Section Seven of Biblical Holy Days covers the wonderful Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day. Our purpose is to provide resource material and in-depth instruction for those who already observe these sacred times. The inspiring Fall Holy Days complete God's Master Plan. The Feast of Tabernacles looks forward to the Millennium, and the Last Great Day points to the Judgment of all mankind. As with spring festivals, the great fall festivals are often combined in our thinking.
Here is a summary collection of Feast of Tabernacles data:
Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day
We dwell in booths (temporary dwellings) for seven days, to teach us that we are strangers and pilgrims on this earth, looking forward to a New Heavens and New Earth wherein dwells righteousness.
More than any other time of the year, we plan to travel (make a pilgrimage) to be with other brethren at the Feast.
The first and last days of the Feast are holy convocations. We expect also to drink in the Almighty's Word all eight days of the festival.
Truly, the Feast of Tabernacles is the most joyous time of the year, the "Season of Our Rejoicing."
F E A S T O F T A B E R N A C L E S
Feast of Booths Succoth
Feast of Ingathering Aciph
Pilgrimage Feast Hag
Divine Appointment Moed
Sabbath (on First Day) Shabbat
Holy Convocation (on First Day) Mikra Kodesh
"Season of Our Rejoicing," Fall Harvest Festival, Dedication of the Temple, The World To Come, Songs of Degrees (Ascent), Psalms 120 through 134
Isaiah 2:2-4, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
Isaiah 11:6, 9, "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them . . . . 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 the sea."
Revelation 2:26-27, "And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron . . . ." 5:10, "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." 20:4, "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: . . . and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."
Zechariah 14:16-19, "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left . . . shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. . . . This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles."
L A S T G R E A T D A Y
The Eighth Day Yom Sh'meenee
Divine Appointment Moed
Holy Convocation Mikra Kodesh
Solemn Assembly Azereth
The Day of the Book, Judgment Day, Great White Throne Judgment
Ezekiel 37:1-10, "The hand of the Lord . . . carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones . . . . they were very dry . . . . can these bones live? . . . . and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army."
John 7:37-39, "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, 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. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive . . . ."
Revelation 20:11-15, "And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, . . . And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Revelation 21:3-7, "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new . . . . I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son."
A Feast of the LORD,an Holy Convocation
Leviticus 23:2, 4, 37, 44, . . . the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My feasts . . . . These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons . . . . These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations . . . the feasts of the LORD.
A Seven-Day Feast ofDwelling in Booths
Leviticus 23:34, 39-43, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein . . . . 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 ye shall take you on the first day the boughs [fruit] 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. 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. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths; 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.
After Tabernacles is a Separate Feast, the "Last Great Day"
Leviticus 23:36, 39, . . . 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 [margin: "day of restraint"]; and ye shall do
no servile work therein . . . on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath.
John 7:37, In the last day, that great day of the feast . . . .
One of Three Annual Festival Times, Feast of Ingathering
Exodus 23:14-17, Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto Me in the year . . . the feast of unleavened bread . . . the feast of harvest, the firstfruits [Pentecost] of thy labors, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the [agricultural, civil] year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field. Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.
Exodus 34:22-23, And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks [after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, verse 18], of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end. Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel.
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 [Last Great Day also a Harvest Festival].
Deuteronomy 16:13, Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine.
Holy Day Offering CommandedThree Times a Year
Deuteronomy 16:16-17, 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: Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which He hath given thee.
A "Solemn Feast," Yet a Time of Commanded Rejoicing
Deuteronomy 16:13-15, Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days . . . . And thou shall rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice.
Ecclesiastes 10:19, A feast is made for laughter . . . .
Proverbs 15:15, . . . he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
Psalm 42:4, . . . I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
NOTE:The feast is solemn in that it is God's feast and must be kept with reverence and respect. But it is joyous because we are to realize how much God has blessed us and shall bless us, if we remain faithful.
Ecclesiastes 7:2-4, It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of the fools is in the house of mirth.
