Watch: Chag Kukkot – The Feast of Tabernacles
This study is on the Feast of Tabernacles, or what is called in Hebrew, Sukkot. We will talk about why this feast is so important and why every person who believes upon the Jewish Messiah needs to be keeping this feast.
To briefly recap, we saw in earlier portions of this study series how the three main phases of the Ancient-Hebrew Wedding correspond to the three main pilgrimage feasts. We saw that the first phase in the Ancient-Hebrew wedding is called shiddukhin, and we see this symbolized in the Pesach (Passover). This is when the match takes place. Anciently, Avraham sent his servant Eliezer to find a bride for his son Yitzhak (Isaac). There were gifts given, there was an agreement made, and then there was a covenantal meal to seal the deal, so to speak. We see this also taking place at the very first Passover when Israel was taken out of Egypt. They also shared a covenantal meal, which was the very first Paschal lamb. And we also see this in the first century when Yeshua took His disciples as His bride. Not just every believer, but the disciples were the bride.
But the marriage is not official at the private covenantal meal. It is when they go to announce the wedding that the marriage becomes both legally and lawfully binding. In the ancient model, this is the phase called erusin and we will see that this corresponds to Pentecost (Shavuot) At Shavuot, the erusin phase, there is going to be a public announcement of the wedding. It is at the public announcement that the marriage becomes lawful and binding. And typically speaking, erusin would take place before the growing season, and then the consummation would not take place until the end of the growing season. But still, the marriage becomes official at the announcement. That is because, in ancient times, it was the agreement that was considered the main thing. That is where we get the saying that a man (or woman) is only as good as his (or her) word. So, do not be giving your word that you are going to marry someone and then go back on it. That is considered not cool, that is not okay in Scripture.
But there would be an agreement and, typically speaking, you want some kind of a witness of that agreement. Either there is a written witness or a public witness. You would have to have witnesses. We see these witnesses at the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, and in fact, the Torah is a written witness of the marriage agreement, what is called a ketubah. The bridegroom is going to offer certain things and then the bride is also going to promise to do certain things. So there is a give and take on both sides. We see this also in the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts chapter 2. At the giving of the Torah, Yahweh said, “you will be My bride, but I want you to do these things” and Israel said, “I do”. Then the idea at the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts chapter 2, was that Yeshua said, “I want you to live by my Spirit 24-7 and not quench it”. That is the agreement. We need to receive His Spirit and then live according to it and not quench it. That is the big idea behind Acts chapter 2.
All that would take place either before or at the start of the growing season. Then, either over the summer or during the growing season, the bride and the groom both prepare. The bride would work on her wedding dress, and she would communicate with the groom through the groom’s best friend, which in Yeshua’s case is the Spirit. So, we have the indwelling of the Spirit which we received first in Acts chapter 2. And then we become more and more like Him. That is our job. To learn what He likes and to become more like Him.
The Groom’s job then is to add on a room to the Father’s house where we shall live together with Him. And that is why He says, “I go to prepare a place for you” and, “In my Father’s house there are many mansions”.
At the end of the growing season (at the end of summer, or, when the ‘harvest’ is ready), when the Father says that everything is prepared, He gives His Son (the Bridegroom) permission to go get His bride. Then the Bridegroom would send a herald to announce His arrival with seven shofar blasts. We are going to see later that these correspond to the seven trumpets of the tribulation. These blasts alert the bride and her bridesmaids that the Groom is coming. Traditionally, this is the significance of Yom Teruah. The bride and her maids then light their lamps, and they get ready to go out to meet the groom and his wedding party. But they have to have enough oil (enough of His Spirit). Again, traditionally, the Bridegroom returns around midnight on Yom Kippur. And as we already said, the seven shofar blasts correspond to the seven trumpets of the Great Tribulation. We will look at that again in a moment. This is why Yeshua says the following in Matthew chapter 25.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 25:6-7
6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’
7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.”
Now, this is the final phase of the Ancient-Hebrew wedding called nissuin. Nissuin means carried aloft. And what it symbolizes is how the groom would literally carry his bride aloft from her father’s house back to his father’s house. And that is where the consummation would take place, and then they would have the week-long wedding feast. They would not go somewhere on a honeymoon, but they would take a week off. And then everyone would get to meet the bride under festive circumstances so that they have good first impressions of the bride and she gets to meet everyone at their best. Everyone is having a good time. The harvest has been brought in, there is plenty of food and everyone is relaxed. So they begin their relationship and their new lives together on a good note. In the days of Avraham’s servant Eliezer, Rivkah (Rebekah) rode back to Yitzhak’s house (Avraham’s house) on a camel. And then in the first century times, they would have a special booth, they would actually carry the bride in a litter, so to speak.
