Shalom

I have longed for thy salvation, O L-RD; and thy Torah is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. Psalm 119:174-176


12 October 2011

Sukkot


Flower, photo by J.Stahl

Chag Sameach! Have a joyous feast of tabernacles!


Sukkot

“33 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 34 Speak unto the children of Israel , saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. 35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.”
(See Leviticus 23:33 – 44)


This seven day feast of Sukkot / Booths / Tabernacles ... is a memorial of the time when the children of Israel lived in booths in the wilderness while coming from Egypt to Canaan . This symbolizes that our lives are transitory, lived in the tabernacles of our bodies for a short span of years before we stand before Yahweh in judgment. Those who have received Yeshua as Saviour will enter into His rest / Shabbat (Ivrim / Hebrews 4:1-11). It also pictures the 1,000 year reign of Yeshua haMashiach over the earth after His second coming (Revelation 20:4). Mankind will at last be restored to a right relationship with Yahweh Elohim (Yesha’yahu / Isaiah 11:9-10).

Sukkot is called the "Season of Our Joy." One reason Sukkot was a time of joy was that after the season of repentance and the redemption of Yom Kippur came the joy of knowing your sins were forgiven and the joy of walking with Yahweh, knowing Yahweh, and being obedient to Yahweh.

Sukkot has two prophetic fulfillments. The first is at Yeshua’s first coming, as we see in Yochanan / John 1:14

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

Yeshua came to earth the first time during Sukkot. This was the time of His birth. Let’s consider the following brief outline:

1. Yochanan the Immerser / John the Baptizer was conceived – Luke 1:5 – 25. It was during the ministration of Abiyah (Abia). This order of priests ministered in the Temple the eighth week of the Hebrew year according to the ordinance of 1 Chronicles 24:10 (and according to the Talmud). The eighth week spans the last week of the second Hebrew month of Iyar and the first week of the third Hebrew month of Sivan, which culminates at Shavuot (Pentecost). This is date is essential for knowing the time of Yeshua’s birth.

2. Yeshua was conceived – Luke 1:26 – 55. It was during the sixth month of Elizabeth ’s pregnancy that the angel, Gabriel appeared unto Mary and revealed her own near pregnancy. This would be the last of the ninth Hebrew month called Kislev at the time of Chanukah. There are 27 weeks between the end of the course of Abiyah and the start of Chanukah (Dedication), which is celebrated eight days, from Kislev 25 to Tevet. Thus we see Yeshua was conceived during the celebration of Chanukah, for He is the Light of the World.

3. The Birth of Yochanan – Luke1:56-80 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months, which was until the birth of Yochanan. Since a full pregnancy term is 41 weeks, and 27 weeks makes up the first six months (two trimesters), which is exactly the time from the discourse of Abiyah to Chanukah, that leaves 14 weeks to accomplish the last trimester and bring the pregnancy to full term. There are exactly 14 weeks from Chanukah to Passover (Nisan 14-22). Therefore, Yochanan the Immerser was born at Passover. He was circumcised on the eighth day, which would be the last day of Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread. Gabriel had said that John would “go forth” in the strength and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). Traditional Judaism tells us that Elijah will come at Passover.

4. The Birth of Yeshua – Luke 2. Yochanan was born in Nisan which is the first month of the Hebrew year. As we have shown, Mary conceived six months after Elizabeth ’s conception, which means Yeshua’s birth would have to come six months after Yochanan’s birth, during the seventh Hebrew month of Tishri. Since we know that Yochanan was born at Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread, we learn the time of Yeshua’s birth by counting six Hebrew months from Passover. The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on Nisan 15 and six months later Tabernacles begins on Tishri 15. Therefore, Yeshua was born on the first day of Sukkot.
(Above outline adapted from a study by Rabbi Avner Solomon)

The second prophetic fulfillment of Sukkot is the 1,000 year reign of Yeshua at the end of the Tribulation Period, when Yeshua once again tabernacles with man. This forms a complete circle of prophetic fulfillment found in the festivals, a picture of eternity.

Now there is one more point that needs to be added before our conclusion: The Hebraic or Biblical day begins in the evening, as can be seen from the days of creation in B’reisheet chapter 1. Likewise, prophetically these days will also begin in the evening. The evening for the long day of Mashiach, the 1,000 year reign begins with the evening, or Tribulation period. At the end of the 1.000 year reign of Mashiach we have another evening portrayed, and it is found in Revelation 20:7 – 10.

“7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

This evening, which is hasatan’s final rebellion before he is cast into the Lake of Fire to be tormented forever and ever, and precedes the eighth day which Yahweh has set apart in Vayikra / Leviticus 23:36.

“Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.

This additional day is a festival day unto itself, called Shemini Atzeret, which literally means “assembly of the eighth day.” It is because our host during Sukkot is Yahweh Elohim, Himself, and He desires that we stay another day, the “eighth day” which represents eternity. It is this day that we step into eternity with Yahweh, and there is no going back. The events of Revelation 21 and 22 take place during this time, and we are finally wedded to Yahweh in the Person of Yeshua haMashiach.

