The Feast of Tabernacles is also known as the Feast of Booths or the Hag Sukkot. It begins on the 15th of Tishrei, lasts seven days, and ends on the 21st of Tishrei. The Israelites are to dwell in booths or “sukkot” (singular = sukkah) for seven days to remember that the children of Israel dwelled in booths when the Lord brought them out of Egypt.
On Tishrei 15th (1st day) and 22nd (8th day), Israel is to celebrate and wave luvav which are fruit of beautiful trees (citron), branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees (myrtle), and willows of the brook bound together.
The Hag Sukkot takes place around the time of the fruit and nut harvest – especially the grape and olive harvest. In Israel, the harvests are not all completed by the time of the Hag Sukkot. Actually a bountiful grape harvest can extend beyond the Hag Sukkot to the time when sowing should take place. Olive harvests typically begin taking place sometime in October and extend into November. After the harvests are complete, they must be processed. Grapes are processed to make wine or raisins while olives are processed for oil.
The time of the final spiritual harvest of the last days mentioned in Revelation 14:14-20 takes place prior to the Hag Sukkot. God’s people are the olive harvest and the wicked are the grape harvest (Rev. 14:14-20).
Every harvest cycle has a period of separation whether it is barley (winnowing), wheat (threshing), or grapes (crushing blood from skin) and olives (crushing oil from the fruit). What results from these separation processes is what is clean and holy versus unclean and common.
Jesus’ parables reveal that in the end (during the fall feasts) there will be a separating of people:
- Wheat from the weeds (True Christians from those who are counterfeit).
- Good fish from the bad fish (Ritually clean people from those who are ritually unclean).
- Wise virgins from the foolish virgins (People who lived wisely and had plenty of the oil of the Holy Spirit from those who quenched the Holy Spirit, foolishly gratified the desires of the flesh, and were not prepared for Christ’s return).
There are several Scriptures and thematic parallels that lead me to believe this separation takes place at the end of the tribulation:
- Mark 13:24-27: “But in those days, after that tribulation… Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven. (NKJV)
- Matthew 13:30: In the parable of the wheat and weeds, the weeds are collected at harvest time, tied in bundles, and then thrown into the fire. After that, the wheat is gathered into the owner’s barn.
- Luke 1:22-37: In the passages about one being taken and the other left, the ones who will be taken will be eaten by birds of prey and the righteous will remain alive like Noah and Lot did.
Remember that Colossians 2:16-17 indicates the feasts are a shadow of things to come. If the spiritual harvest has been reaped just prior to the actual Hag Sukkot, there must be more to this feast than the fact it takes place around the final harvest of the year and remembering the Israelites dwelled in booths in the wilderness. Since the idea behind Tabernacles is that God is dwelling with His people, the Hag Sukkot is most likely the actual season of Jesus’ birthday when Immanuel came to dwell with us (Matt. 1:23).
Another clue to the significance of this feast may be found in the Hebrew text. The Hebrew words for “dwell in booths” found in Leviticus 23:42 can also mean to “marry in booths.” In other words, the seven days of the Hag Sukkot may be the 7 days of the wedding feast of the Lamb (the seven days of huppah) when the bride and groom spend intimate time together as husband and wife. The eighth day is known as Shemini Atzeret or Eighth Assembly. It represents a new beginning when Jesus is dwelling with His people in Jerusalem.
Now that you understand these two things, would you celebrate the Hag Sukkot as God commanded?