Enter subtitle here
1st Month (Abib - Spring)
14th Day - The Passover
15th Day - The feast of unleavened bread to 21st day
16th Day - Firstfruits single sheaf waved
3rd Month (Sivan)
6th Day - Feast of Weeks (50 days after Passover)
7th Month (Ethanim - Autumn)
1st Day - Feast of Trumpets
10th Day - Day of Atonement
14th Day - Preparation
15 th Day - Feast of Tabernacles
22nd Day [8th day] - Holy Convocation
Feasts better rendered 'Appointed season'
Feast better rendered 'pilgrimage to a sanctuary' (GVG)
The land-law of the Mosaic system was a perfect contrivance to keep all the land in the possession of all the people, as the true source of sustenance. At the same time, it was designed to prevent the growth of chronic poverty, and to secure the powerful development of family life by striking its roots into the soil by inalienable family inheritance. But it required something more than this to keep life in its true shape.
Mere agriculture and family interest might have fostered health and domesticity at the expense of intelligence and high character. A land of peaceful homesteads and prosperous peasants, without appropriate stimulants thrown in, might have become a land of stolid dullards, like many a countryside at home and abroad.
This was prevented by other appointments of the law, which interwove the God of Israel with every phase of private life as well as public, and gave a quickening stimulus to all the higher faculties. *
This chapter speaks of the yearly feasts, or rather "appointed times" of the Mosaic Law. The Jewish months were lunar. The years were solar, as ours. Each month started with a new moon. The cycle of the moon is just a little over twenty-nine and one half days, so the months alternated twenty-nine and thirty days, with two thirty-day months coming together whenever the fraction over twenty-nine and one half accumulated to a day.
The year normally had twelve months or new moons, which is three hundred fifty-four or three hundred fifty-five days: ten or eleven days short of the solar year, so an extra month was added about every three years (actually seven times in nineteen years) to keep the year in harmony with the seasons.
At the present time, the month Abib or Nisan, scripturally the first month, begins with the first new moon after the spring equinox (the date that night and day are equal: March 20 or 21). This year (1978), Abib began with the new moon on April 8.
If there is a new moon after the twelfth month before the spring equinox, then the thirteenth month is added to the year, so that Abib, the first month of the next year, does not start before the equinox.
By some method like this, the year was kept in balance with the seasons in Bible times, but the exact method is not known.
By God's command at the time of the Exodus (Ex. 12:2) the year was to begin with the month Abib-roughly corresponding with April. So obviously it had been different before that. Jews today begin the year with the seventh Biblical month: approximately October. This custom goes far back into history, and this was probably the beginning of the year before it was changed to the Passover month.
It may seem strange to us to begin a year as winter is approaching, but for an agricultural people in that area, it was very logical. It was another natural dividing line-the autumn equinox, and it was the end and beginning of the agricultural year. All harvests were completed by September: plowing and planting for the coming year began in October. In 1978, the modern Jewish New Year begins with the new moon on October 2. *
1 And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
These were "convocations" an assembly convoked, or called together by the sound of the silver trumpets (Num. 10:1-10)...There were five major divisions in the law of feasts: The Sabbath, which originated in the Creation (and its typical week). The Passover, speaking of redemption, seen in the power of the Word of God with its principle of restoration. The Pentecost (Weeks), in which was the giving of the Law. The Atonement, presenting forgiveness and ultimate change of nature. The Tabernacles, featuring the rejoicing in Deliverance, and the joy of union with Yahweh. • The feasts were established according to the new calendar, which commenced with the redemption from Egypt. The Feast of Weeks, however, was calculated from the day of Passover (v. 15). GEM -
There are two different words used in this chapter for "feast." Neither means "feast" or has anything to do with eating. Where plural (as here), it is mo'ad, meaning "set time, appointed season," and it is so translated elsewhere (Gen. 1:14; 17:21; 18:14). It is applied to the Day of Atonement, a day of mourning and fasting.
When "feast" is singular (as v. 6), the original is chag, literally, "a pilgrimage to a sanctuary." It occurs over seventy times and, with rare exceptions, always applies to the three yearly occasions Israel must assemble before the Lord: Passover, Pentecost, and Feast of Tabernacles.
These three great pilgrimages or chags were in the first, third and seventh months. All (except the Passover day itself, which commemorated the Egyptian deliverance) were based on and related to the agricultural year-the sowing and the harvest: the seed dying and rising again to a hundred-fold fuller life. It was a wholesome agricultural life, as in the Millennium. *
'...it was not enough that God should be privately regarded, or that the people should be exercised as individuals in matters of wisdom and holiness. Israel was intended to be a holy nation. National life is a part of the true life of men. The insulated mummified life of individuals is one of the abortions of the present evil state. It was therefore needful that there should be institutions to give them a collective life of the right development.
It was good that privately they should be prosperous and godly, but this did not complete the circle of what was needful for their well-being. There were therefore public institutions which supplied the means of developing the beautiful symmetry of human life that should exist in a perfect nation, a nation of divinely regulated life, private and public. These institutions come into view in the feasts of the law, one of the most picturesque and charming features of the national life constituted by the Law of Moses. Three times in the year every male had to appear at an appointed time, to keep a certain feast, according to the law (Lev. 23).
There was first the feast of the passover; second, the feast of weeks or firstfruits; and third, the feast of tabernacles, which divided off the year into convenient sections that redeemed it from monotony, besides rousing the nation periodically into purifying and noble and healthful activity (Deut. 16:16). These feasts were something of which the world has no experience in Gentile life, and of which it is very difficult for us to form an adequate idea. The mere fact of coming together at a common centre was a circumstance involving much that was good; it took the people away from their own houses and neighbourhoods for about a fortnight at least each time, and we all know the good effects a holiday such as this would involve.
Then the people of one neighbourhood would journey together, which would be a pleasant stimulus of the social element, and appears to be partly what is referred to in the Psalm, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go up to the house of the Lord". "Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem." There is also a panegyric of Jerusalem, in which one of the features of excellence is thus extolled:
"Whither the tribes of the Lord go up to give thanks unto the name of the Lord".
