The Sabbath was made for ἄνθρωπον (anthropon; mankind), not mankind for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)
This statement means that the Sabbath Days of Yahweh were meant to assist mankind.
Therefore, Sabbaths are meant to bring mankind closer to Yahweh and eternal life. It is a time for mankind to refresh himself and rest from his work of creating a livelihood and from doing his own concerns.
The Sabbaths are a time for one to turn toward creating his or her perfected innermost self and establishing their relationship with Yahweh.
Accordingly, on that day, the discussion, work, labor, and activity required must deal with Yahweh and the work he desires that we accomplish.
This study shall provide an in-depth examination of what is proper and improper for the observance of the Sabbath day.
Indeed, it is one thing to conclude that Yahweh established the seventh day of the week as a Sabbath. Still, it is quite another to know what keeping the Sabbath actually entails.
Work Not to be Done According to the instructions from Scriptures, there are several things that one must not do on the Sabbath Day (whether the weekly Sabbath or a High Sabbath).
Primary to the instructions regarding the Sabbath Day is that you are not to do “מלאכת (malakath; work, employment),” or “מעשה (maseh; activity, product creation),” or any “עבד (abad; servile labor).” (Exod. 20:8-11, 23:12; Deut. 5:12-15)
Employees working for you and even livestock so employed must also cease doing such work on the Sabbath. (Exod. 20:8-11, 23:12; Deut. 5:12-15)
For many, it seems that the most confusing of all the sacred days of Yahweh is the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread.
The question that arises is, Why so much confusion?
In order to address and eliminate this confusion, it would seem reasonable to acknowledge that the expectation of keeping Yahweh’s sacred days existed from the time of Adam and Eve.
Let us cite a few relevant passages from Scriptures.
And eloahim said, Let there be luminaries in the open expanse of the heaven to divide between the daytime and the night and let them be for signs and for מועדים (moadim; APPOINTED TIMES) and for days and years; and let them be for illuminations in the open expanse of the heaven to give light on the land; and it was so. And eloahim made the two great luminaries: the great luminary for ruling the day and the smaller luminary for ruling the night, and the stars. And eloahim set them in the open expanse of the heaven to give light upon the land and to rule over the daytime and over the night, and to separate between the light and the darkness. (Gen. 1:14-18)
He (Yahweh) made the moon for the מועדים (moadim; appointed times), the sun knows where he enters in. (Psalm 104:19)
It is evident that Yahweh’s Festival Days fall into the category of the moadim or appointed times, thereby confirming that the Festival Days were observed from the beginning in the Garden of Eden.
A popular Sacred Name group offers an article titled “Why Passover is Not a High Day.” This article contains the subtitle “12 Reasons Why the Passover Is Not the First High Day.”
We shall present a few excerpts from the article to illustrate the reinterpretations of Scriptures utilized to justify the predetermined conclusions regarding the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread.
The following are “Reasons” 10 and 11. In addition, after each – SNG STATEMENT – ( Sacred Name group statement) we, will provide a • YRR RESPONSE • (Yahu Ranger response).
10. Does Passover Memorial Make Eight Days of the Feast?
– SNG STATEMENT – From the time we take the emblems of unleavened bread and the cup, we are to purge (Strong’s No. 1571 ekkathairo), meaning to cleanse thoroughly, to eliminate, to purify, to get rid of the old leaven. Does this mean that we are now keeping eight days of unleavened bread rather than seven, as some allege?
In an effort to support an 8-day practice of Passover and Unleavened Bread consisting of Abib 14-21, many purported followers of Yahweh manipulate the simple truth conveyed by certain passages of Scriptures.
For instance, they claim to offer as evidence Exodus 12:14, which they say has been misinterpreted and thereby proves that Passover Day, Abib 14, is not a Festival Day, a High Sabbath, or the first day of Unleavened Bread. Therefore, Passover Day is summarily relegated to be just a memorial and a type of preparation day.
It is also claimed that the Festival of Unleavened Bread begins on their designated High Sabbath of Abib 15. This 7-day Festival would continue through Abib 21.
One should keep in mind that these assertions are made with the knowledge that one actually begins to eat unleavened bread on Passover Day, Abib 14.
