In this study I would like to examine the concept of "time" as revealed in the Bible. Lets start by looking at when a day starts and ends:

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 1:5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning--one day.

 

In this very first use of the word "day" in the Bible. Notice that HaShem begins the day with "evening" and ends the day with "morning". HaShem follows this same pattern as He describes the things He did during the first seven days. Evening begins at sunset, and morning begins at dawn. Notice His repetitious use of "evening" followed by "morning":

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 1:8 God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning--the second day.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 1:13 And there was evening, and there was morning--the third day.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 1:19 And there was evening, and there was morning--the fourth day.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 1:23 And there was evening, and there was morning--the fifth day.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.

 

HaShem is emphasizing when days begin and end. He is emphasizing that His days begin at sunset and end when the light of day is gone. He will continue to follow this same pattern throughout the scriptures. Lets confirm this by looking at the "Shema", the prayer HaShem's people pray twice a day; one in the evening and once in the morning:

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel: HaShem our God, HaShem is one. Love HaShem your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

 

In the above passage, you will notice that we speak of these commands when we sit in at home. When do we sit at home? We sit at home in the evening. Then we talk of them when we walk along the road. When do we walk along the road? We walk along the road in the morning. The scripture then goes on to tell us to talk of them when we lie down. When do we lie down? We lie down in the evening. Finally, we are to talk about them when we get up. When do we get up? We get up in the morning. So, the pattern holds: "evening" begins the day, and "morning" ends the day.

 

The reason that we need to understand when a day begins and ends is to help us relate to what HaShem tells us in the Bible, and to understand when we are to begin doing what HaShem commands. Consider: If we don't know when HaShem's day starts, when do we begin to celebrate the Sabbath or any of the other festivals? In order to appreciate the difficulty of changing our day to begin at sunset, try celebrating Sabbath for a few weeks. Try thinking of your birthday beginning at sunset. How about new years day? Changing when your day begins is a radical life style change. Trust me....

 

Now, lets look at a month. This unit of time is first found in:

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

 

This unit of time has this Strong's definition:

 

+---------------------------------+

2320 chodesh, kho'-desh; from 2318; the new moon; by impl. a month:-month (-ly), new moon.

 

------------------- Dictionary Trace ---------------------

2318 chadash, khaw-dash'; a prim. root; to be new; caus. to rebuild:-renew, repair.

 

So, a month is defined by the moon, in fact it is a moon cycle; that is from new moon to new moon. The Encarta encyclopedia tells us how long this takes:

 

For the moon to go from one phase to the next similar phase, or one lunar month, requires 29 days, 12 hr, 44 min, and 2.8 sec[1].

 

In our current Gregorian calendar, the months have no connection with any celestial motion. In HaShem's calendar, the month is connected to the motion of the moon. The scripture records that the months have numbers and that they are also associated with pagan Babylonian names. The numbers and their relationship to the Babylonian names are:


 


Nisan

1

Iyar

2

Sivan

3

Tammuz

4

Av

5

Elul

6

Tishrei

7

Cheshvan

8

Kislev

9

Tevet

10

Shevat

11

Adar

12

 

We know that Nisan is the first month because HaShem told us this in:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 12:1-3 HaShem said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, "This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.

 

This passage indicates that the month which contains Passover is the first month of the year. Some simple math will show a bit of a problem, though. Since a month is approximately 29.5 days, we will have to alternate months between twenty-nine and thirty days. This is almost what the Jews do today. Six months at 30 days plus six months at 29 days, yields 354 days. This is eleven days short of a solar year. Because the Torah commands us to celebrate Passover in the spring, we must 'account' for the missing eleven days. We do this my adding an extra month in seven out of nineteen years. This intercalated month is called Adar bet or Adar II. This intercalated month effectively synchronizes HaShem's calendar so that Passover always falls in the springtime. This allows us to have a calendar based on the moon that also gives us months that are always in the same relative spot in relation to the sun. This is how HaShem does months!

 

Now, one of the interesting things that comes from HaShem's time for months, is that we can always tell, approximately, what our date is, during the month, by looking at the moon. For example: If the moon is new, it is always the first day of the month. If the moon is in the first quarter, it is the seventh day of the month. If the moon is full, it is always the fifteenth day of HaShem's month. And so it goes for all the days of HaShem's month. The moon is just a giant calendar declaring HaShem's dates and times.

 

The calendar that the orthodox Jews use today, is based on the calendar of the Pharisees which Mashiach commanded us to use in:

 

Matitiyahu (Matthew) 23:1-3 Then Yeshua said to the crowds and to his disciples: "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

 

You can get one of these calendars from your local Judaica shop. You can also get 'perpetual' calendars that are computer programs.

