The Seven Old Testament Feasts

Leviticus chapter twenty-three covers the seven feasts that Israel was to keep. The first four came in the spring, and the last three were in the fall. We can now see that the first four were types or shadows to be completely fulfilled in the New Testament.

Spring Feasts

1. The Passover Feast (Ex. 12:14-18) celebrated the Passover of the death angel when the Hebrews were in Egypt. We recall that Jesus was attending the Passover feast when He was arrested. 

Paul tells us in the First Corinthians that Christ was our Passover. “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” (1 Cor 5:7, NKJV).

2. The feast of Unleavened Bread (Ex. 12:15-18) was also celebrated as part of the Passover period. Leaven was considered a symbol for sin. Jesus was celebrating the feast of Unleavened Bread when He took the cup and bread and said “Eat” and “Drink” in remembrance of Me.

The feast of Unleavened Bread was fulfilled in the Lord’s Supper. “Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor 5:8, NKJV).

3. The feast of First Fruits (Ex. 23:19) was celebrated on the first Sunday after Passover. This feast was fulfilled with the resurrection of Jesus. He became the first fruits of the resurrection. “But now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20, NKJV).

4. The feast of Pentecost (Lev. 23:15-21) was celebrated fifty days later and required the offering of two loaves. Jesus told the disciples to wait until Pentecost had come. “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1, NKJV). In the upper room, God poured out the Holy Spirit on those who were present. This was the beginning of the Church (Bride of Christ). The two loaves symbolize the two groups (Jew and Gentile) making up the Church. Therefore, the Church fulfills the feast of Pentecost (Acts 1:5.- 2:4)

Fall Feasts

1. The feast of Trumpets (Lev. 23:23-25) was the first feast celebrated in the fall. It was the beginning of the new year. “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation” (Lev 23:23-24, NKJV). Today it is celebrated as Rosh Hashanah.

“Rosh Hashanah is a time of new beginnings. Jewish tradition holds that the creation was completed on Rosh Hashanah, and Adam was born on that day as well. If so, the counting of time actually began the first day of the first month of the first year. The first Rosh Hashanah.” Some students of prophecy believe that Jesus was born on Rosh Hashanah.

Many Bible teachers believe that this feast will be fulfilled with the second coming of Christ and the regathering of Israel (Matt 24:31). Others believe that the fulfillment with be with the Rapture of the Church. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor, 15:52, NKJV). If so, this feast symbolizes the end of the Church age, as Pentecost symbolized the beginning.

2. The feast of Atonement occurred shortly after the feast of Trumpets (Lev. 16:30Lev 23:26-29). “For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD” (Lev. 16:30, NKJV). Many believe that this feast will be fulfilled when Christ returns as King of Kings to judge and cleanse the nation Israel (Rom. 11:26Ez. 20:34-38Zech 12:1-9). “So, Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Heb. 9:28, NKJV).

3. The last feast of the fall was the feast of Tabernacles (Ex. 23:16Lev. 26:23, 41-42). This feast was also called the Feast of Booths. This is because they were required to live in booths in remembrance of the days after they had left Egypt.

Many see this feast fulfilled in the Millennium when the Kingdom will be restored. Then, the Messiah will lead His people out of the bondage of the Gentile Nations. (Zech. 14:16-21).

The following is a good website for the study of the Biblical Holidays. Click on “Biblical Holidays