Sukkot is Hebrew word which is translated as shelter, canopy, booth, Tabernacle, etc. In scripture there many references to Sukkot that God creates with His “wings”, clouds and even darkness to protect His people in the future times of trouble. The practice of going out and building the Sukkah (temporary dwelling- outside our comfort zones, vulnerable to the elements, etc.) is a biblical command, another part of the command for this feast is to take certain species of branches of trees and “rejoice” with them.
Each element of what we call the Four Species (arba minim) represent a different kind of person, and we hold them together representing the unification of the remnants of peoples in the end, (the regathering of the exiles) and we wave them in 6 directions signifying our desire to worship God who is owner and ruler over all things- N S E W Heavenward and Earthward. ( Lev. 23; 40‘Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, 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, 43 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.’” 44 So Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of the LORD.)
The central theme of this season is Rejoicing- it is the “Time of our Delight”. ( Deut. 16;13“You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; 14 and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. 15“Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.) We love to have guests which is a tradition I love, inviting people who may never have had any idea what these things are about and maybe growing closer together as friends and brothers and sisters in Yeshua.
This was the one time a year God commanded every single person in the community as well as the hired laborers and strangers to appear before Him and hear their leadership read and teach them the Torah (which is a word which doesn’t really translate as Law, it’s definition is Teaching and Instruction.) Deut. 31; 10 Then Moses commanded them, saying, “At the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of remission of debts, at the Feast of Booths, 11when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place which He will choose, you shall read this Torah in front of all Israel in their hearing. 12“Assemble the people, the men and the women and children and the alien who is in your town, so that they may hear and learn and fear the LORD your God, and be careful to observe all the words of this Torah.
It was also one of the Pilgrimage Feasts (there were three times a year that God commanded all the males to appear before Him in Jerusalem), which Yeshua (Jesus) observed and kept as did his parents and disciples. Exodus 34; 23“Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel. 24“For I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your borders, and no man shall covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the LORD your God. (See John ch 7)
The Sukkah reminds us of leaving slavery- spiritual and historically, when the people were taken out of the woe of oppression by God’s mighty hand they were completely reliant on Him- He loved them because they were willing to follow Him into the unknown. They built sukkot at that time and also He covered them with His clouds of glory protecting them leading them giving them shade and light all along their journey, as He does for us in our lives journey’s. (Jeremiah 2; 2“Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, the love of your betrothals, your following after Me in the wilderness, through a land not sown. Ex. 13; 20 After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. 21 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. )
There is so much deep meaning to this feast- I personally love it because I often don’t just go outside and sit in peace and contemplate how beautiful the stars are or the cool fresh clean air, or the warmth of happy voices around me….so it helps me connect to my King. I love sleeping in the Sukkah and waking up to the sounds of morning. I love being with friends and family and to me Sukkot is a picture of the future rest we will have without end. Rest and worship. The Sukkah represents also the Bridal Canopy and looks forward to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.
Yeshayahu 4;1 For seven women will take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach!” (Isaiah 1; 2 In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel. 3 It will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem. 4 When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning, 5 then the Lord will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy. 6 There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.)
This season was likely a more accurate estimate of the time at which Light came into the world, Yeshua’s birth. The fact that there was ‘no room for them at the inn” in Jerusalem was likely because of the Feast. Thousands upon thousands would stream into Jerusalem for Sukkot and perhaps that is why Yeshua and his family stayed in Jerusalem. Also this would have been a reasonable time for the Shepherds to be “watching their flocks by night” when the angels appeared to them announcing His birth ( it is snowy and cold in Israel in the month of December and the Shepherds would not likely have had their flocks in the field.) So I think about that too. Every day is a great day to worship and seek the light and reflect it out in our lives. But there is a special light surrounding this Feast. I bear witness ❤
The Feasts of the Lord are still relevant for believers in Yeshua and for the Future. He fulfilled all the spring Feasts at His first coming and will do so for all the Fall Feasts when He returns! The future Millennial Temple will involve the Festival offerings, and Zechariah says that life on this planet will depend specifically on the nations going up to Jerusalem at Sukkot ( 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. 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. 18If 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. 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. Ezekiel 45; 16 “All the people of the land shall give to this offering for the prince in Israel. 17 It shall be the prince’s part the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the drink offerings, at the feasts, on the new moons and on the sabbaths, at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel; he shall provide the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering and the peace offerings, to make atonement for the house of Israel.” )
This feast was the one occasion upon which the Levites would offer 70 bulls for the 70 nations to atone for them and ask a blessing over them for the new season. This is a community and greater community (world) affair, so it is for everyone who wishes to observe it. It was also the one time a year a special water libation ceremony was performed. Crowds would sing, dance, make music and worship as they paraded down to get living water that they would dance back up to the Temple and pour over the Altar. It is said, “one does not know joy whom has not witnessed the water libation ceremony”, it is said to be the most joyous occasion of all. It is on the “great” day of the Feast (which lasts seven days) known as Hoshana Rabbah that Yeshua stood up in the Temple and declared HE was the way for the spirit and life for all people. He did that specifically on that day of Sukkot and referred to the waters which the people would definately relate to at that time….for a reason. He always worked in connection with meaningful Feast dates, Sabbaths and even traditional ceremony in order to explain the meaning and heart of them. This is one reason, perhaps the best reason, they are so important. ( John 7; 37 On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and called out in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38To the one who believes in Me, it is just as the Scripture has said: ‘Streams of living water will flow from within him.’” )