The Historical Roots of Our Faith, Present Relevance for believers & Prophetic End-Time Implications
Ya’acov Natan Lawrence
A Teaching Ministry of Hoshana Rabbah Biblical Resources
Spiritual and Ceremonial Aspects of Sukkot
Overview of the Season
Sukkot (also spelled “Succoth”) or the Feast of Tabernacle (also known as the Feast of Booths, the Feast of Ingathering) is the sixth of YHVH’s seven annual feast days in Creator’s plan of redemption for mankind. This festival is mostly prophetic in its spiritual significance and pictures what the world will be like after the second coming of Yeshua the Messiah when he will come live one earth with his people as he sets up his world-ruling government. Like a river of life, his word and Spirit will go forth from Jerusalems and his glory will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. During this time of global peace and prosperity, Satan, the wicked one and his minions, will have either been destroyed or will be confined to the bottomless pit, and the lion and lamb will happily play together with the little child, and YHVH’s Torah-law will be universally taught and adhered to. And there is much more beyond this to learn about Sukkot or the Season of Our Joy as we are about to discover.
Sukkot occurs in the early fall of the year on the fifteenth day of the seventh month on YHVH’s biblical calendar fifteen days after Yom Teruah (the Day of Shofar Blowing) and five days after Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). This festival lasts for seven days and directly following it is a separate festival called Shemini Atzeret literally meaning “the Eighth Solemn Assembly”and commonly referred to as “the Eighth Day.”
We see in the early fall a rapid succession of biblical feasts with one coming right after another. It is a time of great energy, excitement and anticipation both in the natural realm and prophetically.
We also observe a transition from the somber and repentant, even frightening, mood of Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur to the joyous and celebratory mood of the Feast of Sukkot, and no wonder, for the first two fall festivals of YHVH represent a very dark and ominous time in human history—the end of the age with the judgments of Elohim being poured out upon the earth (great tribulation, wrath of Elohim, battle of Armageddon, and Satan being bound and cast into the bottomless pit). But this same period culminates in the return of the Messiah, Yeshua, to rule the earth during the Messianic Age as King of kings and Lord of lords. The Feast of Tabernacles pictures this glorious epoch in the history of humanity’s tenure upon this earth—a time of unspeakable joy and triumph of good over evil, righteousness over wickedness, the children of light over the children of darkness, love over hate, and the truth of YHVH (epitomized by Yeshua) over the lies of Satan.
Thus Saith YHVH’s Word on the Feast of Tabernacles and the Eighth Day
The Word of Elohim must be the foundation for all that we do, say and think. With that in mind, here are the scriptures that reveal YHVH’s Truth about this glorious, upward-looking festival:
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. 35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 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. 37 These are the feasts of YHVH, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto YHVH, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: 38 Beside the sabbaths of YHVH, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto YHVH. 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 YHVH seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. 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 YHVH your Elohim seven days. 41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto YHVH seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am YHVH your Elohim. (Lev 23:34–43)
Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. 15 Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) 16 And the feast of harvest, the first fruits of thy labours, 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 labours out of the field. 17 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Adon YHVH. (Exod 23:14–17)
And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto YHVH seven days … [all the sacrifices and offerings are to be made on these days are then listed] …. 35 On the eighth day ye shall have a solemn assembly: ye shall do no servile work therein … [the sacrifices and offerings that are to be made on this day are then listed]. (Num 29:12, 35)
Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: 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. 15 Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto YHVH thy Elohim in the place which YHVH shall choose: because YHVH thy Elohim shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice. 16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before YHVH thy Elohim in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before YHVH empty: 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of YHVH thy Elohim which he hath given thee. (Deut 16: 13–17)
And they found written in the law which YHVH had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month: 15 And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written. 16 So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of Elohim, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim. 17 And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness. 18 Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of Elohim. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner. (Neh 8: 14–18)
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, YHVH of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, YHVH of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith YHVH will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. (Zech 14:16–19)
Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. 10 But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11 Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? 14 Now about the midst of the feast Yeshua went up into the temple, and taught. 37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yeshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Set-apart Spirit was not yet given; because that Yeshua was not yet glorified.) (John 7: 2, 10, 11, 14, 37–39)
Meaning of the Word Sukkot
The word sukkot (plural of sukkah) is Hebrew for “tabernacles, booths, or any tent-like temporary dwelling.” The Tabernacle or Mishkan that YHVH commanded Moses to construct in the wilderness was a sukkah—literally, a portable tent or habitation for YHVH himself. In fact, the time period of the Feast of Sukkot marks the beginning of Israel’s construction of the mishkan (tabernacle), for Moses received the second tablets containing the ten commandments or statements of YHVH on Yom Teruah and it was immediately after this that the Torah records that the Israelites began building the tabernacle.
The sukkah, a flimsy, tent-like dwelling, represents the frailty of man’s physical life, for the physical body of man is nothing more than a “temporary dwelling” in which mortal man lives (2 Cor 5:1–6) until physical death occurs followed by the resurrection of the saints into eternal life.
While in this physical state man must totally depend upon his Creator for everything, without whom we would perish both physically and spiritually in this wilderness in which we find ourselves called life. This is exactly the lesson we learn from the children of Israel’s experience during 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. They depended totally upon YHVH for food, water, clothing and protection from the heat, cold and their enemies.
YHVH Sukkah-ed With His PeopleContinue reading