Most people realize that the number 7 is a very popular number. It is God’s special number…the number of completion and perfection. The first time it is mentioned is in Genesis 2: 1-3:
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.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. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”
It is not only the number of completion, but of rest. The seventh day is the reward one gets after work is successfully completed. The ancient Hebrews called it the Sabbath…a holy day of rest, where no work is to be allowed. It was a very serious matter to disobey this commandment from God.
“Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is theSabbathof rest, holy to theLord: whosoever doeth any work in theSabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Therefore the children of Israel shall keep theSabbath, to observe theSabbaththroughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant” (Genesis 31:15-16).
Even before the lunar and solar calendars were formulated, the seven day calendar was in effect.Originally it didn’t have names for the days of the week, only numbers…one through seven…seven being the last day of the week.
In our present time, the days of the week are called Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. God blessed and sanctified the seventh day. Mankind was commanded to follow God’s example and rest on the seventh and last day of the week.
As mankind progressed and learned time from the signs of the heavens (sun, moon, stars) and the different seasons (spring, summer, autumn, winter), different calendars (solar and lunar) became known. There have been many different calendars throughout history and many of them have been revised, but one thing has never changed…the seven day calendar.
From creation to the end of the Millennium, the seven day calendar marches on….Sunday through Saturday…Sunday through Saturday, etc. Unlike other calendars, it never needs to be corrected or changed.
Many articles have been written regarding the number 7 and the countless times it is used in the Bible.  The number 7 is used more often than any other number by far. It is not within the scope of this article to mention all of them, but is worthy of a Bible study topic.
The seven feasts of Israel were appointed by God and given to Moses during the time of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt (about 1446 B.C.). They were first observed during the 40 years of the Jews wandering in the desert, before they entered the promised land (1406 B.C.).
The seven feasts of Israel are: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles. Most Bible scholars believe these feasts have a duel fulfillment.
One was fulfilled by Israel in the past and the other has and will be fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus fulfilled the first four feasts during his First Coming and will fulfill the last three at His Second Coming.
His is the ultimate fulfillment…that is why they are called the feasts of the Lord. We will briefly examine them again.
Passover took place when the last and most terrible of the ten plagues against Egypt occurred. God sent a plague (probably an angel of death) to kill every firstborn human (and cattle) in Egypt. The firstborn children and cattle of Israel were not targeted as long as the Jewish people applied the blood of a lamb without blemish to the doorposts of their houses.
When the angel saw the blood, he passed over that home to continue his execution of the firstborn of the Egyptians. This last plague resulted in the release and freedom of Moses’ people.
Passover was ultimately fulfilled by Jesus when He died on the cross for the sins of mankind. The blood of the lamb foreshadowed the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God. When we accept His sacrifice, we are no longer judged and sentenced to eternal death because of our sins. Passover is always observed on Nisan 14 of the Jewish calendar.
The day after Passover, God brought the Jews out of Egypt on the exact day when God made His covenant with Abraham 430 years earlier.
And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt” Exodus 12:41.
During the night of Passover, the Jews prepared to leave Egypt in great haste. The food they carried with them was unleavened bread—matzo, since they didn’t have time for leavened bread to rise. The unleavened bread symbolized the purging out of sins of pagan Egypt. The feast of unleavened bread lasts for seven days, from Nisan 15 to 21.
Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life, was buried in a tomb on the feast of unleavened bread. He purged out our sins and ultimately fulfilled the second feast known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
The third feast is celebrated on the seventeenth day of Nisan and is known as the Feast of Firstfruits. This was the time for the harvesting of the early crops (mostly barley) of spring. Three days after Passover, the Israelites were being pursued by Pharaoh’s mighty army and ahead of them was the impassable Red Sea.
The people were naturally frightened but Moses told them, “Fear you not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14: 13-14).
Of course you know the rest of the story…God parted the Red Sea and the Israelites crossed over on dry land as a resurrected people, to become the “firstfruits” of a new nation. Also, after wandering in the desert for 40 years, the new nation of Israel finally entered the “promised land” of Canaan and celebrated the Passover supper on the fourteenth of Nisan.
On the seventeenth of Nisan the supernatural food, manna, that God had provided for the people ceased and they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
Jesus was resurrected on the third day after Passover, on the seventeenth day of Nisan.
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20).
Jesus also resurrected others from death during this time.
“The graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” (Matthew 27: 52-53).
Jesus was the ultimate fulfillment of the Feast of Firstfruits.
The fourth feast is celebrated 50 days after Firstfruits. The name Pentecost comes from penta meaning 50. Pentecost (Feast of Weeks) or Shavuot to the Jews, celebrated the end of the grain harvest, occurring in the summer.
“And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete. Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord” (Leviticus 23:15-16).
Very important events took place on this date of Sivan 6:
1) The giving of the ten commandments from God to Israel on Mount Sinai. This event regarding Israel began the Dispensation of Law for the Jewish people.
