Bible Commentary: “Sukkot: The Feast Of Tabernacles”

October 8, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Posted in Bible Commentary | Leave a comment
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“”Say to the Israelites: `On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD’s Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days'”.  (Leviticus 23:34 NIV)

The Jewish feast of Sukkot began tonight.  Because of the importance of this time we will review its meaning so we can be inspired in our spiritual walk.

“Say to the Israelites: `On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD’s Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work. “`So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest. On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to the LORD for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in booths for seven days:  All native-born Israelites are to live in booths so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.'” (Leviticus 23:34-36,39-43 NIV)

The Feast of Tabernacles completes the sacred festivals of the seventh month. In contrast to the somber tone of Rosh HaShanah and the Day of Atonement, the third feast was a time of joy. Israel had passed through the season of repentance and redemption. 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 God, knowing God, and being obedient to God. The sukkah or booth, symbolizes man’s need to depend upon God for his provision of food, water, and shelter. This is true in the spiritual realm as well. The booth is the physical body, which is a temporary dwelling place for our souls and spirits. We need the food that the Word of God provides; the cleansing, rinsing, and washing that the Word of God brings to our lives; and the shelter of God’s protection over our lives from the evil one. Our physical needs will be provided for by God if we seek Him spiritually.

The Hebrew word for tabernacle is sukkah. It means “a booth, a hut, a covering, a pavilion or tent.” The Greek word for tabernacle is sk’en’e, which also means “a tent, hut, or habitation.” With this in mind, let’s look at the context by which the word tabernacle is used in the New Covenant: Jesus tabernacled among us; Peter spoke about his body being a tabernacle; the apostle Paul told us that our earthly bodies were earthly houses or tabernacles; the tabernacle of David was a tent or dwelling place. This tabernacle was the temple of Solomon; Jesus entered the temple on the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles); The Bible speaks of a heavenly tabernacle. This heavenly tabernacle will come to earth; Jesus was the true tabernacle of God, “When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation” (Hebrews 9:11 NIV).

So, the booth or sukkah was a temporary dwelling place. Historically, it was to remind the people of their exodus from Egypt as described in Leviticus 23:42-43. Prophetically, the sukkah points toward the future to the Messianic age, the Millennium. Spiritually, a sukkah is supposed to remind us that we are but strangers and pilgrims on the earth, this being a temporary dwelling place. So the believer in Messiah is but a stranger and pilgrim on this earth.

Child of God – Let us remember that we are the living tabernacle of the Spirit of God and that He resides within us. Let us conduct our lives accordingly, willingly offering ourselves as a living sacrifice each day.

Our prayer:
Lord, help me to remember that my body is your tabernacle now that I’ve accepted Jesus into my heart. That I should treat it with care and respect, that I should not abuse it or dishonor it in any way. Help me to see that I’m yours, you are the one I want to please. Amen.

If you want to have a personal relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Savior pray: “Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and that out of love for me you willingly sacrificed your life so that I may live. I repent of all my sins and open my heart to you as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer for the first time or if you have any questions please contact us. We would love to hear from you.

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