NOTE:Is this a contradiction with the command to rejoice? NO! Better to mourn all the time than feast all the time, because you consider the end of man, and the meaning of life when you are solemn, not when you are rejoicing. God wants us to be balanced: learn to rejoice properly at the Feast, but also be solemn and consider the true values in life. God says in Jeremiah 16:8-13 (author's paraphrase), "Don't go into the house of feasting [revelry], for those people have forsaken me; I will cause mirth and gladness to cease from them."
Isaiah 30:29, Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One [Rock] of Israel.
Proper Second Tithe Usage Shows Seven Purposes of Feast
Deuteronomy 14:22-27, Thou shalt truly [faithfully] tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year [can't normally save one year's second tithe to the next]. 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 . . . wine . . . oil . . . firstlings . . .  that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it . . . . Then shalt thou turn it into money . . . and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after [rightly desires], for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink . . . and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and  thou shalt rejoice[another purpose of Feast is to learn how to properly rejoice, how to use God's second tithe properly], thou, and thine household, And the Levite that is within thy gates . . . .
Another purpose of the Feast is to remember our exodus from spiritual Egypt, and that the LORD is our God:
Leviticus 23:42-43, Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths,  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, [and that]  I am the LORD your God.
When Israel came out of Egypt, they dwelt in movable tents, and temporary shelters, showing them the impermanence of their lives during their sojourn in the wilderness. This is a type for us today, showing that we, like Abraham, are sojourners on this earth, Hebrews 11:9-10. We are not now receiving our inheritance. The booths were a type of temporary, fragile, impermanent dwellings, indicating our reliance on God for sustenance and survival. As sojourners, I Peter 2:11, we must learn to hold all things loosely. This is especially difficult in this materialistic age when things seem to control us. When Israel dwelt in tents, they were all equal, rich and poor lived alike. During Tabernacles, all men are equal before God as each one sits in his sukkah and considers Him, not his own special status or his own material goods.
Faith in God requires flexibility. We must be able to move when God moves. The tabernacle was a portable structure that could be taken down and put up again in minutes. It was always sensitive to the wind of the Holy Spirit. In contrast, a house is stable and inflexible. During the time of the tabernacle in the wilderness, Israel had personal direct contact with God. When they settled in houses in Israel and built a temple for God to dwell in, they lost the personal touch. Amos 9:11 looks forward to the time when the tabernacle of David will be restored. Revelation 21:3 reminds us that the tabernacle of God will dwell with men. The tabernacle of Israel was portable, but Israel could see the glory of God hovering over them in the pillar of cloud and fire, and could see that God was leading them.
The Feast is designed so that the whole family may rejoice together and may learn to fear and obey God:
Deuteronomy 31:10-13, . . . At the end of every seven years, in the . . . feast of tabernacles, 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. 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: And that their children, which have not known anything, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land . . . .
Thus, another purpose of the Feast shown by the above verses is to bring the family together. See also:
Deuteronomy 16:13-14, Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days . . . . Thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant . . . .
Continuing in verse 14 shows another purpose of the Feast: to remember "the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates." How do you remember the Levite, etc? You share your second tithe with them, Deuteronomy 14:26-27. Luke 14:13-14, "But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just."
Another purpose for keeping the Feast is  to know where is "the place which He shall choose to place His name," Deuteronomy 14:23. In Samuel's day it was Shiloh, I Samuel 1:3; Judges 18:31. God later chose Jerusalem, Deuteronomy 12:5; Psalm 78:68; II Chronicles 7:12; but Christ prophesied of a time when Jerusalem would not be the place of worship, John 4:20-21. In the future, Jerusalem will again be chosen, Zechariah 2:12. So where is God's place today for keeping the Feast? The Feast forces us to prove which group is the true Church, for only they will be keeping the Feast at "the place which He shall choose to place His name there."
Tabernacles Signals Beginningof Year of Release
Deuteronomy 31:10, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles . . . .
