Posts Tagged With: Moedim

Moonthly Cycle

For the past five years, I’ve been very intentional about celebrating the new moon. One result was publishing my first book, The Biblical New Moon: A Guide for Celebrating in 2016. Another unexpected outcome was discovering patterns within the monthly cycle. I’ll get to that in moment, but first, I’ll give you a comparison.

Most of my readers have been following the weekly Torah portions through multiple years. Those first several years garner more questions than answers as one’s heart adjusts to the Creator’s paradigm. But, as the years pass by, the Words of the Torah become more and more familiar, a comfort to the soul rather than a contention. Those questions from the early years have long been satisfied by the Words of Life.

Each year, the Spirit highlights certain words, phrases, or sections in the portions as He leads one through the wilderness. It’s always the perfect instruction in due time. I often say that as I follow the Torah portions, they also follow me. It’s like the water giving Rock that followed the children of Israel in the desert. I can see the themes from the portions playing out in my life, testing and encouraging me each week. I can’t imagine walking through life without their guidance, as they are my daily bread, just as sure as Yeshua is the embodiment of the same.

I have had a similar experience on the larger cycle of the months. Much like the Torah portions, they each have a personality (so to speak) that thematically links to real life. And, just as the Ruach HaKodesh highlights certain words, phrases, and sections new every year in the weekly Torah portion, He does the same for the months. The first few years I didn’t notice these patterns because all the information was fresh and new. I had more questions than answers as I attuned myself to this greater cycle through practice.

In the fourth year of being intentional, something shifted, just as it did when I first committed to the Torah cycle. If you’ve read my book (linked above), then you know that I included a great deal of Jewish tradition.[1]For example, I used their assignments of the twelve tribes of Israel for each month, and I included the twelve constellations (mazel) that fall in the ecliptic with the sun and moon each month.[2]There are generally four Torah portions within the months, giving even more layers that make up the personality or theme for the month. Moreover, many months have Biblical and/or traditional feast or fast days. All of these things and more are quite fascinating to meditate upon, and will lead to more understanding.

I think of it as zooming out from the weekly cycle to get a fresh perspective. On an even larger scale, one could zoom out to the yearly festivals, then to the seven-year cycle (Shemittah), and even further to the Yovel (Jubilee) cycle. Wheels within wheels all powered by the Spirit of God. All these cycles are constantly moving around you, your family, your assembly, and the greater Body. And, all these cycles have an order. They are NOT random or arbitrary, they are part of what Adonai has revealed to His people. But, we must choose to either move with them, swim against their current (which gets you nowhere), or ignore them altogether. (Ignorance is not bliss in this case; the cycles are there and working in our lives regardless of whether we choose to follow Him or not.)

Dt. 29:29 (NASB) “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

I had the privilege of reading Barry Miller’s book, Know the Time Change Your World: The Reappearance of the Seven- and Fifty-Year Biblical Cycles, during these intentional years of celebrating the new moon. His book is very helpful at explaining how the rhythms of these cycles affect not only our spiritual lives, but also our tangible lives in the market, workplace, and finances. After all, Adonai is concerned about the whole person, mind, body, and soul.

If you’ve been keeping the yearly feasts of Adonai for some time, you’ve probably noticed that things (good and bad) cycle around and around in the seasons. This is because judgment begins in the House of God. Feast days (including the weekly Sabbaths and new moons) are not just times of celebration. They are tests! We will be examined at the appointed times. As such, there are certain themes related to specific times. Perhaps you’ve already noticed this phenomenon on social media.

Every year, after the fall feasts, the identity of the Messiah is questioned, challenged, debated, and reimagined. Whether He is divine or not, Messiah or not, becomes explosive social media fare, destroying our witness regardless of how we view Him. Meanwhile, winter, Chanukah, and Purim are approaching. People in general begin to grow weary about their own identity. They question their purpose and struggle with foundational issues in life and in Bible study. Those that minister to others, really notice these patterns. It’s not chance.