And then it was not a coming together to hold a meeting in the formal sense of modern notions, but a coming together to enjoy a good time.
"Thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to place his name there" (Deut. 16:11).
"Thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God from year to year in the place which the Lord shall choose, thou and thy household."
The picture presented to the mind by such directions is that of a whole nation breaking up at a given date, and leaving the homesteads of common life, and swarming joyously together at a common place of assembly to spend a fortnight's thorough enjoyment together. It would be a different form and class of enjoyment from that we are acquainted with in Gentile holidays. There would not be the rude and objectless hilarity of inebriated crowds jostling together in mere friskiness without any central idea or purpose. Israel came together not only to rejoice but to worship God and to hear the law expounded.
Law of Moses Ch 9.
3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of Yahweh in all your dwellings.
The Mosaic memorial periods are all based upon the number seven. Seven is completeness: not just completeness as such, but completeness in God - completeness of holiness and rest and absorption into God. Seven is the basic cycle: eight is a new beginning. "Scientists" have many theories to explain the widespread use of the seven-day week, as it has no relation to any astronomical phenomena, like the month and year. The obvious and true explanation, of course, escapes them.
The basic memorial day was the seventh - the Sabbath - when God rested from His completed Creation work, and saw that all was good. Consequently, we find this chapter begins with the Sabbath law: the primary "holy convocation"- that is "sacred assembly": a gathering and uniting for holiness and worship. *
4 These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
Annual feasts. See also Numbers 28
The year is a natural period, and the longest natural period in the life of man. His life is but a repetition of years. The year, therefore, would naturally stand as the symbol of his whole life.
That "once a year" certain things should be done was an intimation that the things signified stood related to his whole life, that is, that the will of God required these things in paramount recognition in the lives of those who would be acceptable to Him.
The Passover - 14th Abib
5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is Yahweh's passover.
The passover was for the whole congregation to keep. But there was a special observance in the tabernacle. During the seven days of the feast, while the people were living on unleavened bread (" sincerity and truth"--1 Cor. 5:8), the priests were to offer every day, in addition to the daily morning and evening sacrifice, "two young bullocks, one ram, and seven lambs of the first year" without blemish as a burnt offering, and "one goat for a sin offering" (Num. 28:19) - along with their appointed meat offerings.
If the burnt offering means, as we seemed to see a chapter or two back, the absorption of the mortal by the flaming-power of the Spirit, then two bullocks (double strength, or all our strength): one ram (natural fatherhood): seven lambs (the very perfection of child-like innocence, sweetness, and simplicity) would be an intimation that man could only attain the immortal in a complete dedication to God of natural powers and relationships, in a perfect submission to His will as the law of life.
Christ in all this conformed to the foreshadowing of the law, and we conform to him when we obey him as called upon to do (Heb. 5:9). "The goat for a sin offering" shows us the antitypical sacrifice of sin's flesh--a pushful, masterful thing--which was put to death on Calvary, "that the body of sin might be destroyed" (Rom. 6:6-10); though in Christ, its pushful masterful tendencies were all overcome beforehand--as Jesus said, "I have overcome"--that the sacrifice (without blemish) might be accepted for us. Thus was blended with the Passover celebration, the typification of a perfect submission to the will of God as a basis of reconciliation.
There is something significant in this association of the highest spiritual attainments with the annual celebration of Israel's deliverance from Egypt, for we must not forget that the primary object of the feast was to keep this event in national memory (Exod. 12:14-27). The modern attitude is that of unbelief concerning the divine nature of the plagues: the death of the firstborn; and the opening of the Red Sea for Israel's escape; and lo, here, not only is the historic reality of these things Linked with a feast which has been kept by Israel in all their generations ever since to the present day, but involved in their celebration is the shadowing of the highest final achievements of God's purpose in Christ...
...Christ celebrated the passover with his disciples: in this he held up Moses and the firstborn to our view: for the passover had no meaning apart from the Lord passing over the blood-sprinkled houses of the Israelites in Egypt on the night that he went through the land and destroyed the firstborn in every house in Egypt.
Christ said the passover would be "fulfilled in the kingdom of God" (Luke 22:16) which implies the typical nature of the passover feast, in harmony with Paul's teaching that Christ is our passover, sacrificed for us (1 Cor. 5:7). Thus, Christ in the kingdom and Christ on the cross unite with Moses in Egypt on the night of the exodus--which may enable us to understand why the final song of salvation is "the song of Moses and of the Lamb" (Rev. 15:3).
The sacrificial endorsement of the passover in the permanent annual services of the tabernacle is an intimation that a continual recognition of God's work in Egypt is part of our acceptable qualification before Him.
Law of Moses ch 21.
The feast of unleavened bread - 15th to 21st Abib
6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto Yahweh: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
The first and last days were the first two of the seven "holy convocations" of the year when no work could be done. The unleavened bread (from the Passover meal) was the feature that bound the Passover to this Feast.
....The Passover-Unleavened Bread ordinance appears to apply more particularly to Christ; as the Pentecost does to the Firstfruit Redeemed of this age; and the great final Feast of Tabernacles does to the harvest of the Millennium. *
7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
9 And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying,
Firstfruits single sheaf waved -16th Day Abib
10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest
11 And he shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
This differed from the first anniversary celebration, in being founded upon an institute of nature, and not upon a divine interposition in the nation's affairs. Yet we shall find it no less spiritual in its uses, whether in its proximate and literal bearings; or its typical and remote significances. As regards the first, it was a recognition of the divine beneficence in providing so bountifully for human need in the products of the soil--which even the Gentiles are reasonably expected to discern as the testimony of nature.
As Paul told the inhabitants of Lystra, though God had left all nations to walk in their own ways, God, who made heaven and earth and the sea and all things therein, "left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness" (Acts 14:15-17). But the "witness" is only faintly discerned--and mostly not discerned at all.
