Archive for Mount Sinai

Pentecost, Shavuot, Feast of Weeks: Counting of the Omer

Posted in Gospel, Pentecost/Shavuot/Feast of Weeks, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2016 by paulthepoke

Leviticus 23:15-16 ‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete Sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord.

With the Mosaic Law, this 50 day period of time is known as the “counting of the omer”. So what is an “omer”? The Hebrew word for “sheaf” is omer. Per Strong’s Concordance, an omer is a sheaf or bundle of grain; or a dry measure. Exodus 16:36 (An omer is the tenth part of an ephah.) In a western culture, an omer is approximately 2.3 quarts (http://biblehub.com/weights-and-measures/).

During Temple worship, an omer of barley was brought to the Temple on the second day of Passover. This was a grain offering. This marked the first day of the count.

In Jewish culture, the counting of the omer (50 days) connects the Passover and Shavuot. The Passover is celebrated to remind the nation Israel of the Exodus out of Egypt. Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks is a memorial of God giving Moses and Israel the Torah. Hebraic belief is redemption from Egyptian slavery was not complete until they received the instruction or teaching.

http://www.jewfaq.org/holidayb.htm

The Law was given on Mount Sinai roughly 1,500 years before Christ. Nation Israel honored Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, every year. Fast forward to 33 AD. Nation Israel has been celebrating and living God’s Appointed Spring holidays.

Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb, had been sacrificed. He was the buried Unleavened Bread. Christ is the First Fruits.

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. It is seven weeks after the death of the sacrificial lamb, Jesus. Shavuot or Pentecost is also the day God the Father gave the Holy Spirit. Because of this, Pentecost is considered the beginning or the birth of the church (believers in Jesus Christ).

Believers in Christ are cleansed of sin by the innocent blood of the Lamb. When that decision is made, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. We are redeemed children of God, free of the bondage of sin.

Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Shavuot, Feast of Weeks, and Pentecost are synonymous. Shavuot is often associated with God giving the Torah, the birth of Judaism. Pentecost is often associated with God giving the Holy Spirit, the birth of the church. God chose His appointed holiday to reveal aspects of who He is.

https://paulthepoke.com/2015/05/17/shavuotpentecost-part-1/

https://paulthepoke.com/2015/05/22/shavuotpentecost-part-2/

 

 

Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah/Feast of Trumpets, 2015

Posted in Fall Feasts, Prophecy, Rapture, Resurrection, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2015 by paulthepoke

Leviticus 23:23-25 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.  You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.’”

Numbers 29:1 ‘Now in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall also have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. It will be to you a day for blowing trumpets.

yomteruah

The Feast of Trumpets is the only new moon holiday on God’s calendar. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish civil New Year, the head of years. The terms Rosh Hashanah, Feast of Trumpets, Yom Teruah, Jewish New Year, Hidden Day, New Moon Festival are synonymous.

This year, 2015 on the Gregorian calendar, the holiday begins on September 13. Yom Teruah is officially declared when the crescent of the new moon is observed by two witness and confirmed by the high priest. By definition, it is a holiday no one knows the day or hour.

God operates on a lunar calendar. Jews have utilized the following procedure every month for thousands of years. It is called Rosh Chodesh which means “head of the month”. At the end of a lunar cycle, the moon is dark and is not seen for 2-3 days. So, the new moon could be identified during this 2-3 day period …of that day or hour no one knows…

There are people who are trained witnesses to identify the new moon. They are outside of Jerusalem when the moon goes dark and they are looking for the tiny sliver to emerge. If you are interested, see this website.

http://whenisthenewmoon.com/

This year (September 13, 2015) is unique. There will be a partial solar eclipse occurring on God’s appointed holiday, Yom Teruah. A celestial event as a time marker on God’s appointment. God says He uses the sun, moon, and stars to communicate to humanity.

http://paulthepoke.com/2015/08/30/gods-handiwork-the-heavens/

Colossians 2:16-17 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

Yom Teruah is set aside by God with prophetic implications. The Feast of Trumpets is a promise for the future. Jesus is the reason. Resurrection and rapture, He makes it happen. The issue may not be the hour or the day. The issue may be the year…

http://paulthepoke.com/2014/08/17/resurrectionrapture-no-one-knows-the-day-or-hour-maybe-2/

http://paulthepoke.com/2014/09/07/yom-teruahrosh-hashanahfeast-of-trumpets-part-1/

Does the information God communicated to Moses on Mount Sinai thousands of years ago really matter to us today in 2015 and beyond?

