Ellen G. White Writings

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From Eternity Past, Page 386

Chapter 52—Annual Feasts of Rejoicing

This chapter is based on Leviticus 23.

The people of Israel were surrounded by fierce, warlike tribes, eager to seize upon their lands; yet three times every year all the people who could make the journey were directed to leave their homes and repair to the place of assembly near the center of the land. What was to hinder their enemies from sweeping down on those unprotected households to lay them waste with fire and sword? What was to prevent an invasion that would bring Israel into captivity?

God had promised to be the protector of His people. “I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the Lord thy God thrice in the year.” Exodus 34:24.

The first of these festivals, the Passover, occurred in Abib, the first month of the Jewish year, corresponding to the last of March and the beginning of April. The cold of winter was past, the latter rain had ended, and all nature rejoiced in the freshness and beauty of springtime. The grass was green on the hills and valleys, and wild flowers everywhere brightened the fields. The moon, now approaching full, made the evening delightful.

Throughout the land, bands of pilgrims were making their way toward Jerusalem. The shepherds, the herdsmen, fishers from the Sea of Galilee, husbandmen from their fields, and sons of the prophets from the sacred schools—all turned their steps toward the place where God's presence was revealed. Many went on foot. The

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