Well, so we have to be ready for the wedding feast! And that is our job right now as we are preparing for Yeshua’s return in these end times. We need to be gathering oil, we need to be gaining more of His Spirit, we need to have enough of His Spirit so that in case the Bridegroom is delayed, we do not run out of His Spirit, so to speak. Yeshua speaks to this in the parable of the ten virgins.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 25:8-10
8 “And the foolish virgins said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil [Spirit], for we are running out.’
9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.”
That is the difference between a wise virgin and a non-wise virgin. The wise virgin is going to be praying and listening and asking for the gift of His Spirit. She is going to be trying to live according to the Spirit, not quenching the Spirit. She is going to be attempting to hear and obey His voice. She is going to be praying for the gift of prophecy so that she can hear Yahweh’s voice and speak according to it. That is what we need to be doing right now. Because anyone can see that Matthew 24 is knocking on the door. Notice the correspondence between Matthew 24 and Matthew 25.
While the foolish virgins are going to buy, because they do not have enough in these end times of tribulation, that is when the Bridegroom came. And those who were ready were the ones who got to go with Him into the wedding. Those who had enough of His Spirit and were not quenching His Spirit. Those who were falling on the stone and being broken. Those who were seeking and praying, and begging that He might help them to live according to His ways, so they might be pleasing to Him in that day. And the others who were not doing that, they are trying to get more of His Spirit, but it is too late. So we need to be preparing now, right now. Because afterward, the other virgins came, and the door was shut.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 25:11-13
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Adon! Adon, open to us!’
12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 Watch therefore for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”
Because, “To him who has, even more will be given, but to him who does not have, even that which he has will be taken away from him”.
That is why we are going to talk about how to get ready for His soon return.
These coming tribulation times are going to be more difficult than anything the world has ever seen. By far, much, much worse than we can even imagine right now. There are things that are not even explained in the book of Revelation, like the seven thunders. We do not even know what those are. That is how difficult these end times are going to be. We need to be having enough of Yeshua’s Spirit, we need to be getting in tune with Him, we need to be hearing His voice, we need to be falling on the Stone and becoming broken. But we also need to be there at the right time. We do not want to be a month late for our own wedding! Oy va voy! Why would you want to be a month late for your own wedding? So we need to know when the wedding feast is.
We have been talking about this. As we have said in many other studies, we have got many other resources such as Establishing the Head of the Year. We also talk about this in The Torah Calendar study. Rosh Hashanah is the Head of the Year. The rabbis say it starts in the fall, do not pay attention to the rabbis. Especially not for the calendar. You also have to avoid the Karaite message because the Karaites are a month too late. They are going on the phases of the sun, the moon, and the stars. That is not good. But Rosh Hashanah (the Head of the Year) is when the very first sheaf (not the main harvest) of barley will be aviv (medium dough) 15 to 21 days after the first crescent sliver of the new moon is seen from the land of Israel. That is when the priesthood declares Rosh Hashanah or the Head of the Year.
1. The first crescent sliver of the new moon is seen from the land of Israel.
2. There is a single sheaf of aviv (medium dough) barley within 15 to 21 days after the first crescent sliver of the new moon is seen from the land of Israel.
Then six months later we come to Yom Teruah which is the Day of Trumpets. Actually, it is the Day of Shouting, or the Day of Shofar blasts. And then 15 days later begins the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles, symbolic of the Ancient-Hebrew wedding week. We need to be there and not be late for the wedding, that would be the worst thing we could do.
Now in The Torah Calendar study, we talk about some very important mirror imaging in the prophetic shadow pictures of the feasts. And we are going to talk more about this also in relation to the wedding in another place. Because the Ancient-Hebrew wedding is just fabulous. It explains the whole thing and gives such a good picture. But we also go into great detail in the Torah Calendar study.
So in the feasts of the first month, we have the Passover (Pesach) which is a half-day feast in the afternoon followed by seven full days of Unleavened Bread (matzo). Okay. One half-day in the afternoon plus seven full days.
