The Feast of Tabernacles.
days after the Day of Atonement, we come to the Feast of Tabernacles,
which is also called the Feast of Temporary Shelters (or booths),
Feast of Ingathering - because it always comes after the harvest has
been gathered into storage. For the Feast to fit "into its season" it
has to come after the NH Autumn equinox, which means that most of the
Summer harvesting has been done. The perfect time to sit back and relax
The Feast lasts for seven days, and
then has the last Holy day for the year (the Last Great Day) on the
eight day. The last Holy Day will be covered in a separate article.
Start in Levicitus 23.
When we talk about God's Holy Days, the foundational points are to be
found in Lev 23.
Lev 23:33-36 NET. The LORD
spoke to Moses: (34) "Tell the Israelites, 'On the fifteenth day of this seventh month
is the Festival of Temporary Shelters for seven days to the LORD.
(35) On the first day is a holy assembly; you must do no regular
work. (36) For seven days
you must present a gift to the
LORD. On the eighth day there is to
be a holy assembly for you, and you
must present a gift to the LORD. It is a solemn assembly day; you must
not do any regular work.
The two main points we have here
are that it is to last for seven days, and it involves Temporary
Shelters. This is explained further on.
23:39-43 NET. " 'On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when
you gather in the produce of the land, you must celebrate a pilgrim
festival of the LORD for seven days. On the first day is a complete
rest and on the eighth day is complete rest.
The "eighth day", while often
grouped in with the Feast of Tabernacles, is a separate Holy Day, and
rounds out the plan of God.
On the first day you must take for
yourselves branches from majestic
trees — palm branches, branches of leafy trees, and
the brook — and you must rejoice
before the LORD your God for
the Israelites were good at letting their own ideas override the
instructions from God. There are two distinct instructions from God.
The first, from v42, 43, is to live in tents (or some sort of temporary
living quarters that reflect this), and the second is to take indoors
foliage from trees and shrubs to give the inside a celebration
atmosphere. Remember, in the Northern hemisphere this would be
happening in Autumn. In the Southern Hemisphere we can use flowers as
well as greenery.
Jewish tradition of building "dwellings" out of branches is - I believe
- a corruption of the original two instructions. As best as I can see,
with most of the Exodus being in the wilderness, they did not have
trees to cut down to make shelters.
You must celebrate it as a pilgrim festival to the LORD for seven days
in the year. This is a perpetual statute throughout your generations;
you must celebrate it in the seventh month. (42)
You must live in temporary shelters for seven days; every native
citizen in Israel must live in temporary shelters,
that your future generations may know that I made the Israelites live
in temporary shelters when I brought them out from the land of Egypt.
I am the LORD your God.' "
Verse 43 is a key verse if we
want to understand the main message we are to get from the Feast of
What is the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles?
Each Holy Day that God outlines in Lev 23, covers a key point in the
plan of God - His "logos".
Holy Day before the Feast of Tabernacles - the Day of Atonement -
covers the placing of Satan in a place of restraint so that God and
Christ can set up the Kingdom of God. Thus, as we shall see, the Feast
of Tabernacles highlights the next part of the plan, and that is the
rule of God and Christ for 1,000 years.
Lev 23:43 says that we keep the Feast of Tabernacles (FoT) to be
reminded of the time God brought Israel out of Egypt.
What happened during the 40 year Exodus?
up - we notice that God is in charge of everything.
He told them when
to walk (Ex 40:36), and when to make camp (Num 9:17,18), and where to
go (Deut 1:33).
This is a type of God and Christ ruling (and therefore in charge)
during the 1000 year Kingdom of God.
Isa 11:9 NKJV They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My
holy mountain, For the earth
shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover
At last human nature will be
won't be removed, and people will still have to fight it, but the
terrible results of unrestrained human nature - such as murder, rape,
adultery, stealing and lying - will have limits put on them. As we can
see from v9 above, all people will know about God's Laws, and therefore
also about our human/carnal nature that wants to break them, so people
will be able to step in and nip sin "in the bud" so to speak.
concept, of God being in charge and making sure everyone knows about
His plan, is in total contrast to the situation we have today. Very few
people keep God's Holy Days, and therefore very few people understand
the seven points that make up God's "grand design". Most of the people
in the world today that call themselves "Christian" are still ignorant
about many of the major points about "the knowledge of the Lord".
years of Israel moving from bondage in Egypt, to the promised land, is
only a small type of what the millennium is going to be. Sure, they had
knowledge of God from Moses and the Levitical priesthood, but their
hearts were hardened - and they just did not "get it".
Deu 31:27 NET. for I know
about your rebellion and stubbornness.
Indeed, even while I have been living among you to this very day, you have rebelled against the LORD;
you will be even more rebellious after my death!
