FEAST OF TABERNACLES
How is the festival that represents the sixth step in God's plan
to be observed?
"On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD's Feast of Tabernacles
begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly;
do no regular work ..." (Leviticus 23:34-35, NIV).
"Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the LORD your God in
the place [or places; Exodus 20:24; John 4:21] which the LORD chooses,
because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all
the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice" (Deuteronomy
The first time the Bible mentions the Feast of Tabernacles it is called
the Feast of Ingathering (Exodus 23:16). It was the great autumn harvest
festival that people from every corner of Israel came together to observe.
All during the harvest season they set aside animals and produce for this
special week of rejoicing. Everyone enjoyed an abundance of food, drink
It was also a commemoration of the peace and safety God had promised if
they would diligently obey Him. Notice the instructions He gave them:
"But when you cross over the Jordan and dwell in the land which the
LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest [peace]
from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety, then there
will be the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide.
There you shall bring all that I command you ... And you shall rejoice
before the LORD your God ..." (Deuteronomy 12:10-12). This festival
is a celebration of God's guidance, protection and blessings for His people.
Jesus Christ will give those same blessings even more abundantly to the
whole world when He returns and establishes His reign on earth. What ancient
Israel could enjoy for one week at the end of the fall harvest merely
represented what He will bring to all mankind when He assumes the role
of King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Will Christ insist that everyone observe the Feast of Tabernacles
after He returns?
"And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations
which came against Jerusalem shall 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 whichever of the families of the earth do not come up
to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will
be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they
shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD
strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations
that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles" (Zechariah
The joyful Feast of Ingathering represents the time during which God will
gather the great harvest of humanity into His family. First "all
Israel will be saved, as it is written: 'The deliverer will come from
Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob'" (Romans 11:26, NIV).
Then God will offer salvation to everyone. The prophet Daniel makes this
clear: "I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like
the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient
of Days . . . Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion
is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom
the one which shall not be destroyed" (Daniel 7:13-14).
How will knowledge of God's ways go to all nations?
"Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over
such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and
of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years" (Revelation
"In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established
as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples
will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, 'Come, let us go up
to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will
teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will
go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between
many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning
hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train
for war anymore" (Micah 4:1-3, NIV).
What other blessings will abound during Jesus' 1,000-year reign
"Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the
belt of His waist. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard
shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the
fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the
bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion
shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's
hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. 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"
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