THE 8TH DAY OF SUKKOT, 2011 A STUDY FROM THE TALMUD, THE BIBLE, AND ITS END-TIMES FULFILLMENT. LEVITICUS 23.33-44

Shalom and good morning.  Our teaching will be from GOD’s Word in Leviticus 23.33-44 about the 8th day of Sukkot, which is today.

READ LEVITICUS 23.33-44

Today is the 8th and last day of Sukkot, the Festival of Tabernacles.  And as we did for Rosh Ha Shannah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, learning what the Talmud teaches on those festivals of The LORD, we will do the same this morning for the 8th day of Sukkot.  As you know, the Talmud is not the Torah.  It is not GOD’s Law of Moses but a collection of Jewish law and tradition from the teachings of the major Jewish scholars from 200 to 500 C.E./A.D. which was the classic period of Rabbinic Judaism.

But of much greater importance, we will then learn what The LORD our GOD teaches from Scripture on the 8th day of Sukkot and how we should observe it.  And at the conclusion of this study, we will learn what the prophetic fulfillment in Messiah is for the 8th day of Sukkot.

First the Talmudic teaching for the 8th day of Sukkot.  Judaism calls the 8th day of Sukkot, Shemini Atseret, meaning, the 8th day of the assembly, which is the last day of the Festival of Sukkot or the Festival of Tabernacles.  Outside Israel, Orthodox and Conservative Jews celebrate Shemini Atseret for two days, and Reform Jews for one day, but The LORD would have us to observe it on the 8th day only.  The Rabbis regard Shemini Atseret as an independent festival in certain respects.  One of which is its name given by the Rabbis.  But otherwise regard it as a continuation of Sukkot.  The holiday is not linked to any specific historical event as Passover is.  The Sukkah or booth is no longer an integral part of the holiday, although traditions vary in that area from not using it at all to reciting a ceremony and prayer called the Qiddush which proclaims the holiness of the Sabbath or Festival as a memorial to the Creation, and for the Exodus from Egypt.

Shimini Atseret, Talmud teaches, symbolized the special relationship between GOD and Israel in the Diaspora.  The Diaspora is the scattering of the Jewish people to countries outside of Israel from the Assyrian exile in 722 B.C.E./B.C., the Babylonian exile in 586 B.C.E./B.C., and the exile following the destruction of Jerusalem and the 2nd Temple in 70 C.E./A.D. by the Romans.

In the Diaspora, the Biblical Festivals are extended to two days.  Thus at the conclusion of Sukkot and actually on the 9th day, the final chapters of Torah are read, Deuteronomy 31 through 34.  This 2nd day, which is tomorrow, is called Simkhat Torah, which means, rejoicing of the Torah.  And Simkhat Torah ranks as a major celebration in Judaism.  There is nothing written about it in Talmud because it is a comparatively late custom.  On Simkhat Torah, The Torah scrolls are taken out of the Ark and the Congregants make seven circuits of the Synagogue accompanied by singing and dancing.  In the former Soviet Union, beginning in the 1960’s, Jews developed the custom of gathering together at the Synagogue on Simkhat Torah as an open expression of their Jewish identity.

The distinctive worship feature for Shemini Atseret, the 8th day of Sukkot, is the prayer for rain, with the Cantor in traditional Ashkenazi Synagogues wearing a white robe as on the high Holy days of Rosh Ha Shannah and Yom Kippur.  Ashkenazi is defined as a Jewish person from a Christian country in Europe, while Sephardic is defined as a Jewish person from a Muslim country, especially from the once Muslim countries of Spain and Portugal.  And the Book of Ecclesiastes is read in the Synagogue, and also Zechariah 14.16-19.  Let’s read the words from Zechariah 14.16-19.

There is evidence in 2nd Temple times that greater numbers of people made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem on this Festival than on other pilgrim festivals, since at the time, the harvest had been fully gathered and farmers were free to leave their fields.  The three pilgrimages, or the three annual festivals when pilgrims went by foot to Jerusalem, are Passover, the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, and The Feast of Tabernacles.  The 2nd Temple, as a point of information, is the 1st Temple that was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E./B.C., and restored 70 years later whne the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile.  This would be around 516 B.C.E./B.C.  The Temple was later looted and desecrated by the Syrian Antiochus IV Epiphanes between 169 and 167 B.C.E./B.C., and reconsecrated in 165 by Judah The Maccabee.  King Herod completely rebuilt The Temple, turning it into one of the most beautiful buildings in the Roman Empire.  It was destroyed by the Roman General Titus in 70 C.E./A.D.  The original Temple known as the 1st Temple was built by Solomon and dedicated in approximately 964 B.C.E./B.C.

Let’s go to The Bible now and see what The LORD teaches us about the 8th day of Sukkot, today, and how we should observe it.  Let’s turn to Leviticus 23.

LEVITICUS 23.33  The LORD speaking to Moses is Yeshua The Messiah, Who is The Word of GOD.  And He is GOD.  John 1.1.

