The Feast of Tabernacles

Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:

God wanted His people in Jerusalem to witness when Jesus was born. He wanted people to be there to witness His sons death on the Passover. He also wanted people to be in Jerusalem to witness when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Feast of Pentecost. These times were His divine appointed times and He had a purpose for these events He wanted us all to know. This will be pointed out in the definition of ‘feast’ which is later in this study.

Josepheous recorded that 2 1/2 million people would be there during the time of the festivals. This is not counting the priests, who offered the sacrifices among their other priestly duties.

Luke 1: 5 ¶ There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zechariahs, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

What is the course of Abia and what does it mean?

During the time of King David’s reign, he had the priest’s duties divided into 24 separate groups of about 1,000 each. This is all explained in the book of 1 Chronicles, chapter 24. Zechariah (z’kharyah), whose name means, “Yahweh remembers”, was a Jewish priest who was a minister of God who worked in the temple, managing it’s upkeep and teaching the people the scriptures and directing the worship services which always included the sacrifices, as well as other priestly duties. He was married to Elizabeth (elisheva, whose name means “His oath”) who was also the daughter of a priestly line. Zechariah was a member of the Abijah division on duty during the week that is mentioned here in Luke. In the morning, the priest would enter the Holy Place in the temple and burn incense. The incense was offered daily before the morning sacrifice at about 9 AM, and after the evening sacrifice, about 3 PM in the afternoon. It was probably the evening offering that was assigned to Zacharias.

Lots were cast to decide who would enter the sanctuary, and one day the lot fell to Zechariah. It was not by chance that the lot fell to him. They threw the lots, it was always up to God how they landed., so this may have even been a once in a lifetime experience that Zechariah served in the Holy Place at this time of the year, when the angel of the Lord ( Gabriel) appeared to him to tell him that God had heard the prayers of his wife Elizabeth, for a child and that she would soon bear a son and give him the name of John. (John the Baptist) After four hundred years – God’s silence was broken. Zechariah was standing next to the altar of Incense when all of this happened. Silence fell upon Zechariah.

What we do not want to miss is that God often calls upon His chosen while they are busy with their daily tasks. Moses and David were called while they were caring for the sheep; Gideon was called while he was busy threshing wheat; Peter and his partners were called while mending nets; and Paul was on a business trip out of town when he got called upon. God guides the events of history and He was at this time, preparing the way for Jesus to come to the earth.

Psalm 89:34-37 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. {that…: Heb. if I lie} His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.

According to David’s guidelines, each division served at the temple twice a year and at the major holidays. Fifty-six priests from one of the divisions served each day. It has been estimated that there were as many as 8,000 to 18,000 priests throughout Israel at that time. During the festivals, all the priest would minister together. Passover begins the first month of the Hebrew calendar. The first week is the first course of April and the second week would be the second course and so on, all having different names. Zechariahs and Elizabeth were both descendants of the Levitical priestly line. The Holy Spirit tells us through Luke in chapter 1 that God considered both of them to be righteous individuals. It was this righteous couple that God had chosen to break through His silence and keep his oath to David that His dynasty will go on forever; his kingdom will endure as the sun and that it would be as eternal as the moon, because God is the faithful witness in the sky. We must not forget as well that the mother of John the Baptist was the first person mentioned in the New Testament that was filled with the Holy Spirit of God and the first women of faith, recognized in scripture, even when her husband did not have faith in God and was struck dumb because of his disbelief, and could not speak until John was given his name after his birth.

Luke 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

Luke 1:24-25 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men

Chronicles 24:1-3 ¶ Now these are the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children: therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest’s office. And David distributed them, both Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices in their service.

Every one of these courses ministered its week from Sabbath to Sabbath. The course which went out did not depart till the Sabbath was over, and that which came in, entered when it began. They served a week only at a time, so that the attendance of each course was required twice in the year. Eleazar’s descendants were divided into sixteen groups and Ithamar’s into eight, because there were more family leaders among the descendants of Eleazar.

