The Meaning of The Eighth Day Feast-Pt 5 Shavuot, Trumpets, Jubilee

Joseph F. Dumond

Isa 6:9-12 And He said, Go, and tell this people, You hear indeed, but do not understand; and seeing you see, but do not know. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn back, and be healed. Then I said, Lord, how long? And He answered, Until the cities are wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land laid waste, a desolation, and until Jehovah has moved men far away, and the desolation in the midst of the land is great.

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Published: Dec 12, 2014

News Letter 5850-037
12th day of the 9th month 5850 years after the creation of Adam
The 9th Month in the Fifth year of the Third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes, Famines and Pestilence


December 6, 2014,


Shabbat Shalom to my fellow Students of the Most High,


Since I first began to teach on this subject of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years back in 2005, I have known and understood that the 3rd Sabbatical cycle consisted of the curse of pestilence. In 2009, just one year prior to the beginning of this 3rd Sabbatical Cycle, we had a pandemic of swine flu.

If you recall airports in Mexico were shutting down. Flights from certain countries were being quarantined once they landed. This was followed by the mass culling of birds the world over, which were killed for carrying the disease now known as Bird flu in its different mutations. In 2014 we have had Ebola and it has jumped across the oceans to infect some in the western countries. It still is not contained in Africa where they have poor medical facilities and lack the financial ability to deal with such an outbreak. Now in the last few weeks another plague has erupted in Africa and it too is growing. The Bubonic Plague has broken out in Madagascar.

An outbreak of bubonic plague in Madagascar has now claimed almost 50 victims and is spreading to the island’s capital, officials warned today.

There have been 138 suspected cases of the disease – similar to the Black Death in medieval Europe – since the start of the year, with the death toll of 47 expected to rise in the coming months.

Bubonic Plague – The Black Death or bubonic plague — officially known as Yersina pestis — killed a third of Europe’s population in the 14th century, and it still exists in some parts of the world today. It has a long history as a bioweapon: accounts of the Mongol siege of the Crimean city of Caffa in 1347 say the invaders catapulted the corpses of infected people over the walls. And it isn’t just a medieval phenomenon; the last major outbreak in the United States was in 1900 in San Francisco and involved 121 people of which 113 died; cases have appeared sporadically since. The plague is transmitted by fleas, which incubate the bacterium in their gullets. The multiplying Yersina block blood from getting to the fleas’ stomachs, and the starving fleas start to feed more aggressively and try to clear the blockage by regurgitating the bacteria. That transmits the disease to hosts, including humans. Symptoms appear in two to six days. The infection causes the lymph nodes to swell (the “buboes”) but sometimes the bacteria invades the bloodstream directly and causes flu-like symptoms, without the swollen lymph nodes. In either case, mortality rates can be 40 to 60 percent if untreated. Infection of the lungs is the most serious form. The patient will cough up bloody sputum and droplets that help spread the disease person-to-person, and unless treated quickly mortality can approach 100 percent. The Black Death is treatable with antibiotics such as streptomycin now, but a resistant strain could be a serious public health problem. We have now reached part 5 in our series on The Eighth Day Feast, which comes at the end of Sukkot.

We have not changed our position on the 4th curse of war that is coming.

Preamble to this weeks Study

This week once more let us summarize what we have covered thus far in our study of the Eighth Day Feast.

Firstly that Yehshua kept the Eighth Day Feast, as we are told in John 10:22 and that this Eighth Day Feast was also known as the Feast of Dedication which came at the end of Sukkot. Although dedication means chanukah in Hebrew, this day was in no way connected to the feast currently known as the Feast of Chanukah kept around Christmas (The false feast of Hanukkah is about 13 Days from now).

Next you learned that in order to understand this Feast Day you had to ask for wisdom, knowledge and understanding to gain the righteousness you need to be in the Kingdom. All of this is given to you as you obey the commandment and this is how we show Yehovah we love Him, by keeping the commandments. These are the laws of that Kingdom, which you as a Priest are going to teach, or as a King you’re going to enforce those laws.

Next you were shown that Yehovah desires to dwell with us. But we must keep the rules of the Kingdom, which are the Ten Commandments. We are to put sin out of our lives in order to be a part of that Kingdom as shown to us in the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Yehshua was the first fruit to come back to life from the grave, defeating Satan who had the power of death and the grave until that time. The 24 elders are part of those first fruits who were once human beings on this earth and came out of the grave when Yehshua did, as we read in Matthew 27. This is represented by the barley wave offering each year. The 7 days of Unleavened Bread are represented in the 7 millennial days leading up to the 8th Day Feast or the 8th Millennium; the 7 Millennium of man represent putting sin out of our existence in the same way as does the Days of Unleavened Bread.

The First Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread we likened to when Adam was killed for sinning on the first millennial day, in the same way the first born of Egypt died on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, otherwise known as Passover night.

The Seventh Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is represented by the time when the Egyptian armies were destroyed when the frozen walls of water came crashing back down on them after Israel had crossed over the Red Sea. This represents the time at the end of the 7th millennium when Satan will be cast into the lake of fire along with the grave and death. This 7th day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread also represents all of those who are going to keep the Torah also known as the Holy Spirit represented by the water, cross over from sin in Egypt under Satan to rule under Yehovah. This is like a mikveh or baptism of water. The 7th Millennium we will be washed with the spirit of Yehovah for the entire millennium

The 7th Day weekly Sabbath is then compared to the 7th Millennial Rest. Again, in all of this we are learning about the 8th Day Feast.

We then had to stop our teachings about the Holy Days in comparing them to the millenniums and address the false teachings about hell, which cloud and confuse people about the Eighth Day Feast. Once you remove these false teachings from your mind, then the truth will be more readily visible and the Eighth Day Feast easier to understand.

Heaven and Hell go hand in hand and the false teachings about you going to heaven abound just as they do for you going to hell. Once again Satan is confusing the truth of Yehovah’s plan of Salvation in order to keep you from being a part of it. So we had to look at Heaven and whether or not you or anyone goes there. Once we remove the false teachings, only then can we understand the truth of the Eighth Day Feast and the awesomeness of Yehovah.

We had to look at these two subjects as we had just started to look at the 7 days of Unleavened Bread, which are our first clues about the plan of Salvation.

Having covered Unleavened Bread we are now going to look at Shavuot or the Feast of Pentecost and the Feast of Trumpets and the Jubilee year. Again we have another big study covering a lot of ground as we look at the Eighth Day and the Plan of Salvation.

Every person in his own order


In our article on Heaven we quote the following;

The fact that Yehshua was resurrected as a forerunner of the future resurrection of His followers is understood by many Bible readers. What is not so clear to many is that the Bible describes more than one resurrection.

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul writes: “But now, Christ is risen from the dead, the¬†first-fruit¬†of those who have fallen asleep . . . For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ¬†all¬†will be made alive.¬†But each in his own order;¬†Christ the first-fruits, then those who belong to Christ at his appearing. And then the end, when he shall hand over his kingdom to God his Father” (verses 20-24, Montgomery New Testament).

