Atzeret and Simchat Torah
following the last day of Sukkot, Hoshana Rabbah, is Shemini Atzeret
(the eighth day of assembly). Shemini Atzeret along with Simchat Torah
are celebrated together on Tishrei 22 and 23. As it is written, "On the eighth day
you shall hold a solemn gathering (Atzeret); you shall not work at your
occupations" (Numbers [Bamidbar] 29:35). The rabbis interpreted this verse
to mean that YHWH asks all who made a pilgrimage for Sukkot to tarry (atzeret,
which comes from the Hebrew root word meaning "to hold back") with Him one
additional day. From this, the rabbis concluded that Shemini Atzeret is an
understand Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, we must review a few
things. First, the seven days of Passover (Pesach) are followed by a 49-day
period of counting the omer, which climaxes with the fiftieth day of Pentecost (Shavuot).
Thus, the liberation of Passover (Pesach) is linked with the revelation and
giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, known as Shavuot (Pentecost). If we look at
the festival cycle, Shemini Atzeret is analogous to Shavuot, which is
understood to be the conclusion or atzeret to Passover (Pesach). Just
like Shavuot, a one-day festival, is the conclusion to Pesach, a
seven-day festival, so Shemini Atzeret, a one-day festival, is the conclusion to Sukkot,
a seven-day festival.
we see that Shemini Atzeret is the eighth day -- that is the day after
"seven." Seven, being a perfect number in the Bible, signifies a complete unit
of time as each week ends with the seventh day called the Shabbat (Sabbath).
Thus, the eighth day is the day after time. It is the end of both kinds of time. It is
thus not just the promise of redemption, but the actual moment of it. YHWH said,
"Remain with Me (atzeret) an extra day," a time beyond time.
Rejoicing in the Torah
last comes the most joyous day of all, the day of Simchat Torah, rejoicing in the
Torah. Simchat Torah is celebrated on the twenty-third of Tishrei, or the day
following Shemini Atzeret. Once again, it should be noted that the Hebrew word Torah
means "teaching [or instruction]," for it teaches us our way of life, the kind
of life YHWH wants us to lead. The Torah is the foundation for understanding the
Reading of the Torah
the early Middle Ages, there was more than one cycle with regard to the reading of the
Torah. In fact, the most widespread cycle was the triennial one, in which the reading of
the Torah took three years and ended before Passover (Pesach).
modern times, the annual reading cycle became predominant. Therefore, Simchat Torah
became the end of the reading cycle and thus its own festival day. As just stated, the
Torah reading cycle is concluded on Simchat Torah. However, at this time, it is
immediately started again from the beginning. This shows that there is no end to the
Torah, and that it must be read and studied constantly, over and over again. The Torah,
like YHWH Himself who gave it, is everlasting (Matthew [Mattityahu] 5:17-18).
Torah celebrates a Torah of joy, a Torah without restrictions or a sense of burden.
Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA
and Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah
22, Shemini Atzeret, and Tishrei 23, Simchat Torah, in ancient times
were considered one long day and celebrated on Tishrei 22. Simchat Torah is a
celebration of rejoicing in the Torah.
it is written in John (Yochanan) 7:37, "In the last day, that great day of
the feast [of Sukkot]...." This day would be known as Hoshana Rabbah,
or Tishrei 21. In John (Yochanan) 8:1-2, it is written, "Jesus went unto the
mount of Olives. And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the
people came unto Him; and He sat down, and taught them." This is the next day after Hoshana
Rabbah, the day attached to Sukkot called Shemini Atzeret. Once
again, in ancient times that day was also called Simchat Torah, the rejoicing in
the Torah. So, in John (Yochanan) 8:5, we see Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA, the author of the
Torah, is questioned about the Torah on the day referred to as "the rejoicing in the
Understanding of Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah
Deuteronomy (Devarim) 31:9-13, at the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles), you
are to read the Torah. The seventh year is called the year of release (Deuteronomy [Devarim]
31:10); all debts are to be forgiven at this time (Exodus [Shemot] 21:2;
Leviticus [Vayikra] 25:1-4; Deuteronomy [Devarim] 15:1-12; Jeremiah [Yermiyahu]
34:8-22). The seven years are a picture of the 7,000-year plan of YHWH (Psalm [Tehillim]
90:4; 2 Peter 3:8). The seventh year is the year of release and is a picture of the
seventh day or the Messianic age, the Millennium, or the Athid Lavo. Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA
referred to this in both Isaiah (Yeshayahu) 61:1-3 and Luke 4:16-21. The phrase,
"liberty to the captives" in Isaiah (Yeshayahu) 61:1, speaks of the
year of release. Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA is saying, in essence, "I am that release. Trust in
Me and you will be free."
