Holy Days and Hebrew History Ė Part One

The Lord gave Moses instruction for seven Holy Days in Leviticus chapter 23. There are three that occur in the early Spring, one in late Spring, and three in the Fall. Because I believe that there is nothing in Godís Word that is coincidental, I find the occasion of certain events in the history of the nation of Israel relating to these days quite interesting.

The first Holy Days are Passover (Nisan 15), the Feast of Unleavened Bread (seven days beginning with Nisan 15), and Firstfruits (the first Sunday following Nisan 15). Although not a Holy Day, Nisan 10 is important as the day the Israelites chose a lamb for Passover.

After the death of Moses, the Lord told Joshua that He was about to give the Holy Land to the Children of Israel. After a series of three-day events, including sending the two scouts to observe Jericho, the Israelites miraculously crossed the Jordan River on Nisan 10 (Joshua 4:19). On what was apparently the next day, Nisan 11, the Israelites re-consecrated themselves and the men were circumcised, and the camped there until they were healed.

On the eve of Nisan 14 (the Hebrew day starts at sundown) they celebrated Passover (Nisan 15). Apparently on Nisan 16, the day after Passover, Joshua met the Commander of the Lordís Army (Joshua 5:13). I believe this person to be the Lord Jesus and not an angel because Joshua fell facedown before Him. In the Bible angels always stated that they were fellow servants and for the person to get up and not worship before them. This person did not so instruct Joshua. In fact, He told Joshua that he was standing on Holy Ground, just as the Lord told Moses at the burning bush.

Here Joshua received instructions for the defeat of Jericho, the first city to fall in the Promised Land. The Israelites were to march around the city for seven days. This included the Sabbath, on which they were normally not to work or walk a great distance. The instructions received contradict the Law given to Moses, but He who makes the rules can change them. Joshua began the process on that very day (Joshua 6:6). As we know, the walls of Jericho fell on the seventh day. All the articles of gold, silver, bronze and iron found in Jericho were dedicated to the Lord and placed in His treasury. The Firstfruits of victory over the Promised Land were presented to the Lord.

The entry into the Promised Land was an important event in the history of Israel. They crossed the Jordan on Nisan 10, the day the Passover Lamb was chosen. They celebrated the first Passover in the Holy Land. If, and I repeat if, Passover (Nisan 15) occurred on a Sunday, it appears that Joshua received the instructions for the fall of Jericho on the next day, a Monday. If this is so, the marches around Jericho came during the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Jericho fell the following Sunday, the Day of Firstfruits. Jericho was the Firstfruits of the Holy Land, and signifies the fact that the Holy Land belongs to the Lord.

Jesus fulfilled the early Spring Holy Days. He, the Lamb of God, was chosen and presented at Jerusalem on Nisan 10. We call it Palm Sunday. He was sacrificed on the eve of Passover, and He arose on the first Sunday following Passover, the Firstfruits of the grave.

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