(e.g. john 8 32)

Leviticus 23:43  (King James Version)

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<< Leviticus 23:42   Leviticus 23:44 >>

Leviticus 23:40-43

The Feast of Tabernacles is different from the other festivals in that God commands that we live that week in "tabernacles" (tents), "booths" (impermanent structures), or other temporary dwellings. It is no longer required that we gather boughs of the specific trees of the Holy Land to make booths, but we do travel to another place—a Feast site arranged by the church in advance—and live in campgrounds, motels, or hotels. By this, God teaches us that, like the Israelites who lived in tents in the wilderness, Christians are pilgrims on the way to their own Promised Land, the Kingdom of God.

Of course, going away for a week or so costs money. God made provision for this in His law by commanding that we set aside a festival tithe—most often called the "second tithe"—to pay for our transportation, food, housing, and other needs during the holy days, particularly at the Feast of Tabernacles. God's instruction on this is found in Deuteronomy 14:22-26. While new Christians may see it as a burden, this second tithe is a great blessing from God, allowing us to keep and enjoy His feasts properly and to receive a foretaste of the blessings of His Kingdom.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
How Do We Keep God's Festivals?

Leviticus 23:40-43

Deuteronomy 16:15 uses an even stronger phrase in relation to rejoicing and the feasts: "so that you [shall, KJV] surely rejoice." The wording is so strong we might be misled into thinking it is to be one big blast! Make no mistake, He desires us to rejoice, but He wants us to rejoice with purpose. If we are not rejoicing with His purpose in mind, we will have merely titillated our senses.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Preparing for the Feast

Leviticus 23:42-43

A spiritual lesson of booths is that despite the Israelites' weak position while wandering the wilderness, God supplied all their needs. The booths are a memorial of God's grace, care, and protection on our pilgrimage.

A stiff wind could flatten a booth or at the very least blow the leaves away, exposing the interior to the elements and leaving the inhabitants at their mercy. Even as the booth appears to be a symbol of privation, it also seems to be a symbol of weakness and vulnerability. However, the opposite is true because of what God did.

"And there will be a tabernacle [booth] for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain" (Isaiah 4:6). The context is a prophecy that shows Zion becoming a place of refuge, a secure retreat in time of trouble. A booth's use depends on the situation. In the wilderness, the booth provided adequate shelter because God was always overseeing the protection and care of His people. The booth thus symbolizes the plenteous fullness of God's providence.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Preparing for the Feast

Leviticus 23:42-43

To some, living in booths may suggest privation or a lack of amenities. But privation is not associated with rejoicing. Notice the wording in Leviticus 23:40: "fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook." This implies, not a ramshackle hovel, but the best and most beautiful shelter that could be constructed under the circumstances. Think of this in terms of hotels: We can hardly say hotels are austere, and we are in great privation. No, the first purpose of booths is to teach temporariness, impermanence, and vanity.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Preparing for the Feast

Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Leviticus 23:43:

Deuteronomy 14:22-23
1 Kings 12:28-33


<< Leviticus 23:42   Leviticus 23:44 >>

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