The Feast of Tabernacles / Sukkot
On the 15th day of the seventh month of Almighty Yahweh’s calendar, at the time of the full moon, Yahweh commands His people to celebrate a seven day festival called the Feast of Tabernacles.
"Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto Yahweh." (Leviticus 23:34)
The first day of the seventh month (the seventh crescent moon of the year) is known as “The Day of Trumpets” or “Yom Teruah”.
"Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall you have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation." (Leviticus 23:24)
This day prophetically warns us of the coming of the Day of Yahweh in which He will judge this world through the seven trumpet judgments of the Book of Revelation.
The tenth day of the seventh month is “the Day of Atonement” or “Yom Kippur”.
“Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh. And you shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before Yahweh your Elohim.” (Leviticus 23:27-28)
This day not only reminds us of Yeshua’s atoning sacrifice for our sins, but it prophetically reminds us of the coming great Jubilee in which the final shofar (trumpet) will sound setting the captives of death free via resurrection.
This brings us to the fifteenth day of the seventh month which begins the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles.
The word “Tabernacles” is a translation of the Hebrew word “sukkot” or “sukkoth” meaning “a temporary shelter or booth.” It is the plural of the word “sukkah”.
The first use of a form of this word is found in Genesis 33:17:
“And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth. ”Here, the word refers to a temporary shelter for cattle.
“So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.” (Jonah 4:5)
Here, the word “sukkah” refers to a temporary shelter for a man.
In reference to the Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Booths, the word “sukkot” refers to the temporary shelters Yahweh had the Israelites dwell in throughout their wilderness journey from Egypt to the promised land of Canaan.
“You shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your Elohim.” (Leviticus 23:42-43)
This points to one of the primary meanings of this Feast and why it is important for both Jewish and Gentile believers to keep this Feast. That is, Yahweh will provide for His people no matter what circumstance they are in.
Throughout their wilderness journey, Yahweh not only provided shelter for His people, but He provided manna for food; water for drink; miraculous preservation of their clothing and sandals from wearing out; protection from assorted enemies; rest every Sabbath Day; Joy on His Holy Feast Days; and a host of other provisions.
Not only did Yahweh provide shelter for Israel, but He dwelt with them throughout their journey.
“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8).
The sanctuary was a temporary dwelling for Yahweh until a more permanent Temple was built in the promised land.
This points forward to a future time when Yahweh will once again dwell in His Tabernacle with His people.
“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of Elohim is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and Elohim Himself shall be with them, and be their Elohim.” (Revelation 21:3)
Dwelling in temporary shelters for seven days also reminds us not to become too attached to our material possessions. The comforts of this world can control us and become idols over us. On our pilgrimage journey to the true promised land, we must seek first the Kingdom of Elohim.
Another important reason why all believers should keep the Feast of Tabernacles is found in Deuteronomy 16:15;
“Seven days shall you keep a solemn feast unto Yahweh your Elohim in the place which Yahweh shall choose: because Yahweh your Elohim shall bless you in all your increase, and in all the works of your hands, therefore you shall surely rejoice.”
The Feast of Tabernacles is the Biblical thanksgiving festival. It took place after Israel had harvested most of it’s produce from the fields. They then spent seven days rejoicing before Yahweh for the great harvest blessing He bestowed upon them.
This is why the Feast of Tabernacles is also called the “Feast of Ingathering”.
“And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of your labors, which you have sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when you have gathered in your labors out of the field.” (Exodus 23:16)
What a precious time of rejoicing this was. That is why this feast came to be known as “the season of our joy” among Jews. It is not only a time to give thanks for and rejoice over the harvest, but it was a great time of fellowship as most Israelites made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate and had an opportunity to renew old acquaintances and relatives.
Concerning rejoicing and giving thanks for the harvest, there is a greater, more important harvest yet to come. That is, the harvest of souls who will be saved and gathered into Yahweh’s Kingdom at their resurrection.