Consider that after Sukkot, it is the “turn of the year.” It’s a type of new beginning. What’s at every beginning? A foundation must be built– whether physical or spiritual. If one has a shaky foundation, there is usually a great identity crisis. If one’s foundation was damaged in the previous year, they too, will struggle with a rebuild. What many consider “basic” or “foundational” issues will be challenged in this season. The Hebrew month’s that span this time frame are Kislev, Tevet, Shevat, and Adar.

Also consider the traditional winter festivals of Chanukah and Purim. They are all about the Jewish people fighting for their right to exist! Foreigners seek to wipe them off the map or conform them into an image of their making. The basic, foundational rights bestowed upon Israel by the Creator are being challenged. Is it a surprise that Messiah is challenged around this season? Or, that individuals search and struggle with who they are? I don’t believe so, because it’s part of the cycle. Sin and rebellion will exacerbate these issues.

That’s one example, I have many. I’ve been journaling about the monthly cycle for a while. I’ve written about my own struggles, and those that others have revealed to me at these seasons. I’ve also tried to pay attention to social media debates (in the Torah keeping world) and the months and seasons in which they occur. I have a dear friend that has given me more insight, and I hope to continue to collaborate with her. We hope to produce something more formal in the future.

Why would something like this be valuable? Testing and trials will not vanish, of course. They are part of our refinement. However, it would be encouraging to know that you are not alone, and that Adonai has good purposes and intentions towards us. It will also be a great resource for prayer! Many claim to be a watchman. A watchman can see what’s coming, sound the alarm, and prepare the army. If you are aware that certain issues in the natural or spiritual will be challenged or tested, then you know how to pray. You know how to stand. Your faith is built up to overcome. I believe the cycles of the Creator reveal these things to His people, so they can do just that: observe all His instruction. And, do so with a different heart, like Caleb, trusting that though there be giants, fortified cities, and Amalekites, we can overcome!

Num. 13:30 (NASB) Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.”

For now, I have a request for my readers. That is actually the point of this post! I wonder who would be willing to journal alongside me? I’d really like as much feedback as possible. I don’t need you to write a book, just notes about each month. What did you battle with? How did this compare to the weekly Torah portions that month? To the traditions from the Sages? To the feasts or fasts? What “blew-up” on social media? What did people need prayer for? What other patterns did you notice? To streamline what I’m looking for, I’ve devised the following chart. Feel free to print it out to use as journal pages or use it to create your own template.

Moonthly Cycle Chart

 


[1]If you are anti-Jewish, anti-tradition, or fear things that are mystical, you need read no further. I believe in balance and using good Bible hermeneutics. However, I also believe the Sages and Jewish sources are valuable and have great wisdom.

[2]This NOT astrology. It has nothing to do with divination or deciding one’s fortune. That’s the perversion. Pagans didn’t put the stars in the heavens, HaShem did. The luminaries declare the glory of Elohim, which is the Good News. (Ps. 19) They also govern His moedim, His calendar, His appointments, and give Light to the earth as a testament to His authority over all the earth. (Gen. 1:14-19)

Categories: Messianic Issues, Moedim, new moon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Clouds of Glory

Where I live, it’s cloudy and rainy today. The heavens are literally weeping water down to the earth bringing nourishment to parched life. Not coincidentally, I’m preparing for a Bible study tonight — the water of the Word. The natural clouds have a spiritual truth to teach. Below, I simply did a concordance search on cloud and clouds and then placed similar themes together. This is far from exhaustive, but if you put your figurative and spiritual thinking cap on,  you’ll gain a new appreciation for the clouds and the upcoming fall feast days. (This is also helpful for dream symbolism!)

Have these questions in mind:

  1. Clouds have both a positive and negative connotation. In the natural, they also can appear as white or dark grey. What do we learn from these opposites?
  2. What creatures fly in the clouds? What day were they created? Which moed are they associated with (fifth feast/fifth day, Is. 60:8)?
  3. How can the idea of clouds being covering denote both righteousness and wickedness?
  4. Who are the great cloud of witnesses?
  5. Which feast day or days are associated with clouds? With water?
  6. What fills the House of Adonai?
  7. What is Adonai’s army compared to in Joel 2?
  8. When rain (from clouds) is withheld, what is the result? (Consider Zec. 14:16-19.)