Then we come to the seventh month and we have Sukkot (Tabernacles) when there is going to be seven days dwelling in Sukkot (symbolic of the consummation in the wedding week). Plus we are going to have a final half-day in the morning which is Shemini Atzeret. We are going to talk about that in the next chapter.
So in the first month, we have half a day plus seven, then in the seventh month, we have seven full days plus a half-day. That is what we mean by mirror imaging.
Now let us talk a little bit about the specifics and then we are going to drop into some detail because the details are important. We are going to see this near the end of the chapter. in Leviticus chapter 23 Yahweh spoke the following to Moshe.
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:33-35
33 Then Yahweh spoke to Moshe, saying,
34 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be Chag Sukkot [pilgrimage Feast of Tabernacles] for seven days to Yahweh.
35 On the first day there shall be a set-apart rehearsal [holy convocation]. You shall do no customary work’.”
[That is, the rehearsal for the wedding feast].
As we progress through this presentation we are going to see other things that it is a rehearsal for.
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:36
36 “ ‘For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh. On the eighth day you shall have a set-apart rehearsal [holy convocation], [We will talk about the eighth day in the next chapter.] and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh. It is a set-apart assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.’ ”
So basically, we do not work on the ‘first day’ and the ‘eighth day’, and then it is possible to work on what are called the ‘intermediate days’. But if you can take the whole week off that is much better.
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:37-38
37 “These are the feasts of Yahweh which you shall proclaim to be set-apart gatherings, to offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh, as burnt offering and a grain offering, as sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day,
38 besides the Sabbaths of Yahweh, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to Yahweh.”
So, a lot of people hate this message. There are an awful lot of people who want to be brides who do not want to give of themselves to help Yeshua build His Kingdom. But if a bride is described as ‘a helper’ or a ‘helpmeet’, then we need to be helping Him build His Kingdom. And how do we do that except with our time, our effort, our energy, and our funds? Well, that is how it is. A lot of people do not want to hear that but that is basically what Yahweh is saying here. So in particular, with regard to Sukkot, there are several messages with regard to this. We will talk about these as we progress.
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:39-40
39 “Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of Yahweh for seven days; on the first day there shall be a Sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a Sabbath-rest.
40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your Elohim for seven days.”
In other words, it is at the end of the summer growing season, and we have brought in the harvest. So now this is a good time for tithing. We will take a look at what are called the ‘four species’ later on, and we will take a look and see how it turned into the ‘five species of Nehemiah’.
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:41-43
41 “You shall keep it as a feast to Yahweh for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
42 You shall dwell in sukkot for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, [sukkot, tabernacles].
[We will talk about the difference between a tent and a tabernacle in a moment].
43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your Elohim.”
Now when we see that kind of language, where Yahweh says, “a statute forever”, that is what is called a principle or a precept. In other words, the form of the Feast of Tabernacles may change, but it is something that is for all time. No matter whether we are under the Firstborn priesthood, under the Levitical priesthood, or under the Melchizedekian priesthood as we are right now.
So, why should we do this? Because it is symbolic of the wedding feast that tells us what our future is. But also we need to know what our past is. That is why He says also “that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths (tabernacles) when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.” And that ‘He’ is Yahweh our Elohim. We will again dwell in booths, so this is a very symbolic feast.
A lot of people want to celebrate the Feast of Sukkot by dwelling in tents and that is a good thing to do because we will again dwell in tents. But there is a difference between a tent and a tabernacle. Now the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, we talk about this more in the Torah Calendar study. But let us look at how Strong’s Hebrew Concordance describes these terms.
H168 (אֹהֶל) ‘ohel (o’-hel); [not a sukkah] from H166; A tent (as clearly conspicuous from a distance):
KJV – covering, (dwelling place), home, tabernacle, tent.
A ‘tent’ can be translated as ‘tabernacle’ in some places. There is also a reference to the ‘tent of David’. We will talk about that in more detail in another place but we are just trying to hit the basics here.
The Feast of Tabernacles (Feast of Sukkot) is something different.
H5521 (סֻכָּה) sukkah (sook-kaw’); Fem of h5520; a hut or lair:
KJV – booth, cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle, tent.
[feminine plural – sukkot.]
Technically a sukkah is a hut or a lair, we are going to see it is something woven together. So let us look up the reference at Old Testament 5520 (because we love doing that).
H5520 (סֻכָּה) sôk (soke); from H5526; A hut (as of entwined boughs); also a lair:
KJV – covert, den, pavilion, tabernacle.