2) The giving of the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ disciples. Jesus fulfilled his prophecy to his disciples and God baptized them with his Holy Spirit.
“But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto be both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
This event began the Dispensation of Grace and the Church was born. It consisted of Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus as the son of God and the savior of mankind.
These first four Feasts of the Lord were major historical events for the nation of Israel but the ultimate fulfillment was in the life and First Coming of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Most Bible scholars believe that Jesus will fulfill the last three feasts by His Second Coming in the near future.
The Feast of Trumpets, Rosh Hashanah, occurs on the first day of Tishri, in the fall; when the new moon of autumn first became visible. In ancient times, Tishri 1 was the first day of the New Year. Later, during the Exodus times, God instructed Moses to change the time of the New Year from Tishri 1 to Nisan 1, so the year would start in the spring and not the fall.
As soon as the new moon of Tishri arrived and was observed by two or more witnesses, the watchers would trumpet the signal from hill to hill. Not much is known about this feast, however some Bible scholars believe the first fulfillment occurred when Joshua led the people of Israel against Jericho. Here is the instructions God gave to Joshua regarding Jericho:
“And you shall compass the city, all you men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shall you do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day you shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, the people shall ascent up every man straight before him” (Joshua 6:3-5).
This was a great victory for the newly formed nation of Israel and began the conquest of Canaan, the promised land.
Many scholars believe the Second Coming of Jesus to the battle of Armageddon will happen on a future Feast of Trumpets, Tishri 1. Jesus will not appear as a gentle Lamb in a mortal body, but as the Lion of Judea in all of his glory. You can almost imagine the trumpets signaling the King of kings arrival and His ensuing great victory against evil and his perfect reign on earth.
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar; when all Israel mourns for their sins. On the tenth day of the seventh month of Tishri, in the wilderness, the high priest, Aaron sacrificed for the sins of his people. This was the first time God commanded the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement. This day is mentioned during the Exodus in Leviticus 16:1-28.
The Day of Atonement was to be observed every year. Every seventh year Israel was to allow a Sabbath of rest for the land, whereas there was to be no planting of crops. This was so the land could be rejuvenated and yield greater crops. Every fiftieth year, a jubilee was proclaimed on the Day of Atonement. Here is how it is described:
“And you shall number seven Sabbaths of years unto you, seven times seven years: and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto you forty and nine years. Then shall you cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall you make the trumpet sound throughout all you land.
And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and you shall return every man unto his possession, and you shall return every man unto his family.
A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you; you shall not sow, neither reap that which growth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in of thy vine undressed. For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: you shall eat the increase thereof out of the field” (Leviticus 25:8-12).
The ultimate fulfillment of Yom Kippur will occur at the Second Coming when the remnant of believers in Israel will mourn for their Messiah, whom they rejected.
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon” (Zechariah 13:1).
The Feast of Tabernacles, Sukkot, is the last of the seven Feasts of the Lord and the most joyous. It occurs on the fifteenth day of Tishri and lasts for seven days. The purpose of this feast is recorded in Leviticus 23:33-34:
“And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, 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. You shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall swell in booths: 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.”
During this feast of seven days, the people were to live in booths made of sticks or branches in remembrance of when their ancestors lived in the wilderness for 40 years. This is one of three feasts that all Jewish men were required to attend in Jerusalem every year. The other two are the Feast of Unleavened Bread (combined with Passover), and Pentecost.
The Feast of Tabernacles will ultimately be fulfilled by the Lord Jesus when He establishes His millennial kingdom of peace on the earth.
“And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one. 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” ( Zechariah 14:9, 16).
There is one more multiple of seven that ought to be mentioned….490 years (7 X 7 X 10) and is mentioned in the book of Daniel. It is often referred to as the prophecy of 70 weeks or seventy 7’s, and occurred in about 539 B.C.
“Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:24-27).
These verses are perhaps some of the most discussed prophetic passages in the Bible. Some Bible scholars believe that verses 24 and 25 are referring to the time period starting on March 8, 444 B.C. (Julian calendar time), when Artaxeres Longimanus of Persia issued the decree for the Jews to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem; and ending on March 29, 33 A.D., when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and was rejected by his people.
The number of days from March 8, 444 B.C. to March 29, 33 A.D.is exactly 173,880 days, or 24,840 weeks (from a Sunday to a Sunday)…the length of 483 propheticyears (360 days per year).
There is only one other time in the Bible that refers to “weeks” as years. It is mentioned in Genesis 29: 27:
“Fulfill her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which you shall serve with me yet seven other years”
This is in regard to Jacob marrying the daughters of Laban of Haran in northern Mesopotamia. This occurred in approximately 1930 B.C. The 360 day calendar was more than likely used in this time and I believe that Daniel is using this calendar for his prophecy.
The remaining seven years of Daniel 29: 7 will be fulfilled by the Tribulation spoken of in Revelation and other books of the Bible. It will last for 2520 days, and will be completed when Jesus returns to the earth on a future Feast of Trumpets.
Even so, come Lord Jesus.