THE NUMBER 8 AND THE FESTIVAL OF THE EIGHTH DAY

The explanation of the Festival of the Eighth  Day  requires the use of Bible numerics in order to discover the symbolic and  prophetic meanings of many scriptures, which include concepts  and relationships  between the number 8  and  the meaning of the Festival of the Eighth Day.

The  Bible was written over many centuries by dozens of men. Most  of these men were not scholars, scientists,  or  mathematicians. However,  an  intricate mathematical pattern  is found  to exist  from the first verse of scripture to the last. In the original languages in which the Bible was written, every word, sentence, phrase, and concept that pertains to any  given subject is linked together with a specific  numerical value or mathematical equation, which is unique to itself.  See Numbers  In Scripture by E.W. Bullinger.

Later in this study, it will become clear that, without  the use  of  Bible numerics, it would be extremely  difficult to discover and understand the many meanings of the Festival of the Eighth Day.

Editor's Note:

Although it is  a laborious and time consuming study,  the   scriptural references and the information that will be cited are necessary in order to bring into focus the awesome meaning  of the  Festival of the Eighth Day.

The Number 7

The number 7  is a number of  termination, which symbolically means  'being complete', 'absolute perfection', 'finality', and 'bringing to an end'. The  number 7 is critical to understanding the  number 8 in Bible numerics, because it expresses the terminal point and the perfection of certain events and processes after which the prophetic meaning of the Festival of the Eighth Day will be fulfilled.

The weekly Sabbath is the 7th  day, which completes  the weekly  cycle, and  the Festival of the Eighth Day  is  the 7th   annual  holy convocation and cessation from labor, which completes  the annual cycle of festivals for  the  sacred  year. It is  more  than just a coincidence that the Festival of the Eighth Day is the last of the annual festivals that picture God's plan for the salvation of humanity.

The Festival of the Eighth Day comes after the celebration of the fall  harvest, which prophetically celebrates the end of the harvest of  humanity into the Family and Kingdom of God. Although the Festival of  the Eighth  Day is a completely different and separate festival from the festivals that precede it, it does include much  of the meaning of the other festivals, because without the  fulfillment of the prophetic and symbolic meaning of the other  festivals, there would be no reason for the celebration or existence of the Festival of the Eighth Day.

THE NUMBER 8

The  basic  meaning and concept surrounding the Festival  of  the Eighth  Day  can be traced to the Hebrew root  word  'shmn'  from which the number 8 is derived.

From the root word 'shmn' comes the word 'shamen', that means 'I be(come) fat. It is from 'shamen' that the words which mean 'fat, rich, fatness, oil, and richly prepared food' come. All of  these words are used many times throughout the scriptures to convey the idea of God bestowing prosperity and well-being on those who live according to his ways.

It is also from the root 'shmn' that the Hebrew word which  signifies  the  number 8 is taken. This means nothing  by  itself; however, this study will show that the symbolic and prophetic meaning  of the number 8 and the events recorded in the Bible which surround the number 8, are essential to understanding the awesome and magnificent meaning of the  Festival of the Eighth Day.

NOAH AND THE EIGHTH DAY

Before the Great Flood, there were only 8 men whom God  considered to be preachers of righteousness—the 8th man on this list is Noah (2.Pet.2:5). Through this 8th  preacher of righteousness, God warned humanity that he would destroy them and  the earth  if they did not repent of their evil ways.  Although  Noah preached  this message for well over one hundred years, only  8 people were found worthy to be saved from this global destruction (1.Pet.3:20).

Noah's Name

Noah's  name  seems to be  derived from the  root  'nuah', which connotes 'rest' and 'salvation'. This meaning is consistent with the use of Noah's name and the promises God made  in Isaiah 54:1-17 and Ezekiel 14:12-23 concerning his protection and  salvation of those he considers his people.

The  spelling of Noah's name also carries the mark  of  salvation through God's grace. Noah is spelled using the Hebrew letters nun and  heth.  Nun has the  numerical value of 50 and heth  has  the value of  8.

