1. The Feasts of the Lord

    Leviticus 23:4 “These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.”

    Listed above are the Holy Days of the LORD (YHWH), which are to be observed in their times and seasons as they have been commanded in the faith of Jesus Christ. All these days are special unto the Lord, each has their own meaning and by his knowledge we determine how to keep them holy.

    Apocrypha Ecclesiasticus 33:7 “Why doth one day excel another, when as all the light of every day in the year is of the sun?” Verse 8: “By the knowledge of the Lord they were distinguished: and he altered seasons and feasts.” Verse 9: “Some of them hath he made high days, and hallowed [were made holy or sacred] them, and some of them hath he made ordinary days.”

    These days are distinguished by the laws of the Heavenly Father from the rest of the days in the year. For they are rich in the history and heritage of Israel. Apocrypha Ecclesiasticus 24:23 “All these things are the book of the covenant of the most high God, even the law which Moses commanded for an heritage unto the congregations of Jacob.”

    The Lord requires of us to make a difference between the regular days and the Sabbaths by applying the laws that pertains to each day. Ezekiel 20:19 “I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;” Verse 20: “And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.”

    The weekly Sabbath is a commemoration of the creation. While the other Sabbaths of the feasts celebrate a different historical event. Unlike the weekly Sabbath the feast days are based on the new moon. Apocrypha Ecclesiasticus 43:6 “He made the moon also to serve in her season for a declaration of times, and a sign of the world.” Verse 7: “From the moon is the sign of feasts, a light that decreaseth in her perfection.” Our calendar strictly comes from the Heavenly Father that established it during the creation. Therefore our months are determined by the moon in their seasons. Please read, Instruments of Calculation.

    With the keeping of the feast days comes an immediate reward, which is the joy of the Lord. For all these days are known to Israel to be days of gladness and of sending gifts. An example is the feast of Purim, Esther 9:19 “Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another.” Verse 22: “As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.”

    These are the days we should celebrate and give gifts to our children and family, instead of honoring pagan days that teach lies and lead to destruction. Great joy comes to all Israel when the days are kept in unity to praise the Lord as it were in the days of Hezekiah. 2nd Chronicles 30:21 “And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the LORD.” It was such great gladness that the people kept it for seven more days. 2nd Chronicles 30:23 “And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness.”

    Remember that we were punished with captivity because we chose not to serve the Lord with Joy. Deuteronomy 28:47 “Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;” Verse 48: “Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.”

    Even in our captivity (slavery), when we have lack and seem to be in troublesome times, putting on the commandments gives us strength and joy. Nehemiah 8:9 “And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha [governor], and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.” At this time our people returned from captivity to observe the laws of the Heavenly Father and they wept for a righteous cause, for they learned of their sins. Yet the teachers encouraged the people by reminding them of the commandments and of the holy day. Nehemiah 8:10 “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

    This same unspeakable joy we want to instill in our people. By teaching them how rich and glorious is our history and future in the Lord. For the Lord will bless us for keeping his holy days. Isaiah 58:13 “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:” Verse 14: “Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”

    We can not use our captivity or poverty as an excuse to not observe these days. For our fathers in their harsh times observed the days as holy. Tobit 2:1 “Now when I was come home again, and my wife Anna was restored unto me, with my son Tobias, in the feast of Pentecost, which is the holy feast of the seven weeks, there was a good dinner prepared me, in the which I sat down to eat.” Verse 2: “And when I saw abundance of meat, I said to my son, Go and bring what poor man soever thou shalt find out of our brethren, who is mindful of the Lord; and, lo, I tarry for thee.”

    In the Assyrian captivity (slavery) we read of Tobit who observed the feast of Pentecost (first fruits) and gave us an example to follow after. In that he showed unity with his family and those that sought the most High. We should follow the same pattern of Tobit, that if you live in a location that is not near the congregation, you will observe it at home with your family and fellow Israelites.

    We must remind you that the sacrifices that were done by the Levites was a shadow of the body of Christ. See, Hebrews 10:1. Thus we are under the royal priesthood of Christ. Hebrews 10:10 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

    Also the ordinance of going to Jerusalem three times in the year for the feast of Passover, First Fruits and Tabernacles (read, Deuteronomy 16:16) is a commandment that will be kept in the kingdom, the new Jerusalem. Hebrews 13:10 “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.” Verse 11: “For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.” Verse 12: “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.” Verse 13: “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.” Verse 14: “For HERE have we no continuing city, but we seek one to COME.”

    As explained, we do have an altar but it is not by the blood of bulls and goats. Hebrews 13:15 “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Verse 16: “But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” These are the sacrifices that we do give continually before the most High in the name of his Son Jesus Christ.

    As true followers of Christ we rehearse the joy that is to come to us by the glorious kingdom. See, Zechariah 14:16. For we know what these days mean and how they shall be observed in the presence of Christ in the kingdom of heaven. Therefore we exhort you to learn your heritage and avoid the false prophets that teach contrary to the laws of God. Please read, Matthew 7:13-20 and Ezekiel 22:25-28. Shalam (Peace)!

    The Feast DaysFeast dates of 2024

  2. The Sabbath Day

    The Sabbath day commemorates the creation. It was established by the Most High to remind us that he formed everything in the six days of the creation, then on the seventh day he rested. Genesis 2:2 “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” Verse 3: “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it [made it holy]: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” The first mention of the word Sabbath is within these two verses. The Hebrew word Shabath שַׁבָּת or as it is translated in English “rested” is where the word Sabbath comes from.

    The Creator never named the days of the week except for the seventh day, the Sabbath. Days were only known by numerical order such as the first day, second day, etcetera, up until the Sabbath day. Matthews 28:1 “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher [the place Christ was buried].” All the names that have been placed on the days of the week can be traced back to pagan worship (satanic customs). This is evidence that the calendar and celebrations you are accustomed to did not originate from the Bible or God. Therefore we must investigate within the scriptures what other changes society accepts that are incorrect.

    The Sabbath is to be observed on the seventh day of the week from evening to evening. Leviticus 23:32 “… from even to even shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.” The natural course of a day according to the Bible is that it starts with evening. This is how the heavenly Father established it from the creation. Genesis 1:5 “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Here we are taught that the beginning of the day is evening, which is the darkness he called Night. Every Sabbath day will begin when the sun is fully down and it is dark. Proverbs 7:9 “In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:” We are taught in this society that the beginning of the day is at midnight (12:00 am) which is the middle of the night. The fact that 12:00 am maintains the name of midnight shows the ridiculous error of starting the day at that time.

    Beware that no man deceives you to believe that these changes done by the wicked caused us to be lost in how to determine the seventh day. Colossians 2:8 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” All these things have been prophesied of in the Bible. Daniel 7:25 “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and THINK to CHANGE TIMES AND LAWS: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” This is a prophecy about the Romans and their calendar that continues to be used today. The scriptures remove our ignorance of when and what changes were made to cause us to sin.

    For instance the Roman Catholic Church thought to change the time the Sabbath is kept to the first day of the week (Sunday). Malachi 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I change not;...” The Heavenly Father never changed his Sabbath to another day. In fact, after the death of Christ and resurrection, the disciples continued to keep the Sabbath. Luke 23:55 “And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his [Christ’s] body was laid.” Verse 56: “And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.”

    Long after the resurrection, the Apostle Paul who is slandered as instituting Sunday worship continued to keep the Sabbaths. Acts 17:2 “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,” Thus Sunday worship did not come from the scriptures or the Apostles. This attempt to change the Sabbath to the first day of the week came centuries after the apostles. This occurred in the fourth century AD by Emperor Constantine, when he designated Sunday as holy for the Roman Empire under the guise of Christianity. This confirms that the seven day week upheld by the Israelites and the seventh day was undoubtedly known. Hence, all historians of different periods agree with each other in stating that there is no evidence of time ever been lost. Since the seventh day of the Roman calendar was identical to the Sabbath day. The thought to change the time of when the Sabbath is held, was an attack on the laws as Daniel prophesied.

    Today we will learn how to keep the Sabbath day holy as it is written in the Bible. As it is mentioned in the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it Holy.” Verse 9: “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:” Verse 10: “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God:…” First we must keep it in the proper time. Since a new day begins at evening and not at at midnight, the seventh day of the week begins on what is known today as Friday evening, and it ends on Saturday evening. Genesis 15:17 “And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark,… ” On Friday night, when the sun is fully down and it is dark the Sabbath has begun.

    The most High God continues to explain the foundation of his commandment. Exodus 20:10 “… in it thou shalt NOT DO ANY WORK, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:” The Sabbath is a day of rest, no work of any kind is permitted. Henceforth, you must take the day off from your job, or as the scriptures call it servile work. No business could be conducted, therefore those who you employ (thy manservant or thy maidservant) must have the day off even if it is a stranger from another nation. On this day household duties and chores of any kind are forbidden, it is not the day for your children to clean their rooms or do homework. Even the farm animals (cattle) are provided by God with a day to rest.

    Many of our people do not realize the evil they do on this holy day; treating it as an ordinary day. Nehemiah 13:15 “In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses [donkeys]; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.” In those days people were conducting business on the Sabbath. They were making merchandise by crushing grapes for wine, gathering from their fields crops, and carrying their goods. Also making their donkeys to carry heavy burdens. By all this work they reduced the Sabbath to a market day, in the which they sold victuals (food).

    Nehemiah 13:16 “There dwelt men of Tyre [men of other nations, Hamites] also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.” Verse 17: “Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What EVIL thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?” The Sabbath is not meant to be a shopping day. Those that are selling are working, therefore the buyer is partaking of their evil even if they are from another nation. See, 1st Timothy 5:22.

    Wherefore buying is not allowed on the Sabbath nor selling. Nehemiah 10:31 “And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the Sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the Sabbath, or on the holy day...” Notice that the same law applies to all holy days that are celebrated. Leviticus 19:3 “Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.” The Sabbath is the commandment that explains how to observe any holy day or feasts; they are considered sabbaths. Therefore at times we read in the scriptures the word sabbath being used for a feast day. See, John 19:14, 31.

    We have also learned that we should refrain from carrying heavy things. Jeremiah 17:21 “Thus saith the LORD; Take heed to yourselves, and bear [carry] no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;”

    Nehemiah 13:18 “Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.” God has punished our people in the past for breaking the Sabbath. One of the reasons we were enslaved and continue to suffer the curses is due to the Sabbath being profaned.

    Nehemiah 13:19 “And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath,...” This is a great example that conclusively shows us that the Sabbath begins when it is fully dark. Nehemiah 13:19 “… I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.” To ensure the Sabbath was kept holy in Jerusalem, he shut the gates to prevent the sellers of the other nations.

    Nehemiah 13:20 “So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.” Verse 21: “Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the Sabbath.” Nehemiah went to the drastic measure of threatening the sellers to make them understand the solemnity of the Sabbath. It is that serious, make preparations and do not buy or sell on the Sabbath. Mark 15:42 “And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,”

    A good habit that our forefathers had was to prepare the day before the Sabbath. Purchasing what they needed in advance, such as the food for the Sabbath. Another reason why is found in Exodus 35:3, “Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day.” This statute indicates that cooking or heating up food is prohibited. The verse before says, Exodus 35:2 “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.” Without question cooking is work. See, Leviticus 11:32-35.

    All cooked meals were prepared before the Sabbath. Exodus 16:22 “And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.” Verse 23: “And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth overlay up for you to be kept until the morning.”

    Like our forefathers we are to prepare what we desire to eat before the sun goes down on Friday. Eating is not a sin on the Sabbath, you could eat the leftovers without heating it up. Also there are many choices that do not require any cooking; such as cereals, salads, sandwiches, pastries, fruits, etc..

    The Pharisees were wicked Israelites that tried to condemn the disciples for eating on the Sabbath. Mark 2:23 “And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.” Verse 24: “And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?” Ironically those in Churchianity, who are ignorant of the statutes of the Sabbath use this scripture in agreement with the Pharisees. Stating that the disciples did not keep the Sabbath. Did the disciples work, buy, reaped the fields, or cook? The answer to this question is NO! Then they did not commit any sin against the Sabbath.

    Their actions were actually lawful in every way. Deuteronomy 23:24 “When thou comest into thy neighbour’s vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.” Verse 25: “When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour’s standing corn.” The unmerciful Pharisees did not think of the poor, which God allowed to eat from their neighbors field without having to pay, reap or work.

    Christ corrects the false accusation of the Pharisees, by providing an historical example. Which shows the grace provided within the laws. Mark 2:25 “And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?” Verse 26: “How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?”

    We admonish you not to use mercy or grace as an excuse to break the Sabbath day or any commandment. In the time of need, grace is not an excuse to commit sin. Romans 6:15 "What then? shall we sin [break the the laws, statutes, and commandments], because we are not under the law [of sacrifices or the first covenant], but under grace? God forbid.”

    In the example provided, David was hungry and in need yet he found a way to NOT break the Sabbath. 1st Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” David first went to the high priest requesting help, willing to accept anything to eat that was present. When the high priest responded that he did not have any food, he offered him the shewbread which is holy and only lawful for the priest to eat. David being learned in the laws accepted it knowing that the bread was to be replaced that day being the Sabbath. See, 1st Samuel 21:1-6. Escaping sin by the mercy found in the law; whoever eats the holy bread was not punished instead he must replace it and add the fifth part. Please read, Leviticus 22:14.

    Thus the Pharisees condemned the guiltless, whose actions were for the purpose of keeping the Sabbath day holy. The Pharisees did not take into consideration the mercy that is within the laws which will prevent a person from breaking the Sabbath. They rather put souls in danger of the judgment. Remember as it was stated before there is a severe punishment for breaking the Sabbath day. Exodus 31:14 “Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that SOUL SHALL BE CUT OFF from among his people.”

    Often the judgment written in the law is read as only applying to the generations before Christ. This belief is rebuked sharply in Hebrews 10:26 “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,” Verse 27: “But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” Verse 28: “He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:” Verse 29: “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

    In the past those that broke the Sabbath were put to death without mercy. See, Numbers 15:30-36. But men could only kill the body not the soul, therefore the law was prophesying of a punishment in Christ. Matthew 10:28 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Some choose their jobs because of money over obeying the most High. But how much is your soul worth to you? Matthew 16:26 “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

    Therefore we are not to sin willfully to fulfill our own pleasures. Isaiah 58:13 “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy own pleasure on my holy day [one's own pleasures, means buying, selling, cooking or doing any work]; …” Rather than having your soul destroyed for small “pleasures” of no rest, wouldn’t it make sense to actually seek blessing by keeping the Sabbath. Isaiah 56:2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.” As we could receive blessings in this life, likewise curses for breaking the Sabbath. Keeping this in mind, remember what is the purpose of the Sabbath.

    Mark 2:27 “And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:” Some read these words of Christ with a perverted mind. Titus 1:15 “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” Christ who is the Lord of the Sabbath said these words to make you understand that God gave us the Sabbath as a blessing. Remember the word Sabbath means rest, if we replace the word in this verse it would say rest “was made for man”. Think of this example, the bed that is used for rest, was it made for man or for man to be a blessing to the bed?

    Isaiah 58:13 “… and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:” Verse 14: “Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” The greatest blessing promised to Jacob, the Kingdom of Heaven is a portion that will be received by those that reverence his Sabbaths.

    As the law states the Sabbath is kept holy by coming together in an assembly, Leviticus 23:3 “Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.” The word “convocation” means to come together in an assembly wherein prayers are said and the scriptures are taught. This is the only valid reason to leave your home on the Sabbath. See, Exodus 16:29. If you find the Sabbath to be a delight in this present time, then you are prepared to keep it forever in the kingdom of heaven.

    Isaiah 66:22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.” Verse 23: “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.” This prophecy shows why it is instrumental to learn the laws, as they also reveal the future of the Kingdom of God. Exodus 31:16 “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” Verse 17: “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” The prophecy in Isaiah, showed us that the Sabbath day will be kept in the kingdom for ever. Also that it is the basis of how to worship the most High on all holy days. The Sabbath is the root from where all the feasts branch out from.

    If you are looking for rest reach out, in all our dwellings we invite those that seek blessings for their souls and the kingdom to fellowship. Luke 4:16 “And he [Christ] came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” All praise to the Most High and Christ for the wisdom he has given us to be able to teach his people. Shalam (Peace)!