The purpose of the seventh year of release was to alleviate the poor:
Deuteronomy 15:1-18, At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release . . . . Every creditor that lendeth aught unto his neighbor shall release it . . . because it is called the LORD's release . . . . Save when [to the end that] there shall be no poor among you . . . . For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land. [This principle reminds us that excess second tithe is to be used to help needy brethren attend the Feast, not to help preach the gospel to foreigners, whose debts are not released, verse 3.] And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or . . . woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years: then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee . . . . And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee . . . .
Law to be Read on TabernaclesEvery Seventh Year
Deuteronomy 31:10-13, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, 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. Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger . . . that they may hear, and . . . learn, and fear the LORD . . . to do all the words of this law.
NOTE:Hebrew servants were released in the seventh year, and at the end of the seventh year, all debts among Israel are to be released. Thus at the Feast of Tabernacles ending the seventh year, the whole law written by Moses was read to Israel, Deuteronomy 31:9. The reason God ordered this was to instruct Israel in His laws so they would keep them and be blessed, and not have to go into debt and be released again seven years later. A "clean slate" was started; God wanted them to go the right way.
At the return of the Jews from captivity, on a seventh year Feast of Tabernacles, Ezra read out of the law every day, as a "clean slate" was again started:
Nehemiah 8:18, Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he[Ezra, verse 13] read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according to the manner.
Tabernacles Concludes Tithing Year
Exodus 23:16, . . . the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field. [See also Exodus 34:22.]
II Chronicles 31:2-12, And Hezekiah . . . appointed also the king's portion . . . [for] the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths, . . . new moons, and . . . set feasts . . . he commanded the people . . . to give the portion [tithe, see Numbers 8:21] of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD . . . . they [Israel] also brought in the tithe . . . and laid them by heaps. In the third month [Pentecost, beginning of the harvest] they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month [Feast of Tabernacles] . . . [they] brought in the offerings and the tithes and the dedicated things faithfully . . . .
Special Sacrifices of Tabernaclesand Last Great Day
Numbers 29:12-40, And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days . . . . On the eighth day ye shall have a solemn assembly: ye shall do no servile work therein.
Burnt Young Yearling
Offerings Bullocks Rams Lambs
1st Day 13 2 14
2nd Day 12 2 14
3rd Day 11 2 14
4th Day 10 2 14
5th Day 9 2 14
6th Day 8 2 14
7th Day 7214
70 14 98 = 182
8th Day 1 1 7
Also on each of the eight days, the meal offering was given, of flour mixed with oil, three tenths ephah flour with one half hin of oil with each bullock, two tenths ephah was one third hin per ram, and one tenth ephah with 1/4 hin per lamb. (See Numbers 15:1-10.) The total of ephahs of flour for all sacrifices is 336 (48 x 7). Also a kid of the goats was offered each day for a sin offering.
Special Psalms Sung DuringFeast of Tabernacles
(1) The fifteen "songs of degrees," or "songs of ascent," Psalms 120-134, were sung by pilgrims on the way up to Jerusalem to keep the Feast. The Levites sang these psalms as they ascended the 15 steps in the Temple from the court of women to the court of Israel.
(2) The "Hallel (Praise God) Psalms," Psalms 113-118, were also sung during the Feast.
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Israel Dwelt in Tabernacles
Hebrews 11:9, By faith he [Abraham] 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.
Genesis 33:17, And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth [booths].
Exodus 12:37, And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth [their first stopping place] . . . .
Exodus 13:20, And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham . . . .
A Yearly Feast Kept DuringTime of the Judges
Judges 21:19, . . . Behold, there is a feast of the LORD in Shiloh yearly in a place which is on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem. [Continuing, verses 20-24, during the Feast, Benjamites caught maidens at Shiloh for their wives.]
Judges 18:31, . . . the house of God was in Shiloh.
I Samuel 1:3And this man [Elkanah, father of Samuel] went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh.
