Vincent Word Studies - John 7:2 - 7:2

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Vincent Word Studies - John 7:2 - 7:2

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The Jews' feast of tabernacles

The Rev. brings out the defining force of the two articles: the feast of the Jews, the feast of tabernacles. This feast occurred in the early autumn (September or early October), and lasted for seven days. Its observance is commanded in Exo 23:16; Exo 34:22; Lev 23:39, Lev 23:42, Lev 23:43; Deu 16:13. Its significance was twofold. It was a harvest-home festival, and hence was called the Feast of Ingathering, and it comememorated the dwelling of Israel in tents or booths in the wilderness. Hence the name Feast of Booths or Tabernacles. The association of the latter event with harvest was designed to remind the people in their prosperity of the days of their homeless wandering, that their hearts might not be lifted up and forget God, who delivered them from bondage (Deu 8:12-17). Therefore they were commanded to quit their permanent homes and to dwell in booths at the time of harvest. The festival was also known as the Feast of Jehovah, or simply the Festival (Lev 23:39; 1Ki 8:2), because of its importance, and of being the most joyful of all festivals. At the celebration of the feast at Jerusalem booths were erected in the streets and squares and on the housetops. The Greek word for this feast, σκηνοπηγία, construction of tabernacles, occurs only here in the New Testament.