  3. Abib

    This feast is slightly similar to the seventh day (weekly) Sabbath: which commemorates the creation. Since its commencement was during the fourth day of the creation. Genesis 1:16 “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.” Verse 17: “And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,” The great light of the day is the sun and the lesser light of the night is the moon. Their purpose is beyond giving light upon the earth, they were made to determine time. Genesis 1:14 “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:” Please read, Instruments of Calculation. Genesis 1:19 “And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”

    2nd Esdras 6:45 “Upon the fourth day thou commandedst that the sun should shine, and the moon give her light, and the stars should be in order:” Verse 46: “And gavest them a charge to do service unto man, that was to be made.” By observing the sun, moon, and stars it becomes apparent that there is a Creator. Psalms 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” Coincidence could not design lights that provide predictable measurement for man’s use. The knowledge of what these lights were for has become lost to those of this age. Psalms 19:2 “Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.” Every day and night information is being presented by these lights; the units of time. This was known in every ancient civilization. Today this is taken for granted but should it?

    There are several reasons why we should NOT, the first reason being that there was an attempt to alter time. Daniel 7:25 “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and THINK TO CHANGE TIMES AND LAWS: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Secondly, what was produced was a flawed calendar intended for the devotion of false gods (Satan). Hence the modern calendar is a tool used to deceive the ignorant. Please read, Romans 1:25, Galatians 4:8-11, and Revelations 12:9.

    As a consequence, returning to the calendar that was instituted in the creation means embracing mercy and praising the Creator. Psalms 136:1 “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Verse 7: “To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:” Verse 8: “The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:” Verse 9: “The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.” This is the most important reason, because he gave us a calendar that could not be corrupted by man! It is impossible for man to control the movements of the sun, moon, and stars. For instance, the motion of the lesser light which is the moon, generates the length of time that is called a month.

    Apocrypha Ecclesiasticus 43:6 “He made the moon also to serve in her season for a declaration of times, and a sign of the world.” Verse 8: The month is called after her name, increasing wonderfully in her changing, being an instrument of the armies above, shining in the firmament of heaven;” It is amazing that in our society we use the expression “month”, without realizing that it derives from the word moon. In the modern (Gregorian) calendar the first day of the month is not determined by the moon. Whereas a specific phase of the moon declares the beginning of our months; signifying the first day of the Hebrew month. The Hebrew word Chadash חָדַשׁ is translated as month in English, naming it after the lunar phase called the new moon; since this Hebrew word actually means new. During this lunar phase there is no light from the moon therefore it is not visible. The only time it is visible is during a solar eclipse.

    Making it obvious that this has nothing to do with worshiping the moon; an accusation that could be said by unlearned person. Isaiah 66:23 “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.” The beginning of our months are not ordinary days, like the weekly Sabbath it is a day of worship. As a matter of fact it is a day we celebrate as a feast. Apocrypha Ecclesiasticus 43:7 “From the moon is the sign of feasts,…” Thus the prophecy of Isaiah, instructs all future generations to prepare and perform what will be kept in the Kingdom of Heaven. Isaiah 66:22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.” The doctrine of modern Christianity (Churchianity) against the Sabbath and New Moon is demolished by the prophecy. This explains why they depreciate the so called Old Testament and convince their followers that it is irrelevant to their salvation. However the prophet Isaiah is speaking of the new heavens just like Revelations chapter 21.

    Revelations 21:1 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Verse 2: “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Verse 3: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Verse 4: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Verse 5: “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” If these words are true and faithful in the book of Revelations then it should be also in Isaiah; because it came from the same source, God. If those in Churchianity will open their minds to read the so called Old Testament, they will notice that those verses in Revelation are quoting the book of Isaiah. See, Isaiah 65:17-19.

    Those that do not keep these days, do not desire to be in the tabernacle of God; their fate has also been prophesied. Isaiah 66:24 “And they [those that kept the Sabbaths] shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed [sinned] against me [by not worshiping the most High]: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” Therefore we should not treat the first day of the month like the people in the world do with their modern day calendar, as nothing, a regular day.

    In our history we could read an example, of how important the celebration of the new moon was to us. 1st Samuel 20:24 “So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat meat.” Verse 25: “And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, and David’s place was empty.” Verse 26: “Nevertheless Saul spake not any thing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean.” King Saul reasoned within himself that the only logical reason that David was not there for the new moon was because of uncleanness. A person that has touched any unclean thing would be separated from the holy things. See, Leviticus 5:2-3 and Numbers 5:2-3. However David was hiding because of the animosity the king had towards him, yet the king did not consider that a reason. Showing us how meaningful the feast was to Israel, that even if David felt his life was in danger, the king did not think that to be the reason he would miss the feast.

    1st Samuel 20:27 “And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David’s place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day?” The day after the feast was the second day, hence the new moon was the first day of the month. Saul noticed the absence of David was not because of uncleanness and asked where he was, since the day after the new moon was an ordinary day.

    The new moon is known to us as a day of great gladness, howbeit it is also a solemn day. Psalms 81:1 “Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.” Verse 2: “Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.” Verse 3: “Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.” Verse 4: “For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.” In the night of the new moon our fathers sang with instruments and they were filled joy. It was a complete celebration with festivity, they sat to eat extravagant meals prepared for the occasion and drank wine to make their hearts merry. Could you imagine how they entertained each other, the laughter of families, appreciating their time together with relatives and their neighbors? In the midst of their festivities there was no need of sin to find mirth.

    Note: Cooking on the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week is not allowed. See, Exodus 35:2-3. This means that if the New Moon coincides with the weekly Sabbath you must prepare the meal before the Sabbath; since you will not be able to cook. Please refer to the Sabbath report for more information.

    Without question the feast did not consist only of meat and drink but of righteousness, peace, and joy. Ezekiel 46:1 “Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.” Verse 3: “Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons.” What makes the new moon a solemn feast day, are the laws based on the principles of the Sabbath; of no work. The prophet Ezekiel explains in this chapter that the Sabbath provides the fundamentals of how to keep all the feasts. Hence the day of the new moon is a sabbath and not a working day; this is how we keep it sacred or solemnly. On the Sabbaths our forefathers assembled themselves to worship; by praying and studying the scriptures.

    The commandments are not burdensome, on the contrary it is to our benefit. Every month you have a good day of feasting, gladness, and rest; but to the wicked nothing is pure. Amos 8:5 “Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?” Like the Sabbath, buying and selling on the new moon is forbidden. See, Nehemiah 10:31. To worship and receive wisdom is very unpleasant to the unlearned, therefore in ancient times there existed some that murmured. Although they kept the day, they secretly wished for the day to end. They preferred to work, their discontent was that they couldn’t get dishonest gains on the New Moon or the Sabbath.

    As a result, their insincerity caused the most High to hate their attendance to his feasts. Please read, Amos 5:21-24 and Isaiah 1:10-20. A lesson that our people today could learn from, that singing in a choir and pretending to serve him doesn’t get his love. As long as you continue to break the Sabbath and the New Moons, your heart is far from God. Our forefathers made the mistake of not realizing that these days show the work of the Creator. They made the feast their own, and forgot about righteousness, judgment, learning, and knowledge. Isaiah 5:12 “And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands.” Verse 13: “Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.”

    Our people went into captivity (slavery), Deuteronomy 28:47 “Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;” The lack of an obedient and willing spirit is one of the decisive reasons that caused our forefathers to be enslaved. Please read, “Who are the Children of Israel?” and “The Sabbath Day – Advanced Version”. The most High removed from Israel the joy that came with keeping the feast because of their pretense. Hosea 2:11 “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.” Subsequently, when they attempted to keep the feasts it became a day of grief and sadness. Amos 8:10 “And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.”

    As they didn't delight in learning to do good and the knowledge of the most High; he punished them also with lack of wisdom. Amos 8:11 “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:” Verse 12: “And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.” Verse 13: “In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.” Consequently, the youth in our communities faint for lack of knowledge and are destroyed; they have no direction, which is why they are involved in drugs, whoredom, and violence. Proverbs 10:21 “The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.”

    After the many generations of captivity, we must come now and seek the lips of the righteous. Exodus 12:1 “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,” This feast was established while the children of Israel suffered captivity in Egypt. Exodus 12:2 “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” Today we are in a modern day Egypt, looking for true liberty and salvation. Lamentations 5:20 “Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so long time?” Verse 21: “Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.” If we return and renew our days by observing his calendar; giving up the pagan and Satanic celebrations then we shall be fed. See, Isaiah 58:13-14.

    The first month of the year to us was not January; that name is no where to be found in the Bible. The month the Heavenly Father commanded Moses to teach Israel as the beginning of months was called Abib. Exodus 13:4 “This day came ye out in the month Abib.” By honoring the Heavenly Father and doing what was pleasing to him, they received deliverance from Egypt. The same could be true for us. Isaiah 19:20 “And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour [Christ], and a great one, and he shall deliver [save] them.”

    The name Abib אָבִיב in Hebrew means green ears of corn, hence the season of spring. Even the pagan Romans knew that the beginning of the year is in the season of spring. Most are unaware that the word spring actually means the beginning (first). This means that the month of Abib falls between March or April. Apocrypha Ecclesiasticus 43:7 “From the moon is the sign of feasts, a light that decreaseth in her perfection.” The new year is not to be celebrated in the dead of winter or December 31st at midnight. The new year occurs on the new moon that corresponds to the season of spring. The new moon does not start at midnight, all holy days begin at evening. Leviticus 23:32 “… from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.” When celebrating the solemn feast, we are not to imitate the idolatrous (false gods) customs of the other nations. Such as their superstitious new year resolutions, or other forms of witchcraft trying to bring luck. There is no need in the new year of debauchery, revelry, or any kind of sin to enjoy the day. Romans 13:13 “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.”

    Apocrypha Ecclesiasticus 43:7 “From the moon is the sign of feasts, a light that decreaseth in her perfection.” The light of the moon decreaseth after the perfection of the full moon. Which is the complete opposite of the new moon since it is a perfect circle of light. In the month Abib when the moon is full, it is a sign of the feast of Passover. Therefore most of the dates of the feasts or holy days are fixed by the moon. Deuteronomy 16:1 “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.” A common mistake is to think that the new moon could help determine the weekly Sabbath. But we must remember that the Sabbath is based on the seven days of the creation, in which the moon was created on the fourth day of the week. When Christ kept the Passover it demonstrated that the weekly Sabbath is independent of the moon. Note: this is explained in the advanced version of the Sabbath report.

    Not many months in the Hebrew Calendar had names, they were called by their ordinal numbers. At times in the scriptures you will read names for months that are not Hebrew. Those names were used to help those in their present captivity identify the time equivalent to the Hebrew months. Similar to how a person new to the truth would not know when Abib is, we would explain to them that it is between March or April.

    Now that you know the time, increase daily from the darkness like the new moon to the perfection of light. Romans 13:11 “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Verse 12: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” Shalam (Peace)!

  4. Passover/Unleavened Bread

    Exodus 12:26 “And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?” Verse 27: “That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.”

    The Passover is a day to commemorate when we received deliverance out of the house of bondage (Egypt). The name Passover is explained in the scriptures as when the Lord saw the blood upon the two side posts and passed over our houses in the plague of the firstborn. Exodus 12:12 “For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.” Verse 13: “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” Please also read, Exodus 12:21-23.

    Passover is also known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Luke 22:1 “Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.”

    The feast of unleavened bread is named after an event that occurred to our fathers in Egypt. Exodus 12:30 “And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.” Verse 31: “And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.” Verse 32: “Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.” Verse 33: “And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.” Verse 34: “And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.”

    Passover is kept in the month which is called Abib, the name of this month means the spring season. Exodus 34:18 “The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.” Abib is the first month of the year, the Passover is on the 14th day at even (sundown/night). Exodus 12:18 “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.”

    The Heavenly Father gave us strict commandments of how to observe his feast; he commanded us not to eat anything leavened. Exodus 12:19 “Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.” Verse 20: “Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.”

    It was also commanded that we take a lamb and sacrifice it for the Passover. Exodus 12:21 “Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.” As mentioned earlier the blood of the lamb is put on the doorpost or lintel. However the lamb is also eaten by the whole congregation of Israel.

    The first and seventh day of the feast, we are to observe as solemn Sabbath days. Exodus 12:16 “And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.” Since these days are sabbath days, we are forbidden from doing any work or business. Similar to the weekly sabbath, the day of rest, we are not to buy or sell. See, Nehemiah 10:31. If the Passover coincides with the weekly Sabbath you are only allowed to cook the lamb on that day.

    Today when we eat the lamb we are reminded of Christ, the lamb of God without blemish for the congregation of Israel. By his blood the angels will pass over us, thus saving us from the destruction. Through him we shall receive deliverance from our sins and bondage, like our fathers in Egypt. 1st Corinthians 5:7 “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:” Verse 8:Therefore 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.”

    When we celebrate this feast we are looking forward to our salvation from modern day Egypt. Jeremiah 16:14 “Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;” Verse 15: “But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north [North America], and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.”

    Now that we understand by the teachings of the Apostle Paul to “keep the feast”; we should ask ourselves, in what manner? By congregating with your family and fellow believing Israelites as our forefathers did in the past. Luke 22:8 “And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.” Verse 9: “And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare?” Verse 10: “And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in.” Verse 11: “And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?” Verse 12: “And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.”

    Here we are reading of how Christ was keeping the Passover with his disciples. They prepared the meal that we are to eat on this Holy Day. What does the meal consist of? The Passover meal consists of Lamb or Goat (read Exodus 12:5), Bitter Herbs, Unleavened Bread (read Exodus 12:8), and Wine (read Matthew 26:18-20, 26-29). Please read the whole chapter of Exodus 12 to be instructed in how to prepare the Passover Meal.

    We pray and hope that this lesson will guide you to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) in accordance to the desire of the Heavenly Father. If you desire to learn more about the feast in detail, read the advanced version of this report.

    Exodus 12:17 “And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.” Shalam (Peace)!

    Click here for the Advanced Version.

  5. Day of Simon

    Historically this feast is the last to be established by our forefathers during the Greek empire, that is why it is not explicitly mentioned in the writings of Moses. Leviticus 23:2 “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.” Although it is not mentioned in Leviticus chapter 23, it is evident by the prophecies that any feasts found within the scriptures are holy and ordained by God. For example the Passover was a prophecy, predicted by Moses before it was instituted. See, Exodus 5:1. By the common decree of our fathers was the Passover kept holy, being blessed by the Spirit they were able to perceive that it was the will of God. Wisdom of Solomon 18:9 “For the righteous children of good men did sacrifice [the Passover] secretly, and with one consent made a holy law, that the saints should be like partakers of the same good and evil, the fathers now singing out the songs of praise.” In like manner so it was with all the feasts ordained after Moses.

    As we were all taught in history class, the Greek empire began with Alexander the Great, the first king over Greece (circa 336 BC). 1st Maccabees 1:1 “And it happened, after that Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came out of the land of Chettiim, had smitten Darius king of the Persians and Medes, that he reigned in his stead, the first over Greece,” This scripture in the Apocrypha shows the fulfillment of prophecies. Daniel 8:21 “And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.” The prophecy continued to state that the great horn meaning Alexander was to be broken. Daniel 8:22 “Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.” The rule of Alexander was short lived and when he was aware of his upcoming death he divided his kingdom into four. 1st Maccabees 1:9 “And after his death they all put crowns upon themselves; so did their sons after them many years: and evils were multiplied in the earth.”

    The successors warred among each other as they sought to expand their power, causing Jerusalem to be a city plagued by their wars. Daniel 8:23 “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors [sinners] are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.” Verse 24: “And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.” Many years after a fierce king arose that would multiply the evil in the land of Jerusalem, his name was Antiochus Epiphanes (circa 175 BC). The accounts of his plunder of the temple, the carrying away of women and children into slavery, and great massacre of the holy people is documented in 1st Maccabees 1:16-32.

    After he destroyed much of Israel, then they began to build a mighty tower in Jerusalem to continue attacking the people and enforce his enterprises. 1st Maccabees 1:33 “Then builded they the city of David with a great and strong wall, and with mighty towers, and made it a strong hold for them.” Verse 34: “And they put therein a sinful nation, wicked men, and fortified themselves therein.” Verse 35: “They stored it also with armour and victuals [food], and when they had gathered together the spoils of Jerusalem, they laid them up there, and so they became a sore snare:” Verse 36: “For it was a place to lie in wait against the sanctuary, and an evil adversary to Israel.” The existence of this tower was a constant threat to the people, it did not allow them to have peace, even to worship the Heavenly Father.