Men use the divine goodness as the creatures crunch their oats and turnips, with a gastric satisfaction merely, without taking thought of the exquisite wisdom and superb goodness that have contrived and provided such suitable substances for the sustenance of man and beast.
Israel were not to be like the nations in this respect. They were to make the harvest an occasion of joyful recognition of the goodness of God. It was to be a long-drawn-out festivity beginning "from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to thy corn" (Deut. 16:9) and lasting till "thou hast (fully) gathered in thy corn and thy wine"--a festivity tempered with the sobrieties of worship, and therefore lacking the tendency to surfeit and weariness which belong to the mere revel of Gentile celebrations.
They were to come and bring in their hand "a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God, according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee: and thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to place his name there."
But the feast of the firstfruits was not to be confined to an acknowledgment of the goodness of God in nature: it was to be associated also with the history of their divine origin as a nation in the wonders of the exodus from Egypt. They were formally to bring that history into view in their observance of the feast. A speech was specially provided for them with which they were to address the priest on bringing the firstfruits for presentation. They were to say:
"A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous: and the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage: and when we cried unto the Lord God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression: and the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders: and he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey. And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O Lord, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the Lord thy God, and worship before the Lord thy God" (Deut. 26:5-10)....
12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto Yahweh.
The waving of the sheaf.
'... what can be plainer than the teaching of the waved sheaf that it is God's pleasure that we should actively serve Him in the use of the goodness He confers upon us? the sheaf representing the God-given bread of the field, and the waving signifying action, and the place - in the tabernacle before the Lord - denoting His service.The Burnt offering.'...Why should the expression of gratitude to God for creature mercies and willingness to consecrate their use to His service, be mixed up with the offering up of slain animals?--seven lambs, a bullock, two rams, and a goat? Herein, as we have before seen, is the allegorical enunciation of a truth concerning the relations of God and man that is very distasteful to natural religionists of every kind: viz., that God will not be approached by sinners, even for the presentation of thanksgiving, apart from the acknowledgment of their position as proclaimed in blood-shedding, and of His righteousness and holiness'...Why should the expression of gratitude to God for creature mercies and willingness to consecrate their use to His service, be mixed up with the offering up of slain animals?--seven lambs, a bullock, two rams, and a goat? Herein, as we have before seen, is the allegorical enunciation of a truth concerning the relations of God and man that is very distasteful to natural religionists of every kind: viz., that God will not be approached by sinners, even for the presentation of thanksgiving, apart from the acknowledgment of their position as proclaimed in blood-shedding, and of His righteousness and holiness in requiring this of them. But it is more.
The animals offered were to be without blemish. It was a prophecy that God would provide an acceptable sacrificial approach in a man without sin, though bearing (in the nature to be sacrificed) the sin of all his people--Adam included. This prophecy centres in Christ, who proclaimed himself "the way", and plainly declared, "No man cometh unto the Father but by me".
Verses 9-14 describe the offering of the wave-sheaf of Firstfruits. This was barley, for that was the grain that ripened first. The grain-sowing began, as mentioned, in October, and the grain harvest was from about mid-April to mid-June, beginning with barley and ending with wheat.
This sheaf was just as it came from the field: the very first springing of the new year's harvest. It was offered on the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread-the 16th of Abib-the day following the holy convocation Sabbath of the 15th, which began the feast.
This Abib 16 was the day Christ rose: having died as the Passover Lamb on the 14th, and having lain in the tomb and rested on the sabbath of the 15th. In the crucifixion year, this holy convocation sabbath was also the weekly Sabbath, as was fitting for the type. Christ was thus the Passover Lamb that died, and the Firstfruit Sheaf that sprang forth to new life two days later-on the third day.
13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto Yahweh for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.
14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your elohim: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
The Feast of Weeks
15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto Yahweh.
The Feast of Weeks (Ex. 34:22), or Feast of Harvest (Ex. 23:16), or Day of Firstfruits (Num. 28:26): later called Pentecost because it was fifty days from the Passover.
17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto Yahweh.
...As Christ is the Firstfruit of all to God, so the Redeemed of the present age are the Firstfruits unto him from mankind. The term is applied to both in the New Testament, and this ordinance seems to specially apply to, and be fulfilled in, the brethren of Christ.
Israel were (v. 15) to count seven full weeks from the day they offered the Firstfruit Sheaf, then (v. 16) the next day was this Feast of Weeks. As in the crucifixion year, Abib 16 (the day Christ rose and the Sheaf was offered) was a Sunday, or first day of the week, so would this Pentecost day be, fifty days later: another new beginning. On this day the Spirit was poured out on the Apostles, and they went forth to call out the Firstfruits unto God from all mankind.
On this day (v. 17) they were to offer two loaves which were baked from the new wheat harvest (Ex. 34:22). We note here two things-
First, there were two loaves: Jew and Gentile: the two folds; the two olive branches and two candlesticks: the two sideposts of the Christ-Doorway, of which he is the crowning and connecting lintel. And-
Second, they were leavened. Now the Law was very strict about prohibiting leaven in anything to do with the sacrifices (Lev. 2:11). Leaven is "malice and wickedness" (1 Cor.5:8)-sin-and it made any offering it was connected with an abomination.
This ordinance, and one other place concerning the law of the Peace offering (Lev. 7:13), are unique in requiring leaven in the offerings to God. Clearly God is not condoning or countenancing sin. That is ruled out by every reasonable consideration, and the whole bulk of the word.
But this has some reference to sin; some cognizance of imperfection. "There is no man that sinneth not." If perfect sinlessness were required, none could be saved. These loaves were (v. 17) "out of your habitation": that is, the ordinary daily bread, just as it was. Surely we have a merciful indication here that - without for a moment belittling the seriousness of sin and the necessity of its complete removal-God accepts us as we are constituted in our present imperfect state and imperfect service, IF- and only if - we are completely dedicated (offered) to Him, and striving constantly to obey Him. *
18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto Yahweh, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto Yahweh.
19 Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.