Shavuot/Pentecost, Part 1

Posted in Gospel, Pentecost/Shavuot/Feast of Weeks, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2015 by paulthepoke

Leviticus 23:15-16 ‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete Sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord.

SONY DSC

Other provisions for the holiday include two loaves of bread, sacrificial lambs, a bull, two rams, a goat, and a drink offering of wine. The holiday is also a day of rest with no work (Leviticus 23:17-21).

In the Old Testament and in the Hebrew, this holiday is referred to as Shavuot. The word means: weeks.

Shavuot is one of the three holidays where Jewish men are required to come to Jerusalem (Exodus 23:14-17). The men were to make their presentation and sacrifice before God at the Temple.

As stated in the Leviticus passage, it is seven weeks after Passover. It is a celebration of the completed grain harvest. The holiday is also a celebration of God giving the Torah (instruction or law) to nation Israel. Because of this, Shavuot is considered as the beginning or birth of Judaism.

The Law was given on Mount Sinai roughly 1,500 years before Christ. Nation Israel honored this holiday every year. Eating and drinking dairy products are part of the celebration of Shavuot. Many think the custom of dairy products is in reference to Bible verses referring to a promised land flowing with milk and honey. An example is Exodus 3:8a “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey…

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/why-dairy-on-shavuot/

Fast forward to 33 AD. Nation Israel is celebrating and living the holiday. Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they (apostles) were all together in one place. In the Greek New Testament, Shavuot (Hebrew) is translated as Pentekoste (Greek). Per Strong’s Concordance, it means: the fiftieth day; the second of the three great Jewish feasts, celebrated at Jerusalem yearly, the seventh week after the Passover, in grateful recognition of the completed harvest. We have transliterated the word to Pentecost (English).

This is the day promised by Jesus of the giving of the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. It is seven weeks after the death of the sacrificial lamb, Jesus. Shavuot or Pentecost is also the day God the Father gave the Holy Spirit. Because of this, Pentecost is considered the beginning or the birth of the church (believers in Jesus Christ).

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Spring_Holidays/Shavuot/shavuot.html

Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…”

Unleavened Bread, Nisan 15, Saturday, 33 AD

Posted in Gospel, Prophecy, Spring Feasts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2015 by paulthepoke

The second of God’s holidays is Unleavened Bread or Chag haMatazt in the Hebrew. The holiday begins on the 15th of Nisan and runs for seven days.

The directions for Unleavened Bread are noted in Exodus 12:15-20. The focus of the week is to live a life without leaven, the symbol for sin. Leaven is not to be in the house. Leaven products are not to be consumed. Bread without yeast, matzah, is to be eaten.

matzah

Scripture is clear God’s appointed Unleavened Bread took place on the Sabbath. Luke 23:56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

Matthew 27:62-66 Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.

The religious leaders’ actions indicate the days of the week these events took place. Now on the next day, the day after the preparation… “The next day” is the day after the crucifixion. We know Jesus died on Friday, the day before the current day of the verse. That next day is Saturday or the Sabbath. The Pharisees were concerned with the apostles or followers of Jesus stealing His body. The Pharisees understood Jesus was talking about a resurrection of His dead body. They knew Jesus was calling for a resurrection on the third day, Sunday. The Pharisees wanted a guard at the tomb to stop any hoax. In the end, they provided eyewitnesses and verification of Jesus’ resurrection.

Because Unleavened Bread took place on the Sabbath or Saturday, Passover was on Friday. First Fruits was on Sunday.

Leaven is a symbol of sin. Jesus lived a life without sin (leaven). 2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus is the unleavened bread.

He is the bread of life. John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.  

Jesus was buried and in the grave on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a Sabbath or Saturday.