LEVITICUS 23.34  The 15th day of the 7th Hebrew month, which is Tishrei, shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for 7 days unto The LORD.  The 1st day was last Thursday.

LEVITICUS 23.35  A holy convocation is a Service, a gathering of the people dedicated to The LORD.  Also, a holy convocation means a rehearsal for a future event.  We will discuss that future event, and what it is at the conclusion of this teaching.

LEVITICUS 23.36  Here in Verse 36 is GOD’s teaching on how we should observe the 8th day of Sukkot.

– The 8th day is a holy convocation, a Service, a gathering of the people dedicated to The LORD.  And it is a rehearsal.

– You shall offer an offering made by fire unto The LORD, which is an atonement to cleanse you of all your sins so you will be clean before The LORD.  That you will be forgiven your sins by The LORD.  However, Yeshua The Messiah is our offering unto The LORD, our atonement that cleanses us from all our sins and God remembers our sin no more.  This is the teaching from The Bible, The Word of GOD.

– The 8th day of Sukkot is a solemn assembly.  In Hebrew, ATSERET, a solemn or serious gathering.

– On the 8th day, The LORD says we are to do no servile work.
KAL MEH LEH KHET AHVODAH LO.

No work of any kind, no labor, no employment, no business.

So what is fixed and established by GOD for us to do on this day, the 8th day of Sukkot?

– Hold a holy convocation, a gathering of the people, a Service dedicated to The LORD GOD.  The LORD GOD, you may recall, is Yeshua The Messiah.

– Have an atonement for our sins.  Yeshua The Messiah is that atonement.

– It is a solemn assembly, a very serious gathering.

– Do no work of any kind on this day.

Because The Bible contains no explicit account of the daily order of service in The Temple, my understanding is that the worship service focused on the sacrifice, the shed blood of animals for the atonement and forgiveness of sins for the people.  LEVITICUS 17.11

It’s not that GOD enjoys killing animals.  He does not.  He prefers obedience to His Word.  And that was lacking in the Children of Israel in Biblical times and today.  In fact, disobedience to GOD is widespread throughout the world today.  And since the days of Adam, GOD has used the shed blood of animals to forgive sin.  But always, GOD has pleaded with mankind to obey Him.  But most people still disobey Him.  That is why so much tragedy has come upon Israel, and that is why so much tragedy has come upon this world.  Disobedience to GOD.  GOD prefers obedience rather than sacrifice.  L
et’s look at these words.

                            1 SAMUEL 15.22-24,  JEREMIAH 7.21-26

(Jeremiah 7.21) PUT – SAHFAH – add to

And GOD never changes.  He never changes His Word, and He never changes His Law, His Torah.

                            MALACHI 3.6, DEUTERONOMY 4.2, ISAIAH 40.8,
                            LUKE 4.4, HEBREWS 13.8, DANIEL 7.25

(Hebrews 13.8)  Same means, never changes.

There is no difference with Messiah Who was GOD in the flesh.  GOD quite frankly is our sacrifice, our atonement for our sins, the perfect atonement, and GOD still wants us to obey Him, every Word that proceeds out of His Mouth.  GOD never changes.  Those words are His Law, the Law of Moses, His teachings and instructions.  But we have Bible teachers all over the world teaching us to disobey GOD, telling us GOD’s Law has been changed or abolished.  And that is deceitful.  It leads us away from the Truth of GOD.  And that is never good.

Peter has an interesting way with words when it comes to the Believer in Messiah returning to sin, and sin is breaking GOD’s Law of Moses. 

                            1 JOHN 3.4, 2 PETER 2.21-22

(2 Peter 2.22)  The vomit and mire/mud are symbolically sin, and so many Believers have returned to their sin.

Messiah says to The Believer, Go, and sin no more.  Don’t return to sin, but rather obey GOD and His Law of Moses.  JOHN 5.14 – Made WHOLE – made healthy
                        JOHN 8.11

Obedience to GOD and not sinning is the foundational teaching of The Bible.  satan’s job is to deceive us as he did to Adam and Eve, and he has had great success today.  GOD has put His Law in our hearts when we come to faith in Messiah.  So why not obey Him?  GOD in the person of Messiah gave His Life for you to atone for all your sins.  So repent, if necessary, and return to The LORD GOD and follow Him, obey His Word, His Torah, His Law.

Okay, what is the prophetic fulfillment in Messiah for the 8th day of Sukkot?  I believe we are rehearsing on this day for eternity in Heaven.  At the end of the 1,000 year Millennium, we will move from the Messianic Kingdom in Israel on earth, to Heaven, The Holy City New Jerusalem, the New Earth that will come down from GOD out of Heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. That will be our permanent dwelling place forever. A place of purity and joy with no sin and no curse, and so much more. We are rehersing for that. I like it.

                            REVELATION 21.1-27 AND REVELATION 22.1-21

(Revelation 21.7)  OVERCOME – To prevail over the opposition of satan and sin, to gain the victory and win.  And that can only be accomplished by faith in Messiah and obedience to GOD’s Law of Moses.
(REVELATION 21.8)  FEARFUL – faithless

Shalom,  Ira Weinstein