the days of Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA, there was a seven-year cycle of reading the Torah. In years
one through three, the people would read from the Torah, the prophets and the writings. In
years three through six, they would start over. In year seven, they would read from them
all. While reading, the priest would stand on a podium (bema) and give the
understanding and teaching (Nehemiah 8:1-12). This was done during the Feast of Sukkot
(Tabernacles) (Nehemiah 8:2,13-14,18).
the future, we will experience the real Simchat Torah during the time
YHWH judges the believers in the Messiah according to the lives they lived
on this earth. At that time, when we hear the truth of the Bible and
understand YHWH's Word, we will cry when we see how we have failed to keep
and follow the Bible and YHWH's truths. But YHWH will say,
"Do not sorrow, for the joy of the YHWH is your strength" (see Nehemiah [Nechemiah]
8:9-10). At this time, we will not be going through the rehearsal (miqra) of the
festival, but we will be experiencing the "season of our joy," the time of the
Messianic kingdom on earth. The reading, teaching, and understanding of the Torah will be
at its height during the Messianic age, the Millennium. In Isaiah (Yeshayahu)
2:1-5 and Micah (Michah) 4:1-5, Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA, the Messiah, the author and
teacher of the Torah, will teach all the peoples of the earth the ways of the Torah.
Rain and Dew: ( Geshem
and Tal: A Prayer for Rain )
the festival of Shemini Atzeret, the Musaf, the additional service on
this day, begins with a special prayer for rain (geshem). The reason for these
special prayers is understandable enough (if you have lived in the land of Israel). The
winter months in the Holy Land are the rain season, and the entire life of the country
depends on rain. If the rains come down in their due season and in sufficient quantity,
the rich soil will produce abundant crops and fruits; if not, the country is doomed to
famine and starvation. During the summer months, there is no rain; it's the dry season.
During these rainless months, the earth would have been completely parched, the top soil
would have turned into dust and been blown away by the wind, and the land would have
turned into barren desert -- were it not for the dew that settles on the cool soil during
the hours of the night, drenching the ground with the soft moisture which we know as dew
and which sparkles in the early rays of the sun like pearls. Thus, the rain in the winter
and the dew in the summer are vitally needed to sustain life.
Application (Halacha). Because this chapter concludes the festivals, we will review
the spiritual significance of the festivals to the individual believer in the Messiah and
how they relate to his life. Therefore, at this time, we can conclude with the spiritual
significance of the fall festivals, especially Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat
designed the agricultural and weather seasons in Israel to parallel the life of every
believer in Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA who seeks to love Him and serve Him with all his heart. With
this in mind, let us examine how this is true.
time a person receives Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA the Messiah as his own Savior, he spiritually
experiences Passover (Pesach). He is to flee Egypt (Mitzrayim; the
world's evil system and ways); trust (emunah) in the Messiah, the Lamb of
and allow Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA to be the doorpost of his heart. As believers, we are then to
seek to live holy lives before YHWH and experience Unleavened Bread (Hag HaMatzah).
Just as Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA rose from the dead, we are to consider our former ways dead to us
and experience the newness of life in the Messiah. Once we do this, we can be immersed
(baptized) in the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) and have the power of
anointing) in our lives. Spiritually, we have experienced the spring harvest of Israel in
our lives. When we accept Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA into our hearts and lives, He begins to teach us
the Bible and show us how much He loves us, and we begin to grow in the knowledge of Him.
that time, YHWH will begin to take us on a spiritual journey through the wilderness of
life. Spiritually, we will begin to experience the dry summer season of Israel. Many
things in our lives will not go the way we expect them to or how we trust
YHWH for them to
go. In the process of experiencing life's bitter disappointments and struggles, if we keep
our eyes upon YHWH, He will take us from Passover (Pesach) to Shavuot
(Pentecost). There He will reveal His ways and His Word, the Bible, in a deeper and more
progressive way. By keeping our eyes on the Messiah through life's struggles,
YHWH will not
only reveal His Word, the Bible, to us in a greater way, but He also will refine our faith
like fine flour, just as was done to the wheat during the days of counting the omer
between Passover (Pesach) and Shavuot (Pentecost). Meanwhile, if we put
our entire trust (emunah) in Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA while on our spiritual journey in
the wilderness of life as YHWH refines our faith and reveals Himself to us in a greater
way, then our spiritual journey will not end in the wilderness of life (Hallelujah!).
