Yesterday we read about the offerings which were to be brought every day, for the Sabbath, the new moons, and the spring feast days. Today we read about the offerings which were to be brought for the fall feast days. On the Feast of Tabernacles, which is celebrated beginning on the 15th day of the 7th month, 13 bulls are to be brought for a burnt offering on the first day of the feast, then 12 bulls the next day, and so on through the week of celebration.
If someone were to count all the bulls that are offered as a burnt offering through the week of Tabernacles, the number would be 70 bulls. We have seen that number before! Noah had 70 grandsons and great- grandsons who became the seeds of the nations. There were 70 nations who rebelled against God at Babel.
Now why would God have Israel (these are the sacrifices the congregation are to bring) offer 70 bulls during the Feast of Tabernacles? Tabernacles is also a harvest festival, sometimes called the Feast of Ingathering. It is the final harvest of the year. The Feast of Firstfruits of the barley harvest celebrated the first harvest of the year, the barley harvest; the Feast of Weeks celebrated the wheat harvest (both in the spring), while the Feast of Ingathering celebrated the fruit harvest in the fall: grapes, figs, olives, that sort of thing.
Each of Israel’s harvest festivals are prophetic. Jesus compares the harvest, for example, to the harvest of souls waiting to brought into the kingdom:
After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Luk 10:1-2
Jesus sent out 70 disciples (hmmm, 70 … not a coincidence) to go before Him preaching the kingdom of heaven and healing the sick, and His first instruction to these 70 is about them being sent out as laborers into the Father’s harvest of souls. In fact do a search in the Gospels for the word “harvest” and see how often the harvest is likened to the end of the age!
The Feast of Tabernacles is the feast associated with the end of the age and the return of the Lord Jesus as a Bridegroom for His bride, who will be gathered from every nation (Rev 7:9-10). Every one of the 70 nations. Israel is to offer 70 bulls for the 70 nations, for Israel is the “intercessor” nation, the priestly nation, who fulfills for the nations the same duty that Aaron and his family fulfilled for the congregation of Israel – even though they are as yet unaware of God, until someone who is sent to them, as Jesus sent out His disciples, reveals Him to them.
Finding Messiah: God’s paragraph divisions in yesterday’s and today’s readings makes a strong paragraph division, dividing the instruction for the spring feast days, from the instruction for the fall feast days. The instructions for the spring feast days are combined by weak paragraph divisions, then the instructions for the fall feast days are likewise combined by weak paragraph divisions. This is just one of the many ways and places, that Scripture separates the feast days into spring celebrations, with three months of summer following, then fall celebrations. Three … a sign of Messiah.
In fact the Messiah came 1st, and fulfilled all the spring feast days on their day. He was crucified as the Passover Lamb of God on the day of Passover. He was raised from the dead with new life on the day of the Feast of the Firstfruits of the barley harvest, the first harvest festival of the year, as He was the firstfruits of the resurrections to come (1 Cor 15:20). And the Holy Spirit fell on the assembled believers on the day of the Feast of Weeks, the final feast day in the spring.
This is why many believe that He will fulfill all the prophecy of His 2nd coming, on the very days of the fall feast days: Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. I happen to think so also!
For further reading:
The numbers 70, 100, and 120 in Scripture – Brad Scott
The seven annual feast days bear witness
The harvest festivals (firstfruits, weeks, and tabernacles)