 

For those who would like to explore HaShem's time in greater detail, I would recommend that you read the following book: "Understanding the Jewish Calendar", by Rabbi Nathan Bushwick, published by Moznaim Publishing Corporation, 718-438-7680, 853-0525.

 

HaShem uses this calendar and He expects us to use this calendar. All of His appointments with us are determined by this calendar and by His time. If we want to keep our appointments with the Creator of the Universe, we need to get used to His time. Let's examine these appointments.

 

DEFINIITION

 

4150 mow`ed, mo-ade'; or mo`ed, mo-ade'; or (fem.) mow`adah (2 Chron. 8:13), mo-aw-daw'; from 3259; prop. an appointment, i.e. a fixed time or season; spec. a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting also a signal (as appointed beforehand):-appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn (-ity), synagogue, (set) time (appointed).

 

Here is the first time we see this word in the TaNaK:

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 1:14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, And let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so.

 

This idea is repeated in the Psalm to indicate this relationship of an appointed time marked off by the moon:

 

Tehilim (Psalms) 104:19 The moon marks off the seasons (moed), and the sun knows when to go down.

 

Moed in this next passage alludes to a festival. The rabbinic sages believe that this event occurred on Passover:

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 17:19-21 Then God said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year."

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 18:10-14 Then HaShem said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son." Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?" Then HaShem said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for HaShem? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son."

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 21:1-3 Now HaShem was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and HaShem did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.

 

This word "moed" is often translated "feast". HaShem's "feasts" are appointments with HaShem as we can see in:

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:4-7 "'These are HaShem’s appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: HaShem’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month HaShem’s Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast...

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:15-16 "'From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to HaShem.

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:24 "Say to the Israelites: 'On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts.

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:27 "The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to HaShem by fire.

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:34 "Say to the Israelites: 'On the fifteenth day of the seventh month HaShem’s Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days.

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:37 ("'These are HaShem’s appointed feasts, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing offerings made to HaShem by fire--the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 31:10-11 Then Moses commanded them: "At the end of every seven years, in the appointed time of the year for canceling debts, during the Feast of Tabernacles, When all Israel comes to appear before HaShem your God at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 33:20 Look upon Zion, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Jerusalem, a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved; its stakes will never be pulled up, nor any of its ropes broken.

 

Our (as opposed to HaShem's) moedim (festivals) are hated by HaShem:

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 1:13-14 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations--I cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.

 

For war:

 

Yahoshua (Joshua) 8:12-14 Joshua had taken about five thousand men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the west of the city. They had the soldiers take up their positions--all those in the camp to the north of the city and the ambush to the west of it. That night Joshua went into the valley. When the king of Ai saw this, he and all the men of the city hurried out early in the morning to meet Israel in battle at a certain place overlooking the Arabah. But he did not know that an ambush had been set against him behind the city.

 

Shoftim (Judges) 20:36-39 Then the Benjamites saw that they were beaten. Now the men of Israel had given way before Benjamin, because they relied on the ambush they had set near Gibeah. The men who had been in ambush made a sudden dash into Gibeah, spread out and put the whole city to the sword. The men of Israel had arranged with the ambush that they should send up a great cloud of smoke from the city, And then the men of Israel would turn in the battle. The Benjamites had begun to inflict casualties on the men of Israel (about thirty), and they said, "We are defeating them as in the first battle."

 

Concerning the "end times" which will also occur at the moed which I believe happens on festivals:

 

Daniel 8:19 He said: "I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end.

 

Daniel 11:25-27 "With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South. The king of the South will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to stand because of the plots devised against him. Those who eat from the king's provisions will try to destroy him; his army will be swept away, and many will fall in battle. The two kings, with their hearts bent on evil, will sit at the same table and lie to each other, but to no avail, because an end will still come at the appointed time.

 

Daniel 12:6-7 One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?" The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, "It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed."

 

Is the time period 3.5 millenniums or 3.5 festivals?

 

Habakkuk 2:3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.

 

Tehilim (Psalms) 75:1-8 {For the director of music. [To the tune of] "Do Not Destroy." A psalm of Asaph. A song.} We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds. You say, "I choose the appointed time; it is I who judge uprightly. When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm. <Selah> To the arrogant I say, 'Boast no more,' and to the wicked, 'Do not lift up your horns. Do not lift your horns against heaven; do not speak with outstretched neck.'" No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt a man. But it is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another. In the hand of HaShem is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs.

