God’s Calendar: Tabernacles

Well, the Day of Atonement is gone.  I enjoyed the day – a day of complete rest without any of the usual activity, seeking God.  He did show me a couple things that have been sneaking into my life over the last year that need to be dealt with – that is one of the purposes of the day – so I am glad He showed me what He did.  If you observed the day, then I hope God met you also.

Next comes the ‘Feast of Tabernacles’ or ‘Feast of Booths’.   It is a seven day feast!  And, in the words of scripture, the first day, and on the eighth day are to be days of “solemn rest.”

“…that you generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.  I am Yehovah (the LORD) your God.”  Leviticus 23:43 (ESV)

The days are to be joyous celebrations.  There are two commands associated with the days.  One is to build and live in ‘booths’ (though that is specifically for “native Israelites”, anyone can join in the fun!), and the other is to ‘wave’ some stuff before the Yehovah.

“And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before Yehovah (the LORD) your God seven days.”  Leviticus 23:40 (ESV)

In Jewish tradition, the “4 species” to wave are an etrog, palm branches, myrtle, and willow.  Those are great if you can get them.  Often used substitutes are a lemon, corn stalk leaves, olive leaves, and willow.

The point is that you have a chance to be in the center of God’s perfect will by grabbing these items, and waving them around before Yehovah (and dancing if you like – I do).  It’s fun in a group or even alone!

An interesting point about the feast of Tabernacles is that it is the one feast explicitly mentioned that will be observed in the millennium.

“Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, Yehovah (the LORD) of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths…” Zecharaia 14:16-17 (ESV)

So get a early start and enjoy the feast now!  It starts, according to the Jewish calendar, at sunset on Sunday, the 23rd of Sept., 2018, and ends at nightfall on Sunday the 30th.  The final day (Saturday night to Sunday night, the 29th and the 30th) is known as “Hoshannah Rabbah” (sort of translated to “the Great Salvation” or “the Great Praise”).  Click this link to see an opinion on this day.

This leaves Sunday, the 30th to Monday night as the ‘eighth day’ and another ‘solemn day of rest’.  In Judaism, the day after this is celebrated quite vigorously as this is the day that the yearly cycle of reading through the Torah (1st 5 books of the Bible) ends and starts new.  Dancing and singing are part and parcel of the celebration!

Hope you join in the fun!

  • Yosef


6 thoughts on “God’s Calendar: Tabernacles

  1. May HaShem bless you in all your festivities. All His feast are a true source of joy, but this one may be my favorite. I think mostly because it puts the longing for Yeshua’s return in my heart. All the joys of the wedding feast of the lamb, and his return. Also because of it’s intended purpose of remembering the temporariness of our lives. All that we strive for and chase after and worry about will all pass as dust when we are all transformed. What a great message of hope. God really shows his love for us through these times. Baruch HaShem.

    1. For those that don’t understand this, I am following the traditional Jewish calendar for God’s appointed times (the feasts). This calendar was calculated and set many hundreds of years ago.

      The Biblical calendar is what I call a lunar-solar calendar; It is a lunar calendar that is resynched to the solar cycle at the beginning of each Biblical year. In Yeshua’s (Jesus’) time, the Sanhedrin would announce the beginning of a year, as well as the start of each month, according to the observations they did. This ended some time after the Temple was destroyed, and the Jews dispersed. Some rather brilliant Jews calculated the calendar, and that calendar is still used today. It is what I call the traditional Jewish calendar.

      Now, however, we (the Jews) inhabit the land (Israel) again. The beginning of the year and the beginning of each month can be, once again, controlled by observations in Israel. This leads to possible discrepancies between the traditional Jewish calendar and the Biblical calendar (no more then a month difference). On top of that, there is no absolutely clear explanation of how to determine the exact start of the new year (nor even for the months), leading to more possible discrepancy.

      jmshistorycorner is following the Biblical calendar also, just one that is based on different yearly observations in Israel. Which is great!

      I wouldn’t suggest to anyone that they try to determine the times themselves, or even follow some self-proclaimed calendar. There are a couple respected groups trying to determine when the year and months start, and those should be followed, or the traditional Jewish calendar.

      Either way, the important thing is to follow God’s calendar and learn what He has to teach us from the days!

      Shalom! – Yosef

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