In 2016, Shmini Atzeret falls on Monday, October 24th (Tishri 22), which is the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Tishri 15-21). In the Strong’s dictionary #8066, Shmini means eight, and in #6116, Atzeret means an assembly, thus the reason it is called “the eighth day of the assembly.” Shmini Atzeret is a Sabbath day, a day of rest, and it symbolizes “eternal life and new beginnings.” It is the “the eighth day” on God’s prophetic timeline.
Leviticus 23:36, “For seven days (Feast of Tabernacles) you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation (dress rehearsal), and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.”
Leviticus 23:39-40, “Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month (Tishri 15), when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days (Tabernacles, Tishri 15-21); on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest (Shmini Atzeret). And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.”
Numbers 29:35, “On the eighth day you shall have a sacred assembly. You shall do no customary work.”
Moses confirms that the “eighth day” follows the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles. As we have discovered in previous articles, Messiah’s Second Coming will occur on the Feast of Yom Kippur, His Millennial Reign will begin on the Feast of Tabernacles, and exactly 1,000 years later, when the New Jerusalem descends from heaven (Revelation 21) on the Feast of Tabernacles, on the eighth day of the feast, Shmini Atzeret will be fulfilled, which is “eternal life and new beginnings!”
The Feast of Yom Kippur – Messiah’s Second Coming
The Feast of Tabernacles – Messiah’s Millennial Reign
The Feast of Tabernacles – The New Jerusalem (Exactly 1,000-years after the Millennial Reign)
The Feast of Tabernacles – The Eighth Day of the Feast – Shmini Atzeret – (Eternal Life and New Beginnings)
Now, let us explore the prophetic foreshadows of this awesome revelation in the Holy Bible. The first revelation we will discover is the symbolic nature of the seven days of creation, and how it correlates with the “eighth day” (eternity) on God’s prophetic timeline.
Genesis 2:1-3, “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
The Almighty created the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh (Sabbath). Does God’s creation timeline correlate with His prophetic timeline for the culmination of all things, from the beginning to the end, concluding with Messiah’s Second Coming, Millennial Reign, and the New Jerusalem (Eternity)?
Isaiah 46:9-10, “Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.”
Assuredly, for us to understand the end, we have to understand the beginning, which includes God’s prophetic creation timeline. King David and the apostle Peter also give us great insight into the timetable of God’s creation process.
Psalm 90:4, “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night.”
2 Peter 3:8, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
From Adam to Messiah is 4,000 years (4 days), and from Messiah unto today is 2,000 years (2 days), which totals 6,000 years (6 days). Just as God created the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh, mankind will also “work” for 6,000 years (6 days) and rest on the 7,000th year (7th day), which is Messiah’s Millennial Reign. Our generation is about to enter this period of time, which is also called the Messianic Age (7th day, 7,000th year), and it will fulfill God’s prophetic timeline for the “seven days” (7,000th year). Then, after the New Jerusalem descends from heaven on the Feast of Tabernacles exactly 1,000 years later (Revelation 21), the eighth day of the feast will be fulfilled, Shmini Atzeret (eternal life, new beginnings).
Revelation 21:1-7, “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God (8th day of the Feast of Tabernacles). And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.”
Isaiah 65:17-19, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.”
The books of Genesis and Luke also gives us great insight into Shmini Atzeret, the eighth day, as well! In Genesis, God commands Abraham that he and all of his male descendants are to be circumcised on the “eighth day.”
Genesis 17:9-13, “And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.”
In the book of Luke, Messiah, who was a “descendant” of Abraham (Matthew 1, Luke 3), was circumcised on the “eighth day,” according to the Abrahamic Covenant.
Luke 2:21, “And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.”
What does this tell us?
This awesome revelation explains that Messiah, who was born on Tishri 15,** which is the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, was circumcised on the “eighth day” of this feast (Tishri 22), fulfilling God’s circumcision law to Abraham and also proclaiming to mankind that eternal life (chayim lanetzach) is through Him! Messiah is the “eighth day,” Shmini Atzeret!
John 17:3, "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Hebrews 5:9, “And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation.”
1 John 5:11-13, “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Shmini Atzeret is also called Simchat Torah, or “rejoicing in the Torah/Joy of the Torah.” Shortly after the Torah was given to Moses at Mt. Sinai, he commanded the Torah to be read to all of the assembly of Israel, both native son and stranger, during the Feast of Tabernacles on the shemitah (seventh) year.
Deuteronomy 31:10-12, “And Moses commanded them, saying: “At the end of every seven years (Shemitah), at the appointed time in the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles, when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, you shall read this Torah before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the Lord your God and carefully observe all the words of this Torah.”
