Adrian’s Midrash (A-Drash
This Week’s Torah Portion: Sukkot "Tabernacles"
Torah: Leviticus 22:26-23:44
Prophets: Zechariah 14:1-21
Sukkot, or Tabernacles is the last of the Fall biblical Feasts. Listed in Leviticus 23 we see eight festivals or mo’edim (appointed times). It’s interesting that many just see seven; however, I assure you there are eight, with the weekly Sabbath being the first.
The term mo’edim (mo’adey) is the Hebrew word for appointed times. I love how the Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Hebrew (Old Testament)1 defines this word:
appointed time, designated time, i.e., a particular pointed time related to other points of times, with a focus that this time has a purpose designated by an authority.
The two key points to this definition are: 1) it is an apointed time related to other pointed times, and 2) its focus and purpose is designated by an authority. Wow!
Anyhow, Jew or Gentile that has spent any amount of time studying or observing these eight appointed times can see the connection between each of them. These designated times starts with the weekly Shabbat where YHWH specifically states that He’ll meet with us. In doing so, the wisdom of Yahweh is imparted to his kedoshim (Set Apart Peoples—Jews and Gentiles). Through the weekly Torah portions, which you are partakers of, YHWH reveals His nature, character, and wisdom, which is why we are not to forsake the assembling of the believers.
By weekly submitting ourselves to the Creator of the Universe, we are plugged into His righteousness and His mind. And then we are told to carefully observe all the appointed times in their appointed months from generation to generation.
Next we have the Spring Feasts (Appointed times). Starting with Passover (one night), and then the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Sadly this has become one festival today simply called, “Passover.” We are then to observe First Fruits, followed by Shavu’ot (Pentecost). If you were study the life and times of Yeshua you would see that His impeccable timing, observance, and fulfillment of them qualified Him and Him alone as the one to whom these appointed times were the goal (fulfillment), not the abolishment. A person who fulfills Torah doesn’t complete them as in an exam, but, rather, upholds them.
Then, we have the Fall Appointed Times, which we are now in. These last three main Feasts start with Yom Teruah (Rosh HaShannah), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and then finally, Sukkot (Tabernacles)! These last three are divinely connected and appointed for a reason! Yeshua fulfilled (upheld) the Spring Feasts at His first coming, (Messiah, son of Joseph) while these Fall Feasts will be upheld—exactly—at his Second Coming (Messiah, son of David).
Yom Teruah is when YHWH will send His angels to the four-corners of the earth and gather His elect (kedoshim-Set Apart believers), followed by Yom Kippur where he will set the nations before him and judge the righteous and unrighteous according to His Word, and then finally followed by Tabernacles which will last for a thousand years, which Messiah (Mashiyach) will reign as the seed of David.
Now, since these Fall Feasts have obviously not been abolished, or “nailed to the cross,” wouldn’t you think that they are important for today’s believers and skeptics? Absolutely!
Yeshua says, “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter (yod), or least stroke of pen (jot), will by any means, disappear from the Torah until everything is accomplished” (Torah mine, Matthew 5:18, NIV). Furthermore, YHWH specifically commands us to observe the mo’edim. It always amazes me when believers—Jews or Gentiles—are unwilling to worship YHWH according to His appointed times and seasons. It’s like we make our own rules and then convince ourselves that because Yahweh is merciful He’ll forgive us no matter what. However, this is what YHWH says regarding worshiping Him not according to his ways, “You shall not act as we are acting here today, all of us according to our own desires . . .” (Deuteronomy 13:8). And again, “Be careful to obey all these words that I command you today, so that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, because you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of YHWH your God” (Deuteronomy 12:28).
Any investigation into any of the Christian holidays, e.g., Christmas, Easter, Lent, etc., one will discover that their roots are deep into paganism. The Feasts of YHWH belong to Him and all who worship Him. Either we are for Him or against Him. Thus, build a sukkah and gather your family in it for the prescribed time Yahweh demands, and look forward to His blessings.
Let me close with this wonderful passage that reveals YHWH is no respecter of persons; however, He recognizes and blesses all those who call upon His name and the Anointed one:
Every native Israelite shall do these things in this way, in presenting an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to YHWH. An alien (ger-Hebrew, stranger) who lives with you, or who takes up permanent residence among you, and wishes to offer an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to YHWH, shall do as you do. As for the assembly, there shall be for both you and the resident alien a single statute, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you and the alien shall be alike before YHWH. You and the alien who resides with you shall have the same law (Torah) and the same ordinance (Numbers 15:13-16).
Finally, and again, Yeshua says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (emphasis mine, Matthew 5:17-20).
Sukkot is a foreshadow of the Malchut Elohim (Kingdom of God). Isn’t time we all celebrate it accordingly and with honor and praise to Yahweh and His glorious manifestation Yeshua?
Note: If you’d like a more in-depth study of the Feasts and Festivals of YHWH, please go to http://www.yiyadrian.spaces.live.com and click on the folder, “The Jewish Feasts and Festivals.”
1James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Hebrew (Old Testament), second edition 2001 (Logos Research Systems, INC., 1997) s. v. “4595 מֹועֵד (mô∙ʿēḏ)