12th of the 7th month 2015/2016
Shabbat Shalom all,
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:13-15 “Perform the Festival of Sukkot for seven days after the ingathering from your threshing-floor and from your winepress, 14 and you shall rejoice in your festival, you and your son and your daughter, and your male servant and your female servant, and the Lĕwite, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates. 15 “For seven days you shall celebrate to יהוה your Elohim in the place which יהוה chooses, because יהוה your Elohim does bless you in all your increase and in all the work of your hands, and you shall be only rejoicing!”
In just a couple of days we will be performing the Festival of Sukkot! The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘perform’ is from the primitive root verb עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 which means, ‘to do, work, make, produce, to act with effect, to observe, to bring about, institute’ and can also mean, ‘celebrate’, which I think is very fitting. This word is often translated as ‘works’ and is a clear reference to what one physically and practically does.
It is truly a great ‘joy’ TO DO the laws and right-rulings as prescribed, and more specifically in terms of the Feasts of יהוה it is a joy for us to ‘perform’ them as we are instructed to!
So many today think that it is a huge burden to do what is commanded, yet that is so far from the truth!
When we diligently observe and guard to do all He commands us to do, it is a great joy and a delight and not heavy at all!
A derivative of this word עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 is the word מַעֲשֶׂה ma’aseh – Strong’s H4639 and means ‘a deed, work or acts, accomplishments’. The “Acts” of the Apostles speaks of the deeds or acts of that which the Apostles did and records their ‘acts’ of obedience. We shall be known by our fruits based on our proper reverence and submission to our Master, which shall be evidenced in our “acts of obedience”, as we walk in righteousness, guarding to do all He has commanded us to do, all the time!!! We are to be doers of the Word and not just hearers only!
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:22-25 “And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, 24 for he looks at himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. 25 But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.”
As we consider this root verb עָשָׂה asah in terms of our need to be doers of the Word, we recognise that we can only be proper doers if we are in fact looking intently into the Word, and when we see this word in the ancient pictographic script we gain further understanding of what it is to be a proper doer of the Word!
In the ancient pictographic script the verb עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 looks like this:
Ayin – עָ:
The original pictograph for this letter is: and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’ as the eye is the window of knowledge.
Sin – שָׂ:
This is the letter ‘sin/shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as: , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth, as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.
Hey – ה:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breath’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of ‘revelation’ or to reveal something by pointing it out, as well as ‘praise’ through the lifting up of our hands in complete awe and surrender.
When looking at this word עָשָׂה asah in the ancient pictographic form, we are able to further understand how critical it is for us to be doers of the Word and so perform and do that which is instructed for us to do. From this picture we can see the meaning of: LOOKING AT THE WORD THAT HAS BEEN REVEALED!
This teaches us that we are unable to DO or PERFORM the Word if we are not looking intently at the Word!
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us! The clear revelation of the Word, יהושע Messiah, has been made known to us; and as we look to the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our belief we are able to lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and enabled to run with endurance the race set before us as we look at the Word and do it!!!
Now in terms of the Feast of Sukkoth, we recognise that the clear instruction given to us is to perform it!
The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak (O.T.)) for ‘perform’ is the ποιέω poieō – Strong’s G4160 which means, ‘to make, do, accomplish, keep, work, acts’, and is translated as ‘does’ in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does them, shall be like a wise man who built his house on the rock”
A derivative of this word is ποιητής poiētēs – Strong’s G4163 which means, ‘a doer, a maker’, which is translated three times as ‘doer’ in the passage I read from Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:22-25.
I certainly hope you get the clear picture of how important it is for us to be doers of the Word, which we can never be if we are not looking intently into the Word and meditating on it day and night, so that it can be the proper light to our path and lamp to our feet!
As we look intently into the clear instructions given to us in regards to performing the Feast of Sukkot, we take note that a key component of our performing this Feast is one of rejoicing!
The Hebrew root word translated as ‘feast’ is the noun חַג ḥag – Strong’s H2282 which means, ‘a festival, feast, sacrifice, festival gathering, solemnity’, which comes from the root verb חָגַג ḥagag – Strong’s H2287 which means, ‘to make a pilgrimage, keep a pilgrimage, celebrate a feast, observe a feast, dance’.
This word חַג ḥag – Strong’s H2282 which means, ‘a festival, feast, sacrifice, festival gathering, solemnity’, in the ancient pictographic text looks like this:
Ḥet – חַ:
The ancient script has this letter as which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘SEPARATION’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, and separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!
Gimel – ג:
This is the letter ‘gimel’, which in the ancient script in pictured as – –which is ‘a foot’ and carries the meaning to ‘walk, gather, carry’, as clearly referring to the functions of a foot; and it can also give the meaning of a gathering of people, and we know that ‘feet’ in Hebrew speaks of one’s walk and ability to keep the Feasts of יהוה, and represents one’s ‘walk, and therefore also pictures for us the idea of ‘gathering’.
This word in its ancient pictographic form can have the meaning of ‘SEPARATED GATHERING’, and teaches us the necessity of being gathered together as commanded, in order to properly perform the Feasts of יהוה.