 

H6051 עָנָן ‛ânân aw-nawn’ From H6049; a cloud (as covering the sky), that is, the nimbus or thunder cloud: – cloud (-y). Total KJV occurrences: 87

H6049 עָנַן ‛ânan aw-nan’ A primitive root; to cover; used only as denominative from H6051, to cloud over; figuratively to act covertly, that is, practise magic: –    X bring, enchanter, Meonemin, observe (-r of) times, soothsayer, sorcerer. Total KJV occurrences: 11

 

Covenant in the Cloud

I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. “It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.

 

Pillar of Cloud & Fire

Exo 13:21  The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.

Isa 4:3-6  It will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem. When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning, then the LORD will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy. There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.

 

Sinai/Mountain

Exo 19:16  So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.

Exo 24:15-16  Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud.

 

Tabernacle/House

Exo 33:9  Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the LORD would speak with Moses.

Lev 16:2  The LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he shall not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, or he will die; for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.

Num 9:15  Now on the day that the tabernacle was erected the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony, and in the evening it was like the appearance of fire over the tabernacle, until morning.

1Ki 8:10-12  It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.Then Solomon said, “The LORD has said that He would dwell in the thick cloud.

Mat 17:5  While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”

 

Great Cloud of Witnesses

Heb 12:1  Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Eze 1:4-5  As I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire. Within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form.

Joe 2:2  A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations.

1Co 10:1-2  For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

1Th 4:17  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.

1Ki 18:44  It came about at the seventh time, that he said, “Behold, a cloud as small as a man’s hand is coming up from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, so that the heavy shower does not stop you.’”

Rev 11:12  And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them.

Nah 1:3  The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, And the LORD will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. In whirlwind and storm is His way, And clouds are the dust beneath His feet.

Day of the LORD

Eze 30:3  “For the day is near, Even the day of the LORD is near; It will be a day of clouds, A time of doom for the nations.

Zep 1:15-16  A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of trumpet and battle cry Against the fortified cities And the high corner towers.

 

Coming with Clouds

Exo 19:9  The LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.” Then Moses told the words of the people to the LORD.

Dan 7:13  “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.

Mar 14:62  And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.”

Rev 1:7  BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.

Waterless Clouds

Jud 1:12  These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;

Pro 25:14  Like clouds and wind without rain Is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely.

Isa 14:14  ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’

 

Categories: Biblical Symbols, Creation Gospel, Moedim | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Book Review: Know the Time Change Your World

Barry Miller Book

Is it just me, or does time seem to be moving at an accelerated speed? The summer has flown by in a blink of the eye. I know people say that time seems to move faster the older you get, but as of late, even young people have been expressing a sense of not having enough time. Perhaps we are all too busy? Or maybe time encompasses more than we realize.

I’ve certainly had very little time for writing (for that I apologize), but I have managed to squeeze in some reading. And that’s what I want to bring to your attention today. Speaking of TIME, Barry Miller was kind enough to give me an advanced copy of his new book, Know the Time Change Your World: The Reappearance of the Seven and Fifty Year Biblical Cycles. (You can find a copy HERE on Amazon or HERE at Barnes Noble.)

I have enjoyed his book immensely and I’ve learned a lot. Those of you familiar with the Creation Gospel by Dr. Alewine will especially find Mr. Miller’s book intriguing. Know the Time Change Your World is based in the patterns and rhymes first given to us in the seven Creation days and extends into the feasts of the LORD. But where Dr. Alewine takes these cycles and actions deeper into the Spirit realm, everyday life, and Biblical interpretation, Mr. Miller reveals yet another facet in the business and financial aspects of life. For me, they are two sides of ONE coin. He teaches us not only how to discern these patterns in our own economy, but also in our personal finances.

I first met Mr. Miller through my blog and email correspondence. After visiting and reading his blog (see his new website here), I was amazed by how the Holy Spirit had been revealing the patterns of seven to Barry in a similar fashion as Dr. Alewine. Now, don’t misunderstand. The Creation Gospel and Barry’s book are VERY different. They are related because both use the Creation model for their foundation. (Which is where all good hermeneutics and teachings should begin… in the beginning.) Thus, one would expect to find connections because the ONE Holy Spirit has inspired, stirred, and moved the same way from Day One.