The reference to firstfruits indicates that¬†other¬†fruits are to follow‚ÄĒYehshua here followed by those who are His at His return. Paul specifies that Yehovah has set an order in His plan by which He will bring up everyone‚ÄĒ”all,” as it says‚ÄĒin a resurrection. And in this order, not everyone will be resurrected¬†at the same time.

Notice that Yehshua is here called the firstfruits. Yet His followers are elsewhere called firstfruits themselves‚ÄĒand firstborn (James:1:18;¬†Revelation:14:4;¬†Hebrews:12:23). Thus Yehshua is the first of the firstfruits. The implication is that yet others will follow as later fruits‚ÄĒat “the end,” as we saw in¬†1 Corinthians:15:24. And other scriptures confirm that, as we will see.

Those who believe that people go to heaven or hell at death have been troubled at the indications they see in Scripture that comparatively few will be saved. They frequently base this assumption on such passages as¬†Matthew:7:13-14: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

In these verses Yehshua explains what happens in “this present evil age” (Galatians:1:4), in which Yehovah¬†is not calling everyone to be converted¬†now.¬†We read in¬†Revelation:12:9¬†that Satan “deceives the whole world.” John writes,

“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John:5:19).

Mankind as a whole is deceived‚ÄĒ¬†for the time being.¬†Yehshua states,

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John:6:44).

Yehshua plainly indicates here that only certain ones will be in the resurrection to which He refers‚ÄĒthose who are specifically called by Yehovah. The Bible teaches that in this particular age‚ÄĒthe age preceding the 7th¬†millennium‚ÄĒYehovah is calling only a small portion of mankind to enter and partake of His Kingdom.

We saw part of this in the first wave offering in our study about Yehovah dwelling with us, when we looked at The Days of Unleavened Bread.

I would like you all to now go and read our article from 2005 titled Pentecost’s Hidden Meaning.

Having now read¬†Pentecost’s Hidden Meaning¬†consider the purpose of this day of Shavuot.

In Exodus 19 and 20 it is the day Yehovah gave Israel the Ten Commandments from His own voice. This was the very day Israel saw the cloud on the Mountain of Sinai and heard Yehovah speak these words Himself. This is also the very same day that the Holy Spirit was given to the Apostles in the book of Acts.

If you have read the article on Pentecost as I have asked you to, then you will also understand that on this day is the second wave offering which represents    when all those who turned back to Yehovah in keeping His commandments, from the Apostles down to us today who will be alive at that time, will be raised back to life or changed to spirit beings. We are the wheat in that bread that is waved before Yehovah.

Now consider the following verses in chronological order.

We read of the first Passover Yehshua went up to Jerusalem in John.

Joh 2:13 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Joh 2:23 And as He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, at the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the miracles which He did.

After Passover comes Shavuot or Pentecost. And it was as this Feast day approached that Yehshua stated the following, warning HIs apostles not to look at the harvest of Sukkot which was 4 months away, but to look to the harvest at hand, the Wheat harvest of Shavuot.

Joh 4:35 Do you not say, It is yet four months, and the harvest comes? Behold, I say to you, Lift up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are white to harvest already.

Again before Yehshua said that He was talking to a woman at the well about water.

Joh 4:13  Jesus answered and said to her, Whoever drinks of this water shall thirst again, 14  but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

But He was giving us a veiled hint at the meaning of the Feast of Shavuot, which came to pass just 3 years later when the Apostles were given this Holy Spirit on Shavuot.

Water is a symbol, a ‚Äútype,‚ÄĚ of the spirit of Yehovah, and is often used analogously to represent the holy spirit. In Scripture, Yehovah¬†is also known as ‚Äúthe Holy Spirit‚ÄĚ, the “spring of living waters.”

Jer 2:13  For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, to hew out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

Isa 44:3  For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground. I will pour My spirit on your seed, and My blessing on your offspring; 4and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water-courses.

After Yehshua spoke with the women at the well we read of this Feast that Yehshua went up to Jerusalem to keep.

Joh 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

John 6:35 is a key verse in the record, and it reads:

‚ÄúThen Jesus declared, ‚ÄėI am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.‚Äô‚ÄĚ

In John 7, he proved it by referring to the Old Testament, of which he himself is the subject. The promised Messiah was Yehovah, the eternal fountain, the spring of living water, sent to give drink to a dying world. And what is that ‚Äúliquid‚ÄĚ refreshment? As verse 39 emphasizes, it is the holy spirit, again analogously referred to as water. But this time, it is at the end of Sukkot and just as the Feast of the Eighth Day was about to begin.

Joh 7:37¬†¬†And in the last day of the great feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.¬†38¬† He who believes on Me, as the Scripture has said, “Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”¬†39¬† (But He spoke this about the Spirit, which they who believed on Him should receive; for¬†the¬†Holy Spirit was not yet¬†given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.)

That Holy Spirit was given as promised on the Feast day of Shavuot in 31 C.E.

Act 2:1  And in the fulfilling of the day of Pentecost, they were all with one accord in one place. 2  And suddenly a sound came out of the heaven as borne along by the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3  And tongues as of fire appeared to them, being distributed; and it sat upon each of them. 4  And they were all filled of the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Act 2:33  Therefore being exalted to the right of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured out this which you now see and hear.

When John the Baptist came as a forerunner to the Messiah, many people asked him if he was the Messiah. Look closely at his reply:

Luk 3:15  And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts concerning John, lest perhaps he was the Christ, 16  John answered all, saying, I indeed baptize you with water, but He who is mightier than I comes, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to loose. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire, 17  whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor and will gather the wheat into His storehouse. But He will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.

When each of us are baptized into the family of Yehovah by complete immersion in running or live water, we are in fact stating publicly our death to the flesh or the old man, and our rebirth or impregnating of the Holy Spirit in us. We are not yet spiritual beings but we are growing in spiritual knowledge and understanding the same way a fetus grows but is not yet born.

The Holy Spirit, like water, is used to wash us of our sins of our uncleanness.

Hebrews 9:10 mentions ‚Äúvarious ceremonial washings‚ÄĚ in the Law, and the Greek word for ‚Äúwashings‚ÄĚ there is ‚Äúbaptisms.‚ÄĚ Yehovah¬†could have easily used one of several other Greek words, such as¬†pluno, which is used of washing inanimate things;¬†nipto, used of washing a part of the body; or¬†louo, which means ‚Äúto bathe‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúto wash the entire body.‚ÄĚ Instead, He chose ‚Äúbaptisms‚ÄĚ to refer to the Old Testament washings.

Exodus 30:17-21 mentions the bronze basin that was placed between the door of the Tabernacle and the altar so the priests could wash their hands and feet, thus ceremonially purifying themselves so they would not die in the presence of God. Water baptism under the Law was also representative of the one baptized going down into the grave and then being re-born unto life.

According to Exodus 40:12, Aaron and his sons were brought to the Tabernacle and washed with water. When Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem, he had a basin cast of bronze that was so large the Bible calls it ‚Äúthe Sea.‚ÄĚ Scholars estimate that it held about 12,000 gallons of water and was a source of water for bathing, which was sometimes done by pouring the water over the man, and sometimes by putting it in a different container (2 Chron. 4:6).

