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Shemini Atzeret-The "Eight Day

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by Walter and Deborah, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. Walter and Deborah

    Walter and Deborah Junior Member

    United States
    Monday 10-21-19 Tishri 22, 2nd. day of the weekly cycle, 5780 Seventh Month 22nd. day, this day is the eighth day unto the Lord. Leviticus 23:36

    In the book of Leviticus we read a description of all the annual holy days of God, beginning with Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the seven day Feast of Tabernacles or "Ingathering" of the harvest (Leviticus 23:1-36).

    Then, at the close of the Feast of Sukkoth or Tabernacles, in the fall, we read: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein" (Leviticus 23:36).

    This one-day festival occurs right at the end of the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles, which pictures the Millennial Reign of Christ (Revelation 20:4; Isaiah 11). The last or seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles pictures the FINAL DAY OF HARVEST or INGATHERING -- that is, the final time of spiritual harvest which is pictured by the Great White Throne judgment,

    When all those who ever lived are resurrected and "judged" according to their works (Rev.20:11-15). This "seventh day" of the Feast is also called "the great day of the feast" (John 7:37), and is the time when God's Spirit is poured out on all mankind (John 7:37-39). It pictures a truly "great day of salvation" when billions will be saved, and will come to know God!

    Since the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles completes the "harvest festival" of the great fall harvest -- and therefore represents the FINAL DAY of "harvesting" and "ingathering" -- the COMPLETION of the salvation process, and God's Plan with mankind.

    What is the meaning and purpose of the ONE-DAY festival that appears to be "tacked onto" the end of the Feast of Tabernacles?

    What is the hidden, unrealized meaning of "Shemini Atzeret" or "the eighth day"?

    Shemini Atzeret in Jewish Lore:

    Before seeing what the Scriptures tell us about this subject, let's review briefly the teachings and concepts which Rabbinical Judaism has put forth concerning this ancient festival. The Jews have been observing this day, along with all God's festivals, for the past 3,500 years, since the time of Moses. Therefore, their insights ought to be instructive and meaningful.

    To understand the full meaning of this final holy day, it will help us to compare -- and to contrast -- it with the Festival that precedes it, the Feast of Tabernacles. As The Jewish Book of Why explains: "Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah ["the rejoicing of the Law"] are holidays totally independent of the Sukkot holiday.

    "In Israel, as dictated by the Bible, Sukkot is observed for seven days. The first day is a full holiday, on which one is to abstain from work. The next five days are Chol Hamoed, Intermediary Days, which are considered half-holidays. The seven and last day of Sukkot is Hoshana Rabba, also a half-holiday. The day after Hoshana Rabba is a separate holiday called Shemini Atzeret. Simchat Torah is not observed as a separate holiday. It is observed as part of Shemini Atzeret.

    "The seventh and last day of Sukkot was endowed with special sanctity by the last of the Prophets: Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Coming at the beginning of the rainy season, it became known as a Day of Judgment for Rain. (A special service for rain became part of the Shemini Atzeret service held on the next day.)" (p.254-255).

    This Jewish authority goes on to explain further:

    "Shemini Atzeret, the Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly, is often thought of as the eighth day of Sukkot. Actually, it is an INDEPENDENT HOLIDAY. The Rabbis refer to it as regel bifnay atzmo, a separate holiday, and required that the Shehe- cheyanu prayer be recited when the candles are lighted and when the Kiddush is recited.

    (This would not be required if Shemini Atzeret were not an independent holiday.) "Shemini Atzeret is a ONE-DAY HOLIDAY marking the conclusion of the festi- vities and observances of Sukkot, and NONE OF THE SUKKOT CEREMONIALS APPLY TO IT" (p.256). Further enlightenment concerning this holy day of God is provided in the book The Jewish Way: Living the Holidays, by Rabbi Irving Greenberg. He relates:

    "When the seven days of Sukkot end, the Bible decrees yet another holiday, the Eighth Day of Assembly. The Rabbis interpreted this as an encore. After the High Holy Days, after the intense seven days of Sukkot and pilgrimage, the Jewish people [or, we should say, more accurately, "God's people"] are about to leave, to scatter and return to their homes. God grows nostalgic, as it were, and pensive.

    The people of Israel will not come together again in such numbers until Passover six months hence. God will soon miss the sounds of music and pleasure and the unity of the people. The Torah decreed, therefore, an eighth day of assembly, a final feast/holy day. On this day Jews leave the sukkah to resume enjoying the comfort of solid, well built, well insulated homes. The lulav and etrog are put aside; this day, Shemini Atzeret, is a reprise of the celebration of Sukkot but without any of the rituals.

    The message is that all the rituals and symbolic language are important but ultimately they remain just symbols" (p.115).

    1 Corinthians 1 KJV

    Love always, Walter and Deborah
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
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