The Appointed Times

The Jew’s catechism is his calendar
Samson Raphael HirschxxxThere has been a great deal of interest in the past several years about the “Bible Codes
” The main flurry of controversy has been about the equidistant letter sequences that seem to be hidden within the Biblical text
An example of this occurs in Genesis 1:14:xxxAnd God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:xxxThe word ~ydI[]Amh,, HaMoyadim, here translated “seasons,” means “the appointed times
” When searched for as an equidistant letter sequence, the word appears only once in the Book of Genesis, at the interval of 70, clustering exactly where the word is spelled explicitly in the text, and where the calendar is established
xxxThere are only 70 specially appointed times for holy days called ~ydI[]Amh, HaMoyadim, in a year, as defined by Leviticus 23—52 sabbaths, seven days of Pesach (encompassing Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Feast of First Fruits), one day for Hag Ha Shavuot (Feast of Pentecost), one day for Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets, which is coincident with Rosh Hoshana), one day for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), 7 days for Sukkot (Feast of Booths), and one day of Shmini Atzeret (Eighth Day of Assembly)
1xxx52 + 7 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 7 + 1 = 70, the very interval where HaMoyadim, “the appointed times,” is encrypted in the text
Coincidence?xxxThe longer the word, the smaller its chances to be found in the text at any given interval
Statistically, the word HaMoyadim would be expected to occur only five times in the 78,064 letters of Genesis
xxxIn fact, it appears in this hidden form only once in Genesis; and on that one occasion its equidistant letter interval is exactly 70, and centered within the span of that hidden appearance is precisely its only open appearance in the text
2xxxThe odds against this have been estimated at more than 70,000,000 to one
3 MacrocodesxxxIn addition to microcodes and the equidistant letter sequences, there are also macrocodes embracing the entire structure; they transcend the frame of reference of the individual document itself
They are similar to the “macros” that anticipate the formatting in our word processor programs
xxxThus, macrocodes can be anticipatory: they look forward in time
These Biblical macrocodes, originating from outside our time domain, demonstrate their unique origin by presenting the structure of future events in advance, which is one of the properties of the Biblical record that establishes its uniqueness
xxxNowhere is this more evident than in the use of the Jewish calendar ordained in the Bible
xxxThe Seven Feasts of IsraelxxxThe Torah—the five books of Moses—details seven feasts during the Hebrew calendar:4 The first three feasts are celebrated in the spring, in the month of Nisan: Passover (Pesach), Feast of Unleavened Bread (Hag haMatzah), and the Feast of First Fruits
(Connotatively, these are all included in the celebration of Passover
)xxxFifty days later there is the Feast of Weeks, Shavuot, also known as Pentecost (“50”)
It was celebrated the day following the “counting of the omer” (49 days + 1), 50 days after the Feast of First Fruits
This year it will be observed on May 31
xxxThere are three remaining feasts in the fall, in the month of Tishri: the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah); the Day of Atonement, (Yom Kippur); and the Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth)
xxxWhile each of these feasts has an historical commemorative role, they also each have a prophetic role
When God set their feast times, the very terms He used are suggestive: d[eAm, mowed, which means “to keep an appointment,” and ar=q
m, mikraw, which means “rehearsal
”5xxxPaul emphasized this6 and also highlighted their predictive role as “a shadow of things to come
”7 Jesus also pointed to his personal role in their fulfillment:xxxThink not that I am come to destroy the law (Torah), or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil
Matthew 5:17xxxThis is another of these instances in which “The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed, and the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed
”xxxShavuot, The Feast of WeeksxxxThe first three feasts occur in the first month; they were also prophetic of the Christ’s first advent
The final three feasts occur in the seventh month and appear to be prophetic of Christ’s Second Coming
Between these two groups of feasts is Hag Ha Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, also called, Hag Ha Kazir, the Feast of Harvest (“the First Harvest”)
xxxThis feast was to be observed on a strange formula: In other words, they were to begin counting on the day of the Feast of First Fruits (“the morrow after the Sabbath”: always a Sunday!), seven weeks (49 days) and thus celebrate this unusual feast also on a Sunday
8xxxCounting these 49 days is also called “Counting the Omer
” (This “50-day” formula also gives this celebration its alternate label, “the Feast of Pentecost
”) It is interesting to notice the frequent intervals of 49 (72) in the Torah codes
xxxThe Feast of Pentecost was also one of only three which were obligatory for all males
9 Historically, this feast is viewed as commemorating the birth of the nation and the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai
10 The observance of this feast is unique in that it includes two loaves of leavened bread—the only use of leavened bread in the Levitical specifications
This would seem to hint of a Gentile application, in contrast to the unleavened bread emphasized in the Passover
Two lambs were to be offered
(Jew + Gentile?)xxxProphetic ApplicationsxxxThere is a widespread recognition that the Feast of Weeks (or Feast of Pentecost) is prophetic of the mystery of the Church
And, indeed, the Church was “born” on the Feast of Pentecost
11xxxIt is significant that each event which seems to be “macrocoded” by the calendar was actually fulfilled on the very day that the feast is observed: The Crucifixion on Passover; the Feast of First Fruits on the following Sunday; etc
xxxTherefore, the birth of the Church on the very day of the Feast of Pentecost in Acts 2 is extremely provocative
Yet it may prove to be myopic to assume that this feast has been completely fulfilled in the birth of the Church alone
xxxRapture Possibility?xxxThe sudden “gathering out” of the church (harpazo in the Greek;12 called the “rapture” from the Latin) may also be hidden behind this feast
The first three feasts, in the first month, appear predictive of the first “coming” of Jesus Christ
The last three feasts, in the seventh month, are viewed as predictive of the Second Coming
xxx(There are many who look to the Feast of Trumpets or the Feast of Tabernacles as predictive of the “rapture” of the Church
Yet, these views seem to fail to discriminate between the “rapture” of the Church and the Second Coming
)xxxThere would also seem to be an intrinsic contradiction in attempting to apply the Jewish feasts to the Church
As we have noted in the Seventy Week prophecy13 and elsewhere, there is a clear distinction between Israel and the Church—a distinction that unfortunately has been blurred in views that fail to recognize the unconditional nature of the relevant commitments to Israel
Paul, in his definitive statement of Christian doctrine which we call the Epistle to the Romans, spends three chapters emphasizing that God is not through with Israel
14xxxIn his Epistle to the Ephesians he also reveals that the mystery of the Church was hidden from the Old Testament
15 (This also is indicated in the parables of the Matthew 13
16 ) It appears that the church period occurs in a gap—or interval—in the Jewish timeline of the Old Testament
A provocative possibility is that the Feast of Weeks may prove predictive of both the birth and removal of the church in God’s program
xxxEnoch as a Macrocode?xxxEnoch is one of the most interesting characters in the Bible
The first prophecy uttered by a prophet was a prophecy of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and it was proclaimed before the Flood of Noah!17 Enoch is also distinctive in that he did not suffer death; he was “raptured
”18xxxThere were three groups of people facing the flood: those that perished in the flood; those that were preserved through the flood; and those removed before the flood: namely, Enoch
There are some who view Enoch as a foreshadowing of the church being removed prior to the global ordeal known as the Great Tribulation
xxxIt is interesting that there is a Jewish tradition that Enoch was born on the day that was later ordained as the Feast of Weeks
What makes this even more interesting is the associated tradition that he was “raptured” on his birthday
xxxIs it possible that this is a foreshadowing of the harpazo of the church?19xxxThere would seem to be a logical consistency if the same feast that “stopped” the Jewish clock will be the same event that “restarts” it
We will just watch and see
Let’s remember that He instructed us to “occupy until He comes
”20 Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!xxx(For those subscribers who don’t hold a pre-tribulation view, don’t be concerned: we will have mailed our June newsletter before May 31


1. Prof. Daniel Michelson, “Codes in the Torah,” B’Or Ha’Torah, No.l6,
1987, published by the Association of Religious Professionals from the
Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in Israel, p.31.
2. The open appearance has no “the.”
3. Jeffrey Satinover, Cracking the Bible Code, William Morrow & Co,
New York, 1997, p.125.
4. Leviticus 23; Numbers 28-29; Deuteronomy 16.
5. Leviticus 23:4.
6. Romans 15:4; Galatians 3:24, 25.
7. Colossians 2:16, 17.
8. Leviticus 23:15-22.
9. Deuteronomy 16:16.
10. Exodus 19:11. This is reckoned by the rabbis as follows: The
Passover in Egypt was on the 14th of Nisan; the crossing of the Red
Sea, 3 days later on the 17th. They are viewed as arriving at Mount
Sinai on the 3rd day of the 3rd month, ostensibly on the 3rd of Sivan,
46 days later. Moses is told to prepare for the “3rd day.”
11. John 14:25, 26; Acts 1:8; 2:1-47.
12. 1 Thessalonians 4:17. a,rpaghso,meqa verb ind. fut. pass. 1st
per. pl., from a,rpa,zw (aor. pass. h,rpa,ghn, ptc. a,rpagei,j) take
by force; take away, carry off; catch up (into heaven).
13. Daniel 9:24-27.
14. Romans 9, 10, 11.
15. Ephesians 3:1-10.
16. Matthew 13:17, 34, 35. If they were “kept secret from the
foundation of the world,” they are not explicit in the Old Testament.
17. Jude 14, 15.
18. Genesis 5:24; Hebrew 11:5.
19. It may be argued that Enoch was only one person, but so is the
Church: it is signified as the “Body of Christ.” Romans 7:4; 12:5; 1
Corinthians 12:12, 27; Ephesians 4:12; 5:23; Colossians 2:16, 17; and,
perhaps, Revelation 12: 5.
20. Luke 19:13.