Instead YHWH will take us forward to spiritually experience the fall festivals and our
spiritual promised land.
is when we spiritually experience the fall festivals -- especially the Feast of
Tabernacles (Sukkot), Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah -- and
enter into our spiritual promised land that YHWH will anoint our lives for Him in an
awesome way, as we live and serve Him, and we will then experience the greatest joy in our
entire lives. Joy unspeakable! But we will experience not only joy, but also dancing,
praise, victory, peace, and the power of YHWH in our lives. Spiritually, we will be
experiencing the fall harvest of Israel. The rain in the Bible speaks of two things: the
great outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) and an in-depth
understanding of Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA and His Word, the Bible, in our lives. Both the anointing
of the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) and great knowledge of spiritual truths will
be present in our lives in order that we may accomplish the purpose YHWH has for every one
of our lives. Therefore, we have the anointing of YHWH upon our lives so we may help to do
our part to build up the Body of Messiah to full maturity and to establish the Kingdom of
YHWH on earth until we come to that day when we will rule and reign with the Messiah, the
King of kings and Lord of lords on earth during the Messianic age, the Millennium, and for
Fulfillment and Understanding
YHWH created man and put him in the Garden of Eden (Gan Eden), the Garden of Eden
was like paradise, Heaven, or the world to come, known in Hebrew as the olam haba.
However, man sinned and as a result, both man and the earth was diminished in comparison
to the original glory and beauty in which it was created. As a result, YHWH laid out a
7,000-year plan to restore both man and the earth back to the glory and majesty of the
Garden of Eden (Gan Eden). The Messiah was to play a central role in this
Hosea 6:3 and Joel 2:23, the Scriptures tell us that the coming of the Messiah Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA
will be like the rain. As previously discussed, in Israel there are the spring rains that
are in the form of dew and showers, and the fall rains that make up the great rainy
season. In His wisdom, YHWH gave the weather season in Israel to teach about the coming of
the Messiah. Just as there are mainly spring rains and fall rains in Israel,
for two comings of the Messiah. During the first coming of the Messiah, the Messiah would
fulfill the role of Messiah ben Joseph, the suffering Messiah. During His second
coming, the Messiah would fulfill the role of Messiah ben David, the King
Messiah. Those who would receive the Messiah in the season of His first coming would,
spiritually, be like the spring rains in Israel and YHWH would pour out His Holy Spirit (Ruach
HaKodesh) upon all people at this time. However, the greatest number of people who
would accept the Messiah would be during the season of the fall rains in Israel, which
speaks of the Messiah's second coming. The greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Ruach
HaKodesh) would be at this time as well.
great outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) and the knowledge of the
Messiah on earth, will reach their greatest height during the Messianic age, the
Millennium, and continuing into eternity. This is what the fall rains in Israel are
spiritually all about and are why YHWH instructed the people to pray for rain during the
festival season of Sukkot including Shemini Atzeret and Simchat
Torah. After all, Sukkot (Tabernacles) and Shemini Atzeret and Simchat
Torah were given to us by YHWH to instruct us what life would be like during the
Messianic age and all eternity when the knowledge of the Messiah and the Spirit of
will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, as prophesied in the Book of Zechariah.
For Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA the Messiah is both the Former and Latter Rain and the Teacher of
Righteousness (Hosea [Hoshea] 6:3; Joel [Yoel] 2:23; Psalm [Tehillim]
72:6; 84:5-6; John [Yochanan] 3:2; Isaiah [Yeshayahu] 55:10-12). How
glorious it will be to live with the Messiah during those days! This is the essence of the
festivals of YHWH!
Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA's First Coming
- He like US would be a descendent of Abraham
(Genesis 12:1-3; 18:18; 22:18; Matthew 1:1-2,17; Galatians 3:8,16)
- He would be from the tribe of Judah
(Genesis 49:8-10; Hebrews 7:14; Revelation 5:5)
- He would be a descendent of David.
