SUKKOT

(Festival of Tabernacles, Booths, Huts, Sheds, Lean-tos)

 

Levi 23:33 (NIV) {Yahweh} said to Moses,

34 "Say to the Israelites: `On the fifteenth day of the seventh month {Yahweh’s} Feast of {Sukkot} begins, and it lasts for seven days.

35 The first day is a {set apart} assembly; do no regular work.

36 For seven days present offerings made to {Yahweh} by fire, and on the eighth day hold a {set apart} assembly and present an offering made to {Yahweh} by fire. It is {a restrained} assembly; do no regular work.

 

Levi 23:39 (NIV) "`So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to {Yahweh} for seven days; the first day is a day of {ceasing}, and the eighth day also is a day of {ceasing}.

40 On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before {Yahweh} your {Mighty One} for seven days.

41 Celebrate this as a festival to {Yahweh} for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month.

42 Live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths

43 so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am {Yahweh} your {Mighty One}.'"

 

Deut 16:13 (NIV) Celebrate the Feast of {Sukkot} for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress.

14 Be joyful at your Feast--you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites, the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns.

15 For seven days celebrate the Feast to {Yahweh} your {Mighty One} at the place {Yahweh} will choose. For {Yahweh} your {Mighty One} will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.

 

Nehe 8:13 (NIV) On the second day of the month, the heads of all the families, along with the priests and the Levites, gathered around Ezra the scribe to give attention to the words of the {Torah}.

14 They found written in the {Torah}, which {Yahweh} had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in booths during the feast of the seventh month

15 and that they should proclaim this word and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem: "Go out into the hill country and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees, and from myrtles, palms and shade trees, to make booths"--as it is written. 

16 So the people went out and brought back branches and built themselves booths on their own roofs, in their courtyards, in the courts of the house of {Yahweh} and in the square by the Water Gate and the one by the Gate of Ephraim.

17 The whole company that had returned from exile built booths and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great.

 

 

THERE IS A TIMELINE  (SEE  DIAGRAM  BELOW)

Today is the 15th day of the month of Ethanim (permanence, always there), the 7th Biblical month.  This day is a “moed” - an appointed time -  for us to gather and form this “Miqra,” this Kodesh Miqra - this set apart assembly to read, call out, and proclaim the word of Yahweh.

 

If we consider the appointed times, we see that there is a timeline.  Yahweh’s festivals, the three times of the year and the seven high days, show a timeline for mankind.  There is a schedule, an order of events, that we can study from which is gained an increase in understanding.  Just as the weekly Sabbath points to the eternal rest from toiling for a living, and gives us an experience by rehearsing for that eternal rest; so do the festivals and their high days point and give us an experience.

 

READING THE TIMELINE 

1.) FESTIVAL OF UNLEAVENED BREAD

The event of the first Passover in Egypt and the seven days of eating unleavened bread was memorialized annually by commandment of Yahweh to the Hebrew people.  This festival included a first fruit offering of barley grain in addition to eating unleavened bread.  As the people looked back each year to how they were brought out of Egypt, most didn’t realize that they should also be looking forward.  Over the many years, some did look forward, but found it difficult to understand, as we often find it difficult to understand when we look forward.  They expected their Messiah to be a deliverer from the problems confronting them in the political world.  Except for Yeshayahu (Isaiah) chapter 53 and Dawid (David) in Psalms 22, most did not see another Passover Lamb coming; whose blood they would again look to for protection from destruction; but this time eternal destruction.  On the timeline we can connect the dots from the first Passover lamb, in Egypt, to the last Passover Lamb, Messiah. This part of the timeline has passed as the first fruit of mankind, that was pure and acceptable to Yahweh, was lifted up.

 

2.) FESTIVAL OF HARVEST

This is the second harvest of the year.  The first being barley and the second being wheat.  There was a first fruit offering to be done for this harvest also; two loaves of leavened bread. Most just looked at this as an agricultural acknowledgment of thanks.  Of those that may have tried to look forward for meaning, most could not see the gentiles being “brought into the fold,” so to speak.

 

After Messiah’s work we now know more:

The work of the second Passover Lamb allowed a second type of  Festival of Harvest, which has not yet ended.