NOTE: These passages are probably referring to the Feast of Tabernacles.
Solomon Extended Feast During the Temple Dedication
I Kings 8:2-3, 6, 65-66, And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim [Tishri], which is the seventh month. And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark . . . to the most holy place . . . . And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before the LORD our God, seven days and seven days, even fourteen days. On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed [thanked] the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people. [Parallel passage, II Chronicles 5:3, 7:8-11.]
II Chronicles 8:12-13, Then Solomon offered burnt offerings unto the LORD . . . according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles.
NOTE: Purpose of the house for God is to celebrate the feasts of the LORD.
II Chronicles 2:1, 4, And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD . . . to dedicate it to Him, and to burn before Him sweet incense . . . and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.
Jeroboam's Counterfeit Feastin the Eighth Month
I Kings 12:32-37, And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month [between October and November], like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar . . . in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel . . . .
NOTE: Halloween is a major candidate for an "eighth month" counterfeit festival, since it falls in October (the eighth month of the old Roman calendar, which is close to the eighth month of God's calendar).
Sabbath, Holy Day PollutionCaused Israel's Captivity
Ezekiel 20:12-25, . . . I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them. But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness . . . and My Sabbaths they greatly polluted . . . I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; Because they had not executed My judgments, but had despised My statutes, and had polluted My Sabbaths . . . .
NOTE:The word "polluted" is translated from the Hebrew chalal or kalal (#2490 in Strong's). This word means "to bore, to wound, to dissolve, to profane, to break, to begin (as if by an 'opening wedge')." It is not as strong as the words chaneph (#2610), ("polluted with blood," Psalm 106:38) and tame (#2930) which means "to be foul, contaminated, defiled greatly, utterly unclean," as a woman defiled by adultery or fornication (e.g., Numbers 5:13).
Chalalin Ezekiel 20 does not mean open defiance or rebellion, not keeping the Sabbaths at all, but it means the wrong kind of obedience, the "in vain do they worship Me" obedience.
An example of the use of chalal is Jeremiah 34:12-18. Here God is reminding Israel of the seventh year of release of Hebrew servants. Verses 15-16, They "had done right . . . in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbor," as the law required, but now they "turned [tried to get around the law without openly defying it] and polluted [chalal] My name, and caused every man his servant . . . whom he had set at liberty at their pleasure [only for a time, in pretended observance of the law], to return, and brought them [again] into subjection [contrary to the law of Deuteronomy 15] . . . ."
Because they hadn't proclaimed liberty as they should have, God says, verse 17, " . . . I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth."
Captivity came to Israel for bending God's law, especially the "opening wedge" of improper observance of the holy days. They may have "kept" the right day, but they did it slightly wrong. They chalal-ed the Sabbaths and as a result, went into captivity.
See Numbers 18:26-32 and Exodus 20:25 for another example of chalal, referring to a slight deviation from obedience to God's law.
A question for today: Are we chalal-ing, polluting, God's annual and weekly Sabbaths?
Returning Jewish CaptivesObserved Feast of Tabernacles
When the altar was set up:
Ezra 3:1-6, And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem . . . . And they set the altar upon his bases . . . and they offered burnt offerings . . . morning and evening. They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written . . . [with its] daily burnt offerings . . . . From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not yet laid.
After the building of the wall:
Nehemiah 8:13-18, And on the second day [of Tishri, see verse 2] were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law. And they found written in the law which the Lord had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month: And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written. So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, everyone upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim. And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness. Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.
Haggai's Prophecy Came During Last Day of Tabernacles
Haggai 2:1-9, [the building of the temple began in the 24th day of the sixth month, Haggai 1:14-15.] In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month [Tishri 21], came the word of the LORD by [the hand of] the prophet Haggai, saying . . . be strong, O Zerubbabel . . . be strong, O Joshua, son of . . . the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you . . . My spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. For thus saith the LORD of hosts; . . . I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory . . . . The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, saith the LORD of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former . . . and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.