This Pentecost ordinance was the only occasion in the yearly feasts where a Peace offering was required (v. 19). We have just noted that apart from the Pentecost ordinance, the ordinance of the Peace, or Fellowship-with-God, offering was the only occasion in the Law where leaven was required, or even permitted. Both come together here. *
20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before Yahweh, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the Yahweh for the priest.
21 And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
Pentecost was the third of the seven yearly days of holy convocation, in which no servile work could be done (v. 21). All activity must be for God. *
'Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.' (1 Cor 15:23)
v12-21 - The Israelites were neither to eat bread made from the new flour, nor eat parched corn or green ears of the ripening harvest "until the selfsame day" that an offering of firstfruits was presented in the tabernacle (Lev. 23:14). This was to consist of a sheaf to be waved by the priest before the Lord, to be followed by the offering "of a he lamb without blemish of the first year", both to be offered "on the morrow after" the first Sabbath of the harvest season.
From this they were to count an interval of 50 days, or seven weeks and a day, by which time the whole harvest would be gathered in, and then they were to bring--not a sheaf, but two loaves of the new flour baked with leaven: and these were to be waved by the priest before the Lord, and accompanied by the sacrifice of "seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams" for a burnt offering of sweet savour. They were all first to be waved before the Lord: and then offered as a burnt offering with their accompanying meat and drink offerings : and followed by the sacrifice of "a kid of the goats for a sin offering" (Lev. 23:12-21).
The ritual of the feast of firstfruits is, therefore, the enforcement of that most unpalatable truth, - that sinners are in no position to approach God even in harvest thanksgiving until invested with the name of him in whom sin was condemned, and by whom it was taken away. How they are to be invested with that name has been revealed in the teaching of the apostles. The belief and obedience of the gospel in baptism brings the obedient sinner into relation with him who was the antitype of all these animals. Without this relation, they are strangers and aliens--sharing the goodness of God in nature, "whereof all are partakers", but without hope concerning the life to Come; and without a standing in His presence for the loving communion of worship.
When men quarrel with this negative bearing of the divine institutions upon them, they act either in ignorance or forgetfulness of the holiness, majesty, and prerogative of God. They are like savages who would resent the enforcement of etiquette if they happened to stray into the courts or passages of a palace. Enlightenment recognizes that man is unfit for fellowship with God, and gladly welcomes and conforms to the conditions which the goodness of God has prescribed for the acquisition and enjoyment of so great an honour as to be "called the sons of God"---invited to come boldly to His throne for favour through Christ--and Christ alone.
In addition to these general significances, there is an interesting personal shadowing of Christ in the ordinances of the feast of firstfruits, and of the relation of his work to his people. Christ is expressly called "the firstfruits" in Paul's letter to the Corinthians: "Christ the firstfruits" (1 Cor. 15:23): "the firstfruits of them that slept" (verse 20) which connects the subject with the resurrection. "The first that should rise from the dead" (Acts 26:23): "the first begotten of the dead" (Rev. 1:5); "the first born of every creature" (Col. 1:18).
Now, in the type, there are two phases of the firstfruits which we shall probably not err in identifying with these two phases of the completed work of God upon earth. There is first, the single sheaf, at the beginning of the feast, to be waved before the Lord "on the morrow after the Sabbath", and offered with a single he lamb with meat and drink offering; and then seven weeks afterwards, two loaves, made out of the flour yielded by the sheaves, and baked with leaven, and accompanied by the sacrifice of seven lambs, one bullock, two rams, and one kid of the goats.
The single sheaf we may take to be Christ personal and the offering of a he lamb, his own sacrifice for himself as a fellow-sufferer with his people; the meat and drink offering, the strength and gladness growing out of his painful submission to death. The "morrow after the Sabbath "' the very period of the week--namely, on the morning of the first day of the week, Sabbath being past, that he rose and ascended to the Father (John 20:17).
Exactly seven weeks afterwards, "when the day of Pentecost had fully come" (Acts 2:1), that is, when the feast of the firstfruits had arrived--the second phase of the firstfruits was exhibited in the public divine endorsement of the friends of Christ by the outpouring of the Spirit fitly represented by two leavened loaves--two to represent their plurality as distinguished from the individual Christ loaves, as a product of the sheaves, to signify the friends of Christ who are a product of him; and leavened, to denote that they are not "without blemish", as Christ was, but stand before God as forgiven sinners.
Not only is Christ called the firstfruits, but the term is applied also to his people (James 1:18; Rev. 14:4). In this there might be confusion if we did not remember that in an important sense, he and they are one--one Christ in head and body.
But this is not the whole explanation. They are both the firstfruits, at two separate stages, recognized in the type. How they are literally so, we may discern as we look forward to the accomplishment of the purpose of God upon the earth.
This accomplished purpose shows us the earth occupied by an immortal population as the result of the work of the Kingdom of God; and this immortal population, considered as a life-harvest, we perceive to have been preceded by two preliminary firstfruits of that harvest: Christ, as the individual victor over the grave, exalted to God's right hand to die no more; and the saints who are glorified at his coming and united to him, as a bride is to her husband, and associated with him in the work of rearing the rest of the family of God during the thousand years; they (Christ and the saints) are both firstfruits in relation to the harvest to be gathered in at the close of that period.
When seen on Mount Zion their redemption had been perfected. "These had been redeemed, , from among men". If the redemption had not been complete, they could not have sung the song of redemption. The price paid for their redemption was the blood of the Lamb, by which they are constituted "an offering of firstfruits" for Deity and for the Lamb.
Under the Law of Moses, the firstfruits were the New Fruits of the harvest of the land, offered in the form of Two Loaves, called "the Bread of the Firstfruits," fifty days after the waving of a single sheaf of the firstfruits on the third day after the Pass-over.
In the antitype, Jesus risen from among the dead, is "the wave-sheaf of the firstfruits; and the New Converts to the faith preached by the apostles, "The Bread of the Firstfruits". Of this there is evidence in 1 Cor. 15:20, where Paul says, "Christ is risen from among the dead, and become the firstfruits of them who have been sleeping;" and in James 1:18, addressing the true believers of his day, he says, "Of his own will the Father of Lights begat us by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of Firstfruits of his creatures."
