The Feast of Tabernacles is a High Holiday- a feast that was instituted by Elohim, that is commemorating the time the Hebrews were in the wilderness following their Exodus from Egypt. This is the last High holiday of the year, and it occurs in the fall, during the month of Tishrei, which is the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar (occurring in September or October).
The word Sukkot in Hebrew means booth or tabernacle and refers to the temporary dwellings or sukkahs the Hebrews lived in during this time.
Sukkot Celebration Verses
23:33 “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.”
16:13 “Thou shalt keep for thyself the feast of tabernacles seven days, when thou gatherest in [thy produce] from thy corn-floor and thy wine-press. 14 And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, thy man-servant, and thy maid-servant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow that is in thy cities. 15 Seven days shalt thou keep a feast to the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose for himself; and if the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy fruits, and in every work of thy hands, then thou shalt rejoice. 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.”
How to Celebrate the Feast of Booths
The Feast of Booths is a seven-day feasting High Holiday, or holiday of Elohim. It starts on the 15th day of the seventh Hebrew month Tishrei and lasts until the 22nd day of Tishrei (usually September or October). The 1st and 8th days, are High Shabbats or Sabbath rest days that occur during a High Holiday.
During the Feast of Tabernacles, we are commanded to build some sort of temporary dwellings from the branches of the trees near our houses. This can be done with actual tree branches that are found in our backyards or from wood at a home improvement store. The shape and size are up to you, just make sure it’s large enough for you and your family to dwell in. A lot of people use this seven-day feast, as a time to go on a family camping trip, which is a good idea as well!
The High holidays celebrate God as our Creator, our Judge, and the One who atones for our sins. Sukkot follows the solemn and introspective holiday of Yom Kippur, and it is a time to celebrate all that the Lord has done for us, through us, and in us.
Sukkot is a time to rejoice and remember God’s miraculous provision and care for us following the Exodus, extended time in the wilderness, and even now! Happy Sukkot, Shalom!
All Old Testament scriptures are from the Septuagint.