SIGNS and SEASONS
In Genesis 1:14, the Word says:
“God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to divide the day from the night; let them be for signs, seasons (Ps 19:1-6; Rom 10:18), days and years; and let them be for lights in the dome of the sky to give light to the earth”; and that is how it was.” (CJB)
As I was reading, the words “let them be for signs” jumped off the page to me. Signs for what? Signs for who? And if they are signs, am I paying attention?
The stars, sun, and moon were set in place to rule, divide, govern, and give light— to illuminate. But what I found interesting was according to Biblical commentary in The Passion Translation, the word “seasons” could also be translated as “appointed times (feasts).”
Leviticus 23:4,5 instructs us with these words:
“‘These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover.” (NKJV)
“These are the designated times of Adonai, the holy convocations you are to proclaim at their designated times. “‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between sundown and complete darkness, comes Pesach for Adonai.” (CJB)
These instructions were linked to a very specific time, season, and day that was set in place before humankind was created. On the fourth day, God’s calendar, cycles, and designated times– His annual flow– was established.
Before we were made in His image, before He breathed life into us, God’s annual cycle was there to serve as a guide, to make us aware, and ultimately to continually bring us back to Him at His designated times.
Designated: to indicate and set apart for a specific purpose, office, or duty. (Merriam-Webster)
These days were set apart for a specific purpose, but if we are not observing or paying attention to the times and the seasons, we will fall out of sync with God’s rhythm. It’s kind of like trying to go through your day without referencing your clock or your calendar. I can only imagine how much I would miss if I didn’t pay attention to what day it was or what time it was. Imagine if I went through a whole year without checking the calendar. I would be lost! I would miss every appointment, birthday, and holiday; I would most definitely be late or absent. Our calendars serve as guides to make sure we stay on track and show up.
Could the same be said of our Heavenly Father’s calendar? Do we know what time it is?
This study is much deeper than all that is expressed here, but so began my personal interest in diving into further understanding the Hebrew months and their rich symbolism. These days and months are links to My Father’s appointed times.
I wanted to know more. I wanted to understand God’s structure and when and how He was speaking. I wanted to understand what He established to annually guide my heart back to His. If the heavenly bodies serve as signs, then my prayer remains: “open my eyes to what You are saying in this season.”
If days and seasons are unique in their purpose and intent, then I desire to walk in sync with that. I want to live in alignment and structure my life accordingly. I want to plan my days according to Yours.
You can read below about the rich history and symbolism of this month of miracles. I tried to summarize just a little bit as I found it overwhelming. There is so much depth and richness in our Jewish heritage and the Jewish roots and the seasons in God. I feel as though I am only scratching the surface, and as I do so, I am uncovering identity and purpose.
“Oh, I see. I understand. Oh—now I am equipped to make better decisions or set my expectations.” These are words my heart has uttered over and over. But most of all, I have said: “Oh. I see You. I see Your fingerprint and feel Your presence.”
It is so clear to me that the Father is always speaking, but I am not always listening. I am often distracted or completely unaware.
So, I am going to give you some of my personal key takeaways about the month ahead, and then hopefully, you can use the information below to dive in further for yourself. I know that the Father wants to reveal Himself to you on a personal level and illuminate the path ahead with revelation and expectation.
Kislev is closely associated with: the temple, miracles, selfless devotion, dedication, support, and the priesthood.
The temple of God represents the place where the presence of God dwells. It is where His presence rests and where humanity worships and presents our offering. 1 Cor 3:16 says, “we are the temple of the living God.”
During the month of Kislev, I see a golden thread of the presence of God weaving throughout, reminding us that we are called to be carriers of His presence no matter how dark it is. He is the light within us that illuminates. He is the Miracle Maker.
Kislev is connected to the tribe of Benjamin, and part of the temple was in the tribe of Benjamin’s land allotment. At Hanukkah, we celebrate the miracle of the oil in the temple and the rededication that came from the selfless devotion of the remnant who took a stand and fought against the Hellenization of their culture (led by Judah Maccabee, the Jewish priest).
According to the *Talmud, either the tribe of Benjamin or the tribe of Judah (both associated with the temple) were the first to step into the Red Sea. Can you imagine this step of faith and trust, believing in the God of miracles?