 

Sabbatical Year/Shemitah, Part 4

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2014 by paulthepoke

Exodus 23:10-11 You shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

So what is the big deal? Does God really care if this law is followed? After all, farmers have to make money. We all have to eat. How can we survive during the seventh year if food is not grown? Is God being unreasonable? Is this practical? Does God know what He is doing?

Are there consequences for Israel not keeping the Sabbatical or Shemitah year? God’s response is straight forward. He told Moses and nation Israel at Mount Sinai. If you do not keep the commandments, I will kick you out of the land and disperse you. There will be pain and suffering. See Leviticus 26:14-39 for Israel’s complete consequences of disobedience. Specifically, these are the issues related to the disobedience of the Sabbatical or Shemitah year.

Leviticus 26:34-35 Then the land will enjoy its Sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies’ land; then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your Sabbaths, while you were living on it.

Leviticus 26:43 For the land will be abandoned by them, and will make up for its Sabbaths while it is made desolate without them. They, meanwhile, will be making amends for their iniquity, because they rejected My ordinances and their soul abhorred My statutes.

Eventually, Israel disobeyed God and His commandments. God counted 70 Sabbatical or Shemitah years Israel had not kept. Judgment came via the Babylonians. Jews of all ages were slaughtered. The temple was raided. The articles for worship and service were stolen and taken to Babylon. The temple was burned. The walls of the city were destroyed. Buildings and resources were plundered. Those who survived were taken into captivity in Babylon. And why did these events take place? 2 Chronicles 36:21 to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept Sabbath until seventy years were complete. And when 70 years were completed, a decree went from Cyrus. Israel went back to their land (2 Chronicles 36:22-23).

This is what happened to Israel historically. The Jews were kicked out of the land again in 70 AD and scattered throughout the globe…Israel became a nation again in 1948. For whatever reason, there is an element of the Jewish people who are interested in giving the land its rest this Sabbatical year. The Shemitah started in the Fall of 2014 and ends September 15, 2015 on the Gregorian calendar.

Sabbatical Year/Shemitah, Part 2

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2014 by paulthepoke

Leviticus 25:1-7 The Lord then spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I shall give you, then the land shall have a sabbath to the Lord. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. Your harvest’s aftergrowth you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a sabbatical year. All of you shall have the sabbath products of the land for food; yourself, and your male and female slaves, and your hired man and your foreign resident, those who live as aliens with you. Even your cattle and the animals that are in your land shall have all its crops to eat.

Exodus 23:10-11 You shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

In Biblical times, the farmer would scatter and sow seed first. This occurred during the fall after the holidays and God’s appointed feasts. A team of two oxen would be yoked together to drag a plough and till under the seed. It was customary to use two of the same animals per the law. Deuteronomy 22:10 You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. Farming was a year around job. The land was constantly being worked. It was necessary to keep the ground free of weeds by hoeing from December until February. With the harvesting of grain in late spring and summer, stalks were cut near the top and bundled. The remainder of the plant was left for animals to eat. (New Manners and Customs of Bible Times). This cycle occurred for six consecutive years.

In the seventh year, the land is to rest. There is to be no physical labor or working of the land. Seed is not to be planted. The soil is not to be tilled or turned over. Weeds are left to grow unchecked. Olive trees are not to be trimmed or pruned. Grape vines are left unattended to grow wildly. Whatever grows will grow. The farmers are not to harvest or gather crops that do grow during the Sabbatical year. The food that grows is for the farmer, servants, workers, foreigners, and the poor. Of the food that is not eaten by people, the remainder is for the animals.

Imagine that, an economy with a built in one year vacation every seventh year. No need for a worker or union to negotiate time off.

Trust in the Lord to provide.

Sabbatical Year/Shemitah, Part 1

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2014 by paulthepoke

Leviticus 25:1-7 The Lord then spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I shall give you, then the land shall have a sabbath to the Lord. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. Your harvest’s aftergrowth you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a sabbatical year. All of you shall have the sabbath products of the land for food; yourself, and your male and female slaves, and your hired man and your foreign resident, those who live as aliens with you. Even your cattle and the animals that are in your land shall have all its crops to eat.