The Mosaic Law was full of regulations about washing. There were many different things that a person could do that would make him unclean, and often the Law said that he then had to wash in water in order to re-enter the congregation. Compare Leviticus 14:9; 15:7,8,11,13,21,22,27; 16:26,28, and note the following similar verses:

(Lev 17:15) And any soul that eats a dead body, or a torn thing, whether a native or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening. Then he shall be clean.16But if he does not wash, nor bathe his flesh, then he shall bear his iniquity.

Now that we understand the relationship of water and the Holy Spirit from the scriptures let us get back to those thing Yehshua was saying in John leading up to Shavuot. In John 5 this mysterious Feast of the Jews is Shavuot which was approaching.

Joh 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now listen carefully to what Yehshua was saying. This is huge, especially now in hind site. Especially now because we know what took place at Passover on the first wave sheaf day. Shavuot is the next time or the completion of the second wave sheaf which began to be counted from the first wave sheaf during Passover.

Joh 5:25 Truly, truly, I say to you, The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they who hear shall live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has given to the Son to have life within Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves shall hear His voice, 29 and shall come forth, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have practiced evil to the resurrection of condemnation.

A few short years later Yehshua would rise up from the grave and lead a host of captives with Him.

Eph 4:8¬†¬†Therefore He says, “When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts to men.”

Psa 68:18  You have gone up on high; You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts for men, yes, for the rebellious also, that You might dwell among them, O Jehovah God.

1Co 15:20¬†¬†But now Christ has risen from¬†the¬†dead,¬†and¬†has become the firstfruit of those who slept.¬†21For since death¬†is¬†through man, the resurrection of¬†the¬†dead also¬†is¬†through a Man.¬†22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive.¬†23But each in¬†his¬†own order: Christ the first-fruit, and afterward they who are Christ’s at His coming;¬†24then¬†is¬†the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He makes to cease all rule and all authority and power.

Again these first fruits were raised from the grave when Yehshua rose during Passover 31 C.E. Before that date no man had gone to heaven except the son of man who came down from heaven. Those captives are those held captive by the grave which is what Satan had control over until that time.

2Ti 2:26  and that they awake out of the snare of the Devil, having been taken captive by him, so as to do the will of that one.

Being a servant of Satan is sin which leads to death and captivity.

Those 24 Elders or ancestors in revelation were raised up at that time with Yehshua. They were part of that wave offering done Sunday Morning which is also when the count to Shavuot begins from.

Mat 27:52  and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep arose, 53 and coming out of the tomb after His resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Again returning to the Apostle John about this Feast of the Jews we now know that this is the Feast of Shavuot. Another thing that Yehshua says at this time about this Feast is that only those whom the Father is calling will be raised up at this special time.

Joh 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who has sent Me draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day.

That last day is the last day of the counting of the Omer, the 50th day, Shavuot. It is on this day of Shavuot that those of us who are alive and all of those who have lived and died believing in the Messiah and Yehovah, the same person, since Passover 31 C.E. up until this time, (WHich I beleive to be 2033 in our near future), will be changed and or raised up.

1Co 15:51  Behold, I speak a mystery to you; we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed; 52  in a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet. For a trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed. 53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

It is at this time and this time only that you will be born again as a spirit being as Paul has just told you. Only then do you put on immortality.

Isa 12:1  And in that day you shall say, O Jehovah, I will praise You; though You were angry with me, turn away Your anger, and You shall comfort me. 2  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also has become my salvation. 3  And with joy you shall draw water out of the wells of salvation. 4  And in that day you shall say, Praise Jehovah! Call on His name; declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted. 5  Sing to Jehovah; for He has done excellent things; this is known in all the earth. 6  Cry out and shout, O dweller of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst.

Remember what we showed you in John 7. Yehovah is salvation and Yehshua is Salvation. He is the wells of

Joh 7:37¬†¬†And in the last day of the great feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.¬†38¬† He who believes on Me, as the Scripture has said, “Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”¬†39¬† (But He spoke this about the Spirit, which they who believed on Him should receive; for¬†the¬†Holy Spirit was not yet¬†given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Now we just read in 1 Corinthians about being raised at the last trumpet and many just assume this to be speaking of the Feast of Trumpets. But the Feast of trumpets does not teach us about us being raised from the dead. Instead it teaches us about the coming of Yehshua’s birth in 3 BC and of His coming at the end of the 7th Millennium just before the 8th one is to begin. So what is Corinthians telling us?

Look at the examples of Trumpets on Shavuot that we already have.

Exo 19:16  And it happened on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain. And the voice of the trumpet was exceedingly loud, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17  And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God. And they stood at the lower part of the mountain. 18  And Mount Sinai was smoking, all of it, because Jehovah came down upon it in fire. And the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. 19  And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and became very strong, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice. 20  And Jehovah came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain.

Act 2:1  And in the fulfilling of the day of Pentecost, they were all with one accord in one place. 2  And suddenly a sound came out of the heaven as borne along by the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3  And tongues as of fire appeared to them, being distributed; and it sat upon each of them. 4  And they were all filled of the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Eze 43:2  And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters. And the earth shone with His glory.

Psa 93:4  Jehovah on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea.

Rev 19:1  And after these things I heard a great sound of a numerous crowd in Heaven, saying, Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and honor and the power to the Lord our God! 2  For true and righteous are His judgments. For He has judged the great harlot who defiled the earth with her fornication, and He has avenged the blood of His servants out of her hand. 3  And secondly they said, Hallelujah! And her smoke rose up forever and ever. 4  And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God sitting on the throne, saying, Amen! Hallelujah! 5  And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all His servants, and the ones fearing Him, the small and great. 6  And I heard as the sound of a great multitude, and as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of strong thunders, saying, Hallelujah! For the Lord God omnipotent reigns! 7  Let us be glad and rejoice and we will give glory to Him. For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has prepared herself.


Whenever the King or the Queen is about to enter there is the blasting of Trumpets and the crowds shouting out. This earthly act is the same as when Yehovah is going to come and each time He has come to earth there were loud long blasts as we have just read.


The Feast of Shavuot is when we will be changed to spirit beings. So, how is this all tied into the Eighth Day Feast?

First of all it is showing us the second phase of Yehovah’s Plan of Salvation. Phase one was when the Saints were raised to life during the first wave offering. The second phase is when the rest of the Saints up to that time, when this happens in a few short years, will be changed to spirit beings. The third phase is at the Eighth Day and we have yet to talk about it and will not at this time.

The Feast of Shavuot is the 8th Sabbath.

Lev 23:15  And you shall count to you from the next day after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete. 16 To the next day after the seventh sabbath you shall number fifty days. And you shall offer a new food offering to Jehovah.

This is the exact same thing for the Jubilee year which is also the eighth Sabbatical year.

