The Second Coming
Our first example of Tabernacles can be seen in Numbers:
Numbers 33:5 – and the sons of Israel journey from Rameses, and encamp in Succoth (YLT)
Numbers tells us Israel began their departure from Egypt heading towards Succoth. Succoth was their first camp. Succoth is Hebrew for “booths,” or “Feast of Tabernacles.” Booths were crude made huts that the Israelites made to camp out while in the wilderness. Symbolically, “booths” represent a temporary location or dwelling in the Age of Pentecost. However, it is not the final location. The destination is the Age of Tabernacles, where we will receive our final bodies.
Solomon built the first temple in 957 B.C. as seen in 2 Chronicles 4. Solomon then celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles:
2 Chronicles 5:12 – and the Levites, the singers, to all of them, to Asapha, to Heman, to Jeduthun, and to their sons, and to their brethren, clothed in white linen, with cymbals, and with psalteries, and harps, are standing on the east of the altar, and with them priests, to a hundred and twenty, blowing with trumpets – (YLT)
2 Chronicles 7:5 – and king Solomon sacrificeth the sacrifice of the herd, twenty and two thousand, and of the flock, a hundred and twenty thousand, and the king and all the people dedicate the house of God. (YLT)
As part of the celebration, there were 120 priests that blew trumpets and 120 sheep that were sacrificed. This is similar to a verse in Acts:
Acts 1:15 – And in these days, Peter having risen up in the midst of the disciples, said (the multitude also of the names at the same place was, as it were, an hundred and twenty,) (YLT)
There were 120 disciples at the fulfillment of Pentecost. So we can see 120 represents a fulfillment of an age. This proves that the feasts are not just physical, but have spiritual purpose and meaning.
The construction of the second temple started in 538 B.C. and finished in 515 B.C which is described in the book of Ezra. In 445 B.C., Nehemiah rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days (Neh. 6:14). Then Ezra celebrates the Feast of Tabernacles:
Nehemiah 8:1-3 – And all the people are gathered as one man unto the broad place that [is] before the water-gate, and they say to Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, that Jehovah commanded Israel. And Ezra the priest bringeth the law before the assembly, both of men and women, and every one intelligent to hear, on the first day of the seventh month, and he readeth in it before the broad place that [is] before the water-gate, from the light till the middle of the day, over-against the men, and the women, and those intelligent, and the ears of all the people [are] unto the book of the law. (YLT)
So Ezra began the celebration by reading the law on the 1st day of the seventh month. Before, the Feast of Tabernacles began on the 15th day of the month. Ezra started a new tradition by reading the law on the 1st. Also, look at this:
Deuteronomy 31:10-11 – and Moses commandeth them, saying, ‘At the end of the seven years, in the appointed time, the year of release, in the feast of booths, in the coming in of all Israel to see the face of Jehovah in the place which He chooseth, thou dost proclaim this law before all Israel, in their ears. (YLT)
This law states that people must hear the law, understand it, and respond to it, before the fulfillment of Tabernacles can be released. Ezra knew this, so that is why he read the law to those intelligent enough to understand. We see this by further reading in Nehemiah:
Nehemiah 8:8-12 – and they read in the book, in the law of God, explaining – so as to give the meaning, and they give understanding to the convocation. […] for all the people are weeping at their hearing the words of the law. […] And all the people go eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great joy, because they have understood concerning the words that they made known to them. (YLT)
From this passage we can tell that the law was relatively unknown before Ezra read it. This is partly due to the fact that while in Babylon, the people had to learn pagan ways instead of Christianity. It is similar in today’s society. There are few people that understand the truth about Christianity, especially when it comes to the Feast of Tabernacles. Now reading further into Nehemiah:
Nehemiah 8:13-18 – And on the second day have been gathered heads of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to act wisely concerning the words of the law. […] that the sons of Israel dwell in the booths in the feast, in the seventh month, […] And the people go out, and bring in, and make for themselves booths […] and they make a feast seven days, and on the eight day a restraint, according to the ordinance. (YLT)
So people were excited about the law, and built booths. Remember that booths represent the waiting place before entering the Age of Tabernacles. So 445 B.C. was the first time that people fully celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles in a biblically prescribed manner.
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