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Bible Dictionaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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In the Jewish church we find much said concerning the festivals observed; and what makes the subject important is, that they were of the Lord's own appointment. They had the constant feast of the Sabbath every seventh day, in commemoration of the Lord's resting on the seventh day from the works of creation. And when the church was formed in the wilderness, they had the several feasts as appointed in regular order. The feast of the Passover, typical of the Lord Jesus Christ, on their going out of Egypt. The feast of Pentecost, the fifteenth day from the Passover, in commemoration of the giving of the Law on mount Sinai, fifty days after the people left Egypt. They had also the feast of Tabernacles, which formed the third great feast of the year, in which all the males were enjoined to appear before the Lord. (Deuteronomy 16:16) These were among the standing feasts appointed by the Lord in the church of Israel.

But beside these, they had others by the same appointment. The feast of Trumpets of the New Moon; the feasts of Expiation, or, as the Jews called it, Chippur; that is, pardon; because on this day it was considered, that an act of grace took place from heaven, for the cleansing the sins and infirmities of all the people through the year. What a striking allusion to that great day of the Lord Jesus, when "by the one offering of himself once offered, he perfected for ever them that were sanctified!" (Hebrews 10:14) And what a beautiful correspondence to the same, was the prophet Zechariah's account of this glorious event, when hosts: "I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day." (Zechariah 3:9)

In this account of the Jewish feasts we must not overlook the feast of Jobel, or Jubilee Trumpets, in the forty-ninth year, called the Sabbatical year, or seven times seven. For surely, nothing could be more striking as typical of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord made a blessed provision, by this feast, for the freedom of every poor captive in the land. I refer the reader to the account of it in the Scriptures themselves, (Leviticus 25:1-55 throughout;) for it would not come within the limits of the present work, to go through the particulars. But of all the subjects in the Jewish church, which pointed in a direct allusion to the Lord Jesus Christ, there is not one more striking. And I venture to believe, that though this trumpet was never sounded but once in forty-nine years, and consequently few, if any, ever heard it before, or ever lived to hear it a second Jubilee, yet there was not a soul in the camp but understood the joyful sound, and felt the meaning (if I may be allowed the expression,) like the archangel's trumpet, as it will be understood by all flesh, when Jesus comes to judgment. The rigorous master on the morning of the Jubilee, whose tyranny then expired, understood by it his sentence. And what were the feelings of the poor oppressed servant, whom the Lord hath then made free, when the mor nirgshered in the sound of the blessed, though never before heard, trumpet!

I hope the reader will not overlook the sweetest and most interesting part of this feast of the Jubilee. It was the Lord Jesus in his great salvation who was thus proclaimed. Every poor sinner, captive to Satan, sin, and hell, who heard the sound, heard it in the sweet voice, "Ye have sold yourselves for nought, and ye shall be redeemed without money, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 52:3)

I think it highly proper, before I dismiss this article concerning the Jewish feasts, to remark to the reader, the distinguishing privilege we enjoy in the Christian church, in having all in one the sum and substance of every feast in the person, work, grace, and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have our Christian Sabbaths weekly, in which we commemorate all the blessings of creation, redemption, and sanctification at once. And all believers in Christ truly find their sabbaths to be all this and more.

Doth not every regenerated child of God in honouring the Lord's day, honour at the same time the Lord's work; and while he celebrates God the Father's resting from the works of the old creation, celebrate also God the Father's work in the new creation of his precious soul in Christ Jesus? (See Ephesians 2:10) And in the celebration of the sabbath in honour of God the Son, who by his triumph over death, hell, and the grave, when he arose on that day, and manifested himself to be the resurrection and the life; doth not every regenerated child of God thereby prove, "that he is risen with Christ from dead works, to serve the living and true God?" Yea, doth he not manifest his personal interest in that sweet promise, by those acts of giving honour to his Lord, where it said, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power." (Revelation 20:5) And is not God the Holy Ghost glorified and honoured in the Christian sabbath, at the renewal of the sacred day, in that then is celebrated his first open and visible display of his love and mercy over the church, when at Pentecost he came down upon the people? Doth not every regenerated child of God here also, as in the other instances, testify, that it is by the sovereignty of his power and grace, he is quickened to a new and spiritual life, and now waits again on the Lord, in his holy ordinance of the sabbath, for the renewing of the Holy Ghost to be shed on him abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Lord? (Titus 3:5-6)

Surely, these are very clear and incontestible evidences of the true commemoration of the Christian sabbath, when, in the observance, special and distinct acts of praise and honour, are given to each glorious person of the GODHEAD, as they are represented to us in the Scriptures of truth, in the several character-offices of their divine agency. And thus while each and every one hath the special and distinct acts of praise given to them, for the special acts of grace and mercy shewn to the church in Christ, the whole form one and the same glorious object of adoration, love, and praise, as the eternal undivided JEHOVAH, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, both to the church on earth, and in heaven, to all eternity.

Reader it is most blessed thus to see and enjoy our privileges. The believer's feast is a continual feast; yea, an increasing everlasting feast, a daily sabbath. Jesus himself is indeed the Jubilee; yea, the very sabbath of the soul. And when at his house, at his table, at his ordinances, in his word, in every promise, and by every providence, the soul is kept alive by grace in him, the feast is not at stated periods only, but continual. Jesus is the life of the soul; and the portion for ever.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Feasts'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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