Lev 25:8  And you shall number seven sabbaths of years to you, seven times seven years. And the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be forty-nine years to you. 9Then you shall cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth of the seventh month; in the day of atonement, the trumpet shall sound throughout all your land. 10And you shall make the fiftieth year holy, one year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee to you, and you shall return each man to his possession, and you shall return each man to his family. 11  That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee to you. You shall not sow, neither reap that which grows of itself in it, nor gather in it of your undressed vine. 12For it is the jubilee. It shall be holy to you. You shall eat the increase of it out of the field.

When we examine this word Jubilee we learn a few more things about it. Notice that the word for Jubilee is Teruah. This is the same word used for the Feast of Teruah or the Feast of Trumpets. Also notice these Teruah are used for both joy and a battle cry.

H3104 ¬† ¬† ¬†???¬† ¬† ???? ¬† ¬† yo?be?l¬† yo?be?l ¬† ¬†yo-bale’,¬†yo-bale’

Apparently from H2986; the blast of a horn (from its continuous sound); specifically the signal of the silver trumpets; hence the instrument itself and the festival thus introduced: Рjubile, ram’s horn, trumpet.

H2986 ¬† ¬†¬†??? ¬† ¬† ya?bal ¬† ¬†¬†yaw-bal’

A primitive root; properly to flow; causatively to bring (especially with pomp): Рbring (forth), carry, lead (forth).

H8643 ¬† ¬†¬†??????? ¬† ¬† teru??a?h ¬† ¬†¬†ter-oo-aw’

From¬†H7321;¬†clamor, that is,¬†acclamation¬†of joy or a¬†battlecry; especially¬†clangor¬†of trumpets, as an¬†alarum: –¬†alarm, blow (-ing) (of, the) (trumpets), joy, jubile, loud noise, rejoicing, shout (-ing), (high, joyful) sound (-ing).


H7321 ¬† ¬†¬†???? ¬† ¬†ru?a? ¬†¬†roo-ah’

A primitive root; to mar (especially by breaking); figuratively to split the ears (with sound), that is, shout (for alarm or joy): Рblow an alarm, cry (alarm, aloud, out), destroy, make a joyful noise, smart, shout (for joy), sound an alarm, triumph.

The Feast of Trumpets and the Jubilee year are an announcement. But not just any announcement. They are announcing the arrival of THE KING, of Yehovah. This is beyond my ability to adjectively say how huge this is. But the Feast of Sukkot is symbolic of what is to come just before the Eighth Day Feast. It is at the end of the 7th Millennium that the Jubilee year will announce the coming of the GREAT KING YEHOVAH in that 8th Millennium.

We are commanded to keep Sukkot with Joyfulness. It is known as the Feast of Joy.

Deu 16:13  You shall keep the Feast of Tabernacles seven days after you have gathered in your grain floor and your wine press. 14 And you shall rejoice in your feast, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your male slave, and your slave-girl, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow inside your gates. 15 Seven days you shall keep a solemn feast to Jehovah your God in the place which Jehovah shall choose. Because Jehovah your God shall bless you in all your increase, and in all the works of your hands, therefore you shall surely rejoice.

It is the Feast of Trumpets that warns us of war and judgment leading into the 10 days of Awe and concluding on the Day of Atonement. These are the Trumpets of battle cries. But those trumpets of Shavuot and leading up to the Eighth Day are not battle cries but ones of Joy. We will cover more in upcoming articles on the Eighth Day and the great meaning it represents in Yehovah’s plan of Salvation for all mankind.

Num 10:1  And Jehovah spoke to Moses saying, 2  Make two trumpets of silver for yourself. You shall make them of beaten work. And they shall be used for the calling of the assembly and for causing the camps to go forward. 3  And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall gather themselves to you at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 4  And if they blow with one, then the rulers who are heads of the thousands of Israel shall gather themselves to you. 5  When you blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall pull up stakes. 6  When you blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall pull up stakes. They shall blow an alarm for their journeys. 7  But when the congregation is to be gathered, you shall blow, but you shall not sound an alarm. 8  And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets. And they shall be to you for an ordinance forever throughout your generations. 9  And if you go to war in your land against the enemy who fights against you, then you shall blow with the trumpets. And you shall be remembered before Jehovah your God, and you shall be saved from your enemies. 10  Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, you shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings. And they shall be to you for a memorial before Jehovah. I am Jehovah your God.



3 1/2 Year Torah Reading Cycle


We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading

Ex 19   Isaiah 15-19    Ps 129-131      John 7

 Israel Arrives at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19)

¬†God reiterated His covenant with Israel to His servant Moses. Moses called for the elders of Israel and repeated God’s words to them. The elders then repeated the words to the people of Israel. This gives a clearer explanation of how Moses communicated with nearly three million people. Now we come to the point where God was planning to speak with Moses and all the people would be able to hear God’s voice. But there were special instructions for the people to follow before they could approach the vicinity of God’s holy presence. Boundaries were set about the mountain so the people would be restricted from touching it. The prohibition against touching the mountain was to teach them a sense of awe and respect toward the living God‚ÄĒand to demonstrate their need for a mediator. The people were to be clean, having their clothes washed. And on the day that God appeared to Moses on the mountain, married couples were to forego sexual relations. Wearing clean clothes and abstaining from marital relations were outward acts signifying that they had sanctified themselves before God spoke to them. This does not imply that lawful sexual relations are spiritually unclean. In the New Testament, Paul suggested that it is occasionally appropriate to refrain from marital relations¬†for a brief time,¬†when specially devoting that time to God through prayer and fasting (1 Corinthians 7:5). After Moses ascended the mountain, God had to send him back down because curiosity was getting the better of the people. After once again warning the people, Moses again ascended the mountain with Aaron.

The timing of all of this is very interesting. Jewish tradition asserts that the giving of the law occurred on the Feast of Firstfruits or Pentecost, which can occur no later than the 10th or 11th day of the third month of the Hebrew calendar, Sivan. Verse 1 does say that it was in the third month after leaving Egypt‚ÄĒbut some interpret the phrase “on the same day” here to mean the same day of the month that the Israelites left Egypt. This, however, would mean that they arrived at Mount Sinai on the 15th of Sivan, with the law being given on the 17th (compare verses 10-11)‚ÄĒtoo late for Pentecost. However, if the phrase “on the same day” is understood to mean the same day that Jethro departed, as stated in the previous verse (18:27), then Pentecost can fit quite well. It could also be that the “same day” meant the same day of the¬†week¬†the Israelites had left Egypt‚ÄĒwhich, again, would allow for the Ten Commandments to have been delivered on Pentecost.

Indeed, there are clear Pentecost themes to be found here: the consecration of Israel as the chosen people, i.e. “firstfruits”; the beginning of the Old Testament “assembly in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38 KJV), as Pentecost would mark the beginning of the New Testament Assembly (see Acts 2); the giving of the law, as God’s people would later be given the power to¬†keep¬†that law through the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (compare Luke 24:49; Romans 8:7); God descending on the mountain with great noise and trembling and “in fire” (Exodus 19:18), as His presence would later descend upon Christ’s disciples with great noise and in tongues of fire (Acts 2); the initiation of the Old Covenant, as Pentecost would later mark the giving of the “better promises” of the New Covenant, particularly the gift of the Holy Spirit (compare Hebrews 8:6). Though typical of the new relationship God wants with His people, the Old Covenant still involved separation from God, as the boundary markers so vividly picture. To see this even more, read Hebrews 12:18-28.

