To Relive the Glory of YHVH on Chag Sukkot
To Relive the Glory of YHVH is a continuation of the articles dedicated to Chag Sukkot, the Festival of the Booths, from the series The Appointed Times of YHVH. Should the reader need to get the whole context of the Festival of Booths (Sukkot) and learn more about the appointed times of the Creator, he/she is encourage to do so.
Let us read again from Leviticus 23 regarding Chag Sukkot, the Festival of the Booths,
And you shall celebrate it as a festival to Yehovah for seven days in the year – a law forever in your generations. Celebrate it in the seventh month. Dwell in booths for seven days; all who are native born in Israel shall dwell in booths, so that your generations know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am Yehovah your Elohim. (Lev 23:41-43)
The Torah requires that those living in the Land of Israel build and dwell in sukkot (booths) for seven days during Chag Sukkot, the Festival of the Booths. The word סֻכָּה sukkah (pl. sukkot) is a feminine form of סֹךְ soch, which means a hut or a lair, and comes from the verb סָכַךְ sachach, to cover, to entwine as a screen, to fence in, or cover over, to hedge in, and figuratively used: to protect. Hence, sukkah is a place of protection from the elements or from wild beasts.
The midrashic (Midrash, commentary) interpretation of the verse above is that as Israel dwelt in temporary dwellings forty years in the wilderness, so is the sukkah a reference to the cloud of glory above the camp of Israel in the desert. This interpretation of the Sages the present author considers as a beautiful metaphor for the temporary booths we are to build for Sukkot.
It is taken from the verses in Isaiah 4 where YHVH prophesied concerning the day when he who remains in Jerusalem is called set-apart, that is, everyone who is written among the living. (Isa 4:3) On that day YHVH will wash away the filth of Israel from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning. (Isa 4:4). Clearly this prophecy refers to the end of days when as in the days of old, the cloud of YHVH will hover as a protection over the remnant that will remain in Jerusalem. We read,
then Yehovah shall create above every dwelling place of Mount Tsiyon, and above her gatherings, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night, because upon all the glory shall be a canopy, and a booth for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain. (Isa 4:5-6)
The word in question behind “cloud” in the above verse is the Hebrew word עָנָן anan, which is the same word used in Numbers 9 referring to the cloud that hovered over the camp of Israel. The resemblance is used intentionally here to allude to the heavenly cloud which covered the camp in the desert as a representation to the earthly sukkah. And it cannot be called its representation without respect to likeness.
But Anan is not just a cloud (that would be a different Hebrew word) but something emanating from YHVH, as it had always appeared with the word כָּבוֹד kavod, glory of YHVH. We further read in Num 16:42,
And it came to be, when the congregation assembled against Mosheh and against Aharon, that they turned toward the Tent of Meeting. And behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of Yehovah appeared. (Num 16:42)
Therefore, what the Midrash is saying, and rightly so, is that “sukkot” in Lev 23:39-43 is not only to be understood to mean literal booths, but also the canopy of glory of YHVH. As the heavenly canopy of glory of YHVH was a cover over Israel in the desert, so the glory of YHVH will be upon those who dwell in His Appointed Time. With that being said, we read Lev 23:42 anew:
Dwell in sukkot for seven days, all born in Israel shall dwell in the cloud of glory, so that your generations know that I made the children of Israel dwell in the cloud of glory when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. (Lev 23:42-43)
So, we come to the main point of this article: What is to dwell in the cloud of glory of YHVH?
Ezekiel the Prophet saw in the vision of YHVH the likeness of a throne and on the throne: was a likeness as the appearance of a man who looked like glowing metal with the appearance of fire. (Eze 1:26-27) Then he says,
This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Yehovah. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking. (Eze 1:28)
In this vision Ezekiel was summoned to become a prophet to Israel. He again saw the glory of Yehovah, like the glory which he saw before, and he fell on his face. (Eze 3:23)
What did Ezekiel see? He saw something like the firmament of heaven (Eze_1:22) and heard from above this canopy a voice, which re-echoed in the rushing of the wings of cherubim. The firmament above with the throne and the likeness of a man seated upon the throne was the imaginary which Ezekiel saw. The appearance of the expanse over above the cherubim, upon which a throne was seen, represents the canopy of heaven as the place of YHVH’s throne. The whole appearance was in the covering of a great fiery cloud (Eze_1:4).
We should notice the resemblance of Ezekiel’s description with that of a heavenly sukkah. We should also notice that this cloud points back to the “thick cloud” in which YHVH, in the ancient time, descended upon Mount Sinai amid thunders and lightnings (Exo_19:16) to establish His covenant with the children of Israel, because not accidentally, this is the same “cloud” עָנָן anan, which Isaiah saw when he said upon all the glory shall be a canopy (Isa 4:5-6). Most likely both prophets saw the same vision.
Again, what did Ezekiel see? We do not know, as he did not know. He was very careful when he chose the words to describe this vision, namely, he saw a firmament above with the throne and the likeness of a man seated upon the throne. This is all we can grasp. Further we read.
Mosheh asked YHVH,
Please, show me Your glory. (Exo 33:18)
In Exo_33:18-23 Mosheh asked Elohim to show him His glory. He was told to go to the cleft of the rock from where YHVH should cause all His goodness to pass before Mosheh, and he should hear YHVH proclaiming His Name before him. What did Mosheh see at the cleft of the rock? Did Ezekiel see what Mosheh saw? Was that the same what Stephen the Apostle saw when he said before he was stoned?
But he, being filled with the Set-apart Spirit, looked steadily into the heaven and saw the glory of Elohim, and Yeshua standing at the right hand of Elohim, and he said, Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of man standing at the right hand of Elohim! (Act 7:55-56)
Or, should we recall what Shaul (Paul) wrote when he quoted Psa_8:5?
You have made him a little lower than Elohim. You have crowned him with glory and respect, and set him over the works of Your hands. (Heb 2:7)
Elohim, having of old spoken in many portions and many ways to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by the Son, whom He has appointed heir of all, through whom also He made the ages, who being the brightness of the glory and the exact representation of His substance, and sustaining all by the word of His power, having made a cleansing of our sins through Himself, sat down at the right hand of the Greatness on high, (Heb 1:1-3)
in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, who is the likeness of the invisible Elohim, the first-born of all creation. (Col 1:14-15)
Are not both apostles speaking of the same glory of YHVH, Yeshua His Messiah? The present author believes they are. On how Yeshua the Messiah has fulfilled Chag Sukkot, the Festival of the Booths, please, read the article The Appointed Times of YHVH—the Festival of the Booths and the Messiah from the series The Appointed Times of YHVH.
Therefore, to relive the Glory of YHVH on Chag Sukkot, the Festival of the Booths, is to walk in the footsteps of the Messiah. Each appointed time of YHVH is a footstep of the Messiah towards the Creator. Each appointed time of YHVH is also a set-apart rehearsal for us. As we walk in the footsteps of the Messiah, beginning with the sacrifice of the Pesach lamb, we rehearse all events that will take place in their own time. And when there is a rehearsal, a real event is coming—the Messiah of YHVH is coming. Because the glory of YHVH was revealed, and the mankind saw it and will see it again, the mouth of YHVH has spoken it (Isa 40:5). If we have not seen the Messiah in the appointed times of YHVH, we have seen too little.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (Joh 1:14)
This article is a part of series of articles dedicated to the Appointed Times of YHVH and how His Messiah Yeshua has fulfilled them. For the rest of the set-apart days of the Creator, please, visit The Appointed Times of YHVH.
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.