Before the time of King Josiah of Judah, the scroll containing the Book of the Law had been lost, along with the knowledge of God’s festivals. But Hilkiah, the high priest, found that scroll, and Shaphan the scribe read it in the presence of young Josiah. The repentant king quickly restored the true worship of God according to the instruction he found in the scroll.
One of Josiah’s first steps in restoring proper worship of God was observing the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. For a time the whole country caught the righteous fervor of the youthful king, and a national festival observance ensued such as had not been seen for centuries (2 Chronicles 34-35).
Later that same spirit of obedience and joyful festival celebration swept the Jewish settlements in the Holy Land during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. Not only did the people enjoy the physical aspects of these days, but the nation gained renewed understanding of God’s Word as well (Nehemiah 8:9-12 Nehemiah 8:9-12 9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said to all the people, This day is holy to the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
10 Then he said to them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions to them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy to our LORD: neither be you sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be you grieved.
12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.
American King James Version×).
If You’d Like to Learn More
If you’ve finished reading this booklet, you’ve probably been surprised to discover the real origin of today’s popular holidays. But what about the days of worship given in the Bible? Does God expect us to keep these today? When and how should we observe them? To discover the festivals of the Bible, be sure to request Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest and God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind.