Posts Tagged ‘sukkah’

Pillar – Hebrew: Netzab

Netzab in Hebrew means ‘to guard or protect.’ It is found 23 times in the Complete Jewish Bible.

Pillars are used as imagery to describe the earth’s foundation. When it quakes, Elohim holds the pillars firm for all the people on the earth (Psalm 75:4). The first reference to a pillar is in Genesis 35:14 when Ya’akov (Jacob) sets up a standing stone or pillar at Beit-el. While the Israelites wandered through the wilderness, the glory of Adonai led them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. His pillar shaded them from the heat of the day and kept them warm at night. His pillar protected them from their enemies and moved with them for 40 years. His pillar lived above the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle; His pillar was their sukkah of covering for 40 years.

When Moshe read the words of Adonai and the people responded they would obey everything they heard, he set up 12 pillars for the 12 Tribes of Isra’el. Jeremiah was made an ‘iron pillar’ with whom the kings, princes, and priests of Judah would fight against. He would not be overcome, but rescued (Jeremiah 1:18-19).

Yeshua’s words are similar to Philadelphia who will ‘remain behind’ and not be overcome. They will be as King David wrote: “Our sons in their youth will be like full-grown saplings, our daughters will be like sculptured pillars fit for the corner of a palace” (Psalm 144:12).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

Tzade – A Fishhook means ‘pull toward.’

Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

Bet – A House means ‘house’ or ‘family.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for netzab: life pulls toward finished work of house.

Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Revelation Chapter 14 – The New Song and The Harvest

“Then I looked, and there was the Lamb standing on Mount Tziyon; and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1).

Yochanan looked and saw the Lamb standing on Mount Tziyon. In ancient times, this mountain was the highest point in Jerusalem; today it is the mountain south of the Armenian Quarter of the Old City. The word Tziyon occurs 161 times in the Complete Jewish Bible and means ‘signpost’ or ‘monument.’

King David attacked the Jebusites in Jerusalem and captured the fortress of Tziyon and it became the City of David (2 Samuel 5:6-7). Tziyon in Jerusalem became a possession of Isra’el and King David put up the Tent for the Ark of the Covenant on the mountain next to his palace. Because of the continual worship at the Tent of David, Mount Tziyon became the spiritual center for the world.

Eventually the name Tziyon became synonymous the city of Jerusalem from where the Torah would be proclaimed along with the Word of Adonai (Isaiah 2:3, Micah 4:2) and the vision of the eternal Promised Land and the New Jerusalem (Hebrews 11:10).

“On the contrary, you have come to Mount Tziyon, that is, the city of the living God, heavenly Yerushalayim; to myriads of angels in festive assembly; to a community of the firstborn whose names have been recorded in heaven; to a Judge who is God of everyone; to spirits of righteous people who have been brought to the goal;  to the mediator of a new covenant, Yeshua…” (Hebrews 12:21-24).

Hebrew Word Pictures

צ Tzade – A Fishhook means ‘draw near.’

י Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ן Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for tziyon: draw near to the finished work binding life.

Standing on Mount Tziyon were 144,000 men: 12,000 from each of the 12 Tribes of Isra’el. They have the Lamb’s name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. The promise given to those in the congregation of Philadelphia who persevered and won the victory are given the name of Yeshua and Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh. They never disowned the name of Yeshua even when attacked by false Jews. These overcomers will be kept from the time of trial that will test the earth. They have been ‘sealed’ by Adonai.

The Hebrew word for ‘forehead’ is metzak. Some Scriptures suggest ‘forehead’ is symbolic of being stubborn; however, an ornament of pure gold was fastened to Aharon’s turban as a ‘seal’ (Exodus 28:36-38). This ‘seal’ protected the High Priest from the guilt of the people of Isra’el when he accepted their gifts.

As part of the Shema, Isra’el is told to love Adonai with all their heart, mind and soul, and to teach the commandments to their children. As a ‘sign,’ they are to tie them on their hands and bind them on their forehead (Deuteronomy 6:8-9). This command has become literally exemplified by many Orthodox Jews who tie straps on their arms and hands and bind little black boxes to their foreheads. This is a reminder that the commandments protect the thoughts of the mind and are obeyed by the action of the hands.

Yeshua’s name and the name of his Father written on the ‘forehead’ is a sealing of protection, and proof that these 144,000 obey the commandments and their minds are protected from the evils of the world.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Forehead – Metzak

מ Mem – Water and means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

צ Tzade – A Fishhook means ‘draw near.’

ח Chet – A Fence and means ‘protect.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for metzak: mighty draw near protection.

 “I heard a sound from heaven like the sound of rushing waters and like the sound of pealing thunder; the sound I heard was also like that of harpists playing on their harps. They were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living beings and the elders, and no one could learn the song except the 144,000 who have been ransomed from the world. These are the ones who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins; they follow the Lamb wherever he goes; they have been ransomed from among humanity as firstfruits for God and the Lamb; on their lips no lie was found — they are without defect” (Revelation 14:2-5).

This group of men, B’nei Isra’el were first ‘sealed’ in Revelation chapter 7. They have remained physically and spiritually pure. They follow Yeshua wherever he goes. They are given harps that when played sound like rushing waters and pealing thunder. They sing a new song that only they can learn, and sing before the four living beings and the 24 elders. They are the firstfruits of those who have been ransomed from the world. Like the Lamb, they are without defect.

The phsat or literal interpretation of being a virgin is not being defiled by a woman. The remez or ‘shadow’ of this condition alludes to spiritual purity. These men of Isra’el have never defiled themselves with other religions or religious practices, including Christian. They remained faithful to the Shema, the Torah and the Prophets. They are true Jews with new covenant, circumcised hearts who receive the praise of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh (Romans 2:29).

The prophecy speaks of a new song that only could be sung by those redeemed from the world. The ‘new song’ is spontaneous because they are the only ones who have had victory had over the beast, the dragon, and the false prophet. It is a new victory song because this war had never been fought before by humans, and it will never be fought again (Matthew 24:21).