 

Concerning the future:

 

We have feasts being celebrated in a Temple which has not yet been built because it is too big for Mount Zion:

 

Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 45:17 It will be the duty of the prince to provide the burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings at the festivals, the New Moons and the Sabbaths--at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel. He will provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel.

 

Zechariah 8:19 This is what HaShem Almighty says: "The fasts of the fourth (17th of Tammuz), fifth (Tisha B'Av), seventh (fast of Gedaliah) and tenth (10th of Tevet) months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace."

 

Concerning the Tabernacle, we have a very unusual use of "moed". It is used 140 times!:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 27:21 In the Tent of Meeting, outside the curtain that is in front of the Testimony, Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning before HaShem from evening till morning. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for the generations to come.

 

And another unusual usage concerning the place where HaShem dwells:

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 14:12-14 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 74:1-4 {A <maskil> of Asaph.} Why have you rejected us forever, O God? Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture? Remember the people you purchased of old, the tribe of your inheritance, whom you redeemed--Mount Zion, where you dwelt. Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins, all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary. Your foes roared in the place where you met with us; they set up their standards as signs.

 

Eicha (Lamentations) 2:5-7 The Lord is like an enemy; he has swallowed up Israel. He has swallowed up all her palaces and destroyed her strongholds. He has multiplied mourning and lamentation for the Daughter of Judah. He has laid waste his dwelling like a garden; he has destroyed his place of meeting. HaShem has made Zion forget her appointed feasts and her Sabbaths; in his fierce anger he has spurned both king and priest. The Lord has rejected his altar and abandoned his sanctuary. He has handed over to the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have raised a shout in the house of HaShem as on the day of an appointed feast.

 

Passover usage:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 13:6-10 For seven days eat bread made without yeast and on the seventh day hold a festival to HaShem. Eat unleavened bread during those seven days; nothing with yeast in it is to be seen among you, nor shall any yeast be seen anywhere within your borders. On that day tell your son, 'I do this because of what HaShem did for me when I came out of Egypt.' This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of HaShem is to be on your lips. For HaShem brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand. You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 23:15 "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in that month you came out of Egypt. "No one is to appear before me empty-handed.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 34:18 "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in that month you came out of Egypt.

 

Bamidbar (Numbers) 9:2-3 "Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed time. Celebrate it at the appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month, in accordance with all its rules and regulations."

 

Bamidbar (Numbers) 9:7 And said to Moses, "We have become unclean because of a dead body, but why should we be kept from presenting HaShem’s offering with the other Israelites at the appointed time?"

 

Bamidbar (Numbers) 9:13 But if a man who is ceremonially clean and not on a journey fails to celebrate the Passover, that person must be cut off from his people because he did not present HaShem’s offering at the appointed time. That man will bear the consequences of his sin.

 

Deuteronomy 16:5-6 You must not sacrifice the Passover in any town HaShem your God gives you Except in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. There you must sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversary of your departure from Egypt.

 

2 Divrei Hayamim (II Chronicles) 8:12-13 On the altar of HaShem that he had built in front of the portico, Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings to HaShem, According to the daily requirement for offerings commanded by Moses for Sabbaths, New Moons and the three annual feasts--the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles.

 

2 Divrei Hayamim (II Chronicles) 30:21-22 The Israelites who were present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great rejoicing, while the Levites and priests sang to HaShem every day, accompanied by HaShem’s instruments of praise. Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites, who showed good understanding of the service of HaShem. For the seven days, of the feast, they ate their assigned portion and offered fellowship offerings and praised HaShem, the God of their fathers.

 

So, moed is used, in reference to the Lord's Passover, seven (7) times in the Torah and nine times in the TaNaK. With the exception of a reference to Succoth, below, there is no other feast which is called by name and references "moed". None!

 

In the Nazarean Codicil we have the following "appointed times" in reference to Passover:

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 11:25 At that time Yeshua said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 12:1 At that time Yeshua went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 26:18 He replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, 'The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.'"

 

Succoth usage:

 

Hosea 12:9 "I am HaShem your God, [who brought you] out of Egypt; I will make you live in tents again, as in the days of your appointed feasts.

 

In the Nazarean Codicil we have the Greek word used in the Septuagint to translate moed:

 

DEFINITION:

 

2540 kairos, kahee-ros'; of uncert. affin.; an occasion, i.e. set or proper time:-X always, opportunity, (convenient, due) season, (due, short, while) time, a while. Comp. 5550.

 

------------------ Dictionary Trace -----------------

5550 chronos, khron'-os; of uncert. der.; a space of time (in gen., and thus prop. distinguished from 2540, which designates a fixed or special occasion; and from 165, which denotes a particular period) or interval; by extens. an individ. opportunity: by impl. delay:-+ years old, season, space, (X often-) time (-s), (a) while.