Many of us are searching for how to properly handle our finances and business dealings from a Hebraic (Biblical) perspective. Having spent years in the business sector and in Bible study, Barry Miller has some unique insights that should be appealing to not only Hebraic Roots followers but also to the Christian church at large. By giving friends and family members Know the Time Change Your World to help them make wiser financial choices, you will also be introducing them to the LORD’s Sabbath, calendar, and Torah. It’s a win-win in my opinion!

Have you ever wondered about the seven-year gap between the economic struggles of 2001 and 2008? What does Joseph have to teach us about personal finance today? Is YHWH’s (the LORD’s) calendar more than antiquated ritual? Does it have significance in not only my spiritual life but also in my secular life? Mr. Miller carefully takes us through the Bible and history to show us that the Beginning indeed has set the precedent for all time, even the end. (Is. 46:10)

The many “sevens” and even the greater cycles of “fifty” do matter just as much for us today as they did for ancient Israel. And I believe the church is becoming ripe for this message. Consider all the recent teachings and books on the blood moons and the Shemmitah years. Some are being called back to the cycles, patterns, and rhythms of our Creator. The unrest and immorality of the world are shaking many out of their complacency. And our great Elohim (God) is using people such as Mr. Miller to get His Word out to the masses.

As most of my readers are aware, obedience to the King of the Universe brings blessings. I haven’t met one person that doesn’t desire for the Creator to bless them in every aspect of their life. The problem is that too many of us are ignorant of the principles and laws set forth by YHWH (the LORD) that will cause us to reap such benefits.[1] We lack wisdom and thus make poor decisions that cause us setbacks in many areas of life, one of which is our finances.

After reading Miller’s book, I looked back through my life with the seven-year cycle in mind. I could clearly see how my lack of knowledge of the Creator’s calendar resulted in poor financial/business decisions. But not anymore. Know the Time Change Your World has sharpened the tools I already have acquired from Torah study. But even better, I have gained new ones!

Know the Time Change Your World is divided into three parts. In my opinion, Part III alone is worth the cost of the book. (But without the foundation of Part I and II, you’d be lost, lol!) Seven chapters will take you deep into the story of Joseph and the seven and fifty-year biblical cycles. It is EYE opening! Even seasoned Torah keepers will find a deeper revelation of not only Joseph but of themselves. Buy this book and share it with friends and family; you will not be disappointed!

Do you need an economic reset? Do you need to move from chaos to rest? Would you like to be able to make better decisions and have better discernment? God’s creation and His calendar have all the answers! Allow Barry Miller to give you the simple keys to this understanding in his new book.

 


See more about the book and Barry Miller at 7and50rhymes.com

[1] My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6)

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Moonbeams and the Moedim Part IV  

Please see Part I, Part II, and Part III for the best context.

Gestation

 I do hope you that you have at least read Part III and have considered the significance of the number NINE in regard to the creation of LIFE. The following analogy will cover all seven of YHWH’s moedim and the two festivals of the people (Chanukah and Purim). I realize that some people will have a “problem” with me adding in the latter two festivals. My hope is that those that do will at least take the time to read the whole matter before making a judgment.

I’m obviously not the first person to compare the feast cycle with the human gestation. But in my research of this topic, I haven’t found one that includes all nine of the aforementioned festivals. Since the Biblical year begins in Nisan, all the resources I’ve inquired start the analogy with Pesach. Since human gestation is nine months, 280 days, or 40 weeks, one cannot begin with Passover and end with Sukkot because there are only about 25.3 weeks between these festivals. Thus, many resources extend their analogy to include Chanukah. But even then, there still isn’t a true nine month period as there are only about 10 weeks between Sukkot and Chanukah. (A total of 35.3 weeks)

But if we begin with Purim, a feast that begins exactly one month before Passover, and we walk through the moedim cycle all the purimway to Chanukah, we indeed end up right at 40 weeks or nine months. I personally don’t believe this is a coincidence. Since Purim technically falls toward the end of the Biblical year, this may seem to be a perplexing place to start. But when we consider what Purim commemorates, I believe things come into focus. Please join me through this exciting journey that chronicles both natural and spiritual life.

