Eight-days of Tabernacles (Study Guide)

“He raised up a testimony in Jacob and established a Torah in Israel. He commanded our ancestors to make this known to their children, so that the next generation would know it, the children not yet born, who would themselves arise and tell their own children, who could then put their confidence in God, not forgetting God’s deeds, but obeying his commandments” (Psalm 78:1-7).

The Feast of Tabernacles is ‘our season of joy’.  It is the time of Yeshua’s birth, the time to remember the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the time for celebrating the ingathering (of Israel) and a time to look forward to the coming eternal Kingdom of God.

When my children were young, we had no place of fellowship so we made our sukkah that place.  Everyday we would run outside to read our Bibles and do an activity in the sukkah that helped all of us learn the deeper meaning to our ‘temporary dwelling.’

This list of activities is for those who are wanting to learn more about the Feast of Tabernacles.  As with all study guides, use them them as a springboard for your own personal study or teaching your own children.   There are no right or wrong answers as all Scripture is divinely inspired for our training in righteousness.  Some of the  activities will take the entire week while others are just a single day activity.  Depending on how you use it, it could even be eight years of teachings for your family.   Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God and give your children wonderful memories of ‘our season of joy’ that focuses on Yeshua, the living Tabernacle of God.

Preparation Day

The Day before the Feast of Tabernacles begins.

“You are to live in sukkot for seven days … so that generation after generation of you will know that I made the children of Israel live in sukkot when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 23:42).   

Build a sukkah inside or outside.  Make sure it is a ‘temporary structure’.  You can use anything from sheets to wood, but its roof should be covered with branches or left open.  Decorate it with pictures, fruit, and lights.  Put pillows, chairs and tables inside if it is big enough.   Make it a welcoming place for Bible study, eating snacks or meals, and inviting friends.  Learn the Hebrew words sukkah and sukkot.

Read about Abraham living in a tent in a tent in Hebrews 11:9-10.  Have your children draw a picture of his tent and hang them in your sukkah.

First day of Tabernacles

“On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days” (Leviticus 23:40).

Make some lulavs with branches and fruit.  Gather some palm branches or buy some silk/plastic ones along with some lemons.

In Luke 8:4-15, Yeshua taught about the four heart conditions of men in the Parable of the Sower.  Compare and contrast the spiritual lulav found in the Feast of Tabernacles chapter with the Parable.

Yeshua the Living Tabernacle

“The Word became flesh and tabernacled with us, we saw his glory, the glory of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Read about Yeshua’s birth in Luke chapters 1 and 2.  Yeshua means ‘salvation’ in Hebrew.  Look up Scriptures that have the word ‘salvation.’  Write them out on 3×5 cards replacing the word ‘salvation’ with ‘Yeshua’.  Put them in a basket in your sukkah and read several each day.

Play some praise and worship music and dance with your lulavs to celebrate the birth of Yeshua.

Second Day of Tabernacles

“…‘Celebrate the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field” (Exodus 23:16).

Using yellow, red, orange and brown construction paper, cut out autumn leaf shapes.  On each leaf write a Scripture about the harvest or ingathering.  Hang your leaves in your sukkah.  Some examples can be found in Isaiah 11:12, 55:10, Matthew 13, Mark 4, John 4, Jeremiah 16:14-15, and Ezekiel 23:13.

Learn about aliyah and the modern-day ingathering of Jewish people from around the world.  Seek out a ministry in Israel that encourages aliyah or helps new immigrants to adjust to life in the land of promise. 

Third Day of Tabernacles

“I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body … (2 Peter 1:13).

Search for Scriptures about our bodies being ‘tents’ and ‘temples’.    Have children draw a self portrait and hang it in your sukkah. 

Learn about the Holy Spirit or the Ruach haKodesh in Hebrew.  Look up Scriptures that tell what he Holy Spirit does in a believer’s life.  What does it mean to be convicted of sin or comforted?  What is the difference between the fruits of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit?