In the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the first fruit that was Messiah was from a pure man; and so Yahweh commanded unleavened bread to be used. At the Festival of Harvest, the first fruit would now be the people committed to being pure before Yahweh.  Since all people are at first impure, Yahweh commanded that leavened bread  was to be used in the loaves of this first fruit offering (Wheat - Matt. 13:30) .  Looking back now, we can see that the two loaves foreshadowed the Hebrew and the non-Hebrew people being acceptable to Yahweh; both loaves were offered up to Yahweh.  Peter spoke of  non-Hebrew people joining the Hebrew believers.  Paul talked of the wall of partition being torn down.  And now all people, who will be made pure, will do so by confession, repentance (to a life of obedience to Yahweh), and atonement by the blood of the Messiah instead of the blood of animals (the “new covenant”).

 

We can see the relationship vertically, on the timeline, from the old Harvest Festival, with the two loaves, to the Harvest the Messiah began (Pentacost) -  the harvest of people leaving world values behind and joining the body of Messiah.

 

This harvest continues; we are living in it now.  This is where we are on the timeline (the large "X").  Its end will be marked by the First Resurrection, the dead risen and the living changed of those who were pure before Yahweh.  They will reign with Messiah for 1000 years.

 

 

As the timeline continues, we stand on this point within the second harvest looking back to what has happened, watching what is happening now, and looking forward trying to understand what will happen.

 

3.) FESTIVAL OF INGATHERING

In the seventh month of the year, Ethanim, are four annual High Days: Festival of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the first day of the Festival of Tabernacles, and the Closing Festival (NIV).

            Trumpets (Yom Teruah) - The 1st day of the seventh month.

            Atonement (Yom Kippur) - The 10th day of the seventh month.

            Tabernacles (Sukkot) - The 15th day of the seventh month through and including the 21st

day.

Restrained Assembly - Closing Festival - The 22nd day of the seventh month.  (“ats-aw-raw” Lev. 23:36)

This day is usually called “The Last Great Day,” due to John 7:37 (KJ).

 

TRUMPETS [In Hebrew – Yom Teruah] Not much is said in Scripture as to what the Hebrew people were told concerning why they were to blow the shofars on this day.  They most likely took it to mean the announcing of the beginning of a very important month.

 

ATONEMENT - [In Hebrew - Yom Kippur] The Day of Atonement was quite clear to the Hebrew people; the high priest was to make sacrifices for atonement for the sins of himself and all the people for the previous year.

 

TABERNACLES (BOOTHS) [In Hebrew - Sukkot]

At this time of the year, a general harvest of many types of crops were gathered.  Crops were brought to the threshing floor and wine presses (represents a separation of people - 1st resurrection) and then the Festival was observed (Deut. 16:13, Lev23:39).  Yahweh commanded his people that during the Festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles), they were to live in temporary dwellings (sukkot) to remember that he made them live in sukkot when he brought them out of Egypt (Leviticus 23:42,43). [Sukkah singular - a hut, a shed, a booth; pl. sukkot]

 

This general harvest represents the 1000 years of Yahshua reigning with his saints (pure ones), who are now immortal. During this time there will be mortal people who will commit themselves to being pure before Yahweh and those who will not.  People will still be required to keep the Festival of Tabernacles to remember when he brought them out of Egypt (Zech 14:16,17).  At the end of this harvest period, is the second resurrection (Rev. 20:13).

 

LAST GREAT DAY - RESTRAINED ASSEMBLY:

The high day required after the seven days of the Festival of Sukkot is a solemn or “restrained” assembly.  Scripture says nothing about what the Hebrew people were told concerning the reason they were to keep this high day with a solemn assembly.

 

Looking at the time line, we can see that when the general harvest of people is finished, after the 1000 years, a solemn assembly would represent the “White Throne judgment” (Rev. 20:11).

Again a separation of people; the wheat and the tares (Matt. 13:24-30)

[tares judged, so not at the second coming],

 the sheep and the goats (Matt. 25:31-46) (Dan.7:9,10; Rev 20:11-15).

[goats into the fire, so not at the second coming].

 

This time is solemn, because judgment of destruction will fall upon many; this includes those who remained dead at the first resurrection and unrighteous from the period of the 1000 years.  Their names blotted out of the book of life (Exo. 32:32,33; Psalm 69:38; Rev. 3:5).

 

MESSIAH’S WORK WILL BE DONE

Zech 14:9 (ASV) And [Yahweh] shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall [Yahweh] be one, and his name one.

1Cor 15:23 (NIV) But each in his own turn: [Messiah], the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to [Yahweh] the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

27 For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include [Yahweh] himself, who put everything under [Messiah].

28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that [Yahweh] may be all in all.