Purim and Conception

In the Book of Esther, we are given the history and story behind Purim. There are quite a few fascinating tidbits in Esther that I hope to write about soon. For this post, I will curb my fingers and give you the bare bones as to why I believe Purim is a picture of conception or the beginning of life. In the time of Esther, the Jewish people were living in exile under the rule of the Persian Empire. A highly anti-Semitic official (Haman) tricked the king into signing a decree to annihilate the Jewish people. But God chose a woman (Esther) to intercede and act on behalf of her people. As the new bride of the king of Persia, Esther was able to not only save her people, but also ensure their future.

This is overly simplified, but the point is that Esther became a “mother” to Israel and a builder of the House. Without her heroics, the Jewish people would have been annihilated and the Messiah wouldn’t have been born. During Purim, the people were “fertile” with potential. If Esther had refused to become YHWH’s vessel, salvation would have come from another. (Esther 4:14) Purim celebrates survival; something conceived babies’ need more than ever in today’s world.

Thus, Purim appropriately involves rejoicing through the physical pleasures (food, drink, etc.) because it was our physical bodies that were saved. Ahem… this also implies sex and the potential to receive seed (conception). The date of Purim is Adar 14th, which occurs at the full moon on the last Hebrew month of the year. In leap years, when there are two months of Adar, Purim is celebrated in the second month of Adar, so it is always one month before Passover.

If you will recall from Part II, when a woman is in menses at the new moon, she is fertile at the full moon. In our analogy, both Purim and ovulation occur on the 14th of the month when the moon is full. (Esther 9:17) To make things simple for our comparisons of the moedim and gestation, I will use the Jewish calendar beginning with the date for Purim this year, March 4th, 2015.

Passover

In our analogy, it is during the weeks between Purim and Passover that a woman’s body would make the crucial decision of whether or not the fertilized egg is viable enough to implant in the uterus. Likewise, those that are preparing for Passover begin a similar process of selection by eating up and removing any leaven in the home. Just as Israel had to experience several of the plagues of Egypt, a woman may experience some sickness at this point.

If conception occurred on the evening of March 4th, 2015, then by the time the Biblical New Year and Passover occurs, it will be April 3rd. Since exactly one full month would have passed, Passover will also occur during a full moon when there is more “light”. A woman would have just recently been made aware that she had conceived as her menses would have skipped its cycle at the new moon. At this point, she would be four weeks pregnant.

By the fourth week of pregnancy, the tiny baby has already made itself a “home” in the uterus. As you read the following quote, please keep spiritual birth at the forefront of your mind. What to Expect[1] says this about the fourth week of gestation:

 “Once there [in the uterus], it burrows into your uterine lining and implants — making that unbreakable connection to you that’ll last the next eight months (and a lifetime after that). As soon as that little ball of cells is settled in its new home, it will undergo the great divide — splitting into two groups. Half (now called the embryo) will become your son or daughter, while the other half forms the placenta, your baby’s lifeline…” [Bolding and brackets are mine.]

I don’t know about you, but I find this fascinating. Passover is the covenantal meal. It is what makes that “unbreakable” connection between YHWH and us – and it does last for a lifetime!

Unleavened Bread and Early First Fruits

 On the heels of Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread commence. In our analogy these festivals would fall from April 4th through April 10th. There is to be no leavened bread consumed for these seven days. This was to remind the children of Israel that they had to leave Egypt in haste. But Pharaoh pursued the Israelites as far as the Red Sea. This would have been about the time that the early first fruits festival would occur. Later as a fulfillment of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Early First Fruits, Messiah shed His blood in death as the Paschal Lamb, was buried during Unleavened Bread, and rose from the grave becoming our Firstfruits.

 A lot happens throughout this fourth week of pregnancy as well. What to Expect continues:

“Your little embryo is busy setting up house. While the amniotic sac (also called the bag of waters) forms around it, so does the yolk sac which will later be incorporated into your baby’s developing digestive tract. And the embryo now has three distinct layers of cells that will grow into specialized parts of your baby’s body.” [Bolding mine.]