(2 Samuel 7:4-5,12-13; 1 Chronicles 17:11-14; Psalm 132:11; Luke 1:32-33,67-69; Acts
2:29-30; Matthew 1:17; Romans 1:3)
- He would be born in Bethlehem (Beit
(Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:4-6; John 7:42)
- He would be from Nazareth and be
called a Nazarene.
(Matthew 2:23; Luke 1:26-27; John 1:45; Judges 13:5-7,24)
- The exact time of His crucifixion
was known (483 years from the decree to build the temple, which was around 444 B.C.E.).
(Daniel 9:25; Nehemiah 2:1-8; 5:14)
- He would be born of a virgin.
(Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:20-23; Galatians 4:4; Genesis 3:15)
- His name would be Immanuel.
Immanuel in Hebrew means "YHWH with us."
(Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:21-23)
- His name would be Jesus (Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA
in Hebrew), which means "Savior" or "Salvation." The word Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA
in Hebrew means "salvation." It is derived from another Hebrew word, Yashah,
which means "to save, deliver, preserve, bring salvation, get victory." (Matthew
- His name would be the Messiah. The
word Christ in English comes from the Greek word Christos, which means
"The Anointed One." Christos in Greek is the word Mashiach in
Hebrew, which also means "The Anointed One." The word Mashiach means
"Messiah," who is Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA. (John 1:41)
- He would be the only begotten Son
(Psalm 2:2,6-7; John 1:14; Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:1-2,5)
- He would be the Son of YHWH and YHWH
would be His Father.
(Psalm 89:26-27; 2 Samuel 7:8,12-14; 1 Chronicles 22:7-10; Hebrews 1:1-2,5; Mark 14:36;
- He would be circumcised the eighth
day according to the law of purification.
(Luke 2:21-24; Leviticus 12:1-6)
- He would go to Egypt and return to
the land of Israel.
(Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:13-15)
- Young babies would die in an
attempt to kill Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA at His birth.
(Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:16-18)
- He would be preceded by a messenger
(a type of Elijah [Eliyahu] known as John (Yochanan) the Immerser
[Baptist]) who would prepare the way of YHWH. (Malachi 3:1; Luke 1:13,76; Matthew
- The messenger, John (Yochanan)
the Immerser (Baptist), would be preaching in the wilderness. (Isaiah 40:3-5; Luke
- He would be a prophet like Moses (Moshe).
(Deuteronomy 18:15; John 1:45; Acts 3:20-23)
- He would be anointed of the Holy
Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh).
(Isaiah 11:1-2; 42:1; Matthew 3:16)
- He would preach and teach in the
temple (Beit HaMikdash).
(Malachi 3:1; Luke 4:16; Matthew 26:55; John 7:28; 8:1-2)
- He came specifically to the house
of Israel and not to the Gentiles.
- Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA would be rejected
by His own people Israel (corporately). [Note: It should be pointed out that many, many
individual Jews were believers in Messiah during the first century. This can be seen very
clearly by carefully examining Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Book of
69:8; 31:11; 88:8,18; Job 19:13; John 1:11; 7:3,5)]
Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA is the stone that the
(Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 3:10-12; Romans 9:11)
- Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA would be received
by the Gentiles (corporately). [Note: It should be pointed out that many Gentiles are not
believers in Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA and many others are believers in name only and not true
followers with their hearts. The believers in Messiah are commanded to follow
YHWH with all
of their heart (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).] (Isaiah 11:10; 42:6; 49:6,22; 54:3; 60:3,5,11,16;
61:6,9; 62:2; 66:12,19; Malachi 1:11; Luke 2:30-32; Acts 28:28)
- He would speak in parables.
(Psalm 78:2-4; Matthew 13:34-35)
- The ministry of Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA
would be in Galilee.
(Isaiah 9:1-2; Matthew 4:12-16,23)
- His ministry would be to heal the
sick, set the captives free, and preach deliverance. This is known as the basar
(gospel) in Hebrew.
(Isaiah 61:1-2; Luke 4:16-21; Matthew 4:23; 9:34-35; Acts 2:22; 10:38)
- Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA was to be the
shepherd of Israel because Israel had no shepherd.
