Feast of Illumination

At the close of the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the worshippers descended to the Court of the Women, where great preparations had been made. Four golden candelabras were there, each with four golden bowls, and against them rested four ladders; and four youths of priestly descent held, each a pitcher of oil, capable of holding one hundred and twenty log, from which they filled each bowl.

The old, worn breeches and girdles of the priests served for wicks to these lamps. There was not a court in Jerusalem that was not lit up by the light of ?the house of water-pouring.?

The ?Chassidim? and ?the men of Deed? danced before the people with flaming torches in their hands, and sang before them hymns and songs of praise; and the Levites, with harps, and lutes, and cymbals, and trumpets, and instruments of music without number, stood upon the fifteen steps which led down from the Court of Israel to that of the Women, according to the number of the fifteen Songs of Degrees in the Book of Psalms. They stood with their instruments of music, and sang hymns.

Two priests, with trumpets in their hands, were at the upper gate (that of Nicanor), which led from the Court of Israel to that of the Women. At cock-crowing they drew a threefold blast. As they reached the tenth step, they drew another threefold blast; as they entered the court itself, they drew yet another threefold blast; and so they blew as they advanced, till they reached the gate which opens upon the east (the Beautiful Gate).

As they came to the eastern gate, they turned round towards the west (to face the Holy Place), and said: ?Our fathers who were in this place, they turned their back upon the Sanctuary of Jehovah, and their faces toward the east, and they worshipped towards the rising sun; but as for us, our eyes are towards the Lord.?

from The Temple?Its Ministry and Services
Edersheim, Alfred (1825-1889) Chapter 14

So the whole city of Jerusalem was ablaze with light. - truly a city set on a hill.

The lighting was a reminder of the Shekinah Glory Light of God that filled Solomon's Temple at it's dedication during the feast of Tabernacles.

It is also a reminder of Isaiah's prophecy:
Isaiah 9:2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.

But it was all just a picture of the true light - that during a certain Feast of Tabernacles - was already in their midst.

It was during this feast that Jesus said:
John 8:12 "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Imagine Jesus speaking out loudly in the midst of this incredible illumination ceremony. Proclaiming that He himself was the light that their celebration pointed to. The Pharisees and Priest were aghast - but the temple guards did not arrest him.

John 7:45 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, "Why didn't you bring him in?"
46"No one ever spoke the way this man does," the guards declared.

more on the feast later..........


free b2evolution skin

1 comment

Comment from: steph [Member]  

I’ve been reading your entries with relish and delight, always enjoying the way the ancient celebrations and rituals reflect the present reality of Christ. Thank you for posting the pictures of the Light, Barry.
Speaking of pictures, one of the things my daughter and I enjoy most is scrapbooking. We love pondering over the pictures of friends and family, and we cherish the warm memories of times spent together. But the pictures are not the reality, they merely point to the substance. It is so very interesting the way the customs and celebrations in the Old Testament point to the substance we find in the New. I thought about that last week when one of my students shared a poem about her homeland, Israel. Here is an excerpt from a poem she brought in, written by a poet named Nizar Kabbani:

“Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful, and your eyes will laugh.
Migrant piegons will return to your holy roofs and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.”

One day, Barry, we shall all meet in a new Jerusalem. The parents and the children, the brothers and the sisters, even (perhaps) the beloved creatures we’ve cared for here on this planet, and all nations will gather to meet on her shining streets of gold. We will walk with him, the Prince OF peace, and enjoy the fruit of TRUE life as the Holy One of Israel purposed from the start.

Bless you and shalom, brother.
Stephanie Bennett

10/03/04 @ 09:02