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Sukkoth

October 8, 2014

Meeting Times [מוֹעֵד H4150] – (Seasons)
The sun, moon, and stars indicate set appointments when Yahweh will show up to interact with His people. The Older Covenant feasts, Yahweh’s meeting times (seasons), are determined by the cycles of the moon. The word translated feasts is the Hebrew word, מוֹעֵד Moed. Moed means a divine appointment. In other words: a fixed time or season, specifically a festival.

Moed [מוֹעֵד H4150]
• At this set time – Genesis 17:21, 21:2; Exodus 9:5
• At the appointed time – Genesis 18:14
• An appointed season – Exodus 13:10; Numbers 9:2, 9:3, 9:7, 9:13; Deuteronomy 16:6
• An appointed place (tabernacle / tent of the congregation) – Numerous Exodus, Leviticus passages.

In Greek: Chronos [χρόνος G5550] — time either long or short – time.
Kairos [καιρός G2540] – a fixed and definite time – season.

It is not for you to know the timesG5550 or the season G2540 . . .” – Acts 1:7
But of the times and the seasons . . .” – 1 Thessalonians 5:1

The Moedim were times when Yahweh appointed a מִקְרָא Miqrao. A miqrao is something called out. In other words: a public meeting, an assembly, a holy convocation, a reading, or a rehearsal. In other words, the feasts are a dress rehearsal for the coming of Yeshua. The moedim of Israel have a practical, a symbolic, and a prophetic application.

Miqrao [מִקְרָא H4744]
• A holy convocation – Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23:2-8; Numbers 28:18, 28:25, 29:12
• An assembly – Numbers 10:2; Isaiah 1:13, 4:5
• A reading – Nehemiah 8:8

The Three Commanded Moedim
Deuteronomy 16:16 – “Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.

The Three commanded Moedim are:
• Pesach (Passover), including Chag Ha’Matzoth (Unleavened Bread) and Reishit Katzir (First Fruits)
• Shavuot (Pentecost)
• Sukkoth (Tabernacles)

The Seven Moedim are:
• Pesach (Passover)
• Chag Ha’Matzoth (Unleavened Bread)
• Reishit Katzir (First Fruits) Begins on the third day after Pesach.
• Shavuot (Pentecost)
• Yom Teruah (Trumpets)
• Yom Kippurim (Day of Atonements)
• Sukkoth (Tabernacles)

The Seventh Holy Day
Leviticus 23:34 – “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. Begin celebrating Sukkoth on the fifteenth day of the appointed month.. This festival to Yahweh will last for seven days.”

Leviticus 23:42 – “You will dwell in a sukkah for seven days; all natives of Israel will dwell in a sukkah.”

The Feast of Tabernacles official Hebrew name is Sukkoth [סוכות‎ H5521].  Sukkoth means: booths. An individual booth is called sukkah. Sukkoth is the seventh and final feast commanded by Yahweh to be celebrated, and is also the third and final feast of the fall feasts.  Sukkoth is the third feast that all Jewish males are required to attend.  The three feasts are: Pesach (Passover) , Shavuot (Pentecost), and Sukkoth (Tabernacles).

Key Word:. Eternal Life
Date Of Moed: 15th Day of 7th Month

Historical Background
The Festival of Sukkoth began on Tishri 15, – five days after the Day of Atonements or Yom Kippurim, and lasted for seven days. Like Pesach (Passover) and Shavuot (Pentecost), Sukkoth had both a historical and an agricultural component.  Historically, it was a memorial of the forty year period during which the Hebrew people wandered in the desert while living in temporary shelters.  Agriculturally, it was a harvest festival, referred to as Chag Ha-Asif, the Festival of Ingathering, celebrating the day of ingathering of fruit and vine crops.  No work was permitted on the first and second days of the holiday.  Sukkoth was quite a drastic transition from one of the most solemn holidays in the year (Yom Kippurim) to one of the most joyous.

The Joy
Of the three harvest festivals Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkoth, Sukkoth is the most joyous and is still well known as the “Season of our Rejoicing”.  Pesach corresponds to the planting season, Shavuot to the grain harvest, and Sukkoth to the fruit harvest.  While much joy was expressed upon the first gathering of the wheat, it is not until the culmination of the summer that all of the crops are harvested.  It is at this time that the fullness of the harvest is realized, and one gives thanksgiving to Yahweh for His sustenance throughout the rest of the year.