The Number 50

The  number 50 is the product of 5 x 10: the number 5 signifies the grace of God, and the number 10 signifies the law of God. It is through God's grace and law  that humanity will find true freedom and happiness.

The  number 50 is also symbolic of  being released  from  bondage and given freedom, which is contained in the symbolism of  Feast of Weeks and the 50th year Jubilee. Moreover, the number 50 notes  and marks  an ending and a beginning of many other events and  conditions in the Bible.

The NUMBER 8

The Rains Came

It is recorded in chapter seven of Genesis that the rains  came  upon  the earth  on the  8th  day, after God gave Noah  instructions  concerning the loading of the ark with animals and plants that were  to be spared from the destruction of the flood:

"And the Lord said to Noah, Come you and all your house into  the ark;   for  you  have  I seen righteous  before  me   in   this generation. . . For  yet seven days, and I will cause it  to rain upon the  earth forty days and forty nights;  and  every  living substance  that I have made will I destroy from off the  face  of the  earth. . . And  it came to pass after seven  days, that  the waters  of the flood were upon the earth" (Gen.7:1-10,  vs.1,4,10 KJV).

Notice  that  the rains began the 8th  day after God   told Noah  to  go into the ark. Both the number 7  (completion/termination)  and the number 8 (ending  and beginning) appear here.  Moreover, the rains were to last forty  days  and nights (5 x 8). The number 5 is symbolic of God's grace and the number 40 is symbolic of a time of trial and testing.  It was  through God's grace that 8 people were saved  from  this time of trial.

The Dove

After  the  ark came to rest on Mount Ararat, Noah  waited  forty days  (5 x 8) after which he released a raven and a dove to see if the  waters had  abated. When the dove returned, he waited seven  days before sending it out on the 8th  day. The dove  returned again,  and once again Noah waited seven days and sent the dove out on the 8th  day. Again, the events show a termination  point associated with  the numbers 7 and 8, and a new beginning  associated with  the  number  8 (Gen.chp.8).

Comment

Several very  important concepts and meanings surrounding the number 8 that apply to the  Feast of the Eighth Day, are found in the account of the Great Flood. Listed below are four  things  that seem to be of primary importance:

1. Righteousness and Salvation.

Noah  was the only righteous man just before the Flood, and it  was through his righteousness that others were saved. Therefore, Noah, the  8th   preacher  of righteousness, is  symbolic  of  Christ through whom humanity can obtain salvation. Moreover, this account shows that the number 8 denotes both righteousness and salvation.

2. Death and Destruction

When the rains began on  the  8th  day, the  death  of humanity and the destruction of the earth as punishment for  the wickedness of humanity also began.

3. Endings and  Beginnings.

When the rains began on  the 8th  day, the world in which the Creator God  began his creation of humanity came to an end, and a new world, that was free of  the past, began to be formed.  See 2.Pet.3:17.

4. Protection Through Righteousness.

Although  destruction began on the 8th  day, salvation also began  through  the  righteousness of one person—the  8th  preacher of righteousness. Just as Noah's righteousness protected others from death, Jesus Christ's righteousness  protects  others from death through salvation. The  number 8 and the Festival of the Eighth Day show that the  righteous are spared from eternal death. See Gen.19; 2.Pet.2:5-9; Matt.24:22.

In addition to the root meaning of the Hebrew word for the number 8, the number 8 also  has to do with new birth, the divinity of Christ, and  the salvation that comes through him.

THE COVENANT, CIRCUMCISION, AND THE EIGHTH DAY

God  offered Abram (Abraham) and his descendants  an  everlasting  covenant of blessing (Gen.17:7). As a physical sign and symbol  of this  covenant between God, Abraham, and Abraham's descendants, God  required  all males who came under  this  covenant to  be circumcised on the 8th day after birth.

"This is my covenant, that you shall keep, between me and you and  your seed after you; Every male child among you shall be  circumcised.  And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin;  and it  shall be a token of the covenant between me and you. And   he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male child  in  your  generations, he that is born in  the  house,  or bought  with  money of any stranger, which is not your  seed.  He that is  born in your house, and he that is bought  with  money, must  be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh  for an everlasting covenant.  And the uncircumcised male child  whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be  cut off  from  his people; he has broken my  covenant" (Gen.17:10-14 Para.).

