The Feast of Tabernacles, Succoth, is the third of the three main feasts the Israelites were mandated to attend in Jerusalem. Feast, Mo’ed, in Hebrew means “appointed time,” the root of this word, Ya’ad, meaning “to appoint, to betroth, to summon, to direct, to rehearse.” So when we come together at the time appointed by God on His heavenly calendar, we practice His plan for the ages. In doing so, we not only honor Him, but we also receive our prophetic part or instruction for that year and our generation. There are seven main, Biblical feasts, spanning from Passover (Pesach) to Tabernacles (Succoth). Together they paint a picture of God’s plan for the ages and tell us a love story between God and His Bride.
This last feast, Succot, unlike Passover and Shavuot which takes place in the spring, is celebrated at the beginning of autumn. It starts four days after Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), when the whole nation of Israel humbles herself in fasting, prayer and repentance as the High Priest offers the yearly sacrifice to remove its national iniquity. It is then a full moon, the final harvest of the year has just ended and for seven days, they rejoice before the Lord of the Harvest waving “lulavs”, an assortment of “foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches, boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook” Lev 23:40. They were to live in temporary dwellings, called tabernacles or booths (Succots) during those seven days so that the generations to come would remember that they once lived in tabernacles when God brought them out of Egypt. On the eighth day they would take those booths down and rest. This feast ends the story God is telling us about His bride.
The prophet Zachariah prophesies concerning Succot that “whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, there will be no rain on them…it will be the plague with which the Lord smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles” Zech 14:17-18. This points to God’s intent to reap the nations at the end of the harvest of this age, as it is written: “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance and the very ends of the earth as Thy possession” Ps 2:7&8.
Could it be that this final celebration is a picture of the wedding feast of God and His bride, who was redeemed at Passover, betrothed at Shavuot, the iniquity of her unfaithfulness removed at Yom Kippur, and finally wed during the seven day wedding ceremony that takes place at Succot as the Father gives the bridegroom the nations for His inheritance?