"At the end of seven years, at the time of the Sabbatical year, on the festival of Tabernacles…." (Deut. 31:10)

If you will analyze the mystical dimension of the commandment of Hakhel [the public reading of the Torah by an Israelite king], you will find that just as the Sabbatical year itself is an allusion to the 7th Millennium during which our universe will revert to chaos, so the commandment of Hakhel, which commences after completion of the seventh year alludes to the word "la'asot" in Genesis 2:4, which follows the report of the conclusion of the Seven Days of Creation after the Torah had introduced the concept of the Shabbat.

Without Torah, the universe cannot endure….

We also find in Psalms 92, the hymn dedicated by David to the Shabbat, that he speaks about the righteous who will flourish like the palm tree (presumably after the seventh millennium).… The mystical dimension of the commandment of Hakhel is that all people who exist at that time are called to appear before G‑d, the King of the universe. This is why this commandment had to be performed by the king. He represented the King in the celestial spheres. He had to read from the Torah (not the High Priest). This is reflected in the statement of the sages of the Kabbalah, who posit that before proceeding with the creation of the universe, G‑d consulted His blueprint, i.e. the Torah.

Another reason for reading from the Torah on that occasion was to remind the people that, without Torah, the universe cannot endure, just as it could not have been created without it. The reason that the site for the fulfillment of this commandment is described as "the place which G‑d will choose", is that the site of the Temple was the place where the universe began to be created. This is the meaning of the verse "For from Zion, perfect in beauty, G‑d appeared" (Psalms 50:2). As the Sages say, "The world was perfected starting with Zion." (Yoma 54)

[Selected with permission from the seven-volume English edition of "The Torah Commentary of Rebbeinu Bachya" by Eliyahu Munk.]