Anticipating the Feast of Tabernacles

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 13
In Nehemiah and in Ezra we find the feast of tabernacles as an anticipation of the national resurrection to come. This same feast was also sketched out, as it were, with the branches and palms when Jesus entered Jerusalem when the crowds acknowledged Him as the Son of David and as King of Israel (Matthew 21:88And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. (Matthew 21:8); Mark 11:88And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. (Mark 11:8); John 12:1212On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, (John 12:12)). In Luke 19, we find neither palms nor branches; no doubt the disciples bless the king who is come in the name of the Lord, but they say, “Peace in heaven,” and not, “On earth peace” (Luke 2:1414Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14)), and in Luke we see Jesus weep over Jerusalem (Luke 19:4141And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, (Luke 19:41)). The true feast of tabernacles, the final feast, will not be celebrated until a time yet future, according to Zechariah 14:1616And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16), but at that time this feast will be preceded by the great day of atonement (Zech. 12:10-1410And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. 11In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. 12And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; 13The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; 14All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart. (Zechariah 12:10‑14)), which we do not find in Ezra or in Nehemiah or in the Gospels.
In a sense, we, who are Christians, can celebrate the feast of tabernacles as being the anticipated joy of glory, a “very great gladness” (Neh. 8:1717And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness. (Nehemiah 8:17)), or, as the Apostle Peter says, “Joy unspeakable and filled with [the] glory” (1 Peter 1:8 JND).
H. L. Rossier