The ‘new song’ is first mentioned in Revelation chapter 5, but is being sung around the throne in heaven: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals; because you were slaughtered; at the cost of blood you ransomed for God persons from every tribe, language, people and nation. You made them into a kingdom for God to rule, cohanim to serve him; and they will rule over the earth” (Revelation 5:10). In Revelation chapter 14, the new song is being sung on Mount Tziyon, the mountain of Adonai where those who come out of the Great Tribulation will worship King Yeshua who holds the scepter of promise to Judah and King David (Psalm 2:6, Psalm 110:2). At this time, Mount Tziyon will be called the mountain of the Holy One and Jerusalem will be known as the city of Truth (Isaiah 2:3, Michah 4:2).

“At that time, whoever calls on the name of Adonai will be saved. For in Mount Tziyon and Yerushalayim there will be those who escape, as Adonai has promised; among the survivors will be those whom Adonai has called” (Joel 3:5).

“Next I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven with everlasting Good News to proclaim to those living on the earth — to every nation, tribe, language and people. In a loud voice he said, “Fear God, give him glory, for the hour has come when he will pass judgment! Worship the One who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water!” (Revelation 14:6-7).

Yochanan sees a messenger flying in the mid-heaven proclaiming the message of respentance and salvation to those living on the earth: to every nation, tribe, language, and people. For those who have asked about the Aborigines in the remotest part of the earth, here’s the answer. Everyone will hear the message of repentance. The messenger tells everyone to worship Adonai, the Creator who made heaven and earth, the seas and springs of water.

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is compassionate and desires that all men come to a full knowledge of the Truth. When judgment comes, He wants all nations to know that it is His judgment and that they can be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).

“Another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “She has fallen! She has fallen! Bavel the Great! She made all the nations drink the wine of God’s fury caused by her whoring!” (Revelation 14:8).

A second messenger follows saying that Bablyon the Great has fallen. Babylon the Great is great global city comprised of all the nations that embrace the false gods and religions of the world (Leviticus 20:6). She is called the ‘Mother of Whores and Great Obsenities’ –– she is the bride of the Adversary. Her spiritual rebellion draws people away from Adonai and provokes Him to anger, to make them drink the wine of his fury.

The religious system of Babylon goes back to the one religion anti-Elohim pre-flood Babel. More than witchcraft, sorcery, and spiritual idolatry, Babylon, the Mother of Whores, is responsible for the slaughter billions of people on earth from the beginning of time until the judgment; Babylon the Whore is the root of all religious wars against the people of Adonai.

“Another angel, a third one, followed them and said in a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives the mark on his forehead or on his hand, he will indeed drink the wine of God’s fury poured undiluted into the cup of his rage. He will be tormented by fire and sulfur before the holy angels and before the Lamb, and the smoke from their tormenting goes up forever and ever. They have no rest, day or night, those who worship the beast and its image and those who receive the mark of its name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

Those who worship the beast’s image and receive the ‘beast’s mark’ on their forehead or hand will also drink the undiluted wine of Elohim’s fury. The Greek word for ‘mark’ is charagma and means ‘stamp or impression’ like an image impressed upon a coin. It is a undeniable ‘mark’ that proves the identification of its owner and determines their eternal destination. Like the ‘beast’ and the false prophet, they will be tormented in the ‘lake of burning fire and sulfur.’ The smoke will go up before the angels and Yeshua, and their torment is eternal. These people will have no rest day or night if they worship the beast, its image, and receive the ‘mark.’

“This is when perseverance is needed on the part of God’s people, those who observe his commands and exercise Yeshua’s faithfulness” (Revelation 14:12).

This all-important verse reveals the identity of Adonai’s people: they observe His commandments and have a testimony of Yeshua. This is the witness of two for being a saint, set-apart for Elohim. The Holy Ones wholeheartedly understand the message of repentance and a return to Adonai through faith and obedience.

Those who do not put their faith in Yeshua are not called Holy Ones. These could be Jewish people who obey the commandments, but reject Yeshua because of anti-missionaries and the stigma attached to a Jesus who doesn’t keep Torah. Those who do not obey Torah are not called Holy Ones either. These could be Christians who have a testimony of Yeshua, but reject obeying the Torah commandments. The preaching of a Torah-less gospel is called the ‘spirit of lawlessness’ that is at work deceiving even before the ‘man of lawlessness’ is revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:7 Romans 2:7-9).

The Greek word for ‘perseverance’ is hupomone and means ‘remaining behind.’ Those who remain behind are the wheat and not the tares. The tares, the godless, the faithless, and the lawless, are planted by the evil one. They will be gathered together and thrown into the fire. Those who are ‘left behind’ are the wheat that will be gathered into Yeshua’s barn. The Holy Ones are ‘sealed’ by Adonai through their testimony of Yeshua and their obedience to Torah and gathered to Yeshua (Matthew 13:29-30).

“Next I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: ‘How blessed are the dead who die united with the Lord, from now on!’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘now they may rest from their efforts, for the things they have accomplished follow along with them’” (Revelation 14:13).

The ‘voice’ in heaven speaks to Yochanan. The Hebrew word devar is used for ‘voice’ which means ‘word’ like Devar Elohim or Word of God. Devar (word) is used with katab (write) directing toward something important. This devar holds a blessing for those who die united with Yeshua from this point forward.

These will be the ‘left behind’ martyrs. When they die for their faith, they will rest from the efforts “for the things they have accomplished follow along with them.” The word for ‘rest’ in Hebrew means ‘to lie down and relax.’ These martyrs have a faith they expressed by their deeds and actions which followed them (Psalm 85:14, Ephesians 2:10).

“Then I looked, and there before me was a white cloud. Sitting on the cloud was someone like a Son of Man with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.  Another angel came out of the Temple and shouted to the one sitting on the cloud, “Start using your sickle to reap, because the time to reap has come — the earth’s harvest is ripe!”  The one sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested” (Revelation 14:13-16).