The contrast between the Old and New Covenants is vividly illustrated by comparing two scriptures. “You shall set bounds for the people all around” (Exodus 19:12) and “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22). Through Yeshua‚Äôs sacrifice and intercession as our High Priest today, God has granted us liberty to come right before His very throne of grace (4:14-16).


Prophecy Against Damascus and Israel; The Invading Multitude; Message to Ethiopia (Isaiah 17-18)

As we saw in the prophecies of Isaiah to Ahaz (Isaiah 7), Syria and Israel were allies. Chapter 17 starts out as a prophecy against Damascus, the capital of Syria, but by verse 3 the subject is Ephraim and the rest of Israel more than it is Syria.

The dating of this prophecy is not certain. The Assyrians had, at the time of Israel’s first deportation in 732 B.C., also destroyed Damascus and taken its citizens captive north to Kir, thereby fulfilling, at least in part, a prophecy of Amos (2 Kings 16:9; Amos 1:3-5). Yet we know that the Assyrians later came against Damascus again, around 720 B.C., and retook it. For this reason, since the prophecy mentions the “remnant of Syria” (Isaiah 17:3), many date the prophecy to the early reign of Hezekiah‚ÄĒto between 729 and 722 B.C.‚ÄĒfollowing the early deportations of Israel and Syria and yet prior to their later fall.

However, Isaiah 17:12-18:7, which contains a message to Ethiopia (Hebrew¬†Cush), seems to be part of the same prophecy or “burden” as the early part of Isaiah 17. And there is reason for dating this section to around 715 B.C. At that time, around the death of Ahaz, “a Cushite dynasty took over Egypt…and probably sent ambassadors to Jerusalem” (Nelson Study Bible,¬†note on 18:1). This is a reference to “Shabako, the Nubian successor to Osorkon [IV],” the latter, apparently known also as King So (2 Kings 17:4), having been defeated by Sargon II of Assyria in 716 (Eugene Merrill,¬†Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel,¬†1987, pp. 412-413). Thus, as our previous few readings have borne some relation at least to 715 B.C.‚ÄĒand our next reading will refer to an event dated to 713-712 B.C.‚ÄĒthis dating seems likely. And the first part of Isaiah 17 seems to date from the same time since, as mentioned, Isaiah 17-18 appears to be a single prophecy.

If that is so, here we have a prophecy of Israel and Syria’s fall given after Israel has already fallen. This makes it most likely an end-time prophecy. Supporting this conclusion is the repeated phrase “in that day” (17:4, 7, 9), which often refers to events surrounding the coming of the Messiah to reign over the nations (compare 2:11, 17, 20; 4:1-2; 11:10-11; 12:1, 4). Following Israel’s ancient captivity, its people journeyed, over the centuries, to northwest Europe‚ÄĒand are now represented, in large part, by the American and British peoples.

An end-time prophecy of Damascus and Syria could apply to those living in the nation of Syria today. Or it could also refer to Aramaean peoples who were, in ancient days, deported by the Assyrians to Kir, just south of the Caucasus Mountains. Some of these people became the Armenians. And others probably migrated through the Caucasus and into Europe along with the Israelites. Besides Amos 1:3-5, additional prophecies against Damascus can be found in Jeremiah 49:23-27 and Zechariah 9:1.

The Israelites, we are told in Isaiah 17:7-8, will finally turn to God in the midst of the destruction that comes upon them. Then, following more details of that destruction in verses 9-11, the prophecy changes focus. We are told of a massive invasion force that God will punish. “The connection of this fragment with what precedes is: notwithstanding the calamities coming upon Israel, the people of God shall not be utterly destroyed…[and] the Assyrian spoilers shall perish” (Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary,¬†note on 17:12-18:7). Some have connected Isaiah 17:14 to the overnight destruction of the Assyrian army of Sennacherib that would occur in the days of Hezekiah (see Isaiah 37:36). While a likely forerunner, this is still predominantly an end-time prophecy.

Notice what the¬†JFB Commentary¬†says regarding the next section addressed to Ethiopia: “Isaiah announces the overthrow of Sennacherib’s hosts and desires the Ethiopian ambassadors, now in Jerusalem, to bring word of it to their own nation; and he calls the whole world to witness the event (vs. 3). As ch. 17:12-14 announced the presence of the foe, so ch. 18 foretells his overthrow. The heading in [the]¬†English Version,¬†‘God will destroy the Ethiopians,’ is a mistake arising from the wrong rendering ‘Woe,’ whereas the¬†Hebrew¬†does not express a threat, but is an¬†appeal¬†calling attention (ch. 55:1; Zech. 2:6): ‘Ho.’ He is not speaking¬†against¬†but¬†to¬†the Ethiopians, calling on them to hear his prophetical announcement as to the destruction of their enemies” (note on Isaiah 18).

Indeed, in the end time too, the ruler of Assyria‚ÄĒthe “king of the North”‚ÄĒwill be an enemy of Ethiopia, as we elsewhere see him bringing the Ethiopians as well as the Egyptians under his subjection (see Daniel 11:42-43). This is another reason we may view the defeat of the enemy force in Isaiah 18 in an end-time context. Also, compare verse 6 with Revelation 19:17-18.

Finally, mention is made of a “present” being brought from Ethiopia to Jerusalem. This is stated in Zephaniah 3:10 as well: “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, the daughter of My dispersed ones, shall bring My offering.”

These verses also appear related to Psalm 68, where David says to God: “Because of Your temple at Jerusalem, kings will bring presents to you… Envoys will come out of Egypt; Ethiopia will quickly stretch out her hands to God” (verses 29-31). Yet Isaiah and Zephaniah appear to indicate a¬†particular¬†present or offering‚ÄĒsingular.¬†As to what all of this might mean we can only speculate.

Interestingly, many Ethiopians practiced the Jewish religion before the days of Christ. (Note the eunuch of the Ethiopian royal court who was in Jerusalem to worship‚ÄĒsee Acts 8:27.) In the Ethiopian national epic, the Kebra Nagast (“The Glory of Kings”), written down in the 13th century, it is claimed that this tradition goes back to the Queen of Sheba at the time of Solomon. Indeed, it states that Solomon fathered a son by her named Menelik, who then founded the dynasty of Ethiopian rulers.

Whether or not this is true is unconfirmed, as the Bible is silent on it. However, history does tell us of a number of later Jewish colonies in Egypt that eventually disappeared‚ÄĒand there is reason to believe that refugees from these colonies were forced south and resettled in Ethiopia. Surprisingly, Ethiopians are today actually permitted to settle in the state of Israel under the Jewish law of return. While these people are black, it is possible that many are indeed descendants of Jews who intermarried with the native population.