In Yeshua’s parable of the wheat and tares, Yeshua equated believers with wheat growing in a field. (Matthew 13:36-43)
“Then Yeshua sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.He answered and said unto them, He that sows the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
The angels will reap the harvest by resurrecting those in Messiah Yeshua at the last trumpet.
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:30-31)
“Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
Another reason for Israel to rejoice at Tabernacles was because five days earlier Israel’s sins were covered over for another year as a result of the events that took place on the Day of Atonement. Having their sins forgiveness was indeed a major reason for rejoicing and giving thanks to Yahweh.
An interesting and importantaccount of Yeshua and the Feast of Tabernacles is recorded in John 7:
“Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand . . . Now about the midst of the feast Yeshua went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, How knows this man letters, having never learned? Yeshua answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of Elohim, or whether I speak of myself.” (John 7:2,14-17)
The doctrines Yeshua taught were all given to him by his Father, Yahweh. Yeshua obeyed every commandment his Father ever gave. That is why he was sinless. 1 John 3:4 says:
“Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. ”
Yeshua loved his Father. The fruit of his love was obedience. He did not obey so he could be saved. He obeyed because he loved Yahweh.
The key words of Yeshua are; “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of Elohim, or whether I speak of myself. ”Yeshua taught that if a man will first do the will of Yahweh (obey), then he will know for certain whether or not the doctrine is a truth from Yahweh or not. This principle should be applied to the Sabbath and Feasts Days as well. Once a man determines to obey Yahweh in these areas, he will most certainly understand that they are truth. Failing to obey will result in continuing to fight against Yahweh and His will.
The account of Yeshua and the Feast of Tabernacles continues:
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yeshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Yeshua was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:37-39)
These words were spoken on the seventh day of the feast which is when the priests carried out the water libation ceremony. The Priest would pour water over the altar from gold pitchersto signify Israel’s gratitude for the rain that had produced the harvest. He would then pray for rain for the following year’s harvest.
The Priest would also read Isaiah 12:1-3 to the people:
“And in that day you shall say, O Yahweh, I will praise thee: though you were angry with me, your anger is turned away, and you comfort me.Behold, El is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for Yah Yahweh is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall you draw water out of the wells of salvation.”
Yeshua was undoubtedly making reference to the libation ceremony when he proclaimed water (the Holy Spirit) will flow from him through believers. While this is a reality for believers today, it will become an even greater reality for all that are granted eternal life after death is thrown in the Lake of Fire.
Another important aspect of the Feast of Tabernacles is the time that it prophetically points to.
The Feast of Tabernacles points forward to the millennium when Messiah Yeshua will reign over Yahweh’s Kingdom on earth for 1,000 years. Just as the Feast of Tabernacles takes place after the agricultural harvest of Israel is finished, so, too, will the millennium take place after the harvest of souls ( the resurrection of the saints in Messiah Yeshua) is finished.
At the beginning of the millennium, Satan will be bound and thrown in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years. “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (Revelation 20:1-3)
It is at this time that Yeshua and his resurrected saints will rule the Kingdom of Yahweh on earth and will teach all nations Yahweh’s ways (His commandments, statutes and judgments) without having Satan deceive them into believing false doctrines like “the Law is abolished” or “the Feasts Days of Yahweh do not need to be kept”.
In fact, the nations will be taught to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. If they choose not to keep it, they will receive the punishment of no rain.
“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith Yahweh will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.” (Zechariah 14:16-19)
Friends, if you love your Creator, Almighty Yahweh, then you will keep His commandments. Satan has deceived many Christians into believing they don’t have to keep the Feast of Tabernacles or any other holy day, including the weekly Sabbath Day. During the millennium, these truths will be taught without Satan’s deception and all will come to know the truth.
Why not start now by obeying Yahweh’s commandments? They are not a burden, but a joy. They are blessings from Yahweh to His people for their good as Deuteronomy 6:24 and 1 John 5:3 say:
“And Yahweh commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear Yahweh our Elohim, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.” (Dt 6:24)
“For this is the love of Elohim, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.” (1 John 5:3)
May the blessings of the Feast of Tabernacles be yours.