Sukkot – The Feast of Tabernacles

The last of the Fall Feasts of God is called Sukkot (סוכות) or the Feast of Tabernacles. This feast is a celebration and time of thanksgiving to the Lord in remembrance of what He did for the nation of Israel as He delivered them out of Egypt, restored them as a nation unto Himself, and provided for their every need in the wilderness.

We read about Sukkot in Leviticus 23:33-34 – “The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Lord’s Festival of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days.
Leviticus 23:42-43 – “Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

Every evening during the festive week of Sukkot, Jewish families gather together in a sukkah (tabernacle), made out of lumber, grass, or any other natural substance, and is decorated with natural materials including tree branches, leaves, flowers, vegetables and fruit, to enjoy a celebratory dinner together, and to read from the Tanach (Hebrew Old Testament). They do this in remembrance of God’s supernatural provision in the desert as he fed them with manna, provided water from a rock, and caused their clothing not to be worn out. These family gatherings during Sukkot are filled with so much thankfulness, celebration and joy! This is a wonderful prophetic picture of how we should also live in total dependence on God today!

A tradition during the feast of Sukkot is the waving of the “lulav,” which is a cluster of branches from the palm, willow, etrog, and myrtle plant species (Lev. 23:40). The “lulav” is held aloft waved before the LORD in the four directions, prophetically resembling the cross of Yeshua. This act of waving the “lull” testifies to the provision and goodness of God.

On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, called Hoshana Rabbah (הוֹשַׁעְנָא רַבָּא The Great Supplication), during the days of Yeshua two remarkable ceremonies were conducted. The first ceremony involved the priests moving in procession to the pool of Siloam to draw water, which they would then carry back to the temple to pour out on the altar, thanking God in advance for the coming winter rains which will bring forth a rich harvest in the spring. This prophetic act also pointed to the pouring out of God’s Spirit when Messiah will come, and how “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” – Isaiah 11:9

It was during this ceremony that Yeshua moved prophetically by declaring out loud to the people “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water” – John 7:37-38, thereby unveiling to them that He was their long-awaited Messiah.

The second ceremony involved the lighting of the golden lamp-stands in the temple courtyard, as a prophetic sign that Messiah would be a light to the gentiles and that He would be God’s salvation to the ends of the earth (Isa. 49:6).

It was during the following morning while the lamp-stands were still burning that Yeshua declared to the people, “I am the light of the world” – John 8:12, further emphasising his identity as the Messiah, whom God had sent from Heaven that the world through Him might be saved.

Sukkot has tremendous relevance to us as believers in Yeshua. The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) serves to remind us of the following:

God defended the nation of Israel as they wandered in the desert and dwelt in huts (tabernacles). In the same way God is always with us continually to defend and protect us!

God was their healer and He provided the Israelites with supernatural health. Not a single one was found sick among them as they wandered the desert. In the same way Yeshua is our Healer today!

God provided for the Israelites. In the desert there was no food or water to be found, but God opened the heavens and sent the Israelites Manna, and He split the rock and provided them with water. Just as God provided for them in the desert, so He still provides all our needs today!

The Holy Spirit led the Israelites through the desert with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. As soon as it moved, the Israelites also moved and followed. This is a wonderful illustration of how God is leading us in all situations even today!

The prophetic significance of the Feast of Tabernacles is further revealed in Zechariah 14:9 which reads

And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be—“The Lord is one,” And His name one.

as well as in Zechariah 14:16:

And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

Bible prophecy shows us that not just the nation of Israel, but all the nations of the earth shall go up to Jerusalem to celebrate Sukkot, to honor and worship Yeshua, our King and eternal Tabernacle, as He rules and reigns over all the earth from Jerusalem. During that time Jerusalem will be filled with tabernacles under the open heavens, as the nations flood to Jerusalem to celebrate Sukkot, which represents the final harvest when all nations will share in the joy and blessings of God’s kingdom.

May you have a blessed Feast of Tabernacles and may you always abide in Yeshua, our everlasting Tabernacle!