    1st Maccabees 1:37 “Thus they shed innocent blood on every side of the sanctuary, and defiled it:” Verse 38: “Insomuch that the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled because of them: whereupon the city was made an habitation of strangers, and became strange to those that were born in her; and her own children left her.” Verse 39: “Her sanctuary was laid waste like a wilderness, her feasts were turned into mourning, her sabbaths into reproach her honour into contempt.” Verse 40: “As had been her glory, so was her dishonour increased, and her excellency was turned into mourning.” In the midst of this confusion there was a righteous man, whose family lived according to the laws of God. His name was Mattathias and he raised five sons, of which one was Simon surnamed Thassi.

    1st Maccabees 2:1 “In those days arose Mattathias the son of John, the son of Simeon, a priest [a Levite of the lineage of Aaron] of the sons of Joarib, from Jerusalem, and dwelt in Modin.” Verse 2: “And he had five sons, Joannan, called Caddis:” Verse 3:Simon; called Thassi:” Verse 4: “Judas, who was called Maccabeus:” Verse 5: “Eleazar, called Avaran: and Jonathan, whose surname was Apphus.” Mattathias is a great example of fatherhood, and the well ordering of an house. During his time many Israelites fell away to follow Greek customs, however his family was united in the covenant.

    1st Maccabees 2:7 “He said, Woe is me! wherefore was I born to see this misery of my people, and of the holy city, and to dwell there, when it was delivered into the hand of the enemy, and the sanctuary into the hand of strangers?” Verse 8: “Her temple is become as a man without glory.” Verse 9: “Her glorious vessels are carried away into captivity, her infants are slain in the streets, her young men with the sword of the enemy.” Verse 10: “What nation hath not had a part in her kingdom and gotten of her spoils?” Verse 11: “All her ornaments are taken away; of a free woman she is become a bondslave.” Verse 12: “And, behold, our sanctuary, even our beauty and our glory, is laid waste, and the Gentiles have profaned it.” Verse 13: “To what end therefore shall we live any longer?” Verse 14: “Then Mattathias and his sons rent their clothes, and put on sackcloth, and mourned very sore.” In his despair, Mattathias never imagined that he would lead his sons to liberty and the founding of a dynasty.

    Before his death he instructed his sons, and said 1st Maccabees 2:64 “Wherefore, ye my sons, be valiant and shew yourselves men in the behalf of the law; for by it shall ye obtain glory.” Verse 65: “And behold, I know that your brother Simon is a man of counsel, give ear unto him alway: he shall be a father unto you.” This is a man who knew his sons well and recognized that Simon was wise and fit to give his brothers counsel like a father. Apocrypha Ecclesiasticus 30:3 “He that teacheth his son grieveth the enemy: and before his friends he shall rejoice of him.” This is why we should not take for granted teaching our children the wisdom of the most High. Apocrypha Ecclesiasticus 30:4 “Though his father die, yet he is as though he were not dead: for he hath left one behind him that is like himself.” Verse 5: “While he lived, he saw and rejoiced in him: and when he died, he was not sorrowful.” Verse 6: “He left behind him an avenger against his enemies, and one that shall requite kindness to his friends.”

    Among our people fatherhood is not esteemed as it should be. By the example of Mattathias we could see what great achievements are possible, a (Hasmonean) dynasty. His sons believed in the many prophecies that spoke of their generation and through wisdom Israel was led to a time of liberty and prosperity. This great moment was captured by this feast, which is named after Simon the son of Mattathias. Herein we will declare the account of the feast according to the scriptures.

    1st Maccabees 13:1 “Now when Simon heard that Tryphon had gathered together a great host [army] to invade the land of Judea, and destroy it,” Antiochus Epiphanes has been dead for some time now, and his descendants continue to seek the destruction of the holy people (circa 142 BC). Tryphon was an ambitious general who saw an opportunity to get dominion. 1st Maccabees 11:39 “Moreover there was one Tryphon, that had been of Alexander’s [son of Antiochus Epiphanes] part afore, who, seeing that all the host murmured against Demetrius, went to Simalcue the Arabian that brought up Antiochus the young son of Alexander,” Verse 54: “After this returned Tryphon, and with him the young child Antiochus, who reigned, and was crowned.” Please read also, 1st Maccabees 12:39-53.

    1st Maccabees 13:2 “And saw that the people was in great trembling and fear, he went up to Jerusalem, and gathered the people together,” Verse 3: “And gave them exhortation, saying, Ye yourselves know what great things I, and my brethren, and my father’s house, have done for the laws and the sanctuary, the battles also and troubles which we have seen.” Verse 4: “By reason whereof all my brethren are slain for Israel’s sake, and I am left alone.” The people greatly feared because they had no leader to stand up against the invading army. As Simon addressed them he reminded them of the triumphant victories that his father's house previously achieved. Before him, his brother Judas Maccabeus led the people and successfully recovered the temple. This is celebrated as the Feast of Dedication of the Altar. He also defended the temple, the city of Jerusalem, and the people in a memorable way, thus we celebrate the Destruction of Nicanor. After Judas, was Jonathan Apphus who gained great honor among the people as a good leader and was feared by the nations as military commander.

    1st Maccabees 13:5 “Now therefore be it far from me, that I should spare mine own life in any time of trouble: for I am no better than my brethren.” Verse 6: “Doubtless I will avenge my nation, and the sanctuary, and our wives, and our children: for all the heathen are gathered to destroy us of very malice.” Verse 7: “Now as soon as the people heard these words, their spirit revived.” We are instructed in the scriptures to seek exhortation daily because it will strengthen your spirit. The words will give you comfort and revive your hope. See, Hebrews 3:13-15. 1st Maccabees 13:8 “And they answered with a loud voice, saying, Thou shalt be our leader instead of Judas and Jonathan thy brother.” Verse 9: “Fight thou our battles, and whatsoever, thou commandest us, that will we do.”

    With the support of the people, Simon is able to prepare against Tryphon, making decisions based on wisdom. Proverbs 24:5 “A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.” Verse 6: “For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.” As the scriptures state wisdom is better than weapons of war, this will become evident by the actions of Simon. 1st Maccabees 13:10 “So then he gathered together all the men of war, and made haste to finish the walls of Jerusalem, and he fortified it round about.” As he was expecting an invasion, he ensured that the city of Jerusalem would be protected and able to defend against any attacks.

    1st Maccabees 13:11 “Also he sent Jonathan the son of Absolom, and with him a great power, to Joppa: who casting out them that were therein remained there in it.” The city of Joppa was a main port city by the Mediterranean Sea, with a broad view of the coastline, giving it a strategic importance in military history. Simon sent a great army to capture Joppa, and with his soldiers in possession of it, he could now be warned if Tryphon planned to enter the land by sea. Instead of waiting for Tryphon at Jerusalem and possibly being enclosed in a siege, Simon could war against him at Joppa, away from the holy city.

    1st Maccabees 13:12 “So Tryphon removed from Ptolemaus with a great power to invade the land of Judea, and Jonathan was with him in ward.” Since Joppa is now occupied by Israelite soldiers, Tryphon came from the port city of Ptolemaus. It was believed among the people and by Simon that his brother Jonathan was dead but reports from Tryphon stated that he was a prisoner. 1st Maccabees 13:13 “But Simon pitched his tents at Adida, over against the plain.” Verse 14: “Now when Tryphon knew that Simon was risen up instead of his brother Jonathan, and meant to join battle with him, he sent messengers unto him, saying,” Simon had a reputation of a great warrior and military commander, therefore Tryphon acknowledged the readiness by sending messengers.

    1st Maccabees 13:15 “Whereas we have Jonathan thy brother in hold, it is for money that he is owing unto the king’s treasure, concerning the business that was committed unto him.” Verse 16: “Wherefore now send an hundred talents of silver, and two of his sons for hostages, that when he is at liberty he may not revolt from us, and we will let him go.” Verse 17: “Hereupon Simon, albeit he perceived that they spake deceitfully unto him yet sent he the money and the children, lest peradventure he should procure to himself great hatred of the people:” Tryphon cowardly tries to use psychological warfare, with the pretense of securing a tribute owed to the king. He laid upon Simon an immense ransom in exchange for Jonathan and two of his nephews as hostages. If he refused to comply even though he knew it was deceit, the people would accuse him of wanting to continue in power in the stead of his brother, thus causing division to easily conquer.

    1st Maccabees 13:18 “Who might have said, Because I sent him not the money and the children, therefore is Jonathan dead.” Verse 19: “So he sent them the children and the hundred talents: howbeit Tryphon dissembled neither would he let Jonathan go.” Now that he sent the ransom, the people would be united without distraction. Since they could clearly see that Tryphon was dealing deceitfully by not letting Jonathan go. Also the invasion continued after the payment, therefore it was not because of money owed to the king.

    1st Maccabees 13:20 “And after this came Tryphon to invade the land, and destroy it, going round about by the way that leadeth unto Adora: but Simon and his host [army] marched against him in every place, wheresoever he went.” Again, instead of waiting for the invading army at Jerusalem, Simon brought the fight to them. Not giving them an opportunity to reach the holy city and lay siege upon it. Their manliness and courageousness, ready to fight for their country, caused the invaders not to try the matter by the sword.

    1st Maccabees 13:21 “Now they that were in the tower sent messengers unto Tryphon, to the end that he should hasten his coming unto them by the wilderness, and send them victuals [food].” Verse 22: “Wherefore Tryphon made ready all his horsemen to come that night: but there fell a very great snow, by reason whereof he came not. So he departed, and came into the country of Galaad.” The tower that terrorized the holy people since the day of Antiochus Epiphanes was running low on food because of a siege [blockade] laid by Israel. The Heavenly Father who sent the snow, is beginning to show mercy to the holy people. Psalms 147:15 “He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.” Verse 16: “He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoar frost like ashes.” Verse 17: “He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?”

    1st Maccabees 13:23 “And when he came near to Bascama he slew Jonathan, who was buried there.” The enterprise of Tryphon has failed and come to an end, unfortunately also was the life of Jonathan. 1st Maccabees 13:24 “Afterward Tryphon returned and went into his own land.”

    In the eyes of the people there was no victory yet, it was a time of mourning for the loss of a great leader. 1st Maccabees 13:25 “Then sent Simon, and took the bones of Jonathan his brother, and buried them in Modin, the city of his fathers.” Verse 26: “And all Israel made great lamentation for him, and bewailed him many days.” Verse 27: “Simon also built a monument upon the sepulchre of his father and his brethren, and raised it aloft to the sight, with hewn stone behind and before.” Verse 28: “Moreover he set up seven pyramids, one against another, for his father, and his mother, and his four brethren.” Verse 29: “And in these he made cunning devices, about the which he set great pillars, and upon the pillars he made all their armour for a perpetual memory, and by the armour ships carved, that they might be seen of all that sail on the sea.” Verse 30: “This is the sepulchre which he made at Modin, and it standeth yet unto this day.” Note that he built pyramids as a monument to remember his dead relatives, a good example of how Israelites built pyramids, as those in Egypt and the Americas.

    1st Maccabees 13:31Now Tryphon dealt deceitfully with the young king Antiochus, and slew him.” Verse 32: “And he reigned in his stead, and crowned himself king of Asia [Minor], and brought a great calamity upon the land.” Initially Tryphon thought of Jonathan as an obstacle in his quest to getting the crown. But now that he is dead, he betrayed the young king, knowing that he caused enmity and Simon would not care for the young king. As calamity befell in his realm, the holy people continued to build themselves up. 1st Maccabees 13:33 “Then Simon built up the strong holds in Judea, and fenced them about with high towers, and great walls, and gates, and bars, and laid up victuals therein.”

    Before this time period wars among the Greeks for the Seleucid Empire was prevalent. The reputation of Judas and Jonathan as warriors caused kings to seek an alliance with Israel for fear that they will join against their enemies. Tryphon who was not of the royal lineage, will have to face those contenders of the throne. Simon used this information to his advantage and sent emissaries to king Demetrius a descendant of Seleucus.

    1st Maccabees 13:34 “Moreover Simon chose men, and sent to king Demetrius, to the end he should give the land an immunity [exemption or freedom], because all that Tryphon did was to spoil [rob and destroy].” Verse 35: “Unto whom king Demetrius answered and wrote after this manner:” Verse 36: “King Demetrius unto Simon the high priest, and friend of kings, as also unto the elders and nation of the Jews, sendeth greeting:” Verse 37: “The golden crown, and the scarlet robe, which ye sent unto us, we have received: and we are ready to make a stedfast peace with you, yea, and to write unto our officers, to confirm the immunities which we have granted.” Verse 38: “And whatsoever covenants [agreements] we have made with you shall stand; and the strong holds, which ye have builded, shall be your own.” Verse 39: “As for any oversight or fault committed unto this day, we forgive it, and the crown tax also, which ye owe us: and if there were any other tribute paid in Jerusalem, it shall no more be paid.” Verse 40: “And look who are meet among you to be in our court, let them be enrolled, and let there be peace betwixt us.”

    This scripture shows what freedom truly is, since the majority of the time it is believed that we have been emancipated. The form of bondage suffered by our people today is not that different from chattel slavery, where shackles are worn. A slave is a person forced to work, most would emphasize without pay however paying taxes to those that control the money will cause the same conditions. Since a tribute is an obligated payment of your wealth (food, money, etc..) without receiving anything in return; it is physical shackles through the policies of a society. In some cases if you do not pay the tribute you could lose most if not all your property. For example, imagine you fully own a home and the land, with no debt except that you MUST pay taxes. That would force you to work, because if the taxes is not paid you could lose your home. See, 1st Esdras 4:6.

    1st Esdras 4:49 “Moreover he wrote for all the Jews that went out of his realm up into Jewry, concerning their freedom, that no officer, no ruler, no lieutenant, nor treasurer, should forcibly enter into their doors;” Verse 50: “And that all the country which they hold should be free without tribute; and that the Edomites should give over the villages of the Jews which then they held:” Prior generations understood what freedom meant; restoring stolen or lost property, removing the threats of force, thus allowing the people to create their own government in their land. Finally abolishing tribute (tax) made the people free from serving in the interest of others.

    1st Maccabees 13:41 “Thus the yoke of the heathen was taken away from Israel in the hundred and seventieth year.” Verse 42: “Then the people of Israel began to write in their instruments and contracts, In the first year of Simon the high priest, the governor and leader of the Jews.” Although Simon’s brothers ruled previously, most scholars consider this the beginning of the Hasmonean Dynasty (named after an ancestor). Seeing that the people were truly free from the yoke of the heathen.

    Simon perceived that their liberty will be short lived if they did not remove their enemies that were in fortified cities, in the land of Israel. 1st Maccabees 13:43 “In those days Simon camped against Gaza and besieged it round about; he made also an engine of war, and set it by the city, and battered a certain tower, and took it.” In his past experience, there were cases when laying a siege was unsuccessful. Therefore he made engines of war, which are machines used to break down walls or get over the walls. In this example he might of used siege catapults and battering rams to break down the wall of the certain tower. Engines of war were invented by cunning men in ancient Israel to expedite a siege. See, 2nd Chronicles 26:14-15.

    1st Maccabees 13:44 “And they that were in the engine leaped into the city; whereupon there was a great uproar in the city:” Here we could see that a siege tower was used to go over the wall and get inside the city, possibly with a built in battering ram. Once the people within the city saw that their walls could not protect them, they surrendered. 1st Maccabees 13:45 “Insomuch as the people of the city rent their clothes, and climbed upon the walls with their wives and children, and cried with a loud voice, beseeching Simon to grant them peace.” Verse 46: “And they said, Deal not with us according to our wickedness, but according to thy mercy.” Verse 47: “So Simon was appeased toward them, and fought no more against them, but put them out of the city, and cleansed the houses wherein the idols [false gods] were, and so entered into it with songs and thanksgiving.”

    Unlike the Greeks that massacred, took captives, and dealt wickedly; Simon was merciful by granting them leave. In this era, our people are taught that laws of cleanliness are “nailed to the cross”. However uncleanness is the result of the houses of idols, as it was then. 1st Maccabees 13:48 “Yea, he put all uncleanness out of it, and placed such men there as would keep the law, and made it stronger than it was before, and built therein a dwelling place for himself.” In the laws we are taught that uncleanness would turn God away from us. See, Deuteronomy 23:9-14. Our forefathers understood that good success comes from keeping the laws. Please read, Joshua 1:8-9. Through wisdom (laws) were all the accomplishments achieved that we have read thus far. Therefore if sinful men were placed in the city all the progress would be destroyed. Ecclesiastes 9:18 “Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.”

