High Sabbaths

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High Sabbaths, in most Christian and Messianic Jewish usage, are seven annual biblical festivals and rest days, recorded in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.[1][2][3] This is an extension of the term "high day" found in the King James Version at John 19:31–42.

Biblical rest days[edit]

The seven festivals do not necessarily occur on weekly Shabbat (seventh-day Sabbath) and are called by the name miqra ("called assembly") in Hebrew (Lev. 23). They are observed by Jews and a minority of Christians. Two of them occur in spring: the first and seventh days of Pesach (Passover), and one, Shavuot; (Pentecost) occurs in summer. Four occur in the fall, in the seventh month, and are also called shabbaton: Rosh Hashanah (Trumpets); Yom Kippur, the "Sabbath of Sabbaths" (Atonement); and the first and eighth days of Sukkoth (Tabernacles).[4] Sometimes the word shabbaton is extended to mean all seven festivals.[5]

The Gospel of John says of the day beginning following Christ's death, "that sabbath day was a high day" (19:31–42). That night was Nisan 15, just after the first day of Passover week (Unleavened Bread) and an annual miqra and rest day, in most chronologies. (In other systems, it was Nisan 13 or 14, i.e., weekly but not annual Sabbath.) The King James Version may thus be the origin of naming the annual rest days "High Sabbaths" in English.

As coincidental with weekly Sabbaths[edit]

High Sabbaths are considered by Seventh-day Adventists and other seventh-day Sabbath keepers to be a subset of the feast sabbaths. In their view, only those feast sabbaths that coincide with the weekly Sabbath are regarded as High Sabbaths.[6]:253

High Holy Days[edit]

The ten-day period between the High Sabbaths of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur inclusive is commonly referred to as the High Holy Days.


  1. ^ "After the Crucifixion: The Three Days and the Three Nights". Theological FAQs. Blue Letter Bible.
  2. ^ Parsons, John J. "Reshit Katzir: Messiah as the Beginning of the Harvest". Hebrew for Christians.
  3. ^ "FAQ: Is a 'high day' a weekly Sabbath?". Sabbath.org. Church of the Great God.
  4. ^ White, Lew. "The Seven Sabbaths of the Year". Fossilized Customs. Archived from the original on 2013-04-07.
  5. ^ Chumney, Eddie. "The Festival of Unleavened Bread (Hag HaMatzah)". The Seven Festivals of the Messiah. Feasts of the Lord.
  6. ^ Seventh-day Adventists Believe... Review & Herald Publishing Assn. 1988.