So that is something that is being woven together. We will talk about these four species later. And again, King James translates it as a ‘tabernacle’.
Now we look up the root reference at H5526.
H5526 (סָכַךְ) sâkak (saw-kak’); or (שָׂכַךְ) śâkak (Exodus 33:22) (saw-kak’); a primitive root; Properly, to entwine as a screen; by implication, to fence in, cover over, (figuratively) protect:
KJV – cover, defense, defend, hedge in, join together, set, shut up.
In other words, we are going to take these four species that we are going to see, and we are going to entwine a screen (protection). The implication is that something (in this case us) is being fenced in, and this fencing figuratively protects. And the thing about a sukkah is that it is not a very sturdy structure. It is just something that is basically very flimsily woven together. What it means is that Yahweh is our protection when we dwell in a sukkah.
The first time we see a sukkah is in Genesis chapter 23. This is where Yaakov (Jacob) has just had a narrow escape with his brother Esau. Esau came out to meet him with 400 armed men, basically intent on killing him. So, Yaakov prays to Yahweh, Yahweh gives him favor in Esau’s eyes.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 33:16-17
16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir.
17 And Yaakov journeyed to Succoth, built himself a house, and made booths (sukkot) for his livestock. Therefore, the name of the place is called Sukkot.
We also see sukkot appearing in Exodus chapter 12.
Shemote (Exodus) 12:36-37
36 And Yahweh had given the people [our forefathers] favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
37 Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Sukkot, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children.
The traditional understanding of this is that anytime we escape a place of captivity, or when we escape from danger, we dwell in sukkot. So bear that thought in mind as we look at the other iterations of when we will dwell in sukkot. There is an escape from captivity or escape from a place of danger. Or in the future, an escaping from this world and going to dwell in our Father’s house in sukkot. So Yahweh reiterates the command in Deuteronomy chapter 16.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:13-15
13 “You shall observe the Feast of Sukkot seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. [Reference to 1st tithe: the priesthood has to have something to work with, if we love Yeshua we want to help Him build His global Kingdom.]
14 And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. [Reference to 3rd tithe: we talk more about the 3rd tithe in The Torah Calendar study.]
15 Seven days you shall keep a set-apart feast to Yahweh your Elohim in the place which Yahweh chooses, because Yahweh your Elohim will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.” [Reference to the 2nd tithe: providing for going up to Yahweh’s feasts.]
We need to remember this phrase, “that we surely rejoice”. This is why brother Judah traditionally calls the Feast of Sukkot “The time of our joy”. We are going to see that again at the end of this chapter.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:16-17
16 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before Yahweh your Elohim in the place which He chooses: at Chag HaMatzot [the Feast of Unleavened Bread], at Chag Shavuot [the Feast of weeks], and at Chag Sukkot [the Feast of Tabernacles]; and they shall not appear before Yahweh empty-handed.
17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of Yahweh your Elohim which He has given you.”
At least all of the males shall go up. Hopefully, the whole family can go, all the better, but at least all the males. Now, to clarify, this is for when we dwell in the land. We explain this in The Torah Calendar study, there is a section from Deuteronomy 12 to Deuteronomy 16 that gives commandments for when we dwell in the land of Israel. So, this is part of that same monologue, when we are outside the land of Israel we do not need to go up to Jerusalem. If you can go to Jerusalem that is a very good thing to do and take the family there. It changes the way you look at Scripture, I promise you. But it is not necessary. And the reason we know that is because the apostle Shaul (Paul) did not go up to Jerusalem three times a year when he was out on his missionary voyages. That is one of many proofs. When we are in the dispersion there is not a need to go up to Jerusalem to keep the three pilgrimage feasts. We only need to make the pilgrimages when we dwell in the land but again, if we can make the pilgrimages, that is a great thing to do.
And just to mention this briefly, again, there are a lot of people who consider that they want to be Yeshua’s bride but they do not want to help Him build His kingdom. So they sort of bury their minas, so to speak. But we know what happens to those who bury their minas, it does not end well for them. If we love Yeshua, then a bride is described as a helpmeet. What does Yeshua want help doing? He wants help building His ordered Kingdom. We talk about that in Torah Government and also in Acts 15 Order. And we are going to talk about that a lot more in future studies.
