The Feast Of Booths.
The Feast Of Booths (Tabernacles).
What it is, and where to observe it.
In the following verses we are not commanded to keep the Feast, we are given the instructions on to keep the Feast. It is assumed that all would be keeping it without question, the same as with the Sabbath. The question is not whether to keep it or not keep it, but how to keep it, and where. Our CREATOR is stating that when these days come around this is HOW you will treat them.
(Leviticus 23:33-36) (NKJV) 33Then the ETERNAL spoke to Moses, saying, 34Speak to the children of Israel, saying: The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the ETERNAL. 35On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the ETERNAL. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the ETERNAL. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.
Sacrifices are commanded as well as living in booths (Tabernacles), or in today's language, tents. By the definition of the word booth (Heb. cukkah) it is a temporary structure of anything from a simple shelter from the sun (as Jonah used) up to a tent with curtains to separate it into rooms.
(Leviticus 23:39-43) (KJV) 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 ETERNAL 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 ETERNAL your CREATOR seven days. 41And ye shall keep it a feast unto the ETERNAL 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 ETERNAL your CREATOR.
Verse forty-two states that "native Israelites" shall live in these temporary dwellings. The Living Bible and Moffatt state "all native Israelites," the Tanakh states "all citizens in Israel," the NRSV states "all that are citizens in Israel," and the Jerusalem Bible states "all that are home born in Yisra'el." Since sacrifices are not to be made while there is no Temple (see below), it seems safe to also say that living in self made booths (Tabernacles) is to only be done, when all 13 tribes of Israel, are reunited into a single nation back in their homeland. Only then, can they be again be considered as "native Israelites". Today's Israel is a nation in name only, as the lost 10 tribes are still scattered amongst the nations around the globe.
Before Israel crossed over the Jordan there were certain places where the ETERNAL placed His name. However, after crossing the Jordan He only placed it in one place, Jerusalem. In this next series of verses the Mighty One does not reveal the place, but states that in the place He picks, Israel is to rejoice before Him, as in His Feasts. He also states that sacrifices are to be made only in the chosen place.
(Deuteronomy 12:10-14) (NKJV) 10But when you cross over the Jordan and dwell in the land which the ETERNAL CREATOR is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety, 11then there will be the place where the ETERNAL CREATOR chooses to make His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to the ETERNAL. 12And you shall rejoice before the ETERNAL CREATOR, you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion nor inheritance with you. 13Take heed to yourself that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every place that you see, 14but in the place which the ETERNAL chooses, in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.
He made provisions for His name to be placed at a specific place within each tribe. However, due to the fact that Israel never did follow His laws fully that was never done and to date Jerusalem is the only place where He has placed His name. Thus, the Festival Tithe could only be consumed in Jerusalem when the glory of the ETERNAL was there, i.e. during the time of the first and third Temple. It states that in the place where He has placed His name, there we are to do all that He commands.
If it was to far the people could keep the Festival at home, but could not consume the Festival Tithe there:
(Deuteronomy 12:17-18) (NKJV) 17You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or your new wine or your oil, of the firstborn of your herd or your flock, of any of your offerings which you vow, of your freewill offerings, or of the heave offering of your hand. 18But you must eat them before the ETERNAL CREATOR in the place which the ETERNAL CREATOR chooses, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your gates. And you shall rejoice before the ETERNAL CREATOR in all to which you put your hands.
(Deuteronomy 12:21) (NKJV) If the place where the ETERNAL CREATOR chooses to put His name is too far from you, then you may slaughter from your herd and from your flock which the ETERNAL has given you; just as I have commanded you, and you may eat within your gates as much as your heart desires.
In the next series of verses the ETERNAL shows that the preferred method is to go to the chosen place. The Festival Tithe could be exchanged into money to make it easier to take with you to the place where He had chosen to place His name:
(Deuteronomy 14:23-26) (NKJV) 23And you shall eat before the ETERNAL CREATOR, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the ETERNAL CREATOR always. 24But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the ETERNAL CREATOR chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the ETERNAL CREATOR has blessed you, 25then you shall exchange it for money. Take the money in your hand, and go to the place, which the ETERNAL CREATOR chooses. 26And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the ETERNAL CREATOR, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.
The only place to date, that the ETERNAL has chosen to put His Name, was at the Temple in Jerusalem, that King Solomon had built. This is shown in King Solomon's prayer of dedication.
(1 Kings 8:29) (NKJV) that Your eyes may be open toward this Temple night and day, toward the place of which You said, 'My name shall be there', that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place.
We are to keep the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles) in the place the ETERNAL has chosen. That place is the Temple in Jerusalem where the ETERNAL has placed His name. However, since the first Temple no longer stands, and the third Temple has not been built, today we find ourselves in the same status that our forefathers were in, when they were taken captive into foreign lands. So the only guideline we can currently follow, is found in King Solomon's prayer of dedication.
(1 Kings 8:47-51) (NKJV) 47yet when they come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive, and repent, and make supplication to You in the land of those who took them captive, saying, 'We have sinned and done wrong, we have committed wickedness'. 48and when they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who led them away captive, and pray to You toward their land which You gave to their fathers, the city which You have chosen and the Temple which I have built for Your name: 49then hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. 50And forgive Your people who have sinned against You, and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You; and grant them compassion before those who took them captive, that they may have compassion on them 51for they are Your people and Your inheritance, whom You brought out of Egypt, out of the iron furnace.
Until the third Temple has been built we can not "offer sacrifices" or "booth" in His presence. We can gather in a location and commemorate the Feast but we cannot keep it or observe it before the ETERNAL as was intended. In King Solomon's dedication prayer he asked that in future days when Israel is in foreign countries if they repented of their sins and prayed toward their home land that the ETERNAL would hear their supplications and maintain their cause. Thus we can repent by obeying commandments and statutes as best as we are able. We, (present day Israelites of all 13 tribes), repent of worshiping 'g-ds' which the fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, did not know (i.e. a dead man hanging on a wooden cross). See the essay: "The Eternal's Test".
[a] All scriptural links point to the Bible Gateway, A Searchable Online Bible In Over 100 Versions And 50 Languages, located at "BibleGateway.Com", a vast biblical resource containing all the major texts and reference materials useful for in-depth bible studies. Most scriptual quotations are from the (KJV) of the Bible, however versions noted in (parentheses) should also be consulted. [b]All Strong's scriptural references point to the Blue Letter Bible Lexicon, located at "BlueLetterBible.Org", another vast biblical resource which has over 4,000,000 links available, pointing to more than 165,000 pages of concordances, lexicons, dictionaries, commentaries, images, and several Bible versions.
 See the article: "Where YHWH Placed His Name and Why".
 We will use the words Almighty, CREATOR, ETERNAL, Mighty One, or SOVEREIGN in place of the words 'God', 'Lord', 'Elohim' or 'El', when refering to the ONE and ONLY, ETERNAL CREATOR and SOVEREIGN of the universe. (Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 44:24):
(Isaiah 44:6) (CEB) The ETERNAL, Israel's king and redeemer, the SOVEREIGN of heavenly forces, says: I am the first, and I am the last, and besides me there are NO 'gods'.
(Isaiah 44:24) (AMP) Thus says the ETERNAL, your Redeemer, and He Who formed you from the womb: I am the CREATOR, Who made all things, Who alone stretched out the heavens, Who spread out the earth by Myself.