The Seventh Month

John Plunkett

Day of Atonement

September 30th 2017

Today is the Day of Atonement – the 10th day of the 7th month of God’s calendar.

For the past couple of years, on the New Moon days, we’ve been studying the appropriate, relevant scriptures which pertain to each New Moon day.

So far, this hasn’t worked for the 7th month because it, of course, always falls on the Feast of Trumpets, when we tend to have our minds on other matters.

So, this year, I thought I would take the opportunity on this 10th day of the 7th month to go through some of the 7th month scriptures with you.

We’ll go through them in time order, beginning with:

Noah’s time 

Genesis 8:4:
And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.

That 17th day of the 7th month is, of course, Day 3 of the Feast of Tabernacles.

I wonder if Noah was keeping God’s Holy Days back then, hundreds of years before Sinai.
I seem to remember an old WCG article from many years ago which put the case forward that all of God’s Holy Days were in force from creation.  I’d need to go through the topic in detail once again, as I’m not prepared at this time to support the theory for or against.

Noah, his family and the animals didn’t actually leave the ark until the following spring – on the 27th day of the 2nd month, according to Genesis 8:14-19.

But I just wonder if there was/is any significance to the date of the ark coming to rest in the Ararat mountains.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  However, it might be something worth meditating on.

First mention of the Day of Atonement

Our next 7th month scripture is in one of the Holy Day chapters – the Day of Atonement “Azazel” chapter in:

Leviticus 16:29:
And this shall be a statute forever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourns among you:

I find it interesting that the Day of Atonement and all these details are singled out from the other Holy Days a full seven chapters earlier than the main Holy Day chapter of Leviticus 23.

This 10th day of the 7th month is, of course, exactly 6 months after the 10th day of the 1st month!  I didn’t even need my calculator to work that one out!

The 10th day of the 1st month is the day on which the Old Covenant Israelites were to choose, set aside and “behold” their Passover lambs.

For the past couple of years, Tricia and I have considered that, although not commanded in the scriptures, that 10th day of the 1st month might be an appropriate day for us to have a fast – pre-Passover, self-examination fast. 

There’s something that kind of “lines up” between the 1st and 7th months – the way the days work out – specifically the 1st, 10th, 15th and 21st days of both months. 

Interestingly, the 22nd day – which we call the Last Great Day – is not included in this parallel between the 1st and 7th months.  It has no equivalent in the 1st month.  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps – just maybe – because it is a day that is, in many ways, dedicated to God the Father, whereas all the relevance of all the others are between Jesus and His human brothers and sisters.  I’m not dogmatic on that.  Just a thought.

Every so often there is an extra-special Day of Atonement, and that is the one that introduces:

The Jubilee Year

And for this, we’ll jump forward to: 

Leviticus 25:
8:  And you shall number seven sabbaths of years unto you, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto you forty and nine years.
9:  Then shall you cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month. in the Day of Atonement shall you make the trumpet sound throughout all your land…

The Hebrew word for jubile is teruwah (Strong’s 8643) which is a reasonably common (36 appearances) Old Testament Hebrew word which is elsewhere translated as shout, shouting, alarm, sound, blowing and joy – most of which we don’t feel much like doing during our Day of Atonement fasts! ?
But this jubile day must have been a hugely joyous occasion for many Israelites.  Why?  Let’s read on:

Verse 10: And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and you shall return every man unto his possession, and you shall return every man unto his family.
11:  A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: you shall not sow, neither reap that which grows of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of your vine undressed.
12: for it is the jubile; it shall be holy unto you: you shall eat the increase thereof out of the field.

Some – perhaps many – with very good intentions, I’m sure – have attempted to determine the timing of the year that the LORD’s jubile was first initiated – so that they could reinstitute the practice (and the “land-Sabbath” years too) in modern times.

I could almost guarantee that the various men and/or women that have done so have come up with different dates and timing!

I’m not saying that it shouldn’t be done; just that I’m not sure what the right approach to these commands should be – especially for true Christians of the modern era who also happen to be farmers.

What year should they count the “land-Sabbath” years and “jubile” years from?

I’m sure that they would be blessed for their efforts in striving to obey these commands.  However a farmer might choose to do it, in both ancient and modern times, I would think that, probably, he would only experience a jubile year once in his lifetime.

Apart from the farming and vineyard aspects, there are also a few kinds of interesting legal aspects, including these two:

1. The freeing of “servants” who have been assigned to a fellow-Israelite for various reasons (e.g. the payment of a debt or as a penalty for a crime). 

2. The returning of real property which has been temporarily “sold” or “leased” to its original owner family.

The subsequent verses go into lots of detail on all this; but we don’t have time for it all today.