By this we are informed, that all who are truly begotten by the Word of Truth are designed to be what Jesus became in being waved before the Father after leaving the house of the dead.
The Word of Truth, or the Gospel, illuminates the understanding; so that when the enlightened are immersed into "Christ the Firstfruits," they are planted in the likeness of his death, in hope that they shall also be planted in the likeness of his resurrection; or become "firstfruits for the Deity and the Lamb" "the Bread of the Firstfruits," which can only be offered in the land promised to the Fathers, as indicated in the type (Lev. 23:9-21); and symbolically represented in this chapter of the Apocalypse.
In the type, the Pentecostian Firstfruits were waved in the form of Two Loaves, made from the fine flour of the new grain, and baked with leaven. This represented that the firstfruits would be taken from two classes leavened with the Truth - a loaf of the circumcision and a loaf of the uncircumcision; two loaves, but only one bread.
This work began on the day of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus, on "the morrow of the Sabbath," which he spent in the tomb. Three thousand were then leavened with the Gospel of the Kingdom, to which they became obedient. These were of the circumcision.
After this many more thousand Jews became obedient to the faith. The invitation to God's Kingdom and Glory was then extended to people of other nations, beginning at the household of Cornelius. Since then, a people for the Father's Name has been collecting, as they sing, "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation."
The work is still progressing, but after such a manner as to show that there is little more can be done. The Jewish and Gentile Loaves are almost complete; and little remains, but for the High Priest after the order of Melchizedec to come, and make a Pentecostian wave-offering of them before the Father on the mountain of his holiness.
When this is accomplished, a company of undefiled ones will have been developed, all of them like himself - Firstfruits, in whose mouth exists no guile, being faultless before the throne of God.
The first fruits - Eureka
22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am Yahweh your elohim.
Verse 22 adds another feature without which the service and worship of the day would have been a mockery: goodness to others, provision for the needy, love of neighbor, service to mankind. No man liveth to himself (Rom. 14:7). Professed love of and service to God that does not inseparably involve love of neighbour is sterile and dead. None can be saved who does not give his life to the welfare of others. *
Assembly for the Blowing of Trumpets
23 And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying,
24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
The first day of the month as the day of the new moon was already under the law a monthly observance, but in this seventh month, the first day appears to have been emphasized above the first days of the other months. Israel were commanded to observe it as "a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation", or gathering of the people, who were to do no secular work on that day, but to assemble in endorsement of the special offerings to be made in the tabernacle that day--at which we have already looked.
The sounding of trumpets was a divinely appointed Mosaic institution. It was a holy convocation, styled "a memorial of blowing of trumpets," and was celebrated on the first day of the seventh month (Lev. xxiii. 24). It introduced one of the most important months of the Hebrew calendar -- the month on the tenth of which was the Day of Covering of Sins; on the fifteenth, the Feast of Tabernacles; and on every fiftieth tenth, the Jubilee, when sins, were not only covered, but every man returned to his possession and family (Lev. xxv. 8-17).
All months, and all feasts, were introduced by the blowing of trumpets (Num. 10:10), but the first day of the seventh month was the especial yearly occasion of trumpet-blowing. Trumpets are proclamations, calls to attention, to assembly and to battle, calls of warning, of instruction.
This seventh month trumpet announces the beginning of the end. The seventh Trumpet of the Revelation speaks of the "finishing of the Mystery of God, as spoken by His servants the prophets" (Rev. 10:7). Pre-eminently, the trumpet-voice is the calling to the resurrection-
"The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised" (1 Cor. 15:52). *
A memorial of blowing of trumpets
The gathering of the elect from the dust of the four corners of the earth...a loud trumpet blast awakening the dead and summoning them to judgment. The saints are with the Lord and see him as he is.
Verses 23-25 give the law of the Feast of Trumpets: fourth of the seven days of holy convocation. Passover and Unleavened Bread were in the first month; Pentecost in the third (three is resurrection). In the Law, the pattern of cleansing was often one-three-seven (Num. 19:12; 31:19).
The Sons of Aaron, the priests, were appointed to blow the trumpets in the day of their gladness, in their solemn days, over their burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of their peace offerings (Lev. 23:24; Num. 10:8,10).
The antitype of this arrangement is found in this fourteenth chapter (Apocalypse) the Pentecost is celebrated in the inauguration of the Deity's kings and priests on Mount Zion - the Bread of the Firstfruits.
The trumpet to which this "loud," "first voice" belongs (Apoc 1v10), is that represented in "the memorial of the blowing of trumpets," on the first day of the seventh month (Lev. xxiii. 24). It is that sounding by which the princes, heads of the thousands of Israel, are summoned to gather themselves together unto Christ, the King of Israel (Num. x. 4).
It precedes the sounding on the tenth of the seventh month, which proclaims liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof (Lev. xxv. 9). The saints are first raised and exalted to the heaven; in other words, "meet the Lord in the air,"... and then afterward "the Great Trumpet" of the Jubilee is blown by YAHWEH Elohim, who in the "lightnings and thunders which proceed out of the throne" (Apoc 4. 5), goes forth with the whirlwind of the south (Zech. ix. 14).
The silver trumpet that sounds upon the first day of the seventh month, gathers together that "great multitude which no man can number of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues"; of which John says he beheld that "they stood before the Throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands" (vii. 9).
"These had been dead, but when the trumpet sounded at the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that Yahweh Elohim should give reward to his servants the prophets and to the saints, and to them that venerate his name, small and great" (xi. 18), when the loud trumpet-voice was heard at this time in the lower parts of the earth, all these, with John among the number, "turned" and "looked" -- awake from their dusty bed, come forth from their graves, and gather together unto him (2 Thess. ii. 1) who, by the energy of the Eternal Spirit, will have raised them from among the dead.
The Day of Covering
26 And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying,
27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh.