    1st Maccabees 13:49 “They also of the tower in Jerusalem were kept so strait, that they could neither come forth, nor go into the country, nor buy, nor sell: wherefore they were in great distress for want of victuals, and a great number of them perished through famine.” This tower was the cause of all troubles in Jerusalem, especially since it was a place to lie in wait against the sanctuary. Earlier in the chapter, the people in the tower requested help from Tryphon, but because of the snow he was unable to bring them food. They have been besieged all this time; through starvation a great number of them died. Therefore seeing how merciful Simon dealt with those in Gaza they also decided to surrender. 1st Maccabees 13:50 “Then cried they to Simon, beseeching him to be at one with them: which thing he granted them; and when he had put them out from thence, he cleansed the tower from pollutions:”

    This mighty tower was built about 26 years ago under the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. Numerous attempts to take this tower by force were unsuccessful. 1st Maccabees 13:51 “And entered into it the three and twentieth day of the second month in the hundred seventy and first year, with thanksgiving, and branches of palm trees, and with harps, and cymbals, and with viols, and hymns, and songs: because there was destroyed a great enemy out of Israel.” The feast is kept every year on twenty second day at evening of the second month (new moon). A year has passed since the yoke of the heathen was removed and the most High granted victory to Simon without having to lift up a weapon against it. It was not by might nor by the power of Israel, but by the Spirit was the great enemy destroyed.

    1st Maccabees 13:52 “He ordained also that that day should be kept every year with gladness. Moreover the hill of the temple that was by the tower he made stronger than it was, and there he dwelt himself with his company.” Within this chapter we are able to see that Simon was a commendable leader, because of his counsels, mercy and righteousness. But many question, could he ordain a feast and it to be of the most High God?

    We must remember that many had fallen in those days to the pollution of the Greeks, as the prophecies declared. Daniel 11:32 “And such [of Israel] as do wickedly against the covenant shall he [Antiochus Epiphanes] corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” While those that continued in the law fulfilled prophecies, by being strong and doing notable deeds (exploits).

    Daniel 11:33 “And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.” Our forefathers that understood were not doing their own will, but fulfilled the desire of the most High. Beginning with Judas Maccabeus that instructed the nation of Israel in accordance to the law, to keep the Feast of Dedication and the Destruction of Nicanor. Unto Simon who continued devoted unto the law and believed the scriptures that spoke of their generation. This feast promotes the keeping of the laws; it is a memorial to our generation of the history that affected well the Messiah and the prophecies of our time. By their great example we learn how to be faithful to the most High God in adversity. Therefore they are instructing many, as it was written.

    1st Maccabees 14:35 “The people therefore sang the acts of Simon, and unto what glory he thought to bring his nation, made him their governor and chief priest, because he had done all these things, and for the justice and faith which he kept to his nation, and for that he sought by all means to exalt his people.” Verse 36: “For in his time things prospered in his hands, so that the heathen were taken out of their country, and they also that were in the city of David in Jerusalem, who had made themselves a tower, out of which they issued, and polluted all about the sanctuary, and did much hurt in the holy place:” Verse 37: “But he placed Jews therein. and fortified it for the safety of the country and the city, and raised up the walls of Jerusalem.”

    Today we take courage against all the different troubles, which might be our own strong tower that we must overcome. We are reminded to remain faithful since our affliction is light in comparison to our forefathers. If these men resisted unto blood, striving against sin, then it is possible for us to be good soldiers of Christ. By the power of the Lord which is wisdom we could overcome our own spiritual battles (strong tower). Please read, 2nd Corinthians 10:3-6. Therefore if any choose not to keep the day as a holy day it is because they are in sin. James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Finally by the wisdom gained from this feast, we are passing down understanding to our children of how to build a dynasty. 1st Maccabees 13:53 “And when Simon saw that John his son was a valiant man, he made him captain of all the hosts; and he dwelt in Gazera.” Shalam!

  6. Feast of First Fruits

    The Feast of First Fruits begins in the first month; soon after the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread/Passover. Numbers 28:16 “And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD.” Verse 26: “Also in the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the LORD, after your weeks be out, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work:”

    In this feast we presented before the Lord the blessings he gave us from the land. Leviticus 23:10 “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:” Verse 11: “And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.” When the feast of unleavened bread was finished; the people prepared themselves to honor the most High with their crops after (the morrow of) the weekly Sabbath. Proverbs 3:9 “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:” Verse 10: “So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”

    The first fruits were the best of all that the Heavenly Father blessed the children of Israel with. Numbers 18:12 “All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee.” Verse 13: “And whatsoever is first ripe in the land, which they shall bring unto the LORD, shall be thine; every one that is clean in thine house shall eat of it.” The children of Israel presented these gifts of the Lord unto the priest.

    Leviticus 23:12 “And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD.” On the day the bundle of wheat was brought to wave before the most High, the Levitical priesthood sacrificed on the altar “an he lamb without blemish”. This offering was symbolic of Christ the lamb of God. John 1:29 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

    Considering how this feast was symbolic of Christ and those who he called into the truth, we must still honor this day in the faith of Christ. 1st Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Verse 23: “But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.” The Apostle Paul is teaching us that Christ is the first fruits of all men because he resurrected, for he was the best at righteousness. Throughout the writings of the prophets the most High compared the children of Israel to his field. The same was written by the Apostle Paul when he said, 1st Corinthians 3:9 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry (crops), ye are God's building.” Today the most High is planting his seed in Israel. Luke 8:11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.”

    If the seed flourish in us, by repenting and becoming ripe in righteousness then we will become like his Son Jesus Christ (please read, Romans 8:28-30). James 1:18 “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” Remember the first fruits were the best of all our crops. Therefore those that believe and keep the teachings of the Bible, are born again by his mercy to become first fruits. An example of men becoming the first fruits in the gospel could be read in 1st Corinthians 16:15 “I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)” The house of Stephanas were the first to repent in the city of Achaia and became ripe in truth enough to be addicted to the work of the Lord.

    The feast of First fruits is known by many names such as Pentecost. Many do not realize that the Apostles kept this feast faithfully. Please read, Acts 2:1-5, Acts 20:16, and 1st Corinthians 16:8. The word Pentecost means fiftieth day, but why? Another name for this feast is the Feast of Weeks and Feast of Harvest. Remember we read above in Numbers chapter 28 where it said after your weeks be out” indicating to us where the name of Feast of Weeks comes from. Exodus 34:22 “And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest,…”

    Leviticus 23:15 “And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:” Verse 16: “Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.” The “morrow after the sabbath” that the scripture is speaking of is the first day of the week (so called Sunday).

    Leviticus 23:11 “And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.” The Sabbath spoken of in this verse (11) is often confused with one of the Passover sabbaths. However, Leviticus 23:15 explained to us clearly that it is the regular weekly Sabbath by stating “seven sabbaths shall be complete”. Hence why it is called the feast of weeks, this means that those seven sabbaths are consecutive and add up to 49 days complete. This is not possible with the Passover sabbath since it is not kept weekly. After the seventh Sabbath a day is added to make it 50 days; this is when the feast is held once the weekly sabbath has passed.

    The 50th day must be observed as a holy convocation/Sabbath. Leviticus 23:21 “And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.” To commemorate this day we refrain from any work, chores, or business. Buying and selling is forbidden, therefore we have to make sure to prepare well since it would be two consecutive sabbath days. See, Nehemiah 10:31. Although we are in captivity we celebrate this day with a great dinner with fellow believing Israelites. Tobit 2:1 “Now when I was come home again, and my wife Anna was restored unto me, with my son Tobias, in the feast of Pentecost, which is the holy feast of the seven weeks, there was a good dinner prepared me, in the which I sat down to eat.” Verse 2: “And when I saw abundance of meat, I said to my son, Go and bring what poor man soever thou shalt find out of our brethren, who is mindful of the Lord; and, lo, I tarry for thee.” The feast was also called Pentecost because this Greek word explained the counting of weeks led to the amount of fifty days. We pray and hope that this edifies you in keeping the day holy as we are commanded by the most High. Shalam (Peace)!

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  7. Memorial of Blowing Trumpets

    Leviticus 23:24 “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.”

    The first day of the seventh month, is the new moon of the memorial of blowing of trumpets. This day brings in the seventh month that was known as Ethanim (read, 1st Kings 8:2). In this day the silver trumpets were blown by the priests to gather the people to the worship of the Heavenly Father. Numbers 10:2 “Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.” Verse 3: “And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.”

    It is a memorial that in the seventh month the fast of the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles was approaching. But this day was also used to remind our people of the commandments of the Lord. Nehemiah 8:1 “And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law [Bible] of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.” Verse 2: “And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.”

    In the return from the Persian captivity our forefathers sought the most High; through able men that were learned in his law, namely Ezra the scribe. Ezra 7:6 “This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.”

    In the history we read of how the entire congregation gathered themselves together to commemorate this holy new moon; by studying the laws and praying unto the Father. Nehemiah 8:3 “And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.” Verse 6: “And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.”

    Likewise we should practice those same righteous works unto our great God. Remember that this day is a Sabbath unto the Lord our God. Numbers 29:1 “And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation [a holy gathering, Sabbath]; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you.” As we are commanded in the law we are not to do any work in this day. This means no buying and selling. Nehemiah 10:31 “And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.” We could only do what pertains to the Feast.

    Nehemiah 8:10 “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Verse 11: “So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.” Verse 12: “And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.” These are the things we could do to enjoy this holy day, for this day is a day of great gladness! Prepare a great meal and send portions or gifts unto the poor, sing and play instruments unto the Lord and be filled with the joy of the Lord.

    Note: Cooking on the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week is not allowed. See, Exodus 35:2-3. This means that if Memorial of Blowing Trumpets coincides with the weekly Sabbath you must prepare the meal before the Sabbath; since you will not be able to cook. Please refer to the Sabbath report for more information.

    This feast is a joyous moment and it has the practical use of being a memorial for upcoming feasts, symbolizing its prophetic nature. Numbers 10:10 Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.”

    Every new moon, the trumpets are blown to gather the people to celebrate the feasts. Psalms 81:1 “Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.” Verse 2: “Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.” Verse 3: Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.” Verse 4: “For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.” Showing us that the memorial of blowing trumpets is the seventh new moon of the year.

    This represents how the most High sends his prophets to warn and gather the people before the second coming of Christ. Isaiah 58:1 “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Please read also, Ezekiel 33:1-19.

    Joel 2:1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;” Please read, Revelations 8:6. Therefore keep the feast with gladness, knowing it represents our faith in Christ our sacrifice. Shalam (Peace)!

  8. Day of Atonement

    Our gracious Heavenly Father gave us a holy day in which we are cleansed of our sins. Leviticus 16:29 “And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:” Verse 30: “For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.”

    In the seventh month (Ethanim, read 1st Kings 8:2) on the tenth day we are commanded to afflict our souls to reconcile with our God. In the book of Isaiah we are taught the meaning of afflicting our souls in the Day of Atonement. Isaiah 58:5 “Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?” The way our Lord has chosen for us to afflict our souls, is by fasting in this holy day.

    This is the only day that is required by the law for our people to fast. Therefore this day was also known as the “The Fast”. In which we read our beloved Apostle Paul keeping this day long after the death of Christ. Acts 27:9 “Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous [the seventh month which is in the fall season], because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,”

    According to the Bible fasting is abstaining from food and drinking. Therefore on the Day of Atonement we are not to eat or drink anything from even until even. Esther 4:16 “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink ...” During fasting nothing is to enter the mouth not even to taste. Jonah 3:5 “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast…” Verse 7: “And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:”

    In the past the high priest atoned by the blood of bulls. Please read, Leviticus 16:11,15,17. He also ALONE offered for the congregation of Israel the blood of goats. 2nd Chronicles 29:23 “And they brought forth the he goats for the sin offering before the king and the congregation; and they laid their hands upon them:” Verse 24: “And the priests killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar, to make an atonement for all Israel: for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel.” This verse shows us that the Hebrew word for atonement is the same as reconciliation. By the blood offered we were justified. However without truly repenting from the conscience and changing; the sins remain. Hebrews 10:4 “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”

    But now we are reconciled by the blood of Jesus Christ. Romans 5:10 “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Verse 11: “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” The death of Christ is not intended to be without purpose like those past sacrifices that were given. As the Apostle Paul stated, the Messiah (Christ) is the atonement to remove our sins through repentance. Hebrews 9:13 “For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:” Verse 14: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

    The same thing is said of Christ in prophecy, that as an atonement he will provide us the opportunity to repent and teach us how not to continue in our sins. Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation [atonement] for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” Verse 26: “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:...” This prophecy clearly explained that the Messiah (Christ) would be the atonement for our iniquities. It explained that his death was not for himself, meaning he did not die for his own sins but for the iniquity of his people. Like the high priest of ancient times that offered the blood alone for the people, Christ offered himself once to make an end of our sins and bring in righteousness. See, Isaiah 53:5-11.

    Hence this day is established to teach us how to repent and fight against desires of the flesh (sin). Isaiah 58:6 “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” Verse 7: “Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” Verse 8: “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.”

    Leviticus 23:26 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,” Verse 27: “Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation [gathering] unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls [fast], and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.” The sacrifices was the ONLY part that was changed in accordance to scripture; in which the people had no participation.

    Remember that it was stated above in the word of God that it is a Sabbath of rest; no work of any kind (buying, selling, cooking, etc..) is to be done in this day. Leviticus 23:28 “And ye 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.” As any other Sabbath, the day of atonement is very important to keep.

    Leviticus 23:29 “For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.” All souls in the congregation are required to keep the fast. See, Joel 2:15-16. The person that refuses to fast is the same as a person that rejects repentance; forsaking their own mercy. Therefore their soul will be cut off (destroyed). Leviticus 23:30 “And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.” To avoid being destroyed in the second coming of Christ we must keep the Sabbaths. Leviticus 23:31 “Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.” Verse 32: “It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even [night], from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.”

    Therefore as believers of Christ we must keep this Sabbath holy by fasting and praying for the forgiveness of our sins. This day was ordained to be kept for ever. James 2:24 “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” We pray and hope the Lord guide you to do his good will and pleasure. Shalam (Peace)!

  9. Feast of Tabernacles

    All the feast days of the Heavenly Father abound in significant history, prophecies, and of course laws. There are many that claim to be teachers of the Bible, yet they lead our people astray from the footsteps of Christ. By deceiving our people into believing that the feasts of God are not important. John 7:2 “Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand.” In the days when Christ taught that the kingdom of heaven is at hand; the last feast of the seventh month was approaching. John 7:14 “Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.” A person with the belief of Churchianity, as explained earlier, would have lost the opportunity to hear the doctrine of Christ in this holy day. A true believer would keep the feast holy as our Lord Jesus Christ did.

    At this instant take the opportunity to be taught by the Word concerning your rich history. Leviticus 23:42 “Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:” Verse 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.” This feast is commemorating when our forefathers were saved from slavery in Egypt. Consequently they wandered in the wilderness for forty years; there was no such thing as the land of Israel when this feast was established. Showing us that an Israelite is NOT a member of a religion but a nationality, which is NOT based on being born in the land of Israel. See, How is Race and Nationality Determined? A born Israelite (so called Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans) is a descendant of Jacob; whose name was changed to Israel.

    Today the Israelites are a nation in exile. Please read, Who are the children of Israel? The conditions of our people are similar to our fathers, we are in the wilderness. Looking forward to the promised land and our glorious kingdom. We must learn from the examples left by our ancestors. Ezekiel 20:35 “And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.” Verse 36: “Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD.” God pleaded with our fathers in the wilderness by giving them his laws and when they refused to keep them, he judged them for their sins. Jude Verse 5 “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.”

    In these last days, those who are lost but are Israelites born will be called to the new covenant (agreement) in Christ. Ezekiel 20:37 “And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:” Verse 38: “And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” He destroyed the rebels in the past and did not let them enter the land; those who did not believe in his word but doubted and broke his law. See, Numbers 32:13. Likewise he will do unto any who disobey his word in this generation. Please read, Hebrews 4:1-2 and 1st Corinthians 10:5-11. Therefore we warn our brothers and sisters to put on the faith of Christ, by first learning how to keep the feast.