1st Chronicals 24:4-6 And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar; and thus were they divided. Among the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen chief men of the house of their fathers, and eight among the sons of Ithamar according to the house of their fathers. Thus were they divided by lot, one sort with another; for the governors of the sanctuary, and governors of the house of God, were of the sons of Eleazar, and of the sons of Ithamar. And Shemaiah the son of Nethaneel the scribe, one of the Levites, wrote them before the king, and the princes, and Zadok the priest, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and before the chief of the fathers of the priests and Levites: one principal

All tasks were assigned to the various groups by means of sacred lots so that no preference would be shown, because there were many qualified officials serving God in the sanctuary from among the descendants of both Eleazar and Ithamar. Shemaiah son of Nethanel, a Levite, acted as secretary and wrote down the names and assignments in the presence of the king and the officials, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech son of Abiathar, and the family leaders of the priests and Levites. It was the descendants of Eleazar and Ithamar who took turns casting lots. Eleazar was the first-born of Aaron so Ithamar’s family was the second in order so it was one of the principal families of Eleazar that was first taken, and then one of Ithamar’s, and then alternately till all was finished.

1st Chronicals 24:7-18

The first lot fell to Jehoiarib.
The second lot fell to Jedaiah.
The third lot fell to Harim.
The fourth lot fell to Seorim.
The fifth lot fell to Malkijah.
The sixth lot fell to Mijamin.
The seventh lot fell to Hakkoz.
The eighth lot fell to Abijah.

(Eighth, which by the way the

number of new beginnings)

The ninth lot fell to Jeshua.
The tenth lot fell to Shecaniah.
The eleventh lot fell to Eliashib.
The twelfth lot fell to Jakim.

The thirteenth lot fell to Huppah.
The fourteenth lot fell to Jeshebeab.
The fifteenth lot fell to Bilgah.
The sixteenth lot fell to Immer.
The seventeenth lot fell to Hezir.
The eighteenth lot fell to Happizzez.
The nineteenth lot fell to Pethahiah.

The twentieth lot fell to Jehezkel.

The twenty-first lot fell to Jakin.
The twenty-second lot fell to Gamul.
The twenty-third lot fell to Delaiah.
The twenty-fourth lot fell to Maaziah.

1st Chronicals 24:19 These were the orderings of them in their service to come into the house of the LORD, according to their manner, under Aaron their father, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded him.

Passover week: beginning the second Sabbath in Nisan (March-April).

1st course: Sabbath to Sabbath 1st week of April Jehoiarib

2nd course 2nd week of April Sabbath to Sabbath Jedaiah

3rd course – Week long feast of un-leaven bread Sabbath to Sabbath Harim

4th course 4th week of April Sabbath to Sabbath Seorim

5th course 1st week of May Sabbath to Sabbath Malkijah

6th course 2nd week of May Sabbath to Sabbath Mijamin.

7th course 3rd week of May Sabbath to Sabbath Hakkoz

Pentecost week: beginning the first Sabbath in Sivan Aprox May-June depending on a leap year.

8th course 4th week of May Sabbath to Sabbath Abijah

The Course of Abijah, Zechariah was serving in the last week of May beginning on the Sabbath that began the Feast of Pentecost

9th week: Feast of Pentecost 1st week of June Sabbath to Sabbath Jeshua Pentecost ended.

Luke 1: 10-11 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

The whole multitude was there at the Feast of Pentecost. Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:

Luke  1:6-7 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

Luke 1:24-26 And after those days (After he finished his course) his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

(1) (2) (3)

Taking us to the end of November: June to July- July to August- August to September-

(4) (5)

September to October October to November (five months) second week of November

We also know that Elizabeth carried her child to it’s full term. Luke 1:57 ¶ Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.

Full time tells us that Elizabeth’s child came at the appointed time, which means 38 weeks of gestation.

Luke 1:26-27 ¶ And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.


November to December

The end of December , Mary conceives. It takes 9 months to carry a child, (Normal human gestation period is considered to be 38 weeks from conception.) which takes us to the end of September, first of October: Feast of Tabernacles. Emanuel… God with us! Have we not read in the book of John?

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The word dwelt is skenoo, pronounced skay-no’-o in Greek which means to tent or encamp, i.e. (figuratively) to occupy (as a mansion) or (specially), to reside (as God did in the Tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion):– dwell. Of course we have reason to rejoice !

Deuteronomy 16:14 And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.

God wanted the whole house to rejoice. All peoples of the earth!