Fourth Day of Tabernacles

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

What does it mean that we are clay jars that hold a treasure?  Using some clay, make a jar that represents you.  Paint your name on the outside.  Write your favorite Scriptures on pieces of paper and put them inside the jar.

Learn about the Dead Sea Scrolls.  They were found in 1948 by a bedouin shepherd in some caves near Qumran.  The scrolls had been hidden in clay jars since the time of the revolt about 70 A.D.  The scroll of Isaiah was found completely in tact.  How would you consider the Dead Sea Scrolls as ‘treasures in clay jars’.

Fifth Day of Tabernacles

“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34).

Do a little study on the glory of the LORD.  In Hebrew the word is kavod.  What is significant about kavod?

Put a menorah in your sukkah.   If you don’t have a menorah, draw one or make a simple one with clay and seven birthday candles.  If you are really creative glue seven spools on a piece of wood and paint it with gold paint.

“May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice” (Psalm 141:2).

Burn some incense in your sukkah.  Frankincense and myrrh can be bought where most incense is sold.

Sixth Day of Tabernacles

“These are a shadow of things that are coming, but the body is of the Messiah” (Colossians 9:17).

Shine a light on your child and make a silhouette of them.  Then take a photograph of them.  Discuss the difference between a shadow and a reality.  How does Yeshua become realities in shadows?

Read about the Tabernacle in Hebrews and Revelation.  Find similarities and differences between the shadow of the Tabernacle in the wilderness and the Tabernacle in heaven.

Build a small Ark of the Covenant using a box.  Spray paint it gold and put some dowels on the sides.  From some poster board, make two cherubim and paint them gold.  Attach them to the top of the Ark.  Find two rocks and put them in the Ark for the stone tablets.  Find a stick with leaves and put it in as Aaron’s rod that budded.  In a small container, put some oatmeal as manna.  Put your Ark of the Covenant inside your sukkah. 

What are the shadows of the Ark, the stone tablets, Aaron’s rod, and manna fulfilled in Messiah Yeshua? the new covenant? the royal priesthood? the bread of life?

Seventh Day of Tabernacles

“For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring and my blessing on your descendants” (Isaiah 44:2-4).

On this day, Yeshua attended the Feast of Tabernacles.  Read about the events of that day in John chapter 7.

Fill a pitcher of water and pour it out as you read and discuss living water  (Jeremiah 2:13, Jeremiah 17:13, Zechariah 14:8, John Chapter 4, Revelation 7:17).

Exodus 17:1-7 describes the account of the water coming from the rock.  1 Corinthians 10:3-4 explains the rock.   How is this ‘water from the rock’  visible to the people on the last and greatest day of the Feast of Tabernacles?

Eighth Day of Tabernacles

“Blessed is the man  who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners  or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the Torah of the Lord, and on his Torah he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3).

This day is known as Simchat Torah or ‘Rejoicing in the Torah’.

Learn what the Hebrew word torah actually means and how it can be used with both the testaments of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16).

Read Psalm 19 aloud. Notice that each section begins with a Hebrew letter.  Learn the Hebrew Aleph-Bet along with their word pictures.

Make flags from dowels and small pieces of felt for celebrating Simchat Torah.  Our little flags say, “Yeshua”, “I Love God’s Torah”, “Rejoice in the Bible” and “Be Joyful”.  Wave the flags, play music and dance praising God for giving us this ‘appointed time‘ to learn about His Tabernacle, His Son, and our earthly temples.

On the eighth day of Tabernacles, Yeshua was circumcised and given his name of ‘salvation’.  Learn about circumcision and discuss Romans 2:28-29.

It is traditional to begin a yearly cycle of reading Torah on Simchat Torah.   Begin a Torah cycle for the next year so the Scriptures are planted in your heart, mind and soul.

Have children write a short poem, story, or paragraph about something that made their ‘Season of Rejoicing’ special.

Take pictures of your sukkah and begin a family scrapbook of the Feast of Tabernacles.

©2005 Tent Stake Ministries (from Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.)

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