The Eighth Day
The eighth day of Sukkoth dawned brighter than the previous day. We rose before the sun, but Eleazar and Rebekah had already left the tent. They soon returned, however. “I am sorry that we are a little late,” Rebekah said apologetically. “We were hoping that Pleiades would come with us and perhaps help us bring Pegasus to a proper burial site. But we could not find her. I hope that she has not been so overcome with grief that she has gone away to die alone.”
Sipporah was alarmed. “Surely she would not leave me without telling me,” she exclaimed.
“No, I do not think she would do that,” I said. “Pleiades knew ahead of time what would happen, for we discussed it beforehand yesterday morning.”
“What?” Eleazar said. “You did not tell us about this. What else did the horses tell you?”
“Pegasus explained to me the principle behind resurrection,” I explained. “His love for you overcame death and brought you back to life. But this was possible only because he was willing to take death from you. He died so that you might have life. When he raised you from the dead, he did so by His great love for you, for he knew that the decree of death had to be satisfied one way or another. The moment you received life, the decree of death came upon him. He went willingly to his death.”
Eleazar was stunned. “Who am I that he should love me so?” he said with a wail.
“You are his friend,” I replied. “Would you not do the same? Would you not give your life for Pegasus?”
“Yes, of course,” Eleazar said.
“Then,” I said, “do not think it strange that your friend would do the same for you. It is what love does. But there is also a deeper truth that Pegasus told me. What he has done for you, he has done for all. To gain authority over death itself, he first had to submit to it. This proved to the law that he truly loves you and all of mankind, and so the law was satisfied. He overcame death by a higher law, the law of love, love that was pure, love that was willing to die not only for his friends, but also for his enemies.”
Overwhelmed, Eleazar could only weep further. “Why must there be so much pain in love?” he asked in his grief. “Where is the joy in love? It is no wonder that some become hard-hearted and bitter, refusing to give their heart to another for fear of pain!”
“It is difficult, certainly,” I said, “but divine wisdom tells us that it is worth the pain to achieve love. This truth is seldom seen during the painful time, but this is only because the end of things is hidden beyond the next hill. If we have the courage to continue walking, we will see all things as God sees them. And then love will turn mourning into joy.”
“We will have to leave the problem of Pleiades unresolved for the moment,” Nathan interjected. “The sun is rising, and we need to claim the body of Pegasus before the priests take matters into their own hands.”
“Yes,” Rebekah said. “We should go immediately.”
Our horseless fellowship left the camp and walked quickly to the tabernacle. Passing the deserted gate, we walked up the narrow road to the upper plain and toward the door of the tabernacle. But even from afar in the dim light, we could see that Pegasus was nowhere in sight. His great white body should have been easily seen on the trampled ground. But he was not there.
We rushed toward the spot where he had lain, and took note of the blood on the ground. “He was here,” Nathan said, “but someone has taken him away. Perhaps Samuel has taken him.”
Nathan went to the outer court, where Samuel was helping prepare the morning sacrifice. “Where is Pegasus?” he asked. “Have you taken his body away?”
“No,” Samuel replied with concern. “He was gone when I arrived this morning, and I assumed that you had taken him already.”
“Did one of the priests remove the body?” Nathan asked.
“I do not think so,” Samuel replied. “I am quite sure I would have heard someone talking about it.” Samuel turned to some of the priests and asked, “Does anyone know what happened to the horse?”
No one knew. The priests all shook their heads.
“Then I do not know what to tell you,” Samuel said with distress in his voice. Turning to the nearby group of priests, Samuel said, “I must investigate this disappearance.”
“That is alright,” one of them said. “Go and do what you need to do. We will finish the work here.”
“Thank-you,” Samuel responded gratefully. We then left the outer court and walked back to the camp.
“I think we ought to pray about this before we do anything,” Samuel said. “Let us go into the sukkah.”
We bowed our faces to the ground in the sukkah and called out to God. “Father,” Nathan prayed, “we know not what to do. Pegasus was our friend. We cannot just forget what happened to him. We must know the resolution to this matter.”
After a time of seeking the face of God, Sippore flew into the sukkah and landed upon Sipporah’s shoulder, whispering something in her ear. “What is it?” I asked her.
“She tells me to look at the law once again and see what happened after the seventh speech of Moses,” she responded.
“Moses instructed the people,” Samuel said, “to keep all of the commandments of God. Obedience was to bring blessing, and sin was to bring the curse of the law upon them. 182 After this, as you pointed out long ago, God made a second covenant with Israel, vowing to make them His people and to be their God, according to the promise given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” 183
“So after the seventh speech comes divine intervention?” Eleazar asked.
“Yes, that is correct,” Samuel replied thoughtfully. “It was by the power of this covenant that Moses then commissioned Joshua to lead Israel into the promised land, because they had already broken the first covenant. 184 Moses then blessed the people before his death.” 185
“But what does this mean?” Eleazar asked. “How does this answer our question about Pegasus—or even about Pleiades? The book ends with Moses’ death. 186 That does not sound very promising.”
“The book ends with a promise to send another who is like Moses,” I said. 187 “It is a promise of the Messiah, who, like Joshua, will lead His people into the Promised Land. It appears that we are being called into the promise of God,” I said. “It is a Promised Land of sorts for those who love Him and in whose hearts the law has been placed. It seems to me that God has prepared us for something in the past week of Sukkoth, and we are now at the climax of the festival. Is it not time now for the morning sacrifice in the tabernacle?”
“Yes, the sacrifice will be made at any moment,” Samuel said.
“Then let us turn our faces toward the tabernacle and raise our hands in prayer and praise,” Nathan said.
As we did so, the sukkah faded from our sight, and we found ourselves at a familiar place. It was the entrance to the cave on Mount Hermon, and we were not alone.
- Deuteronomy 27 and 28
- Deuteronomy 29:1-15
- Deuteronomy 31:23
- Deuteronomy 33
- Deuteronomy 34:5-8
- Deuteronomy 34:10, referring to an earlier prophecy, Deut. 18:18, 19