Clouds are found throughout Scripture. Adonai put his bow in the cloud, He followed the Israelites in a cloud, He rides a swift cloud on His way to Egypt (Isaiah 19:1). The glory of yod-hey-vav-hey departed the Temple and left Jerusalem in a cloud over the Mount of Olives (Ezekiel 10). Adonai makes the clouds His chariot and He rides on the wings of the wind (Psalm 104:3). Clouds not only represent the presence of Adonai, but they are also a mode of transportation (Deuteronomy 33:26).

The Greek word for ‘cloud’ is nephele and means a literal ‘cloud.’   According to Vines Expository Dictionary of Greek and Hebrew, the cloud is ‘a definitely-shaped cloud’.  Nephele comes from the word nephos with a symbolic meaning of ‘a dense multitude or throng.’  A nephele is a large physical cloud comprised of masses of clouds that covers the heavens.  

The Hebrew word for ‘cloud’ is anan and means ‘cloud mass’.  Jeremiah describes the anan, “You have covered yourself with a ‘cloud’ so thick …” (Lamentations 3:44). It is used for the presence of Adonai and His ‘cloud’ sukkah over Israel –– His ‘sign of divine protection.’ The ‘cloud’  served as a barrier to hide the fullness of Adonai’s holiness and glory while giving Israel  divine protection from the Egyptians as well as the Red Sea itself.

The Hebrew word for ‘before me’ is hineni and means ‘here I am’ in the spiritual sense of being ready to do the will of Elohim. Avraham responded to El Shaddai with Hineni when he was asked to take his only son to Mount Moriah. Hineni suggests ‘the cloud’ is prepared to do the will of Elohim. There is a ‘cloud’ of witnesses that has been resurrected and are ready to do the will of Adonai.

Sitting on the cloud was someone like the Son of Man. Daniel had a vision: “I kept watching the night visions, when I saw, coming with the clouds of heaven, someone like a son of man” (Daniel 7:13). This ‘son of man’ was led into the presence of ‘Ancient of Days’ and given a scepter, glory, and an eternal Kingdom. Daniel saw Yeshua coming with the clouds; however, at this time the Son of Man is sitting on the cloud (Matthew 24:30).

The Son of Man wears a crown symbolizing his power and authority. As the King of Kings, Yeshua will wear many crowns on his head representing the many victories he had over the nations’ kings (Revelation 19:12). He wears a crown showing his power and authority to harvest the earth bringing many into the Kingdom (John 4:35).

A messenger comes out of the Temple and tells the Son of Man that the time has come to reap for the harvest is ripe. Some do not believe the person sitting on the cloud is Yeshua because he doesn’t take orders from angels; however the messenger came out of the Temple after having received the order from Yeshua’s Father. As the Son of Man, he waits for his Father’s command to claim his Bride; he must also wait for Adonai’s ‘specific time’ for judgment (Lamentations 1:15).

Yeshua holds a sickle in his hand. A sickle is a reaping-hook with a curved blade used for harvesting crops. The prophet Joel writes, ‘swing the sickle for the harvest is ripe, the winepress is full, the vats are overflowing –– wickedness is great” (Joel 3:13).

Lamentations says there is a ‘specific time’ or ‘appointed time’ for Adonai’s judgment. The Hebrew word used is mo’ed and refers to the Feasts of Adonai. Each of the ‘appointed times’ follow an agricultural cycle. There is the planting of the seed that must fall to the ground and die (John 12:24). There is a firstfruits spring harvest offered Feast of Firstfuits (1 Corinthians 15:20). There is a later firstfuits harvest offered on Feast of Weeks (Acts 3:41). The fall harvest of grapes put into a winepress was known as the final harvest or the ingathering celebrated on the Feast of Tabernacles.

“Another angel came out of the Temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle.  Then out from the altar went yet another angel, who was in charge of the fire; and he called in a loud voice to the one with the sharp sickle, “Use your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because they are ripe!”  The angel swung his sickle down onto the earth, gathered the earth’s grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s fury.  The winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress as high as the horses’ bridles for two hundred miles!” (Revelation 14:17-20).

One angel comes out of the Temple with a sickle while another from the Altar manages the fire. Together the sickles are swung down onto the earth to gather the clusters of grapes that are ripe for the fury of Elohim. The prophet Isaiah says that the ‘arm’ of Elohim brings forth salvation –– Yeshua. (Isaiah 63:3-6).

Outside the city of Jerusalem, the winepress was trodden and symbolizes the blood that will be shed at the time of judgement. Blood flowed for 200 miles; it will be as ‘high as the horses’ bridle.’ The distance between Jerusalem and Cairo, Egypt to the south is 263 miles, between Jerusalem and Damascus, Syria to the north is 222 miles, and Jerusalem and Ammon, Jordan to the east is 160 miles. Taken literally, the whole Middle East, the war zone from Damascus to Ammon to Cairo will be one large lake filled with blood.

This website actually tried to figure out how many people must die to fill the land with so much blood and came up with between 15,000 and 30,000 people which seems too few. Another interpretation could be that the swinging of the angelic sickles is so violent that blood will be splattered everywhere even up to the horses’ bridle.

Using the measurement of a horse’s bridle suggests the armies will be riding horses. In today’s technology of fighter jets and tanks, it seems odd that there will be mounted armies. Yet, there are five countries that still use horses in their military, and a few of them could be part of this war: India has the last fully-operational mounted cavalry; Jordan uses camels to guard their borders with Syria and Iraq; and the United Nationsuses horses in desert areas like Iran and Iraq.

With the release of Adonai’s fury, He destroys many nations and pours their lifeblood onto the earth.

Revelation 15 – Song of Moshe

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

The Feast of Tabernacles – Sukkot

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites: On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD’s Festival of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days.  The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work.  For seven days present food offerings to the LORD, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present a food offering to the LORD. It is the closing special assembly; do no regular work’” (Leviticus 23:33-36). 

“Celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress.  Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete” (Deuteronomy 16:13-15).

