Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 207

“If Anyone Thirsts, Let Him Come!”

This chapter is based on John 7:1-15, 37-39.

Three times a year the Jews were required to come to Jerusalem for religious purposes. The Feast of Tabernacles was the last gathering of the year. The harvest had been gathered from the valleys and plains of Palestine. The olives had been picked and pressed for their oil. The palm trees had yielded their fruits. The people had trodden the purple clusters of the vine in the wine press.

The feast continued for seven days, and the inhabitants of Palestine, with many from other lands, came to Jerusalem to celebrate it. Old and young, rich and poor, all brought some gift as an offering of thanksgiving to Him who had crowned the year with His goodness. The people brought from the woods everything that could give expression to the universal joy. The city resembled a beautiful forest.

The feast was not only the harvest thanksgiving but the memorial of God’s care over Israel in the wilderness. To commemorate their tent life, during the feast the Israelites lived in tabernacles, or shelters, of green branches set up in the streets, in the courts of the temple, or on the housetops. The hills and valleys surrounding Jerusalem were dotted with these leafy dwellings. With sacred song and thanksgiving the worshipers celebrated this occasion.

A little before the feast was the Day of Atonement, when the people were declared to be at peace with Heaven. “O give thanks to the Lord ... For His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 106:1) rose triumphantly, while all kinds of music accompanied the united singing.

The temple was the center of the universal joy. On either side of the sacred building’s white marble steps, the Levite choir led the service of song. Voices near and far took up the melody until the encircling hills rang with praise.

At night the temple blazed with artificial light. The music, the waving of palm branches, the great gathering of people with the light streaming over them from the hanging lamps, and the majesty of the ceremonies deeply impressed the onlookers. But the most impressive ceremony was one that commemorated an event in the wilderness journey.

At dawn the priests sounded a long blast on their silver trumpets, and

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