(also known as "The Feast")
Sukkot (Tabernacles) is a reminder of God as Yeshu atenu, the God of our Salvation. It is to remind us that God came humbly into this world as Yeshua, exactly like all mankind does. He came in order to die for all mankind, but also to dwell among us as He did in the days of the Tabernacle, and then the Temples. God came humbly into our world to bring us Salvation, simply because He loves us. It is to remind us of what real humility, and real love really is.
Sukkot is the seventh Appointed Season of God, and also marks the end of the harvest year (Exodus 23:16).
It is common knowledge that Israel has similar weather to the Central Coast of California, and the shepherds would not have been in the fields in the middle of winter, when it was snowing (as it usually does in the mountains or valleys of Israel). Yeshua was born during Sukkot, literally come to dwell among us (John 1:14).
Yeshua came into our world the same way all mankind does, through a woman as a baby, fulfilling Isaiah 9:6. It is the ultimate in humility, for He was completely dependent on Yosef (Joseph) and Miryam (Mary) for His well being when He entered our world as a human. To put Himself in this vulnerable position in a corrupt world, God defines the word humility. In this instant of His birth, God is telling us to trust Him, because He trusted His creation to bring forth His Messiah.
We don’t know the exact day or year Yeshua was born, and this festival is eight days long, but a good guess would be near the beginning of the festival. Some believe, since this is one of the required Feasts where the men were to come before Yahweh to present themselves and their offerings, that Jesus could not have been born during this festival because Joseph would have had to be in Jerusalem.
But even though the first day and the eighth days are Holy Convocations (miqra/rehearsals), it is possible that Joseph’s attendance was only required on the eighth day (everything mentioned in the gospels surrounding this Festival, happens on this eighth day). Yeshua was most definitely born during this Feast of God, and I suggest it was the first day because this is the day that the final harvest is brought in(which has so many meanings just in itself!).
The Hebrew word Sukkot means booths or tabernacles (dwellings), and God tabernacled (dwelt in a portable Temple) with His people in the desert and provided ALL their needs while Israel wandered in the desert for forty years. And Yeshua came during Sukkot to dwell again with His people two thousand years ago (temporarily), to begin the process of bringing His people into a place where He could dwell among them permanently.
Based on certain Hebrew idioms, and things hidden within the Hebrew language, it is highly probable that Yeshua will also return during Sukkot.
This Feast is also called the Feast of Ingathering (Exodus 23:16 & 34:22), which gives it an agricultural theme because the Hebrew word asif (aw-seef) means to gather in the crops (at the end of the harvest year).
This word asif has prophetic meaning as well: the final gathering of the Final Harvest (Revelation 14:15). In addition, the Jews believe this Ingathering is referring to the gathering of the Jews back to Yisrael (Psalm 106:47 & Jeremiah 32:37), which would mean it is happening right before our very eyes today.
Sukkot is the most festive of all God’s Feasts and is mentioned more often in Scripture than any of the others. It is also a Commandment of God for all who believe in Him, and it is one of the three mandatory Appointed Times when all the Hebrew men were required to come before Yahweh.
God's people remember His provision of food, water, shelter, clothing, guidance, light and heat during the desert (wilderness) years. During this Sukkot week (eight days of celebration), in ancient times and today, each Hebrew family lives in a small, dwelling (or tent) covered with specific branches of leaves, flowers, and possibly fruits. According to Jewish traditions of man, at night they look up at the stars and recall God's promise to Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the heavens (Genesis 15:5).
￼In Exodus 23:14 God tells the Israelites about Sukkot. There is no detail yet in this passage, but it was before they were condemned to wander in the desert for forty years. Because this Appointed Season is a statute forever, God tells them that they will dwell in tabernacles (booths or sukkot) each year at this time - even though they were already living in tents at that time in the wilderness.
It isn’t until Leviticus 23 where God tells of all His Appointed Seasons, that there is much more detail concerning the offerings, and also in Numbers 29:12-40, where we find a little more information. In Deuteronomy 31:10-13 God instructs the Israelites that every seven years, in the year of Release (the Jubliee year), the Torah is to be read during the eight days of Tabernacles.
In Nehemiah (8:1-12) we find Ezra reading the Torah, beginning on the first day of Etanim, on Yom Teruach (Day of Trumpets), and then he read more each day until the last day of Sukkot. The Israelites had not heard the Torah since the days of Joshua at that time (Nehemiah 8:9 & 17).
Sukkot is about thanking God for His supernatural provision. It is also about a personal wilderness experience, where we learn to humble ourselves before God, and thank God for everything He has given us. This is the true Thanksgiving feast.