The Feast of Tabernacles is the last of the seven ‘appointed times’ given to God’s people. In Hebrew, the Feast of Tabernacles is Sukkot meaning ‘shelters,’ sukkah is the singular ‘shelter.’ Sukkot is the eight-day fall Feast that follows the Day of Atonement. It is called the ‘season of our joy’ when everyone dances with lulavs and builds temporary shelters with roofs made from branches of trees. Like the other fall festivals, the Feast of Tabernacles has yet to be fulfilled by Yeshua. Its ‘shadow’ contains the vision of the coming Messianic Era when Yeshua will physically tabernacle with Israel and the nations in Jerusalem. The culmination of the Feast of Tabernacles will occur in eternity when there is a new heavens, new earth, and the New Jerusalem where Adonai Himself will sit on His throne and live with His people.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Booth or Sukkah, the singular of sukkot – סכה

Samech ס – A Prop means ‘to support.’

Kaf כ – An Open Palm means ‘to allow, to open.’

Hey ה – A Window means ‘to behold or reveal.’

The Hebrew word picture for sukkah: To support and allow to reveal.

Abraham’s Faith

Abraham’s Tent

“By faith he [Abraham] made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country;  he lived in tents as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with permanent foundations, of which the architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:9-10).

Abraham was called a friend of God because he believed God. Abraham had faith in Adonai’s promise to make him a great nation through a ‘promised seed.’ Though he had to live in a sukkah in this world, he had the hope of an eternal city built by God.

Jacob’s Sukkah

Jacob at Succot

“Jacob went on to Sukkoth, where he built himself a house and put up shelters for his animals.  This is why the place is called Sukkoth (shelters)” (Genesis 33:17).

When the Hebrews left Egypt, their first stop on their way to Mount Sinai was Takut, the Egyptian name for Sukkoth. Hundreds of years earlier, Jacob stopped at this exact place after he reunited with his brother Esau. He built ‘temporary dwellings’ for his family and livestock and named the place Sukkoth.

Sukkot

“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).

In God’s command for the Feast of Tabernacles, the Israelites were to live in sukkot as a reminder of the 40 years they traveled in the wilderness and lived in temporary shelters. Throughout their generations, the nation of Israel (specifically the Jewish people) have built sukkot no matter where they have lived.

Sukkah

A sukkah can be built in a yard, on a porch or a balcony. It generally has three walls with all or part of its roof open to the sky. Any roof covering is usually branches from trees. Lights may be hung in the sukkah along with interior decorations such as pictures, flowers, leaves, and fruit. Some families line the interior walls with white cloth as a reminder of the ‘clouds of Glory’ that appeared over the Israelites like a sukkah as they traveled in the desert. For seven days the sukkah, the personal or family temporary dwelling place, is used for eating, sleeping, and inviting guests to share in the ‘season of joy.’

The Lulav

“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. Celebrate this as a festival to the LORD for seven days each year” (Leviticus 23:40-42). 

Rejoicing with the Lulav

On the first day of Sukkot, branches from palms, willows, and myrtles along with a large fragrant citrus fruit called an etrog are bound together in what is called the lulav. This leafy bundle represents the nations of the world. On each day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the lulav is waved facing north, south, east, and west while proclaiming the coming Kingdom of God to the nations.

Several symbolic meanings have developed from these four species creating the lulav. Some believe the four species represent the name of God: yod-hey-vav-hey which is why they species are bound together as one. Others believe the fruit and the aroma of the trees relate to different people and how they respond to God’s Torah, very similar to the Parable of the Sower and how different people respond to the Word of God. Still others believe that the branches and the fruit represent the parts of our bodies, our temporary dwellings, that we are to offer to God as “instruments of righteousness” (Romans 6:12-13).

The Tabernacle

“On the first day of the first month of the second year, the tabernacle was set up” (Exodus 40:17). 

The Hebrew word for ‘tabernacle’ is mishkan and this is what the Tabernacle or ‘tent of meeting’ was called in the wilderness.    

Hebrew Word Pictures

Tabernacle or Mishkan – משכן

Mem מ – Water means ‘chaos.’

Shin ש – A Tooth means ‘consume.’

Kaf  כ – A Palm or Wing means ‘cover or allow.’

Nun נ – A Fish means ‘ action and life.’

The Hebrew word picture for mishkan: Chaos consumed to allow life.

After the Hebrews were delivered from Egypt, they ended up at Mount Sinai where Moses received God’s instructions for constructing the mishkan. It took a long time for all of its posts, curtains, and holy articles to be made. Gold, silver, and bronze objects that were taken from Egypt had to be melted down, beaten, and formed into shapes. Acacia wood had to be gathered, cut, and built into boxes. Animals had to be slaughtered for their skins unique skins. Fabric had to be spun from flax and wool.

Tabernacle in the Wilderness

Eventually the gold, silver, and bronze became the Altar of Sacrifice, the Menorah, the Altar of Incense, the Table of Presence, and the Ark of the Covenant. Mirrors collected from the women covered the Bronze Laver for priestly washing and purification. Tabernacle coverings were stitched together and mounted on the posts. Curtains from finely twisted linen with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn were hung in the Holy Place. By the two-year anniversary of the exodus from Egypt, the mishkan was set up and the glory of God filled it with a cloud. Adonai had His ‘temporary dwelling’ that could be transported when He moved His people.

“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.  Moses was unable to enter the tent of meeting, because the cloud remained on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.  Whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel continued with all their travels.  But if the cloud was not taken up, they did not travel onward until the day with it was taken up.  For the cloud of the LORD was above the tabernacle during the day, and the fire was (in the cloud) at night, so that all the house of Israel could see it throughout all their travels” (Exodus 40:34-38).

The Living Tabernacle

Sukkah for Yeshua’s Birth

Yeshua is the living Tabernacle of God’s divine presence. According to the details given in the first two chapters of Luke, it can be determined that Yeshua was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles. In a ‘temporary dwelling’ outside the town of Bethlehem, the Word became flesh and was placed in a sukkah. The angels in heaven, the shepherds watching their flocks, his mother Mary, and his earthly father Joseph celebrated the birth of God’s Son. While all Israel gathered to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, Yeshua became the reason for the ‘season of joy!’

