What is Sukkoth? Sukkoth was the first "stopping off" place for the Israelites on their journey out of Egypt at the time of the Exodus. The name is explained in Genesis 33:17: "And Jacob journeyed to Succoth: and built for himself a house, and made booths for his livestock, therefore the place is named Succoth. The Hebrew word Sukkoth means "huts." The Biblical name for this celebration is the Feast of Tabernacles, or Feast of Booths. It is also called the Festival of Ingathering. Tabernacles is the last of the three feasts which the Lord commanded Israel to appear before Him with an offering. 

According to Exodus 23:16 and Leviticus 23:43, Tabernacles is a thanksgiving for the harvest, and a commemoration (remembering) of the time when Israel dwelt in tents during their journey through the wilderness.

Do these things have a meaning for the Church today? Yes. Leviticus 23:2 tells us these are the "feasts of the Lord." He gave them to Israel, His people. He did not want them to be ignorant of His plan and purpose. We, too, are God's people. Thus, we celebrate the feasts of the Lord. 

All nations have holidays that are important to them. The Kingdom of God is no different. The days that are important to us are the days that point to the plan of God in reconciling His people unto Himself. The Feast of Tabernacles points to God's prosperity and provisions for His people. We can rejoice in this fact that in His Kingdom, God has already blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. 

Just as Israel remembers its deliverance from bondage in Egypt, we can remember and rejoice in our deliverance from bondage to the world. Just as the booths were temporary dwellings for the Israelites, we can understand that our mortal, corruptible bodies are also temporary.  "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (II Cor. 5:1)

Through the symbol of the sukkoth, God wants us to recognize the flimsiness, impermanence and insecurity of all earthly, man-made dwellings. He wants us to know the security, rest, and joy that come in God alone!

It is during Tabernacles when Jesus will return. Then God will dwell (tabernacle) with man. Hallelujah!

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