If we love our husband then we need to be helping Him. And He is recording everything in a book. So if we want to be taken as the bride, we need to be eager to help Him. Because we do not serve a stupid Elohim, He knows who loves Him and who does not.
For example, if you have a business, or if you have ever done hiring and firing, or you have been a leader in any kind of a project, you can always tell whose heart is in it and who truly wants to do the work. And who is just there trying to collect the paycheck or whatever it is they are doing. Because it shows. Well, Yahweh is the same way. So if this makes a difference in the material world, how much more to the King of kings?!
I said we would come back to the ‘four species’ mentioned in Leviticus chapter 23. So what does Yahweh tell us to do to celebrate the feast?
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:40
40 “And you shall take for yourselves on the first day: [This is not something we need to have on the first day, this is something we need to take for ourselves on the first day.]
1. The fruit of beautiful trees,
2. Branches of palm trees,
3. The boughs of leafy trees,
4. And willows of the brook…”
Now notice He does not give us an exact genus and species. If you think the tree is beautiful and it has fruit, take it. And ‘palm trees’ is a genus but we do not have an exact species. Of course, the question arises about what to do if you do not have any palm trees around. Well, ideally it is that you are going to have to pray about what to do there. But if you can take palm trees, take palm trees. Same with the ‘boughs of leafy trees’. There is no genus and species listed, but if a tree is leafy it could serve. We have no genus of ‘willow of the brook’. So if you have willows available take the willows and if you do not have willows, you need to pray about what you need to do. But Yahweh does not specify the exact genus and species, so do the very best that you can. Hopefully, in the land of Israel, we will be able to take all four species again.
Now the problem here is this. Let us take a look at Nehemiah chapter 8. We are going to see that the rabbis did not take four species, they took five. We believe that that was a mistake on their part because we are not supposed to add or subtract or to change Yahweh’s word in any way.
13 Now on the second day the heads of the fathers’ houses of all the people, with the priests and Levites, were gathered to Ezra the scribe, in order to understand the words of the Torah.
14 And they found written in the Torah, which Yahweh had commanded by Moshe, that the children of Israel should dwell in sukkot [booths, tabernacles] during the feast of the seventh month…
So they are coming back from Babylon, and they are just coming back to the Torah. They are starting to learn what is the Torah all about.
15 …and that they should announce and proclaim in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the mountain, and bring olive branches, branches of oil trees, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written.” [Apparently, they were not all in Jerusalem yet for some reason.]
Well, they tried. Okay. But that is not four species, but five, and then they got two of them (palm branches and branches of leafy trees) correct. The olive branches, oil trees, and myrtle branches are not commanded. But they made an effort and apparently Yahweh honored that effort. So that is a good thing.
Let us take a look at Deuteronomy chapter 31.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 31:10-11
10 And Moshe commanded them, saying: “At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of release [Shemittah], at the Feast of Tabernacles,
11 when all Israel comes to appear before Yahweh your Elohim in the place which He chooses, you shall read this Torah before all Israel in their hearing.” [Again, ‘in the place He chooses’ refers to Jerusalem at this time, but it does not apply to those who are in the dispersion.]
We explain the Year of Release (Shemittah) in The Torah Calendar study. That happens once every seven years for 49 years of a 50-year cycle. Then there is a Jubilee year to make a 50-year cycle, after which it begins all over again. So “at the end of every seven years at the appointed time” means the Feast of Sukkot in the Year of Release (Shemittah).
Okay, so at the time of this study, it is 2021. Our understanding is that next year (2022) will be a Shemittah year. And then 2029, 2036, 2043, 2050, and so on. We talked more about that in The Torah Calendar study. But that is what they are supposed to do when they come together in the seventh year (in the year of release), they are supposed to read the Torah that year during the Feast of Sukkot. And we see that they did that in the Nehemiah chapter 8.
18 Also day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read from the Book of the Torah of Elohim. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day there was a set-apart assembly, according to the prescribed manner.
What this means is, if you have the opportunity next year in 2022, that is something you should do during that feast, to read the entire Torah during the feast. 2029 would be another year. Again, we have those dates listed also in The Torah Calendar study.
Now, there is a special ceremony that is a rabbinic ceremony. It is not commanded; it is a rabbinic ceremony. The question comes up every year, so we are going to talk about it. It is a special rabbinic ceremony called Nisuch HaMayim and this is what Wikipedia says about it.
