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Simchat Torah

Day 22

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Simchat Torah

The final festival of Sukkot is simply called the ‘Eighth Day’. Leviticus chapter 23, referring to the Feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month, says, On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the Lord; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work (v 36, see also v 39). In Hebrew it is called ‘Shemini Atzeret’ – or the gathering/assembly of the eighth. Num 29:35-38 calls it a solemn assembly and further clarifies the offerings.

In Genesis 17:9-14 God establishes His covenant with Abraham and requires every male of his descendants to be circumcised on the eighth day as a sign of the covenant between God and His people. John the Baptist, Jesus and Paul kept this law (Lk 1:59, 2:21, Phil 3:5).

God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. The normal pattern was seven days; then the cycle begins again. Seven designates the completion, so what can come after the end? It has to be a new beginning, a new era, a new creation. While we currently live in a period called time, which was established with the creation of the sun, moon and stars, this will pass into eternity when God no longer needs these signs in the heavens (Gen 1:14-18, Rev 21:23-27).

The eighth day is also the first day, as it follows the seventh. Messiah rose from the dead on the first day of the week as the first fruits of those that are asleep (I Cor 15:20). There is a new order since death has been conquered and Yeshua is risen. He ushered in the eternal realm that we can all enter now through Him (Jn 3:16).

Another time when we find cycles of sevens, then one extra, is at Jubilee. The year of Jubilee was the year when slaves were freed, when every person was to return to his/her family inheritance and property was restored. After the seventh year comes full redemption and Restoration.

The feasts of the seventh month prophetically speak of the end of days – the final ingathering, the final judgement, the final repentance, the marriage supper of the Lamb dwelling with His bride, and then a final Sabbath rest. One day there will be a new heaven and a new earth where there are no more tears and all evil and death have been eradicated (Rev 21:1-5).

There is one other eternal thing that existed before creation and was in the beginning – the Word of God (Jn 1:1-3). He spoke creation into being and His word cannot be broken. Another name for today is Simchat Torah – rejoicing in the Word of God.

Day 22: Sunday Sept 30