Biblical Feasts

Sukkoth, the Feast of the Everlasting Joy
Sukkoth, the Feast of the Everlasting Joy

Meaning of the Biblical Feasts

Three times a year, you are to observe tachog תחג a festival for me.Keep the festival of matzah (Pesach): for seven days, as I ordered you, you are to eat matzah at the time determined in the month of Aviv; for it was in that month that you left Egypt. No one is to appear before me empty–handed. Next, the festival of harvest, the first fruits (Shavuot) of your efforts sowing in the field; and last, the festival of ingathering (Sukkoth), at the end of the year, when you gather in from the fields the results of your efforts.Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Lord, ADONAI.” Exodus 23:14-17

Tell the people of Isra’el: ‘The designated times of ADONAI moadei Adonai מעדי יהוה which you are to proclaim as holy convocations are my designated times.“‘Work is to be done on six days; but the seventh day is a Shabbat of complete rest, a holy convocation; you are not to do any kind of work; it is a Shabbat for ADONAI, even in your homes.“‘These are the designated times of ADONAI, the holy convocations you are to proclaim at their designated times.“‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between sundown and complete darkness, comes Pesach for ADONAI.On the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of matzah; for seven days you are to eat matzah.On the first day you are to have a holy convocation; don’t do any kind of ordinary work. Bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work.’”

Leviticus 23 :2-8

Two words are important for us in this study: the words observe or celebrate and the designated times. 

The word chagag means: to celebrate, to feast, and to dance until being drunk.

The word mo’ed speaks of a special time, an appointed time, a signal or a season, a meeting place or the tent of meeting as in I Kings 8:4. 

G-d is calling us to celebrate with all our strength certain times that He has sealed in His divine calendar. 

Here is an example of the kind of joy and celebration that pleases the L-rd: 

Then David danced and spun around with abandon before ADONAI, wearing a linen ritual vest. So David and all the house of Isra’el brought up the ark of ADONAI with shouting and the sound of the shofar.2 Sam.6 :14-15

We can see here a real strong manifestation of joy, close to the joy we can experiment sometimes in the Spirit. This joy which David expresses is directly linked to a special event: The arrival of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.

The Ark of the Covenant was this wooden box in which were kept the two stones tablets, one of the most sacred thing that disappeared since the destruction of the First Temple. 

This Ark was also the symbol of the divine Presence, it has been carried on the Temple Mount, Moryah, the place where Yitz’chaq had been offered in sacrifice, an image of the Son (see our Parasha Va-Yeira). This Ark was also a source of miracle and the waters from the Jordan River separated at its passage (Joshua 4:7). It was holy and to desecrate it would lead to death (2 Samuel 6:7). And it also holds the Word of G-d and is the symbol of G-d’s Covenant with His chosen people: 

And there I have placed the ark containing the covenant of ADONAI, which he made with the people of Isra’el. 2 Chronicles 6:11

When Shlomo inaugurated the First Temple, joy and anointing were so strong that nobody could possibly enter the Temple:

When Shlomo had finished praying,fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of ADONAI filled the house, so that the cohanim could not enter the house of ADONAI; because the glory of ADONAI filled ADONAI‘ s house. All the people of Isra’el saw when the fire came down, and the glory of ADONAI was on the house; they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the flooring; prostrating themselves, they gave thanks to ADONAI, “for he is good, for his grace continues forever.”2 Chronicles 7:1-3

We need to realize that this joy that experimented both David and Shlomo was directly linked with the Covenant made with the children of Yisra-El. When Shlomo, the spiritual heir of David inaugurated the First Temple at the seventh month, the Feast lasted for seven days and on the height they had a holy convocation. This inauguration was nothing else that the rejoicing over the presence of G-d among His people and joy and anointing were present. This special day was this “moed” day, this special time sealed in G-d’s divine calendar, like a signal for us:The Feast of Sukkoth!

Then, on the twenty–third day of the seventh month, he sent the people away to their tents full of joy and glad of heart for all the goodness ADONAI had shown to David, to Shlomo and to Isra’el his people 2 Chronicles 7 :10

As we can see, G-d’s Feasts are special convocations that He set up to show His glory. And those times of joy and anointing are deeply linked to the Covenant with the House of Yisra-El. 

It is sad to see that today, the "Church" has forgotten about those G-d’s given times or replaced them with other celebration where Yisra-El is not invited any more. How sad when we realized that each one of those feasts speaks of the mission fulfilled by Yeshua and His coming:

  • Pesach and the sacrifice of the Lamb…
  • Shavuot and the gift of the Torah Who came in flesh …
  • The Feast of the Trumpets and the celebration of the Great King, the calling to blow the shofar of Redemption …The Rapture
  • Yom Kippur and repentance, a condition for His return …
  • Sukkoth and the coming back of Yeshua when the full divine plan will be accomplished, joining both Yisra-El with the Gentiles in the knowledge of the One G-d… 

 When we read the Tanach , we can see that for each feast , joy and anointing were present as well as G-d presence and it is our job today, as the descendants of Avraham to invite Him and His glory to come back among His people through His Ruach Hakodesh, His Spirit and transform Yaakov into Yisra-El! 

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