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    Feast of Tabernacles

    October 16, 2016

    Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty…” Deut 16:16 KJV

    The Feast of Tabernacles was the last of the seven Biblically mandated celebrations and also the most joyful; in fact it was the only one [note: Feast of Weeks/Pentecost also says “rejoice before the Lord” Deut 16:11] in which the Israelites were commanded by God to rejoice! (Deut 16:14) starting five days after the Day of Atonement on the fifteenth of Tishri (Sept/Oct) and extended for seven days… the first and last days being those of "solemn rest". Tabernacles are also known as the "Feast of Ingathering" (Ex 23:16; 34:22) and the "Feast of Booths." On the first day of the feast, each participant had to collect branches of wild olive, myrtle, willow, and palm trees to construct their booths. (Neh 8:13-18) They then lived in them for seven days. It celebrated the final harvest of the year, and God’s great provision for His people. During this feast, the Israelites were required to leave the comfort of their homes and live in tabernacles or booths – three-sided temporary structures with leafy roofs through which the stars could be seen. In this way they would remember how their ancestors had lived in booths or tents when they came out of slavery in Egypt. The two most important ceremonies of the Feast of Tabernacles was the pouring out of water drawn from the pool of Siloam, and the illumination of the Temple. They were both of post-Mosaic origin and referred back to the "water and the pillar of light" provided during the wilderness wandering, when people dwelt in temporary shelters.

    The Feast of Tabernacles looks forward to the Kingdom of the Messiah. Rev 7:9-17 describes a great multitude, which have come through the tribulation, as arrayed in white robes with palms in their hands. In New Testament times Sukkoth was a major celebration, often referred to simply as "the feast." It incorporated great ceremonies using water and light. Yeshua (Jesus) made His proclamation in the temple during Sukkoth: "In the last day, of that great day of the feast, Yeshua stood and cried, saying, ‘If any man thirsts, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water,’" Jn 7: 37 – 38. He was challenging the system in a very relevant and pointed way. –

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