    It was mentioned earlier that the most High God made Israel dwell in booths while in the wilderness. Also that we must dwell in booths for seven days. A booth is a tent/tabernacle made of wood. Leviticus 23:40 “And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs [thick branches] of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.” Verse 41: “And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.”

    We build tents of wood to remind us how we used to live in the wilderness. However this is not the only reason; we are the people that built the Tabernacle and sanctuary of God! Please read, Exodus 25:8-9. Egypt is lauded as a great empire built by people with mathematical and scientific skills; those builders were our enslaved forefathers. In every generation we learn that we are builders not only of Egypt but of many other empires. This is encouraging to know; Isaiah 58:12 “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” In celebrating this feast that is to be kept “for ever”, you are raising up the fallen tabernacle by the power of Christ. See, Amos 9:11.

    The feast is to be kept in the fifteenth day, which begins on the fourteenth night of the seventh month. Leviticus 23:34 “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.” The first day of the feast and the eighth day (twenty second at even) are Sabbath days. Leviticus 23:35 “On the first day shall be an holy convocation [assembly]: ye shall do no servile work therein.” Verse 36: “Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.” Therefore in these days as the scripture commands us we are not to do any work, or buying and selling. Read, Nehemiah 10:31.

    Note: Cooking on the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week is not allowed. See, Exodus 35:2-3. This means that if the Feast of Tabernacles coincides with the weekly Sabbath you must prepare the meal before the Sabbath; since you will not be able to cook. Please refer to the Sabbath report for more information.

    Many of our brothers and sisters become confused concerning the length of the feast. Is it seven or is it eight days? Although the scripture explained the feast is to last for eight days. We could learn this from king Solomon, when he kept the feast during the dedication of the temple. 2nd Chronicles 7:8 “Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt.” Verse 9: “And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days.” Verse 10: “And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shewed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people.” The scripture is teaching us that the feast ends on the evening (night) of the twenty third day of the month.

    Like our righteous forefathers we should use this day to teach righteousness and to hear the words of the law. Nehemiah 8:15 “And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.” Verse 16: “So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim.” Verse 17: “And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.” Verse 18: “Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.”

    It is extremely fun for the family to build the tent together and dwell in it. Notice that no specific measurements, dimensions, or directions are given on how to build it, except that it must be of wood. Also the tent could be placed anywhere and hooked up really nice inside. The eight days are memorable for the whole congregation (men, women, and children); it is an event with food, music, gifts, etc.. Especially if they did not know the laws; they would learn the joy of being fed with knowledge.

    This feast is also known by another name in the scriptures. Exodus 34:22 “… the feast of ingathering at the year's end.” The reason the feast is called after this name is due to the season in which it is kept (fall), the crops must be gathered in to store it for winter. Therefore the “year’s end” means the end of harvest which is in the fall. Jewish people have confused the world into thinking the seventh month is the beginning of the year with Rosh Hashanah. See, Titus 1:14. Remember that our calendar is comprised of twelve lunar months, but they celebrate the seventh month as the beginning of the year. Ezekiel 32:1 “And it came to pass in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,”

    As the name implies, let us hope that we are gathered and spared from the destruction that will come; that we may keep the feast with our righteous King in his kingdom. Zechariah 14:12 “And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away [by fire, see 2nd Peters 3:10-12] while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.” Verse 16: And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” Shalam (Peace)!

  10. Dedication of Altar

     The celebration of this feast is documented in the books of Maccabees, being prophesied by many prophets and established according to the law. Before we study the history of this great feast, we want to again address the concern of whether it is holy. The altar is where the sacrifices were conducted. Exodus 20:24 “An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.” Verse 25: “And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.” Obviously, Moses built an altar to the Heavenly Father according to these instructions (commandments). See, Exodus 24:4. We should ask ourselves, why after so many generations is there a celebration of the altar being dedicated?

    The reason is explained by this prophecy, Daniel 8:11 “Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.” After the death of Alexander the Great, his kingdom was divided to four of his generals and they became kings. Over a century later, a king by the name of Antiochus magnified himself by his surname Epiphanes which meant god manifest. 2nd Maccabees 9:12 “And when he [Antiochus Epiphanes] himself could not abide his own smell [because of a sickness], he said these words, It is meet to be subject unto God, and that a man that is mortal should not proudly think of himself, as if he were God.” Note: We recommend you read the report on the day of Simon, since it contains information concerning the beginning of this Greek captivity.

    By his policies was the daily sacrifice taken away, and he attempted to Hellenize the children of Israel. 1st Maccabees 1:41 “Moreover king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people [he is forcing all to become Greek],” Verse 42: “And every one should leave his laws: so all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king.” Verse 43: “Yea, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols [false gods], and profaned the sabbath.” Verse 44: “For the king had sent letters by messengers unto Jerusalem and the cities of Juda that they should follow the strange laws of the land,” Verse 45: “And forbid burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths and festival days:” Verse 46: “And pollute the sanctuary and holy people:”

    The purpose of his decree was to cause the Israelites to sin, and remove the worship of God in his sanctuary. 1st Maccabees 1:47 “Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine’s flesh, and unclean beasts:” Verse 48: “That they should also leave their children uncircumcised, and make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and profanation:” Verse 49: “To the end they might forget the law, and change all the ordinances.” Verse 50: “And whosoever would not do according to the commandment of the king, he said, he should die.” Verse 51: “In the selfsame manner wrote he to his whole kingdom, and appointed overseers over all the people, commanding the cities of Juda to sacrifice [swine’s flesh to his false gods], city by city.”

    Daniel 11:31 “And arms shall stand on his part,..” It was predicted that Antiochus was to be given military might. Prior to his decree he had massacred, enslaved the holy people, and plundered the temple. Now he is using this power to uproot their faith, in setting up altars and chapels throughout the land to force the Israelites to sacrifice to his idols. If they refused they were tortured and killed. Please read, 1st Maccabees 1:60-64 and 2nd Maccabees chapters 6, and 7.

    Daniel 11:31 “… and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” As the prophecy of Daniel stated, first he made it unlawful to sacrifice to the most High thus taking it away. Then he set up the abomination that made desolation. 1st Maccabees 1:54 “Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda on every side;”

    Daniel 11:32 “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries:…” As it was stated before many of the wicked Israelites consented to his religion and Greek ways. Daniel 11:32 “… but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” While on the other hand you had Israelites that continued faithfully keeping the commandments and were strong. This began with a priest named Mattathias, the father of the Maccabees, whom an officer of the king tried to corrupt by flattery. 1st Maccabees 2:17 “Then answered the king’s officers, and said to Mattathias on this wise, Thou art a ruler, and an honourable and great man in this city, and strengthened with sons and brethren:” Verse 18: “Now therefore come thou first, and fulfil the king’s commandment, like as all the heathen have done, yea, and the men of Juda also, and such as remain at Jerusalem: so shalt thou and thy house be in the number of the king’s friends, and thou and thy children shall be honoured with silver and gold, and many rewards.”

    Proverbs 26:28 “A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.” He enticed Mattathias with promises of receiving great rewards from the king. Strengthened by the scriptures, Mattathias was not deceived, instead he began his rebellion against Antiochus Epiphanes. 1st Maccabees 2:19 “Then Mattathias answered and spake with a loud voice, Though all the nations that are under the king’s dominion obey him, and fall away every one from the religion of their fathers, and give consent to his commandments:” Verse 20: “Yet will I and my sons and my brethren walk in the covenant [God’s agreement] of our fathers.” Verse 21: “God forbid that we should forsake the law and the ordinances.” Verse 22: “We will not hearken to the king’s words, to go from our religion [to keep the commandments of God], either on the right hand, or the left.”

    Proverbs 24:7 “Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.” The words of Mattathias were filled with courageous wisdom, which some foolish and wicked Israelites at that time dismissed. They did not open their mouth against the injustice of the king, instead they willingly submitted to his tyranny. 1st Maccabees 2:23 “Now when he had left speaking these words, there came one of the Jews in the sight of all to sacrifice on the altar which was at Modin, according to the king’s commandment.” Verse 24: “Which thing when Mattathias saw, he was inflamed with zeal, and his reins trembled, neither could he forbear to shew his anger according to judgment: wherefore he ran, and slew him upon the altar.” Verse 25: “Also the king’s commissioner, who compelled men to sacrifice, he killed at that time, and the altar he pulled down.”

    The sinful act committed before Mattathias inflamed him to perform a zealous act of judgment like Phinehas, whom God rewarded with a everlasting covenant of priesthood and peace. 1st Maccabees 2:26 “Thus dealt he zealously for the law of God like as Phinees did unto Zambri the son of Salom.” See, Numbers 25:1-14. 1st Maccabees 2:27 “And Mattathias cried throughout the city with a loud voice, saying, Whosoever is zealous of the law, and maintaineth the covenant, let him follow me.” Verse 28: “So he and his sons fled into the mountains, and left all that ever they had in the city.” Thus leading the first revolt against the kingdom of the Greeks. All they that voluntarily kept the laws of God joined him and his family and fled with them to the wilderness.

    Those that followed Mattathias became an army that contested the king’s commandment by pulling down the altars, circumcising, being in possession of the scriptures, and slaying the wicked. 1st Maccabees 2:49 “Now when the time drew near that Mattathias should die, he said unto his sons, Now hath pride and rebuke gotten strength, and the time of destruction, and the wrath of indignation:” Verse 50: “Now therefore, my sons, be ye zealous for the law, and give your lives for the covenant of your fathers.” He exhorted his sons to remember the deliverance God gave to those that were faithful. To be brave and fight for the laws, defend their people, and by doing so they will receive great glory. At that time he appointed his son Judas to be captain over the army. 1st Maccabees 2:66 “As for Judas Maccabeus, he hath been mighty and strong, even from his youth up: let him be your captain, and fight the battle of the people.”

    Wherefore Judas began to fight valiantly for Israel, as a lion he devoured the prey and rooted out the wicked among the people. After being being victorious in several battles his fame went through out all nations. In so much, that Antiochus Epiphanes gathered all his soldiers and paid them in advance for a year, causing his treasuries to fail. This forced the king to leave his realm in the hands of a nobleman by the name of Lysias, while he went into Persia to collect taxes. Lysias as regent was given half of the army, and was commanded to destroy Judas and all people of Israel. However this was not the only imminent threat for the Israelites; merchants hearing the news planned to buy the children of Israel for slaves. Judas and his company gathered the congregation to pray and fast, also to prepare themselves for battle. Please read, 1st Maccabees 3:1-60.

    1st Maccabees 4:1 “Then took Gorgias five thousand footmen, and a thousand of the best horsemen, and removed out of the camp by night;” The army of the Greeks was led by Gorgias a general known to have been an expert in war. See, 2nd Maccabees 8:9. Instead of meeting Judas manfully with this great army, his strategy was to use the element of surprise and attack in the night. 1st Maccabees 4:2 “To the end he might rush in upon the camp of the Jews, and smite them suddenly. And the men of the fortress were his guides.” Verse 3: “Now when Judas heard thereof he himself removed, and the valiant men with him, that he might smite the king’s army which was at Emmaus,” Verse 4: “While as yet the forces were dispersed from the camp.” Judas aware of his plans, decided to use this as an advantage, to attack the camp of the king’s army while Gorgias searched for them.

    1st Maccabees 4:5 “In the mean season came Gorgias by night into the camp of Judas: and when he found no man there, he sought them in the mountains: for said he, These fellows flee from us.” The winter is known as the mean season, because of the severe cold and debilitating snow. See, Psalms 147:15-17. 1st Maccabees 4:6 “But as soon as it was day, Judas shewed himself in the plain with three thousand men, who nevertheless had neither armour nor swords to their minds.” The army of Judas consisted of three thousand men, who in their past were not warriors, nor were well equipped. 1st Maccabees 4:7 “And they saw the camp of the heathen, that it was strong and well harnessed, and compassed round about with horsemen; and these were expert of war.” While the Greek army was well prepared, and in contrast to Judas’ men they were at least twice as large, and this does not include Gorgias’ band.

    1st Maccabees 4:8 “Then said Judas to the men that were with him, Fear ye not their multitude, neither be ye afraid of their assault.” Verse 9: “Remember how our fathers were delivered in the Red sea, when Pharaoh pursued them with an army.” Verse 10: “Now therefore let us cry unto heaven, if peradventure the Lord will have mercy upon us, and remember the covenant of our fathers, and destroy this host [army] before our face this day:” Verse 11: “That so all the heathen may know that there is one who delivereth and saveth Israel.” The exhortation and faith of Judas in God is memorable, the sum of this feast is understood by this saying.

    1st Maccabees 4:12 “Then the strangers lifted up their eyes, and saw them coming over against them.” Verse 13: “Wherefore they went out of the camp to battle; but they that were with Judas sounded their trumpets.” Judas and his men confronted the Greek base, and even blew the trumpets to announce their presence. 1st Maccabees 4:14 “So they joined battle, and the heathen being discomfited fled into the plain.” The manliness of the Israelites surprised the heathens, although inferior in weapons and size their determination to overpower the base was achieved. They marched faithfully in ranks and confronted their enemies as with the sword of a mighty man. In their pride the heathens were so sure of victory. However the bravery of the Jews who desperately fought for their lives, their people, and the laws, attacked as one taught by God how to war.

    1st Maccabees 4:15 “Howbeit all the hindmost of them were slain with the sword: for they pursued them unto Gazera, and unto the plains of Idumea, and Azotus, and Jamnia, so that there were slain of them upon a three thousand men.” The heathens retreated and ran for their lives, however Judas did not let up but chased them, intending to destroy all the men of the base. Three thousand were killed of those that fled, and the base is now abandoned with their effects left behind. 1st Maccabees 4:16 “This done, Judas returned again with his host from pursuing them,” Verse 17: “And said to the people, Be not greedy of the spoil inasmuch as there is a battle before us,” Verse 18:And Gorgias and his host are here by us in the mountain: but stand ye now against our enemies, and overcome them, and after this ye may boldly take the spoils.” Once they returned to the base of the heathen, Judas reminded his soldiers that Gorgias is still out there in the mountains searching for him since night, thinking he had fled.

    Hence, they must be at guard and prepared to be confronted by him at any moment. 1st Maccabees 4:19 “As Judas was yet speaking these words, there appeared a part of them looking out of the mountain:” Verse 20: “Who when they perceived that the Jews had put their host to flight [flee] and were burning the tents; for the smoke that was seen declared what was done:” As they were collecting the goods left behind in the base, such as the weapons, gold, etc. The concern of Judas was validated, as Gorgias and his soldiers peaked out of a mountain towards their base, when they saw the smoke. By burning their tents, Judas informed Gorgias that he overthrew his base.

    1st Maccabees 4:21 “When therefore they perceived these things, they were sore afraid, and seeing also the host of Judas in the plain ready to fight,” Normally an incompetent and feeble army as the Greeks thought them to be, would not dare attack a base of a strong army. Gorgias did not expect this, ill equipped and untrained men defeated half his forces. Now that they are harnessed with their equipment, much less would anyone dare to confront Judas. 1st Maccabees 4:22 “They fled every one into the land of strangers.” This victory proved to all that there is a God who saves Israel. Also it was considered an important moment towards recovery of their liberty.

    1st Maccabees 4:23 “Then Judas returned to spoil the tents, where they got much gold, and silver, and blue silk, and purple of the sea, and great riches.” Verse 24: “After this they went home and sung a song of thanksgiving, and praised the Lord in heaven: because it is good, because his mercy endureth forever.” Verse 25: “Thus Israel had a great deliverance that day.” Nonetheless the Abomination of Desolation had not been destroyed out of the land and the sanctuary laid waste. Therefore our forefathers although overjoyed, knew that they will be confronted again and that the prophecies must be fulfilled.

    1st Maccabees 4:26 “ Now all the strangers that had escaped came and told Lysias what had happened:” Verse 27: “Who, when he heard thereof, was confounded and discouraged, because neither such things as he would were done unto Israel, nor such things as the king commanded him were come to pass.” Verse 28: “The next year therefore following Lysias gathered together threescore thousand choice men of foot, and five thousand horsemen, that he might subdue them.” Lysias determined to root out the whole generation of the Jews, gathered a greater army to confront Judas Maccabeus. A score is twenty, therefore threescore means sixty thousand footmen and five thousand horsemen, a total of sixty five thousand.

