12 May 2017 Bible Reading
Today’s reading in John 7 mentions the Feast of Booths, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles. The Hebrew for it is Sukkot. It was celebrated on the 15th day of Tishrei, which, based on the lunar calendar, occurs sometime between late September and late October in our calendar. It was one of the three festivals that Jews traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate.
The feast lasted seven days. The Hebrew word sukkot simply means booth, tabernacle or tent. It usually had a simple frame structure forming walls and was covered with plant material, such as palm leaves. It was intended to remind the Jews of the simple and temporary housing they used during the Wilderness Wandering. During the feast, the Jews sleep and take their meals inside the sukkot.
1 Samuel 12-13:22
12 Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, I have listened to your voice in all that you said to me, and have made a king over you. 2 Now, behold, the king walks before you. I am old and gray-headed. Behold, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my youth to this day. 3 Here I am. Witness against me before Yahweh, and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Of whose hand have I taken a ransom to make me blind my eyes? I will restore it to you.”
4 They said, “You have not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither have you taken anything from anyone’s hand.”
5 He said to them, “Yahweh is witness against you, and his anointed is witness today, that you have not found anything in my hand.”
They said, “He is witness.” 6 Samuel said to the people, “It is Yahweh who appointed Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt. 7 Now therefore stand still, that I may plead with you before Yahweh concerning all the righteous acts of Yahweh, which he did to you and to your fathers.
8 “When Jacob had come into Egypt, and your fathers cried to Yahweh, then Yahweh sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt, and made them to dwell in this place.
9 “But they forgot Yahweh their God; and he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them. 10 They cried to Yahweh, and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken Yahweh, and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve you.’ 11 Yahweh sent Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you lived in safety.
12 “When you saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us;’ when Yahweh your God was your king. 13 Now therefore see the king whom you have chosen, and whom you have asked for. Behold, Yahweh has set a king over you. 14 If you will fear Yahweh, and serve him, and listen to his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of Yahweh, then both you and also the king who reigns over you are followers of Yahweh your God. 15 But if you will not listen to Yahweh’s voice, but rebel against the commandment of Yahweh, then Yahweh’s hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
16 “Now therefore stand still and see this great thing, which Yahweh will do before your eyes. 17 Isn’t it wheat harvest today? I will call to Yahweh, that he may send thunder and rain; and you will know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in Yahweh’s sight, in asking for a king.”
18 So Samuel called to Yahweh; and Yahweh sent thunder and rain that day. Then all the people greatly feared Yahweh and Samuel.
19 All the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to Yahweh your God, that we not die; for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for a king.”
20 Samuel said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. You have indeed done all this evil; yet don’t turn aside from following Yahweh, but serve Yahweh with all your heart. 21 Don’t turn aside to go after vain things which can’t profit or deliver, for they are vain. 22 For Yahweh will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased Yahweh to make you a people for himself. 23 Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against Yahweh in ceasing to pray for you: but I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 24 Only fear Yahweh, and serve him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you. 25 But if you keep doing evil, you will be consumed, both you and your king.”
13 Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty-two years. 2 Saul chose for himself three thousand men of Israel, of which two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in the Mount of Bethel, and one thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. He sent the rest of the people to their own tents. 3 Jonathan struck the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba: and the Philistines heard of it. Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear!” 4 All Israel heard that Saul had struck the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel was had in abomination with the Philistines. The people were gathered together after Saul to Gilgal. 5 The Philistines assembled themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude. They came up and encamped in Michmash, eastward of Beth Aven. 6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in trouble (for the people were distressed), then the people hid themselves in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in tombs, and in pits. 7 Now some of the Hebrews had gone over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead; but as for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. 8 He stayed seven days, according to the time set by Samuel; but Samuel didn’t come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. 9 Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering to me here, and the peace offerings.” He offered the burnt offering.
10 It came to pass that as soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him. 11 Samuel said, “What have you done?”
Saul said, “Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you didn’t come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines assembled themselves together at Michmash; 12 therefore I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down on me to Gilgal, and I haven’t entreated the favor of Yahweh.’ I forced myself therefore, and offered the burnt offering.”
13 Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of Yahweh your God, which he commanded you; for now Yahweh would have established your kingdom on Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom will not continue. Yahweh has sought for himself a man after his own heart, and Yahweh has appointed him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept that which Yahweh commanded you.”
15 Samuel arose, and went from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. Saul numbered the people who were present with him, about six hundred men. 16 Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people who were present with them, stayed in Geba of Benjamin; but the Philistines encamped in Michmash. 17 The raiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned to the way that leads to Ophrah, to the land of Shual; 18 another company turned the way to Beth Horon; and another company turned the way of the border that looks down on the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness. 19 Now there was no blacksmith found throughout all the land of Israel; for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears”; 20 but all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, each man to sharpen his own plowshare, mattock, ax, and sickle. 21 The price was one payim each to sharpen mattocks, plowshares, pitchforks, axes, and goads. 22 So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan; but Saul and with Jonathan his son had them.
7 After these things, Jesus was walking in Galilee, for he wouldn’t walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. 2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to him, “Depart from here, and go into Judea, that your disciples also may see your works which you do. 4 For no one does anything in secret, and himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, reveal yourself to the world.” 5 For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.
6 Jesus therefore said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7 The world can’t hate you, but it hates me, because I testify about it, that its works are evil. 8 You go up to the feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, because my time is not yet fulfilled.”
9 Having said these things to them, he stayed in Galilee. 10 But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly, but as it were in secret. 11 The Jews therefore sought him at the feast, and said, “Where is he?” 12 There was much murmuring among the multitudes concerning him. Some said, “He is a good man.” Others said, “Not so, but he leads the multitude astray.” 13 Yet no one spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews. 14 But when it was now the middle of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and taught. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How does this man know letters, having never been educated?”
16 Jesus therefore answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone desires to do his will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is from God, or if I am speaking from myself. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. 19 Didn’t Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill me?”
20 The multitude answered, “You have a demon! Who seeks to kill you?”
21 Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel because of it. 22 Moses has given you circumcision (not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a boy. 23 If a boy receives circumcision on the Sabbath, that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me, because I made a man completely healthy on the Sabbath? 24 Don’t judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
25 Therefore some of them of Jerusalem said, “Isn’t this he whom they seek to kill? 26 Behold, he speaks openly, and they say nothing to him. Can it be that the rulers indeed know that this is truly the Christ? 27 However we know where this man comes from, but when the Christ comes, no one will know where he comes from.”
28 Jesus therefore cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, “You both know me, and know where I am from. I have not come of myself, but he who sent me is true, whom you don’t know. 29 I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”
A Song. A Psalm by David.
108 My heart is steadfast, God.
I will sing and I will make music with my soul.
2 Wake up, harp and lyre!
I will wake up the dawn.
3 I will give thanks to you, Yahweh, among the nations.
I will sing praises to you among the peoples.
4 For your loving kindness is great above the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
5 Be exalted, God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth.
6 That your beloved may be delivered,
save with your right hand, and answer us.
7 God has spoken from his sanctuary: “In triumph,
I will divide Shechem, and measure out the valley of Succoth.
8 Gilead is mine. Manasseh is mine.
Ephraim also is my helmet.
Judah is my scepter.
9 Moab is my wash pot.
I will toss my sandal on Edom.
I will shout over Philistia.”
10 Who will bring me into the fortified city?
Who has led me to Edom?
11 Haven’t you rejected us, God?
You don’t go out, God, with our armies.
12 Give us help against the enemy,
for the help of man is vain.
13 Through God, we will do valiantly.
For it is he who will tread down our enemies.
4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but deceit in it crushes the spirit.