PERSEVERANCE IN the face of opposition is one of the lessons from our reading today. The Samaritans, Ammonites, and Arabs in Nehemiah’s day tried to discourage the Jews through threats, political pressure, and even a conspiracy to assassinate Nehemiah.
With the work completed, Ezra led the people in a reading of the Law and a restoration of the Feast of Tabernacles, which, we were surprised to learn, hadn’t been observed since the Exodus!
OUR STUDY this morning is very timely. We cover ritual “cutting” (bloodletting) to mourn the dead, jubilee years (the shemitah), dietary laws, and the three major feasts decreed by Yahweh for Israel: Unleavened Bread, Weeks, and Tabernacles (Booths), or Sukkot.
The Feast of Tabernacles begins at sundown tonight. Tonight also marks the fourth “blood moon” of this tetrad, which is a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses—coinciding with Jewish holidays—with six full moons in between, and no intervening partial lunar eclipses. What does it all mean?