It is a remembrance of trusting God completely––for EVERYTHING. Emunah is one of the Hebrew words usually translated as faithfulness, but a truer meaning is trust or trustworthiness. The root of this word is aman, which means to go to the right hand or to take the right hand Way.
So faith or trust, comes from taking the right hand Way, according to the meaning of the ancient letters that make up the word emunah. The Right Hand Way is God’s Way, otherwise known as the Torah.
To go to the Right Hand is to go toward Yeshua. Taking the right hand Way will always take you on a journey through the wilderness––the wilderness experience is about God drawing you closer to Him––teaching you how to trust completely in Him for everything that you need on this Earth. The more you trust God, the more you move toward Him––as He continually draws each of us closer to Him.
Celebrating Sukkot will not only teach us about trusting and knowing God, it is a Teaching of God that we can hold onto whenever Yeshua draws us into a wilderness experience.
The Eighth Day
It was on the eighth day of this Feast, during the added celebration of the pouring of the water on the altar that Yeshua stood up and said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink,” (John 7:37-38). This was an eternal statement, and the Hebrews knew Yeshua was stating He is the Messiah, because they knew the Messiah is the Living Water.
God allowed this added celebration of the water being poured out on the altar, because it came to represent God's Spirit being poured out on the Hebrews (and it fit right into His ultimate plan for Yeshua’s coming). This happened first two thousand years ago, but when this happens again in the very near future, the Jews will know who Yeshua (Jesus) is and they will mourn the last two thousand years! (Therefore they will also reclaim the status of being Hebrews again!)
This eighth day was a joyous celebration in Yeshua's time––the High Priest would walk to the Pool of Siloam to fill his pitcher with its water, a congregation of people would follow him to the pool, and then back to the Temple. They would dance and sing, "with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation...," (Isaiah 12:3-6) and wave palm branches around, back and forth (we see this celebration also in Revelation Chapter Seven).
The Hebrew leaders were infuriated when Yeshua stood up and said what He said in John 7:37-38. A debate erupted among the Parush (Pharisees) and Tsadek (Sadducees), many of whom did not realize, or did not believe that Yeshua is the Son of David, born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). In other words they most likely thought, “this could not possibly be the Messiah, as could be found in the Hebrew Scriptures,” because they thought He came from Galiyl (Galilee).
While the Parush knew the written Scriptures inside and out, they still did not recognize their Messiah because of all their added traditions.
Also on the eighth day of this Feast, the Hebrews would pray for the coming rain––and the Latter Rain (Joel 2:23). The Latter Reign is symbolic of God's Salvation––Yeshua. This Feast is all about Salvation––and the Messiah Who would bring it! Ironically, they would pray for the Messiah, but many of the Parush failed to recognize Him when He came.
Some of the Hebrews were very expectant during the first century, for according to their Scriptures and traditions, Messiah would come during this first century. Messiah was to come after four thousand years, so they were very excited during this time when they were celebrating God's Fall Appointed Seasons. They knew that everything about these Appointed Seasons pointed to the Messiah (Yeshua).
After the Babylonian exile, it was a bittersweet time because the people grieved what they had missed for seventy years while in captivity, but were also overjoyed to learn of God's Feasts.
Grafted-in believers have also been in captivity and have missed God’s Feasts for almost two thousand years! The devil has lied to us all this time, but now that we have discovered God's Feasts are for us too, it will be a bittersweet time for us as well. So now we must read the Torah to learn what we have missed while being in captivity!
• The first and the eighth day are holy convocations (miqra), which means they are days off from work. The eighth day is to be a holy day, where there are extra offerings (Numbers 15:3), and I believe it is also a Feast in honor of Yeshua. It is the culmination of God's Holy Days.
• Sukkot is a Feast of rejoicing. It is a very happy Festival, where we are to rejoice and feast for eight days.
• Build your sukkah (a small portable dwelling or tabernacle––you can also put up a tent instead): The Scripture states to cover your sukkah with palm branches, foliage of beautiful fruit trees, boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook (Leviticus 23:40). In Nehemiah Chapter 8, the Yisraelites are told that they are to gather olive branches, oil tree branches, myrtle branches, palm branches and branches of leafy trees to build their sukkah with, so with these two passages we have plenty of information to build our sukkot.
You don't have to be too specific when building your sukkah, just come as close to what the Bible states as you can. I doubt God will be too upset if you don't get it right the first time. I have been putting up a sukkah each year for about ten years now, and I probably still don't have it right––but with each year I come a little closer. The first year my sukkah was a pup tent in the livingroom with Christmas lights on it, and this year (2018) it is a different tent, and now has fall-colored lights on it with some faux foilage (I’ve had to improvise since I have lived in apartments or even rented a single room, and therefore have never had a backyard in which to pitch a tent). Enjoy this festival, because it is not only the REAL season Yeshua was born, it is a rehearsal for the Wedding Feast of Yahweh!