 If you look carefully, you can see elements that are involved with Matzah and Early Firstfruits. Just as the children of Israel walked through the waters of the Red Sea during this time frame, the baby is surrounded (and yet protected) by the merciful waters of the womb. Moreover, its digestive tract begins to develop. This is indicative of our digestive tracts being “reprogrammed” each year by abstaining from leaven. I also cannot help but to notice that it is in this week that the baby (embryo) develops THREE distinct layers of cells that will build its little body. This whole process in the natural and the spiritual is about building the HOUSE.

Omer Counting

The following points are labeled according to gestation weeks, not omer weeks. I have included SEVEN as we are told to count 7×7 weeks up to Shavuot (Pentecost). All of the following developmental stages were taken from What to Expect.

  • Week 5: Baby has visible heartbeat.
  • Week 6: Head and face takes shape.
  • Week 7: Brain cells rapidly develop as do arm/leg buds.
  • Week 8: Heart beats at 150 beats a minute. Lips, nose, and eyelids develop.
  • Week 9: Baby hits milestone. (Notice this is in NINTH week.) Embryonic stage ends and fetal stage begins.
  • Week 10: Bones and cartilage form.
  • Week 11: Sex organs begin forming. Baby now has distinct human features such as hands, feet, nose, and ears.

Shavuot (Pentecost)

Approximately seven weeks later on May 23rd, after the counting of the Omer, the second pilgrimage festival begins. The first fruits of wheat are brought in and baked into two leavened loaves that are then waved before YHWH. The children of Israel would have reached Mt. Sinai at this point and received the Ten Commandments. Later, the resurrected Messiah would send the Holy Spirit to appear as tongues of fire upon His disciples.

The developing baby would be at about 12 weeks gestation and nearing the end of the first trimester by Shavuot. This week marks a turning point for the developing baby much in the same way that experiencing Pentecost is a turning point in the life of a Believer. What to Expect says this about the 12th week of gestation:

“At 12 weeks pregnant, the herculean task of developing new bodily structures is nearing an end, as most of your baby’s systems are fully formed – though there’s still plenty of maturing to do. For one thing, the fetal digestive system is beginning to flex its digestive muscle — literally — as it starts beginning to practice contraction movements, a skill your baby will need after birth to push food through the digestive tract. The bone marrow is busy making white blood cells — weapons which will one day help your baby fight infection once he’s out of your safe haven. And the pituitary gland at the base of the brain has started producing the hormones that’ll enable him (or her) to make babies of his (or her) own in a couple of decades or so.” [Bolding mine]

human-pregnancy-stages-of-developmentI think it’s pretty easy to deduce that the Israelites weren’t quite “mature” by the time they reached the mountain to receive the Ten Words. The same could be said of those that received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 (we read in the epistles of their ongoing immaturity issues.) And if we are really honest, the same thing can be said of us! We are all like the little developing baby (spiritually speaking). Our systems might be fully formed, but we still have a lot of growing to do.

 By this point in our spiritual development, we should have enough digestive power to receive the bread offering at Shavuot. The fact that the baby’s white blood cells are arming it against infection mirrors the spiritual armor given to us by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  But perhaps the most intriguing thing that begins to happen at this stage is the capacity to REPRODUCE. Just as the baby develops the ability to one day have children of its own, we become spiritually empowered to spread the Seed (Gospel) at Shavuot.

Long Summer

There are about 16 weeks between Shavuot and Rosh Hashanah. That’s close to half the gestation cycle! As you can imagine, a lot of development and maturity occurs during these months. This is true of the harvest and for us spiritually as well. The long, hot summer is meant to prepare and mature us for what is to come.

One month before the fall feasts (Elul), the shofar is blasted every day to call us to repentance. Judgment and the harvest are near. The entire second trimester passed in the hot summer months. One of the most notable things to occur before the Feast of Trumpets is the baby’s development of hearing. Read the following amazing quote about the 17th week of gestation from What to Expect.

Baby’s Startled By Noise. Your baby is almost certainly listening up by now. In fact, loud noises — the dog barking, the doorbell ringing — will actually startle your baby…”

 Obviously, you know that the “loud noise” could certainly include the blast of the shofar!