In conclusion I want to sum all things up. Just as Yeshua literally fulfilled the Spring festivals at His first coming: i.e. He was crucified on Passover, and at the time of His death (6th – 9th hour, Mattiyahu / Matthew 27:45, 46) was the time when the Passover lambs were to be sacrificed it grew dark early, for Yeshua is the Passover. Chag haMatzah / Festival of Unleaven Bread represents Yeshua’s death. This festival is seven days long. Seven is the number of completion, and as such represents that Yeshua’s death was the complete sacrifice needed, “one died for all ……” (II Corinthians 5:14) About halfway though this festival is Yom Bikkerim (Day of First Fruits) is the day Yeshua rose from the dead. This tells us that Yeshua is the first fruits of those who are asleep / dead and believe (I Corinthians 15:20 – 23). After the counting of the omer / fifty days later, we come to Shavuot, the day when Yahweh gave Torah to mankind. The church now calls it Pentecost, but it is the same day. The giving of Torah was the giving of a Ketubah / Wedding Contract, and all Israel became betrothed unto Yahweh. The giving of Ruach haKodesh / the Holy Spirit is the earnest (II Corinthians 1:22, 5:5) or engagement ring of that Ketubah / Wedding Contract.

In the same manner that Yeshua literally fulfilled the Spring Festivals, He will also fulfill the Fall festivals. The Rapture will occur on Yom Teruah (the day of the awakening blast, day of shouting and the last trumpet). At this time all believers, living and dead will join Mashiach and be with Him forevermore. This is the beginning of the Fall festivals. He does not return to Heaven, but stays to continue His mission. He pours out six of the bowl judgments of Revelation, and on Yom Kippur, after those remaining on earth have judgment passed upon them, because there are none who will repent, Yahweh will pour out the remaining bowl judgment. Then at Sukkot Yeshua will set up His Kingdom and dwell with men for 1,000 years.
These festivals, called chagim in the Hebrew, also have another Hebrew name. They are called mo’edim, which means rehearsals. In these last days, the Fall festivals are especially to be remembered, because they are rehearsals for the times which are about upon us.
-- Pastor Rick Taylor, zt"l


From Ariel Ben Lyman -
Sukkot Feast of Tabernacles Lev 23:33-36a
(Pt. A) 14.4 MB
(Pt. B) 9.8 MB
  






There is a theory on the Biblical dates for Messiah's Conception and Birth in this timeframe. See this blog article:  www.messianic.com/articles/dates.htm

There are several clues that Yeshua was born at Sukkot:
1. Bethlehem was "booked solid." This would not have been due census which would have taken place over the period of a year. Every Jew was required to come to Jerusalem for Sukkot (Dt. 16:16) this would have over run Jerusalem as well as Bethlehem just five miles away.
2. Yeshua was born in a stable. The Hebrew word for "stable" is "sukkah" (as in Gen. 33:17) so it is likely that Yeshua was born in a Sukkah/booth.
3. If Yeshua was born on the first day of Sukkot then he would have been circumcised on the "eighth great day" a festival following Sukkot. This day was the original "Simchat Torah" (Rejoicing in the Torah), which is now held the following day in Rabbinic Judaism. So Yeshua would have entered the covenant on the day of "rejoicing in the Torah."
4. When the angels appeared to the shepherds they made a statement which closely echoes the ancient Sukkot liturgy "...behold, we have come to declare to you glad tidings of great joy." (Lk. 2:10-11)
5. Sukkot is symbolic of God dwelling in a "tabernacle" (body?) with us...
Source

Since Miriam conceived when Elizabeth was six months pregnant, Yeshua was born six months after the birth of John. This brings us to the middle of Tishrei, the time of Sukkot. We cannot be 100% sure, but Tishrei 15, the first day of Sukkot, is the most likely birth date. Even the wording of John 1:14, confirms this. "The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us." The word "tabernacle" is the same word that the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Tenakh) uses to describe the booths that we are commanded to build on Sukkot (Leviticus 23:42).
Source

We know that when Yeshua was born, that there were shepherds tending to their flocks. The particular area where these shepherds were was for the flocks of lambs that would be used for the Passover sacrifices - a point that some might find interesting. These flocks were not out in the open fields during the winter. We know from the Mishna that they were taken into a protective corral from November through February. So that narrows the timing of His birth down a bit for us.
Source

First, we need to understand "the division of Abijah." We find in 1 Chronicles 24:1-19 that the descendants of Aaron's 24 grandsons (the sons of Eleazer and Ithamar) were divided into 24 divisions or courses for the purpose of serving at the Temple. 1 Chronicles 24:10 tells us that the 8th division of service was assigned to Abijah's descendants.
Each of these divisions served at the Temple for an eight-day period (1 Chr. 9:25). The service began and ended on the weekly Sabbath (2 Chr. 23:8). In addition to their normal service, all 24 courses served at the Temple during the three holy seasons every year. The Jewish Mishnah indicates that each course served a week during the first half of the year, the three annual festival weeks, and a week during the last half of the year, for a total of five weeks during a normal year.
Source