These verses show  that the 8th day is an integral  part  of  the establishment of a covenant relationship with God. It is  evident that the number 8 and the 8th  day are directly  associated with the  sealing of an eternal covenant between  God  and  his children.

Circumcision of the Heart

Physical  circumcision prior to and under the Old Covenant was  a physical and spiritual matter; however, under the New Covenant there is no need for an outward sign that one has a covenant relationship with God. Circumcision  is now a spiritual matter; those under the New Covenant are to be circumcised in the heart. This is why those  who come   under  the blood of Christ are partakers of Abraham's  everlasting covenant,  even  if  they are  not  physically  circumcised.  See Deut.10:16; 30:1-6; Rom.2:25-29; Gal.3:26-29.

Because  the 8th  day is very closely tied to this  everlasting covenant relationship between God and his people through  circumcision of the heart and the sacrifice of  Christ, only those who have an eternal covenant with God will receive the promises  made to Abraham concerning inheritance and salvation.

"And  if you be Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and  heirs according  to  the promise" (Gal.3:29 KJV).  See also  our  study papers concerning the rewards of the saved.

Isaac

Isaac, one of Abraham's 8  sons, was born because of a  promise and a miracle from the Creator God.  Although Isaac was not the 8th  son in chronological order, he stands apart from the other 7 as the  heir to the promises of God. Moreover, he was symbolic of Christ, the heir of all things and the prophetic  sacrificial lamb of God. The number 8 has a significance in Isaac's life, because he was the beginning of Abraham's lineage of promise (Gen.22:1-13). See  also  Gen.21:1-4; Acts 7:8.

"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our  Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting  covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.  Amen" (Heb.13:20-21 KJV).

THE FIRST-BORN

God's ownership of  the  first-born  of Israel is also a major part of the meaning of the Festival of the Eighth Day.

"You  shall not delay giving your harvest and your  vintage.  you shall  give to me your first-born sons, and the first-born of  your oxen  and sheep: they shall be 7 days with their mother, and on the

8th  day you shall give them to me. And you  shall  be holy men to me" (Ex.22:29-30 KJV Para.).

It is in the 8th  day that first-born sons are to  be given  to God (the day of circumcision). By extension, the  giving of the first-born to God applies to Jesus Christ and the elect  of God  who are the first-born of the new creation—the  spiritual first-born sons of God the Father.

God  considered national  Israel  to  be  his   first-born   son (Ex.4:22-23). As sons of God, the Israelites were a part of God's earthly family and were entitled to all the benefits of this relationship. The symbolism of the first-born of Israel and the   covenant of the 8th  day is carried forward in time, and it is applicable  to those under the New Covenant who are also first-born and heirs of  God the Father.

"Every  one  opening  the  womb  is  mine;  and  all  your   male livestock,. . .  and  if you do not redeem, [buy  back]  you  shall break  its  neck.  You  shall redeem every  first-born  of  your sons" (Ex.34:19-20 Para.).

All first-born sons were to be redeemed. Only through  the redemption of the first-born male (symbolic of national Israel) could Israel remain in a covenant relationship with God. This symbolism reaches past the Old Covenant into the future  when those  who  are called  to  become the Father's first-born of  his  new  creation will be redeemed from sin by the blood of Jesus Christ. See  our study paper concerning the New Creation.

THE PRIESTHOOD AND THE TEMPLE

"Do not leave the entrance to the Tent of Meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are completed, for your ordination will last 7 days. What has been done today was commanded by the  Lord  to make atonement for you. You must  stay  at  the entrance of the Tent of Meeting day and night for seven days  and do  what the Lord requires, so you will not die. . ."  (Lev.8:33-35 NIV).

"On  the eighth  day Moses summoned Aaron and his  sons  and  the elders of Israel" (Lev.9:1 NIV).

It is important to note that the final rites of atonement,  purification,  and ordination for the priesthood and  the  tabernacle took 7 days (Lev.chp.8;9). It was on the 8th  day that  the priesthood was accepted by God to officiate in the tabernacle and make offerings in it for the people. See also Ex.29:29-30.