Wikipedia: Nisuch HaMayim (ניסוך הח’ם)
When the Temple in Jerusalem stood, a unique service [something Yahweh did not command, this is something the rabbis added] was performed every morning throughout the Sukkot holiday: the Nisukh HaMayim (lit. “Pouring of the water”) or Water Libation Ceremony. According to the Talmud, Sukkot is the time of year in which God judges the world for rainfall; therefore this ceremony, like the taking of the Four Species, invokes God’s blessing for rain in its proper time…
So, we do not like to do what the rabbis add, we only want to do what is commanded by Yahweh, and to not add to or take away from what He commands. So, this is a rabbinic understanding to which we do not subscribe to.
Wikipedia: Nisuch HaMayim (ניסוך הח’ם)
…According to the Mishnah (Tractate Sukkot 4:9  and 4:10 ) the water for the libation ceremony was drawn from the Pool of Siloam (Hebrew בְּרֵכַת הַשִּׁילוֹחַ Breikhat HaShiloah) in the City of David and carried up the Jerusalem pilgrim road to the Temple. The joy that accompanied this procedure was palpable…
But again, the only problem is that the rabbis are adding commandments to the Torah and Yahweh strictly prohibits that. He says very clearly not to add commandments to His Torah. And then there is a big discussion that ensues, and this can get very involved and complex. But let us read John chapter 7 for the short version.
Yochanan (John) 7:37-38
37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Yeshua stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. [some people believe this is the seventh day of the feast, others believe it was the eighth day.]
38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
Certain people believe that this is an endorsement of the Nisuch HaMayim Ceremony. We do not see it that way.
Yochanan (John) 7:39-41
39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Set-apart Spirit was not yet given, because Yeshua was not yet glorified.
[Water is symbolic of the Spirit]
40 Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said “Truly this is the Prophet.”
41 Others said, “This is the Messiah.”
We explain this more in The Torah Calendar study, but there are several references to Nisuch HaMayim. There are also references to Hanukkah and these are man-made feasts. Now, there are certain things they celebrate that you can say, “Well, these honor Yahweh.” But you can say a lot of things honor Yahweh. The Christians say that Christmas and Easter are intended to honor Yahweh. The point is that Yahweh says “Do not add and do not take away from My word. Because if you add and take away from My word it is no longer My word. Now it is your word.” And we do not do that here in Nazarene Israel.
So, people can say, “Well, but Yeshua is talking about the water that is being drawn in the Nisuch HaMayim Ceremony and He is saying the waters are going to come from Him”.
Exactly. But just because Yeshua says that the waters are going to come from Him does not mean that He is endorsing Nisuch HaMayim. Just because He mentions Hanukkah does not mean He is endorsing Hanukkah. It means He is there at the time of Hanukkah, and He is trying to point people in the right direction. Yeshua is saying, “Do not pay attention to this, pay attention to Me. Because all the Torah speaks of Me.”
All right. Now let us put this in some greater overall context. So, in the study Revelation and the End Times, we talk about the end-time sequence, what we call the Revelation timeline.
First, there are seven seals. Then there are seven trumpets. And then there are seven cups (or seven bowls) of judgment being poured out, and we talk about various analogies.
And then after all that comes Armageddon, or what is also called the first war of Gog and Magog.
After that comes the gathering of the lost and scattered tribes of Israel. We talk about that in the Nazarene Israel study. We are talking about the Christians, who are at the present moment ignorant of their identity as the lost 10 tribes of Israel. And we are also talking about the remnant of Judah that lives outside the land. Those are going to be brought back to the land of Israel in what is called the ingathering.
Then there is going to be what is sometimes (rightly or wrongly) referred to as the Millennial reign of the Messiah. In actual fact, it is going to be the millennial reign of the Messiah’s body, meaning, Nazarene Israel, which is going to be given Yeshua’s rod of iron. And we will rule and reign for a thousand years with Yeshua’s rod of iron.
Then at the end of that time will come the second war of Gog and Magog, when Satan is loosed. And in the next chapter, we will talk about the earth continuing for a little while.
The early context of this is Matthew chapter 24, the Great Tribulation coming to pass and then Armageddon. But then there is an ingathering, and then there is a thousand-year reign when Yeshua reigns over the earth through His body Nazarene Israel, which is given His rod of iron to reign with. Now in that context, we see further fulfillments of the Feast of Tabernacles. We are also going to see some of this in the next chapter. There are a lot of fulfillments of the Feast of Tabernacles.