“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 … for it pleased God to have his full being live in His Son…” (John 1:14, Colossians 1:19).

Yeshua celebrates Feast of Tabernacles in John chapter 7, though he didn’t go to Jerusalem until the Feast was half over. When he arrived and began to teach in the Temple, the people were astonished and wondered how he knew so much. He gave credit to his Father who had sent him to find the ‘lost sheep of the house of Israel’ and told them to search the Scriptures to know if his teachings were from God or himself (Matthew 15:24).

“So Yeshua gave them an answer: ‘My teaching is not my own, it comes from the one who sent me.  If anyone wants to do his will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or I speak on my own.  A person who speaks on his own is trying to win praise for himself; but a person who tries to win praise for the one who sent him is honest, there is nothing false about him” (John 7:16-18). 

Streams of Living Water

Pool of Siloam

The Levitical priesthood officiated the sacrifices in the Temple during the Feasts of the LORD and led other traditions honoring in the ‘appointed times.’ The highlight each day of the Feast of Tabernacles was the Water Pouring Ceremony. A white-robed priest carrying a golden pitcher would lead a joyful procession of people to the Water Gate and the Pool of Siloam where he filled the pitcher with water. He would return to the Temple with the filled pitcher along with worshipers singing, waving their lulavs, and dancing. When the priest arrived at the Altar, he would pour out the water. As he poured the water from the golden pitcher, he would cry out in a loud voice words from the prophet Isaiah, “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3).

The multitude of people who gathered in Jerusalem for Sukkot would respond to his words with: “LORD, save us! LORD, grant us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you” (Psalm 118).

The last and greatest day of the Feast of Tabernacles was called Hoshana Rabbah meaning ‘The Great Salvation.‘ It was the culmination of the week-long festival and was a prophetic vision of the restoration of the Kingdom of God.

Living Water

It was on Hoshana Rabbah that Yeshua responds to his nation’s cry for ‘salvation.’ As the ‘great salvation,’ he delivered a message of freedom and fullness of life in the Spirit. If the nation would repent, come to him for forgiveness, and put their faith in him, the God’s Spirit would be poured out and their spiritual thirst would be quenched. Living waters would flow from within them and they would indeed receive ‘Great Salvation.’

“Now on the last day and greatest day of the festival, Hoshana Rabbah, Yeshua stood and cried out, ‘If a man is thirsty, let him keep coming to me and drink!  Whoever puts his trust in me, as the Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being.’”  (Now he said this about the Spirit, whom those who trusted in him were to receive later.  The Spirit had not yet been given, because Yeshua had not yet been glorified”) (John 7:37-39).

Our Earthly Sukkah

“I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Messiah Yeshua has made clear to me” (2 Peter 1:13).

While we live on the earth, we live in an earth suit. Peter and Paul called it our earthly ‘tent.’ Our earthly ‘tent’ is mortal, decaying, and dying. It is only a temporary physical dwelling for our spirits and will one day be destroyed through death. We will return to the dust of the ground from which we came. While we live in our mortal sukkah, we know that we are naked and unclothed in the eyes of God. We cry out in our sufferings and affliction while we wait for the redemption of our bodies and receive our immortal clothes.

“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.  Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Corinthians 5:1-5).

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 16:19-20).

Once we are born again into God’s Kingdom, our earth ‘tent’ becomes the dwelling place for God’s Spirit. He seals us with His Spirit as a guarantee that we will be released from our mortal ‘tent’ and given heavenly, glorified bodies that will never decay because they are eternal. Until that day arrives, we live in our ‘tent’ bodies by faith just as Abraham who looked forward to what is coming.

Feast of Ingathering

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

The Feast of Tabernacles is also called the Feast of Ingathering. This ‘appointed time’ foreshadows the time when the House of Judah and the House of Israel are gathered from the nations back to the Promised Land. The Ingathering of God’s chosen people will be so divinely inspired that it will be remembered as a ‘greater exodus’ than when the Hebrews left Egypt. The Feast of Ingathering has only just begun with a modern-day movement of Jewish people returning to the land of Israel from all the nations of the world. It is known as aliyah and means ‘going up.’

“‘Therefore,’ says The LORD, ‘the day will come when people will not longer swear, “As The LORD lives, who brought the nation of Israel out of the land of Egypt,” but, ‘As The LORD lives, who brought the people of Israel out of the land to the north and all the countries where he drove them,’ for I will bring them back to their own land which I gave their ancestors’” (Jeremiah 16:14-15).

“They found written in the Law, which the Lord had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in temporary shelters during the festival of the seventh month  and that they should proclaim this word and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem: “Go out into the hill country and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees, and from myrtles, palms and shade trees, to make temporary shelters”—as it is written” (Nehemiah 8:14-15).

When Israel returned from Babylonian captivity in the days of Nehemiah, they found the book of Torah that commanded collecting branches to make their sukkot. In addition to branches from palms, willows, and myrtles, they also collected branches from “olive and wild olive” trees (Nehemiah 8:14-15). Because the Feast of Ingathering occurs during the olive harvest, it also becomes a ‘shadow’ of fulfillment of the natural olives and wild olives becoming the complete Olive Tree of Israel.

The first mention of the olive tree is when Noah sends out a dove from the ark and it brings back an olive leaf, a symbol of new life (Genesis 8:8). Pure olive oil is one of the ingredients for the anointing oil (Exodus 30:22-23). The land flowing with milk and honey also flowed with olive oil indicating the abundance of provision in the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 8:8). The doors of Solomon’s Temple were made from olive wood on which were carved the cherubim that guarded the entrance to the Garden of Eden (1 Kings 6:32). David says children are like olive shoots blessing a man’s table (Psalm 128:8). The prophets Jeremiah and Hosea call Israel “a thriving olive tree with great splendor” (Jeremiah 11:16, Hosea 14:6).

