People often ask, What is the meaning of the word mo’ed?
Here is the Bible’s quick answer: The word mo’ed is a Hebrew word found in the Bible to indicate God’s set appointments and His festivals. It is often translated as “feasts,” but this does not indicate the activity of eating, but rather a designated time of meeting and fellowship with God. By extension, it also can be the place for meeting on His set times. It is also used to refer to the set date for the time of the end. And it is used as the name of the Holy City of Zion that comes down from Heaven to the New Earth. This word spans all of mankind’s history from Creation to the New Earth and indicates the times when God has invited us to meet with Him.
- In the King James Bible this word is indexed by Strong’s Concordance as the Hebrew H4150 mo’ed.
- Strong’s indicates the plural form is mo’edah’. [There is no evidence or instance of the use of “moedim” in Scripture.]
- Strong’s Concordance defines the word this way:
- We find this word used 223 times. The English translation in the Old Testament is divided into these uses, these many times:
appointed time/season, 19
appointed sign, 1
solemn, solemnity(ies), 18
The word mo’ed takes on profound significance by its usage.
- In one example, we are shown that God established His meeting times on the 4th day of Creation when He created His calendar and set it in the sky for all to see. This was even before He blessed the Sabbath on the 7th day of Creation. Mo’ed is translated here as “seasons.”
“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons (mo’ed), and for days and years.’” Genesis 1:14
This verse tells us that God set the lights in the heavens to be a marker for His appointed meeting times. In another verse, Scripture indicates specifically which light serves as the marker for the mo’ed.
“He appointed the moon for seasons (mo’ed).…” Psalm 104:19
God shows us that His moedah are to be reckoned in some way by the observance of the moon.
In another place in Scripture we can see that it is customary for God to hold meeting times on appointed days, for this activity even takes place in Heaven (Job 1:6, 2:1). We can also see that God will have appointed meeting days far into the New Earth when He says, “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me, … so shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me.” Isaiah 66:22-23.
- In another example, God uses mo’ed to describe His set appointed meetings, also called “His Feasts:”
“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: “The feasts (mo’ed) of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts (mo’ed). Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. These are the feasts (mo’ed) of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times (mo’ed).…’” Leviticus 23:1-4
“… So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts (mo’ed) of the LORD.” Leviticus 23:44
The term “holy convocation” means a holy call to come to worship. This tells us these are holy times that God has called us to come to Him, or He has convened a meeting with us and invited us to join Him.
Within these first two examples in Genesis and Leviticus, we can discover some important facts for God’s meeting times.
- They were established on the 4th day of Creation. This shows they were not given solely for the Jews.
- They were defined by God as belonging to Him. This means these days of worship are not ordained by some law of Moses.
- They include both the Sabbath Day and the “seasonal” or yearly meeting times.
- God never used the word “feasts.” Instead He simply referred to His set, appointed meetings as His mo’ed.
- When it is used as “congregation,” it carries the meaning of “the act of congregating or gathering.” This is different than the way we use the word today as the body of people. Because it is the act of congregating, it can also mean the place of meeting, the synagogue and the tabernacle of meeting.
- When the word is used as “solemnity” or “solemnities,” it is also referring to God’s important meeting times. (As used in Numbers 10:10; Ezekiel 45:17)
- And many times in Scripture it is used to tell us that the time of the end is scheduled for an appointed time. This can be seen in Daniel where it is used in this verse:
“And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time (mo’ed).” Daniel 11:35 (See also: Dan. 8:19; 11:27; Habakkuk 2:3)
- Another significant use of this word is found in Exodus 34:18 (and Ex. 23:14-15)
“The Feast of Unleavened Bread you shall keep. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, in the appointed time (mo’ed) of the month of Abib; for in the month of Abib you came out from Egypt.” (Exodus 34:18)
This verse shows us that God considers that the month called Abib occurs at a designated time in the year. This tells us that it is important to God for us to find the correct month that corresponds to the season of Abib because that correct month is one of His appointed times.
- Another very important instance of the word mo’ed is found in Isaiah.
“Look upon Zion, the city of our Appointed Feasts [or solemnities in KJV] (mo’ed); your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet home, a tabernacle that will not be taken down; not one of its stakes will ever be removed, nor will any of its cords be broken.” Isaiah 33:20
The Holy City of Zion that comes down out of heaven from God is named, Zion, The City of the Mo’ed! This shows us that God will continue to set appointed meeting times all the way into the New Earth and the Holy City will be the place of meeting together with God!
- There is one last important use of this word, but we will leave it as a mystery to be discovered by the seeker for truth.