This chapter continues the holy calendar of public sacrifices, but now we move into the Holy 7th month of the year. We have three sacred feasts in the 1st month of the year, three sacred feasts in the 7th month of the year, and 1 in between the 1st and 7th month.
Read Numbers 29
And in verse 1 of chapter 29 the Lord instructs that the 1st day of the seventh month is to be a special occasion; one where the horn is sounded. In Hebrew, it says it is a day of Yom Teruah (a day of blowing horns). Therefore it has come to be known as the Feast of Trumpets.
Part of the key to understanding what this momentous occasion signifies is embedded in the significance of the number “7”.
Think about how a week operates: the 1st day of the week naturally begins each and every week and is nothing special (no special observances assigned to this day), but the 7th day is very special because it’s the Sabbath day, a particularly holy day according to the Lord.
Well, the 7th month is like the Sabbath month. Not that the 7th month is an entire month of rest, but it IS the 7th cycle of the moon since the beginning of the religious calendar year; it is the 7th month since the beginning of months and as such is a particularly holy month.
So it is right along with God’s established pattern that the 7th of anything holds special significance.
This first day of the 7th month is also called Rosh Hashanah meaning the head of the year; it’s Jewish New Year. But since it’s also the 1st day of a new month (or new moon), it also holds additional significance.
The most ancient Babylonian calendars indicate that the 7th month of the year is the 1st month of the agricultural year, and even more, the 50-year Jubilee year that God has ordained is to commence on Rosh Hashanah.
Because this is an especially holy day, it has its dedicated series of sacrifices, which are added to the ordinary New Moon sacrifices.
Ten days later, on the 10th day of the 7th month, verse 7, speaks of yet another sacred occasion, another God-ordained Biblical Feast. This one is perhaps the soberest and yet still a joyous feast of the seven feasts: Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
And this is the one day per year that the High Priest was permitted by Yehoveh (God) to enter the Holy of Holies in the Sanctuary. And, the purpose of that entry was to bring blood to sprinkle on the Mercy Seat, the lid of the Ark of the Covenant, and on other areas of the Temple to cleanse it and purify it from the defilement of God’s dwelling place has suffered from a year’s worth of human contact.
The celebration is confined to the Temple itself and performed ONLY by the High Priest. The ordinary Hebrew does NOT go to the Temple on this day.
For several days leading up to Yom Kippur much fasting, praying and contemplating their sins before Yehoveh has gone on; but upon Yom Kippur, atonement is attained, the people are forgiven, and they can move forward into the new year without their sins hanging over their heads.
And this is a time of self-denial; no food, no drink, no gain from working, not even any sexual activity. The ten days that connect the 1st day of the 7th month, Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year, and the 10th day of the 7th month, Yom Kippur, are called the High Holy Days.
And still, with both of these profoundly moving and important feast days in the 7th month, there is yet another feast coming quickly: the granddaddy of all feasts.
It is this feast spoken of beginning in verse 12: the Feast of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles or the Feast of Booths. And this is the 3rd and last of the pilgrimage Feasts whereby a male, of the age of accountability, must go to the Temple to celebrate and sacrifice.
This agriculturally based feast marked the end of the agricultural year when the final bits of the field harvest gathered before waiting for planting and then rain to start the cycle all over again.
The amount and kind of sacrifices required for this feast tell us just how important it is: five times as many bulls and two times as many lambs and rams are offered for sacrifice during this eight days of Sukkot than in the days of the Feast of Matza.
On the surface, this festival is about giving thanks to the Lord for sustaining them for the previous year, but underneath it, all this is about the final ingathering not of grain, but of all those who have given their hearts to Yeshua and their trust to God Almighty.
The Pilgrims who came to America recognized this and modeled our Thanksgiving holiday after it. Yes our Thanksgiving is a religious holiday through and through, but one would never know it anymore, would we?
Although we say that Sukkot is an eight-day festival technically it’s only seven; it is seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles immediately followed by an extra Sabbath Day, and it is also a day of congregating and fellowship in a religious ceremony.
This Feast has a unique schedule of ritual sacrifice: it begins on the first day by offering 13 bulls (the most expensive of all the animals) and then over a period of 7 days the sacrifice is reduced by one bull each day.
So on the 1st day of Sukkot 13 bulls are sacrificed, on the 2nd day, 12 bulls are sacrificed and by the 7th day of Sukkot, 7 bulls are sacrificed. All the quantities of other sacrificial animals, grains, and wine remain static throughout.
Why 13 bulls? Usually, when we have sacrifices on behalf of all Israel, the number is 12. It is my opinion that the 13 signify the 12 tribes of Israel PLUS the tribe of Levi, the priestly tribe.
Remember the tribe of Levi was separated away from Israel by the Lord for special service to Him and was NOT to be counted as among Israel. But here we have a reuniting of Levi with Israel, something that is probably going to occur in the Millennial Kingdom.
And, of course, when you add up the number of bulls sacrificed over the entire seven day period, it comes to 70: seven times ten. There’s that number 7 again.
The Rabbis say that the 70 represent all the nations of the world. Isn’t that fascinating? The Rabbinical Tradition says the grandest of all the feasts; the final of all the feasts has a significant element of it that involves the world in general and not just Hebrews.
From a prophetic standpoint, the Feast of Tabernacles represents that time of final ingathering of Believers at the end of days. It is that time when the Lord gathers all who are His and destroys the remainder, and it is the entry into the 1000-year reign of Messiah that we typically call the Millennial Kingdom.
Introducing The Three Sacred Biblical Feasts Of The LordUnderstanding the Lord’s ordained sacrifices and His ordained biblical feasts, and all that has happened and is about to occur soon is going to make a lot more sense to us.