When Paul discusses the ‘Olive Tree of Israel’ in Romans 11, he sees natural olive branches and wild olive branches attached to the same tree. He tells the gentiles that they are the wild olive branches which have been grafted into the olive tree along with the natural branches of the Jewish people. When a branch is grafted into a tree, it gets its nourishment from the roots and sap of the tree. It will still bear olives, but only through its dependence on the natural tree. If the grafting doesn’t take and the branch doesn’t get its nourishment, it will die and fall off the tree.

Paul reminds the gentiles that as wild olive branches they can be cut off the olive tree if they become arrogant over the natural branches. They are to remember that the living water of the Spirit comes from the root of David, and the nourishing sap of the Hebrew Scriptures supports them both by faith. Though some of the natural branches may have been broken off due to a lack of faith, they can be easily grafted back into their own olive tree (Romans 11:13-24). 

The addition of “olive and wild olive branches” to the sukkah in Nehemiah’s time suggests that the Ingathering of Israel will not only include the natural olive branches of Israel, but also the wild olive branches of the nations who have embraced the covenant that Adonai made with Israel. When both branches of olives live by faith in Yeshua, trusting in him as the root of the tree, living water will bring nourishing sap to both branches. They will thrive with splendor as God intended for the ‘Olive Tree of Israel.’

The Millennial Kingdom

“In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken” (Micah 4:1, 3).

Ezekiel’s Millennial Temple

Yeshua’s teachings focused on the Kingdom of God which is the same as the Kingdom of Heaven. Though the Kingdom was near, it had not yet fully arrived and will not arrive until Yeshua has been glorified and crowned King of Kings. During a 1000 year ‘season of our joy,’ the nations of the world will come to the mountain of God in Jerusalem. Yeshua will sit on his throne in the Temple and judge the nations. The Messianic Era will join the present world and mortal men with immortal men in a unique time in history. With an iron scepter, he will rule the earth and prepare its people for his Father’s eternal Kingdom.

“After six days Yeshua took Peter, James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain privately.  As they watched, he began to change form – his face shone like the sun, and his clothing became as white as light.  Then they looked and saw Moses and Elijah speaking with him.   Peter said to Yeshua, ‘It’s good that we’re here, Lord.  I’ll put up three sukkot [temporary dwellings]  if you want – one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’  While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them; and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him’! (Matthew 17:1-5).

Just days before this event, Yeshua told his disciples that some of them would not die until they saw the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom (Matthew 16:28). They waited eagerly for this Kingdom to arrive. Six days later Yeshua took Peter, James, and John up a mountain.

The three disciples watched as Yeshua transformed into his glory in front of them. They saw him speaking with Moses and Elijah. They didn’t realize they were receiving only a glimpse at the coming Kingdom, but believed that Yeshua was establishing his Kingdom rule on earth at that moment in time –– at the ‘appointed time’ of Sukkot. They sincerely believed that Yeshua was going to take up his throne in Jerusalem and reign as King of Kings. They knew the prophecies and had listened to Yeshua teach. Peter responded with great faith in Yeshua’s words about the Kingdom of God when he offered to build Moses, Elijah, and Yeshua ‘shelters’ –– sukkot.

The Eternal Tabernacle

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place (the Mishkan) is now among the people, and he will dwell (tabernacle) with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3 NIV and Orthodox Jewish Bible).

The New Jerusalem Descends

At the end of Yeshua’s Messianic reign, a new heaven and a new earth will be created. Everything from the old heaven and earth that has been decaying will pass away. The New Jerusalem will come down out of the renewed heaven and descend to the renewed earth. The New Jerusalem won’t have a Temple because Adonai will be the Temple. There will be no sun or moon to shine on it because the His glory gives it its light; its lamp will be Yeshua.

The river of the water of life will flow from the throne of God producing monthly fruit and healing leaves for the nations. The servants of God will worship Him on His throne in the city. The eternally redeemed will see His face and His name will be written on their foreheads. They will reign as kings forever and ever. When the New Jerusalem descends from heaven, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh will Tabernacle forever with His people.

“All of these people kept on trusting until they died, without receiving what had been promised.  They had only seen it and welcomed it from a distance, while acknowledging that they were aliens and temporary residents on the earth.  As it is, they aspire to a better homeland, a heavenly one.  This is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city”  (Hebrews 11:13-15).

Abraham lived in a tent. As Abraham’s children of faith and heirs to the same promises, we also live in earth ‘tents’ like he did. Until the day of our complete redemption, we will live as strangers and foreigners on this earth. We celebrate Sukkot with the vision of our future glory by building a sukkah. As we feast in our ‘temporary dwelling,’ we identify with the children of Israel who lived in tents with the Mishkan of Adonai in their midst.

Yeshua took on the ‘tent’ of a human body to live with us. As Messiah of Israel, he will soon return to Jerusalem as King and prepare the nations for the eternal Kingdom of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh. When we keep our eyes on the promises of God and the New Jerusalem, we will understand the ‘season of our joy’ and appreciate the prophetic vision of another ‘appointed time’ –– The Feast of Tabernacles.

 For more about Yeshua fullfilling the ‘appointed times,’ purchase Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts.

©2011 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.  To learn more about the Feasts of the LORD, purchase Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts study guide and/or leader’s guide for group learning.

When was Jesus born?

“For to us a child is born,  to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace  there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty  will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Sukkah

Most Christians acknowledge that Jesus was not born on December 25 in the middle of winter. Yet few realize that his birth is outlined in the Bible if they could unravel some of the clues given to them in the gospels that refer back to the Hebrew Scriptures. The account of the ‘reason for the season’ begins in the book of Luke chapter 1 when Zechariah was in the Temple burning incense to God. The time of his Temple service is the key to understanding when of the birth of his son, John, took place as well as the birth of Jesus (Yeshua).

1.  Zechariah is a Levite priest in of the lineage of Abijah, a descendant of Aaron (Luke 1:5, Numbers 3:2).

“In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron” (Luke 1:5).