I see a thread of faith, dedication, and holiness throughout the month that unlocks the miraculous. That unlocks the presence of God. That causes that which we have prayed and hoped for to manifest.
*Talmud: ancient teaching that makes up the central text of Rabbinic Judaism
KISLEV HISTORY AND SYMBOLISM:
Kislev occurs in November and December and is most well known for the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, which begins on the 25th of Kislev. It is the third month of the civil year.
TRIBE: BENJAMIN – Son of Right Hand
Each Hebrew month is connected to one of the 12 tribes; Kislev is tied to the tribe of Benjamin.
Benjamin was the only one of Jacob’s sons who was born in Eretz Israel (the holy land: Israel).
He was the only one of Joseph’s 11 brothers who was not involved in the plot to sell Joseph.
The temple was partially built on a portion of land given to the tribe of Benjamin.
When Moses blessed the tribes in Genesis 33, he blessed the firstborn first (Reuven), and then he gave priority to the three tribes who were associated with the temple: Judah, Levi, and Benjamin. Some scholars say the reason these three tribes were given the honor of being partners in the Beis HaMikdash (the holy temple) was because, at some point, each tribe had demonstrated “nefesh” (selfless devotion, “to the extent that one is willing to give his or her life to sanctify Hashem’s Name.”)
“Of Benjamin, he said: “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him,Who shelters him all the day long, And he shall dwell between His shoulders.” Genesis 33:12 (NKJV)
In Benjamin’s portion, the temple would reside, and God’s Spirit would dwell.
When I see the connection between the month of Kislev and the tribe of Benjamin, I see a focus on the temple weaving throughout the month, not only through the tribe of Benjamin but, of course, through the story of Hanukkah.
The celebration of Hanukkah is a celebration of the power of light over darkness and good over evil. It is the celebration of the Maccabees, a remnant who refused to bow to the Hellenization of their culture, and is done in remembrance of the miraculous victory of a small Jewish army over the extensive Syrian-Greek empire and the miracle of the oil.
When the Jews sought to light the temple menorah after the war, they could only find one small jug of pure oil. They lit the *temple menorah, which represents the eternal presence of God in faith, and miraculously, the one-day supply burned for eight days. Hence, the celebration of Hanukkah and the miracle of God’s provision which is now honored annually through an eight-day festival and the lighting of a Hanukkiah each night.
*A traditional temple menorah has 7 branches. A Hanukkiah has 9–one for each night plus the shamash, the helper candle in the middle used to light all other branches.
Letters and Numbers: Samech
Kislev is associated with the Hebrew letter “samech” (also spelled samekh).
The word “samech” means: support.
Samech is symbolic of support and assistance. It “floats” in the alphabet independent/closed off from other letters therefore, a miracle keeps it in place.
The Father supports all the fallen ones. According to Jewish tradition, Hashem (God) supports the ones above, and He supports the ones below; He supports this world, and He supports the world to come.
60: the numerical value of “samech”
60: the Birkat Kohanim (priestly blessing Numbers 6:24-26) has 60 letters
60: according to Talmudic teaching (referencing Judges 16:3), it is believed that there were 60 cubits between Samson’s shoulders, representing strength, wholeness, and perfection.
My prayer for you in the month of Kislev: may you truly experience the miraculous power of God in your life. May you take a stand in faith for righteousness and light the candles of the Hanukkiah, knowing that God is your provision now and in the year to come. He will supply all of your needs according to His richness and glory (Phil 4:19), and He is your support. I pray that your heart is continually aware that you are the temple of the King and that you carry His presence in strength and wholeness. The only perfect one, the Miracle Maker, breathed life into you, and may you serve Him with selfless devotion and dedication as a priest unto Him (Rev 1:6).
‘Y’varekh’kha Adonai v’yishmerekha.
[May Adonai bless you and keep you.]
Ya’er Adonai panav eleikha vichunekka.
[May Adonai make his face shine on you and show you his favor.]
Yissa Adonai panav eleikha v’yasem l’kha shalom.
[May Adonai lift up his face toward you and give you peace.]’
-Numbers 6:24-26 (CJB)