This rebellious spirit was not what
Deu 5:29 NKJV Oh, that they had such a heart in them
that they would fear Me and
always keep all My commandments,
that it might be well with them and with their children forever!
So this will be one of the major changes when what the FoT pictures
becomes a reality.
Isa 57:18-19 NET. I have
seen their behavior,
but I will heal them and give them rest,
and I will once
again console those who mourn.
(19) I am the one who gives
them reason to celebrate.
prosperity is available both to those who are far away and those who
says the LORD,
"and I will heal them.
in the World Tomorrow - during the 1000 year reign of God and Christ -
will be given a different attitude to what the Israelites had during
the Exodus. By living in temporary shelters to remind us of the Exodus,
and reading about the people's behaviour during the Exodus, we -
hopefully - come to better understand, and be accepting of, the need
for God to be in charge
- God supplied their
food - the "manna".
During the 1000 year reign of God, He will change the weather pattens
so that the "desert will bloom like a lily".
Isa 35:1 NET. Let the desert
and dry region be happy;
let the wilderness rejoice and bloom like
Isa 35:6 NET. Then the lame
will leap like a deer,
the mute tongue
will shout for joy;
for water will flow in the desert,
streams in the
God will again supply the food needs of the people - and give it in
Amo 9:13-15 NET. "Be sure of
this, the time is coming," says the LORD,
"when the plowman will catch up to the reaper
and the one who
stomps the grapes will overtake the planter.
Juice will run
down the slopes,
it will flow
down all the hillsides.
(14) I will bring back my people, Israel;
they will rebuild the cities lying in
rubble and settle down.
They will plant vineyards and drink the wine they produce;
they will grow orchards and eat the fruit they produce.
(15) I will plant them on their land
and they will
never again be uprooted from the land I have given them,"
says the LORD
The crops will produce so much that they will have trouble harvesting
it all before it is time to plow again.
manna supplied by God during the Exodus is only a small type of
the food supplied by God during the 1000 year Kingdom of God. - but it
is a type. By looking back to the time Israel "dwelt in tents" we can
better understand why it is much better for God to be involved in
supplying our food, rather than the chemical companies people look to
the land a rest every seven years has a far greater impact than people
realize - plus the blessings that come from God because the land is
the reason they were going to the "promised land", was because God
wanted them to set up a kingdom of such a high standard that people
would look to them for leadership, and as an example to follow.
Exo 19:5-6 NET. And now, if
you will diligently listen to me and keep my covenant, then you will be my special possession out of
all the nations, for all the earth is mine, (6) and you will be to me a kingdom of priests and
a holy nation.' These are the words that you will speak to the
Priests were there to instruct the people.
Mal 2:7 NET. For the lips of
a priest should preserve knowledge of
sacred things, and people
should seek instruction from him because he is the messenger of
the LORD who rules over all.
So a "kingdom of priests" implies that every one in that Kingdom, is
capable of passing on knowledge of God.
, of course, is a direct type of how it will be in the World Tomorrow.
Every one will know God, will know of His plan for mankind, and will
know what they must do to qualify for conversion from the physical to
Joh 3:6 NET. What is born of
the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the
Spirit is spirit.
Yes - every one should be seeking to be born of the spirit. To want to
have eternal life and live forever.
No wonder we are told to rejoice
during the Feast
Dwelling in "tents" or temporary dwellings.
Perhaps a word about the instruction to dwell in tents.
it applied to native Israelites - those who's ancestors did actually
those tents - but it can also be applied to us today. Living in a motel
or rented house is, for us, a temporary dwelling. However, if we are
not "cashed up" - and thus not able to travel and rent a temporary
dwelling - we can still observe the Feast within our gates.
Deu 12:21 NKJV If the place where the LORD your God
chooses to put His name is too far from you, then you may
slaughter from your herd and from your flock which the LORD has given
you, just as I have commanded you, and you
may eat within your gates as much as your heart desires.
the instruction to eat from our own flocks, indicates that if we stay
at home, we don't get to spend our second tithe. I feel we are expected
to save our second tithe, so that one day we will have enough to travel
to the Feast. Having experienced both, I feel it is special to be able
to "take a holiday" approach to the FoT.
A time to look out for others.
Notice the list of people we are to take care of during the Feast.
16:13-15 NET. You must celebrate the Festival of Temporary
Shelters for seven days, at the time of the grain and grape
harvest. (14) You are to
rejoice in your festival, you,
your son, your daughter, your male and female slaves, the Levites, the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows
who are in your villages. (15) You are to celebrate the
festival seven days before the LORD your God in the place he chooses,
for he will bless you in all your productivity and in whatever you do;
so you will indeed rejoice!
So do your best to include everyone.
has set aside a seven day Feast, to give us time to look back at what
He was trying to start with the Exodus, and then multiply it many times
over to get some idea of how great it is going to be during the
the 1000 year rule of God on earth.
Orchard October 2012
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