Therefore, when one adds the 1-day observance of the Passover Memorial (Abib 14) to the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread (Abib 15-21), there is a total of 8 days of eating unleavened bread.
As early as about 600 B.C.E. the prophet Jeremiah wrote concerning scribal tampering of Scriptures:
How do you (scribes) say, We are wise, and the laws of Yahweh are with us? Certainly, behold, the pen has practiced deceit, a lie of the scribes. The wise are put to shame; they are terrified and are captured. Behold, the word of Yahweh they have rejected and their wisdom is their own. (Jer. 8:8-9)
There are 134 times when Jewish copyists (Sopherim) of the Masoretic text, believing that certain passages were too often quoted that used the sacred name Yahweh, changed the primitive Hebrew text to read adonai or eloahim instead of Yahweh.Continue reading “The Lying Pen of the Scribes”→
Of the four Gospels, there exists a perception that the book of John relates a contradictory narrative in relation to the other Gospels regarding the account of Yahushua the messiah’s last Passover supper, also known as the “Last Supper.”
Because of this perception, many have utilized the book of John to support the idea that Yahushua never actually ate the Passover supper since it occurred on the evening of Abib 14, which was one day before the officially sanctioned day of Abib 15 as recognized by the Jewish religious leaders.
Some claim that Yahushua’s “Last Supper” on Abib 14 was a faux Passover or a fake. The reason being that Yahushua knew that he would be dead and would not be able to keep the true Passover on Abib 15.
Others say that because of this unique circumstance, an exception was made for Yahushua by father Yahweh, who permitted him to observe a valid Passover one day earlier, thereby circumventing the Law!
Some time ago, a popular Sacred Name group published a list titled “10 Key Passover Facts,” found in their Jan-Feb 2018 magazine.
We will address Fact #5, which reads:
While leavening is not prohibited on Passover day, Abib 14, it is disallowed with the Passover memorial, Exodus 12:8. The Passover is a time of removing leavening in preparation for the Feast of Unleavened Bread that follows.
Modified Version For many, this would seem to be a reasonable statement because this reflects the present-day acceptance, by most, of a modified version of the Hasidic/Pharisaic practice of Passover and Unleavened Bread which encompasses the dates of Abib 14-21 with the result of an observance consisting of 8 days.Continue reading “The Math of Passover & Unleavened Bread”→
Ancient writers were not negligent in preserving for us the correct pronunciation of the entire sacred name. Despite Jewish and Roman Church prohibitions against its use, the vocalization of the complete name was revealed and is preserved by some of these writers.
The following are various sources which attest to the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton as Yahweh (Yah-oo-ay).
JOSEPHUS Before any serious discussion can take place regarding the true pronunciation of the sacred name, it is necessary to recognize that the Tetragrammaton consists of four Hebrew vowels. Josephus writes:
His (the priest’s) head was covered by a tiara of fine linen, wreathed with blue, encircling which was another crown, of gold, whereon were embossed the sacred letters, to wit, FOUR VOWELS (φωνήεντα τέσσαρα; phonhenta tessara).1
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA Clement of Alexandria (2nd century CE), for instance, tells his readers that the sacred name was pronounced ’Ιαουέ and ’Ιαουαί,2both words which approximate the sound Yah-oo-ay.
Most students of Scriptures are quite familiar with the famous account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Even though this well-known historical account would seem to be adequately explained by Scriptures and understood by most everyone, it also seems that upon closer examination there would appear to be crucial information that has virtually gone unnoticed.
When several key passages of the narrative are more carefully scrutinized, one will discover something quite unexpected, especially regarding the true identity of who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
In The Inheritance & Salvation-Part 1 we discussed the legal mechanism of an inheritance promised to Abraham and his seed (Yahushua the messiah) that is utilized by Yahweh to enable the saved of mankind to gain salvation and eternal life.
We will now direct our focus on discovering the actual promises that are contained in this inheritance. In other words, Just what can we inherit and why is it so valuable?
Promises These promises are specified in the book of Genesis.29 They include the promise to make Abraham a great nation, to make kings of his descendants (thus establishing the great nation as a kingdom), to give a blessing (which is eternal life),30 and to give a great name (i.e., the sacred name Yahweh).31
Most modern-day Christians, together with those who proclaim to be followers of Yahweh, seem to fall short when attempting to understand how the death of Yahushua the messiah enables us to attain salvation and eternal life.