These commands in Leviticus were delivered personally to Moses by God. These were words were given to Moses approximately 3,500 years ago from today (October 2014). This is part of the ceremonial law, yet it has practical applications today. God wants His people to be holy or separate. God’s people should separate themselves from others by their behavior.

The word “Sabbath” in the Hebrew is transliterated. It is also “Sabbath” in English. The term is equated with rest. It is to be set apart, sacred, and holy.

Exodus 23:10-11 You shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

“you shall let it rest…” The word is “shamat” in the Hebrew. It is defined by Strong’s Concordance as: to release, let drop or loose or rest or fall.

The Jewish people also refer to this as “shemitah”. It literally means to release.

Deuteronomy 15:1-2 At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission of debts. This is the manner of remission: every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because the LORD’S remission has been proclaimed.

“remission of debts…In the original Hebrew text “of debts” is not present. “of debts” was added by the translators. Shemitah is the Hebrew word for remission. Shemitah as defined by Strong’s Concordance means: cancellation of debts, letting drop of exactions, (temporary) remitting, release (from debt).

Shemitah comes from the root word shamat.

The land is supposed to rest for one year…

Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah/Feast of Trumpets, Part 1

Posted in Fall Feasts, Prophecy, Rapture, Resurrection with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2014 by paulthepoke

Leviticus 23:23-25 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.  You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.’”

Numbers 29:1 ‘Now in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall also have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. It will be to you a day for blowing trumpets.

And blow the trumpets they do. This holiday has many names. It is called the Feast of Trumpets by Christians. It is recognized as the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. In Judaism, it is called Yom Teruah which means the “Day of Blowing”.

The directions for the holiday are straight forward. 1) It is to be a day of rest or a Sabbath. 2) The day is a holy or separate day. It is a convocation. The Hebrew word for convocation is miqra’. Per Strong’s Concordance it means: rehearsal, convocation, a reading, a calling together, or sacred assembly. 3) It is a memorial and reminder to blow or shout. The Hebrew word is teruah. It means: alarm, signal, a sound of tempest, shout of joy, blast of war, alarm, joy, war-cry, or battle-cry.

Judaism recognizes three trumps: first trump, the last trump, and the great trump. Each one of these named trumps represents a specific day. The “first trump” is blown on the Feast of Pentecost (Exodus 19:19). The “great trump” is blown on Yom Kippur and signals the return of Christ to Earth (Matthew 24:31). The “last trump” is synonymous with Yom Teruah or Rosh Hashanah (1 Corinthians 15:52). Resources: Festivals of the Jewish Year, Theodore Gaster; The High Holy Days, Herman Kieval.

This God appointed holiday is the only new moon observance. This is not some Old Testament warm and fuzzy tradition. God has a point and a reason. He has not forgotten. The Apostle Paul makes note of this holiday in Colossians 2:16-17 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

God has singled out this appointed holiday for some big time fireworks! Judaism has been rehearsing this holiday for thousands of years since Moses. Has the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed) connected the dots… (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.)

Resurrection and rapture on the Feast of Trumpets???

Elul…Blow the Horn!

Posted in Fall Feasts, Prophecy, Rapture, Resurrection, Teshuvah/Repent with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2014 by paulthepoke

Elul 1 marks the beginning of Teshuvah. In a Gregorian calendar in the year 2014, this would be August 27 or 28 depending on when the new moon is confirmed. Teshuvah is a 40 day period that runs through the holiday of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is Jewish custom to blow a shofar (ram’s horn) one time every day during the season of Teshuvah. The trumpet is blown every day except Shabbat or the Sabbath (Saturday for us in western culture) and the last day of month of Elul. The trumpet is blown after the morning service. The shofar is blown frequently…

The blowing of the shofar started with Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai. The blowing of the shofar is associated with God descending to Mount Sinai and the gathering of nation Israel. This is where Moses is called to ascend the mountain to meet God (Exodus 19:13-19). This is when and where Israel received the law.

The blowing of a shofar signaled many things in Biblical times. The shofar blast was a call to war and the prospect of danger. Joel 2:1 Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; surely it is near…The shofar was a way to call soldiers. The trumpet preceded the Ark of the Covenant. 2 Samuel 6:15 So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.