With  the  completion  of these rites, a new  worship  system  was initiated  and the next phase of God's plan for the salvation  of  humanity began.

Solomon's Temple

It took 7 years for Solomon to complete the temple at Jerusalem (1.Kgs.6:38). This temple in which the presence of God would reside was officially completed in the 8th  year and  dedicated in the 8th month of that year.

After Hezekiah issued his command to repair the temple and again establish  the worship of God in Jerusalem, the repairs began  on  the first day of the first month (2.Chron.29:3, 17). It is  interesting that it took 8 days to clean the temple area up to the  porch of  the  temple  and another 8 days to complete  the  repair  and cleaning  of the temple. Again, we see the number 8,  which  indicates a new beginning associated with the first day of the sacred month.

The Millennial Temple

"At  the end of these days, from the eighth  day on,  the  priests are  to present your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings  on the  altar. Then I will accept you, declares the Sovereign Lord" (Ezk.43:27 NIV).

After  the return of Christ and the erection of the  new  temple,  there will be a seven-day period in which sacrifices will be offered  for the atonement, purification, and dedication  of  the altar. Again, it is on the 8th  day that the priesthood  will be accepted by God to officiate in the tabernacle and make offerings for the people there.

Purification

In both the tabernacle and the millennial temple examples, we see that  the  acts of purification must be completed before  the sanctuary, the priesthood, and the people are accepted into the service of and fellowship with God.

The  Gates and Steps

There  are 3 entrances that lead to each of the outer and inner  courts of  the new temple, which will be built after Christ's return.  The entrances  to  the outer court have 7 steps  each, and the inner court has 8 steps each.

As  with prior temples, the people will only have access  to  the outer court and they can only enter through one of three gates that has 7  steps. Only the priesthood can enter into the inner  court through one of the three gates that has 8 steps.

The  symbolic  meaning revealed through the numeric  values  contained within the steps and gates confirm the importance of the number 8 as it relates to a close and intimate  relationship with God.

Predicated on known meanings of Biblical numbers, the following are a few possible symbolic meanings of the  numbers 3,6,7, and 8 within Ezekiel's prophetic temple:

The  number 3 is symbolic of divine  perfection.  There  are three  gates at each level of access to the temple.  These gates seem  to represent the perfection of God's way to  salvation  or the perfection that can be obtained through the worship of God.

The number 6 is symbolic of humanity; therefore, it seems that the 6 gates represent humanity's way to access God.

The  number 7 is symbolic of spiritual perfection. The  7 steps  of the outer gates might be symbolic of the process  of  ascending  toward God's presence  or the process of  salvation  as pictured  in the annual festivals (i.e., the way  to  complete perfection).

The  number  8 is symbolic of the way to  salvation  and  new beginnings.  Therefore, the 8 steps might reflect the  end result of the process of salvation; as well as being in the presence  of God.

THE LAW OF LEPROSY

People who became ill with leprosy had to be removed from  the  general population of Israel and live in exile until their leprosy was either cured or they died. Because of this physical condition,  a person with leprosy could not participate in the formal  worship of God at the tabernacle/temple. See Lev.14:1-32.

On the 8th  day after being cleansed from leprosy, a person was allowed  to become a part of the general population and  participate in the formal worship system at the tabernacle/temple.

The  8th   day after purification was  extremely  important  to people  who  were   purified, because it was the  day  they  were received  back  into formal fellowship with God. The  8th   day after purification  symbolically pictures the  establishment  of fellowship and communion with God.

Note:

Please  review  the entire chapters of Leviticus 14  and  15  for details  of  the purification of lepers and  other rites of purification that were consummated on the 8th  day. This will help  show the importance of the 8th  day in relationship to  new  beginnings,  salvation,  and access to and worship of God.  See  also Num.6:8-11; 12:1-16; 19:11,14,16.