    1st Maccabees 4:29 “So they came into Idumea, and pitched their tents at Bethsura, and Judas met them with ten thousand men.” Again the Israelites are ready to fight, however their army is only of ten thousand, facing an enemy six times greater. 1st Maccabees 4:30 “And when he saw that mighty army, he prayed and said, Blessed art thou, O Saviour of Israel, who didst quell the violence of the mighty man by the hand of thy servant David, and gavest the host of strangers into the hands of Jonathan the son of Saul, and his armourbearer;” They being at disadvantage, began to worry not only because of the size but also because these men were experts of war. Judas reminded them of the scriptures and the acts of their forefathers. Such as David a shepherd youth, without military experience and weapons was able to defeat Goliath because of his faith in God. See, 1st Samuel 17:33-51. Also of Jonathan and his armourbearer, these two men alone confronted the garrison of the Philistines and defeated them. Please read, 1st Samuel 14:1-17. Showing them to have faith and that victory is not decided by numbers.

    1st Maccabees 4:31 “Shut up this army in the hand of thy people Israel, and let them be confounded in their power and horsemen:” Verse 32: “Make them to be of no courage, and cause the boldness of their strength to fall away, and let them quake at their destruction:” Verse 33: “Cast them down with the sword of them that love thee, and let all those that know thy name praise thee with thanksgiving.” This is the true thanksgiving celebration for our people and not the one that commemorates the massacre of Native American Indians (Israelites). In this feast the most High God receives praise for bringing justice to those oppressed, and hearing the prayers of the weak.

    1st Maccabees 4:34 “So they joined battle; and there were slain of the host of Lysias about five thousand men, even before them were they slain.” The battle field was filled with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood. The Greeks witnessed a tenacious assault that abated their courage. Although outnumbered, the Israelites met them bravely in this difficult battle and were able to kill five thousand. Their enemies trembled at the sight of their men failing by the sword.

    1st Maccabees 4:35 “Now when Lysias saw his army put to flight, and the manliness of Judas’ soldiers, and how they were ready either to live or die valiantly, he went into Antiochia, and gathered together a company of strangers, and having made his army greater than it was, he purposed to come again into Judea.” This time Lysias himself commanded the army, since he had no confidence in the generals that he sent before. Yet his army fled after receiving a taste of the manliness of Judas’ soldiers, hence they were defeated. 1st Maccabees 4:36 “Then said Judas and his brethren, Behold, our enemies are discomfited: let us go up to cleanse and dedicate the sanctuary.” Our forefathers were able to acknowledge their victory was great. Despite the intent of the Greeks, they will not soon recover. They have finally recovered the temple and the city of Jerusalem. 2nd Maccabees 10:1 “Now Maccabeus and his company, the Lord guiding them, recovered the temple and the city:”

    1st Maccabees 4:37 “And when they saw the sanctuary desolate, and the altar profaned, and the gates burned up, and shrubs growing in the courts as in a forest, or in one of the mountains, yea, and the priests’ chambers pulled down;” Verse 39: “They rent their clothes, and made great lamentation, and cast ashes upon their heads,” Verse 40: “And fell down flat to the ground upon their faces, and blew an alarm with the trumpets, and cried toward heaven.” They mourned when they saw the glory of the sanctuary had been profaned and the abomination of desolation upon the altar.

    1st Maccabees 4:41 “Then Judas appointed certain men to fight against those that were in the fortress, until he had cleansed the sanctuary.” In spite of the fact that the invading army was defeated, there was still an enemy in the land, those that were in the fortified towers. In the past the sanctuary was attacked by them, those that went to worship were not safe instead they were a prey. Unfortunately Judas was not able to overthrow the fortress in his lifetime, this was accomplished by his brother Simon. At least by having a dedicated group to fight them, the people of Israel could securely go to the temple. 1st Maccabees 4:42 “So he chose priests of blameless conversation, such as had pleasure in the law:” During the occupation of the Greeks many priest had fallen away to the customs of the heathen, therefore it was wise of him to choose only those that were blameless. See, 2nd Maccabees 4:13-17.

    1st Maccabees 4:43 “Who cleansed the sanctuary, and bare out the defiled stones [of the altar] into an unclean place.” Verse 44: “And when as they consulted what to do with the altar of burnt offerings, which was profaned;” Verse 45: “They thought it best to pull it down, lest it should be a reproach [curse] to them, because the heathen had defiled it: wherefore they pulled it down,” When they returned to the sanctuary they found it forsaken, with images of idols that had to be removed. The Greeks had used the temple for their parties (bacchanal), to fool around with prostitutes, and sacrifice on the holy altar unlawful meats such as swine. Therefore the altar whereon the sacrifices were made was taken away, since they were unsure whether it could be cleansed.

    1st Maccabees 4:46 “And laid up the stones in the mountain of the temple in a convenient place, until there should come a prophet to shew what should be done with them.” The prophet that they expected to be able to answer this question was the Messiah (Christ). Our forefathers hoped that the travails they went through would bring the mercy that was promised.

    1st Maccabees 4:47 “ Then they took whole stones according to the law, and built a new altar according to the former;” Verse 48: “And made up the sanctuary, and the things that were within the temple, and hallowed [sanctified] the courts.” Verse 49: “They made also new holy vessels, and into the temple they brought the candlestick, and the altar of burnt offerings, and of incense, and the table.” The temple was previously spoiled by Antiochus Epiphanes, who took away the golden altar of incense, the candlestick of light, and precious vessels. Therefore they undertook not only to cleanse the sanctuary according to the law, but also to make the necessary holy artifacts that was shown to Moses.

    1st Maccabees 4:50 “And upon the altar they burned incense, and the lamps that were upon the candlestick they lighted, that they might give light in the temple.” The candlestick is known in the modern Hebrew as menorah, which is a lamp with seven branches not nine. 1st Maccabees 4:51 “Furthermore they set the loaves upon the table, and spread out the veils, and finished all the works which they had begun to make.” Verse 52: “Now on the five and twentieth day of the ninth month, which is called the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and eighth year, they rose up betimes in the morning,” The work was completed, and they have successfully restored the temple and the worship of the most High. 1st Maccabees 4:53 “And offered sacrifice according to the law upon the new altar of burnt offerings, which they had made.”

    Many have heard of this feast and know it as Hanukkah, which comes from the Hebrew word that means to dedicate. 1st Maccabees 4:54 “Look, at what time and what day the heathen had profaned it, even in that was it dedicated with songs, and citherns, and harps, and cymbals.” The celebration is held on the ninth month according to the Hebrew Calendar on the twenty fourth day at evening, which is when the twenty fifth day begins. We are told by our fathers to “Look, at what time” it was “dedicated” that date is the very same day the heathens sacrificed uncleanness on the altar. 1st Maccabees 1:54 “Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar,” Verse 59: “Now the five and twentieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol altar, which was upon the altar of God.” This was not coincidental at all, instead it was a clear sign that the most High was with them and caused his prophecies to be fulfilled.

    When looking back at the prophecy of Daniel we could see this was truly a symbol of his mercy. Daniel 12:10 “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Verse 11: “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” As we look at the time, the most High gave an exact amount of days, of deliverance and when the sanctuary shall be cleansed. Several months before the abomination of desolation, Antiochus Epiphanes had ransacked the temple and took away the daily sacrifice. The abomination of desolation was setup in the 145th year, while the feast was established in the 148th year, that is three years later. A thousand two hundred and ninety days equals to three years and seven months, that is the exact amount of time of the dedication of the altar.

    1st Maccabees 4:55 “Then all the people fell upon their faces, worshipping and praising the God of heaven, who had given them good success.” A person might ask themselves, why are we celebrating an altar being dedicated that currently doesn’t exist? Those that question whether we should keep the feast do not understand, how great or important was establishing this feast for all future generations. The courageous acts of our forefathers, in resisting the Greeks, preserved the Bible and the heritage of Israel. They were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah, whom the prophecies said will come to his temple. Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.”

    They were not merely celebrating that their lives were preserved from an invading army. Essentially the feast of dedication of the altar is celebrating the preservation of the truth, that was cast down by the Greeks. John 10:22 “And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.” Verse 23: “And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.” The prophecies that Christ had to fulfill would not have been possible, if the sanctuary was not cleansed. This alone is a tremendous reason for our fathers to rejoice, and their faith is commendable in the hope of salvation by our King.

    1st Maccabees 4:56 “And so they kept the dedication of the altar eight days and offered burnt offerings with gladness, and sacrificed the sacrifice of deliverance and praise.” Verse 57: They decked also the forefront of the temple with crowns of gold, and with shields; and the gates and the chambers they renewed, and hanged doors upon them.” Verse 58: “Thus was there very great gladness among the people, for that the reproach of the heathen was put away.” The dedication of the altar is actually based on laws that God gave unto Moses, this is one of the reasons they kept it for eight days. At that time it was understood that the altar was holy by a miraculous event; fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offerings. Also Solomon being wise consecrated the temple during the feast of Tabernacles, and on this occasion his prayer was heard, by the evident sign of fire as it was with Moses. See, Leviticus chapter 9, 2nd Chronicles 7:1, and 2nd Maccabees 2:8-12.

    However once the temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, or to be defiled by the Greeks, to dedicate the altar they relied on the prophecies. As from Ezekiel when he instructed Israel in dedicating the altar according to the law. Ezekiel 43:26 “Seven days shall they purge the altar and purify it; and they shall consecrate themselves.” Verse 27: “And when these days are expired, it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord GOD.” This shows how truly wise and learned were our forefathers in the laws. Wouldn’t you rejoice wholly before the most High within those eight days knowing you are accepted of him?

    1st Maccabees 4:59 Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, with mirth and gladness.” Every year we are commanded to keep this feast. With confidence we could say, that our fathers were led by God in making this ordinance. But how are we to keep this feast? Some have been led to believe a fable instead of what the feast is actually about. Titus 1:14 “Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.” A commandment of men is to light candles on each day of the festival, on lamps that have eight or nine branches which are not based on the law. According to the law there was only one type of Menorah. This wicked custom that began AFTER Judas Maccabees, and is not of our fathers, is the reason there has been invented a new menorah called the “Hanukkah Menorah”. Then a Talmudic fable is taught to justify this practice and renaming the celebration to festival of lights. In which they claim the miracle of the oil that burnt for eight days on the menorah, that was only enough for one day. This is to turn you away from the truth, and to simulate the rituals of the pagan celebrations of Christmas.

    So far you know it is for eight days, there is another reason why. 2nd Maccabees 10:5 “Now upon the same day that the strangers profaned the temple, on the very same day it was cleansed again, even the five and twentieth day of the same month, which is Casleu.” Verse 6: “And they kept the eight days with gladness, as in the feast of the tabernacles, remembering that not long afore they had held the feast of the tabernacles, when as they wandered in the mountains and dens like beasts.” Our fathers ordained the Feast of Dedication to be kept as the Feast of Tabernacles which lasted eight days. In addition to the fact that they understood the laws and their history, another reason they provided is that they held tabernacles in the mountains instead of the temple. 2nd Maccabees 1:18 “Therefore whereas we are now purposed to keep the purification of the temple upon the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, we thought it necessary to certify you thereof, that ye also might keep it, as the feast of the tabernacles, and of the fire, which was given us when Neemias offered sacrifice, after that he had builded the temple and the altar.”

    2nd Maccabees 10:7 “Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms also, and sang psalms unto him that had given them good success in cleansing his place.” Verse 8: “They ordained also by a common statute and decree, That every year those days should be kept of the whole nation of the Jews.” Therefore we must be reminded of the statutes of the Feast of Tabernacles. One that was mentioned is that they carried boughs and palms to build booths (tents) as in the Feast of Tabernacles. The first day of the feast and the eighth day are Sabbaths of rest. Leviticus 23:35 “On the first day shall be an holy convocation [assembly]: ye shall do no servile work therein.” Verse 36: “Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.” Therefore in these days as the scripture commands us we are not to do any work, or buying and selling. Read, Nehemiah 10:31. Yet cooking is allowed for the feast as long it doesn’t fall on the weekly Sabbath.

    Note: Cooking on the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week is not allowed. See, Exodus 35:2-3. This means that if the Feast of Dedication coincides with the weekly Sabbath you must prepare the meal before the Sabbath; since you will not be able to cook. Please refer to the Sabbath report for more information.

    1st Maccabees 4:60 “At that time also they builded up the mount Sion with high walls and strong towers round about, lest the Gentiles should come and tread it down as they had done before.” Verse 61: “And they set there a garrison to keep it, and fortified Bethsura to preserve it; that the people might have a defence against Idumea.” Herein we are told the Biblical name of the Gentiles or Greeks that they defended mount Sion against. 1st Maccabees 5:3 “Then Judas fought against the children of Esau in Idumea …” Today it is a mystery whom the ancient Edomites were, this scripture shows us that Idumea is the Greek form of their name Edom. The Greeks whom they fought were in fact Edomites, whom today we know as Caucasians. The feast of Purim, traces the lineage that helps us discover whom the Edomites are. In Matthew 24:15, Christ prophesied of Jerusalem’s invasion and the destruction of the temple by the Roman armies. He called the Romans by the identical name of abomination of desolation. Hence the Romans whom today would be classified as Caucasian were the same Edomites. For our forefathers during the time period of the Romans, the history of the Maccabees was influential as it is with us in understanding our salvation in Christ.

    Therefore let us keep this ordinance remembering the sacrifice that our forefathers did to live according to the laws. Commending them for their wisdom in the scriptures, being guided from God in their judgment. For God will save us again by his Son from the hands of Idumea. Isaiah 34:5 “For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.” Shalam (Peace)!

  11. Destruction of Nicanor

    To better understand this feast day, we recommend that you read the Feast of Dedication report. Which explains the battles that our forefathers endured to recover the temple, the city of Jerusalem, and to maintain their freedom. 1st Maccabees 3:38 “Then Lysias chose Ptolemee the son of Dorymenes, Nicanor, and Gorgias, mighty men of the king’s friends:” At that time Lysias was appointed by the king (Antiochus Epiphanes) to root out and destroy all of Israel; he chose Nicanor and Gorgias as his generals.

    As it was mentioned in the Feast of Dedication report, merchants hearing the news planned to buy the children of Israel for slaves. See, 1st Maccabees 3:41. The person who made the news public and advertised a sale of captive Jews was Nicanor, thinking they would be easily defeated. 2nd Maccabees 8:10 “So Nicanor undertook to make so much money of the captive [slave] Jews, as should defray the tribute [tax] of two thousand talents, which the king was to pay to the Romans.” Verse 11: “Wherefore immediately he sent to the cities upon the sea coast, proclaiming a sale of the captive Jews, and promising that they should have fourscore and ten [90] bodies for one talent, not expecting the vengeance that was to follow upon him from the Almighty God.”

    Our forefathers met Nicanor in combat in the encampment of the Greeks; while Gorgias sought for them in the mountains. By the power of the Almighty a great number of Nicanor’s army was slain, being defeated he fled with his host. 2nd Maccabees 8:34 “As for that most ungracious Nicanor, who had brought a thousand merchants to buy the Jews,” Verse 35: “He was through the help of the Lord brought down by them, of whom he made least account; and putting off his glorious apparel, and discharging his company, he came like a fugitive servant through the midland unto Antioch having very great dishonour, for that his host was destroyed.” As Judas Maccabeus stated to his troop, by their victory all the heathens “know that there is one who delivereth and saveth Israel”. 2nd Maccabees 8:36 “Thus he, that took upon him to make good to the Romans their tribute by means of captives in Jerusalem, told abroad, that the Jews had God to fight for them, and therefore they could not be hurt, because they followed the laws that he gave them.”

    As for king Antiochus Epiphanes who heard that his army had been defeated, thought to return and make Jerusalem a burial place. While our forefathers made preparations and celebrated the feast of Dedication he was plagued with an incurable disease. 2nd Maccabees 9:9 “So that the worms rose up out of the body of this wicked man, and whiles he lived in sorrow and pain, his flesh fell away, and the filthiness of his smell was noisome to all his army.” This was the end of Antiochus, called Epiphanes. 2nd Maccabees 10:10 “Now will we declare the acts of Antiochus Eupator, who was the son of this wicked man, gathering briefly the calamities of the wars.”