(Ezekiel 34:5-10; 1 Kings 22:17; Zechariah 10:2; Genesis 49:22,24; Psalm 23:1; 80:1;
Isaiah 40:10-11; Ezekiel 34:23-24; 37:24; John 10:11,14-15)
- His message would not be believed.
(Isaiah 53:1; John 12:37-38)
- The meek would praise Him.
(Psalm 8:1-2; Matthew 21:15-16)
- Illegal merchandise trading would
be done in the temple.
(Psalm 69:9; John 2:13-17; Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 21:12-13)
- He would be hated.
(Psalm 69:4; 35:19; 109:2-3; 119:161; John 15:24-25)
- He would be a reproach to the
(Psalm 69:9; 89:50-51; Romans 15:3)
- He would not seek publicity.
(Isaiah 42:1-2; Matthew 12:15-19; 9:30; 8:4)
- He can be trusted and would be
(Isaiah 42:3; Matthew 12:15,20-21)
- No evil words would proceed from
(Isaiah 53:9; Luke 23:41; 1 Peter 2:21-22; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
- His disciples would forsake Him.
(Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:31-35,56)
- There was nothing physically
beautiful in Him to be desired.
(Isaiah 53:2; Psalm 22:6; Mark 6:1-3; Philippians 2:7)
- He gave up the glory in Heaven for
the poverty of earth.
(Luke 9:58; 2 Corinthians 8:9)
- He would publicly enter Jerusalem (Yerushalayim)
before the time of His crucifixion. (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:1-5)
- He would ride into Jerusalem (Yerushalayim)
on a donkey.
(Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:5)
- He would be sold for 30 pieces of
(Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:14-16)
- His betrayal price would be given
for a potter's field.
(Zechariah 11:13; Matthew 27:3,7-10)
- He would be betrayed by a friend.
(Psalm 41:9; John 13:18-21)
- Both Jew and Gentile would conspire
(Psalm 2:1-2; Acts 4:27-28; Matthew 26:3; 27:1-2)
- He would be nailed to a tree.
(Deuteronomy 21:22-23; Psalm 22:16; John 19:18; 20:25)
- He would suffer for others.
(Isaiah 53:6; Matthew 20:28)
- He would die for our sins.
(Isaiah 53:5; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 2:24)
- He would be mocked.
(Psalm 22:7-8; Matthew 27:39-43)
- He would die with the
(Isaiah 53: 12; Mark 15:27-28)
- He would make intercession for His
(Isaiah 53:12; Luke 23:34)
- He would be smitten.
(Micah 5:1; Isaiah 50:6; Lamentations 3:30; Matthew 26:67; 27:30)
- He would be spit upon.
(Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67, 27:30)
- He would be forsaken by YHWH.
(Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46)
- He would be given gall and vinegar
to eat and drink.
(Psalm 69:21; Matthew 27:34,48)
- He opened not His mouth when
(Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 26:63-64; 27:12-14)
- His garments would be parted.
(Psalm 22:18; Matthew 27:35)
- Not one bone would be broken.
(Psalm 34:20; John 19:33,36)
- He would be pierced.
(Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34,37)
- He would be like a lamb going to
(Isaiah 53:7; Acts 8:26-35)
- He is King of the Jews (and the
(Psalm 2:6; John 18:33,37; 19:19-22)
- He would be buried with the rich.
(Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60)
- He would die.
(Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:50)
- His soul would not be left in hell.
(Psalm 16:10; 49:15; 56:13; Acts 2:27,31; 13:33-35)
- He would rise from the dead.
(Psalm 16:10; Luke 24:6,31,34; Acts 2:27-31; 13:35)
- Others would rise from the dead
(Psalm 68:18; Ephesians 4:8; Matthew 27:52-53)
- He would rise the third day from
(Jonah 1:17; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Luke 24:45-46; Matthew 12:40)
- He would ascend into Heaven.
(Psalm 68:18; Acts 1:9; Luke 24:50-51)
- He would sit at the right hand of
(Psalm 110:1; Hebrews 1:2-3; Ephesians 1:20-21; 1 Peter 3:22)
- He would usher in a New Covenant and a new Priesthood (Brit
(Jeremiah 31:31; Luke 22:20)
- He would
be a sure foundation to
all who believe.
(Isaiah 28: 16; Romans 10:11; 1 Peter 2:4-6; Hebrews 6:1-3)