“the appointed times of Yahweh.” Yahweh divided up the year by many feasts and Sabbaths (days of rest), and these were designed to help people remember Yahweh and His provision and blessing upon His people. The Hebrew calendar was full of special days, and there were three feasts in which all the males (meaning the males of fighting age; Exod. 23:14, 17; 34:23-24; Deut. 16:16) were to appear before Yahweh (these three feasts are underlined). Although these sabbaths and feasts are mentioned many times in the Bible, below are some important scriptures that describe some requirements of each feast.
Daily Offerings: These were to be offered every day of the year (Num. 28:1-8). When there were other feasts or offerings, the daily offerings were in addition to them.
Weekly Sabbath: This was to be done every Sabbath in addition to the daily offering (Exod. 16:23-29; 20:8-11; 31:13-17; 35:2-3; Lev. 23:3; Deut. 5:12-15.). The specific Sabbath offerings are described in Numbers 28:9-10.
New Moon: This was done at the first sighting of the new moon, indicating a new month (Num. 10:10; 29:6; Ps. 81:3). The specific new moon offerings are stated in Numbers 28:11-15.
Passover: This feast occurs on the fixed date Nisan 14 (Exod. 12:3-11, 43-45; 34:25; Lev. 23:4-5; Num. 9:14; Deut. 16:1-7). The special offering of Passover was the Passover lamb (or goat) itself.
Feast of Unleavened Bread: This feast occurred on Nisan 15-22, directly following Passover (Exod. 12:15-20; 23:15; Lev. 23:6-8; Deut. 16:1-8). The special offerings during the Feast of Unleavened Bread are listed in Numbers 28:17-25.
Pentecost: Pentecost was a one-day feast and it was 50 days after the first regular Sabbath after Passover (Acts 2:1; 20:16; 1 Cor. 16:8). It was also called the “Feast of Harvest” (Exod. 23:16) and the “Feast of Weeks” (Exod. 34:22; Num. 28:26; Deut. 16:10, 16; 2 Chron. 8:13). The special offerings for Pentecost are given in Leviticus 23:15-21 and Numbers 28:26-31.
Rosh Hashanah: The Hebrew “Rosh Hashanah” literally means “head of the year” (from the Hebrew rosh, “head”). This one-day feast occurred on Tishri 1, the beginning of the civil new year (Lev. 23:24-25; Num. 29:1-6). The religious new year began on Nisan 1. The first day of the month Tishri was considered the first day of the year for over 2,500 years, from Adam until the Exodus. At the Exodus, God changed the Jewish calendar and switched it by six months. The seventh month, which had been Nisan (also called Abib), became the first month (Exod. 12:2). That change made the first month (Tishri) become the seventh month (see commentary on Exodus 12:2). Rosh Hashanah was to be a special day of rest and memorialized by blowing shofars, the ram’s horn trumpet, so it became known as the “Feast of Trumpets,” although that name is not in the Bible.
Day of Atonement: Also known as Yom Kippur, this day was on Tishri 10 (Lev. 23:26-27; 16:1-34; esp. v. 29). The specific offerings for this day are given in Numbers 29:7-11. In time, the Jews made this a day of fasting, calling it “The Fast” (Acts 27:9).
Feast of Booths: Also known as the “Feast of Tabernacles” or the “Feast of Ingathering” (Exod. 23:16), this feast occurred on Tishri 15-22—it was an eight-day feast. Special sacrifices for the Feast of Booths are given in Numbers 29:12-28.
The Feast of Dedication: Also known as “Hanukkah” and “The Festival of Lights” (John 10:22). This was an 8-day festival starting on the Kislev 25 and going into the month Tevet (the fourth month from Tishri). It normally falls in our December. It was instituted by Judas Maccabaeus in 167 BC.
Feast of Purim: This feast was celebrated on Adar 14, the last month of the Jewish year (Esther 9:26-32). It was established in Persia during the Babylonian Captivity (c. 500 BC) and normally falls in March.