Numbers 28 -- 29
The Israelites' New Year's Day (civil year) began in the Fall with the Feast of Trumpets: On the first day of the seventh month . . . you shall do no servile (daily) work (Numbers 29:1). This joyous day of blowing the trumpets was followed 10 days later by the solemn Day of Atonement. This was followed by the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths), which was also called the Feast of Ingathering because the work in the fields was finished and the time had come for the people to rest from their labors. It was a time of great rejoicing and lasted for seven days, from the 15th to the 21st of Tishri (Sept/Oct) (Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 23:33-44). It was followed by an eighth day of holy convocation on the 22nd which, though closely connected with the Feast of Tabernacles, was not a part of that feast for the people no longer lived in "booths."
The Feast of Tabernacles was the last Feast of the religious year. For seven days, all the residents of Israel dwelt in temporary booths (shelters) as an annual reminder of the time when they dwelt in tents during the 40 years in the wilderness. The trees used for these temporary dwellings also had symbolic meanings. The fig tree provided shade, as well as reminding the people of the Lord's protection and provision. The palm was the emblem of victory and the olive tree was a symbol of peace and God's presence (Nehemiah 8:15). The willow tree of the brook signified a thriving and blessed people planted by the rivers of water (Psalms 1:3).
It was during this observance many years later that Jesus pointed out to the people that He was the fulfillment of this Feast. While the sacrifices for this day were being prepared at the Temple, a priest, accompanied by a procession of music and the people, went down to the Pool of Siloam. There the priest filled a golden pitcher with water, which he brought back to the Temple and poured into a silver bowl. Gold is symbolic of God and silver is symbolic of truth. The people knew that this ceremony foreshadowed God pouring out His blessing from Heaven by the coming of the Messiah (the Son of David). At that very moment two thousand years later on the last day, that great day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and drink (John 7:37). Thus the Lord, as another evidence of His being the Messiah, turned the thoughts of the people away from the ritual water to Himself, the Living Water.
There were more animal sacrifices at this Feast than all of the others. The first day, there were 13 sacrificed. The number of bullocks sacrificed decreased each day during the next seven days. At the holy convocation, on the eighth day, just one bullock was sacrificed. This foretold how the many sacrifices of the Law would one day be reduced to only One Sacrifice, Christ the Lamb of God (John 1:29; Romans 5:11).
The life of a Christian is a journey much like that of the Israelites through the wilderness. It should be a great adventure of going on with the Lord into deeper experiences and greater faith. With the Apostle Paul, let us each say: I press (on) toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).
By the tabernacles (booths) (Numbers 29:12-39; Leviticus 23:34). And the Word (Christ) was made flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1:14). The Greek word translated "dwell" means to "tabernacle or live in a tent."
29:6 month means new moon; 29:7 ye shall afflict your souls: ye shall not do any work therein means you shall have a day of no work, but one of solemn fasting, soul searching, prayer, and repentance of all known sin.
Government Official: Rep. James Barcia (MI) · Pray for Carl and Joyce Main, Cadence International · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in memory of Lucille Shade · Country: Venezuela (23 million) on the northern coast of South America · Major languages: Spanish and Indian dialects · Religious freedom · 94% Roman Catholic; 1% Protestant; 1% Indian pagan religions · Prayer Suggestion: Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him (Psalms 37:7).
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