The Kebra Nagast, it should be mentioned in this context, prominently mentions the Ark of the Covenant, the gilded chest built in Moses’ day to hold the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. This most sacred of Israelite relics was lost at some point between the days of Solomon and Ezra, though we don’t know when, where or how. According to the Kebra Nagast, Menelik, to safeguard it from Solomon’s growing apostasy, secretly took the ark with him to Ethiopia, leaving behind a replica that he had asked the faithful priests to make. While this sounds rather unlikely, it is nevertheless widely believed among Ethiopians today that their nation is in actual possession of the Ark of the Covenant‚ÄĒthat it sits guarded and unapproachable in an old congregation in the city of Aksum in northern Ethiopia. In fact, each congregation in Ethiopia has its own Tabot, or representation of the ark, to memorialize that conviction.

British journalist Graham Hancock, in his book¬†The Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant,¬†1992, actually gives a more plausible explanation, different from the Kebra Nagast, as to how the ark might actually have ended up in Ethiopia. He speculates that the ark was taken out of Judah by the Levites to protect it from the apostasy of Hezekiah’s son Manasseh‚ÄĒthat when Josiah later told the Levites to put the ark back into the temple (2 Chronicles 35:3) this was never done, as it had supposedly already been moved to a new temple at a Jewish colony in Aswan in southern Egypt. Historically, as mentioned above, these Jewish colonists were later forced to flee from the Egyptians, and Hancock provides some evidence that they migrated south into Ethiopia‚ÄĒwith,¬†he maintains, the Ark of the Covenant. This hypothesis is also explored in a 2002 book titled¬†In Search of the Lost Ark of the Covenant¬†by Robert Cornuke and David Halbrook. Author Grant Jeffrey, in¬†Armageddon: Appointment with Destiny,¬†1990, while embracing the Kebra Nagast version of events, lends some support to the ark’s residing in Ethiopia today (pp. 108-122, 229-233).Still, there are other theories about the ark’s whereabouts that also appear credible‚ÄĒincluding the possibility that Jeremiah hid it or took it with him at the time of the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem. The apocryphal book of 2 Maccabees (2:1-8) says he hid it in a cave on Mount Nebo. (Realize, however, that while the apocryphal books can be useful historical sources like many other secular writings, they are not inspired Scripture and often contain errors.) Many others believe the ark was hidden in a chamber under the Temple Mount. There is, of course, also a very strong possibility that God allowed it to be destroyed by the Babylonians along with its precious contents.

Nonetheless, given what we’ve seen, a number of people have suggested that the particular present the Ethiopians bring in the last days might be the actual Ark of the Covenant containing the Ten Commandments. Jeremiah says that some time into the peaceful reign of Yeshua, people will no longer talk about or think about the ark (Jeremiah 3:16-17)‚ÄĒbut this would seem to imply that it will be an issue immediately before then. There is simply no way to be sure.

Finally, while such matters are certainly interesting, we should avoid getting caught up in them to the exclusion of more important spiritual study.


Egypt’s Judgment and Deliverance; Israel One of Three With Egypt and Assyria (Isaiah 19:1-20:6)

In Isaiah 19, Isaiah delivers this “burden against Egypt.” Set as it is between Isaiah 18 and 20, the prophecy would appear to have been written between 715 and 709 B.C. After a period of infighting and anarchy (19:2), Egypt is to come under the dominance of an oppressive foreign power (verse 4). Historically, such oppression came a number of times‚ÄĒfrom Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Seleucid Syria, Rome and later conquerors.

(Alexander the Great was welcomed as Egypt’s¬†deliverer¬†from Persia and some identify him with the savior of verse 20‚ÄĒand they see the peace between Israel, Egypt and Assyria at the end of the chapter as representative of the stability within Alexander’s brief empire. But this is clearly not what is meant at all.)

The fact that Egypt is reconciled with¬†Assyria¬†at the end of the chapter shows that Assyria is most likely the “cruel master” mentioned¬†earlier¬†in the chapter (verse 4). The prophecy, therefore, might have had some fulfillment in what would begin around 45 years later‚ÄĒthe conquest and assimilation of Egypt by the Assyrian Empire under Esarhaddon and then Ashurbanipal. These kings took over from Egypt’s ruling Ethiopian dynasty.

However the entire chapter, particularly the way it ends, reveals that this prophecy mainly concerns the end time. As was mentioned in the highlights for our previous reading, the end-time ruler of Assyria‚ÄĒthe “king of the North” of Daniel and the Beast of Revelation‚ÄĒwill invade and oppress Egypt and Ethiopia in the years just prior to Christ’s return (Daniel 11:42-43). This means that the “Savior and Mighty One” to deliver the Egyptians (verse 20) is the returning Yeshua, who will crush their Assyrian oppressors. (It should also be considered that Assyria of the last days is apparently the dominant power within a resurrected Babylon and Rome‚ÄĒso Egypt’s ancient conquests by these and related empires would also appear to serve as forerunners of the coming end-time oppression.)

Verse 17 says that the land of Judah will initially be terrifying to the Egyptians. This did not happen in Isaiah’s day. The reference is, again, to the last days. However, it is unclear whom the Egyptians fear. It could possibly be the resurgent Jews at Christ’s return (see Zechariah 12:6; 14:14). Then again, perhaps it is the Egyptians’ oppressor, the Assyro-Babylonian Beast power, that terrifies them. Its ruling dictator, the king of the North, will have set up his headquarters in Jerusalem (Daniel 11:45, KJV). But most likely it is the awesome power of the returning Christ that they fear. Perhaps they will not understand who He is. And for those who do, they may still be afraid‚ÄĒas they will have been enemies of the believers before this. They might imagine terrible retribution. Yet Christ has come to rescue them as well.

Ultimately Egypt will come under His loving dominion (verses 18-22). Verse 19 points out that Egypt will one day have its own altar to God, providing us a glimpse into how God will be worshiped when more nations than Israel come under His rule. Historically, not all altars were built for the purpose of offering incense or sacrifices (compare Joshua 22). However, Isaiah 19:21 does mention sacrifice and offering (the Hebrew apparently denoting peace offering and grain offering respectively), which might be offered on that altar.

Malachi 1:11 confirms that other nations will be permitted to have centers of worship at which to offer incense to God as well as offerings (again probably grain offerings, as indicated by the Hebrew here). There is evidently no mention of burnt or sin offerings in these verses, so whether or not these will also be offered at satellite places of worship is not clear. Nevertheless, the nations‚ÄĒEgypt included‚ÄĒwill still be expected to attend the feasts of God in Jerusalem or they will be disciplined by such divine measures as the removal of rainfall (Zechariah 14:16-19). God’s striking of Egypt in Isaiah 19:22 may refer to these same disciplinary actions, although it could simply refer to the Assyrian oppression.

Eventually, Egypt will reconcile with God, with the people of Israel and with the Assyrians, and will become one of the leading nations in a world of peace (verses 23-25). The highway between Assyria and Egypt must necessarily run through Israel, which lies between them geographically. It is evidently the same route of return taken previously by the returning Israelite exiles from both lands (see Isaiah 11:11, 16). In this case, “the highway symbolizes good will and understanding, free and speedy access. The word, used as an image by Isaiah, indicates the close relationship between once hostile nations forged by a shared commitment to the God of the Jews. When God can say of Egypt and Assyria as well as of Israel, ‘my people’ (19:25), the world will have peace and blessing at last” (Lawrence Richards,¬†The Bible Reader’s Companion,¬†1991, note on 19:23).

