1.In the last Torah reading of Deut. Chapters 33 and 34, V’zot Haberacha, the children of Israel were blessed by Jacob in Genesis 49. They were blessed again by Moses in Deut. 33. Please read each of these passages and see if there are similarities or are they completely different.
When Moses blessed the people, he had been their leader for 40 years. He was speaking of what was to come in the future. Jacob spoke as a father and some of his words were blessings and some were reprimands, based on his years as their father.
Moses also lists the tribes in different order, and skips Simeon altogether. Jacob had only mentioned Simeon along with Levi in Genesis 49:5-7 and had prophesied this tribe’s disappearance in Joshua 19:9.
The blessing of Moses “is altogether in reference to the land which the people were on the point of entering. This is perhaps the chief difference as compared with Jacob’s blessing.
2.I would like us to look at the blessing over the tribe of Judah found in Deut. 33:7. Here we read, “Hear O L-rd, the voice of Judah and bring him to his people.” Who is Moses asking G-d to bring to his people?
I believe it is easy to see this verse as Moses asking the Father to bring quickly one of the sons of Judah and that Son would be the Messiah who was prophesied to be of the tribe of Judah. So Moses as one of his last acts asks G-d to send the Messiah to His people.
3.Where in scripture is Sukkot talked about?
Keeping of Sukkot is detailed in Nehemiah 8:13–18, The entire chapter tells about the people weeping upon hearing the Torah read for the first time since coming back from their captivity. Beginning in verse 13 they were given instructions to build sukkahs for the holiday.
In Zechariah 12:9-11 the prophet speaks of the One who was pierced describing the time when Israel will recognize their Messiah. Then in Zechariah 14:16–19 he talks about the gathering of the whole world in Jerusalem at the feast of Sukkot to worship the G-d of Israel.
Sukkot is also mentioned in these three places: Leviticus 23:34–44, Exodus 23:16 and Numbers 29:12.
4.Just for review, what is the importance of this holiday and what does the sukkah represent to us?
Living in a Sukkah for a week reminds us that G-d provides. His cloud of glory covers us constantly. We are never alone. I think our holiday of Succoth also reminds us that like the Succah we are fragile and therefore we do all we can that the Father has given us to do. We rejoice in Him and His glory, His blessings. We are joyful because of what He has done for us. His provision never fails us.
When we grasp that G-d is always covering us as the Sukkah represents, we can go through life’s struggles and challenges. G-d is the ultimate good and He never allows any struggle or challenge into our lives that does not have a constructive purpose. So when we are commanded to celebrate a holiday and experience a time of joy, we are being told by G-d that joy is not a reaction to outside events but rather it is who we are.
The greatest compliment G-d can give us is that we are “Eved Hashem” or a servant of G-d. G-d will surely provide us with all we need to fulfill His call on our lives. When our lives are poured out for Him a force far greater than ourselves flows through us.
I encourage each of you, as we finish the Torah tonight to carry on with the good work G-d has given you. Let Him flow through you, as the waters of Succoth reminds us. Let Him fill you to overflowing with His living water.
5.What was the water drawing ceremony that took place during sukkot? From where was the water drawn? What other things happened in this place? Where in the Messianic scriptures does Yeshua talk about water? How is all this significant to us and our spiritual lives.
In John 9:7 Yeshua used water to restore a person. Also in John 7:37-38 Yeshua talked about being the living water. He goes on to say that from us will also flow rivers of living water. How does this happen in our lives? G-d tabernacles with us, He becomes that Sukkah in which we dwell until we reach heaven. So how does water flow from us? It must flow daily as we live our lives here in this world. This happens I think, as we live a joyful life daily. Not just when everything is going well and we grow fat. But especially when things might not be going so well as the world measures well. How else can we read in James 1:2, “Count it all joy or pure joy whenever you fall into various trials.”
This pool, where the person was restored, was the same pool that the priests used to take water each morning of Succoth for the water libation ceremony. Historically it is said that as they brought the water back to the Temple the way would be lined with people singing and dancing. Remember, this would have occurred each morning of the holiday just as the sun would be rising in the sky. As the priests ascended the steps, going up to the Temple proper, they would stop on each of the steps and sing the Songs of Ascent found in Psalms 120-134. You might consider reading these as your imagination pictures the scene around the Temple. According to ancient Jewish writing this holiday was known as the holiday of joy.