Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles)

Read Lev 23:33-44; Num 29:12-38; Deut 16:13-17

Sukkot was also known as the Feast of Ingathering or booths.

The harvest-thanksgiving of the Sukkot reminded Israel, on the one hand, of their dwelling in booths in the wilderness, while, on the other hand, it pointed to the final harvest when Israel's mission should be completed, and all nations gathered unto the L-rd.

It was the 3rd of the great annual festivals at which every male in Israel was to appear before the L-rd in Yerushalayim. It begins on the 15th of the month of Tishri and lasts for 7 days until the 21st.

An octave, or Azereth followed it on the 22nd day. Though closely connected with Sukkot, it formed no part of that feast, as clearly shown by the sacrifices and the ritual, and by the fact that the people no longer lived in 'booths.' This day was to be a Sabbath day, just as the 1st day of Sukkot. (Lev 23:35-36)

It not only was the close of the sabbatical year, it closed the agricultural year too. (Deut 31:10)

It is a time to thank G-d for the bountiful harvest. Every worshipper carried the aethrog (a fruit tree branch) in his left hand, and in his right hand the lulav (palm branch), with myrtle and willow branch on either side of it. The lulav was intended to remind Israel of the different stages of their wilderness journey, as represented by the different vegetation - the palm branches representing the valleys and plains, the 'boughs of thick trees,' the bushes on the mountains heights, and the willows those brooks from which G-d had given His people drink. The aethrog was to remind them of the fruits of the good land, which the L-rd had given them.

The booths must be, according to the Mishnah, constructed of boughs of living trees, and solely for the purposes of this festival. It must be high enough, yet not too high. Between 10 handbreadths and thirty feet. Three of the sides must be boughs; it must be fairly covered with boughs, yet allow sunshine to enter, and still provide shade. They were to eat, sleep, pray and study in them unless there was a heavy rain. Exceptions were made for the sick and those who were taking care of them.

There were several offering made each of the seven days.

Sin offering - One kid goat was offered each day.

There was to be a burnt offering each day. The number of bulls offered changed each day.

A grain offering for each animal and the corresponding drink offering would have accompanied them.

The amount of wine:

(See Weights and Measures table)

Zechariah 14:16-21 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the L-RD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) to worship the King, the L-RD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the L-RD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE L-RD; and the pots in the L-RD's house shall be like the bowl's before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the L-RD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the L-RD of hosts.

This passage tells us that during Yeshua's 1,000-year reign, the Millennium, all of the nations will travel to Yerushalayim to celebrate Sukkot. Notice that if they disobey, they will have no rain. It is hard to imagine that with Yeshua on the throne there will still be those who will turn their backs on Him.

Some believe that it was during Sukkot that Yeshua was born.