Jewish Pilgrimages: Past and Future

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Past Pilgrimages

In the Old Testament times the Jews would pilgrimage to Jerusalem 3 times a year on their feast days (Deut. 16:16-17):

On the Feast of Unleavened Bread — this year on April 15

On the Feast of Weeks — this year on June 4

On the Feast of Tabernacles — this year on Oct 9

I can imagine that for many the trip was long and treacherous. But as they walked they sang songs. We have recorded for us in Psalms 120-135 the songs they sang. They are called Psalms of Ascents or Pilgrim Songs.

I have recently been quite captivated by this subject. As Martin Girard wrote in his article, Songs For Pilgrims Psalms Of Ascents, “In one sense we are like the Israelites of Old Testament times, for we are pilgrims. This earth is not our permanent home. We are “strangers and pilgrims” (1 Pet. 2:11) as we journey home to heaven, seeking “a city whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:10).”


Future Pilgrimages

In the Coming kingdom, in the Millennium, everyone will be required to make annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem to worship and celebrate the feast of Tabernacles. As Zechariah 14:16 says, “Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.”   John MacArthur comments:

This very important passage reveals that some Gentiles will go into the millennial kingdom alive along with redeemed Jews. A converted remnant from those heathen nations will make annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem to worship the Lord and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles during the Millennium. Commemorating the time when God “tabernacled” with Israel in the wilderness, the feast represented the last of the three major pilgrimage festivals, marked the final harvest of the year’s crops, and provided a time of rejoicing. In the Millennium, it will celebrate Messiah’s presence again dwelling among His people and the joyful restoration of Israel, including the ingathering of the nations.

Continuing on in Zechariah 14: 17-19…

And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them. 18 And if the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the Lord smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.

Thus, as we can see here, Jesus is going to lay down the law in the Millennium. And all those who do not believe in Him or obey Him will suffer. However, those who obey Him will be blessed. And the yearly pilgrimages will be something to look forward to and result will be a huge blessing and a time of great rejoicing. Isaiah describes well, in poetry, what will be in store for those who make the trip to Jerusalem.

Isaiah 25:6
6 And the Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain;
A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow,
And refined, aged wine.


Now, as an application, since we are indeed pilgrims on this earth I think it would do us good to sing the Pilgrim songs as the Jews use to do. I don’t know if I will put Psalms 120-134 to song, but I am planning to meditate on them.  I invite you to do it along with me. Here is the first Song—in NASB.


Psalm 120

Prayer for Deliverance from the Treacherous

In my trouble I cried to the Lord, And He answered me. Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, From a deceitful tongue. What shall be given to you, and what more shall be done to you, You deceitful tongue? Sharp arrows of the warrior, With the burning coals of the broom tree.
Woe is me, for I sojourn in Meshech, For I dwell among the tents of Kedar! Too long has my soul had its dwelling With those who hate peace. I am for peace, but when I speak, They are for war.







About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.
This entry was posted in Bible Passages on Prophecy, Millennium, Prophecy Topics, Zechariah 14:17-19 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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