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Home For Tabernacles
After returning home from their prescribed and prophesied seventy years exile in Babylon (see the Fact Finder question below), the people of Judah rebuilt Jerusalem in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. When the re-settlement had been accomplished, they re-discovered the Law that, if it had been obeyed (rather than their own traditions - including when, how and where to observe the LORD's annual Holy Days), would have prevented their removal in the first place.
"7:73 So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities." (Nehemiah 7:73 KJV)
"Every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts"
At the beginning of the seventh month (approximately September-October on the Roman calendar), the people observed the autumn Holy Days of the LORD. The "Feast of Booths" is another name for the Feast of Tabernacles (see Feast Of Tabernacles: The Gospel Of The Kingdom and listen to Feast of Tabernacles sermons listed on our Calendar of Christ's Holy Days as well as hundreds of other sermons on our Weekly Sermons Page).
"8:13 And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law.
The people observed the Feast of Tabernacles by making "booths" in their own yards or on their (flat) rooftops, depending on what they had available. They did not travel to some foreign location, within the country or outside of it, to observe the Feast - they had just happily returned home from such an exile.
"8:16 So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim.
Most importantly, the people used the days to joyously study the Word of God.
"8:18 Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner." (Nehemiah 8:18 KJV)
Fact Finder: Why did the people of Judah go into Babylonian exile? What was the time set by the LORD for them to return?