34 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of tents for seven days to Yahweh. 35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation: you shall do no regular work. 36 Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh. On the eighth day shall be a holy convocation to you; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh. It is a solemn assembly; you shall do no regular work. 37 “‘These are the appointed feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh, a burnt offering, and a meal offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, each on its own day; 38 besides the Sabbaths of Yahweh, and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to Yahweh. 39 “‘So on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruits of the land, you shall keep the feast of Yahweh seven days: on the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. 40 You shall take on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your God seven days. 41 You shall keep it a feast to Yahweh seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations. You shall keep it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths seven days. Every citizen of Israel shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.’” Leviticus 23:34-43
The Feast of Tabernacles is a seven-day long feast followed by the Eighth Great Day. Also known as Sukkoth, Succoth, or Sukkot, all transliterations of the Hebrew word pronounced “Sue-coat.” This feast is the last of the seven given to us by YHWH. It falls on the 15th of Tishri (September or October), five days after Yom Kippur. It was one of the three pilgrimage feasts when all Israelite’s were required to appear before YHWH in the Temple in Jerusalem. Because there is no earthly temple, this feast cannot be kept according to the biblical instructions; however, we can still observe this feast to the best of our ability.
The word Sukkoth means “booths,” and refers to the temporary dwellings that the Israelites would live in during this feast, just like the Israelite’s did in the desert for 40 years. The first day of Sukkot and the eighth great day are both Sabbaths, and no work is to be done on these days.
During Sukkot, two important ceremonies took place. The Hebrew people carried torches around the temple, illuminating bright candelabrum along the walls of the temple to demonstrate that the Messiah would be a light to the Gentiles. Also, the priest would draw water from the pool of Siloam and carry it to the temple where it was poured into a silver basin beside the altar. The priest would call upon YHWH to provide heavenly water in the form of rain for their supply.
Y’shua attended the Feast of Tabernacles and on the last and greatest day of the Feast He said:
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” John 7:37-38
The next morning, while the torches were still burning Y’shua said:
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
This feast alludes to a future time when men will once again ‘tabernacle’ with YHWH when He will walk with us once again as He did with Adam in the garden (Rev. 21:3). It is also a prophetic shadow picture of when all nations will gather to Jerusalem (Zech. 8:22; 14:16). During the Millennium Reign, all nations will be required to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zech. 14). Most scholars agree that Tabernacles represents the beginning of the Millennium when Y’shua will bring his government, his laws (Torah) and reign for 1000 years (Micah 4:1-3).
Ideas to Celebrate Tabernacles
Most people observe this feast by going camping. Depending on things like personal taste and budget, it could be as fancy as renting a cabin or as simple as a tent in the woods. Getting together with a group of believers and camping is a great way to celebrate this feast. If there are not any like-minded believers in your area, there are several groups across the country that have open registration to join them during Sukkot.
Build a Sukkah
If camping for a week is not an option, consider building a Sukkah in your backyard. It doesn’t need to be fancy. It can be as simple as decorating one of those pop-up shades from the big box store or as complex as building a sukkah from scratch. Once your sukkah is built, eat at least one meal in it a day.