The Five Megillot or five scrolls [books] to be read at the Festivals
We know that we should not get our religion from men, but rather we are to live by every Word of God. What does this mean? It means that when men depart from God’s Word we should not follow them away from the Word of God.
On the other hand, when men are consistent with God’s Word we should not reject God’s Word because some men are teaching what is right by the Word of God.
For example when modern Judaism teaches that God made the seventh day holy, it is true and we should not reject God’s holy Sabbath day because Judaism also teaches it, and yet is in error on certain other points.
In other words we are to reject anything that is not consistent with the Word of God like the modern Rabbinic Calendar, but we are not to reject God’s Word just to be different from other people – whoever they may be – when they are correct and consistent with various points in the Word of God.
There are many traditions in modern Judaism and in all religions, how are we to know what is right and what is wrong?
Scripture tells us that we can discern the godly from the ungodly by comparing the words of men with the Word of God. In doing that we are to hold fast to the Word of God and to reject any departure from the Word of God. Our foundation is to be the Word of God and if men are consistent with God’s Word they are correct, and when they depart from God’s Word they are in error.
First the obvious question is: Are these five books of the Bible merely the traditions of the Jews, or are they part of Holy Scripture? The answer is that these five books are indeed Holy Scripture and not the traditions of men. Therefore it is right and proper to read these books of Holy Scripture and there is very much to be learned from them
What are the Five Megillot or five books and how did reading them on particular Festivals originate?
When the sincerely repentant of Judah returned from Babylon, and the city and temple were rebuilt; God called Ezra to restore true religion in Judah and Jerusalem. The book of Ezra is about the restoring of God’s true religion at that time.
As part of that restoration Ezra taught the priests and people the Word of God and restored the Synagogue school system to teach the people about the Word of God.
Ezra also formalized the Temple Festival services including the Light and Water pouring ceremonies at Tabernacles – used so effectively by Jesus – and the reading of the Five Megillot or five scrolls, one at each of five special occasions.
The five books are:
- The Song of Solomon, to be read during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Song of Songs is about the love between Christ and his Bride.
- The book of Ruth which is clearly about the Feast of Pentecost, was appointed to be read at Pentecost.
- The city of Jerusalem and the temple were burned on the 9th of Av [fifth month] in c 587 B.C. for which event the book of Lamentations was written. The book of Lamentations written by Jeremiah for the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, was appointed to be read on 9 Av the anniversary of the destruction of the both Solomon and Herod’s temple’s.
- Moses had commanded that “This book of the law [Deuteronomy]” is to be read every seventh year at the Feast of Tabernacles; and Ezra inspired by God, appointed the book of Ecclesiastes – which was written about the transitory nature of all physical things and the need for the permanent things of God – obviously complimentary to and supporting the lesson of living in temporary housing at that Feast – to be read at every Feast of Tabernacles.
- The book of Esther obviously referring to Purim, was appointed to be read at Purim.
Each one of these books is Holy Scripture recorded for our instruction and was appointed by Ezra to be read on the most applicable day possible for the reading and teaching of these Scriptures.
These books were read on their appointed days from Ezra to the destruction of the temple c 70 A.D. and are still read by certain Jewish factions today.
Before he was made flesh Jesus Christ was the one who inspired Ezra to appoint these books to be read on their special days as well as to celebrate the Light and Water Pouring ceremonies.
The reading of these books on their appropriate occasions and the Water and Light ceremonies were done throughout the entire physical life of Christ and he never uttered so much as a single word of correction of these things.: To the contrary he used these things to profoundly advance his message!