“…On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Lord’s Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days.” (Leviticus 23:34 NIV)
Around the world, the Jewish People (and Messianic believers) are spending time celebrating in their ‘sukkot’ (plural of ‘sukkah’) that they built when Yom Kippur ended just days ago. This holiday is a pilgrimage festival linked to the harvest, so it is also known as ‘Chag HaAsif’ (“Festival of Ingathering”). In ancient times, every Israelite would go to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to celebrate Sukkot, having made these temporary shelters in and around the city to house their families.
Sukkot is also a commemoration of the 40 years that Israel wandered in the wilderness and lived in temporary dwellings following their exodus from Egypt.
“And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths (temporary shelters or “Sukkot” in Hebrew) for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 23:40–43 NKJ)
While one of the main observances of this holiday is spending time in the sukkah, the ‘lulav’ (a bundle of date palm fonds, myrtle, and willow) and an ‘etrog’ (a deliciously fragrant lemon-like citrus) are also waved before the Lord. When the Holy Temple still stood in Jerusalem, this waving ceremony was performed on all seven days of the Sukkot festival.
This week long holiday is a very joyous one, so much so that it is also called ‘Z’man Simchateinu’, the “Season of Rejoicing!” Joining the Jewish families will be many Gentile believers in Yeshua (Jesus), who understand that we have been grafted into the family of Israel (Romans 11:17). Our celebration will also rejoice over past victories, as well as looking forward to the time when we will personally “tabernacle” with The Lord God.
Sukkot, which follows right after Rosh HaShanah (Day of Judgment) and Yom Kippur (the day that judgment is sealed), represents a renewed fellowship with The Lord God.
In Biblical Prophecy:
We all look forward to the future fulfillment of this “Day of Ingathering”, when faithful believers are gathered together with the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ) who will reign in His Heavenly Kingdom here on the Earth (Isaiah 27:12–13; Jeremiah 23:7–8). At that time, the Bible says, all nations will come before the Lord during the Festival of Sukkot to worship Him in the holy city of Jerusalem.
“Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.” (Zechariah 14:16)
“Chag Sameach” (Happy Holiday) – May you have a joyful SUKKOT Holiday!
Category: Biblical Feasts