The Feast of Tabernacles – TWTW – 5 October, 2017

15 Tishrei 5778 – 5 October, 2017

Well, the fast is over and Israel has returned to her daily affairs. During the course of the first few days of this week, it was obvious that the heaviness from the prior week was definitely lifted. 

Last night at sundown began the Biblical, prophetic Feast of Tabernacles, known in Hebrew as “Chag Ha-Succot” (pronounced “hahg soo-koht”). It is the last of the Fall Feasts of Leviticus 23 and of the seven prophetic feasts mentioned in that chapter. Verses 33-44 set forth the command, the day, the manner and the reason for celebrating this particular, joyful holiday:
“33 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 ‘Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, “On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the LORD. 35 On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind. 36 For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the LORD; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work. 37 These are the appointed times of the LORD which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, to present offerings by fire to the LORD-burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each day’s matter on its own day – 38 besides those of the sabbaths of the LORD, and besides your gifts and besides all your votive and freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD. 39 On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gather in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. 40 Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brooks, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. 41 You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God”.’ So Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of the LORD.”

Other references to this special Feast appear in the Book of Numbers  (29:12-34, which mentions the special sacrifices to be made on this day); in Deuteronomy (16:13-15, which refer to this holiday [in translation into English] as the Feast of Booths [i.e., tabernacles], to be celebrated after the gathering in of the Fall harvest and which point out that this is a joyful Feast – hence, it is also referred to in Hebrew as “Chag Ha’Asif” – “The Festival of the Harvest”. In the Book of Nehemiah (8:13-18, we learn that it was celebrated for the first time since the days of Joshua [v. 17]) and the Gospel according to John (7:1-39) relates the observance of this Feast by the Lord Yeshua).
During the Temple period, this Feast was observed, among other things, by the ceremony of pouring out water on the Altar in Jerusalem, which water was gathered in pitchers from the pool of Siloam, while singing Psalms 120 through 134, symbolizing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days. It was also celebrated by the kindling of lights, symbolizing the anticipated return of the Shekinah Glory to the Temple in Jerusalem.
In brief, the Jewish celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles today is a time of rejoicing. We wish each other “Chag Sameach” – have a joyful holiday. One would also greet another by saying “Moadim LeSimcha” (Times of Joy), which would be responded to by “Haggim U’zmanim L’Sasson” (Feasts and Times for Joy). The Book of Ecclesiastes is read, which concludes an encouragement to remember God in the days of our youth (12:1-8) and to fear (i.e., to reverence) Him (12:11-14): “11 The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body. 13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

It is also a time of rejoicing over the giving of the Torah (technically, the Pentateuch, the first five books of Moses; but in practice, it relates to God’s giving His laws to Israel).
Of considerable significance is the Messianic perspective associated with the Feast of Tabernacles. First, it is to be noted that there was considerable misunderstanding about the Feast during the time of the LORD Yeshua. This is made evident by Peter’s comments at the time of the transfiguration, as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 17, verse 4: “Peter said to [the Lord] Yeshua, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah’.” What Peter failed to understand, as so often people today, that “The LORD’s appointed times which [are to be] proclaimed as holy convocations” (Lev. 23:2) are “fixed festivals in the number set by the ordinance concerning them” (1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 31:3; Ezra 3:5 and Nehemiah 10:33). In other words, there is an order to them and they must occur in their order. Peter wanted to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles before the celebration of the Passover. His intention was right, but his timing was definitely off. The same misunderstanding occurred at the time of the Lord Yeshua’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem (see Matthew 21:8-9; John 12:12-13; Mark 11:8-10).
The Feast, as indicated above, was also observed by the Lord Yeshua, Who, on the last (eighth) day of the Feast, which is also referred to as the “Great Day of the Feast” (John 7:37) declared: “37 If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’. 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because [the Lord] Yeshua was not yet glorified.”

The fulfillment of this prophetic Feast will be found during the Millenial period, when the LORD of hosts will rule and reign from Jerusalem, as noted by the prophet Zechariah (14:16-21):
“16 Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths [i.e., Succot]. 17 And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them. 18 If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the LORD smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths [i.e., Succot]. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths [i.e., Succot]. 20 In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, ‘HOLY TO THE LORD.’ And the cooking pots in the LORD’S house will be like the bowls before the altar. Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the LORD of hosts; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them. And there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts in that day.”

The reason for the fulfillment: The LORD, the Holy One of Israel, the King of Glory (Psalm 24:7-10), the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:16; see Psalm 17:11) will once again dwell (i.e., tabernacle) amongst us. He alone is worthy to be worshipped. The land will be free from the enemies of God (the “Canaanite”) and in the presence of THIS King, there is “fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).
But, to enter into all of the blessings of the prophetic Feasts of the Lord, it is first necessary to enter into His Sabbath rest (Lev. 23:3). This can only be accomplished by faith in the Promised One of Israel (Hebrews 4:1-13). Encourage others not to harden their hearts, but to respond to Him in faith if, indeed, they hear His voice today (Psalm 95:71), so that they will not be precluded from entering into His rest (Psalm 95:11).

Bless, be blessed and be a blessing.



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