Next, we go back a few chapters as we move into:

The “Main” Holy Day Chapter

Leviticus 23:24:
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, “In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall you have a Sabbath
{Hebrew: Shabbathown}, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.”

We obeyed this command just nine days ago on the Feast of Trumpets; and we’re obeying this next one today:

Verse 27:  Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a Day of Atonement: it shall be an holy convocation {Hebrew: miqra: assembly} unto you; and you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

Yes.  We’re having a holy convocation/assembly – as we’re commanded to right here.  And we’re also afflicting our souls by fasting – from even to even – as commanded in Verse 32 – in the Hebrew from ereb to ereb – from sunset to sunset.

However, one of these things that we won’t be doing is we won’t offer an offering by fire unto the LORD.  Not because we’re being disobedient.  Nor because it’s not convenient for us.  But because all those animal sacrifices – as well as the necessary temple and temple furnishings – have been put on hold – at least for the time being – until Jesus reintroduces them after His return.

As well as resting our stomachs in preparation for the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles, I’ve always thought that the Day of Atonement and its fast are like a kind of bow-string that’s being pulled back in order to fire us – five days later – into God’s wonderful annual physical and spiritual feast…

The Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day

Verse 34:  Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD...
Verse 39a:  Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day
{the 15th day of the 7th month} shall be a sabbath…

Not forgetting, of course, the Last Great Day”:

Verse 39b: … And on the eighth day {the 22nd day of the 7th month} shall be a sabbath…

For reasons that I’ve gone into before – and don’t have time to repeat today – I personally believe that “the last day, that great day of the feast” in John 7:37 does refer to this 8th day – although some Church of God  groups and individuals now have come to believe and teach that it refers to the 7th day and have, therefore, in my view, downgraded the term “the Last Great Day” by referring to it as merely “the 8th Day.”

Referring once again to the 7-day Feast of Tabernacles:

Verse 41: And you shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year.  It shall be a statute forever in your generations: you shall celebrate it in the seventh month.

This is one of the easiest of the LORD’s commands for us all to obey.   We do look forward to celebrating it – so very much!

Autumn Holy Day Commands Repeated

In the book of Numbers, we find that God’s commands for his people to keep his Holy Days are repeated, perhaps specifically, to give details for the required Old Covenant offerings.  But perhaps also for emphasis.

So, let’s quickly read through the 7th month ones:

Numbers 29:
1a:  And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have an holy convocation

Yes. if at all possible, we’re to make every effort to get together – which we did - just nine days ago – on the Feast of Trumpets.

What else?

1b: … You shall do no servile work…

Yes, we’re to book the day off work, of course.  But also, as many other scriptures teach us, any major cooking of Holy Day food should be completed on the previous day – the Day of Preparation – which God gives us before every Sabbath and Holy Day as a “day of preparation” (Ref: Matthew 27.62; Mark 15.42; Luke 23.54; John 19.14 and 31).

1c: … It is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you…

We don’t have any good trumpet players in our local group; so, we usually settle for some appropriate recorded music – again, as we did nine days ago.

Next, a little more detail on the Day of Atonement:

Verse 7: And you shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month an holy convocation {sacred assembly}; and you shall afflict your souls {fast}: you shall not do any work therein.

The other six Holy Days allow for a small amount of “work” for the preparation and laying out of (non-cooked and/or pre-cooked) Holy Day food (exodus 12:16); but God forbids all work on the Day of Atonement.

If any brethren have little children who are too young to endure the 24-hour fast, their parents should pre-prepare their requirements on the previous day – “the Day of Preparation.”

Next – a repetition of our LORD God’s commands for His people to keep the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day:

Verse 12:  And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have an holy convocation {assembly}; you shall do no servile work, and you shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days…
Verse 35:  On the eighth day
{i.e. 22nd day of 7th month} you shall have a solemn assembly: you shall do no servile work therein.

Temple Dedication

As we move out of the Pentateuch on into other Old Testament scriptures, the first scripture we come to mentions a name for the 7th month:

I Kings 8:2:
And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto King Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is
the seventh month.

The Hebrew form of the word is Eythaniym (Strong’s 388) and only appears once in the scriptures – at least, in this plural form.

The Theological Word Book of the Old Testament says that Eythaniym means "enduring" – apparently so named because permanent streams began to flow in “the Holy Land” during the 7th month.

But I wonder if it might have a deeper meaning, because Eythaniym is the plural form of the singular adjective eythan (Strong’s 0386) which in turn stems from a root word meaning to continue.

The singular form eythan is found more commonly in the Old Testament than its plural form Eythaniym – 13 times, where it is translated into the English words strong, mighty, hard and rough – all of which may have significant relevance to the autumn Holy Day season – perhaps including that of the worsening weather in some parts of the world!