On the tenth day of the month, they were to have a day of special consecration to God, a day of atonement, a day of solemn gathering, a day on which they were to refrain from ordinary employment, and concentrate their minds upon God in penitence, a day in which they were to" afflict their souls"--a fast day, in fact, from evening to evening. The law of the day was very stringent. "Whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work on that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people."
There were special Temple sacrifices on this day (Num. 29:1-6), but it was not a national assembly to Jerusalem: rather an alerting of the land to the beginning of the solemn, climactic seventh month - and especially of the approach of the great and dreadful Day of Atonement. Dreadful, that is, if approached without the deepest reverence and solemnity and humility. Atonement Day was fifth of the seven holy convocations.
Verses 26-32 give the instructions for that day-tenth of the seventh month-when all normal activity was completely suspended for twenty-four hours throughout the whole land, and every Israelite must "afflict his soul" on pain of death (v.Ê29). Three times in these verses is this affliction of the soul strictly commanded. And three times they are charged to do absolutely no work.
What did this "afflicting the soul" consist of? Clearly it involved external aspects, for whoever did not comply was to be put to death (v. 29). It would certainly involve abstinence from food, and from all fleshly pleasures and enjoyments. This day became known as "the Fast" (Acts 27:9). This was the one great day of the year to bring sin to remembrance: for a man to "examine himself": to labor mightily for self-purification and to seek the cleansing and mercy of God.
Fasting of itself was not specifically prescribed, nor would it of itself have been acceptable (Isa. 58:5). In not prescribing specific rituals of affliction, the attention would be directed to the inner aspects-the realities: inward examination and repentance and humility and rededication of the heart, soul, strength and mind to God.
This was the day when even the normal priestly ministrations at the Tabernacle stopped (Lev. 16:17), and the holy precincts were silent and empty while the High Priest alone went about his solemn, once-a-year task of making reconciliation for the nation: entering, on this dread day only, the inner sanctuary of the Most Holy, beyond the Veil, where the glory of God rested between the Cherubim, above the golden Ark.
This day of all days called for a humble and contrite spirit: no levity, no lightness, no manifestation of rejoicing, no self-pleasing, no going thoughtlessly about one's ordinary activities and pleasures. The entire nation in affliction and mourning, conscious of the great burden and disease of sin and fleshliness and self-will-
"Whosoever shall not be afflicted shall be cut off from among his people" (Lev. 23: 29).
There is a historic counterpart to this great day. Indeed, this would be the final national climax to which this day in type pointed in all its ages of observance. Did Israel have any idea of what the High Priest's ministrations on this memorable day foreshadowed?-
"They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn . . . a great mourning . . . and the land shall mourn, every family apart" (Zech. 12:10).
Ten days of affliction - Likely typifies 10 years of judgement including the judgement of the quick and the dead. Probably includes the going forth of the glorified saints into the nations to bless those who will bow the knee to Zion's king - The Lion of the Tribe of Judah. (Isa 66:19). *
Then comes the memorial proclamation through midheaven by these priests of the Deity, reminding the world that the hour of judicial retribution so long threatened has arrived; and inviting men to afflict their souls, in turning from their iniquities, to the reverential fear and worship of Him who made all things.
...When this proclamation has been made to the end of the world, the Jubilee Blast of the Day of Coverings, on the tenth day of the seventh month, is then blown - a Jubilee to Israel, proclaiming their return to their country, and consequent avengement upon all their enemies, who worship the Beast and his Image, and receive his sign in their foreheads, or in their hands. This is "the Day of Vengeance in the heart" of the Lamb, contemporary with "the Year of his redeemed" (Isa. 63:4); the works of which are detailed in Apoc. 14:8-11,14-20; 16:16-21; 17:14; 18; 19:1-3, 11-21; 20:1-4,14.
The Angel who makes the memorial proclamation is symbolical of the royal priests of the Meichizedec Household. The Mosaic type required that the silver trumpets be blown by priests of the High Priest's family. But the priesthood being changed the Aaronic priests are ineligible for the sounding of this proclamation in midheaven.
Hence, the priestly trumpeters have to be provided from another source; and there is no other source of supply but the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus, whom he has made kings and priests for the Deity. The proclamation is there-fore made by as many of the 144,000 as the work to be performed may demand. Among these will be the apostle John, as the representative of a class. In the tenth chapter he tells us that after he had digested the little scroll of judgment, the Spirit told him that he "must prophesy again before many peoples and nations and tongues, and kings".
To do this he must rise from the dead, be judged, and quickened, when he will be fitted for the work. But it is too much for one man to accomplish in the short space allotted for the proclamation. Others of like qualifications will therefore be associated with him in the work; so that it may be carried on in different countries at the same time. The apostles had their colaborating attendants and subordinates when they sounded the gospel trumpet in old time.
In the new proclamation the same condition may obtain. Be this as it may, it is "those that escape," or the saved remnant, that are sent, as sounders of the Truth, to the nations that have not heard the fame nor seen the glory of Yahweh; and they shall declare His glory to the Gentiles (Isa. 66:19). This is the plurality represented by the Angel - one messenger emblematic of a multitude; as it is written in Psa. 68:11, "Adonai will give the word; those who bear the tidings are a great host."
The proclamation is to be made through "midheaven." This is "the Air" into which the judgments of the Seventh Vial are to be poured after the proclamation of the message, or word given, is finished. It is the political aerial of Babylon the Great, which, instead of being as now the highest heaven of the political world, will occupy a middle station between the worshippers of. the Beast, and the new throne established on Mount Zion. The Midheaven is the political firmament occupied by all the ranks, orders, and degrees, of the world rulers - the supreme and subordinate governors of those "many people, nations, and tongues" before whom John is to prophesy again.
This will be an exceedingly interesting time when the clergy of all orders, "the spirituals of wickedness in the heavenlies," shall be confronted by the apostles and saints, and proved to be liars and impostors before the world. And richly do they deserve to be exposed to this "shame and contempt". They will no longer be permitted to deceive the hearts of the simple with good words and fair speeches with impunity.