Further prophecies concerning Egypt can be found in Jeremiah 46 and Ezekiel 29-32.


Sign Against the South (Isaiah 19:1-20:6)

Isaiah 20:1 is the only place that the Assyrian king Sargon II is actually mentioned in the Bible by name. His name here, and the defeat of Ashdod, enables us to date this episode. “Tartan”‚ÄĒthe New King James margin has “or¬†the Commander in Chief”‚ÄĒrefers to one of the three chief officers of the Assyrian Empire (see 2 Kings 18:17).

One source describes the period this way: “Unrest in the Holy Land did not cease…and in 713-712 B.C. the Assyrians had to put down additional rebellions in Ashdod. The revolt in 712 B.C. was supported by the Ethiopian pharaoh, founder of the twenty-fifth dynasty in Egypt (Isaiah 20). According to Sargon’s inscriptions, Judah, Edom, and Moab were also involved in the revolt, though they surrendered‚ÄĒevidently quickly, and most of the Assyrian wrath was vent upon Ashdod. In a campaign against Ashdod and its port Asdudimmu (Ashdod-yam), Sargon also conquered Gibbethon, Ekron, and Gath. From the informative description of the capture of [the Jewish city of] Azekah ‘lying on a mountain ridge like the edge of a sword,’ it appears that this campaign was directed against Judah as well” (Yohanan Aharoni and Michael Avi-Yonah,¬†The Macmillan Bible Atlas,¬†1977, p. 97).

It would seem, however, that Hezekiah did not participate in the actual rebellion. Perhaps he was about to and Isaiah’s urgings prevented him from going through with it‚ÄĒthus saving him and his kingdom from Sargon’s full wrath.¬†The New Bible Commentary¬†explains the same events this way: “The Philistine city of Ashdod had revolted against Assyria, which promptly deposed its king [Azuri in 713]. A new ringleader, Yamani, carried on the struggle, with pledged support from Egypt and Ethiopia, and had also approached Judah. Isaiah’s powerful dissuasion turned out to be fully justified: Egypt failed to fight, Ashdod was subjugated [in 712], and Yamani, who had fled to Ethiopia, was handed over [by the fearful Egyptians] to the Assyrians’¬†tender mercies…¬†The year was 711″ (note on 20:1-6).

In any case, neither Isaiah “nor other biblical or extrabiblical sources reveal the outcome where Hezekiah is concerned. One can only surmise that Sargon’s malevolent objectives remained unfulfilled [that is, if he had intended major action against Judah], though at least one Assyrian text refers to Judah as a tribute state, thus implying that Hezekiah was, temporarily at least, subject to Sargon” (Merrill,¬†Kingdom of Priests,¬†p. 413).

God told Isaiah to walk around barefoot and naked for three years as a sign of Assyria taking the Egyptians and Ethiopians captive. The term “naked” might still have allowed for a loincloth. Probably, “Isaiah’s symbolical action did not continue all this time [of three years], but¬†at intervals,¬†to keep it before the people’s mind during that period” (Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary,¬†note on verse 3). The three years themselves are probably 713 through 711‚ÄĒfrom the initial defeat of Ashdod to the end of the rebellion. (The three years might not mean three full years but a time stretching across three calendar years.)

The prophecy of verses 3-4 is likely a reference to the Assyrian conquest of Ethiopian-led Egypt under Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal. However, as with the other prophecies of this section, it probably also applies to the end-time subjugation of Egypt and Ethiopia by the final Assyrian Beast power.

The “they” in verse 5 are those who are looking to Egypt for deliverance from Assyria, which would have included Judah at the time Isaiah wrote. However, if the prophecy was specific to his time it would make more sense to have said “you” if referring to Judah. In the last days, Judah will¬†not¬†be looking to¬†Egypt¬†for its deliverance‚ÄĒas this would require the Jewish state of Israel to be looking to the Arab world for deliverance, which is extremely unlikely. So the “they” likely refers to other end-time nations looking to Egypt or its Muslim allies for help. And the “inhabitants of this territory” who look to Egypt for aid (verse 6) would seem to be the modern Palestinians. Just as Egypt, they will not escape conquest by the end-time Assyrian Beast.


Plea for Zion’s enemies to be put to shame (Psalms 129)

As the first song of ascents in the fourth set of three (of the five sets of three),¬†Psalm 129¬†is set in the context of distress, recalling those who have hated and abused God’s people and pronouncing consequences on them.

The afflicted “me” in verses 1-2, as this is to be declared by all Israel-per the formula “Let Israel now say” (verse 1; compare 118:2; 124:1)-refers to the nation collectively and to all its citizens individually. As for their enemies here, the people of Israel throughout their history often suffered under the brutality of foreign oppressors-and even from other Israelites who were not classed with them here as part of Israel, these being disobedient to God’s covenant. (Consider that faithful Israelites often suffered at the hands of their own countrymen.)

The striking imagery of plowers having plowed on Israel’s back in long furrows in verse 3 probably combines different metaphors. The obvious meaning here is that of the lash cutting into the people’s backs, creating bleeding furrows or stripes-as, for example, the Messiah was prophesied to experience (see Isaiah 50:6; 53:5). Yet it should be noted that God foretold Jerusalem’s destruction by the Babylonians in terms of plowing: “Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruin” (Jeremiah 26:18). The furrows in this case would be paths of destruction through the land. And this was on the back of the people in the sense of their bearing it as a burden.

Yet because the Lord is righteous, the enemies of Israel have never ultimately prevailed (Psalm 129:2). God has always at some point delivered His people, intervening to “cut in pieces the cords of the wicked” (verse 4)-that is, the figurative cords they have used to bind God’s people and to scourge them. God’s past deliverance is the basis of faith in His future intervention.

Verses 5-8, the second stanza of the psalm, then declare an imprecation or curse on the wicked oppressors, expressing God’s judgment. The psalmist asks that all who hate Zion and what it represents-God, His laws, His covenant nation, His People, His Kingdom-“be turned back in shame” (verse 5, NIV). And “consistent with the agricultural language of the psalm, the people pray that the wicked may wither like ‘grass on the roof’ (v. 6 [NIV]; 2 Kings 19:26; Isa 37:27). Roofs were flat; and during periods of moisture or precipitation, grassy weeds might sprout and grow in the shallow dirt. However, the plants soon withered when deprived of moisture (cf. Matt 13:5-6). The grass may grow, but it is so useless that a reaper need not cut it down with a scythe nor bind it into sheaves ([Psalm 129] v. 7). It is a wasted growth. So it will be with the wicked” (¬†Expositor’s Bible Commentary,¬†note on verses 5-8).

In verse 8, the righteous are reminded to not inadvertently pronounce a blessing on those who are cursed through a typical greeting or bidding of farewell using God’s name (compare 2 John 9-11).