 Rosh Hashanah or Feast of Trumpets

The trials and struggles of the long hot summer have produced ears that can hear when the heavenly shofar sounds aloud. By the time Rosh Hashanah arrives on September 13th, our ears are fully open. We know the sound of our Master’s voice and are willing to heed His call.

The shofar is meant to call the sleeper from the grave. Those that slumber must “wake up”! Notice that it is at this stage of development (about 28 weeks) that the baby has the ability to sleep and dream. Moreover, the baby has now moved into the “proper” position for birth — which is with its head facing downward. Is this not also the proper posture for us during the High Holy Days? Again from What to Expect:

“Your baby is settling into the proper position for birth, with his head facing downward (toward your body’s nearest exit!). Brain wave activity measured in a developing fetus shows different sleep cycles, including the rapid eye movement phase — the stage when dreaming occurs.” [Bolding mine]

Yom Kippur

Ten days after Rosh Hashanah the most Holy day of the year is upon us. In our analogy, it is Sept. 22nd. The baby enters into the third trimester of development and is almost at 30 weeks gestation. At this stage, the baby’s eyes are just starting to open.

 The people fast as the High Priest makes atonement for the entire nation at Yom Kippur. This day is the only day of the year that the High Priest can enter the Most Holy Place and he doesn’t enter without changing his garments and offering blood. Once again from What to Expect:

“Another big change at 30 weeks pregnant: Your baby’s bone marrow has taken over production of red blood cells (before, tissue groups and then the spleen took care of producing the blood cells). This is an important step for your baby, because it means he or she is better able to thrive on his or her own once born. [Bolding mine.]

 When the blood is offered for atonement, the baby’s bones (frame/building) can now produce blood (where life is found).

Sukkot

In our analogy, the dates for Sukkot are September 27th –October 4th. Judgment has passed and the party begins under the sukkah. The baby is now at about 30-31 weeks into development. All of YHWH’s festivals are meant to engage our senses. But Sukkot seems to invoke these sensations a little more than all the others. Perhaps, it is because Sukkot (as the SEVENTH moed) is a picture of the culmination of the entire festal calendar.  At Sukkot, we see the stars and the neatly decorated sukkah, we feel the wind and the embrace of the brethren, we hear the sounds of the shofar, dancing, and rejoicing, we taste the sumptuous foods in the sukkah, and we smell the fire, food, and four species waved at the four corners of the earth. Not surprisingly, it is at this stage that the baby can now perceive from all five senses. Again from What to Expect:

He’s now processing information, tracking light and perceiving signals from all five senses. [Bolding mine.]

Throughout the following ten weeks, many more changes begin to happen in the development of the baby. Perhaps, two are most notable. First, the baby begins to practice breathing. Its little lungs are now prepared to take in its first breath. Second, its pupils can constrict, dilate and detect light entering his or her eyes.

Chanukah

Chanukah in our analogy is Dec. 6th – Dec. 14th. As the festival of lights, it is not surprising that the baby’s eyes can now fully detect light. After all, it will be during this festival that our little baby will make its way from the darkness of the womb into the bright light of the new world. It is fully developed and ready to meet its maker.

Chanukah is actually a late Sukkot festival. Although we celebrate with Light, we can still sense all the wonder and joy we experienced during the eight days of Tabernacles. I actually like to think of Purim and Chanukah as standing outside the seven festivals of YHWH on either end as a picture of the olam haba. Obviously, that is my opinion; you are free to have your own.

HD-Baby-Wallpapers-1-1Life in cycles of nine speaks to mankind (adam), covenant, light, and TRUTH.[2] The Gospel is spoken in the stars, in our flesh, and in the moedim. Natural human gestation is a picture of our spiritual gestation as we grow, mature, and develop in order to meet our Maker. I do hope this analogy has given you some food for thought as we are quickly approaching a new year! Purim is this week! Part V should wrap all these concepts up and offer a conclusion to Moonbeams and the Moedim. I hope you’ll join me.

John 3:3-8 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (4) Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” (5) Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (8) “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”


[1] I gleaned the various stages of fetal development in my analogies from the website: What to Expect.

[2] See Moonbeams and the Moedim Part III.

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