Many point to the basis for their understanding from one passage as given in the book of John:
For the deity so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.(John 3:16)
Numerous individuals understand this to mean that all one has to do is profess a belief or faith that Yahushua (Jesus) was the messiah who was given to mankind by the father and that the messiah has washed us from our sins by dying and shedding his blood for us whereby we can become saved and have eternal life.
In reality, if one were to base all of their faith only on this one verse, it would be obvious to the serious student of Scriptures that this type of faith would be more accurately defined as “blind faith.”
We learned that a tequphah is a solar event and is a point in time that could be an equinox or a solstice.
It was also recognized that a tequphath represents a season of the solar year. The two seasons for calculating Festival Days being spring-summer and autumn-winter.
With this in mind we will continue in Part 2 with an examination of the Festival of Tabernacles and the Festival of Ingathering. What we will discover is how they both relate to the determination of the scriptural New Year.
Khag of Tabernacles We must next be cognizant of the difference between the use of the labels “the Khag (Festival) of Ingathering” and “the Khag of Tabernacles,” the latter forming only a part of the former. The instructions from Deuteronomy and Leviticus for the seven-day Khag of Tabernacles state:
When all of the window dressing is removed, we discover that the entire issue about when to begin the year rests with the instructions regarding the Khag of Ingathering and its tequphath (season of the year).
Preliminary Statement The late Jews tell of four תקופת (tequphath) of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter), each calculated as a period following one of the days of a תקופה (tequphah): the vernal equinox, the summer solstice, autumnal equinox, and winter solstice.1
It is also important for us not to confuse the occurrence of a tequphah (i.e., equinox or solstice) with the season (tequphath) although the same word is sometimes used in common speech for both.
To begin with, a tequphah (equinox or solstice), as spoken of by Scriptures, is a solar event, marking a point of passage of the earth around the sun. It represents a day wherein one of two visual effects occur.
1. A solstice day is a day when the sun, as seen along the earth’s horizon, reaches its furthest point of rising or setting either on the north or south.
2. On the day of an equinox, on the other hand, the rising and setting of the sun lies on the horizon precisely in the middle between the two solstice points. As a consequence, the length of the periods of daytime and nighttime on that day of the equinox are almost exactly equivalent.
The Tequphath The Hebrew word תקופת (tequphath)—various transliterated as tekufath, tequfoth, tequfath, and so forth—is a form of the term תקופה (tequphah)—tekufah, tequfah, and so forth. Tequphah is itself derived from the word קופ (quph), meaning to, “go round.”2 The term תקופה (tequphah) more precisely means, “a revolution, i.e. (of the sun) course, (of time) lapse:—circuit, come about, end”;3 a “circuit,”4 “orbit of the sun . . . circle of the year.”5
In Part 2 of our discussion, we will delve deeper into the Pharisaic influence on many followers of Yahweh regarding the practice of considering the maturity of barley to determine the month of Abib and the scriptural New Year.
Picking up from where we left off in Part 1, the month-name ha-Abib was next connected by the Pharisees with the day of the omer wave offering. An עמר (omer) is a dry measure or gathering of “newly cut grain,”32 as in “a heap.”33
Omer Wave Offering The omer wave offering of newly cut grain was a requirement under the Torah of Moses as a gift to Yahweh, being the first-fruits from each year’s harvest. The offering occurs in the spring at the time of Unleavened Bread and is directly connected with the Promised Land. This offering is described in detail by the book of Leviticus.
When you come into the land (of Promise) which I am giving to you, and have reaped its harvest, and have brought in this omer, the beginning (first-fruits) of your harvest, to the priest, then he will wave this omer before Yahweh for your acceptance. On the day after the Sabbath the priest will wave it. (Lev. 23:9-11)
Technically, the instructions from Scriptures do not specifically mention which first-fruits from which harvest. It only indicates in a subsequent passage that the Israelites were not permitted to eat bread, קלי (qali; roasted whole grains),34 or כרמל (karmel; fruits and produce)—all indicating a variety of produce—derived from the new year’s crops until after the omer wave offering had been made.35