Transfiguration andFeast of Tabernacles
Matthew 16:24-28 to 17:1-13, . . . If any man will come after me, let him deny himself . . . . For whosoever will save his life shall lose it . . . . For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? . . . . For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works . . . . There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom. And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John . . . up into an high mountain . . . . And was transfigured before them . . . there appeared . . . . Moses and Elias talking with Him . . . Peter . . . said . . . Lord, it is good for us to be here: if Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias . . . a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him . . . Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
Jesus Kept Tabernacles and Last Great Day in 30 A.D.
John 7:1-36, . . . Jesus walked in Galilee: for He would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him. Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand . . . [and Jesus said to His brethren] Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for My time is not yet full come . . . . But when His brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, Where is He? . . . Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught . . . My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself . . . ye both know Me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of Myself, but He that sent Me is true, whom ye know not.
John 7:37-39, In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, 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. (But this spake He of the Spirit . . .) [compare with the millennial purifying stream, Ezekiel 47:1-12].
Verses 40-53show that many believed on Christ for this saying, but the Pharisees tried to take him, and "every man went unto his own house," verse 53. Early the next morning Christ came again to the Temple and taught "all the people" that came to Him. A woman caught in the act of adultery was brought to Him, and Jesus shamed the accusers. He continued teaching, John 8:12, "I am the light of the world." Verse 44, "Ye are of your father the devil," and verse 58, "Before Abraham was, I am." Then they took up stones to kill Jesus, but He went out of the Temple, verse 59.
As He was passing through the crowds, Jesus healed a man born blind, by putting clay and spittle on his eyes and having him wash in the pool of Siloam (9:1-14). It was the Sabbath day when He healed the man, verse 14.
The Last Great Day in A.D. 30 was on the weekly Sabbath. Thus the time of his crying out on the last great day (John 7:37-39), was the beginning, evening, of the last great day. And the incident of the woman caught in adultery, the exhortation to the Pharisees and the healing of the man born blind must have occurred on the daylight portion of the Last Great Day, which was also the weekly Sabbath (John 9:14). See Edersheim's The Temple for an explanation of the meaning of what Christ did.
Paul Kept Feast of Tabernaclesin 52 A.D.
Acts 18:21, But [Paul] bade them [of Ephesus] farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will.
Feast of Tabernacles Will Be Keptin World Tomorrow
Ezekiel 36:24, 37-38, For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you unto your own land . . . I will increase them [Israel] with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts . . . [Chapter 37follows, about the dry bones resurrection, of the Last Great Day].
Ezekiel 44:15, 23-24, But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok . . . shall teach My people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean . . . and they shall keep My laws and My statutes in all Mine assemblies; and they shall hallow My Sabbaths.
Ezekiel 45:16-17, 25, All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince of Israel. And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings . . . in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the Sabbaths . . . . In the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, shall he [the priest, verse 19] do the like in the feast of the seven days . . . .
Ezekiel 46:3, 9, Likewise the people of the land shall worship . . . before the LORD in the Sabbaths and in the new moons . . . the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts. . . .
Hosea 12:9, And I that am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast.
Zechariah 14:16-19, 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. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Feast Portrays JoyousWorld Tomorrow
Isaiah 25:6-8, And in this mountain [Zion, where God will reign, Isaiah 24:23 and 2:2-3] shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory . . . wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
Nahum 1:15, Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.
Feast of Tabernacles Likea Wedding Feast
Judges 14:10-17, . . . and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do . . . the seven days of the feast . . . . And she wept before him the seven days, while their [marriage] feast lasted . . . .
Genesis 29:22, 23, 27, And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast . . . in the evening [after the marriage ceremony] . . . he took Leah . . . and he [Jacob] went in unto her. . . . Fulfill her week . . . .