2. All Levitical priests, including Zechariah, were required by God to serve in the Temple during Passover (Pesach), Pentecost (Shavuot), and Tabernacles (Sukkot) as well as two weeks extra per year according to their family lineage (Deuteronomy 16:16).

“Three times a year all your men must appear before YHVH your God at the place he will  choose:  at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) and the Feast of Tabernacles” (Deuteronomy 16:16).

3.  Abjiah was eighth in line for Temple duties. This means that as a descendant of Abijah,  Zechariah is eighth in line for his Temple duties (1 Chronicles 24:10).

“With the help of Zadok, David separated them [the descendants of Aaron] into divisions for their appointed order of ministering. The first lot fell to Jehoiarib…the eighth to Abijah. This was their appointed order of ministering when they entered the Temple of  the LORD according to the regulations prescribed for them” (Numbers 1:1-19).

4. Zechariah serves in the Temple during the week of Passover and Unleavened Bread  as part of his required Temple service.

The Biblical calendar is not the same as the Julian/Gregorian calendar we use today. Passover comes in March/April, the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) in June, the Feast of Tabernacles in September/October. The Scriptures utilize a Biblical calendar beginning with the first month in spring at the time of Passover (Exodus 12:2).

Zechariah would have served in the spring for Passover/Unleavened Bread. After Passover, he would have returned home until his lineage service began –– eight weeks or about 50 days later.

5.  Zechariah returns to the Temple for his two week duties as part of the lineage of Abijah.  This would have fallen in mid-June during the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot (Pentecost). 

Altar of Incense

6.   An angel of Adonai appears to Zechariah while he is at the Altar of Incense.

As a descendant of Aaron, he would have ministered in the Most Holy Place. It is at the Altar of Incense that intercessory prayer is made by the priesthood. The angel of Adonai met Zechariah at this specific place and time. He told him he was going to have a son who he was to name John. Because of his unbelief, Zechariah is made mute by the angel until the time of his son’s birth.

“Your prayers have been heard.  Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John”  (Luke 1:13).

7.   Zechariah returns home after his Temple service. He and Elizabeth conceive a child.  Elizabeth remains in seclusion for five months.

“When his time of service was completed, he returned home.  After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion” (Luke 1:23-24).

8.  One month later, “When Elizabeth was in her sixth month,” the angel Gabriel visits Mary (Luke 1:26).

Angel Visits Mary

Some people question whether this was the sixth month of the year or the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. With the wording of Elizabeth being in seclusion for five months and then”in the sixth month,” it suggests that the months are contiguous and based on Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Also, the angel tells Mary, “Even Elizabeth your relative is in her fifth month,” giving witness to the timing of the angel’s visit (Luke 1:36).

9.  Mary conceives a child by the Holy Spirit and immediately goes to visit Elizabeth.

“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth” (Luke 1:39).

Elizabeth’s baby leaps in her womb

When Mary greets her cousin, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaps. According to the time period given for Elizabeth’s seclusion, was probably the first contact she had with another woman, and maybe even the first time she felt the movement of her child. It is apparent that her unborn son knew the blessing of the Spirit of God on Mary. The meeting of these two pregnant women had such profound significance that Luke recorded it with the details. Elizabeth’s baby leaps for joy in the womb recognizing the newly conceived Messiah of Israel.

“As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy”  (Luke 1:44).

mid-to-late December. The Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah occurs at this time as a memorial to the re-dedication of the Temple after it was defiled by the Greeks. It is also known as the Festival of Lights because the Menorah was once again lit after the desecration. It was during Hanukkah, the days of dedication, that the Spirit of God came upon Mary and she conceived Immanuel, God with us, the Light of the World.

Mary’s song in Luke 1:46-55 not only has prophetic significance about her baby, but is a powerful declaration of humble ‘dedication‘ regarding the ‘light of the world.’

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is his name” (Verses 46-49).

10. Mary stays with Elizabeth for about three months.

“Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home. When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son” (Luke 1:56-57).

Mary returns to Nazareth very close to the time Elizabeth would deliver her baby. The timing for the birth of Elizabeth’s baby would be mid-March/April or near Passover. 

11.  On the eighth day after the baby’s birth, he is circumcised and named.

Continuing with the Biblical timeline, Zechariah’s son would have been born right before Passover. This means that Zechariah would have gone to the Temple for his regular service at Passover. At that time, he names his son, John, in the presence of astonished people. This is the first time he has spoken since the angel visited him months before at the Altar of Incense on Shavuot nine months earlier.

“At that moment, his power of speech returned, and his first words were a b’rakhah [blessing] to God” (Luke 1:64).

12. From the information given about the conceptions and pregnancies of Mary and Elizabeth, it can be calculated that John and Yeshua are born six months apart.

Six months after Passover in the spring (March/April) would be the fall (September/October), the time of the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles also falls approximately nine months after Hanukkah in December.

Because of the Roman census being taken by Caesar Augustus, Bethlehem was bustling with Jews from everywhere in Israel. All native born Israelites, specifically men, were required to live in booths or sukkot for the week of the Feast of Tabernacles. Women (and children) who were with their husbands filled all of the inns to capacity.

“Live in booths (sukkot) for seven days:  All native-born Israelites are to live in booths so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt” (Leviticus 23:42).

13. Mary gives birth to a baby boy in a stable and lays him in a manger.

Under these crowded conditions, Joseph and Mary are given a ‘temporary dwelling,’ called a stable in most Bible translations, and Mary gives birth to her son. The baby was placed in a cattle feeding trough (Luke 2:4-7).

“And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger (sukkah)” (Luke 2:6).

Yeshua in a Sukkah

According to the command in Leviticus 23, the Israelites were to live in a sukkah for seven days. Consistent with the rabbinical definition of a ‘temporary dwelling’ or sukkah, a stable would have been an acceptable dwelling. Because of the timing of Yeshua’s birth during the Feast of Tabernacles, many believe that it was not a literal stable, but a sukkah. The Greek word for ‘manger’ in Luke 2:7 is phatne and can mean ‘cattle stall’ or sukkoth like Jacob built for his livestock (Genesis 33:17). The Hebrew word for ‘manger’ is the singular sukkah.

