The Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot/Feast of Booths/Feast of Ingathering begins on the evening of 13 October and runs through the evening of 20 October. This is one holiday with four different names and meanings. This week we will explore these events.
The Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot/Feast of Booths/Feast of Ingathering
Sukkot is significant of many things:
1. The Israelites were led through the wilderness, being delivered from the bondage of Egypt and dwelt in booths and tents. YHVH provided everything they needed and protected them throughout their wanderings.
2. Yeshua is believed to have been born on the first day of Sukkot (not on December 25th) and was the Word made flesh and dwelt (tabernacle/sukkoted) among us and was circumcised according to the covenant of Abraham on the eighth day (Hoshana Rabbah).
3. Sukkot could also speak of a future exodus out of Babylon as scattered Israel and those nations that are grafted in journey through the Great Wilderness of the Tribulation and ultimately tabernacle with the Messiah in the New Jerusalem for 1,000 years.
The Messiah in Sukkot-
Bible scholars believe that it was during the feast of Sukkot that Yeshua the Messiah was born upon this earth. Specifically, the first day of Sukkot the Son of God put on temporary flesh and dwelt among men. John the disciple alluded to this fact when he wrote where the Messiah came from. Matthew starts out showing the lineage of Joseph, while Luke eludes to the lineage of Miriam (Mary) through the family connection of Zechariah and Elizabeth but John spoke of the Heavenly DNA, linking Yeshua of Nazareth with the Word of God.
John 1:1-2,14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” The word used for dwelt in this passage literally means “tabernacled.” The feast of Sukkot is a 7 day feast with a special 8th day observance called Hoshana Rabba (the last great day or the last great praise) and Yeshua was circumcised on this 8th day (of the feast) and it is recorded in Luke 2:21.
Later on in the life of Yeshua we see another mention of Sukkot and it is a powerful demonstrative teaching that causes much stir in the temple ceremonies. It is during the Feast of Sukkot that a temple ritual would take place called the water libation ceremony. A priest was dispatched from the temple mount out through the southern steps down to the pool of shiloach (which means sent) and the priest fills a vessel with water and returns up the steps into the temple. This is the only time that water (mixed with a little wine) is placed upon the altar. As water is poured out down one side of a trough that led down to the altar, wine was poured down another trough leading to the altar and together they would meet together on the altar that was red hot at this point. As the mixture of wine and water splashed upon the altar it hissed and steamed as everyone huddled around praying for rain in the coming season, praying for the Messiah to come and the indwelling of the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit). It is at this moment that Yeshua stood up and proclaimed, “If anyone is thirsty, let him keep coming to me and drinking! Whoever puts his trust in me, as the Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being!’” (John 7:37-38). It is at this moment that everyone started putting together the pieces of the puzzle. The waters carried up from the pool of Shiloach were called the “waters of salvation” or quite literally the waters of Yeshua. Here they have the Messiah who was named Yeshua which meant salvation and he stands at this moment and makes this claim as the mixture of wine and water, which symbolized the blood and water that flowed from his side was spilled upon the altar. Some argued with him and some believed while others pondered these things further. On Hoshana Rabbah, the last day of the feast four 75 foot tall Menorahs were lit in the temple courts and Yeshua continued his teaching by using the symbolism of the bright lights around him:
John 8:12 “I am the light of the world: whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light which gives life.”
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001