We take note of the text we read from in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:15 that we are to celebrate for 7 days to יהוה our Elohim in the place which יהוה chooses! We are so thankful to יהוה for choosing for us a wonderful place for us to perform and celebrate His Feast of Sukkot this year, and this also emphasises the importance of unity and fellowship within the body, teaching us that we should not neglect the gathering of the set-apart ones, as some are in the habit of doing, and gather where יהוה has chosen! We are extremely blessed as a small fellowship to have what יהוה has given us and chosen for us in terms of our ability to gather every Sabbath and Feast together; and to neglect the instruction to gather where He has chosen for each of us in to neglect the instruction to perform as we should!
There are many around the world that do not have the opportunity to gather as we do, and therefore we should not overlook the joy it is to have that which He has caused for us to have as a small ATFOTC family!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘celebrate’ is חָגַג ḥagag – Strong’s H2287 which means, ‘to make a pilgrimage, keep a pilgrimage, celebrate a feast, observe a feast, dance’, which is the root verb of חַג ḥag – Strong’s H2282, and is also used in:
Shemoth/Exodus 23:13 “Three times in the year you are to observe a festival to Me:”
Keeping the Feasts of יהוה are to be done with exceeding joy – after all they are His FEASTS – and a feast implies a joyous occasion with singing and dancing! Are you ready to perform the Feast of Sukkoth?
The Hebrew word for ‘booths’ is סֻּכֹּת – ‘Sukkoth’ which is the plural of the root word סֻכָּה ‘sukkah’ H5521 which means, ‘a thicket, booth, shelter, hut, temporary shelter, canopy, tent’ which comes from the noun סֹךְ soḵ – Strong’s H5520 which means, ‘a thicket, lair, hiding place, booth, den’, which comes from the primitive root verb סָכַךְ ‘saḵaḵ’ H5526 which means, ‘to overshadow, screen, cover, hedge or fence about or to entwine as a screen, weave together, knit together’, and helps us understand a little more of just how important this performing of the Feast of Sukkoth is, for we are being knit together as a body of Messiah, under whose wings we find rest, shelter and safety! Now that is something to rejoice about! This root verb is translated as ‘shelter’ in:
Tehillah/Psalm 5:11 “But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever shout for joy, because You shelter them; and let those who love Your Name exult in You.”
Other translations have translated this word סָכַךְ ‘saḵaḵ’ in this verse as ‘defend’ or ‘protect’, which speaks not only of יהוה being our defender and protector but also pictures for us how His Booth or dwelling with us brings that protection in which we can freely rejoice.
The noun סֹךְ soḵ – Strong’s H5520 which means, ‘a thicket, lair, hiding place, booth, den’, in the ancient script looks like this:
Samek – סֹ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield, protection’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.
Kaph – ךְ:
The ancient form of this letter is – meaning ‘the open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. The picture of the palm of the hand also represents ‘covering’.
When we look at these two pictographic letters we are able to see that the thorn that represents protection and the hand that represents covering, we get a combined meaning of ‘PROTECTED COVERING’!
Having said that, when we look further at the word סֻּכֹּת – ‘Sukkoth’, we take note of the additional letter – ת – ‘taw’ that is added and looks like this:
Taw – ת
The ancient script has this letter as which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign’; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!
Can you see the clear significance of Sukkoth? With the additional of this letter ‘taw’ that has the meaning of covenant or seal we take note that the Word סֻּכֹּת – ‘Sukkoth’ in the ancient pictographic lettering can render for us the following: ‘PROTECTED COVERING OF THE COVENANT!’
I hope that by now you are enjoying these word pictures that help us to gain a greater understanding of how vital it is for us to be guarding to do this Feast of Sukkoth with great rejoicing, especially when we understand how Sukkoth is the final of the 7 Feasts of יהוה and pictures for us the completed protection of His Covenant with us, as we are covered in Him, and with great joy look forward to His boothing with us!
I would like to therefore take a look at one more word in the ancient pictographic alphabet, and that is the word for ‘rejoice’, as we are told in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:14 that we shall ‘rejoice’ in our festival!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘rejoice’ is שָׂמַח samaḥ – Strong’s H8055 and means, ‘to rejoice, be glad, be joyful, delight in and be elated’, and can also carry the meaning ‘to brighten up’, giving us the picture how we are to carry His joy as the light of the world and let praise and rejoicing abound!
In the ancient pictographic script this word שָׂמַח samaḥ looks like this:
Shin – שָׂ:
This is the letter ‘sin/shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as: , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth, as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food. This can give us the meaning of WORD or Words.
Mem – מַ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. This also carries for us the picture of washing, as we understand the function of water being that which cleanses us and sustains us, showing us how we are washed and sustained by the Living Waters of the Word! This letter also can represent any liquid, especially blood!
Ḥet – ח:
The ancient script has this letter as which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘SEPARATION’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!
When looking at this word in its pictographic form, in terms of our command to rejoice, we are able to see why we are able to rejoice as we recognise the following:
THE WORD THAT WASHES US HAS SEPARATED US AND SECURED US!
