Overview The third of the great Fall Feasts on the fifteenth day of the month. Commenced at the full moon, lasting seven days and is to be followed by an eighth day. The first day of the festival is balanced with its eighth day being designated a “holy convocation”. The eighth day is designated a solemn assembly. In this festival the Israelites were commanded to rejoice. (This types the Kingdom age and is typical of the millennium in the Apocalypse).
The Offerings Each day there were to be offered two rams and fourteen lambs-twice the daily quota of Passover week. As for the bullocks, thirteen were to be offered the first day, and thereafter one less each day until the last, by which time seven became the quota for the day, and the number of bullocks offered throughout the week amounted in all to seventy.
The Booths: Myrtle Willow Palm Citron (orange)
The Palm In the celebration of the antitypical Festival of Tabernacles by the glorified redeemed at Christ’s returned, the redeemed are not only depicted as clothed in white (i.e. priestly) robes, but are described as having “palms in their hands” and so celebrating the joy of the harvest in songs of rejoicing (Rev 7:9,12). Of them it is declared: “neither shall the sun light on them nor any heat (vs 16). Their covering of immortality will make them immune from further trial, such as is symbolized by the heat of the sun. Victory is the common symbol of the palm tree (Rev 7:9). The Hebrew word tamar (“palm”) is from a root signifying to be erect. The Psamist declared: “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree” (Psa 92:12; see also Isa 60:21; 65:22).
“Ye shall dwell in booths seven days” The Hebrew word for booths is suchah from whence the festival is given the title of Suchoth (The word denotes a hastily constructed and insubstantial temporary shelter). Dwelling in these booths reminded Israelites of the nation’s escape from Egypt (Ex 13:20) and in their prosperity to recognize and thank Yahweh for his goodness toward them, thus instilling in them a humble and modest attitude. At the same time they would be induced to look to the promised millennium when the temporary protection afforded by Yahweh today will be replaced by one of permanency in the Kingdom of God.
“all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths” The limitation of the command to “born Israelites” is remarkable, particularly in view of the invitation to strangers to rejoice with Israelites (Deut 16:14). This provision of the Law was evidently designed to teach that the hope is Israelitish, and that a Gentile must become completely identified with the nation in order to partake of its benefits.
The Eighth Day This was the last of seven holy convocations which occurred in each year’s calendar, and also the concluding festival of the year. It thus brought the year’s festivities to a joyous close by emphasizing the sabbatical character of them all. Yet being the eighth day it spoke also of a new beginning.
New Beginning The eighth day opened a new week being the 22nd of the month, The eighth day in the life of a new-born male (when the child properly began his life as a member of the Covenanted People-Lev 12:3), The entry of the consecrated Priests into the independent discharge of their office (Lev 9:1), To the restoration of the leper to the Camp (healed flesh, Lev 14:10), And to the resumption of his consecration by the Nazarite defiled by the dead (Num 6:10).
The Reading of the Law “And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, 11 When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: 13 And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.” (Deut 31:9-13).