Leviticus 23:42–43—Did Israel dwell in booths or in tents?

Problem: Here the people of Israel are told to “dwell in booths.” But earlier in Exodus 16:16, it speaks of everyone being “in his tent.”

Solution: Since the people moved throughout the wilderness for 40 years, their homes were tents. However, the Leviticus passage does not speak of their homes in the wilderness, but about later instructions for celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths) in Jerusalem. Since it was only for a week, they were instructed to make temporary booths in which to live while at the feasts. There was, after all, no Holiday Inn in Jerusalem at the time.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.