What is a High Sabbath?

The term “High Sabbath” is found in John 19:31 where is says:

John 19:31
31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

These scriptures are translated using greek. When we read the word high, we understand that it was an important event.  This comes through from the translation of the greek word μεγάλη (megale). The word is referring to the importance of that Sabbath and nothing more.

The word means: to be great,  to be loud,  to be large.

Here are some places where the word is used in scripture:

Acts 23:9
And there arose a great cry…..

Romans 9:2
I have a great heaviness…

Revelation 5:2
proclaiming with a loud voice…

2 Timothy 2:20
Now in a large house…

Now in each case, the word is not referring to a different item, but rather it is describing the item itself. So the cry was great, the voice was loud and the house was large. This Sabbath was important!

We see this word in Hebrew as the word gadowl (H1419).  It means:

To be great
To be large
To be important
To be high
To be mighty

It is used in scriptures such as:

Genesis 1:16
Elohimmade two great H1419 lights; the greater H1419 light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

Genesis 12:2
And I will make of thee a great H1419 nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

Genesis 18:18
Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great H1419and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
1 Kings 3:4
And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great H1419 high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.

The Sabbath here is not another type of day, but rather that day was an important day because:

1) The first day of unleavened bread falls upon it.
2) The weekly sabbath falls upon it.
3) It was the day Yahushua rested upon after being crucified.
4) It is the day before He rose from resting – which we are told was the first day of the week.

These are just some of the things which makes that Sabbath an important one.

The other place where this occurs is upon the 21st day of the seventh month, which is the last day of the feast of booths.

John 7:37
37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Yahshua stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

We know which day this was as we see these again in Leviticus 23:39. The 15th day was the Sabbath and this was the first day of the feast. If you count 7 days from the 15th, you land upon the 21st. This was the sixth day of the week. It was also the last day of the feast.

The next day, the 22nd, was the eight day and was the Sabbath.

Leviticus 23:39
‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast to Yahuwah for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest.

We are also told the day after the last day of the feast was the Sabbath here. That is the 22nd day of the month.

John 8:2
Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.

John 9:14
14 Now it was a Sabbath when Yahushua made the clay and opened his eyes.

So these are the two places in scripture referred to as High days. The first one was a Sabbath and the other one was the last day of the appointed time of booths, the day before the Sabbath.


  1. Since Jesus observed the Passover (and instituted the Lord’s Supper) on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Matt. 26:17ff; Luke 22:7), how could He have been crucified the day BEFORE the first day of the Feast?


  2. Hi!

    Actually he did not observe the passover with the disciples. For passover was the day the lamb, which is Yahshua, was to be crucified. He was upon the cross and died upon passover.

    John 13:1 says:

    John 13:1-5
    1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Yahshua knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

    And in verse 29, you see Yahshua telling Judas to go and buy the things they would need for the feast.

    29 For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Yahushua had said to him, “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor.

    In John 18. we see Yahshua being trialed the next morning, the 14th day and upon this day we see twice that it was the day of the passover.

    John 18:28-29
    28 Then they led Yahshua from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.
    29 Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?”

    John 18:39
    39 “But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”

    Yahshua was crucified upon the evening of the fourteenth day. This day was known as Passover.

    Exodus 12:6,11
    6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.
    11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is Yahuwah’s Passover.You may also note that at the last supper, there was no lamb eaten, for this was not the passover.

    Leviticus 23:4-5
    4 ‘These are the feasts of Yahuwah, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.
    5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is Yahuwah’s Passover.

    Numbers 9:1-3
    1 Now Yahuwah spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying:
    2 “Let the children of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time.
    3 On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time. According to all its rites and ceremonies you shall keep it.”

    Numbers 28:16
    16 ‘On the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of Yahuwah.

    Joshua 5:10
    10 Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight on the plains of Jericho.

    Ezra 6:19
    19 And the descendants of the captivity kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month

    2 Chronicles 35:1
    1 Now Josiah kept a Passover to Yahuwah in Jerusalem, and they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month.

    Ezekiel 45:21
    21 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall observe the Passover

    Even Pilate pointed out that it was the day known as Passover when he was to be crucified,which was the fourteenth day of the first month.

    John 19:14
    14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”

    And scripture confirms He was our Passover and that Passover is always the day before the Sabbath:

    1 Corinthians 5:7
    Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Yahshua, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

    Some of the scriptures have not been translated correctly. It is a pity as it has led so many astray.

    Yahuwah Bless.



    1. That was really a blessing…I had always taught that He took Passover with them in the upper room. Very insightful my friend. Thank you


  3. There were two sabbaths the week Jesus died. The High Sabbath and the regular sabbath that falls on Saturday. Jesus did not die on Friday. There are “high sabbaths” during the Jewish year.


    1. Hi Arie,

      I think you may be confused. You seem to be using a different calendar to the one the Bible uses?? I know that might sound a little weird!!

      You see the Gregorian calendar you are referring uses a man made date line. The calendar the Bible uses does not. It started each month with the sighting of the new moon. That was where the month started. The first day of each month was called New Moon day. You will find this throughout the Bible.

      The day after New Moon day was the first day of the week. Passover is the 14th day which corresponds to the 6th day of the week. the 15th was the Sabbath and that day was a High Sabbath because it is also the start of the feast of unleavened bread. The 16th day is the day known as the day of first fruits and it is the day that He rose and it is the first day of the work week.

      Yahuwah Bless.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s