Extended translations of eythan include the English words perpetual, constant, perennial, ever-flowing, permanent and enduring – all very significant to the symbolism of the autumn Holy Days.

Why were the Israelite men “assembled unto Solomon” in the 7th month?  

In obedience to the LORD’s commands to attend His feasts – including the one in: 

Exodus 34:23:
Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD {Adown YHVH}, the God {Elohiym} of Israel.

But this Feast during Solomon’s reign was a very special one because during it, the Ark of the Covenant was moved from the Tent-Tabernacle to the magnificent, newly-built stone Temple.  I believe that this move was symbolically very significant.  Shortly after the move, the new Temple was then dedicated in a fabulous ceremony which is described in more detail in other 7th month scriptures in the book of II Chronicles, which we’ll quickly skip through now: 

II Chronicles 5: 
2:  Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the City of David, which is Zion.
3:  Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the Feast which was in the seventh month.

II Chronicles 7:
8:  Also at the same time Solomon kept the Feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt.
9:  And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the Feast seven days.
10:  and on the three and twentieth
(23rd) day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had showed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel His people.

Wow!  That must have really been some autumn Feast season!  They would have kept:

·       The Feast of Trumpets on the 1st of the month.

·       The dedication of the temple’s altar for 7 days – from the 8th to the 14th of the month.

·       The Day of Atonement would also have been kept during that period – on the 10th day of the month.

·       Then the Feast of Tabernacles from the 15th to the 21st.

·       Then finally, the Last Great Day on the 22nd.


We all know what Solomon did, and how the LORD punished him. 

The formerly united nation was divided in the reign of his son Rehoboam.  The northern House of Israel would not repent of their spiritual adultery; so, the LORD sent them into captivity under the Assyrians. 

The southern House of Judah had a few “good” kings and so, fared a little better, at least for a time.  But ultimately, they failed to learn the lessons from the “mistakes” of their northern brothers and they, too, lapsed into spiritual adultery, from which they refused to repent; so the LORD sent them into 70 years of exile in Babylon.

Once their 70 years punishment was up and some of their people (called “Jews”) returned to Judah and Jerusalem, God raised up some of their leaders to bring the people back to His proper modes of worship – including the keeping of His Holy Days:

Ezra 3:
1: And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem…
Verse 4:  They kept also the Feast of Tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required;
5:  And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the New Moons, and of all the set Feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD.
6a: From the first day of the seventh month
{the Feast of Trumpets} began they to offer burnt offerings unto the LORD –

Nehemiah 7:73:
So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinim
{specially-chosen servants (some say ‘slaves’) in service under the Levites)}, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities…. 

Hmmm! – not in Jerusalem?

As there were enemies still in the land (as we find out later in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah), perhaps for safety’s sake, the initial group of Jews who returned from Babylon gathered into the villages, towns and cities that were close to Jerusalem.

This seems logical; but also, because the very next verse tells us that the people assembled in Jerusalem’s “Watergate Street” on the 1st day of that 7th month – the Feast of Trumpets, of course:

Nehemiah 8:
1:  And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spoke unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.
2:  And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month
{the Feast of Trumpets}

As they listened to the reading of the scriptures on that day, they came to realize – although gradually, it seems – that they were to adhere to certain rules that God had decreed for those special days:

Verse 14:  And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month…
Verse 18:  Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. and they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.

I find it interesting that, although these post-exile Jews don’t seem to have been conversant with the Holy Days, back in Babylon there was a least one prophet who certainly was aware of them:

Ezekiel 45:25:
In the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, shall he do the like in the feast of the seven days, according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering, and according to the meat offering, and according to the oil.

There are a few more “7th month scriptures” which do not appear to me to be very relevant to the fall Holy Days.  (See II Kings 25:25; I Chronicles 27:10; II Chronicles 31:7; Jeremiah 28:17; 41:1; Zechariah 7:5; 8:19).

But there is one more post-exile 7th month scripture that was inspired during the Feast of Tabernacles after the temple had been rebuilt – and evidently some time after the Ezra and Nehemiah scriptures we just read. 

We’ll finish on this one, because I find its words to be quite encouraging for our day today:

Haggai 2:
1a:  In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month…

Which would have been the 7th and last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

1b: … came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying, “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying,
3: ‘Who is left among you that saw this house
{temple} in her first glory?  And how do you see it now?  Is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?
4:  Yet now be strong, o Zerubbabel,’ says the LORD; and be strong, o Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the LORD, ‘and work: for I am with you,’ says the LORD of hosts:
5: ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so my Spirit remains among you: fear you not.’”

I believe that the Holy Spirit of the LORD God still remains among His people today.  

So let us not fear!

Brethren… fear you not!