Ah! And just like that, we have come to the last Feast of the Lord. The Feast of Thanksgiving for the Lord’s provision. Throughout scripture, we see how this festival was celebrated and its significance. We see King Solomon dedicating the Temple to the Lord during this time. We see Nehemiah and Ezra rededicating the Second Temple and a return to following the commands of the Lord. It is a time of celebration of Jesus and we see him in scripture, teaching, and celebrating on Sukkot.
The Feast of Tabernacles in the Bible
The Feast of Tabernacles, the Feast of Booths, the Feast of Ingathering, or the Season of Our Joy are all names used for the festival of Sukkot. It celebrates the end of the harvest season, it is a time of rejoicing and thanksgiving for Yehovah’s provision – it’s a Biblical Thanksgiving! Sukkot comes from the word Sukkah – referring to the temporary dwellings or the booths that God caused the children of Israel to dwell in during their 40-year sojourn through the wilderness. The plants mentioned in Leviticus are used to build the Sukkah and gives a more temporary and earthy feeling to the booth.
Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23: 33 – 44
“33 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month, there shall be a feast of tabernacles seven days to the Lord. 35 And on the first day shall be a holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work. 36 Seven days shall ye offer whole-burnt-offerings to the Lord, and the eighth-day shall be a holy convocation to you; and ye shall offer whole-burnt-offerings to the Lord: it is a time of release, ye shall do no servile work. 37 These [are] the feasts to the Lord, which ye shall call holy convocations, to offer burnt-offerings to the Lord, whole-burnt-offerings and their meat-offerings, and their drink-offerings, that for each day on its day: 38 besides the sabbaths of the Lord, and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides your free-will-offerings, which ye shall give to the Lord.
39 And on the fifteenth day of this seventh month, when ye shall have completely gathered in the fruits of the earth, ye shall keep a feast to the Lord seven days; on the first day there shall be a rest, and on the eighth day a rest. 40 And on the first day ye shall take goodly fruit of trees, and branches of palm trees, and thick boughs of trees, and willows, and branches of osiers from the brook, to rejoice before the Lord your God seven days in the year. 41 [It is] a perpetual statute for your generations: in the seventh month ye shall keep it. 42 Seven days ye shall dwell in tabernacles: every native in Israel shall dwell in tents, 43 that your posterity may see, that I made the children of Israel to dwell in tents, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I [am] the Lord your God. 44 And Moses recounted the feasts of the Lord to the children of Israel.”
Dibre haYamim Bet (2 Chronicles) 7:6; 8 – 9:
“6 And the priests were standing at their watches, and the Levites with instruments of music of the Lord, belonging to King David, to give thanks before the Lord, for his mercy for ever, with the hymns of David, by their ministry: and the priests were blowing the trumpets before them, and all Israel standing.
8 And Solomon kept the feast at that time seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly, from the entering in of Aemath, and as far as the river of Egypt. 9 And on the eighth day he kept a solemn assembly: for he kept a feast of seven days as the dedication of the altar.”
Ezra 3: 4 – 5:
“4 And they kept the feast of tabernacles, according to that which was written, and whole-burnt-offerings daily in number according to the ordinance, the exact daily rate. 5 And after this the perpetual whole-burnt-offering, and for the season of new moon, and for all the hallowed feasts to the Lord, and for everyone that offered a free-will -offering to the Lord. “
Nehemyah (Nehemiah) 8: 17 – 18:
” 17 And all the congregation who had returned from the captivity, made booths, and dwelt in booths: for the children of Israel not done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun until that day: and there was great joy. 18 And read in the book of the law of God daily, from the first day even to the last day: and they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day a solemn assembly, according to the ordinance. “
A Pilgrimage and a Joy
Sukkot is also one of the three pilgrimage festivals of the Lord, the other two are Passover and Shavuot. These feasts are the ones where all the men of Israel were explicitly commanded to celebrate these festivals in the place where Yehovah placed His name. The men were to bring offerings to the Lord out of the provision and blessings that He had given them.
Debarim (Deuteronomy) 16: 16 – 17:
“16 Three times in the year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord shall choose in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: thou shalt not appear before the Lord thy God empty. 17 Each one according to his ability, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he has given thee.”
Annual Reading of the Torah and Sukkot
The first and the eighth days of Sukkot are Sabbath-rest days. The eighth day- Shemini Atzeret is the day traditionally when the annual reading of the Torah cycle is renewed, starting in Genesis. It was during the feast of Sukkot that Moses commanded the Hebrews to hear the reading the whole Torah once every seven years, Deuteronomy 31: 10 – 13.
Jesus Tabernacled with us
Sukkot is known as the Feast of Tabernacles. It is a celebration of when the Lord tabernacled among us, and a time that I personally believe, when Jesus was truly born. Just as the Lord dwelt among the children of Israel in His Tabernacle in the wilderness, Jesus came and tabernacled among us during His time on earth, and the Holy Spirit dwells in believers now.
Shemoth (Exodus) 19: 9:
“9 And the Lord said to Moses, Lo! I come to thee in a pillar of a cloud, that the people may hear me speaking to thee, and may believe thee for ever: and Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.”
Yohanan (John ) 1: 10 – 14:
10 He – Jesus was in the world, and the world came to be through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him to them He gave the authority to become children of Elohim, to those believing in His Name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the desire of flesh nor of the desire of man, but of Elohim. 14 And the Word became flesh and pitched His tent among us, and we saw His esteem, esteem as of an only brought-forth of a father, complete in favor and truth.
Yohanan (John) 7: 2, 8:
“2 And the festival of the Yehudim was near, the Festival of Sukkot. “
” 8 You[the disciples] go up to this festival. I am not yet going up to this festival, for My time has not yet been filled.”
Qorintiyim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 6: 19 – 20:
“19 Or do you not know that your body is the Dwelling Place of the Set-apart Spirit who is in you, which you have from Elohim, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought with a price, therefore esteem Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are of Elohim. “
Who should Dwell in Booths?
Some may argue that the command to build and to dwell in booths for the seven days is only for the native of Israel, but the Bible, when detailing the Feasts of Yehovah, states that these feasts are for everyone. They are for the stranger, the sojourner, and everyone one is in Christ, the wild olive branch grafted in and the original olive tree. In addition to this, there is also a mention of the nations coming up to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Sukkot during the Millennial reign. Proving further that these feasts are indeed the feasts of the Lord and for everyone. The Lord wants us all to rejoice in Him during this time.
Zekaryah (Zechariah) 14: 16 – 19:
“16 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall be left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem, shall even come up every year to worship the king, the Lord Almighty, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever of all the families of the earth shall not come up to Jerusalem to worship the king, the Lord Almighty, even these shall be added to the others. 18 And if the family of Egypt shall not go up, nor come; then upon them shall be the overthrow with which the Lord shall smite all the nations, whichever of them shall not come up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the sin of Egypt, and the sin of all the nations, whosoever shall not come up to keep the feast of tabernacles. “
Tehillim (Psalms) 100: 4 – 5:
“4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with hymns; give thanks to him, praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good, his mercy is for ever; and his truth [endures] to generation and generation.”
Have a blessed Feast of Tabernacles. Shalom!