THE REDEEMER

It was on the 8th  day after John the Baptist was born (the day of  his circumcision) that his father, Zacharias, was  filled  with the holy spirit and told that his son would fulfill the office of  Elijah (Matt.11:7-14) and  announce  the coming of the Messiah who would bring salvation to humanity:

"And  you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest:  for you shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;  To give  knowledge of salvation to his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring from on high will visit us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the  shadow  of death, to guide our feet into the way of  peace" (Lk.1:76-79 KJV para.). Please read the entire first chapter of Luke for  an overview of this extraordinary event and prophecy.

The 8th  day of John's life not only announced the coming  of the  Messiah but also pointed to a time when knowledge would  be given  as  a result of the remission of sin. The  implication  of Zechariah's prophecy  of knowledge is very profound,  because  it foretells access to hidden knowledge after one receives the  holy spirit (Jn.16:7-13; 1.Cor.2:9-13).

The phrase  "those who are in darkness" not only refers to the specific time in history when people were in spiritual  darkness but  also to the time of the resurrections of  the  dead when  all  those who died never knowing God or his  way  of  life will be given an opportunity to understand God's plan for  salvation (1.Cor.15:22-23; Rev.20:11-13). See our study that explains the various resurrections.

In Zechariah's prophecy, the 8th  day is symbolic of a  beginning and  a foreshadowing of an event that would culminate in  a  new covenant and a new way to obtain salvation (salvation through Christ).

Within the events surrounding John the Baptist's circumcision, we see the following symbolism attached to the 8th  day:

Again, a covenant relationship and salvation are inseparable parts of an occurrence on an 8th  day.

The Redeemer and the Number 8

Within the writings of The Old Testament, there are many  correlations  between redemption, the 8th day, and the number  8. There  are also a number of scriptures, which are prophetic of  Christ as the Redeemer, that have the number  8  associated with the word 'redeemer'. One of these scriptures is found in the prophecy  of Isaiah, which pertains to Christ's return at the end of this age:

"And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and to them that turn  from transgression in Jacob, says the Lord" (Isa.59:20 KJV).

In this prophecy, the  numerical  value  of the Hebrew letters that  make  up  the phrase  "the Redeemer" is 40, which is  5 x 8. Since  the context of Isaiah 59:20 is  the end of this  age,  the symbolic  meaning  of these numbers can easily be understood.

Forty

One  of the symbolic meanings of the number 'forty' connotes a  time of  trial  or  testing. It is a Biblical fact  that  Christ  will return  to  the earth to establish the Kingdom of God  after  the great tribulation, which is a time of trial and testing.

Five

The  number 5 seems to always symbolize the great  grace  and mercy  of God. We know that it was because of the Father's  great grace  and  mercy that he sent his son to save humanity,  and   it is because of  his grace and mercy  that  he  will spare humanity from complete destruction at the end of this age when he again sends his Son.

Eight

Although  the number 8 is clearly symbolic of the  Redeemer,  redemption,  and salvation in the Old Testament, it is only  through the record of the New Testament that we can establish the fact  that the number 8 is symbolic of  the  redemptive aspect of salvation.

The Name and Number of the Messiah

The  numerical  values of the various names used  for  humanity's Redeemer  in  the New Testament are inseparable from  the  number 8:

Jesus             = 888     (8 x 111)

Christ            = 480     (8 x 60)

Lord             = 800     (8 x 10)

Our Lord      = 1768   (8 x 221)

Savior           = 1408    (8 x 8 x 22)

Emmanuel    = 25,600 (8 x 8 x 8 x 50)

Messiah        = 656      (8 x 82)

Son               =  880     (8 x 110)

The  writer to the Hebrews sums up the redemption that the  elect of God have through Jesus Christ who was the Creator God and  the Promised Redeemer of humanity:

"But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come,  by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands,  that is  to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood  of goats and  calves, but by his own blood he entered once into  the  holy place,  having obtained eternal redemption. . .So Christ was  once offered  to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for  him shall  he  appear  the  second time  without  sin  to  salvation" (Heb.9:11-12, 28 KJV).