 

Concerning the time of the Lord's return:

 

I Thessalonians 5:1-11 Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Yeshua Mashiach. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

 

Luqas (Luke) 21:5-36 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Yeshua said, "As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down." "Teacher," they asked, "when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?" He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away." Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. "But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life. "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." He told them this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 24:42-47 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

 

Marqos (Mark) 12:1-11 He then began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed. "He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, 'They will respect my son.' "But the tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. "What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. Haven't you read this scripture: 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; The Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?"

 

II Luqas (Acts) 1:4-9 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 8:28-32 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. "What do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?" Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Yeshua, "If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs." He said to them, "Go!" So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 13:24-30 Yeshua told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. "The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' "'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' "'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 24:20-22 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

 

Marqos (Mark) 13:29-33 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.

 

Luqas (Luke) 21:7-9 "Teacher," they asked, "when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?" He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away."

 

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

 

II Thessalonians 2:1-8 Concerning the coming of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, Not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Yeshua will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

 

Revelation 11:16-19 And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped God, Saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great--and for destroying those who destroy the earth." Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

 

Revelation 12:10-14 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Mashiach. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach.

 

Daniel 12:6-7 One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?" The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, "It will be for a time, times and half [a time]. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed."

 

Revelation 22:8-10 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!" Then he told me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near.

 

Luqas (Luke) 21:20-28 "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

 

Mashiach's appointed time:

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 26:17-18 On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Yeshua and asked, "Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?" He replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, 'The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.'"

 

Romans 5:6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Mashiach died for the ungodly.

 

Marqos (Mark) 1:14-15 After John was put in prison, Yeshua went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"

 

Marqos (Mark) 10:28-30 Peter said to him, "We have left everything to follow you!" "I tell you the truth," Yeshua replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel Will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.

 

Luqas (Luke) 12:54-56 He said to the crowd: "When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, 'It's going to rain,' and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, 'It's going to be hot,' and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don't know how to interpret this present time?

 

Luqas (Luke) 19:41-44 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it And said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."

 

Yochanan (John) 7:1-9 After this, Yeshua went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life. But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Yeshua' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." For even his own brothers did not believe in him. Therefore Yeshua told them, "The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come." Having said this, he stayed in Galilee.

 

I Tzefet (Peter) 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Yeshua Mashiach from the dead, And into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, Who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 16:1-4 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Yeshua and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' And in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Yeshua then left them and went away.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 3:18-24 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Mashiach would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, And that he may send the Mashiach, who has been appointed for you--even Yeshua. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. For Moses said, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.' "Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days.

 

Ephesians 1:7-10 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace That he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Mashiach, To be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Mashiach.

 

I Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

 

Concerning Prayer:

 

Ephesians 6:13-18 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, And with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

 

So, when are the “appointed” times for prayer? Notice when Daniel prayed:

 

Daniel 6:10-13 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: "Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or man except to you, O king, would be thrown into the lions' den?" The king answered, "The decree stands--in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed." Then they said to the king, "Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day."

 

From this we understand the custom of praying three times a day: in the evening, the morning, and in the afternoon. Curiously these are the same times when the Temple had prayer.

 

Miscellaneous usage:

 

II Luqas (Acts) 24:24-26 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Mashiach Yeshua. As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, "That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you." At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.

 

Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 11:13-16 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

 

John the Baptist was born at Passover, so:

 

Luqas (Luke) 1:8-20 Once when Zechariah's division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, He was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, For he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years." The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time."

 

Luqas (Luke) 4:9-13 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" Yeshua answered, "It says: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

 

Luqas (Luke) 12:58 - 13:1 As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled to him on the way, or he may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny." Now there were some present at that time who told Yeshua about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 13:6-12 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Yeshua, Who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, "You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun." Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 14:16-18 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy." Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 12:1-8 At that time Yeshua went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath." He answered, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread--which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven't you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

 

Marqos (Mark) 11:11-13 Yeshua entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve. The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Yeshua was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.

 

Luqas (Luke) 8:11-15 "This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 7:18-20 Then another king, who knew nothing about Joseph, became ruler of Egypt. He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our forefathers by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die. "At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for in his father's house.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 11:25 - 12:1 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, And when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. During this time (this is not our word "time") some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul. It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 19:21-23 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. "After I have been there," he said, "I must visit Rome also." He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer. About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way.

 

Romans 3:22-26 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Yeshua Mashiach to all who believe. There is no difference, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, And are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Mashiach Yeshua. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- He did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Yeshua.

 

Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

 

The sages understood that Isaac was born on Passover:

 

Romans 9:9 For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son."

 

Notice in this story that both Abraham (because he had to hurry) and Lot served unleavened bread:

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 18:13-14 Then HaShem said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for HaShem? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son."

 

Romans 11:2-5 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don't you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah--how he appealed to God against Israel: "Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me"? And what was God's answer to him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal." So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.

 

Romans 13:10-11 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

 

I Corinthians 7:3-5 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

 

II Corinthians 6:1-2 As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.

 

II Corinthians 8:13-14 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality,

 

Ephesians 2:11-13 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)-- Remember that at that time you were separate from Mashiach, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Mashiach Yeshua you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Mashiach.

 

Ephesians 5:15-16 Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

 

Colossians 4:5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

 

I Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Mashiach Yeshua, Who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time.

 

II Timothy 4:2-6 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.

 

I Tzefet (Peter) 4:16-18 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?"

 

II Luqas (Acts) 17:24-26 "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.

 

Galatians 4:8-11 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God--or rather are known by God--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

 

So, was the answer yes, or no?

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 11:2-7 When John heard in prison what Mashiach was doing, he sent his disciples To ask him, "Are you the expected one, or should we expect someone else?" Yeshua replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me." As John's disciples were leaving, Yeshua began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?...

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 11:25-27 At that time Yeshua said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

 

A Jewish perspective of time.

 

A spiral in time

 

The Jewish view of time is not that of a straight timeline, but rather a spiraling one. Each year, we complete a turn of the circle and touch the same points, although in a slightly different way. Additionally, Jewish tradition holds that the yearly cycle of holidays does not just represent commemorations of past events, but that the great events of our past occurred when they did because those were the appropriate spiritual seasons for those holidays. This paradigm has strategic importance to our understanding of future events and their timing.

 

The Torah refers to the festivals of the Jewish calendar as moedim, “appointed times”. “These are HaShem’s appointed times,” reads the introductory verse to the Torah’s listing of the festivals in the book of Vayikra, “callings of holiness, which you shall call in their appointed times.” A festival is an appointment with HaShem and the past, an encounter with an event and phenomenon in our history. It is an opportunity to “call” forth the particular “holiness” of the day, to tap the spiritual resources it holds.

 

One of the most important applications of Judaic Astrology is in the correct understanding of the Jewish holidays. Under this doctrine, we learn that the holidays are actually effects from the cosmos. For example, the holiday of Passover occurred with the positive assistance of the celestial realm. Celebrating Passover every year is NOT because of tradition, commemoration of an event that occurred some odd years ago, or to pay our respects. Rather, every year when the earth hits that point on its revolution path around the sun, an opening is created. 

 

This opening allows us to connect to this fulfilling ENERGY or spiritual Light of Passover that is available only on that day. Therefore, with the proper tools and with the proper "kavannah" (intent), every generation, whatever time frame they find themselves in, is capable of re-creating their own Passover. This holds true not only for Passover, but also for Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Purim, Chanukah, and every other Jewish holiday.

 

 It is with the assistance of the Hebrew calendar that we learn that there are positive and negative times throughout the year. What does this mean? Plain and simple, there are days in the year in which it is beneficial to begin new ventures (getting married, buying something new, etc.) and there are times in the year where it is better to avoid beginning these new ventures. For example, the Omer (time period from Passover to Shavuot) and the Hebrew month of Cheshvan are examples of negative times during the year.

 

Under the Judaic calendar, there are twelve months in a year, each month depending upon the moon's revolution around the earth. Each Hebrew month, each new moon cycle, has a specific constellation and planet that has their influence over that month. The effects from these ruling constellations and planets are felt by all. This is why we have different moods, desires, and inclinations at different times of the year. People born in the same Hebrew month all share common characteristics, both good and bad. They also share a similar correction, based on their previous lifetimes. This is why they were born in that month. 

 

A day is determined by a successful rotation of the earth. The day is divided into three parts: sunrise till noon, noon till sunset, and night-time. These times of the day also have different influences on us. This is why we feel different, and have different inclinations during each of these portions of the day. This is also why there are different prayers for the different portions of the day.
Every Rosh Hashanah, every time the earth hits that point in which it makes a successful revolution around the sun, a new year is created. A new year is a new revelation. Openings are created as history replays itself, yet renews itself over and over again.

 

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The Real Existence

Shabbat

 

By Rabbi Akiva Tatz

 

Shabbat is central to Torah and Jewish living. It must reflect the fundamental pattern we are studying. The week begins and ends with Shabbat - an inspired end to the week. From the holy to the ordinary to the holy again.