So let us look at Zechariah chapter 14
Zekaryah (Zechariah) 14:16-17
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, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
17 And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, on them there will be no rain.
This is kind of ruling over the nations with a rod of iron in a sense. If you do not come up to Jerusalem year by year to worship the King, you are not going to have any rain. This means you are not going to have any food.
Okay. Well, verses 18-19
Zekaryah (Zechariah) 14:18-19
18 If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which Yahweh strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
Without rain, you have no food and ultimately, you starve to death. So very important that we be there.
We also see this in Ezekiel chapter 45. Now, notice the reference is at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Yehezqel (Ezekiel) 45:25
25 “In the seventh month, on the fifteenth day of the month, at the feast [Tabernacles or Sukkot], he [the prince (Nasi)] shall do likewise for seven days, according to the sin offering, the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the oil.”
We talk more in the Revelation & the End Times study about why this will not be Yeshua. ‘The prince’ offers sin sacrifices for himself and Yeshua does not need to offer a sin sacrifice for himself. Yeshua was the spotless lamb without blemish. The prince is also going to have children and Yeshua does not have children. Yeshua is not going to take a human bride in that sense. Yeshua is in heaven waiting for us to become purified and He will come and take us back up to heaven, in Spiritual form. As Yeshua said, “In the resurrection they are neither male nor female, but are as the messengers (the angels) in heaven.”
Now Acts chapter 15 talks about the first century but it also has prophetic implications for today and for beyond the ingathering. The apostles Shaul and Barnabas had come up to Jerusalem because there was a discussion of what they were supposed to do in Antioch. We talked about that further in the Nazarene Israel study.
Ma’asei (Acts) 15:12-17
12 “Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Shaul [Paul] declaring how many miracles and wonders Elohim had worked through them among the Gentiles.
13 And after they had become silent, Ya’akov [James] answered, saying, ‘Men and brethren, listen to me:
14 Shimon [Peter, Kepha] has declared how Elohim at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.’ ”
[He is talking about Cornelius in Acts chapter 10 and also those of the nations in Antioch in Acts chapter 11.]
15 “And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:
[That is our job, we talk about that in Nazarene Scripture Studies, Volume Four. It is a very important four-part series. We hope to do more videos on that in the future. We need to be organized in order to do this work, that is what we are supposed to be doing right now.]
16 ‘After this I will return, and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind [Adam] may seek Yahweh, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says Yahweh who does all these things.’ ”
They are referring to Amos chapter 9.
11 “On that day I will raise up The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old;
[Again, there is a very important four-part series in Nazarene Scripture Studies, Volume Four. That is very good to check out in this context.]
12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom [Probably Adam, possibly a scribal change or a scribal error.],
And all the Gentiles who are called by My name [Nazarene Israel],” says Yahweh who does this thing.
Once again, we have a very important job to do regarding the tabernacle of David, so I encourage you to please check that four-part series out. We hope to do more video series on that in the future.
We also see Isaiah chapter 4 speak in this context.
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 4:1-2
1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one many, saying, “We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel, only let us be called by your name, to take away our reproach.”
[women being representative of spiritual bodies. Possibly the seven churches or seven other spiritual groups. We could do a whole video series just on that verse alone.]
2 In that day the Branch of Yahweh shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped.
We are talking about after the tribulation because the reference is to those who have escaped.
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 4:3-4
3 And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Tzion and remains in Jerusalem [a tiny remnant of Judah that survives what is coming] will be called set-apart – everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem.
4 When Yahweh has washed away the filth of the daughters of Tzion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning.
Again, it is not going to be many who survive, because they need to repent and accept their Messiah and King. Talking about Matthew 24, it is not going to be fun.
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 4:5-6
5 then Yahweh will create above every dwelling place of Mount Tzion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. [As it was in the wilderness when we left Egypt.]
6 And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.
And remember we talked about this earlier, that whenever we escape from captivity or whenever we escape from danger, Israel dwells in tabernacles. So in that context, let us take a look again at the Nisuch HaMayim Ceremony, or the Water Libation Ceremony. Let us look at the Talmud. We do not believe the Talmud is inspired, but it is a very important historical reference for us.
According to the Talmud Tractate Succah 53, during the Second Temple Era, the priesthood lit four enormous golden candlesticks in the Court of Women within the Temple, during the Water Libation Ceremony. The wicks were made from old priestly garments. According to the Talmud, the light was so bright that there was not a courtyard in all of Jerusalem that was not illuminated by its light during the festival.