Psalms 113 through 118 are the ‘Psalms of Hal’ El’ which is Hallelujah = Hebrew meaning Praise Ye. These Psalms are Sung during the Feast of Tabernacles.

Psalm 118:14-15 The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation <y@shuw`ah> is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.

Psalm 118:21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.

The word salvation in these Psalms is <y@shuw`ah> in Hebrew. Do you see that? Yah’shua

Psalm 118:24 This is ‘the day which the LORD hath made‘; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (His birthday is ‘the day’ that the Lord hath made) Yahoo, it’s a birthday party!

Luke 2: 8-11 ¶ And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

‘great joy to all people’

Luke 2:13-14 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

We can imagine thousands of little hut like creations of succah’s all over Jerusalem , all over the Mount of Olives with aprox 2 1/2 million Hebrew celebrating. The festival of sukot (Tabernacles) would cause every inn to be full, and the shepherds abiding in their fields watching over their flocks could have also been in succah’s too. The Bible does not tells us that they were, but this is the rainy season in Jerusalem.

In the book of Exodus, the tabernacle began to be built on the Feast of Tabernacle. This is where God dwelt by His Spirit.

Luke 2:6-7 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

“The days were accomplished that she should be delivered” These words confirm to us that Mary, like Elizabeth, carried her child to full term.

People were there in Jerusalem in the droves during this time: The Feast lasted eight days.

Swaddling clothes: in the Greek is sparganoo, pronounced spar-gan-o’-o which means: (a strip; from a derivative of the base of 4682 meaning to strap or wrap with strips); to swathe (an infant after the Oriental custom):–wrap in swaddling clothes.

The wicks in the tabernacle were the used and worn out garments of the priests, torn in strips. So Yah’shua was wrapped in priestly garments.

Luke 2:21 ¶ And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

So on the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles, we find Yah’shua in the temple, shedding his blood confirming His covenant with Abraham.

We have been taught that the Feasts are for the Jews but when we read the truth, it says this:

Leviticus 23:1-2 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My feasts.

If we are children of the Lord God of Israel, these days are to be holy convocations celebrating the ‘feasts of the Lord‘. He said… “even these are my feasts”.

The word feast may make us think of food, but the word in Hebrew is mow`ed, pronounced mo-ade’ which means moled {mo-ade’}; or (feminine) moweadah (2 Chronicles 8:13) {mo-aw-daw’}; properly, an appointment, i.e. a fixed time or season; specifically, a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand):–appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn(-ity), synogogue, (set) time (appointed).

It is a divine appointment.

The word mow’ed comes from the root word ya`ad, pronounced yaw-ad’ which means to fix upon (by agreement or appointment); by implication, to meet (at a stated time), to summon (to trial), to direct (in a certain quarter or position), to engage (for marriage): -agree,(maxke an) appoint(-ment,a time), assemble (selves), betroth, gather (selves, together), meet (together), set (a time).

Now lets look at what happened about a month after the birth of Jesus?

Luke 2:22-24 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

If we look at the truth of what was supposed to be offered after the days of purification , after the birth of a child, we can look in Leviticus 12: 6-8 we read this: ¶ And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest: Who shall offer it before the LORD, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female. And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.

A lamb of the first year… AND a young pigeon or a turtle dove, for a sin offering. If she is not able to bring a lamb.. she could bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering. Evidently the kings had not arrived yet to bring Him the gold, myrrh and frankincense. We do not know why Joseph & Mary did not bring with them a lamb, but what we do know is that right there in her arms, she held ‘The Lamb of God’

I would not know how to go about proving this but because He is the Lord of the Sabbath, It is of my own opinion that Yah’shua was born at the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles, which would be the Sabbath and was circumcised at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles on the Sabbath, on the eighth day.

Luke 2:21 ¶ And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

There are two interesting side notes that might be pointed to. They are only pointed to as possibilities.

It is possible that because Mary’s conception was in the vicinity month’s Nov/Dec, it is possible that perhaps her conception is during Chanukah (the dedication of the Temple celebration, a.k.a. the feast of lights)

It is interesting to note that John the Baptizer, could have possibly been born during Passover, the other eight day feast. All of these “coincidences” are possible if Zechariah is serving in the Temple during Pentecost and I believe that he is.


About eudoranachand

A Spirit filled disciple who continually seeks His kingdom and His righteousness.
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