Matthew 22:2-14, The kingdom of heaven [what the Feast of Tabernacles pictures] is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth His servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come . . . . The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage . . . and the wedding was furnished with guests . . . [there was] a man which had not on a wedding garment . . . . Bind him hand and foot, . . . and cast him into outer darkness; There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Luke 14:15-24, . . . And they all [that were asked to come] with one consent began to make excuse . . . . And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
Revelation 19:7, 9, Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready . . . . Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb . . . .
Tabernacles Symbolizes Time of "Latter Rain"
Joel 2:23-29, Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former [spring] rain, and the latter rain in the first month [of the civil year]. And the floors shall be full of wheat . . . . And I will restore . . . that the locust hath eaten . . . . And ye shall eat in plenty . . . . . [Living Bible, verse 28:] After I have poured out my rains again, I will pour out My Spirit upon all of you! Your sons and daughters will prophesy; your old men will dream dreams, and your young men see visions. And I will pour out My Spirit even on your slaves . . . [Compare John 7:37-39.]
We must patiently await this time:
James 5:7, Be patient [suffer long] therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
"Latter Rain," God's Spirit, comes from obedience (Acts 5:32):
Deuteronomy 11:13-14, . . . if ye shall hearken diligently unto My commandments . . . to love the LORD your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.
Jeremiah 3:2-3, . . . thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.
How to receive the "latter rain":
Zechariah 10:1, Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
Hosea 10:12, Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground [hardness of heart]: for it is
time to seek the LORD, till He come and rain righteousness upon you.
Hosea 6:3, Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD . . . and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain, unto the earth.
Meaning of Dwelling in Tabernacles
Dwelling in tabernacles is a symbol of faith that God will fulfill His promises:
Hebrews 11:8-10, By faith Abraham . . . 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: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
The earthly tabernacle was a type of the heavenly:
Hebrews 8:2, 5, . . . the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man . . . as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the Mount.
Living in tabernacles is a type of being under God's protection in time of trouble and eventually living in God's house.
Psalm 27:4-6, One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me upon a rock [protection in Petra?]. And now [afterwards] shall my head be lifted up above mine enemies . . . therefore will I offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing . . . praises unto the LORD.
God lives in His tabernacles -- so will we!
Psalm 46:4, There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most high.
Psalm 43:3, O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles.
Psalm 84:1-2, 4, 10, How amiable are Thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD . . . . Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house: they will be still praising Thee. Selah . . . I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Psalm 118:15, The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous . . . .
Psalm 61:4, I will abide in Thy tabernacle for ever . . . .
Psalm 132:7, We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at His footstool.
In the New Jerusalem, God's tabernacle will be on the earth, and He will dwell with men.
Revelation 3:12, Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall no more go out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of My God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name.
Revelation 21:2-3, . . . the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven . . . the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.
Miscellaneous Aspects of the Feast:
(1) God promises protection of property you leave behind when you go to the feast:
Exodus 34:23-24, . . . neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year.
(2) "Too far to go" is no excuse for not attending the Feast:
Deuteronomy 14:24-25, And if the way be too long for thee . . . 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 has blessed you: Then shalt thou turn it [second tithe] into money . . . and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose.
You have been asked by the Eternal to come to the Feast. You ought to strive with all your being to go! See our article in this series on "God's Second Tithe."
(3) The Feast of Tabernacles is designed for us to learn the lesson that we must "count the cost" of obeying God. We must be willing to forsake job, relatives, whatever, to keep the Feast.
Luke 14:16-33, . . . A certain man made a great supper [Feast of Tabernacles compared to marriage feast, Matthew 22:2], and bade many . . . . And they all with one consent began to make excuse . . . I have bought a piece of ground . . . I have bought five yoke of oxen . . . I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come . . . . If any man come to Me, and [love Me less than] . . . his father, and mother, and wife, and children . . . yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple . . . counteth the cost . . . whosoever . . . forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.
(4) Attitude in which you should complete the feast:
I Kings 8:66, On the eighth day he [Solomon] sent the people away: and they blessed [thanked] the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people [see also II Chronicles 7:10].