 

What is the message of this weekly cycle? What energies are being manifest in it that we should be using, riding? Why do we need a Shabbat every week whereas other mo’adim (festivals) occur only yearly? There must be a most essential lesson for the neshama (soul) in Shabbat which necessitates such close repetition.

 

* * *

 

There are many ideas in Shabbat, but perhaps the most basic is that it represents an end-point, the tachlis of a process. The week is a period of working, building; Shabbat is the cessation of that building, which brings home the significance and sense of achievement that building has generated. It is not simply rest, inactivity. It is the celebration of the work which has been completed. Whenever the Torah mentions Shabbat it first mentions six days of work - the idea is that Shabbat occurs only after, because of, the work.

 

A process must have an end-point to give it meaning. If work never achieves a result, the work is foolish. If an inventor builds a machine which maintains itself fully - fuels itself, oils itself, cleans itself - that is clever; provided that the machine produces something useful. A machine whose only output is its own maintenance would be ridiculous.

 

The result justifies the work, the end-point justifies the process. The pleasure of the freedom and relaxation which accompany and end-point are the direct results of the satisfaction of knowing that the job has been done. That is the real happiness, the happiness of achievement. Shabbat is wonderful if a person has a week’s work to show for that week - then the relaxation is rich and full.

 

The Sages make the strange statement that a talmid chacham, a person learned in torah, is called “Shabbat.” What is the meaning of this? The underlying idea is that Torah is the ultimate end-point; the entire world was created only so that Torah could be manifest. Torah is learned for its own sake, not as a means to an end; it is the end, not the means. And therefore one who learns Torah correctly, one who is imbued with Torah knowledge has an aura of Shabbat about him. He is steeped in the dimension of tachlis, the dimension of the goal realized. There is the deepest connection between Torah and Shabbat.

 

So Shabbat teaches that all work must be directed to a goal. Traveling must be towards the traveler's destination - if not, it is merely wandering. This message alone would justify weekly repetition - we need constant awareness that each of our activities must be aimed at meaningful growth. No business enterprise is run randomly - great care is taken to keep the activities of a business concern “on track”, directed towards fulfilling the aims of the company. Our lives deserve at least that degree of good management!

 

* * *

 

But there is much more. Not only do we begin the week rested and inspired by Shabbat aiming to arrive at a higher, more developed state seven days later; we must remain aware that the entire span of our lives is patterned thus: born from a higher dimension, given our time here to work, to give, to achieve, we are aiming at a return to the higher dimension with a lifetime of hard work to our credit. This life is the week, the rest is the great Shabbat. Shabbat occurs weekly to teach that very fact: ultimately, sooner or later, there will be a final end to the work-phase and the long Shabbat will begin.

 

The illusion of immortality which we allow ourselves is powerful - I have forever to live. We never have more than seven days before we are reminded: remember Shabbat.

 

Let us think into this idea. There are many parallels between Shabbat and olam ha’ba, the world-to-come. We prepare for Shabbat on erev Shabbat, Friday, in ways very similar to the way a person whose life has ended is prepared for that final voyage: washed, nails trimmed, dressed in white. We prepare everything which will be needed for Shabbat beforehand: when the sun sets one cannot prepare any longer. On Shabbat creative activity in the physical sphere is frozen; the message is that after the final transition from this world to the next, no more building or preparing can be done. In the next world a neshama must remain at the level which was attained during life. The ecstasy of that existence is the sense of being which has resulted from a lifetime of work. There one exists face-to-face, as it were, with one’s own genuine personality; no illusions, no facade protect one from reality. What has been built in the personality is real there, in fact all the raw materials which one was given in this world are stripped away, all that remains is the increase, the change which has been achieved using that raw material. That is the substance of the next world.

 

Conversely, the pain of the next world is the sensation of lack; lack of those parts of the neshama, lack of those middot (personality traits), lack of those refinements which one could have, should have, acquired in this life. Again, it is simply the experiencing of one’s own reality with no buffer, no protective layers intervening.

 

That is the great Shabbat. Activity frozen, a sense of the results of a lifetime made clear. What was prepared is now real. What was not prepared is forever lost. That world is an ocean voyage; provisions taken along are available, enjoyed. Provisions not taken are simply not available there.

 

The parallel is deeper. One of the remarkable features of Shabbat is that things are on Shabbat as they are at the moment of its beginning. For example, muktza (muktza objects are those which, being unnecessary for Shabbat, may not be moved). An object is defined as muktza on Shabbat if at the moment of sunset it is muktza, even if a change occurs later - a table with muktza objects on it is itself muktza if those objects are there at sunset. Even if the objects are somehow subsequently removed, the table remains muktza until Shabbat is over. Things do not change on Shabbat - it is the dimension of being, not becoming. And things remain as they are as Shabbat begins.

