Sukkot

Jewish Ministry

Sukkot

Sukkot or Tabernacles is a seven-day feast that includes an additional eighth day for a closing assembly.

It is the Festival of Joy and Lights. In the days that Jesus walked the earth, men danced with flaming torches. Four 75-foot high candelabras lit up the entire city of Jerusalem. There was a festival of water that was so celebratory that the Mishnah (Jewish Oral Law) says “he who has not seen the drawing of the water has never seen rejoicing in his whole life.”

Many messianic Jews believe that Jesus was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles which would require that He was circumcised on the eighth day—the closing assembly.

Tabernacles is the biggest feast on the Biblical calendar. Jews simply called it “The Feast.” More than three times as many animals were sacrificed on Sukkot than on all the other feasts combined.

The bulls are sacrificed in such a way as to point to the end of the age. On the first day of the Feast, 13 young bulls are sacrificed. On the second day of the Feast, 12 bulls are sacrificed. On the third day of the Feast, 11 bulls are sacrificed. The pattern of one less bull is followed until the seventh day when seven bulls are sacrificed. It is as if the bulls are pointing to the end. Then, on the eighth (closing) day of the festival, one bull is sacrificed. The pattern points to the end of the age.

During the seven days of the Feast, a total of 70 bulls are sacrificed. The Rabbis believe that each of the 70 represent the 70 nations that spread out across the world after Noah’s Flood in Genesis 10. Therefore, the 70 bulls point to the atonement of all the nations of the world.

Tabernacles points to that day when God’s plan of redemption is complete and the Father tabernacles among people:

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3–4).