Luke 2:7, Manger. (Gr. phatne)The Greek word phatne literally means “feeding trough” and according to the word’s etymology and lexicology as stated in TheTDNT, there is no indication that this manger is anything but a standard feeding trough or manger.
Nevertheless, this manger may have been a sukkah or tabernacle, which is the flimsy little hut that Israelites build during the biblical Feast of Tabernacles (Heb. Chag Sukkot) as commanded in the Torah (Lev 23:33–43). We see the connection between a manger and a sukkah in Genesis 33:17 where Jacob built booths (or tabernacles; Heb. succot or sukkot is the plural form of sukkah) for his livestock showing us that the Hebrew word sukkah (pl. sukkot) can also mean “livestock barn or manger” as well as a temporary habitation where Israelites dwell during the biblically commanded festival of Sukkot.
This raises the possibility that Yeshua was born in a festival sukkah during the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot and not just in an animal barn as Christian folklore would have us believe.
The LXX Greek word for sukkah in Gen 33:17 is skenas meaning “habitation, dwelling or tabernacle” and is the same word used in John 1:14 and Rev 21:1–3 in reference to Yeshua tabernacling with his people.
Putting all the pieces together, Yeshua may have been born in a sukkah-manger prior to or during the Feast of Tabernacles with a human sukkah (or body, of which the physical sukkah during Sukkot is a metaphorical picture) in order to redeem man from sin, so that Yeshua might tabernacle with redeemed men forever in the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:3).
Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret—The Historical Roots of Our Faith, Present Relevance for Believers & Prophetic End-Time Implications
Spiritual and Ceremonial Aspects of Sukkot
Overview of the Season
Sukkot (also spelled “Succoth”) or the Feast of Tabernacle/Booths or Ingathering is the sixth of the seven annual feast days in YHVH’s plan of redemption for mankind. It 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 Master of masters. 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 Continue reading →
There is still time to register for Sukkot Northwest 2016 on the wild and scenic Rogue River in warm and pristine Southwest Oregon. We have rented an entire campground with full camping and RV facilities, and several camp sites are still available.
After seeking YHVH Elohim, the theme for this year’s Feast is, “Get in the River of Life…Be a River of Life!” Our cornerstone scripture passages are:
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. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:37–38)
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14)
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Rev 22:2)
We were led by the Spirit of Elohim to choose this theme unaware of its broader prophetic implications until Brother Bill who is from Washington State and is one of our speakers pointed out to us, “This is a wonderful theme to have this year, just having come off of last year’s theme of ‘Coming out of Babylon.’ Babylon is known by several names, one of which is the ‘Land Between Two Rivers.’ One river speaks of death, and the other river speaks of life. Babylon is a mixture of the two. ‘Come out of (the river of death)” was last year’s theme. ‘Get into the River of Life!’ (and then be a river of life) is this year’s theme. A natural progression!” Thank you Bill for this encouraging confirmation.
Our primary motivation for choosing this theme is a response to the times in which we are living. Evil in the form of secular humanism, the rise in false and demonic religions, the moral and the spiritual decline of our society, the rise of the spirit of Antichrist, the rapid expansion of the police state and the move toward one-world government is coming upon us like a tidal wave! What should be our response? What can we possibly do about it? Very simply this: Do what Yeshua and the apostles did. Be a menorah on a hill boldly proclaiming the light of gospel message in the power of the Spirit of Elohim through our lifestyle and our words. This is the one weapon that we possess that makes all the powers of death, hell and darkness tremble. So, it’s time to saddle for battle!
A theme running through this year’s Sukkot will be learning to operate in the gifts of the Spirit to be a river of life to those around us as we help to gather in the lost sheep of the house of Israel in preparation for Messiah Yeshua’s second coming. Everyday, we will be having short teachings followed by group discussions (where we can learn from each other) on the gifts of the Spirit including prophecy, healing, deliverance, dreams and visions, signs and wonders, and the baptism of the Spirit. These will be followed by a workshop the following day in the prayer tent where we can learn to minister and be ministered to in these areas.