 

SUMMARY OF THE “THREE TIMES A YEAR”

1.) The first harvest (barley) corresponds to the first fruit of mankind, Yahshua Messiah, lifted up to Yahweh.  A harvest of one - Messiah’s resurrection.

 

2.) The second harvest (wheat) corresponds to the people committing themselves to being pure before Yahweh.  A harvest of many.  Ends with the First Resurrection and the beginning of the thousand years (1Cor. 15:50-53; 1Thes. 4:16,17; Rev. 20:4-6).

 

3.) The third harvest (all remaining crops brought to the threshing floor and wine press) corresponds to all remaining people who were not part of the first two harvests;  those who continue into and will be born during the thousand years, and those who remain dead during the first resurrection.  This harvest ends with the judgment of all of these remaining people and the beginning of the eternal kingdom with a new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem (Rev. 20:11-21:27).

So with this moed - appointed time - Ingathering; we are looking into the future.  The dots are not connected (vertically), because it has not yet happened.

 

WHO SHOULD KEEP THE FESTIVAL

Some have said that we do not have to keep the Festival of Tabernacles because of this scripture:

Levi 23:42 (KJS) Ye shall dwell in booths (sukkot) seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:

It sounds like that with isolated knowledge of only that Scripture.  I think that the following Scripture gives us the answer:

Exod 12:49 (KJS) One law shall be to him that is home born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

Once we are grafted in to the tree that is spiritual Israel, we are part of the one “people of Yahweh,” with one law for us all.

 

Ephesians 2:12 Spoken to non-Hebrew believers in Ephesus. (paraphrase) "You who were at that time separated from the Messiah (because of your pagan beliefs), an outsider from the people of Israel (people of Yahweh), ineligible for the promise of the covenants, having no hope and being without Yahweh in the world; 13 you now being in Messiah Yahshua, who were once far off (separated from the people of Israel/Yahweh) are now brought together (with the people of Israel/Yahweh) in the blood of the Messiah. 14 For he is our peace, who made both (groups) one, and broke down the middle wall of partition. 15 He abolished the rejection (Hebrew of Gentile) previously required by the ordinances of the commandments; so that he would create in himself one new man out of the two, making peace. 16 And would bring both (Hebrew and Gentile) unto Yahweh in one body through the stake, having destroyed this previous rejection (of Hebrew for Gentile).

 

So believers in Yahweh and the Messiah, whether Hebrew or non-Hebrew in background, are one people. There are not different rules for different people. Even non-believers are subject to Yahweh's commandments and Torah [torah means guidance, direction, and teaching]; rejection of Yahweh's guidance, direction, and teaching does not free one from accountability.

All who want to do right in the eyes of Yahweh, must also keep the Festival of Ingathering in preparation to be among those who are gathered into Yahweh’s kingdom.

 

 

HOW TO KEEP THE FESTIVAL

 

When there was a Tabernacle, or Temple, in Jerusalem, Yahweh’s presence was there and the commandment to come before Yahweh three times a year meant at that special place in Jerusalem.  Today there is no Temple in Jerusalem with Yahweh’s presence.  So what do we do?

 

Yahshua, Messiah, said that wherever two or more were gathered in his name, he would be in their midst.  Yahweh said that the people were to gather in a place where he would place his name.  Today we carefully chose a temporary dwelling place to put his name and gather there in his name.  The other festivals do not require temporary dwelling, but they all require the miqra (assembly to call out and proclaim) on the appointed day (moed).  We call out and proclaim through reading and teaching from the Scriptures; discussing how to follow Yahweh’s guidance, direction and teaching (Torah); and through songs which proclaim and praise his wondrous and righteous acts.  And we look forward with anticipation, as we should do on the weekly Sabbaths also, to that eternal rest where we will not have to toil for a living, but where we will enjoy Yahweh’s rewards and provision. 

 

 

 

 

TIMELINE

Top horizontal line = symbolic annual festivals

Bottom horizontal line = fulfilling events

Passover  (Lamb)  Barley  Harvest  ______Harvest (2 Loaves) Wheat Harvest  _____________ Ingathering (General Harvest) End of Year __Last Great Day (Solemn assembly)
 

Passover  (Messiah) _________________Harvest [Pentacost]  (Hebrews / Gentiles: one in Yahweh)__X__  1st Resurrection --1000 yrs______________ White Throne Judgement----ETERNITY


X  =  THE PRESENT TIME

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