 

Mystical sources state that a person’s spiritual status in the next world is as it was at the moment of transition from this world to the next. Not an “average” of a lifetimes ups and downs, but rather a condition determined only by the final moment. Amazingly, this means that a lifetime spent in negativity can be corrected at the last moment of life, the negativity can be neutralized then. (Of course, waiting until then is not recommended! One may not have the chance or the ability to perform that comprehensive teshuva, repentance, at the last moment.) Conversely, a positive life can be seriously compromised if a person breaks faith at the end.

 

A certain Rabbi once explained this idea as follows: life is like a pottery class. One is given some soft clay to work. At the end of the allotted hour the clay sculpture is put on to the conveyor which takes it into the kiln to be fired. Once it is fired its form is permanent, no changes can later be made. If a person is lazy and does nothing with his clay all hour, it will be difficult to fashion something beautiful in the final seconds, but whatever is achieved will be made permanent. On the other hand, a person who spends all hour making something beautiful must take care that it is not damaged at the end - one crushing action at the last instant will result in a shapeless lump of clay being fired which will not reflect all the work put in previously.

 

Although this is a simplification of the process, it is true. Shabbat halts all work and preparation, things remain on Shabbat as they are at the moment of its entry; the end of life halts change, halts development, and the neshama remains as it was at that point.

 

The urgent message of Shabbat, therefore is: waste no time, build constantly, direct all your activities towards correct goals, prepare for the long voyage throughout life and keep faith always, even (and particularly) at the very end. The result will be real and permanent oneg Shabbat, pleasure of Shabbat, and Shabbat menucha, Shabbat rest.

 

* * *

 

Shabbat is described as “me’eyn olam ha’ba” - a small degree of the experience of the next world. There is an idea that all spiritual realities have at least one tangible counterpart in the world so that we can experience them: it would be too difficult to relate to the abstract if we could never have any direct experience of it. Sleep is a sixtieth of the death experience; a dream is a sixtieth of prophecy. Shabbat is a sixtieth of the experience of the next world.

 

Why specifically a sixtieth? What is unique about the proportion of one in sixty? One who has sensitive ear will hear something very beautiful here. One in sixty is that proportion which is on the borderline of perception: in the laws of kashrut (permitted and forbidden foods) there is a general rule that forbidden mixtures of foods are in fact forbidden only if the admixture of the prohibited component comprises more than one part in sixty. If a drop of milk accidentally spills into a meant dish that dish would not be forbidden if less that one part in sixty were milk - the milk cannot be tasted in such dilution. The halachic borderline is set at that point where taste can be discerned.

 

The beautiful hint here is that Shabbat is one sixtieth of the intensity of olam ha’ba - it is on the borderline of taste: if one lives Shabbat correctly, one tastes the next world. If not, one will not taste it at all.

 

How is this higher taste experienced? By desisting from work. Not work in the sense of exertion, that is a serious misconception of Shabbat. What is halted on Shabbat is melacha - creative activity. Thirty-nine specific creative actions were needed to build the mishkan (Sanctuary) in the desert; these mystically parallel the activities HaShem performs to create the Universe - the mishkan is a microcosm, a model of the Universe. HaShem rested from His Creation, we rest from parallel creative actions. The week is built by engaging in those actions constructively, Shabbat is built by desisting from those very actions. The mishkan represents the dimension of kedusha (holiness) in space, Shabbat is the dimension of kedusha in time.

 

* * *

 

Shabbat comes at the end of the week. But it also begins the week. It is the beginning and the end. It begins the week as the definition of the goal, the ideal. Then follows the work of the weekdays. And then a higher Shabbat is reached; what was a goal, an ideal a week ago has become real, an acquisition now. “Sof ma’aseh b’machshaba techila - Last in action, first in thought.”

 

The word “Bereshit - In the beginning” comprises the letters ‘yarei Shabbat’ “awe of Shabbat”. The genesis dimension contains the eternal dimension. The statement of genesis is a statement of the goal.

When the Torah refers to Pesach as the beginning of the omer phase of counting, building, it calls PesachShabbat”! Pesach, understood as an inspired beginning, contains an aspect of Shabbat. Just as Shabbat begins the week as its transcendent origin, Pesach begins the weeks of counting towards Shavuot as a higher source. The Shem Mi’Shmuel says that this is why we count the omer from the second day of Pesach, not the first - the first day of Pesach is such an elevated state that it requires no counting by us, it is a time of inspiration naturally; only after it departs do we have to begin building. Shabbat is established in time as holy from the Creation, unlike the other mo’adim, festivals, which depend on our fixing of the new month. Pesach has something of this aspect of transcendence; the Torah calls it “Shabbat”.