Unfortunately, the nation of Israel forsook this, as well as the true worship of the Lord. Shortly after the death of King Solomon, the nation of Israel was divided into the northern House of Israel (Ephraim) and the southern House of Judah (Judah) (1 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10-11). Due to persistent idolatry and wickedness, the Lord “divorced” the House of Israel (Ephraim) and dispersed them among the nations in 722 B.C. (2 Kings 17). Despite the fate of Ephraim (northern-Israel), the southern House of Judah continued in its’ idolatry and was eventually exiled into Babylon for 70 years (Jeremiah 29:10; Danial 9:1-2).
After the return of Judah (southern kingdom) to Jerusalem (Judea), the leaders rebuilt the holy city and the temple and “rediscovered” the Torah. Ezra the scribe, along with Nehemiah, the Levites, and the elders of Judah, then began to read the Torah to all the assembly on the first day of the seventh month, or Tishri 1, which is the Feast of Trumpets.***
Nehemiah 8:1-3, “And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the Torah of Moses which the LORD had given to Israel. Then Ezra the priest brought the Torah before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month (Tishri 1). He read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of men and women, those who could understand; and all the people were attentive to the book of the Torah.”
Because the people realized what they had lost, they began to weep. But Ezra, Nehemiah, and the Levites understood that this was to be a time of joy, not mourning, and encouraged the people to celebrate, eat, drink, and to be charitable (Nehemiah 8:9-12). After this, the Feast of Tabernacles (rejoicing) was re-instituted, and for the first time since the days of Joshua the entire assembly kept these holy days (feasts-Leviticus 23). The Torah was read from the first day until the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Tishri 15-21), and then a solemn assembly was held on the eighth day (Shmini Atzeret).
Nehemiah 8: 13-18, “Then on the second day the heads of fathers’ households of all the people, the priests and the Levites were gathered to Ezra the scribe that they might gain insight into the words of the Torah. They found written in the Torah how the LORD had commanded through Moses that the sons of Israel should live in booths during the feast of the seventh month (Tishri). So they proclaimed and circulated a proclamation in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the hills, and bring olive branches and wild olive branches, myrtle branches, palm branches and branches of other leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written (Feast of Tabernacles).” So the people went out and brought them and made booths (tabernacles) for themselves, each on his roof, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at the Water Gate and in the square at the Gate of Ephraim. The entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in them. The sons of Israel had indeed not done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day. And there was great rejoicing (Feast of Tabernacles). He read from the book of the Torah of God daily, from the first day to the last day (Tishri 15-21). And they celebrated the feast seven days (Tishri 15-21), and on the eighth day (Tishri 22) there was a solemn assembly according to the ordinance (Leviticus 23:36-40).”
Here we see the first “Simchat Torah,” or rejoicing in the Torah! Jewish tradition states that after the return of the children of Israel (Jews) to Jerusalem, the Torah was divided into segments, called parashiyot, which were to be read on each Sabbath. This was formalized in the 10th century C.E. by the Jewish rabbi Maimonides. These portions both began and ended on the eighth day, Simchat Torah (Shmini Atzeret), with the reading of the end of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 33 and 34) and the beginning of Genesis (Genesis 1:1-2:3). In this we see not the end of the Torah, but rather the new beginning, and the cyclical eternal nature of the instructions (Torah) of God.
Matthew 5:17-19, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Torah till all is fulfilled.Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Now we can see how amazing this is with regard to the Word made flesh, Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah! Not only was He circumcised on the eighth day, Shmini Atzeret, fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant, but, as the Word made flesh, He was the fulfillment of Simchat Torah, or the joy of the Torah! Just as the children of Israel wept for what they had forsaken when they heard the reading of the Torah at the gates of the Temple during the time of Nehemiah, so to will all the world weep when they look upon Him whom they have pierced when He returns in glory!
Zechariah 12:9-10, “And on that day (Second Coming) I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on Me, on Him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over Him, as one weeps over a firstborn.”
Revelation 1:7, “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.”
But to those who believe in Messiah and follow His laws and commandments, their tears will turn to dancing, and their mourning into joy at the sight of the LORD!
Jeremiah 31:12-13, “They will come and shout for joy on the height of Zion, and they will be radiant over the bounty of the LORD—over the grain and the new wine and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; and their life will be like watered garden, and they will never languish again. Then the virgin will rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old, together, for I will turn their mourning into joy and will comfort them and give them joy for their sorrow."
Psalm 30:11-12, “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”
My friends, I pray that you will join us on Shmini Atzeret and forever, as we rejoice in the Torah made flesh, Yeshua Hamashiach, Jesus the Messiah, and the new and eternal life (Chayim Lanetzach) that we are promised through Him! Amen, Amen, and Amen!
2 Peter 3:12-13, “Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”