also, note that the requirement for the major festivals is that you must be a male and personally go to Yeruwshalom in order to observe and participate in them. That is what Yahushua did, because He lived in the time when that law was still in effect. But with His death that time passed forever. Instead of a "temple" in Yeruwshalom, we now have the "temple" in our hearts. Instead of offering a burnt offering at these festivals we now offer ourselves daily to Yahuwah as His faithful and loyal children.

The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) - Under the Law of Mosheh this was the annual day for the High Official of the temple of Yahuwah to make atonement first for himself and then for the people by entering the most sacred of sacred places with the blood of the sacrifice. When Yahushua died, He entered the most sacred of sacred places for the last time with His own blood as the FINAL sacrifice and that atonement was done ONCE AND FOR ALL. No further need to keep the Day of Atonement today. To do so is to deny the atonement of Yahushua and trample underfoot His blood sacrifice for us. As a matter of fact, the writer of the letter to the Ibriym made a very plain statement to the effect that if you keep this festival you have "trampled the Son of Yahuwah underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified common, and insulted the spirit of grace." (Ibriym 10:29)

Passover - Before our Passover Lamb was slain at Calvary, He gave the commandment to eat of His body and drink of His blood through the bread and wine in remembrance of His death until He comes. This bread and wine cannot be a type of Passover Lamb, or we could NOT drink the wine as we are forbidden to "eat or drink the blood" of anything under any circumstances (for in it is the life). Again, if we were to keep this according to the instructions given in scripture, we would have to follow the passage of Shemot 12:3-11 and there is nothing in that passage that says to drink of the blood of the lamb.

Festival of Weeks - After Yahushua returns and is reigning in Yeruwshalom we will keep this festival again. The temple will be rebuilt after His return and that is where the festival will be kept. But not until then. (ZekarYahuw [Zechariah] 14:16)

For discussion, contact one of the brothers in the Menu Bar at the top of the page.

Related Article:
Keeping the Feasts

C.F. Castleberry