 

The Torah mentions Shabbat immediately after the building of the mishkan to teach how Shabbat is to be kept: these actions which you have just performed to build the holiness of the mishkan must be stopped for Shabbat to be experienced.

 

But the Torah also mentions Shabbat before the instructions for the building of the mishkan to teach that Shabbat takes priority over the mishkan: do not build it on Shabbat. The building is secondary, the goal is primary.

 

The goal is first set, and lastly achieved. Shabbat is the plan and the result. It is the life of the week, the spark of kedusha which animates time.

 

Shabbat rest is an opportunity for introspection. What have I achieved this week? How am I better, more aware, more sensitive? Where do I need to develop in particular? Stock taking; facing up to oneself honestly. This itself is a faint reflection of the eternal facing up to oneself which is of the essence of the next world. The meditation of Shabbat is the meditation of being, not becoming. But from that awareness the next week’s “becoming” is generated.

 

Shabbat ends with havdala, the ceremony of “distinguishing” the holy from the mundane. A profound lesson can be learned from havdala which is part of the theme we have been studying.

Shabbat exits, the week begins. There is a natural sense of let-down, holiness has left, the lower state is experienced. This is why we smell spices at havdala - to revive the wilting neshama.

 

But a deep secret is revealed when we take wine for havdala! Wine is used when elevation occurs, as we have noted already. What is the meaning of this paradox?

 

The idea is as follows. Certainly the week begins with the sadness of sensing Shabbat fade. The relinquishing of kedusha is palpable. We smell spices. But the week’s beginning means a new opportunity to build, to elevate our present status towards another Shabbat which will be higher than the last, which will reflect another week of work and growth added to all the previous ones! We take wine! This is called “yeridaa l’tzorech aliya - a descent for the purpose of elevation”, a higher and greater elevation than before.

 

Shabbat is closely related to the idea of teshuva (repentance, the mitzva of correcting past mistakes). The letters of ‘Shabbat’ are also those of ‘tashev’ the root of teshuva. Shabbat is the celebration of the remembrance of Creation, a return to the primal, perfect state, a return to the source. Teshuva is a return to the pure state, the state which existed before sin caused its damage. But more than this: just as each Shabbat is built by a descent from the previous one into the work of the week, so too the state of teshuva is in one way higher than the original unblemished state which preceded sin.

 

Teshuva, when motivated and performed correctly, transforms sin into merit! The mechanism of this seeming paradox is this: before a person sinned, the potential for that sin was latent in the personality. It was an undiscovered, unexpressed weakness waiting to break through. The act of sin revealed it and made it actual in the personality. Before the sin there was a serious deficiency in the personality, that person carried a flaw; the opportunity to sin proved that - the flaw was revealed.

 

The definition of teshuva is that when it has been sincerely performed the person has reached a state in which, if presented with the opportunity and temptation to sin again, he would not do so. The flaw has been removed! Sin revealed the weakness, teshuva corrected it. Amazingly, the sin was an integral part of the process of reaching a new level where the personality defect which led to that sin has been eradicated; the sin itself has been uses as a tool for growth - it has been transformed into a merit!

 

Of course, one may not sin deliberately in order to utilize this process - in fact, sinning deliberately for this purpose blocks that path to teshuva. The ideal pathway is to recognize a character flaw before it manifests as sin and to eliminate it immediately - in this way development of the personality can take place without the damage of sin. But the fact remains that if a flaw is unrecognized and uncorrected and leads to sin, teshuva can redeem and even improve.

 

Our pathway again - a state unblemished by sin, a descent into the state of sin , and ascent to a new level of growth, stronger and clearer. The descent has turned out to be “l’tzorech aliya”, essential to ascent.

 

So we see our overall theme reflected most seminally in the cycle of Shabbat and the week; a high beginning, a descent, a loss of that high level of kedusha, but only for the purpose of being able to work, to achieve. And then the result of that work: a return to the dimension of the beginning, higher, more inspired, more sensitive; closer to that final Shabbat and better prepared.

 

 

 

 

* * *

 

 


This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:

 

Greg Killian

4544 Highline Drive SE

Olympia, WA 98501

 

Internet address: gkilli@aol.com

Web page: http://www.betemunah.org/

 

(360) 918-2905

 

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Send comments to Greg Killian at his email address: gkilli@aol.com

 



[1] "Moon," Microsoft (R) Encarta. Copyright (c) 1994 Microsoft Corporation. Copyright (c) 1994 Funk & Wagnall's Corporation.