Introduction to the Appointed Times of YHVH
There are seventy set-apart appointed times of YHVH (holy days) in the Biblical year. There is no other calendar with so many festive days. Leviticus 23 contains a calendar of the appointed times or meetings concerning the festive times of Israel. These meetings are not “Jewish,” these meetings belong to the Creator.
However, time is coming when every day will be festive: the days of the seventh millennium, the Shabbat millennium, when the Kingdom of YHVH will be established here on Earth and His Messiah will rule as a Prince of peace. We read from Leviticus 23 regarding the appointed times of YHVH, thus,
Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of Yehovah, which you are to proclaim as set-apart meetings, My appointed times, are these:
A. Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread) (Lev_23:6-8)
B. Bikkurim (First-fruits) (Lev_23:9-14)
C. Chag Shavuot (Feast of the Weeks) (Lev_23:15-22)
D. Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpet) (Lev_23:23-25)
C. Yom Kippurim (Day of Atonements) (Lev_23:26-32)
B. Chag Sukkot (Feast of Booths) (Lev_23:33-44)
A. Yom HaShemini (The Eight Day) (Lev_23:36-39)
Therefore, we count seventy set-apart appointed times of YHVH in the Biblical year and they are:
1. fifty-two weekly Shabbats,
2. seven days of Unleavened Breads (First-fruits included)
4. Yom Teruah,
5. Yom Kippurim,
6. seven days of Sukkot
7. and Yom HaShemini.
This chapter of Leviticus contains a calendar of the appointed times of YHVH or meetings concerning the festive times of Israel. These appointed times are not “Jewish.” These appointed times belong to the Creator. and this is most clearly stated in the heading of Lev_23:2:
“The appointed times of Yehovah, which you are to proclaim as set-apart meetings, My appointed times, are these“.
The festive seasons and days were called מוֹעֲדִים moa’dim “appointed times” appointed and fixed by the Creator from the very beginning of His Creation.
And Elohim said, Let lights come to be in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and appointed times, and for days and years, (Gen 1:14)
They have been called “appointed times” by the Creator not because they belonged to fixed times regulated by the course of the moon, but because Elohim had appointed them as days and times, which were to be set apart to Him. Each of these appointed times of YHVH is called also מִקְרָא mik’ra which has the applications of meeting, convocation, assembly, and which is very important to remember: the appointed times of YHVH are also rehearsal.
It is also clearly stated in the heading that we are to proclaim the appointed times as meetings, that is, meetings with the Creator in the due time. In addition to this, only three of them have been designated as “pilgrimages”, that is, journeys to the sacred place where YHVH will meet His people at the appointed time. This sacred place has been designated to be Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) in Israel.
With that being said, let us analyze these verses of Leviticus 23 using the so-called chiasm. But, first what is chiasm? Chiasm, in general, is an intersection or crossing of two tracts in the form of the letter X. Chiastic structures are used by the Author of the Scripture in order to bring a point. There are different types of chiasma or chiastic structures which are often used as method of writing of the Biblical text.
To mention a few, we will start from In the beginning … or the Creation story where a type of ABC…ABC chiastic structure is used to narrate the six days of creation. This type of chiasm uses parallelism in order to convey the idea of creation.
Another type of a chiastic structure is ABCBA. The ABCBA chiastic structure is used in many places in the Torah. This kind of chiasm uses a mirror-like structure and is used to give emphasis to the inmost concept, i.e., C. Also, it shows that the other ideas (AB…BA) are all leading up to the middle idea or concept (C). The idea behind this type of structure is to point the reader to the central idea, that of C-statement.
In Leviticus 23, where all appointed times of YHVH are commanded, we notice the ABCDCBA-type of chiastic structure. In it we see that topics A, B, and C are placed in a symmetrical, mirror-like order to lead to but also to emphasize the main concept: topic D, that of Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpet) in Lev_23:23-25.
This comes to tell us that Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpet) is a special time in His Calendar, although only two verses have been designated for it. This is not to say that the other appointed times are of less importance. On the contrary, all appointed times of YHVH are very important and unique because they have their own significance and prophetic meaning.
Sadly to say, there is one appointed time of YHVH that is almost forgotten by the Jewish people and by those who call themselves “Messianic.” The desire of the present author and his love for Yeshua the Messiah is to bring this appointed time back to the position of great esteem where it actually must belong. This forgotten day is the Festival of the First-fruits, HaBikkurim.
Nevertheless, Yom Teruah is in the focal point of the chiastic structure and therefore of all appointed times of YHVH and probably this is the reason why it is also referred to as “the Day of YHVH” in the Prophets. We will discuss its significance in an article, as we will do for all other appointed times of the Creator.
By this time, the reader has already noticed that there is an appointed time that stands up, as if out of pattern with the rest, and rightly so. This is the Shabbat (Sabbath) Day.
And indeed, while all other seven appointed times, Feast of Unleavened Bread, the First Fruits, Feast of the Weeks, Day of Trumpet, Day of Atonements, Feast of Booths, and The Eight Day, are annual appointed times. While they all occur once a year in their due season, Shabbat is a weekly appointed time, weekly meeting, counted as every seventh day since Day One of the Creation in an unbreakable manner until this day.
This comes to tell us that Shabbat occupies a very special place in YHVH’s calendar and in a following articles we will see why. But for the time being, it is sufficient to say that “Shabbat” is not a name of a day of the week, but a word and even expression used for a particular thing. There is one more day of all appointed times of YHVH which is also called Shabbat; all other days are not Shabbats. This day is Yom Kippurim, the Day of Atonement(s).
So, these are the seven even eight commanded appointed times of YHVH filled with substance and vital prophetic images. Through them Elohim declares not only the seasons, but also His promises concerning future events, as well as the identity and work of Yeshua the Messiah, as we will study in the articles dedicated to them.
Or, as the Apostle put them: shadow pictures of good things to come (Heb 10:1).
Every of these seven even eight appointed times is a mik’ra kodesh—a set-apart gathering, that is a rehearsal. And when there is a rehearsal, a real event is coming. And if the real event is coming, the people of YHVH must be knowledgeable and prepared for it.
This is the introductory article of the Appointed Times of YHVH and how His Messiah Yeshua has fulfilled them. For the rest of the set-apart days of the Creator, please, see the articles in The Appointed Times of YHVH.
These articles by no means are meant to be exhaustive in a comprehensive and complete manner in regard to the way of observance, sacrifices, etc.
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days