Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)

The seven feasts of Israel are divided into two sections, the spring cycle of feasts and the fall cycle of feasts. The spring feasts consist of: 1) Passover which portrays the Messiah’s substitutionary, sacrificial death, 2) Unleavened Bread which portrays the Messiah’s sinless life, 3) First Fruits which portrays the Messiah’s resurrection, and 4) Weeks (Pentecost) which is fulfilled by the birth of the Church. After a four month summer break (which portrays the current Church age), we come to the fall cycle of feasts.

The fall cycle commences with the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh HaShanah) which portrays the Rapture (the end of the Church age). Trumpets is followed by the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) which will be fulfilled by the Tribulation period and Israel’s national salvation. The final feast of the year is the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths (Sukkot) which will be fulfilled by the institution of the 1,000 year Messianic Kingdom when Jesus (Yeshua) rules over the world from His glorious throne in the world’s capitol city of Jerusalem.

The Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated by each family erecting their own temporary shelter or booth (tabernacle, Hebrew: Sukkah). The Jewish family “lives” in the Sukkah as much as they can for the seven day period of the feast, at least eating one meal a day in the Sukkah if not more, and sleeping in the Sukkah if they can. “Living” in the Sukkah recalls the Exodus from Egypt when Israel lived in temporary shelters and God dwelt visibly in our midst.

We know that the feast portrays the institution of the Messianic Kingdom from Zechariah 14:16. “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.” In the Messianic Kingdom observance of the Feast of Tabernacles will be mandatory for all nations. Every country will be required to send a delegation to Jerusalem each year to celebrate the festival.

The parallel between the Exodus experience and the current celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles is captured in this thought: when Israel came out of Egypt, Israel lived in temporary shelters and God dwelt in our midst. In the same way when the Messianic Kingdom is instituted God will once again dwell in our midst.

Hag Sameach (Happy Holiday)!