    2nd Maccabees 14:1 “After three years was Judas informed, that Demetrius the son of Seleucus, having entered by the haven of Tripolis with a great power and navy,” Verse 2: “Had taken the country, and killed Antiochus, and Lysias his protector.” The rule of Antiochus Eupator was short lived, the true heir of the throne whom his father (Epiphanes) usurped, killed him and the regent Lysias. As it seemed that all the troubles have ended for the nation of Israel because the authors of their misery were dead; one of their own nation stirred up the new king. 1st Maccabees 7:5 “There came unto him all the wicked and ungodly men of Israel, having Alcimus, who was desirous to be high priest, for their captain:” Verse 6: “And they accused the people to the king, saying, Judas and his brethren have slain all thy friends, and driven us out of our own land.”

    In ancient Israel, our people had understanding of judgment; therefore wicked elders or leaders were not allowed to continue in their positions. 2nd Maccabees 14:3 “Now one Alcimus, who had been high priest, and had defiled himself wilfully in the times of their mingling with the Gentiles, seeing that by no means he could save himself, nor have any more access to the holy altar,” In the past, our people witnessed Alcimus among those that defiled the sanctuary with their uncleanness and idolatry. 2nd Maccabees 6:4 “For the temple was filled with riot and revelling [partying, bacchanal] by the Gentiles, who dallied with harlots [whores], and had to do with women within the circuit of the holy places, and besides that brought in things that were not lawful.” Verse 5: “The altar also was filled with profane things, which the law forbiddeth.” Rightfully so, he was not allowed to continue as high priest, he who is committed to that office could not be worse than the people and must be worthy of the title.

    2nd Maccabees 14:4 “Came to king Demetrius in the hundred and one and fiftieth year, presenting unto him a crown of gold, and a palm, and also of the boughs which were used solemnly in the temple: and so that day he held his peace.” Even still Alcimus continued in wickedness, by presenting as a gift things dedicated to God.

    2nd Maccabees 14:5 “Howbeit having gotten opportunity to further his foolish enterprize, and being called into counsel by Demetrius, and asked how the Jews stood affected, and what they intended, he answered thereunto:” Before being crowned, Demetrius was a hostage in Rome and was completely unaware of the affairs in the land. Alcimus taking advantage of how misinformed king Demetrius was slandered his own people.

    2nd Maccabees 14:6 “Those of the Jews that he called Assideans, whose captain is Judas Maccabeus, nourish war and are seditious, and will not let the rest be in peace.” The Assideans were a sect of Israelites whose name meant to be merciful, faithful, kind, and godly. The Assideans joined themselves to Mattathias (the father of Judas Maccabeus) when he revolted against the Greeks, because of their desire to continue in the laws. 1st Maccabees 2:42 “Then came there unto him a company of Assideans who were mighty men of Israel, even all such as were voluntarily devoted unto the law.” Nonetheless Alcimus who was seeking the high priesthood and should have been for the keeping of the laws, maligned the peaceable multitude.

    2nd Maccabees 14:7 “Therefore I, being deprived of mine ancestors’ honour, I mean the high priesthood, am now come hither:” Verse 8: “First, verily for the unfeigned care I have of things pertaining to the king; and secondly, even for that I intend the good of mine own countrymen: for all our nation is in no small misery through the unadvised dealing of them aforesaid.” Verse 9: “Wherefore, O king, seeing thou knowest all these things, be careful for the country, and our nation, which is pressed on every side, according to the clemency that thou readily shewest unto all.” Verse 10: “For as long as Judas liveth, it is not possible that the state should be quiet.” He broke the ninth commandment by bearing false witness, he was seeking the bloodshed of the innocent.

    The king was influenced by what he said, but what truly convinced him, were those that in the past were of Antiochus’ part. 2nd Maccabees 14:11 “This was no sooner spoken of him, but others of the king’s friends, being maliciously set against Judas, did more incense Demetrius.” By the suggestion of Alcimus, the king chose a trusted friend to investigate his claims and appoint him the high priest. 1st Maccabees 7:8 “Then the king chose Bacchides, a friend of the king, who ruled beyond the flood, and was a great man in the kingdom, and faithful to the king,” Verse 9: “And him he sent with that wicked Alcimus, whom he made high priest, and commanded that he should take vengeance of the children of Israel.”

    Once his petition was granted, immediately he attempted to kill Judas and his brethren. 1st Maccabees 7:10 “So they departed, and came with a great power [army] into the land of Judea, where they sent messengers to Judas and his brethren with peaceable words deceitfully.” Verse 11: “But they gave no heed to their words; for they saw that they were come with a great power.” Judas and his company easily saw through the deceit, if they were really come in peace there would be no need of an army.

    1st Maccabees 7:12 “Then did there assemble unto Alcimus and Bacchides a company of scribes, to require justice.” Verse 13: “Now the Assideans were the first among the children of Israel that sought peace of them:” The same Assideans who Alcimus made it seem like they were seditious and warmongers were the first to seek peace. That alone should have convinced Bacchides that Alcimus was not seeking the welfare of the king or the good of his countrymen, but rather his ambition.

    1st Maccabees 7:14 “For said they, One that is a priest of the seed of Aaron is come with this army, and he will do us no wrong.” Often our people have been deceived and led astray by those that would betray the trust of their own nation. Christ taught us that we shall know them by their fruits (works, doings, past actions), in the case of Alcimus his past revealed that he was of the wicked and ungodly men. We should never be quick to accept anyone just because their skin color matches ours or because of some carnal affinity. Traitors for political power and wealth pretend to share the interest of the people while they represent the oppressors.

    1st Maccabees 7:15 “So he spake unto them, peaceably, and sware unto them, saying, we will procure the harm neither of you nor your friends.” Verse 16: “Whereupon they believed him: howbeit he took of them threescore [60] men, and slew them in one day, according to the words which he wrote,” Verse 17: “The flesh of thy saints have they cast out, and their blood have they shed round about Jerusalem, and there was none to bury them.” Verse 18: “Wherefore the fear and dread of them fell upon all the people, who said, There is neither truth nor righteousness in them; for they have broken the covenant and oath that they made.” When the wicked speak peace they are contemplating to do mischief in their hearts. The Assideans unsuspecting harm were killed as the Psalm that was quoted. See, Psalms 79:1-7.

    1st Maccabees 7:19 “After this, removed Bacchides from Jerusalem, and pitched his tents in Bezeth, where he sent and took many of the men that had forsaken him, and certain of the people also, and when he had slain them, he cast them into the great pit.” Instead of peace, the petition to the king caused many to suffer wrath by the hands of the Greeks. 1st Maccabees 7:20 Then committed he the country to Alcimus, and left with him a power to aid him: so Bacchides went to the king.” Although the king appointed Alcimus as the high priest, it was through the power [army] left with him to impose his authority.

    1st Maccabees 7:21 “But Alcimus contended for the high priesthood.” He struggled for the high priesthood, as the people would not allow themselves to be underlings to this wicked wretch. 1st Maccabees 7:22 “And unto him resorted all such as troubled the people, who, after they had gotten the land of Juda into their power, did much hurt in Israel.” The miseries of our people did not end when Bacchides returned to the king. 1st Maccabees 7:23 “Now when Judas saw all the mischief that Alcimus and his company had done among the Israelites, even above the heathen,” Those that were wicked among our people and preferred the customs of the Greeks, caused more trouble than the Greeks.

    1st Maccabees 7:24 “He went out into all the coasts of Judea round about, and took vengeance of them that had revolted from him, so that they durst no more go forth into the country.” Judas Maccabeus always being a defender of his people, went after the wicked and restored peace. 1st Maccabees 7:25 “On the other side, when Alcimus saw that Judas and his company had gotten the upper hand, and knew that he was not able to abide their force, he went again to the king, and said all the worst of them that he could.” Alcimus was not able to achieve his goal even though he used force; the army provided by the king was not sufficient to contest Judas. Nicanor was among those left behind to assist Alcimus and was appointed by the king as governor over Judea.

    2nd Maccabees 14:12 “And forthwith calling Nicanor, who had been master of the elephants, and making him governor over Judea, he sent him forth,” Verse 13: “Commanding him to slay Judas, and to scatter them that were with him, and to make Alcimus high priest of the great temple.” This took place at the initial meeting with king Demetrius, but the purpose was not accomplished. Why? Remember that Nicanor had already experienced defeat by the Maccabean army. 2nd Maccabees 14:18 “Nevertheless Nicanor, hearing of the manliness of them that were with Judas, and the courageousness that they had to fight for their country, durst not try the matter by the sword.” Verse 19: “Wherefore he sent Posidonius, and Theodotus, and Mattathias, to make peace.” The reason Judas had the upper hand over Alcimus, was due to the reluctance of Nicanor.

    They came together for an agreement to achieve peace. 2nd Maccabees 14:20 “So when they had taken long advisement thereupon, and the captain had made the multitude acquainted therewith, and it appeared that they were all of one mind, they consented to the covenants [agreements],” Verse 21: “And appointed a day to meet in together by themselves: and when the day came, and stools were set for either of them,” Verse 22: “Judas placed armed men ready in convenient places, lest some treachery should be suddenly practised by the enemies: so they made a peaceable conference.” This proved that Alcimus was slandering Judas and his company since they were able to achieve peace with their enemies by diplomacy.

    2nd Maccabees 14:23 “Now Nicanor abode in Jerusalem, and did no hurt, but sent away the people that came flocking unto him.” This means those of Alcimus’ part when they went to incite Nicanor, he wouldn’t assist them. Nicanor was able to see that our fathers did not nourish war, but wanted to keep the laws of God peaceably. 2nd Maccabees 14:24 And he [Nicanor] would not willingly have Judas out of his sight: for he loved the man from his heart.” Verse 25: “He prayed him also to take a wife, and to beget children: so he married, was quiet, and took part of this life.” This proves the proverb true, if a man please God he will make even his enemies to be at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7). Being helpless, Alcimus resorted to saying all the worst of them that he could to the king.

    2nd Maccabees 14:26 “But Alcimus, perceiving the love that was betwixt them, and considering the covenants that were made, came to Demetrius, and told him that Nicanor was not well affected toward the state; for that he had ordained Judas, a traitor to his realm, to be the king’s successor.” Not only did he accuse Nicanor of betraying the trust of the king, but also made the ridiculous claim that Judas was to replace him as king.

    2nd Maccabees 14:27 “Then the king being in a rage, and provoked with the accusations of the most wicked man, wrote to Nicanor, signifying that he was much displeased with the covenants, and commanding him that he should send Maccabeus prisoner in all haste unto Antioch.” Verse 28: “When this came to Nicanor’s hearing, he was much confounded in himself, and took it grievously that he should make void the articles which were agreed upon, the man being in no fault.” Verse 29: “But because there was no dealing against the king, he watched his time to accomplish this thing by policy.” Our people have often made the mistake in trusting their enemies, therefore they have suffered from broken treaties. Nicanor deceitfully looked for an opportunity to accuse Judas of some fault in policy, in order to break the covenant.

    At this point is when Nicanor is introduced in, 1st Maccabees 7:26 “Then the king sent Nicanor, one of his honourable princes, a man that bare deadly hate unto Israel, with commandment to destroy the people.” In examining the past history of Nicanor, we have learned of his hatred towards Israel and also how he understood that God fought for our people. This deadly hate has been hidden now for sometime, however it has resurged like rust that never really goes away.

    Therefore Judas Maccabeus was able to sense the concealed animosity and evil intent towards him. 2nd Maccabees 14:30 “Notwithstanding, when Maccabeus saw that Nicanor began to be churlish unto him, and that he entreated him more roughly than he was wont, perceiving that such sour behaviour came not of good, he gathered together not a few of his men, and withdrew himself from Nicanor.” The plan Nicanor had failed and his deceit was discovered.

    1st Maccabees 7:27 “So Nicanor came to Jerusalem with a great force; and sent unto Judas and his brethren deceitfully with friendly words, saying,” Verse 28: “Let there be no battle between me and you; I will come with a few men, that I may see you in peace.” Verse 29: “He came therefore to Judas, and they saluted one another peaceably. Howbeit the enemies were prepared to take away Judas by violence.” Verse 30: “Which thing after it was known to Judas, to wit, that he came unto him with deceit, he was sore afraid of him, and would see his face no more.” Obviously no fault in policy was to be found against Judas to apprehend him, therefore he attempted to capture him by an ambush.

    Seeing that he failed to capture Judas, there was no option but to try the matter by the sword. 1st Maccabees 7:31 “Nicanor also, when he saw that his counsel was discovered, went out to fight against Judas beside Capharsalama:” Verse 32: “Where there were slain of Nicanor’s side about five thousand men, and the rest fled into the city of David.” He was defeated significantly yet determined to fulfill the kings commandment. Therefore with rage and pride, he sought for Judas among the people and their cooperation in capturing him.

    1st Maccabees 7:33 “After this went Nicanor up to mount Sion, and there came out of the sanctuary certain of the priests and certain of the elders of the people, to salute him peaceably, and to shew him the burnt sacrifice that was offered for the king.” Verse 34: “But he mocked them, and laughed at them, and abused them shamefully, and spake proudly,” Verse 35: “And sware in his wrath, saying, Unless Judas and his host be now delivered into my hands, if ever I come again in safety, I will burn up this house: and with that he went out in a great rage.” The priests met Nicanor with hospitality but he mistreated them and demanded that they surrender Judas. Then he proudly threatened to destroy the temple of the most High God with fire and to build in its place one for a false god of the Greeks.

    2nd Maccabees 14:31 “But the other, knowing that he was notably prevented by Judas’ policy, came into the great and holy temple, and commanded the priests, that were offering their usual sacrifices, to deliver him the man.” Verse 32: “And when they sware that they could not tell where the man was whom he sought,” Verse 33: “He stretched out his right hand toward the temple, and made an oath in this manner: If ye will not deliver me Judas as a prisoner, I will lay this temple of God even with the ground, and I will break down the altar, and erect a notable temple unto Bacchus.” Again the temple and people were threatened by a proud Greek. Bacchus was worshiped by the Greeks as the god of wine, reveling (partying), and orgies. See, 2nd Maccabees 6:1-9. To this very day Bacchus is revered among our people, their idolatrous celebration is named after him such as the famous Trinidadian and Jamaican carnival (reveling) of Bacchanal.

    Immediately the priests turned to the most High God to pray that they might be defended against Nicanor. 1st Maccabees 7:36 “Then the priests entered in, and stood before the altar and the temple, weeping, and saying,” Verse 37: “Thou, O Lord, didst choose this house to be called by thy name, and to be a house of prayer and petition for thy people:” Verse 38: “Be avenged of this man and his host, and let them fall by the sword: remember their blasphemies, and suffer them not to continue any longer.” Verse 39: “So Nicanor went out of Jerusalem, and pitched his tents in Bethhoron, where an host out of Syria met him.” Verse 40: “But Judas pitched in Adasa with three thousand men, and there he prayed, saying,”

    While Nicanor gathered a great army to accomplish his prideful ambition, Judas resorted to prayer and exhorting his men. By reminding them of their prior achievements, comforting his soldiers with the scriptures, and with a worthy dream to be believed. In his prayer he petitioned the most High to defend his temple by sending an angel as he did against the Assyrians when they blasphemed. Also he encouraged them to have confidence in their cause, since it was just to protect the temple and people of Israel, while the heathens came against them with falsehoods and breached oaths. Please read, 1st Maccabees 7:40-42 and 2nd Maccabees 15:6-16.

    2nd Maccabees 15:17 “Thus being well comforted by the words of Judas, which were very good, and able to stir them up to valour, and to encourage the hearts of the young men, they determined not to pitch camp, but courageously to set upon them, and manfully to try the matter by conflict, because the city and the sanctuary and the temple were in danger.” The encouraging words of Judas armed every one of them better than armaments, in so much that they were prepared to face their enemies. Also they kept in mind the danger that the city and sanctuary was presently in, as well as the protection of their nation.

    2nd Maccabees 15:18 “For the care that they took for their wives, and their children, their brethren, and folks, was in least account with them: but the greatest and principal fear was for the holy temple.” Verse 19: “Also they that were in the city took not the least care, being troubled for the conflict abroad.” Amazingly the people were less concerned about their own safety than the loss of the temple.

    Due to his past experience, Nicanor returned with a greater army in comparison to the 3000 men of Israel. 2nd Maccabees 15:20 “And now, when as all looked what should be the trial, and the enemies were already come near, and the army was set in array, and the beasts conveniently placed, and the horsemen set in wings,” Verse 21: “Maccabeus seeing the coming of the multitude, and the divers preparations of armour, and the fierceness of the beasts, stretched out his hands toward heaven, and called upon the Lord that worketh wonders, knowing that victory cometh not by arms, but even as it seemeth good to him, he giveth it to such as are worthy:” Unlike the other nations it was always understood by our fathers that victory is not in the size of the army or how well they are prepared.