This is a clear reason to rejoice, for as long as we allow the Word to wash us and keep us clean, we are able to confidently make our boast in Elohim, whom we praise and rejoice in, as we are built up as living stones in the Master; living stones that offer up lives as a daily living offering with rejoicing praise!
A derivative of the verb שָׂמַח samaḥ is the adjective שָׂמֵחַ sameaḥ – Strong’s H8056 and carries the meaning, ‘glad, joyful, merry, pleased, rejoicing’. Both of these words are used in the command to rejoice in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:14 & 15, where שָׂמֵחַ sameaḥ is translated as ‘rejoicing’ in verse 15, when we are clearly told that we shall ONLY be REJOICING! The Hebrew word translated as ‘only’ is the adverb אַךְ aḵ – Strong’s H389 which means, ‘surely, only, alone, nevertheless, verily’, and is often a word that is not translated yet it is used to convey emphasis, and in this instance it is used as an affirmative emphasis that is translated as ‘only’ and in other translations it has been translated here as ‘surely’ or ‘altogether’, which makes it clear in regards what is being instructed for us in regards to the proper performing of Sukkoth, and that is that it can only be properly performed with rejoicing and gladness!
The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:14 & 15 for ‘rejoice’ and ‘rejoicing’ is εὐφραίνω euphrainō – Strong’s G2165 which means, ‘to cheer, celebrate, rejoice, make glad, joyous living’ and comes from two root words: 1) εὖ eu – Strong’s G2095 which is an adverb meaning, ‘good, well done’ and 2) φρήν phrēn – Strong’s G5424 which means, ‘midriff, heart, mind, thought, thinking’. It can be therefore understood that this word εὐφραίνω euphrainō can have the meaning of, ‘to put in a good frame of mind’. This word denotes the mood of joy and involves an inner process that affects the outward physical well-being, especially in situations which give rise to a mood of common cheerfulness and joy! This makes perfect sense as we recognise the joy of coming together for the purposes of rejoicing in our Master and Elohim – where the mood of cheerful joy is expressed by all due to the inner process of recognising the greatness of the occasion!
Another word in the Greek word that is translated as ‘rejoice’, in giving reference to the rejoicing at harvest time, is χαίρω chairō G5463 meaning ‘to be full of cheer, be delighted and be glad’ and is used in:
Yoḥanan/John 4:36 “He who is reaping receives a reward, and gathers fruit for everlasting life, so that both he who is sowing and he who is reaping rejoice together.”
This Feast is known as the Feast of Ingathering as it is a picture of the harvest being brought in with great joy after the threshing and winepress phases are completed and the true fruit is offered as accepting. First Fruits was already offered guaranteeing us the harvest to come where we will rejoice with our Maker and Husband, aměn!
Will you obey the command to rejoice? This will mean putting aside your worries and fears; as it is time to throw off all the excuses and simply worship יהוה as He has commanded us too, and embrace delighting in יהוה.
Come and give Him your all – do not come empty handed, come rejoicing and let us make this Feast truly a Feast of note – we don’t need pagan festivals of giving, we have יהוה’s – it is now time to rejoice – it is a command – will you obey?
As you look intently into the revealed Word of Elohim take heed to the instruction to be separated for gathering together unto יהוה, with the full assurance and promise of His protected covering of His Word that washes, protects and secures us in His Covenants of Promise to which we have now been brought near to by the blood of Messiah!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:42-43 tells us that we are to dwell in booths for 7 days so that we know that יהוה made Yisra’ĕl dwell in booths when He brought them up out of Mitsrayim, and also is a joyous reminder how He has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of Elohim; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion.”
The Greek word translated as ‘you should proclaim’ is ἐξαγγέλλω exaggellō – Strong’s G1804 which means, ‘tell out, proclaim, publish, declare, make known by praising or proclaiming’, and we see this word being used in the LXX (Septuagint) and translated as ‘we show forth’ in:
Tehillah/Psalm 79:13 “And we, Your people and the sheep of Your pasture, we give thanks to You forever; from generation to generation we show forth Your praise.”
The Greek word used in Kěpha’s letter for ‘praises’ is ἀρετή aretē – Strong’s G703 and it carries the meaning of ‘moral excellence, virtue, purity, praise etc.’ In essence this can carry the understanding of being faithfully set-apart, as well as our ability to bring the proper rejoicing praise to Elohim in declaring the excellence of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light and are now the sheep of His pasture, who hear His voice and gather and rejoice at His command!
As you approach this coming Feast of Sukkoth, I trust that you will come prepared to rejoice, and shall only be rejoicing; for this Feast is the Booths of Rejoicing. As you consider the few pictographic words that we looked at tonight I hope that you will see the clear simplicity of the command to rejoice, and do just that, as we faithfully and boldly proclaim the praises of our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, our soon coming King!
Are you ready to PERFORM this Feast of Sukkoth? Are you ready to rejoice before יהוה?
Then come this Sukkoth and let us rejoice, dance and leap before our King!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to and give you shalom!