The trumpet blast signified the beginning of the month (Numbers 10:10). Psalm 81:3-4 Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day. For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob. Some form of a trumpet blast(s) is used at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). A trumpet blast also signals the beginning of Jubilee (Leviticus 25).

One of the customs of Elul is to visit a cemetery. This is quite interesting in light of the Jewish belief that the resurrection will occur during the period of Teshuvah. Specifically, the resurrection is to occur on the new moon holiday of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Christians refer to this as the Feast of Trumpets. Orthodox Jews do not believe in Christ let alone the New Testament. Apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians would confirm their tradition. 1 Corinthians 15:52b at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

http://www.hebrew4christians.com, http://www.jewfaq.org, http://www.chabad.org, http://www.myjewishlearning.com, New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Nave’s Topics.

Elul…40 Days and 40 Nights, Teshuvah

Posted in Fall Feasts, Prophecy, Teshuvah/Repent with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2014 by paulthepoke

Elul is the last month of the civic calendar in Judaism. Elul is the sixth month of the religious calendar. Jewish tradition points to the name of the month to be an acronym of “Ani l’dodi v’dodi li” a quote from Song of Songs 6:3 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine… In Aramaic, the vernacular of the Jewish people at the time that the month names were adopted), the word Elul means “search”. Per Strong’s Concordance, Elul means “nothingness” in the Hebrew. The month is mentioned one time in the Bible. Nehemiah 6:15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. Cultural customs per http://www.jewfaq.org, http://www.myjewishlearning.com .

The month of Elul initiates a 40 day period called Teshuvah. The point of the season is to prepare for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah and the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. It is a time to turn toward God. People are called to turn away from their sin, repent, and change course. It is a time of inward reflection and sincere self-assessment. The goal is a change in lifestyle away from sin to obedience in God’s word. The 40 day period starts on Elul 1 and ends on Tishri 10, Yom Kippur.

There are many examples of the significance of the number 40 in the Bible. Notice, the examples ultimately demonstrate a turning away from sin and a return to God’s word. The result is a changed mind, a lifestyle consistent with obedience to God.

On three occasions, Moses went up to Mount Sinai for 40 days and met with the LORD. Israel had worshipped a golden calf and committed idolatry against God (Exodus 32). Moses pleaded with God for mercy against His chosen people. He turned to God and instructed the people of Israel to turn from their sin. The golden calf was destroyed (Exodus 32:20). After the destruction of the golden calf, Jewish tradition has Moses ascending Mount Sinai on Elul 1 to Tishri 10 (Yom Kippur) to receive a second set of tablets. Moses came down from Mount Sinai when the people had repented (http://www.chabad.org, http://www.hebrew4christians.com).

With a lack of faith in God, Israel was left to wander in the desert for 40 years. God told them He would help them take the Promised Land. Only two men believed, Caleb and Joshua (Numbers 32:12). The others did not turn and trust God. Numbers 32:13 So the LORD’S anger burned against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the entire generation of those who had done evil in the sight of the LORD was destroyed. It was considered “evil” to not believe God. When this came to pass and the last one died. God brought His people back to the land for the taking. 40 years later, the Jewish people returned to God and His word. Course of nation Israel had changed. The Law, God’s word, was reintroduced to the people before they entered the Promised Land (Deuteronomy).

Noah and his family were in the ark for 40 days and 40 nights during the rain and flood. The world was being judged for sin. The corruption of mankind is described in Genesis 6. Noah and his family had 40 days and nights to contemplate their watery environment as a consequence. They turned and responded to God. Their lives were spared in the ark. They had nowhere to go and plenty of personal time for self-reflection.

Jesus was tempted by Satan for 40 days in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11). Every time Jesus was tempted by Satan, He turned to God the Father and quoted Deuteronomy. Jesus’ responses to temptation were to turn to the word of God (Matthew 4:4), to not put the Lord your God to the test (Matthew 4:7), and to worship and serve the Lord you God only (Matthew 4:10). Jesus resisted the tempter and was obedient to His Father.

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