The  numerical  value of our Redeemer's many names  in  the  Greek language  and  the use of the number 8 in  association  with  his birth, ministry, death, and resurrection points to the undeniable fact that the number 8 is used to represent our Redeemer, redemption, salvation, the resurrection, and the first-born of the  new creation.

Jesus, the Passover, and the 8th  Day

Matthew,  Mark, and John record that before the Passover,  while Jesus was in Bethany having supper, a woman anointed him for  his burial. However, only John records that this event took place six days before the Passover. See Matt.26:6-13; Mk.14:3-9; Jn.12:1-7.

Note:

It is important to understand that the events recorded in Matthew 26 and Mark 14 are not written in chronological order. The two days before the Passover noted in Matthew 26:1-5 and Mark 14:1-2 concern a separate event from the anointing of Jesus noted in Matthew 26 and Mark 14.

Remember that the Passover lamb was selected on the tenth day  of the first sacred month and sacrificed at the end of the 14th  day before  sunset; then, it was eaten at the beginning of the  15th day after sunset.

When John records that Jesus was anointed for his burial six days before the Passover, he did so with the knowledge that there  had been  two Passovers that year. Jesus had kept the first one  with his disciples, while many of the Jews  had kept the second one on which Jesus was crucified (Jn.2:13; 6:4; 11:55).

This  anointing of Jesus by Mary six days prior to the  Passover was no accident. It was very important to the fulfillment of many prophetic events and it is a part of the symbolism of the Festival of the Eighth day.

Using  inclusive  counting, the day Jesus was  anointed  for  his burial  would have been the 10th day of the first  month, which was the same  day that the Passover lamb was selected and set  apart  for its sacrificial death.

Note:

The chart on the next page shows inclusive counting of eight days which include the anointing of Jesus for his burial, his observance of the Passover on Thursday evening after sunset, his crucifixion and burial on Friday afternoon during the second sanctioned Passover, the weekly Sabbath which was also the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the Lift Offering early Sunday morning.

                

Seven days after being anointed as the Lamb of God, Jesus lay  dead in the tomb. Remember the number 7 is symbolic of being complete, absolute perfection, finality, and bringing to an end. Jesus had completed his mission, and a way of total and complete salvation had become available to humanity.

On the day of the Lift Offering (the 8th  day from Jesus' anointing as the Lamb of God) God the Father resurrected Jesus from the dead and accepted him as his first-born son—the first-born of his new creation.

"The Lord said to Moses, When a calf, a lamb, or a goat is  born, it  is to remain with its mother for seven days. From the eighth day on, it will be acceptable as an offering made to the Lord  by fire" (Lev.22:26-27 NIV).

It  was  also  on the 8th  day from his  anointing  that  Jesus revealed  to many  that he had indeed been resurrected  from  the dead. On this eighth day, he appeared to Mary  Magdalene (Mk.16:9), ten  of  the  disciples (Jn.20:18-23), the men on the road to  Emmaus  (Lk.24:13-46. Then, 8 days after this, he appeared to Thomas (Jn.20:24-28).

The  8th  day pictures the resurrection and the  acceptance  of Jesus  Christ as God the Father's first-born son into the  Family and Kingdom of God. By extension, the number 8 also  pictures the first resurrection at which time all the elect of  God  (the first-born) will also be transformed into spirit-sons of God.

The number 8 is symbolic of new beginnings and the  Day  of Pentecost always falls on an 8th  day, which is  the next  day after the last seven-day sabbatical cycle of days in  a fifty day count: therefore, it follows that Pentecost is also symbolic of  a new  beginning; the  beginning of the New Covenant, a  new  age  of salvation, and the first resurrection.

Resurrections and the Number 8

It  is interesting to note that in addition to Christ's resurrection, there are a total of 8  individual resurrections recorded in the Bible. Three of these resurrections are found in the Old  Testament, and five of them are found in the New Testament. All of the individual resurrections were done as acts of mercy or to show the power of God through his people. Moreover, these resurrections were obviously  a new beginning for these individuals.

THE EIGHT THOUSAND YEARS

"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with  the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years  as  one day" (2.Pet.3:8 KJV).