[Talmud Tractate Succah 53.]
Again, this is called ‘The time of our joy’. There is great symbolism here. This corresponds to Yohanan chapter 8, verse 12.
Yohanan (John) 8:12
12 Yeshua spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
So again, this is not necessarily an endorsement of Nisuch HaMayim or of adding something to Yahweh’s commandment. Rather, this is Yeshua saying, “Hey, hey, hey you guys. Do not pay attention to that, pay attention to this”. Because by dwelling in Yeshua and Him dwelling in us, and Yeshua in the Father and the Father in Him, that is what is going to restore the connection that was lost in the Garden of Eden. That is what receiving Yeshua’s Spirit is all about. Because that is the symbolism of receiving His Spirit in Acts chapter 2. It is that we are supposed to then live according to His Spirit and dwell in Him and Him in us. Not quenching His Spirit. That is the main thing that we all need to remember.
Now the Catholic Church has their mythology that Yeshua was born on December the 25th, which is basically impossible. December the 25th is a converted pagan feast day which is based on the winter solstice on December the 21st and, four days later, symbolizes the rebirth of the sun. That is basing the calendar on the movements of the sun, the moon, and the stars, which Yahweh strictly prohibits. In context, what makes a lot more sense (in fact, perfect sense) is that Yeshua would have been born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and then He would have been circumcised on the Eighth Day of the Feast in keeping with the Torah commandment. This way, just as Yeshua says everything in the Torah speaks of Him, everything points to Him. All we have to do is know what we are looking at and know how to interpret the remez (hint). For example, Luke chapter 2, verse 6.
Luqa (Luke) 2:6-8
6 So it was, that while they [Joseph and Miriam] were there [in Jerusalem, in keeping the feast], the days were completed for her to be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger [in context, in a sukkah (temporary dwelling)], because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Now, the shepherds are not going to be living out in the fields in the middle of winter when it is cold in the land of Israel. But they are going to be living out in the fields at the end of the summer growing season. Their flocks are going to be eating what is left of the harvest, the stubble and the nubbins, those kinds of things. But during the winter there is nothing to eat and the shepherds are going to have their flocks all penned up.
Luqa (Luke) 2:9-11
9 And behold, a messenger [mal’âk, angel] of Yahweh stood before them, and the glory of Yahweh shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
10 Then the messenger said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tiding of great joy which will be to all people.
11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Messiah Yahweh.”
Notice the remez (hint). The term joy.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 2:7-10
7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
The King, Messiah was born unto us. That is why it is called “The Time of our Joy”.
And that is why we should take joy in the Feast of Sukkot, in the pilgrimage Feast of Tabernacles. Because we are going to dwell in tents again. This is speaking about the time of the ingathering, before we come back to the land. Many of us will live to see this day.
Hoshea (Hosea) 12:9
9 “But I am Yahweh your Elohim, Ever since the land of Egypt; I will again make you dwell in tents, as in the days of the appointed feast.”
It is important that we be there at the feast, at the right time, with the fullest amount of HIS spirit that we can possibly have. We want to know about what is important to our Husband, we want to know what is important to Yahweh.
We can learn about the technical details of Chag Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) and the rest of the feasts of Yahweh in The Torah Calendar study. We can find out when the exact time is that we are supposed to be there both in the Torah Calendar study and in another study called Establishing The Head of the Year. It is very important not only to be there with enough of His Spirit to sustain us during these coming end times, but we need to be there at the right time. Do not miss the wedding!
At the time of this written study, most of the Messianic are keeping it a month too late! It is not based on spring, it is not based on fall, it is not based on the movements of the sun, the moon, and the stars. Rather it is based on the very first sheaf of barley, symbolic of Yeshua our Wave Sheaf. So do not miss the feast. Be sure to be there at the right time. Educate yourself, study to show yourself approved. These are the things that we need to do if we are going to be there for the consummation and the wedding feast.
Friends, this is what it is all about. Yahweh is seeking a bride for His Son. He is seeking a bride that wants to help His Son build His Kingdom. Let us be that bride. To be that bride we need to know what His plan is, we need to know what the Father’s commandments are. So, let us educate ourselves in these things and let us discipline ourselves to do them, and take joy in this great time of our joy!