Using this information along with the established timeline, Yeshua would have been born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles and would have lived with his parents in the sukkah for the first seven days of his life, until he was circumcised and named on the eighth day. Whatever the ‘temporary dwelling’ accommodations, Joseph fulfilled God’s requirement to live in a sukkah during the Feast of Tabernacles as did Yeshua, the firstborn son of God.

14.   The angels rejoice because “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14, Luke 2:8-14).

The Greek word for ‘dwelling’ in this verse is skenoo and means ‘spread his tent’ among us. As a sukkah or ‘booth’ is a temporary dwelling like a tent, this verse could read, “The Word became flesh and ‘spread his tent’ among us” making a direct connection to Yeshua being born at the Feast of Tabernacles.

15.  On the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the priests in the Temple wave large branches of several different species of trees  in the Temple.

Palm, Willow, Erog, Myrtle

These branches are called lulavs and represent the different nations of the world. Hundreds of priests waving large branches from the willow, the palm and the myrtle, would have created an enormous sound like a ‘rushing wind’ as they walked toward the Temple. In Hebrew, the word for God’s Spirit is ruach and means ‘breath.’ As the priests were waving these tree branches, they were unaware of the birth of Yeshua. They had no idea that the salvation of Israel, through the ‘breath’ of God and a humble woman, had come to live in a little baby.

“So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month celebrate a festival to the LORD for seven days. On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the LORD  your God for seven days” (Leviticus 23:39-41).

16. There are shepherds in the hills outside of Jerusalem  (Luke 2:8-15).

“As for you, O watchtower of the flock, O stronghold of the Daughter of Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to the Daughter of Jerusalem” (Micah 4:8).

Tower of the Flock

The shepherds in the hills near Bethlehem, a short distance from Jerusalem, were special shepherds. They camped at the Migdal Eder and raised the sheep for the Temple sacrifices. According to the prophecy in Micah, the Jewish people believed that the Messiah would be revealed at the Migdal Eder, ‘the tower of the flock.’

At the time of Yeshua’ birth, there was an actual military watchtower above the hills that was used to protect Bethlehem. This tower was also used by the shepherds to guard the Temple sheep from robbers. It was from these sheep that the Passover lambs were chosen. When the angels came announcing the ‘good news’ to all the world, these shepherds would have completely understood the meaning because they were at the exact location for the prophecy of Messiah’s birth to be fulfilled.

17.  Eight days later, it is time for the baby’s circumcision and naming (Luke 2:21).

Eight days after a son’s birth, the father would take the child to be circumcised and named as the mother would still be in her days of purification after childbirth. Joseph takes his infant son to the nearest Levite priest in Bethlehem to be circumcised and names him, Yeshua, as he was commanded by the angel.

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home with you as your wife; for what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua, [which means ‘the LORD saves,’] because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21-22).

Rejoicing in the Torah – Simchat Torah

The Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated for seven days. The following day, the eighth day, there is a special celebration called Simchat Torah which means ‘Rejoicing in the Torah.’ As Yeshua is circumcised and being named by his father, crowds were in the Temple courts dancing, singing, and rejoicing in the Torah. Without their knowledge, a short distance away in Bethlehem, the living Torah had just been named ‘salvation.’

“On the eighth day, when it came time to circumcise him, he was named Yeshua, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived” (Luke 2:21).

18.   Mary’s purification is complete.

“When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest a year-old lamb, and a young pigeon or dove. He shall offer them before the LORD, and she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood. If she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves” (Leviticus 12:6-8).

Redemption of the Firstborn

Forty days after Yeshua’s birth, Mary’s days of purification were completed. She and Joseph take Yeshua to the Temple for the ‘Redemption of the Firstborn’ according to the Torah command in Leviticus 12:8. At this time, they offered the required sacrifice of doves.

“When the time of her purification according to the Torah of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written)” (Luke 2:22).

There were two prophets in the Temple who expected the Word to become flesh and the salvation of Israel to be revealed. Simeon spoke prophecies over Yeshua in the presence of his parents, while Anna, a widow, overheard and saw what was happening and began thanking God and speaking about Yeshua to everyone who was waiting for the redemption of Israel.

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout… There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher” (Luke 2:25,36).

19. At this time, a sign appears in the heavens (Matthew 2:1-2).

Every kingdom in the known world at that time had astronomers who studied and understood the signs in the heavens. Each culture, but more specifically the Jewish culture, looked to the heavens for the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. Constellations, planets, and stars moved to tell God’s story as well as to set His ‘appointed times.’ Other Middle Eastern cultures studied the Hebrew concepts and understood their connection to the people of Israel.

Astronomers from the east (probably from what is modern-day Iraq/Iran) saw the ‘sign’ in the heavens and began their journey toward Jerusalem to honor and worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Hebrew word ‘star’ in this verse is kokhav and is used in Numbers 24:17 with the scepter from Jacob –– all terminology for stars and planets that are ‘signs in the heavens.’

20.  The magi or wise men arrive in Bethlehem.

“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him” (Matthew 2:9).

By the time the wise men arrive in Bethlehem, Yeshua is no longer an infant wrapped in cloths and lying in a sukkah. He is nearly two years old and living in a house. It is at his home with his parents that he receives the gifts of the wise men.

This is the Biblical outline for the conception, birth, and early life of Yeshua. According to the information written in the Torah, Prophets, and Gospels, Yeshua was born in the ‘season of our rejoicing,’ on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles in a sukkah. The shepherds at the Migdal Eder heard the angelic hosts proclaim ‘peace on earth among people of goodwill.’ They went immediately to see the ‘Lamb of God’ in Bethlehem. At that moment, wise men from the east saw a ‘star’ and began traveling to Bethlehem to greet the ‘newborn king.’ While all Israel rejoiced in the Torah, the living Torah was circumcised and named Salvation –– Yeshua.

©1997 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.