• We are to live in the sukkah during these eight days, and we are to remember and celebrate God’s provision during this time.
• On the eighth day we are to have a special meal with Yeshua. This meal is actually an offering to God. The Greek word for offering, prosphora, and the two Hebrew words for offering, minchah or korban, mean a sacrificial offering (or gift) to God. Korban has a deeper meaning in that it also means to draw near to God. Both the Greek and Hebrew words refer to a bloodless sacrificial gift (to God), and is referring to the Marriage (or Wedding) Supper of the Lamb in Revelation.
While Yeshua offered Himself to all mankind as the final Sacrificial Lamb to atone for their sins, in return we are to offer Him our Sacrificial offering––in the form of a meal in honor of Him. Sukkot is very holy, and this day especially should be celebrated with reverence for Yeshua, our God.
• In Devarim (Deuteronomy) 31:10-11 Mosheh states that God's people are to read the Torah (first six books) every seven years during Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), in a Jubliee year (2Chronicles 34:30, Nehemiah 8:8 & 18 & 9:3). Therefore I believe it would be appropriate to read the Torah any year, too. Other than these verses, there isn’t anything in Scripture that tells us what to read on this day. This reading is done by the head of the family. A teaching on the following paragraph would be appropriate as well:
Even though it is an added celebration by the sects in Yeshua’s day, God allowed it because it fit right in with His Plan. The Hebrews would pray for rain, dance and sing Psalm 12 as they followed the High Priest to the pool of Siloam and back to the Temple where he poured out the water on the altar to signify the pouring out of the Spirit, this should also be a part of our own celebration. They were praying for rain, and celebrating the coming of the latter reign––the Salvation of the Spirit of God that will again be poured out on all the Jews some day very soon. When Yeshua finally reveals Himself to them it will be a bittersweet time for them. And we will rejoice with them when they see their Salvation––Yeshua!
• Sukkot is also a celebration of the Last Harvest of the year, and this Last Harvest not only has meaning in that the Hebrews celebrate in faith that God will provide them with rain for a great harvest for the year, it is also the Harvest that Yeshua speaks of in Revelation 14:14-16 (the final harvest). This festival is called the Feast of Ingathering (Exodus 23:16;; 34:22) because it is observed after all the fall crops are harvested––God referred to this harvest as the ‘harvest at the end of the (harvest) year’ (Exodus 23:16). I believe this Last Harvest will happen on the eighth day.
Jewish Traditions of Man
The Shemini Atzeret (Eighth day of Assembly) and the following day, Simkhat Torah (Rejoicing of Torah), that the Jews celebrate on this last day, cannot be found in the Bible by these names, nor by any other names. Therefore the things commanded by the Talmud are in fact NOT commanded by God in the Scriptures. If you read the second chapter in Section II on the history of Judaism in the I AM the WAY book, then you know that all of the prayers and synagogue services were created by the Rabbis during the three hundred years before Yeshua was born, but were not written down until the second century AD, including the services and prayers for Sukkot. While rejoicing over the Torah is a good thing, it would be wise to study the whole Torah throughout the year––instead of just reading it once a year––and do only what is shown in the Bible to do on this day and during these eight days.
In addition, there is evidence that the Jews worship the Torah, rather than God. We are to obey the Torah, not worship it. In obeying the Torah as it is written, we are worshiping God.
As noted above, it has been proven that Yeshua was born during Sukkot. This more fully illustrates the truth that Yeshua is the Tabernacle of God. John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and tabernacled (or dwelt) with us.”
But keep in mind that Yeshua does not celebrate His birthday anywhere in Scripture, so although we might want to acknowledge that He was born during this festival, in reality, He is Yahweh and has no beginning or end. He is the God of all the universe and all creation. While He does want us to worship Him, honor and reverence Him, celebrating His birthday may not be all that important to Him. It is what He accomplished when He came that is important.
Yeshua (Jesus) will again tabernacle with us when He returns in power and glory during this festival in the very near future. God’s people will enjoy intimate, face-to-face fellowship with their Messiah, celebrating this feast with Him in Paradise!
Updated September 4, 2019
(See complete Detail below Chart)
October 14, 2019am
October 21, 2019pm
Etanim 15-22, 5991
(Tishrei 15-22, 5991)
Feast of Tabernacles
Also known as "The Ingathering"