Proverbs 15:15-16, All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
New Testament Warns of False Brethren Feasting With Us
II Peter 2:1-2, 10-22, But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies . . . . And many shall follow their pernicious ways . . . chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government . . . . Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery . . . beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices . . . . Which have forsaken the right way . . . they allure through the lusts of the flesh . . . .
Jude 4, 12, For there are certain men crept in unawares . . . turning the grace of our God unto lasciviousness . . . . These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear . . . .
God Hated the Way IsraelKept His Feasts
Judges 21:19, 25, . . . a feast of the LORD in Shiloh yearly . . . . In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. [Comment: we cannot keep the Feast as we wish, but only the way God wants us to.]
Isaiah 1:11-16, To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? saith the LORD . . . . When ye come to appear [to be seen] before Me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread My courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto Me; the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with: it is iniquity [grief], even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hateth: they are a trouble unto Me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands [in prayer], I will hide Mine eyes from you . . . . Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings . . . .
NOTE:"Your feasts" does not necessarily mean different feasts than God's feasts, or different times than God's feasts, for Deuteronomy 16:14shows that "your feast" refers to the Feast of Tabernacles. God doesn't hate His feasts, but the corrupted manner in which some individuals keep His feasts.
Isaiah 5:11-12, Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of His hands. Therefore My people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge . . . .
Lamentations 1:4, [Living Bible] The roads to Zion mourn, no longer filled with joyous throngs who come to celebrate the Temple feasts; the city gates are silent, her priests groan, her virgins have been dragged away. Bitterly she weeps.
Lamentations 2:6-8, 22, [Living Bible] He has violently broken down His Temple . . . . No longer can the people celebrate their holy feasts and Sabbaths. . . the Lord has rejected His own altar [why?] for He despises the false "worship" of His people; He has given their palaces to their enemies, who carouse in the Temple as Israel used to do on days of holy feasts! [Therefore] The Lord determined to destroy Jerusalem . . . . You have deliberately called for this destruction . . . [KJV:] so that in the Day of the LORD's anger none escaped nor remained: those that I have swaddled and brought up hath Mine enemy consumed.
Hosea 2:8-11, For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil . . . . Therefore will I return, and take away My corn . . . and My wine . . . I will also cause all her mirth [revelry] to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.
Hosea 9:3, 5, They shall not dwell in the LORD's land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria . . . . What will ye do in the solemn day, and in the day of the feast of the LORD?
Amos 5:21-24, I hate, I despise your feasts days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies [holy days]. Though ye offer Me burnt offerings, and your meat offerings, I will not accept them . . . . Take you away from Me the noise of thy songs . . . . But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
Amos 8:10, And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation . . . and the end thereof as a bitter day.
Malachi 2:1-3, 7-10, And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart . . . I will curse your blessings . . . . Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it . . . . For the priests lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble [fall] at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts . . . ye have not kept My ways, but have been partial [two-faced] in the law . . . why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?
Zechariah 7:5-14, [The Living Bible] . . . During those seventy years of exile when you fasted and mourned in August and October, were you really in earnest about leaving your sins behind, and coming back to me? No, not at all! And even now in your holy feasts to God, you don't think of Me, but only of the FOOD and FELLOWSHIP and FUN. Long years ago, when Jerusalem was prosperous . . . the prophets warned them that this attitude would surely lead to ruin, as it has [continue to end of chapter].
Our feasts are not to be like those of Babylon:
Jeremiah 51:37-39, [Living Bible] and Babylon shall become a heap of ruins . . . without a living soul. In their drunken feasts, the men of Babylon roar like lions. And while they lie inflamed with all their wine, I will prepare a different kind of feast for them, and make them drink until they fall unconscious to the floor, to sleep forever, never to waken again . . . .
Feast of Tabernacles, Part 2
Main Holy Day Menu
Written by: Richard C. Nickels
Giving & Sharing
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