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Defending Your Faith by Dave Litman
FEAST OF BOOTHS (Sukkot)
This month I thought I would share with you a Jewish Feast that is at the end of September this year in the Jewish month of Tishri. It is called the Feast of Booths or in Hebrew, Sukkot.
Historically, Sukkot commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Agriculturally, Sukkot is a harvest festival. The word "Sukkot" means "booths," and refers to the temporary dwellings that we are commanded to live in during this holiday in memory of the period of wandering. The Hebrew pronunciation of Sukkot is "Sue COAT," The name of the holiday is frequently translated "Feast of Tabernacles,". It is the last and final annual feast.
And the Lord (YHWH) spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to the Lord (YHWH). On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. For seven days you shall present food offerings to the Lord (YHWH). On the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to the Lord (YHWH). It is a solemn assembly; you shall not do any ordinary work. “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord (YHWH), which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the Lord (YHWH) food offerings, burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day, besides the Lord's (YHWH) Sabbaths and besides your gifts and besides all your vow offerings and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord (YHWH). “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord (YHWH) seven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord (YHWH) your God seven days. You shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord (YHWH) for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord (YHWH) your God”
From this we learn that Sukkot begins on the 15th day of the 7th month of the Hebrew calendar. It lasts for 7 days and there is a bonus day called the 8th day. Both the 1st and 8th day are considered rest days. The extra 8th day is sometimes referred to at “The Last Great Day.” This day is very interesting prophetically. During the seven-day period all native Israelites are instructed to dwell in booths, or temporary dwellings. Also on the first day of this feast we are to “take the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord (YHWH) your God seven days.”
Many times these items are attached to a sukkah, which is the singular form of the Hebrew word Sukkot. In observation of the feast, not everyone lives in a sukkah for seven days.
A Sukkah typically has no roof or shielding from cold weather or rain. While a sukkah works well for a dry and warm climate like Jerusalem, many utilize tents or other temporary dwellings during this time outside of Jerusalem. Deuteronomy’s account of Sukkot specifically mentions that we should rejoice, or be joyful during this time. Our Lord is literally commanding us to be joyful!
“You shall keep the Feast of Booths seven days, when you have gathered in the produce from your threshing floor and your winepress. You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns. For seven days you shall keep the feast to the Lord (YHWH) your God at the place that the Lord (YHWH) will choose, because the Lord (YHWH) your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.”
And of course, finally, this feast is about feasting! ...Eight days of eating in fact. At this time in Jerusalem, the harvest was coming to a close. This feast is an agricultural feast, taking advantage of all of the food YHWH has blessed us with during the harvest. This also has a prophetic significance that we will discuss later in the teaching. So when we dwell in booths for Sukkot, we are to be reminded of the wilderness, when YHWH took His people out of Egypt and brought them into temporary dwellings in the wilderness.
Sukkot is mentioned by our Messiah Yeshua as well.
On the last day of the feast, the great day (meaning the 8th day), Yeshua stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
But here is what is rather interesting, specifically on the eighth day, Yeshua mentions “living waters.”
This commands attention to the New Jerusalem.
And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light. On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter.
Another interesting connection is found in the timeline of the first temple dedication. The temple was dedicated on the 8th day of Sukkot.
2 Chronicles: 8-10
"So Solomon observed the feast at that time for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly who came from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt. On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, for the dedication of the altar they observed seven days and the feast seven days. Then on the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their tents, rejoicing and happy of heart because of the goodness that the Lord had shown to David and to Solomon and to His people Israel."
Those are simply the prophetic highlights related to Sukkot.
One last thing to note...after the Great Tribulation ends, the Antichrist is defeated, and we enter into the 1,000 years reigning with Messiah Yeshua...guess what...all nations will be observing Sukkot
Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths.
If you do not already observe Sukkot, consider and understand that Yahweh gave us these days for a reason. ...To teach us about our Messiah, to spend time in worship of Yahweh, to get away from daily life and instead spend time with our family and those in the faith...
Hopefully having this information has strengthened your faith even more. Till next time, this is your servant of Christ signing out.