Nearly every day, we will have live praise and worship, Torah reading, and teachings from anointed speakers from several West Coast states.
We will also have workshops and several fun group activities including our annual erev Shabbat dinner, river immersion and water pouring ceremony.
For specific information and details on Sukkot NW 2016, please visit sukkotnw.org.
For a sense of what to expect at Sukkot NW 2016, we invite you to watch a fun video of excerpts from Sukkot NW 2015.
Exodus 23:14–19, Three times you shall keep a feast.
Conventional Jewish wisdom teaches us that during the three biblical pilgrimage festivals of Passover/Unleavened Bread, Pentecost and Tabernacles all the individuals of the nation are to leave their place of individual isolation and are to rendezvous in the presence of the one Elohim of Israel. This was to occur in the festival circle (or chag) around the common sanctuary (where YHVH has chosen to place his name, Deut 16:2, 11, 15), thereby becoming conscious that each one is connected to all the other members of the nation, with YHVH Elohim, and with the Torah (The Pentateuch—Deuteronomy, p. 310, by S. R. Hirsch). In biblical times, the Israelites would gather wherever the tabernacle had been placed. When the temple was built in Jerusalem, this city became the destination of the Israelite pilgrims on these three biblical feasts.
But there is much more to this spiritual picture if we add Yeshua the Messiah of Israel into the picture, for each of the three feasts point directly to him. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles all point to Yeshua, since the first two festal periods point to Yeshua’s first coming, while the last fall feast points to his second coming. Each of these feasts represent milestones in the spiritual journey of the redeemed believer from initial redemption to glorification and eternal life in the presence of YHVH Elohim.
There were three sections in the Tabernacle of Moses (Heb. mishkan): the outer courtyard, the holy place and the holy of holies. These three correspond with the three parts of man, which are his body, soul and spirit (1 Thess 5:23). The feasts of Passover (Heb. Pesach) and Unleavened Bread (Heb. Chag haMatzot) are the first two feasts the righteous believers are to celebrate in the spring and represent the first steps in a new believer’s spiritual walk. This corresponds with the outer courtyard and relates more to the spiritual cleansing of the outer parts or body of man. It is here that one begins their spiritual walk and relationship with Yeshua, who is the Word of Elohim. The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (Heb. Shavuot) is the next step one takes in their spiritual walk as one goes inside the Tabernacle of Moses. The tabernacle’s holy place speaks of bringing the soul (the mind, will and emotions) into submission to the will of YHVH as one advances in their spiritual walk and learns about the fruits and gifts of the Spirit of Elohim, who they are as redeemed Israelites, and about worship and praise.
Finally, the holy of holies corresponds to the Feast of Tabernacles (Heb. Chag haSukkot) and the spirit part of man. This part of the tabernacle speaks more to man’s ultimate spiritual relationship with Elohim. It is here that man relates to Elohim, who is a Spirit, on a deeper spirit to Spirit level (John 4:24; 1 Cor 2:10–13). This prophetically points to man’s ultimate destiny as glorified beings in the New Jerusalem as adopted members into the family of Elohim (John 1:12; Rom 8:14–15, 23; 9:4; 2 Cor 6:18; Gal 4:5–6; Eph 1:5; 1 John 3:1; Rev 21:7).
The joy of YHVH Elohim is a powerful spiritual force that can carry one past the obstacles, pitfalls and hinderances of life. The redeemed believer has every reason to experience YHVH’s joy and all the more so during the biblical festivals including the Feast of Taberncales, which are prophetic pictures of the wonderful world tomorrow of Yeshua’s millennial kingdom. Watch this video and be encouraged!
Shemini Atzeret or the Eighth Day (mentioned in Lev 23:36) is the most overlooked and misunderstood biblical festival in the Messianic or Hebrew Roots Movement, yet it prophetically represents the final step in YHVH’s glorious plan of salvation for humans. Watch this video, because you need to know “how the story ends” and what you have to look forward to for eternity if you remain faithful to YHVH.