If  Peter's statement was intended to have a  prophetic  or symbolic meaning in relation to God's plan for the  salvation of  humanity, it fits very well with the Biblical record of  past and prophetic blocks of time.

There were approximately 2,000 years between the time of Adam and Eve's creation and the Great Flood. There were approximately 2,000  years from the Great Flood to the advent of Jesus Christ as the Messiah. There  will be approximately 2,000 years from the advent  of  the Jesus  Christ  as Messiah until his return as King of  kings  and Lord of lords and 1,000 year reign.

From the creation of Adam and Eve until the end of Christ's 1,000 year reign, approximately 7,000 years will have passed before the resurrection of the rest of the dead.

A Time of Peace

After the first resurrection, Jesus will return to the earth with the elect of all ages who will have been changed to  immortal  beings (1.Cor.15:51-54).  During  the first thousand years  of  Christ's rule, the earth will be at peace and become a paradise, which is free of war, famine, and evil spirits (Rev.20:1-3). It is  during this time of peace and prosperity that the earth will be prepared for the billions of humans who will participate in the next phase of God's plan for the salvation of humanity:

"And  I  saw thrones, and they sat upon them,  and  judgment  was given  unto  them:. . . and they lived and reigned  with  Christ  a thousand  years. But the rest of the dead lived not again  until the thousand years were finished. . ." (Rev.20:4-5 KJV).

Rest of the Dead

The  resurrection  of  the rest of the dead will take  place  in  the 8th  millennium after the creation of Adam and Eve. The rest of the  dead are the billions who died without ever having an  opportunity for  salvation. These people will be resurrected to   physical  life. During  their  second life, they will be given the  knowledge  and understanding  of  God's truth, and those who  demonstrate  by  their attitude,  commitment, and performance that they have  a  sincere desire  to love and obey God will qualify for eternal life.  See Isa.65:19-25; Rev.20:11-15.

Every human being who has ever lived or will ever live shall have the   opportunity  to  learn  the truth of  God's  great   plan  (2.Pet.3:9;  1.Tim.2:4).  Everyone will be given a chance for salvation by God  (Rom.2:11).  Everyone will  have  a full understanding of the right way to live and each will have to decide whether or not they will obey God  (Heb.8:11).

YEAR OF RELEASE, LAND REST, AND THE JUBILEE

The Year of Release, the Land Rest, and the Jubilee which were  required of  Israel  under  the Old Covenant, are all tied  to  the  number 8 and symbolic of a new beginning with freedom from bondage.

These  three periods of time have great physical,  spiritual,  and prophetic  meaning attached to them and are extremely  important to the fulfillment of the plan that God has for humanity.

The Year of Release

Every  7th  year,  debts were commanded to  be  forgiven and  all indentured and purchased servants were to be released. This meant that  everyone  who was indebted to another person could have  a fresh  start in the 8th  year, which  represents  a new beginning and freedom. See Deut.15:1-2; 12.

The Land Rest

Every  7th  year, the land was to rest from intensive  agricultural production. Most organic farmers and gardeners understand the benefits of such a land rest.  The land rest was to  be a time of renewal for the land as well as a rest for those who farmed the  land.  On the 8th year, the land would have been  renewed with  the  prospect of a greater harvest. See Lev.25:3-4.

The Jubilee

The Year of  Jubilee, which was also called the Year of Liberty occurred every fiftieth year.  During this year, all debts were to be released, indentured or  purchased servants  were to be set free from their debt  and/or  servitude, and  all  land  was to be returned to  its  rightful  owner(s).  See Lev.25:8-55.

This  great fiftieth year of release and freedom brought with  it the ultimate in economic and personal freedom. This fiftieth year was  the culmination of seven, seven-year cycles of release, which took place after the seventh year—the 8th  year. These 7 and 8  year  cycles clearly show the 8th  year and  the  number 8 to be symbolic of release, freedom, and a new beginning.      

Below  are  a several other references which  show  that  the number  8  deals with the release that comes from being freed from servitude or indebtedness.

Healing

Peter  heals  a man who had been ill for 8  years.  See  Acts 9:32-35.

