My good friend and fellow blogger, Peter Vest, has just posted one of those classic posts that gets me so excited I am about to jump out of my skin!!! Sometimes, this whole regathering of the Tent of David is so exciting I can’t sleep and just want to shout, “HalleluYah!!”
What the First Golah Community Forgot About Sukkot
by Peter Vest, Sunday, September 27, 2015
In the fifth century B.C.E., when a small group of Southern Kingdom exiles returned to Israel, they had mostly forgotten about the Torah. They had survived a great trampling, like grain on a threshing floor, but they had returned bruised and beaten and on the verge of cultural extinction. Like wheat separated from chaff, they had remained distinct up until that point. But now, having forgotten about the Torah, they had also forgotten about who they were. And so they had begun to intermarry with non-Jews at an alarming rate. It seemed as though the returnees from the Southern Kingdom (i.e. the Jewish People) would be annihilated via assimilation just as the Northern Kingdom had been:
“Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney,” Hosea 13:3
But G-d, abounding in mercy and love for His People, raised up Ezra (pictured above).
Ezra knew the cure for cultural amnesia: Sukkot–also known as a festival of ingathering (Exodus 23.14-16) which was appropriate given that G-d had “ingathered” the exiles like wheat from the threshing floor.
And Ezra recalled what Moshe said regarding the purpose of Sukkot:
“Moses wrote down this Teaching and gave it to the priests, sons of Levi, who carried the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, and to the elders of Israel.
And Moses instructed them as follows: Every seventh year, the year set for remission, at the Feast of Sukkot, when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God in the place which He will choose, you shall read this Teaching aloud in the presence of all Israel. Gather the people–men, women, children, and the strangers in your communities–that they may hear and so learn to revere the Lord your God and to observe faithfully every word of the Teaching. Their children, too, who have not had the experience, shall hear and learn to revere the Lord your God as long as they live in the land which you are about to cross the Jordan to occupy.” Deuteronomy 31.9-13.
“And he [Ezra] read from it [the Torah] facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law…. (Continue reading)
Halleluyah! Something good can come out of the UMJC … or, at least, someone affiliated with them.
It would appear they had long forgotten the observance of Sukkot by making booths. Even all the way back since Joshua:
Neh 8:17 And all the congregation of those who had come again out of the captivity made Sukkoths, and sat under the Sukkoths. For since the days of Joshua the son of Nun until that day, the sons of Israel had not done so. And there was very great gladness.
Interesting thing about Joshua, it’s where we see the first mention of Shiloh after the prophecy concerning Judah:
Jos 18:1 And all the company of the sons of Israel were gathered at Shiloh. And they established the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land had been subdued before them.
He also sounds a lot like Moses here:
Jos 23:14 And, behold! Today I am going in the way of all the earth, and you know with all your heart and with all your soul that there has not failed one thing of all the good things which YAHWEH your Elohim has spoken concerning you; all of it has come to you; there has not one thing failed of it.
Jos 23:15 And it shall be, as every good thing which YAHWEH your Elohim has spoken to you comes to you, so shall YAHWEH bring on you every evil thing, until He destroys you from off this good land which YAHWEH your Elohim has given to you,
Jos 23:16 when you transgress the covenant of YAHWEH your Elohim which He commanded you, and when you have gone and served other gods, and have bowed yourselves to them, then the anger of YAHWEH shall glow against you; and you shall perish quickly from off the good land which He has given to you.
Maybe its time to take a closer look at the book of Joshua as a prophetic pattern? Could be. After all, we see Him making a “New Covenant” as well:
Jos 24:22 And Joshua said to the people, You are witnesses against yourselves, that you have chosen YAHWEH for yourselves, to serve Him (for they said, We are witnesses).
Jos 24:23 And now turn away from the strange gods among you, and incline your heart to YAHWEH the Elohim of Israel.
Jos 24:24 And the people said to Joshua, We will serve YAHWEH our Elohim, and we will listen to His voice.
Jos 24:25 And Joshua cut a covenant with the people on that day, and laid on them a law and a statute in Shechem.
Jos 24:26 And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the Torah of Elohim, and took a great stone and raised it up there under the oak by the sanctuary of YAHWEH.
Jos 24:27 And Joshua said to all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the sayings of YAHWEH which He has spoken with us. And it shall be against you for a witness, that you not lie against your Elohim.