Atonement and Tabernacles: Leviticus 23:26-43

Leviticus 23:26‑43  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Leviticus 23:26-4326And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 27Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. 28And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. 30And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. 31Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath. 33And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 34Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord. 35On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 36Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. 37These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: 38Beside the sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the Lord. 39Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. 40And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. 41And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 23:26‑43)
The next feast is the day of atonement. It is beautiful to see in all this the perfect order we spoke of at the beginning. As soon as the church is taken home to glory, God will then begin His dealings with Israel as a nation again. The coming of the Lord will first call us to heaven and then, as we mentioned earlier, Israel will be called together “with a great sound of a trumpet” (Matthew 24:3131And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:31)) from their place as scattered among the nations; there will be a time of great national mourning and confession. It will be through the awful judgments of the tribulation period that they will finally be brought to the point where they will “afflict their souls” and own their guilt in crucifying their Messiah. They will be brought into the blessings of Christ’s atoning work, the value of which they have not seen as yet. Although the true “day of atonement” was when the Lord Jesus died on the cross, it will not be for them until the judgments of the tribulation bring them to repentance. We notice in our chapter that those who did not “afflict [their] souls” on that day were to be cut off from among the people. This would show us that those of Israel who do not, in that coming day, take the place of repentance and confession of guilt when Christ appears for their national deliverance, will be judged and cut off — not allowed to enter the blessings of the millennium on earth.
The Feast of Tabernacles
We now come to the last feast — the feast of tabernacles — which typifies the coming reign of Christ for one thousand years upon the earth. This is what we call the millennium. During this feast of tabernacles the children of Israel were to dwell in booths for seven days, just as in the millennium every man will sit down peacefully under his own vine and fig tree (Micah 4:44But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it. (Micah 4:4)). God will then cause them to rejoice under the blessings of His hand like the children of Israel were, in our chapter, to rejoice and praise God for all the blessings of the year that had just passed. In that wonderful time, which this feast typified, when the desert blossoms as the rose, and the earth yields her increase (Isaiah 35), when family life is happy and fruitful (Psalm 128), and when the people live in ease and abundance (Psalm 45:7-177Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 8All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. 9Kings' daughters were among thy honorable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir. 10Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; 11So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. 12And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall entreat thy favor. 13The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. 14She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. 15With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace. 16Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth. 17I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever. (Psalm 45:7‑17)) without any sickness (Isaiah 33:24; 65:17-2524And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity. (Isaiah 33:24)
17For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. 18But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. 19And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 20There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. 21And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. 24And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. 25The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 65:17‑25)
), then, as never before, Israel will praise the Lord out of a full heart.
This feast then had an eighth day — the great day of the feast — and this day looks on to new creation. The eighth day begins a new week, and it is figurative in Scripture of new creation. By the Spirit we now rejoice in this new creation, while faith looks on to “the day of God” when there will be a new heaven and a new earth where all will be suited to the mind and character of God forever — never to be ruined by sin again.
The Feast of the Jews
It is interesting to see the Lord Jesus at the Jews’ feast of tabernacles in John 7, standing up on that eighth day and calling, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.” The Lord’s feast had become a feast of the Jews, but now Christ was there as the One who alone could satisfy the longings of the heart and bring the promised blessings. Perhaps there were some at the feast who were not satisfied with these feasts of the Jews who would turn to Him and find in Him the fulfillment of all that the feasts typified. He was, and is, the blessed Antitype of them all.
For Further Meditation
1. What future event does the Feast of Tabernacles represent?
2. The Scriptures have a lot to say about the millennium. It will be a wonderful time of righteousness and peace on the earth. Do you know where the term “millennium” comes from? How many different scriptures can you find that refer to this future time period?
3. If you’ve never read Outline of Prophetic Events by B. Anstey, you are in for a treat. It presents the millennium and the scriptures related to it along with many, many other aspects of prophecy. You’ll find it provides a clear, readable outline of prophetic events along with hundreds of supporting scriptural references.