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©Michael Player

Chapter 16:13-17 (ESV)

Posted on March 05, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 16:13-17 (ESV) - “You shall keep the Feast of Booths seven days, when you have gathered in the produce from your threshing floor and your winepress. You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns. For seven days you shall keep the feast to the LORD your God at the place that the LORD will choose, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.

“Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God at the place that he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths. They shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God that he has given you.

Question to consider: What do you think the booths represent for this festival?

The Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Booths were the three times a year that the men were required to journey to Jerusalem to participate in the different offerings and feasts. Christ Himself was the fulfillment of the unleavened bread, and the offering from the winter harvest pointed to Israel being redeemed from the affliction of slavery and the world being redeemed from sin through the affliction of Christ.

As we studied yesterday, the Feast of Weeks was fulfilled at the giving of the Holy Spirit after Christ’s Ascension to the right hand of the Father. Those who were redeemed at this Pentecost were the firstfruits of Christ’s church.

When we think of “Booths”, we think of makeshift displays at a business conference or huts in the middle of a shopping mall where they sell mobile phones. However, we should instead think of them as tents or dwellings. The Feast of Booths took place at the end of the Fall harvest when the grapes were being pressed into wine and when the chaff was being threshed from the wheat and thrown into the fire. It was a celebration for God’s provision and a remembrance of God’s caring for Israel in the wilderness.

These images are also a type and shadow of the kingdom of God. When Christ was on His way to Jerusalem for the final Passover with His disciples, He said to them, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3) I think the ESV misses the mark on this translation because what they translate as “rooms” is more like mansions, and the Father’s house is more like a “household”.

This image of all of the “house” of Israel gathering in the city of Jerusalem and dwelling together during the Feast of Booths looked forward to all of God’s people in the New Jerusalem eternally dwelling with God. The most shocking prophetic image of the Feast of Booths was given to us in Zechariah 14, “Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths.” (Zechariah 14:16) All of the nations, even ones like Egypt who were sworn enemies of Israel, would be a part of this dwelling. So the ultimate fulfillment of the Feast of Booths is the salvation of people from every tribe and nation dwelling eternally with God.

During each of the seven days, there was an offering by fire, and on the eighth day, there was a public ceremony and burnt offering. The eighth day is called Hoshanna Rabba (The Great Hosanna. In case you don’t know, hosanna means salvation or “save us”). Our great salvation occurred on the 8th day, the day of the new creation when Christ became the first born of the resurrection. So these three pilgrimage holidays point us to Christ’s sacrifice, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and our eternal dwelling in the new creation with the Father.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for our Great Salvation in Christ. We look forward to the day when we can dwell with You in Your kingdom. Until that time comes, may the body and blood of Christ strengthen and preserve us and Your word help us to stand firm in the faith. Amen.