Tomorrow the nation of Israel begins celebrating the biblical Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). This festival is considered to be a special time here in Israel, when the whole nation celebrates by building a festive Sukkah (Tabernacle) in every house, balcony, roof or back yard.
“Celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. Be joyful at your festival…” Deuteronomy 16:13
“This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt.” Leviticus 23:41-43
Every night during the festive week of Sukkot, the families get together; have a festive dinner, read the bible remembering what God has done for the people of Israel after He took them out of Egypt.
The atmosphere during the feast of tabernacles in Israel is quite amazing. It’s not something you can experience living anywhere else.. The whole nation celebrates with great joy, surrounded by their families and friends and just as commanded. It’s an amazing sight: Every garden, backyard, rooftop, every available space, people build their tabernacles
There’s an incredible biblical significance of Sukkot, and we see in the New Testament how Yeshua himself celebrated it.
“But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do…” (John 7:2,10)
“… However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.”
We see that Yeshua came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.
“Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach.” (John 7:14)
Yeshua was teaching in the Temple’s court during the feast which lasted seven days.
“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” (John 7:37)
The last day of the Feast was the most important one, in fact it was like a Sabbath. No one works; it is considered a day of rest. Also during this day the nation usually prayed for rain. The priests would traditionally draw water from the wells and pour it over the altar praying for God to send rain, so that there is no drought and no one would go thirsty. Everybody understood the importance and significance of water, even when Yeshua spoke about spiritual thirst comparing it with outward drought and thirst.
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit…” (John 7:38-39)
The prophetic future of the Feast of Tabernacles is clearly described in Zechariah 14:9,16
“The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name…
Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.”
Now not only Israel, but all the nations will go up to Jerusalem to worship the Lord and celebrate Sukkot. Then Jerusalem will be filled with Tabernacles under the open sky, instead of hotels where people are staying now when visiting Jerusalem.
Beit Hallel is a Messianic Jewish congregation in Ashdod, led by pastor Israel Pochtar, serving holocaust survivors and the poor and needy locally and throughout the nation of Israel, while building up the body of Messiah in the promised land of Israel.