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.

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