The sheep's clothing will be stripped off them, and the wolf undisguised will be revealed. High and pompous ecclesiastical titles will then be at a discount; and regarded only by those who come to obey the proclamation, as the tinsel bespanglement of vain and foolish men. The occupation of the clerical False Prophet of the world will be gone; for the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low; and Yahweh alone will come to be exalted in that day (Isaiah 2:17).
33 And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying,
Holy Pilgrimage of Booths
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 Yahweh.
"Tabernacles" should really be translated "Booths," for it is an entirely different word from the "Tabernacle" of God, which is Mishkan or "dwelling place." The word here is succoth, meaning "hut or booth," a rough, simple, temporary shelter-usually of tree branches, from a word meaning "to entwine."
This Feast was primarily to remind them of the forty years in the wilderness (v. 43). It was thus a memorial of both the deliverance from bondage, and the afflictions of the journey. It was also called the Feast of Ingathering (Ex. 23:16), and as such it was the joyful thanksgiving for the bounties and blessings of God throughout the year. It was the great Rest, after all the year's labours, when all the harvests were in. *
THE FEAST OF INGATHERING.--"Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine" (Deut. 16:13). This was the most elaborate and intricate of all the feasts of the year, combining equally with the others, the two elements of national gratitude for bountiful goodness, and the national recognition of Egyptian deliverance, but exercising Israel much more deeply and setting forth in much more detail the conditions of human acceptability with God, and the foreshadowing of His purpose finally to abolish all curse.
Noticeably, the seventh month was the month of its celebration --which of itself points to completeness and finish, and therefore, to the end of God's work.
The "dispensation of the fulness of times" (Ephes. 1:10), popularly styled the Millennium, will be the antitype, or substance, of the Mosaic feast of tabernacles which was "a shadow of things to come." In this type, or pattern, Israel were to rejoice before the Lord for seven days, beginning "on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when they had gathered the fruit of the land."
In relation to the first day of the seven, the law says, "it shall be a holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein." This was what we call Sunday. The statute then continues, "on the eighth day," also Sunday, "shall be a 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. "
Three times in four verses does Zechariah style the yearly going up of the Gentiles to Jerusalem to worship the king, the Lord of Hosts, there, the "keeping of the feast of tabernacles" (Zech. 14:16-19); an event which is consequent upon the destruction of the dominion represented by Nebuchadnezzar's image, and the re-establishment of the kingdom and throne of David.
This national confluence of the Gentiles to Jerusalem is characteristic of Messiah's times; and of the true or real festival of tabernacles, when He will "confess to God among the Gentiles, and sing unto His name," and "they shall rejoice with His people," Israel (Rom. 15:9-10).
Elpis Israel 1.2.
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 Yahweh: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.
The Eighth day
The original word here for "assembly" is different. It only occurs a few times, usually applied to this particular day. Note that the margin has "day of restraint." Rather it means "day of closing": a closing ceremony. It is atzereth, from atzar, "to close, to restrain, to shut up."
This was the final day of the cycle: the day over and beyond the three yearly feasts. They were no longer in the booths, representing the wilderness journey. The sacrifices for the Feast of Tabernacles had come to a climax with the gradual reduction of the bullocks to seven. *
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 Yahweh your elohim seven days.
They were there required to build simple little booths (v. 40) of tree branches, and live in them for the week of the feast: high and low, rich and poor together (v. 42). In their harvest joy they were reminded that we have here no continuing city, and should not set our interest on present things. In the later corruptions of the nation, the faithful Rechabites carried forward this memorial in their lives, dwelling simply in temporary dwellings (Jer. 35:7).Palms throughout Scripture represent joy and victory: willows represent oppression and sorrow-illustrating both aspects of the memorial. God's loving purpose with mankind of redemption and glory manifests throughout these twin aspects of joy through sorrow, peace through suffering, rest through labour, and exaltation through humility: that no flesh should glory. *
...As the Passover is Christ, and Pentecost is the Redeemed from the present, so the Feast of Tabernacles is the great millennial harvest of the earth. Each in its turn is a harvest: the Firstfruit Sheaf, the Firstfruit Loaves, and the total Ingathering.
The sacrifices of this week (Num. 29) were much more than at any other of the memorial periods: seventy bullocks, fourteen rams, ninety-eight lambs. But the bullocks (the principal sacrifice) diminish day by day to a perfect unity and completeness of seven on the last day. Here, as bro. Roberts points out, is a winding down of sacrifice; an approaching the end of the need of sacrifice: an approaching the time when all shall have been brought into perfect subjection to God, and God shall be all in all. *
The trees of righteousness will rejoice. Weeping willows - 'Blessed are they that mourn, for ye shall be comforted'
This in the mellow days of autumn, in a warm climate like Syria, would be a pleasant sequel to the severe exercises of the first part of the feast. The annual encampment of the volunteers in August, which all who take part in it find to be such a season of zestful and healthful change, may give some idea of the delight that this feast of tabernacles or booths was calculated to afford only that instead of being limited to male adults, it embraced the whole population, and gave the families and even the servants a taste of the pleasure of a week's camping-out, with special food supplies, under aromatic tree branches: and instead of being associated with horseplay and ribaldry, it was connected with the most ennobling exercises of the mind of which man is capable.
While Israel were to be seven days thus pleasantly encamped, a special series of sacrifices was to be offered in the tabernacle with a singular variation from day to day. On the FIRST DAY of the encampment in booths (15th of the month) the burnt offering was to consist of 13 young bullocks, two rams, and 14 lambs, without blemish, with their appropriate meat and drink offerings, and a kid of the goats for a sin offering--besides the daily burnt offering: on the SECOND DAY, the same, except that the number of young bullocks was to be 12 instead of 13; on the THIRD DAY, the same, except that the number of young bullocks was to be I l, instead of 12; and so on, the number of young bullocks diminishing by one each day, till the seventh day, when the number of the day and the number of the bullocks had come level--seven bullocks on the seventh day; finishing on the eighth day with a grand assembly of the people, and only one bullock, one ram, seven lambs, and one goat.
