Yahweh has embedded multiple layers of symbolism in His feasts. The symbolism goes deeper than we can cover in this book, but let us look at some interesting relationships between the spring and fall feast seasons.
Passover is a half-day event held in the home, followed by seven days of unleavened bread. All native Israelites must eat unleavened bread. In contrast, Sukkot is a seven-day feast, followed by a half-day public meeting. All native Israelites must dwell in sukkot.
The Passover and Unleavened Bread symbolize how the children of Israel left Egypt suddenly, and then their children were refined forty years in the wilderness. In contrast, Sukkot represents how we will suffer close to forty years of refinement in between the rise of the New World Order and the Tribulation, and then we will return to the land of Israel after Armageddon.
Parallels between First and Seventh Months
There are other parallels between the first and seventh months.
It is also interesting to note that Yahweh does not give all the commands regarding the feasts in one place. He also does not give the commands in the same way. In Leviticus and Numbers, Yahweh simply tells us what month and day to hold the feasts. However, in Exodus and Deuteronomy, the feast dates are not given with respect to their numerical or ordinal dates, but with respect to the agricultural season, and the harvests. Since these are also the sections of the Torah that deal with tithing, we can surmise that Yahweh mentioned the feasts and the tithes together in this way because He wants the feasts held in relation to the agricultural harvest seasons, so that His people could support His priests with their increase. This connection is clearly seen in passages such as Exodus 23:14-19.
Shemote (Exodus) 23:14-19
14 “Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year:
15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of the Aviv, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty);
16 and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.
17 “Three times in the year all your males shall appear before Yahweh Elohim.
18 “You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread; nor shall the fat of My sacrifice remain until morning.
19 The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of Yahweh your Elohim. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
This connection is also clearly seen in Exodus 34:18-26, because the dates and the harvests are mentioned together in the same passage.
Shemote (Exodus) 34:18-26
18 “The Feast of Unleavened Bread you shall keep. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, in the appointed time of the month of the Aviv; for in the month of the Aviv you came out from Egypt.
19 “All that open the womb are Mine, and every male firstborn among your livestock, whether ox or sheep.
20 But the firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb. And if you will not redeem him, then you shall break his neck. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed.
21 “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.
22 “And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end.
23 “Three times in the year all your men shall appear before the Adon, Yahweh Elohim of Israel.
24 For I will cast out the nations before you and enlarge your borders; neither will any man covet your land when you go up to appear before Yahweh your Elohim three times in the year.
25 “You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leaven, nor shall the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover be left until morning.
26 “The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring to the house of Yahweh your Elohim. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
Deuteronomy 16:1-15 follows this same pattern.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:1-15
1 “Observe the month of the Aviv, and keep the Passover to Yahweh your Elohim, for in the month of the Aviv Yahweh your Elohim brought you out of Egypt by night.
2 Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover to Yahweh your Elohim, from the flock and the herd, in the place where Yahweh chooses to put His name.
3 You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life.
4 And no leaven shall be seen among you in all your territory for seven days, nor shall any of the meat which you sacrifice the first day at twilight remain overnight until morning.
5 “You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates which Yahweh your Elohim gives you;
6 but at the place where Yahweh your Elohim chooses to make His name abide, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at twilight, at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt.
7 And you shall roast and eat it in the place which Yahweh your Elohim chooses, and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents.
8 Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a sacred assembly to Yahweh your Elohim. You shall do no work on it.
9 “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain.
10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to Yahweh your Elohim with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as Yahweh your Elohim blesses you.
11 You shall rejoice before Yahweh your Elohim, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your gates, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are among you, at the place where Yahweh your Elohim chooses to make His name abide.
12 And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.
13 “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress.
14 And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates.
15 Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to Yahweh your Elohim in the place which Yahweh chooses, because Yahweh your Elohim will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.
And while we don’t have time to explore the topic here, there are also some very interesting relationships with rain, which are not what we might expect.
Earlier in this book we saw that the year begins in the spring, in the month in which the aviv barley is first seen.
Shemote (Exodus) 12:2
2 “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.”
We might expect that if the year begins in the spring, then the earlier rains would come in the spring (with the beginning of the year). However, Yoel (Joel) 2:23 tells us that it is the latter rains which come in the first month.
Yoel (Joel) 2:23
23 “Be glad then, you children of Tzion, And rejoice in Yahweh your Elohim; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you — The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month.”
Why do the latter rains fall in the first month? First we need to realize that the land of Israel is semi-tropical, and essentially has only two seasons: a hot dry summer, and a wet winter. In between these two extremes lie two short periods of transition, which are when the feasts take place. The earlier rains begin after summer ends, around the fall feast season. This means that the latter rains fall closer to the first month, when the year begins.
But what is Joel speaking of here? Is rain more than just rain? In Joel 2:23, the word for the early rain is מוֹרֶה (moreh), which is also the word for a teacher, or a teaching (i.e., instruction).
OT: 4175 mowreh (mo-reh’); from OT: 3384; an archer; also teacher or teaching; also the early rain [see OT: 3138].
The word for the latter rains is malqosh (מַלְקוֹשׁ), which translates figuratively as eloquence.
OT: 4456 malqowsh (mal-koshe’); from OT: 3953; the spring rain (compare OT: 3954); figuratively, eloquence.
Figuratively speaking, then, this says Yahweh will give His early-rain teachings after the fall feasts, and His eloquence around the time of the spring feasts (which is when Yeshua our Passover was sacrificed).