Deuteronomy 16: 13-17 – The World Behind the Text

rootedchristThis week’s reading, ironically, will be the second time that we are studying the book of Deuteronomy. Our first time in this book dealt with the Shema, one of the most formative passages in all of the bible for the Jewish people.  This week we’ll be looking at the Festival of Booths and especially it’s connection with giving.

You can read our previous World Behind the Text of Deuteronomy by clicking here.

In the Biblical Jewish tradition there are seven (or eight, if you count the weekly Sabbath) festivals the people are commanded to keep

  1. Passover – remember how God freed the people from Egypt
  2. Unleavened Bread – remembers the hurried escape and the effect of sin
  3. First Fruits – remembers God’s promise of the Promised Land
  4. Rosha Hannan – New Year, a day of confession and renewal
  5. Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement, a day of confession of sin and atonement, both collectively and individually
  6. Pentecost – a harvest festival, remembering the gathering of wheat and God’s provision
  7. Booths – a harvest festival, remembering God’s provision and His care especially during the wilderness. The people would construct a booth or tabernacle to sleep in during this festival to remember.

This week’s reading will be based around the festival of Booths (or Tabneackesl), called Sukkot in Hebrew.  This is about remembering that our gifts, our life, our very survival is not because of us, but it is because of God’s provision.

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