    2nd Maccabees 15:22 “Therefore in his prayer he said after this manner; O Lord, thou didst send thine angel in the time of Ezekias king of Judea, and didst slay in the host of Sennacherib an hundred fourscore and five thousand:” Verse 23: “Wherefore now also, O Lord of heaven, send a good angel before us for a fear and dread unto them;” Verse 24: “And through the might of thine arm let those be stricken with terror, that come against thy holy people to blaspheme. And he ended thus.” The men of Israel were taught by this prayer to rely on the most High God for their victory, and to not fear the well organized army of Nicanor. Reminding them of when the city was in danger during the Assyrian siege in the days of their forefathers. They were defeated without the involvement of men, by an angel that killed 185,000 in one night.

    2nd Maccabees 15:25 “Then Nicanor and they that were with him came forward with trumpets and songs.” Verse 26: “But Judas and his company encountered the enemies with invocation and prayer.” Two contrasting emotions were in the battlefield which defined the methods of combat. The heathens with their wicked pride made rage leader of their battle. While Judas and his men, fought for virtue, the lives of their people, and sanctity of the holy place; they faced their enemies with faith that victory comes from the Almighty.

    2nd Maccabees 15:27 “So that fighting with their hands, and praying unto God with their hearts, they slew no less than thirty and five thousand men: for through the appearance of God they were greatly cheered.” The men of Israel were taught to war by their prayer in a way that it transcends concentration and the skill is enhanced. During the battle the Heavenly Father answered their prayers and an angel appeared who fought alongside with them. They killed an amount of 35,000 which is ten times greater than them, could you imagine the great joy they had to receive help from heaven.

    1st Maccabees 7:43 “So the thirteenth day of the month Adar the hosts joined battle: but Nicanor’s host was discomfited, and he himself was first slain in the battle.” Verse 44: “Now when Nicanor’s host saw that he was slain, they cast away their weapons, and fled.” On the other side of the battlefield, the enemies of Israel were perplexed, Nicanor being among the first to die in his pride. Then his army deserted the battle, throwing their weapons away knowing their was no hope in fighting a smaller opponent that was helped from heaven.

    1st Maccabees 7:45 “Then they pursued after them a day’s journey, from Adasa unto Gazera, sounding an alarm after them with their trumpets.” Verse 46: “Whereupon they came forth out of all the towns of Judea round about, and closed them in; so that they, turning back upon them that pursued them, were all slain with the sword, and not one of them was left.” As the people of Israel witnessed the decisive battle from within their cities, when the enemies fled, they responded to the call to participate. Closing their enemies in from all sides, gave them no escape route thus none were spared. 1st Maccabees 7:47 “Afterwards they took the spoils, and the prey, and smote off Nicanors head, and his right hand, which he stretched out so proudly, and brought them away, and hanged them up toward Jerusalem.” Further details expressed how Nicanor’s body was used to teach all not to blaspheme against God.

    2nd Maccabees 15:28 “Now when the battle was done, returning again with joy, they knew that Nicanor lay dead in his harness.” Verse 29: “Then they made a great shout and a noise, praising the Almighty in their own [Hebrew] language.” Verse 30: “And Judas, who was ever the chief defender of the citizens both in body and mind, and who continued his love toward his countrymen all his life, commanded to strike off Nicanor’s head, and his hand with his shoulder, and bring them to Jerusalem.” Verse 31: “So when he was there, and called them of his nation together, and set the priests before the altar, he sent for them that were of the tower,” Verse 32: “And shewed them vile Nicanor’s head, and the hand of that blasphemer, which with proud brags he had stretched out against the holy temple of the Almighty.” Verse 33: “And when he had cut out the tongue of that ungodly Nicanor, he commanded that they should give it by pieces unto the fowls, and hang up the reward of his madness before the temple.” Verse 34: “So every man praised toward the heaven the glorious Lord, saying, Blessed be he that hath kept his own place undefiled.” Verse 35: “He hanged also Nicanor’s head upon the tower, an evident and manifest sign unto all of the help of the Lord.”

    1st Maccabees 7:48 “For this cause the people rejoiced greatly, and they kept that day a day of great gladness.” The people witnessed a miraculous event, as it was written in prophecy they were holpen with a little help. See, Daniel 11:34. The heavenly Father once again defended his holy temple and removed an enemy that had deadly hatred towards our nation.

    2nd Maccabees 15:36 “And they ordained all with a common decree in no case to let that day pass without solemnity, but to celebrate the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which in the Syrian tongue is called Adar, the day before Mardocheus’ day.” This great joy among them was to continue yearly, by keeping this day with solemnity meaning as a holy day. Therefore this feast is celebrated by the nation of Israel in the thirteenth day of the twelfth month as a Sabbath. Which is a day before Mardocheus’ Purim, to be remembered and kept consecutively.

    As in all the solemn sabbaths, we are not to do any work, it is a day of rest. No business of any kind is to be conducted, including buying or selling. See, Nehemiah 10:31. The only way it differs from the weekly Sabbath is that we are allowed to cook. Cooking on the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week is not allowed. See, Exodus 35:2-3. This means that if Destruction of Nicanor coincides with the weekly Sabbath you must prepare the meal before the Sabbath; since you will not be able to cook. Please refer to the Sabbath report for more information.

    2nd Maccabees 15:37 “Thus went it with Nicanor: and from that time forth the Hebrews had the city in their power. And here will I make an end.” Shalam (Peace)!

  12. Purim

    It is the first feast mentioned outside of Leviticus chapter 23; the place where all the feasts days taught by Moses are documented. Some unlearned and unfaithful Israelites disregard the feasts because of this, viewing it as an ordinance of man and not of God. However this feast is an important part of our history that reflects the fulfillment of prophecy. The entire history of Purim is found in the book of Esther, which occurred during the Persian captivity. Yet the prophecies came before this time period or book; they were written by Moses and several other prophets. Apocrypha Esther 10:4 “Then Mardocheus [Mordecai] said, God hath done these things.”

    For instance, the prophets of old warned Israel of their demise by the Babylonians, because of their disobedience. Please read, Jeremiah 25:1-13. Likewise various prophecies also predicted the fall of the Babylonians and the rise of the Medes and Persian Empire. Demonstrating the power of the most High, that revealed centuries before to the prophets the kingdoms to come. Daniel 4:17 “This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.”

    By this time the children of Israel were scattered throughout the Persian Empire. Esther 1:1 “Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:)” Verse 2: “That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,” There was an Israelite that served in the king’s court; his name was Mordecai.

    Esther 2:5 “Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;” Verse 6: “Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity [slavery] which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.” Mordecai raised Esther, the woman whom the book is named after. Esther 2:7 “And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.” Her real name was Hadassah, which meant myrtle in Hebrew; a virgin that was taken against her will by king Ahasuerus’ commandment. What led to this was the divorce of Queen Vashti, because she defied the king during celebrations. See, Esther 1:9-22.

    Esther 2:1 “After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.” Verse 2: “Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair [beautiful] young virgins sought for the king:” Verse 3: “And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women unto the custody of Hege the king’s chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:” Verse 4: “And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.”

    Mordecai renamed Hadassah to conceal her identity, after she was taken by the decree of the king. Esther 2:10 “Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew it.” In contrast to Vashti that was praised only for her beauty; the scriptures teach the Israelite woman to have a beautiful and graceful spirit. See, 1st Peter 3:3-6 and Apocrypha Ecclesiasticus 36:22-23. Being raised according to the scriptures naturally gave Hadassah the qualities that are difficult to find, inward beauty. Esther 2:17 “And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.” Thus Hadassah became Queen Esther unwillingly.

    In the process of time, Mordecai had gained the favor of king Ahasuerus by uncovering a plan of treason. Esther 2:21 “In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.” Verse 22: “And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai's name.” Verse 23: “And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.”

    Although the two chamberlains were killed, the mastermind behind the plot was yet to be revealed. Apocrypha Esther 12:6 “Howbeit Aman [Haman] the son of Amadathus the Agagite, who was in great honour with the king, sought to molest Mardocheus and his people because of the two eunuchs of the king.” The king being unaware of Haman’s true intentions, promoted him above all his princes to the position of chief counselor. Esther 3:1 “After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.” Inadvertently Mordecai ruined the secret plan of Haman, setting in motion the events that would define Purim.

    Exodus 17:15 “And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi:” Verse 16: “For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” The people of Amalek are descendants of Esau the father of all Edomites. Please read, Genesis 36:9-12. Haman being an Agagite meant that he was of the royal lineage of Agag, king of Amalek. Many generations before an ancestor of Mordecai did not take heed to the words of the most High, to destroy Amalek, and kept Agag the king alive. 1st Samuel 15:8 “And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive,…” The ancestor was the first king of Israel, Saul the son of Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin. Tracing the lineage of Haman back to the Amalekites unveiled one of the prophecies; a war the LORD (YHWH) will have with Amalek.

    His lineage also showed us that he was not of Persian blood; helping us discover who the Edomites are. Apocrypha Esther 16:10 “For Aman, a Macedonian, the son of Amadatha, being indeed a stranger from the Persian blood, and far distant from our goodness, and as a stranger received of us,” In this scripture Haman is called a Macedonian instead of an Agagite; a Macedonian is a Greek. 1st Maccabees 1:1 “And it happened, after that Alexander [the Great] son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came out of the land of Chettiim, had smitten Darius king of the Persians and Medes, that he reigned in his stead, the first over Greece,” By the genealogy and historical records we could easily determine that the infamous Greeks and Romans were in fact Edomites. Hence the biblical name of the so called white race (Caucasians) is Edom.

    After Haman was promoted, all the king’s servants bowed to him but Mordecai did not, nor gave him reverence. See, Esther 3:2-4. The servants incited Haman’s anger by exposing Mordecai. Esther 3:5 “And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.” Verse 6: “And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.” Haman had the power to have Mordecai punished, however prior to this incident he was already determined to molest the people of Mordecai.

    The intentions of Mordecai was not to anger Haman or disrespect him; within his conscience he was resolved to only worship the Heavenly Father. Apocrypha Esther 13:12 “Thou knowest all things, and thou knowest, Lord, that it was neither in contempt nor pride, nor for any desire of glory, that I did not bow down to proud Aman.” Verse 13: “For I could have been content with good will for the salvation of Israel to kiss the soles of his feet.” Verse 14: “But I did this, that I might not prefer the glory of man above the glory of God: neither will I worship any but thee, O God, neither will I do it in pride.”

    By the time he said this prayer it was too late. Esther 3:7 “In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar.” In his attempt to find the perfect day to commit genocide, the date was decided by casting lots (chance, sometimes by using dice) through idolatry and witchcraft. When the lot fell upon the twelfth month, Haman convinced the king Ahasuerus to decree the destruction of the Jews. These are his words, Esther 3:8 “And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them.” Verse 9: “If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.”

    The king trusting Haman agreed without inquiring of what race were the people that will be destroyed. Moreover the benefit of receiving so much silver enticed the king. Esther 3:13 “And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.” Immediately Mordecai went to make Esther aware of what happened and to instruct her to entreat the king for her people. However a law of the Persians forbade any, including the queen by penalty of death, to come unto the king without being called. Therefore she requested that Mordecai gather all the Jews in Shushan to fast and pray for her. Please read, Esther chapter 4.

    After three days of fasting, Esther came to the king’s court. Her courageous act was met with mercy from the Heavenly Father, instead of being punished with death, the king asked what was her request. She asked for the king and Haman to come to a banquet that she prepared for them. During the banquet, the king asked her what she desired of him, and she requested his presence again, confirming that she would reveal her desire then. In the following banquet queen Esther sought of the king favor for her and her people. Esther 7:3 “Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request:” Verse 4: “For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king’s damage.”

    Esther revealed to the king how Haman wants to destroy the Jews without the king being informed of the whole matter. Esther 7:5 “Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?” Verse 6: “And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman...” At this point the king learns of Esther’s nationality; showing us that by looks alone or stereotypes that was not possible. There are many dark skinned nations subject to the king, including the Persians which she could have been confused for. Then the king was told that Haman made gallows to hang Mordecai; the person that once saved his life. Esther 7:9 “And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon.” Verse 10: “So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified.”

    Finally the king understands fully Haman’s plot. Apocrypha Esther 16:12 “But he, not bearing his great dignity, went about to deprive us of our kingdom and life:” Verse 13: “Having by manifold and cunning deceits sought of us the destruction, as well of Mardocheus, who saved our life, and continually procured our good, as also of blameless Esther, partaker of our kingdom, with their whole nation.” Verse 14: “For by these means he thought, finding us destitute of friends to have translated the kingdom of the Persians to the Macedonians.” Verse 15: “But we find that the Jews, whom this wicked wretch hath delivered to utter destruction, are no evildoers, but live by most just laws:” The full intentions of Haman was to takeover and convert the Persian Empire to Greek. Haman’s letters that were written in the king’s name were still in force.

    After Esther pleaded for her kinsmen, the king gave Mordecai power to write in his name. In the copy of the writing, Mordecai commanded the Jews to be ready against that day and avenge themselves on their enemies. Esther 9:1 “Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;)” Verse 2: “The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people.”

    Then went out the Israelites by the decree of the king, and slaughtered all those that sought to destroy them. In Shushan the king granted the Jews two days to kill all their enemies. Esther 9:15 “For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey [spoils] they laid not their hand.” Verse 16: “But the other Jews that were in the king’s provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not their hands on the prey,”

    Unlike king Saul from the tribe of Benjamin who kept alive Agag (the king of the Amalekites) and took the spoils, this generation fulfilled prophecy. Genesis 49:27 “Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.” Identical to the prophecy, Mordecai and Esther were from the tribe of Benjamin and they instructed the people to voraciously devour their enemies like a ravenous wolf without worrying about the spoils. Therefore the people did not plunder the spoils during the daytime, they focused on hunting the prey (their enemies) like a wolf. At night the people celebrated; divided the riches (spoil) from the war and sent gifts to each other.

    They feasted for two days with great gladness, praising the most High for keeping his promise to Abraham and for saving them. Esther 9:17 “On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.” Verse 18: “But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof; and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.” Verse 19: “Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another.” Verse 20: “And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,” Verse 21: “To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly,” This celebration is kept on the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the twelfth month which is called Adar (which falls between February and March).

    To keep it holy we must do as our forefathers that rested, meaning these are Sabbath days. On these days we are not do any kind of work, it is a day off from our jobs and school work. No business could be conducted as in buying or selling. See, Nehemiah 10:31. The only way it differs from the weekly Sabbath is that we are allowed to cook. Cooking on the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week is not allowed. See, Exodus 35:2-3. This means that if Purim coincides with the weekly Sabbath you must prepare the meal before the Sabbath; since you will not be able to cook. Please refer to the Sabbath report for more information.

    This significant feast is declared in other prophecies in relation to Christ. Numbers 24:7 “He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.” Christ the king of Israel will be exalted above Agag (the ancestor of Haman) by giving salvation to his people. This prophecy was many generations before Agag was born. Numbers 24:18 “And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.” Verse 19: “Out of Jacob shall come he [Christ] that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.” Verse 20: “And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever.”

    Esther 9:26 “Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur….” The name Purim means lots, because of Haman’s actions. Esther 9:24 “Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;” However the word Purim is plural, meaning that God caused it to be two lots. Apocrypha Esther 10:9And my nation is this Israel, which cried to God, and were saved: for the Lord hath saved his people, and the Lord hath delivered us from all those evils, and God hath wrought signs and great wonders, which have not been done among the Gentiles.” Verse 10: “Therefore hath he made two lots, one for the people of God, and another for all the Gentiles.” Verse 11: “And these two lots came at the hour, and time, and day of judgment, before God among all nations.” Verse 12: “So God remembered his people, and justified his inheritance.”

    In this manner will the Heavenly Father remember his people and justify them in the last days. Their king will come with a shout and defend them against their enemies and his kingdom shall be exalted. Apocrypha Esther 16:22 “Ye shall therefore among your solemn feasts keep it an high day with all feasting:” This concludes the feast days (holidays) that are according to the Holy Bible. Today we should keep these days like our forefathers instructed us, resting with gladness of heart and of sending portions one to another. Shalam (Peace)!