The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)

The Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-43; Numbers 29:12-40; Deuteronomy 16:13-15) is the third of the three major Jewish festivals (the other two are Passover and the Feast of Weeks). All adult males were required to travel to the sanctuary to take part. Tabernacles was the only feast with specific instructions to rejoice. This festival began on the 15th day of Tishri (our September-October), the 5th day after the Day of Atonement. It was quite a transition, from the most solemn day of the year to one of the most joyous. The festival lasted 7 days. During the festival the Jewish people lived in tents, or booths, as they had done in the wilderness. It celebrated the completion of the great fall harvest and commemorated the Hebrews living in booths and wandering in the wilderness for 40 years because of their unbelief and disobedience.

The first day of the festival was observed as a day on which no work was permitted, and proceeded with a gathering at the Tabernacle.

The Last Great Day (Shmini Atzeret)

The day after the end of Tabernacles, on the 22nd of Tishri, was also celebrated. It was called the Last Great Day; the 8th, an extra day of assembly. No work was permitted on this day and the people once again gathered at the Tabernacle.

Offerings

The first day of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day were high days, which were to be treated like Sabbaths. Therefore two additional lambs were to be offered as burnt offering after the morning service. Besides the regular daily offerings, additional animal sacrifices were offered every day:

Day Burnt Offering Sin Offering
Bulls Rams One-year-old Male Lambs Male goat
1 13 2 14 1
2 12 2 14 1
3 11 2 14 1
4 10 2 14 1
5 9 2 14 1
6 8 2 14 1
7 7 2 14 1
Last Great Day 1 1 7 1
(Total) (71) (15) (105) (8)

The burnt offerings were accompanied by their grain offering and their drink offerings.

Related Topics

The Jewish Calendar - Presents an overview of the Jewish Calendar and Festivals. Also provides links to online tools.

The Five Offerings - Presents an overview of the sacrificial system.

References

Jewish 101. "Sukkot." http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday5.htm

The Wild Olive. "Sukkot - the Feast of Tabernacles." http://fp.thebeers.f9.co.uk/sukot.htm