Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)

Sukkah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Feast of Booths, better known as “the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot” falls on the 15th to the 21st of Tishrei (the 7th Biblical month corresponding with September/October of our calendar year.) The first and the last day of this feast are considered “Sabbaths unto the Lord: “Do no regular work.” Lev. 35 & 36.

Scriptural references: Leviticus 16:33-44; Deuteronomy 16:13-15; Zechariah 14:16-19; and John 7:2-52.

The Feast of Tabernacles is the last of the seven Biblically mandated celebrations. It is the third and final pilgrimage festival where all of Israel was commanded to ascend to Jerusalem. It is also the most joyful; in fact it was the only one in which the Israelites were commanded by God to rejoice (Deut. 16:14). It celebrates the final harvest of the year, and God’s great provision for His people.

During this feast, the Israelites were required to leave the comfort of their homes and to live in tabernacles or booths (a three sided temporary structure with a leafy roof through which the stars could be seen). In this way they would remember how their ancestors had lived in booths or tents when they came out of the slavery of Egypt.

In the New Testament times Sukkot was a major celebration, often referred to simply as “The Feast”. It incorporated great ceremonies using water and light. Yeshua made His proclamation in the Temple during Sukkot as He stood and cried out “If any one is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever puts his trust in Me, as the Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being” (John 7:37-38).

In modern Israel, many families start building and decorating their “sukkah” right after Yom Kippur, in their yards or on their balconies. They spend as much time in the sukkah as possible, eating their meals there and even sleeping in them.

Zechariah says that, in the Millennium, all nations will come up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, or they will incur God’s wrath (Zech. 14:16-19). The ultimate fulfillment of this feast will come after the return of the Lord, when God will once again dwell, or “tabernacle” with His people.

We believe Sukkot is the Festival when Yeshua was born This festival is the Feast of Tabernacles when the Lord was dwelling with us, since Yeshua is Emmanuel (meaning God with us) (Matthew 1:23 and John 1:14).

This holiday celebrates the fresh fruit and vegetables of the season. Since Sukkot falls during the fall harvest, it is traditional to eat stuffed vegetables and fruit dishes.