The Four Species
Leviticus 23:40 – “On the first day, you will take for yourselves a fruit of a beautiful tree, palm branches, twigs of a braided tree and brook willows, and you will rejoice before Yahweh for seven days.”

The Four Species are a lemon-like fruit (etrog); a palm branch (kapot temarim); two willow branches (aravot); and three myrtle branches (haddasim).  The three types of branches collectively are called the lulav.  The Four Species are believed to represent either different parts of the body, or different kinds of Jews.

When representing the different parts of the body, they are:
• The Palm Branch . . . . . . . . . The Spine
• The Myrtle Leaf . . . . . . . . . . The Eye
• The Willow Leaf . . . . . . . . .  The Mouth
• The Lemon-Like Fruit . . . . .  The Heart

When representing the different kinds of Jews, they are:
• The Palm Branch . . . . . . . . . Jews who have knowledge of Torah but are lacking in mitzvot
• The Myrtle Leaf . . . . . . . . . . Jews who perform mitzvot but have little knowledge of Torah
• The Willow Leaf . . . . . . . . .  Jews who have no knowledge of Torah and do not perform the mitzvot
• The Lemon-Like Fruit . . . . .  Jews who have achieved both knowledge of Torah and performance of mitzvot

The Four Species are brought together during Sukkoth as a reminder that every one of these four kinds is important, and that all must be united for a body to properly function.

The four species were held and waved during processions around the altar in the Temple in Jerusalem.  The branches are held in the right hand, and the lemon-like fruit in the left hand.  They are waived three times to the east, south, west, and north, then upwards and downwards (front, right, back, left, up, down) to symbolize the omnipresence of Yahweh.  On the seventh day of Sukkoth, seven circuits were made around the altar. Afterward, the willow branches are stuck against the floor five times, symbolizing Yahweh’s providential giving of the fall rains.

Modern Background
John 14:3 – “I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be.

The Festival of Sukkoth still begins on Tishri 15, – five days after the Day of Atonements or Yom Kippurim, and also lasts for seven days.  Prior to the feast, Jewish celebrants build a temporary shelter alongside their home in honor of the temporary homes used by their ancestors in the wilderness.  All meals are eaten in the sukkah (booth), and the entire family sleeps inside the sukkah as well, except during inclement weather or due to health problems.

Building the sukkah each year is great fun for the children and they treat it the same as building a fort and then camping out in it in the backyard.  It is common for a sukkah to be decorated.  In the United States, items such as dried squash and corn may hang from the “rafters” and walls.  This Jewish tradition, in some ways,  mirrors the decorating of a Christmas tree and is a fun, family project.  The Thanksgiving Holiday, first celebrated by the Pilgrims, is based in part on Sukkoth.

The Four Species are still gathered and waved, but today the procession circles around the Aron Kodesh or Ark which is the closet in which the Torah (Older Covenant) scroll is stored in the Synagogue.

Zechariah 14:16-19And it will come to pass, that every nation shall go up from year to year to worship Yeshua and to keep the Feast Of Sukkoth, and those who do not will receive no rain.

At the end of the tribulation period, all of the Jews worldwide will be gathered together and resettled in Israel, and Jerusalem will be their capital.  Yeshua will take His place on the Throne of David, and will begin His millennial reign.  At that time, all the nations of the world will also gather in Jerusalem to celebrate Sukkoth with the Jews each year.  Any nation that does not attend, will be punished with drought in their land.

Conclusion
Sukkoth celebrates both the forty year period during which the Hebrew people wandered in the desert while living in temporary shelters and the day of ingathering of fruit and vine crops.  Sukkoth is one of the most joyous celebrations  and is well known as the “Season of our Rejoicing.”  Sukkoth today celebrates a return to Jerusalem to celebrate Sabbath and will find its final fulfillment when Yeshua returns to Earth, gathers all nations together, and sets up His Millennial Reign, a temporary period of one thousand years before eternity begins.

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