The Evil Kings

There were several kings who have the number 8 associated with them:

Jehoram, King of Judah, began his reign at the age of 32 (4 x 8)  and reigned for 8 years. See 2.Kgs.8:16-18.

Amon, King of Judah, died when he was 24 (3 x 8). See  2.Chron.33:20-25.

Jehoiachin, King of Judah, began his reign when he was 8  years old,  reigned for 3 months and 10 days and was removed from  rule by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. See 2.Chron.36:9-10.

After  evil Amon died, his son Josiah began his reign at the  age of 8, and in the 8th  year of his reign, he began to seek  after the  Lord. The beginning of the reign of this good  king is associated with the number 8. See 2.Chron.34:1-3.

These examples show that the number 8 is associated with the reigns  of  kings. This seems to show that the  number  8  is associated  with the beginning and ending of  governments  and  the transfer of authority.

Repentance

There  are  a number of references that seem to use  the  number 8  within the context of a call to repent of evil and  change to righteousness.

Zechariah

"In the 8th  month of the second year of the reign of king Darius, the word of  the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah" (Zech.1:1-21).  

The message which was  given to Zechariah was a call to repentance, which seems to be for those who will live in Judah at the end of the age.

Ezekiel

In the 8th  day after coming to the river of Chebar, the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel (Ezk.3:16-17). Ezekiel was given the responsibility to  warn Israel that, if they did not repent, they would die. Again  this seems to be a prophecy for the future, because  Israel  had gone  into  captivity about 127 years earlier  and  Ezekiel  was among the captives of Judah in another place.

Victory

There are only 8 of king David's 'men of war' who are  distinguished  as being mighty men. These were the men who fought  battles  for Israel and protected them from foreign invaders. It  is interesting  to  note that the first of the 8  men  mentioned killed 8 hundred men in one battle. See 2.Sam.23:8-39. The  number 8 here is associated with strength,  deliverance, victory, and protection.

The  number 8 is associated with victory over the  armies  of Gog, and Magog a few years after the establishment of the  kingdom of  God upon the earth. The destruction of this great  army  will effectively  end  all military resistance to the Kingdom  of  God, which will allow the world's inhabitants to live in peace.

After  the  destruction of Gog and Magog  (Ezk.39:1-6;  Rev.20:8), Israel will bury the armies of Gog and Magog for 7 months. And in the  8th   month the land will be  free  from  dead  bodies (Ezk.39:12-15).  It  will  take 7 years to burn  all  of  the weaponry  of  Gog and Magog, and in the 8th  year, all  of  their weapons of destruction will have been destroyed (Ezk.39:9-10).

Punishment

"Therefore  the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and  he sold  them into the hand of Chushan-rishathaim king of  Mesopotamia:  and the children of Israel served Chushan-rishathaim 8 years" (Jdg.3:8 Para.).

Because of their worship of Baalim and their idolatry, God placed Israel into captivity for eight years; then he released them.

David Numbers Israel

One  of  the great mistakes that king David made  was  to  number Israel after God had told him not to. Joab reports the number  as being  800,000 valiant men who  drew  the  sword.

SUMMARY

Primarily this study has shown that the  number  8 and  the Festival of the Eighth Day are closely associated  with many  different concepts, meanings, things, and events in  scripture.

There  are  7 major categories into which almost all  of  the scriptural references concerning the number 8 and the 8th day fit:

1. Endings and beginnings

2. Death, destruction, and punishment

3. Repentance and salvation

4. A covenant relationship with God the Father

5. Sonship (first-born status)

6. Victory or successful accomplishment

7. Access to God

There are at least 7 major categories that have common concepts  and  meanings, therefore; if any of them are associated  with the Festival of the Eighth Day, it can be safely assumed that there is more than one meaning to this festival and that the Festival of the Eighth Day  has several concepts and meanings that are combined into one great festival.

When reviewing the events that will take place at the  end  of Christ's reign as the supreme sovereign over the earth, it is important to  apply some of the concepts and meanings of the number 8 and the 8th  day in order to solve the mystery  of  the Festival of the Eighth Day.

By B.L. Cocherell, file b5w70