This week’s lesson is on Sukkot. There are actually four names as you will see.
The Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot/Feast of Booths/Feast of Ingathering
What do the Scriptures say about it?
Lev 23:34 “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord.”
Lev 23:35 “On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.”
Lev 23:36 “Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YHVH: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YHVH: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.”
Lev 23:39 “Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.”
Lev 23:40 “And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.”
Lev 23:42 “ Ye shall dwell in booths seven days…”
Deut 16:13 “Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine:”
Deut 16:14 “And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.”
When is it?
Lev 23:34 “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, the fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto YHVH.”
What are we commanded to do?
1. Keep it Holy as a regular Sabbath, doing no servile work or the things associated with the seventh day Sabbath on the first day and the eighth day of the feast.
2. Keep it at its time and season on the fifteenth day of the seventh month.
3. Have a holy convocation on the first day of the feast and on the eighth day of the feast. This is a calling of the assembly or community of like-minded believers to assemble together and celebrate Tabernacles. If no one is able to convocate then call together your own family or travel to where another group of believers are assembling and keeping this day Holy or set apart.
4. We are to build “booths or sukkahs” out of various branches mentioned in Lev. 23:40. We are to dwell in booths or tents for seven days and rejoice before YHVH. This is one of the pilgrimage feasts where all of the males have to appear in Jerusalem before the Lord.
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.”
The Feast of Ingathering-
Another name given in scripture for the feast of Sukkot is the feast of Ingathering and also the feast of harvest. This is the end of the year in the fall when the fruit harvest was being collected. Three times a year males are to go up and pilgrimage to Jerusalem to keep the three “harvest feasts.” They are not to be empty handed because they are to produce the firstfruits of their harvest as tithes to the LORD. The first harvest feast is Passover which is the barley harvest. The second harvest feast is Shavuot (Pentecost) which is the wheat harvest and the third harvest feast is Sukkot for the fruit harvest. Notice that there are three harvest feasts to report to Jerusalem and there are three resurrections recorded in scripture.
1. When Yeshua raised from the dead and those that raised with him called the firstfruits of the resurrection (Matt. 27:53, 1 Cor. 15:20,23).
2. The “first resurrection” or the resurrection of the just (Luke 14:14) before the millennial reign of the Messiah (Rev. 20:4-6).
3. The “second resurrection” after the millennial reign of the Messiah (Rev. 20:12) which has been titled the Great White Throne Judgment by many teachers.
It is interesting to note that these were pilgrimage feasts symbolizing the resurrections into the Kingdom of Heaven or the New Jerusalem. It is also symbolized in scripture in various places as being the reaping of the harvest.
Exodus 23:16 “And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labors, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labors out of the field.”
Mark 4:29 “But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.”
Revelation 14:15 “And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
Remember that the “first resurrection” is called up at the feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) and those that are Atoned for under the blood of Yeshua (Yom Kippur) will be gathered together and made priests and judges in the Millennial kingdom, while tabernacling with the Messiah for 1,000 years.
Isaiah 27:12-13 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.”
Zechariah 14:9 “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day (the millennium of the Lord) shall there be one LORD, and his name one.”
What will the Messiah Yeshua be doing during the Millennial reign over the Earth?
Micah 4:2 “And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and HE (the Mashiach) will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law (Torah) shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”
Isaiah 2:3 says the exact same thing. HE, the Messiah, will teach us His ways. I doubt Yeshua will be teaching replacement theology or modern church doctrine that speaks against the Torah and the feasts of the LORD. There will still be Gentiles or nations outside of the New Jerusalem that will be required to go up and keep the feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot or they will face famines and plagues as punishment. Does this sound like modern Christian doctrine? This is not a matter of liberty or grace but a righteous requirement. This isn’t the “well I don’t fully understand this feast stuff so God understands my heart and will be ok with it.” Read for yourself! The scriptures speak it clearly and overwhelmingly, leaving no shadow of doubt or question.
Zechariah 14:11,16-18 “And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited… 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, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles… And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain… the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles… and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001