The Feast of Tabernacles

Written by: Kenneth M. Hoeck

What does the bible say the feast is and how it is to be honored?

Leviticus 23:33 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. 35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. 37 These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: 38 Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD.

Leviticus 23:39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. 40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

Today we of the Church of God dwell in "temporary dwellings" during the Feast too. Hotels, motels, and cabin rentals also constitute temporary dwellings; however, they lose a portion of the full meaning of the tabernacle analogy. In Leviticus 23 verse 40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. Some of the Church of God use this last verse (40) to say that the Israelites decorated their homes (in some Christmas-like fashion). This is not true as the branches were used to build the tabernacles themselves.

As they dwelt in them, one would watch the branches turning brown during the course of the feast and recall that, in a like manner, their bodies are but a temporary dwelling and that the Lord will deliver them from these fleshly tabernacles into glorious spirit bodies. It is a good idea to bring a few branches in the individual rooms or the Feast hall and to watch them as they change daily and to realize that we will one day soon put off this fleshly tabernacle.

Deuteronomy 14:23 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. 24 And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: 25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: 26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,.This is a joyous time and God gives you all these things,"whatsoever thy soul desireth", to remind you of the true prize, that great gift of life eternal while being composed wholly of spirit.

This is a great Feast! Let us quote even the Catholic Encyclopedia: One of the three great feasts of the Hebrew liturgical calendar, even the greatest, according to Philo (heorton megiste) and Josephus (heste hagiotate kai megiste). The common name, feast of Tabernacles -- among Greek-speaking Jews skenopegia, that is, "the pitching of the tent" (John, vii, 2) -- recalls to mind the custom established by the law of Lev., xiii, 40, of erecting on the roofs of houses, and even in streets and public squares, booths of branches and foliage, wherein all who were not exempt through illness or weakness were obliged to live during the entire celebration. [The use of this quote is not intended to give any credence to Catholic teachings but to show that even such an apostate church can even understand the greatness of the Feast]

What more does the bible say about the Feast and its meaning? Let us look into the matter. Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.We sojourn in this world, dwelling in fleshly tabernacles and looking for that heavenly city of New Jerusalem.

By the psalmist, speaking of the millennial Feast of Tabernacles when our dirty garments are made clean and we will dwell with the Eternal ,we are told that we will worship the Lord and rejoice in sheer happiness. Psalm 132:7 We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool. 8 Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength. 9 Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy. This shows that we are to be festive during this awesome Feast of God and it also shows why. Those who obey God will be clothed with righteousness (the righteousness of Christ) and will gain eternal life! Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Deuteronomy 31:10 And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, 11 When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: 13 And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it. You see that the Law was read at the end of seven years (the first seven days of Tabernacles) to ALL the House of Israel.

We, the firstfruits, who know God now, take part in the first resurrection and live the millennium as kings and priests composed of spirit (where will we reign from? its not explicit but as the bride, we come down from Heaven Rev 21:2). The rest of God's people will take part in the second resurrection (See Matt 25 sheep & goats). The Feast uses the eighth day (Last Great Day) to depict this unifying of the "all of spiritual Israel" who will hear the Law of God and obey. This is the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles.

What the Feast is : Also called the Feast or Festival of Booths, this feast consists of a week during which all (Spiritual) Israelites are required to live in temporary dwellings or shelters.

It is a memorial of the time when YHWH made His people live in tents in the wilderness when He brought them out of the Land of Egypt (symbolic of the world or sin itself) and a reminder that we are presently dwelling in perishable fleshly bodies awaiting our incorruptible spirit bodies.

It is a look to the future spiritual harvest/gathering into the barn of God's people.

It is a time of great rejoicing of being able to hope in surety of our promised future while we see it through the examples or similitudes God has laid out for us.

Although it is also a reminder of the fact that the Almighty came down from Heaven to live in a tabernacle among His people.(see Exodus 33 to 40) it is not a memorial of His birth in general.

We shall celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in this way at least through the millennium where the fleshly beings will need to be taught, the same way that we have been, the truth of God and the meaning of His wonderful Holydays including the blessed Feast of Tabernacles. Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. ~kh

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