In an ultimate sense, this song of ascents looks forward to the fulfillment of the fall festivals in the return of the Messiah, Yeshua, when Israel-meaning both God’s physical nation and His spiritual people -are delivered from their bondage in this world, their oppressors being both human and, primarily, demonic. The cords of Satan and sin will be broken, God’s people will at last be set free, and Satan and his followers will be brought to shame.


Waiting on God’s redemption (Psalms 130)

Though¬†Psalm 130¬†begins in the depths of despair, it rises, as the second song of ascents in the fourth set of three, to a primary focus of confident hope and trust in God-in His faithfulness to forgive and redeem. In its acknowledgment of sin and need for forgiveness, the song is classed as a penitential psalm. “Its placement following a psalm of imprecation (Ps. 129) is fitting. After all, a person might take such joy [or comfort] in the destruction of the wicked that he or she no longer would consider his or her own heart before the Lord” (¬†Nelson Study Bible,¬†note on Psalm 130). The pilgrims may have sung this psalm in the manner of a group confessional, seeking God’s forgiveness in preparation for keeping the Feast of Tabernacles. In this sense, it would seem related to the Day of Atonement, concerned with humbling oneself and seeking reconciliation with God just before the joyful celebration of Tabernacles.

The psalm opens with the picture of one who is drowning in sorrow over his sins, calling to God for help, referring to Him throughout as both ” Lord ” (¬†Yhwh¬†, Eternal One) and “Lord” (Master). The psalmist knows that he, representative of all God’s people, has failed in obedience to the Master. Yet he also knows that God has made provision for this failure.

Verse 3 rhetorically asks who could stand if God were to mark iniquities-that is, if a running tally of our sins was His means of judging us. The answer is none of us-for all have sinned (Romans 3:23) and the ultimate penalty of sin is death (6:23). Ezra expressed wonder at God’s people standing in His presence despite their sins: “O Lord God of Israel, you are righteous, for we are left as a remnant, as it is this day [though deserving of complete destruction]. Here we are before You, in our guilt, though no one can stand before you because of this!” (Ezra 9:15). This is possible because God, in His love for humanity, instituted an alternate means of satisfying justice, whereby mercy could be granted instead. This alternate means was the sacrifice of Yeshua-who bore the penalty of our sins in His suffering and crucifixion-foreshadowed in the sacrificial system of ancient Israel.

The psalmist looks to God for forgiveness (Psalm 130:4), knowing that God is willing to forgive (see Exodus 34:7). It is instructive to note that God offers forgiveness that He “may be feared” (Psalm 130:4). This does not mean that God’s forgiveness is something to be feared. Solomon similarly prayed in his prayer at the dedication of the temple for God to forgive His people when they repented “so they will fear you all the time they live in the land you gave our fathers” (1 Kings 8:40). The point is that God’s willingness to forgive is what encourages people to enter into a relationship with Him-to committing their lives to obeying Him from then on in proper fear. We should especially consider that forgiveness is not intended to lead to careless abandon but to careful obedience. God does not offer a cheap grace where He continually forgives us without real repentance. He requires a change of life, though this too is possible only through Him.

Confident in God’s forgiveness, the psalmist waits in assured hope of God’s promises (Psalm 130:5)-hopes and watches even more than “watchmen wait for the morning” (verse 6, NIV). The psalmist may refer here to guards who watched over the city at night-who looked forward to their shift ending and getting some rest. Others suggest that the watchers were Levite priests observing the first signs of dawn to begin preparation for the morning sacrifices. Perhaps the figure concerns longing for the darkness of night to end with the dawning of day-as representative of longing for some present trial brought on by sin to end or of Israel’s national history of trials to end with the dawning of the coming day of God.

In verse 7 the psalm exhorts the nation to the same confident hope: “O Israel, hope in the Lord “-words also found in the conclusion of the next psalm (131:3), serving to link these songs. For with God, 130:7 continues, there is¬†hesed¬†-steadfast, loyal love and mercy. He had done so much to redeem them already-delivering them from Egypt, giving them a land, rescuing them from enemies time and again. God would redeem them in an ultimate sense in time to come-from their sins and its consequences through the Messiah, who would die for their sins and rescue them from all foes, physical and spiritual (see verses 7-8). This redemption was on the minds of pilgrims as they made their way to God’s feasts-just as it should be on our minds today.


Childlike hope in God (Psalms 131)

Psalm 131 is the third of four psalms of David among the songs of ascents. As the third song of ascents in the fourth set of three, we would expect its theme to be blessing and peace in Zion-and this does fit with the mention of David, the king in Jerusalem, having a calmed and quieted soul and of Israel living in the hope of God forever (verses 2-3). The same exhortation for Israel to hope in God in Psalms 130:7 and 131:3 serves to link these two psalms thematically-as does proximity and the continued mood of humility before God.

In light of his accomplishments, David could have been proud. Yet he presents himself to the Lord as a humble man. At heart he is not arrogant or filled with self-importance, nor does he have aspirations for personal greatness (verse 1). He does not deem himself more capable than he is, recognizing his limitations (same verse).

He is at peace and content in God’s presence, like a weaned child who no longer frets and cries for milk from his mother’s breast (verse 2). A breastfeeding baby can be satisfied-but only temporarily. Note furthermore that this does not mean David views himself as independent of God and no longer in need of His provision. Indeed, a weaned child must still be taken care of and fed by his or her mother. Certainly God will continue to provide and care for all His people-and they should look to Him in confident hope for the present and for eternity to come (verse 3).

Thus, humility, maturity to a point of settled and ongoing contentment, and faith in God’s promises are important focuses to maintain in observing God’s festivals and in living godly lives generally in the lifelong march to His Kingdom.


John 7

This portion begins with Yeshua at His home in Galil with His brothers and the time of the Festival of Booths was very near. His brothers were mocking Him, concerning His works and testimony for even they did not believe. Yeshua knew He could not openly attend the festival for He knew by now that the Yehudim were seeking to kill Him. Therefore, He went up to Jerusalem later, after His brothers, and in secret.

The people, especially the Priests and scribes, were already actively looking for Him at the feast and all the people were contending amongst themselves concerning Him… whether He was the Messiah or whether He was instigating trouble among the people. But all the talk was surely about The Master.

About the middle of the festival of booths He went into the city, into the Set ‚Äď Apart Place and was teaching. The learned ones marveled at Him, at His knowledge and understanding even though He was not taught. Yeshua gives all the honor to the Father and spoke to them of how all He says and does is from the Father and is righteous. The Scribes and Priests are supposed to teach the Torah, but they neither teach it nor ‚Äúdo it‚ÄĚ Yeshua let it be known that He knows they want to kill Him and of course, they said He was mad for thinking this although it was true. They accused Him of having a demon.

Many were believing in Yeshua as the sent Messiah from heaven and the Pharisees were even more determined to seize Him but they were not able because His time was not yet come for these things to happen. On the last day of the feast, Yeshua stood and cried out, ‚ÄėIf anyone thirsts, let him come to Me, and let him who believes in Me drink.‚Äô Many professed that He was The Messiah. Many others stumbled in the fact that they knew where Yeshua came from, by birth, in Galil and His parents ‚Äď Miriam and Yoseph and so they stumbled upon Him.