We shall probably find the meaning of this in the contemplation of this feast of ingathering as the type of the final harvest of life eternal, of which Christ is the individual, and his people the collective firstfruits. To this harvest all the work of God had been working forward from the beginning. That it should be foreshadowed by the last of all the feasts of the year is fitting; and that this feast should be held on the seventh month is in the same line of harmony, also that it should commence on the first day and last nearly the whole month, is striking.
That it should begin with a joyful trumpet blast is suggestive of the great joy with which the arrival of the day of God will be hailed. That this should be succeeded by a day of affliction, in which everyone should be bound on pain of death to take part, is in agreement with the revealed fact that after the joy caused to the people of God by the Lord's reappearance in the earth and "the marriage supper of the Lamb", there will immediately ensue a time of trouble in which the nations of mankind will learn the righteousness of submission by the things they will suffer.
And then the encampment in arboreal booths for seven days, during which they were to "rejoice before the Lord in the abundance of all good things which God had given them" is nothing but a splendid adumbration of the rest and gladness of the Kingdom of God following on the terrible events connected with its setting up.
But what are we to make of the greater number of sacrifices offered in the tabernacle and the gradual dwindling in the number of young bullocks--more action, more elaborateness in this the last of all the feasts of the year, and yet a feature pointing to curtailment? We may see the meaning of this if we consider that the kingdom will be a time of much more activity in purely divine service than at any previous period of the world's history, and yet that as it draws to a close, the world is getting nearer the time when all sacrificial work of reconciliation--whether in type or antitype (for there will be both in the kingdom) will have served its purpose, and the seven bullocks (perfected work) will coincide with the seventh day (perfected time) and the work of God will be finished.
The grand assembly on the eighth and finishing day of the feast--when the sacrifices were reduced to one bullock, one ram, seven lambs, and one goat, may be taken to denote the crowning feast of worship and praise that will mark the close of the kingdom when the unwritten in the book of life having been given over to the second death, there will remain none upon earth but the innumerable multitude of those who, during the whole history of man from Adam's expulsion from Eden downward, have been "foreknown, predestinated, called, justified, and glorified", according to the definition of the process by Paul in Rom. 8:29-30. They are, thenceforth, the happy occupants of this noble planet for ever.
The sacrifices shrink to one in the final ceremony, because they are about to disappear, the lambs, however, remaining seven, because the lamb character (harmlessness, innocence, simplicity) is the perpetual basis of all: "charity never faileth", The bullock (human strength): and ram (the dignity of mankind): the goat (the self-assertion of the flesh)--all vanish in the change which consumes and transmutes flesh and blood into spirit-nature: but the Lamb remains for ever the distinguishing symbol of the perfected community of the guileless and loving and rejoicing sons of the Lord God Almighty.
Law of Moses Ch 21.
41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto Yahweh 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 Yahweh your elohim.
Ye shall dwell in booths seven days
The third feast, called the feast of tabernacles or booths, because of the peculiar feature that the Israelites were to live in booths during its progress, would be two or three months after the feast of weeks.
It was fixed by the completion of the harvest, namely, "After that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine". It was to commence on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when they had gathered in the fruit of the land (Lev. 23:39). This would be six months after the Passover. All the feasts were joyous occasions, but it would seem as if the feast of tabernacles would exceed the others in some respects. It was a direction to every family that on the first day of the feast they were to take "the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook ", and construct temporary dwellings for their habitations during the feast.
We all know the delightful aroma of fresh-plucked branches of resinous trees: we can therefore imagine the charming stimulus that this odour would impart to the whole performance, and how delightful to the children to get into a light, new, airy house of that sort. It would not be cold, because it would be at the top of the summer season, when it would be a luxury to camp out in the open air. And then the well-filled hampers of all sorts to be stored in the sweet-smelling booths would give a zest of peculiar delightsomeness to the most joyous of all the feasts. They were to dwell in these booths seven days.
There was an historic meaning connected with this. "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" (Lev. 23 :'42). They were to" keep a solemn feast to the Lord... because the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands". They were also enjoined to appear full-handed, that is, with plenty of provisions. "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" (Deut. 16: 16).
Law of Moses Ch 9.
44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of Yahweh.
The whole tendency of the Mosaic institution is well expressed in the 144th Psalm, "That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as comer stones, polished after the similitude of a palace: that our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets: that our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets .... He showeth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation." "Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord."
Law of Moses Ch 9.
The yearly ordinances were now over: the seven days in booths ended. Only one last event remained - the final day of holy convocation: the day following the Feast of Tabernacles: the eighth day of new beginning:
"The feast of Tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord" (v. 34).
"Seven days ye shall offer an offering . . . On the EIGHTH day shall be an holy convocation . . . It is a solemn assembly . . ." (v. 36).
In John 7 is a record of the last Feast of Tabernacles that was kept before Moses' Law was nailed to the cross and forever done away.
"In the last day, the Great Day of the Feast, Jesus stood up and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him COME UNTO ME and drink" (v. 37).
A call to leave the passing-away shadows, and come to the great reality. We can picture what a commotion this would cause.
This "Great Day" was the culminating eighth day that closed the Mosaic yearly cycle: the Atzereth, the "closing ceremony." Little did Israel realize the significance of THAT DAY. The Mosaic cycle, after one thousand five hundred revolutions, had run its course for the last time.
As the next cycle began, with the Passover of the next year, the true Passover Lamb himself fulfilled in one-time reality the age-old and oft-repeated shadowy type, and the shadows forever vanished away.
The Jews carried on robot-like with the dead rituals for another thirty-seven years, until reality was forced upon them by the terrible events of AD 70.
And there will truly be memorial Passover and memorial Feast of Tabernacles in the Kingdom of God (Eze. 45:21-25), but under the new Abrahamic covenant, not the old Mosaic-
"Not according to the covenant, saith the Lord, that I made with their fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt" (Jer. 31:31; Heb. 8:8).
That New Eternal Covenant has been confirmed by the blood of the true Passover Lamb. ** Bro Growcott - Yahweh's Appointed Times